After Battleground, SmackDown could not have looked less important. Its counterpart, RAW owns double the fire power and it looked like SummerSlam would once again be RAW heavy. SmackDown might as well have returned to being a pre-taped show that airs Friday nights on Sy-Fy.
Just as we were all ready to close the Blue Brand's casket, it made one last gasp, proving that it was still alive.
Not just alive, but vibrant.
Last night's episode of SmackDown was special - one we'll reference years from now. WWE actually surprised us! In today's 2017 with rumors and leaks abound, that is an accomplishment that cannot be underlined enough.
Typically when I write this article "Surprises from Last Night's SmackDown," I have to get creative and find some nuanced way of making SmackDown interesting. Last night, SmackDown made sure this will be the easiest edition I'll ever write.
Because there were so many HUGE moments the little things got lost, so here they are in brief:
- Baron Corbin is better than you think he is.
- It was good to see The New Day get brutalized like that. Not because I'm a masochist, but they needed this element of gravity.
- Naomi and Nattie could be great, but don't count on it.
- We already know Charlotte is the women's division's best heel. But she could be its best babyface, too.
Enough! Let's get to the juicy part:
Jericho Returns! AJ Wins!
Last night was proof that wrestling it better without spoilers. As much fun as it is to learn WWE's secrets before they happen, wrestling is best enjoyed through the lens of a 10-year-old child.
Chris Jericho's return came without a single rumor. Do you realize how hard that is to do today? He could have just popped in, hit a couple catch phrases and leave and we would have all been satisfied.
But instead, he competed in what will go down as one of the best SmackDown matches of all time. If Chris Jericho isn't in your Top 10, then you just haven't watched him enough.
WWE can go a number of routes from here, but it may not matter - we're all hooked at the moment. The US Championship feels like the Hope Diamond.prevnext
Kevin Owens Shane McMahon at SummerSlam?
It may be a little premature to call this one, but understand that everything that happens on a WWE camera happens for a reason. When you look at all the pieces of action, they each have their own meaning, and last night, Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon shared a lot of heated camera time.
Remember that it was Owens, not the newly crowned Styles, who closed the dynamite episode of SmackDown. Although WWE confirmed that Owens has indeed secured his rematch for next week, he still has plenty of venom towards Shane McMahon.
If WWE truly is trying to make SummerSlam feel like WrestleMania, then they'll go with this match. It would be better than Styles vs. Shane at WrestleMania 33, mostly because we won't have to fight to urge to cheer Kevin Owens.prevnext
John Cena Meets Jinder Mahal
It was odd to watch John Cena and Jinder Mahal interact in a WWE ring. It was like two worlds that were never meant to meet actually crossed paths due to a glitch in the universe (or a driving need to penetrate the Indian market).
Regardless, I liked their interaction. With Orton, Mahal was handcuffed. He could not draw out emotion. Mostly because Randy Orton doesn't have any. But with Cena, he will make a better connection.
Every Cena promo is a little corny. Once you can get past that, you'll see that he is utterly fantastic. IF, he gets to have a program with Jinder, it's OK to expect it to be great.
To that big if:
I was shocked that WWE pulled this Cena/Shinsuke Nakamura trigger. However, unlike some people, I'm very excited for this match. Some sects of fans can't believe WWE is giving this match away for free and without a proper set up of narrative. These people are miserable and should be avoided at all costs.0comments
How could we possibly blame WWE here? Yes, it is a WrestleMania caliber match, but who's to say we are getting robbed of that moment? We have no idea how long Cena will be around. All signs point to him fighting Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34 and even that is speculation. How could we possibly assume that we were gong to get Cena/Nakamura at WrestleMania 39?
My advice: Enjoy this. Let WWE do the decision making and you just be a fan.prev