Is Smackdown back to being the B-show? Did telling us it’s the land of opportunity actually make the opposite true? It’s time again for the Smackdown Shakedown, and to have a look at the Scores(the good), the Flaws(the bad), and the Snores(the boring) from this week’s show.
Let’s get down to business.
- KEVIN OWENS – THE NEW FACE OF AMERICA
KO might be the best thing going on Smackdown Live, now that The Miz and Bray Wyatt have moved on. He’s extremely subtle, yet those little things he does just make him more believable and credible than a lot of the roster at this point in time, both in the ring, and on commentary. And a special mention has to go to him as well for managing to hit his finisher when the Jobber of the week screwed up the setup. More KO please.
- AMERICAN ALPHA vs PRIMO & EPICO
I honestly never thought I’d be saying that I enjoyed Primo & Epico again. The Shining Stars gimmick was awful, and needed to die, and I’m so glad it did. This match was fairly competitive, with a quick upset victory to the debuting team. Alpha of course were great as usual, but I was really surprised with how enjoyable I found Primo and Epico. Their appearance on Talking Smack added to that as well. If the powers that be let this continue we could be seeing a new contender for top heel tag team on Smackdown.
- CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS NAOMI
I thought this was a good match. I still can’t get behind Naomi(which I’ll get to later), but Charlotte, kind of like her father, seems to be able to get a fairly good match out of everybody she works with. I’d love to see her use her submission finish a little more, that Natural Selection looks too set up to me, and not all that impactful. I’m not sure I see her winning the title next week, but it’s not far away.
- AJ STYLES VS BARON CORBIN (minus the ending)
Great main event. The only problem I have with it as I said was the ending, and that’s really only because I feel like count-out finishes aren’t satisfying. Baron is one of the top prospects on Smackdown (we’ll get to a bit more of that later as well), and working with AJ in the main event one on one is a big step. AJ was, as always, amazing. KO on commentary only made things better as well.
- JINDER MAHAL, NO.1 CONTENDER
Why, oh why, is this spot not Baron Corbin’s? He was just in a program with the mid-card champion pre-wrestlemania, he’s been built up as one of the bigger names on Smackdown Live, and he’s come into his own as a heel. Two weeks ago Jinder Mahal was being beaten up by someone who isn’t a professional wrestler so that WWE could get mainstream headlines.
Regardless of Jinder’s talent, or the work he’s put in, he’s not ready in the fan’s eyes for this spot, and the reaction to him winning this match showcased that. Also, just constantly talking about how he’s going to be facing Randy Orton kind of makes the House of Horrors match feel a little redundant, right?
- NATTIE THE BABYFACE BULLY?
So, what.. does Natalya have a posse now? and, are they bullies? They seemed fairly bully-ish, shouldering Charlotte and blocking her path as she made her way to the ring, yet, she’s a heel. Are we meant to feel sympathy for Nattie, Carmella & company? Makes very little sense to me. I understand the jealousy, but why not cost Charlotte the match and make Shane turn it into a triple threat or something? Standing there watching a screen does nothing.
I still, as I said earlier, can’t get behind Naomi as the champion. To me she does illogical things in the ring, her psychology seems poor, and it feels like she’s putting on a rehearsed performance, but not as well as other female wrestlers on the roster. Personally I would be much more excited to see Natalya vs Charlotte, or Becky vs Charlotte. I know we’ve seen both of those before, but not for a long time, and the history makes it feel a bit bigger. Naomi just doesn’t have that same impact to me. She’s extremely athletic and when she’s good, she’s very good. She just isn’t consistent enough for me and I think she needs to work on that before she can be seen as a true face of any division.
- WHERE IS SHINSUKE?
A highlights package is not enough. Tye Dillinger had a backstage segment, but why couldn’t we have taken some time from some of the out of ring action, or the 6 man tag which felt like it took an hour, and given Shinsuke Nakamura an enhancement match. If we hadn’t seen him in the ring already I’d understand it, but he’s been there the last two weeks.
- THE OPENING SEGMENT
Just one snore this week, the opening segment with Charlotte, Naomi, and eventually Shane McMahon. It just fell flat to me. It was a brawl that didn’t feel cohesive, followed by Shane hammering home that this is the land of opportunity. Naomi came out dancing after being challenged. Shane came out dancing while the two wrestlers were brawling. It felt too much like a performance, and lacked realism. Luckily it led to a decent match.
And there we have it, the Scores, Flaws and Snores for this week’s Smackdown Live. Do you agree? Disagree? Let your opinion be heard on the comments, or let me know on twitter what you think.
See you all next week!