Ups and downs, good and bad, yes and no. Welcome back to the Smackdown Shakedown for the May 9th edition of Smackdown Live. We’ve finally seen a world champion on TV after what feels like ages, yet others were noticeably absent. We’ll cover it all here, so let’s get down to business!
Obvious setup is obvious, but it works.
We kick off this week with Randy Orton. I personally think he was kept off of TV last week so that we’d forget the house of horrors match. Unfortunately it looked and sounded like he was bored, and just going through the motions before Jinder Mahal interrupted him.
Jinder seemed to have lost his voice somewhat, which actually made his promo more interesting to me. He wasn’t just yelling constantly, and he made it much more compelling. Unfortunately, he messed up his first line. Saying he didn’t take, no wait, he didn’t steal the title, he just took what was his. And I lost track of how many time he stopped, posed, and pointed to deliver the end of a sentence during his promo. I like that Smackdown is giving someone new a chance, but it’s things like this that seem to show he isn’t really ready for it.
Kevin Owens interrupts them both and within 5 seconds takes over everything. Jinder’s still finding his way, and Randy is coasting, so it’s not the hardest thing to do, but still, The New Face of America is the best thing going on Smackdown.
AJ Styles is out next and is now a fully fledged babyface. Which is great, but he’s getting stuck in the same old catchphrase hell a lot of babyfaces get into. He’s good enough to make it work though.
And finally, Baron Corbin. Who started delivering a “WWE 101” style promo, with all the pauses in all the right places, until he was attacked from behind by Sami Zayn. Everyone brawled setting up an obvious 6-man tag main event.
Also, Corbin is much more ready that Mahal. Why he’s not in that spot, makes no sense to me. Still all in all, a good opening segment, not too long, and it delivered.
Anything you can do, we can… also do.
Next up, Natalya with the Welcoming committee, vs Becky Lynch with Naomi & Charlotte.
Didn’t we have this kind of match on Raw? Two female wrestlers with people at ringside? And this time the champion wasn’t even wrestling. It makes sense with Becky being from that part of the world.
Unfortunately putting what seems to be the entire women’s division out in the ring at once sort of detracts from the importance of the match. It’s what they used to do in the Diva’s days. It’s not good.
And the ending was straight out of the same era. What was that? Charlotte held Naomi back so Becky didn’t get DQ’d, even though Naomi went after Natalya and Tamina? And then Becky gets pinned by.. what? That wasn’t even a move! It’s all lacking in logic.
The Paint Files
Next up was the latest Fashion Files. There’s not too much to say about this one, it was quite quick, and entertaining. Fandango walking through the “fashion police” tape had me laughing out loud especially. It wasn’t as good as last week’s, but it was still entertaining.
Luke Harper Vs Erick Rowan followed. This match. Again. If the Wyatt Family is done, and with Bray being on Raw, it has to be, I feel like WWE needs to move these two away from each other, and not have them involved in matches together at all for a while. Just to give the fans time to forget.
More to the point, Harper should be in line for a push. His athleticism is crazy good. For a big guy, he’s delivering dropkicks and overall feels really agile in the ring. And, it’s pretty incredible how something as simple as changing his singlet to black changes how he’s perceived.
But yet again, what was that ending?? I think Rowan hit a spinning less strong world’s strongest slam? What? It’s clear to me that Harper is the guy who should be getting a push, and Rowan has never really been hurt by losses in the past, so I don’t understand having him win.
VERDICT: FLAW (but a SCORE for Harper)
Next up, Dolph Ziggler calling out Shinsuke Nakamura. Again.
He complained about people not getting behind him. He complained about Shinsuke just coming out and talking and calling himself the artist. (because the show-off is better). He complained that Shinsuke hasn’t even had a match on Smackdown and the people cheer him.
Really writers? I understand trying to get Dolph heat, but you don’t have to make him seem completely stupid. The commentators talk about Shinsuke being in NXT, and New Japan, but we’re meant to think that in Dolph’s mind, they don’t exist?
It kept going. Dolph said he did everything himself, he never needed anyone. I guess everyone forgot when he was associated with Vickie Guerrerro, or Big E, or AJ Lee. Wait, didn’t every single one of those names help him win/keep world titles? Again, I understand, he’s an arrogant heel, but don’t insult people’s intelligence.
Shinsuke makes his entrance to a huge pop as usual. I really wish he wouldn’t wear a mouthguard for talking segments. I want to know what he has to say and that makes it harder for anyone, let alone someone who sometimes has trouble with speaking English.
So they tease a match and then Dolph backs out. Says they’ll go at Backlash, but then attacks. It’s more of the same. And Nakamura getting the best of Dolph, is great, but more of the same, and worrying for the match. Surely there’s no way Nakamura loses his first match on the main roster, right?
Overall, it just fell a bit flat.
Breezango vs The Ascension followed. It was a squash match. The crowd were super into Fandango, but, it’s such a shame to see how far the ascension fell. Also there’s so much irony there that it’s almost funny. Maybe we should start calling them the De-Scension.
The Uso’s delivered a post match promo that was fantastic, but unfortunately that was the only worthwhile part of this segment, and they probably could have done it without the squash match.
VERDICT: SNORE (Except a SCORE for The USO’s)
All filler, no killer
There was a really strange segment next. Mojo was leading some kids around backstage and then sat down and told them a story about “his friend” Andre The Giant. It was super awkward, and the kids kind of looked like they were REALLY bored. Also the one kid that yelled something sounded like he was American. They were in London right?
And finally, it’s main event time. The 6 man tag featuring Randy Orton, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens, Jinder Mahal and Baron Corbin. The match was fine. But, again like Raw, so many of the wrestlers involved in the “Shakeup” are just wrestling each other same as they did on Raw. It’s not really a shakeup, so much as it was a color-swap.
The ending however, that was a complete surprise. I’m actually kind of for it. I just think it was the wrong time to do that. Jinder beating Orton clean (mostly) after the move for move spot that’s really overused, was actually really good. It makes him a threat in people’s eyes. But, imagine the same thing happening, and it being the last show before the Pay Per View? Oh man, you’d say. Jinder just beat Randy clean! He’s going to have his number at Backlash!
But now, we have another week to go, where Randy will probably get some kind of payback. And the 50/50 booking will continue. Maybe i’m wrong though. Either way, the surprise ending worked, and made the match.
- Foreign guy is bad because FOREIGN!
Please. WWE. Give your bad guys a little more depth than “they’re not American so BOO!!!’. You understand you’re a global company right?
- Not-Welcoming Committee
NO. Horrible name. Stop it. Stop it soon.
- Hair Helmet.
Did anyone else notice that Tom Phillips’ hair looked sprayed on? What’s with that??
- YOU TALK TOO MUCH!
Sami’s new character is bad for TV and worse for him. It should not be a thing.
- Missing talent
Where the hell was Tye Dillinger? What’s the point of leaving him off of TV if you’re trying to build another star?
And there we have it folks, The Smackdown Shakedown is done for another week. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you again next week!