Following a successful Monday Night Raw under the new Paul Heyman era; it’s now time to find out how SmackDown Live did under the new Eric Bischoff era.
Was the blue brand able to maintain the success of last week’s SmackDown Live?
As a lot of readers will be familiar with, the Five Things We Learnt format has stopped. We have instead changed it to the format to how invested we, the fans, were in the content that we watched on both the red and blue brands.
We believe this was the perfect timing, especially in the new era that we are now in – without further ado, let’s jump straight to it.
You either love or hate Shane McMahon. There’s no in-between. In this weeks episode of SmackDown Live, I loved him. I absolutely loved when Greg Hamilton introduced Shane McMahon himself. It’s brilliant how they are using other on-air talent, and Greg has proven himself to be a good ring announcer over the years.
Now onto Kevin Owens. He’s been a strange one in recent months. He challenged Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship, and a lot of fans thought it was time for Kofi’s reign to come to an end. However, in shocking events, Kofi retained the championship.
Then due to Kevin deciding not to travel to Saudi Arabia, it meant that WWE had to find a new challenger. While Dolph Ziggler faced off against Kofi in a feud, KO was teaming with long-time frenemy Sami Zayn. Now, in a curious turn of events, Owens and Ziggler are teaming with each other. Odd couple doesn’t even cover it.
This developed, as it was announced prior to SmackDown Live that Xavier Woods and Big E would challenge Daniel Bryan and Rowan for the SmackDown Live Tag Team championships at Extreme Rules. A pretty good match up so far. However, the winner out of Ziggler and Owens and Heavy Machinery will join the match.
This matchup finished the night off and I was delighted with the result, as Heavy Machinery were announced the winners. A worthy victory for a rising tag team.
At the other end of the show, the opening match between Daniel Bryan and Big E was a good contest and I’m liking how we’re actually having a feud with their respective teams, instead of a match just forming randomly at a PPV.
Although I am against the idea of Big E’s stablemate Kofi facing Samoa Joe for the championship; the New Day’s feuds are working out at the moment and is one of the strengths of the blue brand.
Even though Samoa Joe is a Raw wrestler, the storyline is slowly but surely grabbing my attention as the weeks are going by. I’m hoping for a good match at Extreme Rules and I hope they prove me wrong from my initial thoughts.
In more good news, R-Truth’s appearance backstage and not winning the 24/7 Championship back already kept this fan content. They are dealing with the Championship in a good way and I’m happy about the direction they are taking with it.
Honourable mentions must also go to Andrade and Apollo Crews for a fantastic match; Shelton Benjamin for his promo and potential return; Aleister Black for the continued build to his appearance on SmackDown Live as a singles star, which seems like will be at the upcoming Pay-per-view.
Although I have a good feeling of where they are going with the Nikki Cross, Alexa Bliss and Bayley feud. At the moment, I seriously dislike what I’m watching and the irrelevance it has. Nikki and Alexa are both Raw superstars, so they shouldn’t even have the chance to be competing against Bayley for the Championship.
Again, it was Nikki who was running her mouth instead of Alexa. Who thought it was a good idea for Nikki to host, “A Moment of Bliss?’ – I’m just kind of over this storyline and it’s not even a strong one at that.
Keeping with the women division, I’m not overly enjoying the Ember Moon against Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose angle. I don’t understand where it’s going or its purpose. I know they are trying to make Ember look really good, but apart from flashes of brilliance this week, it’s not working. They need to decide what they are doing with Ember Moon. To compound matters, yet again the rest of the division was largely absent.
Following the victory by Heavy Machinery, WWE thought it was a good idea to turn Owens face… why? He works so much better as a heel. Then – Now – Forever. For me it was a bittersweet ending to the show because it’s looking like Owens is face and Ziggler is heel. However, we will have to wait and find out how this develops further.
I have to say, I don’t think the show was a massive improvement on last week’s SmackDown Live. It didn’t come close to touching Monday Night Raw. In fact, Raw’s women’s division is everywhere on the blue brand, being near enough the whole SmackDown women’s roster.
The tag team division is certainly going in the right direction – finally!
There was some good foreshadowing moments, which may lead to some interesting matches down the line.
Overall, there’s a lot more they can do with the blue brand but it’s going to take time.
That’s it for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed the show, and agreed with some of the moments with me.
You can find me on Twitter @jackdinsley. Thanks for reading.