What’s it mean when Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, and Kevin Owens have the night off?
Lots of James Ellsworth.
But mostly women’s wrestling. For the third consecutive show (dating back to last week’s SmackDown) WWE programming hinged upon women’s competition and story lines. And we didn’t miss a beat! I bet all of WWE’s women are in one giddy group chat this very second, with Bayley and Lana not really saying much because well, it’s been a rough week for them. We can’t all be winners, I suppose.
Despite all of this positivity, RAW was hands down the better show to watch, but that’s mostly because they’re building towards Great Balls of Fire. And that they have Brock Lesnar. And Samoa Joe. And Big Cass.
But never mind that! SmackDown was fun, and hey we have a ladder match to talk about. That and a few other things that you likely missed, because who can really digest 5 hours of wrestling in two nights?
Me, that’s who.
So here they are, the 5 Things You Missed From SmackDown:
Daniel Bryan is the Most Important Wrestler on SmackDown
For two straight weeks, Bryan has opened SmackDown. Each segment has been electric and entertaining, part of that has to do with the freshness of his return, but nonetheless, SmackDown has a different energy when he’s there.
The guy is universally adored by fans, and by framing all of his proposals as GM in yes or no questions he has a direct line to the audience’s heart.
Sami Zayn is the New Dolph Ziggler
We officially have our brand new mid-card loser. This sounds harsh, but this may have been the role Sami was destined to play. With Ziggler off to Japan (according to Shinsuke Nakamura), there’s a void to fill. And Sami, with his lovable quirkiness, is going to be that guy.
Like, Ziggler he looks good losing. And also like Ziggler, he can make a pretty fiery comeback. So maybe, like Ziggler, Sami can have a couple turns with the WWE Championship.
But if someone needs to lose a match in the first hour of SmackDown, we know who it’ll be.
The New Day Skip the Line
You would think that in their time away, The New Day would have come up with some new ideas. Or at least WWE would have a new direction for them. But nay, since debuting on SmackDown, The New Day have been booked exactly like they were on RAW.
Seriously, when was the last time the New Day had an element of story? That time Xavier Woods was enchanted by Bray Wyatt? I know these guys are cash cows, talented cash cows at that.
So when they march upon The Usos and create a tag title opportunity from thin air, they’re more heels than the lovable threesome than we know them to be.
If last night was the first time you'd ever watched wrestling, you would have thought Jinder Mahal was the 3rd generation, 13-time World Champion, and Orton was the newb.
Orton stumbled through a flat promo that got resuscitated by the arrival of Shane McMahon and the champ, Mahal. Upon making his menacing entrance Mahal called the shots. Orton will get his title match, but in a Punjabi Prison, because the Modern Day Maharaja said so.
Regardless, this feud is losing fuel, and the Punjabi Prison was a good way to inject some excitement into their program.
SmackDown Women > RAW Women
Really, the show that possesses Charlotte is inherently the best place for women’s wrestling. But let’s do some analytics.
SmackDown’s top cast of Naomi, Beck Lynch, Charlotte, and heat-seeker Carmella is so clearly superior to RAW’s Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, and Bayley (?).
The discrepancy shouldn’t be this vast, especially considering how hot Bliss was just a month ago. But look how much intrigue the MITB controversy created. As fans we inhaled that, and can’t wait to boo Carmella next week.
RAW has wrestlers and SmackDown has characters. Perhaps Sasha Banks vs. Alexa could change that.