It’s not easy to follow a great episode of Raw, which last night’s was, but Smackdown did a decent job of keeping my attention, as I also watched the Rangers game.
Charlotte Flair’s opening promo summed up: She doesn’t understand that Tuesday’s only come once a week. It led to a brawl between her and Naomi, which set up a match, and showed how fresh this feud already is.
Tamina Snuka sighting during a backstage segment that seemed to go nowhere.
Number 1 Contender 6-Pack Challenge (Sami Zayn v Dolph Ziggler v Luke Harper v Erick Rowan v Jinder Mahal v Mojo Rawley)
Jinder and Harper were the stars of the match before the first commercial break. Mahal basically cleared the ring, and Harper stood tall by clobbering Ziggler and Zayn in the middle of the ring. With this many dudes in one match, there was basically everyone just taking turns knocking one another out. Harper no-sold Ziggler a bit, and at one moment Dolph Dropkicked Luke Harper RIGHT on the nose. He sold that!
The entire time I’m watching this match I’m thinking, “none of these guys deserve a title shot right now”. All of a sudden “The Bollywood Boys” showed up, and Jinder Mahal gets the win. Is this some kind of way to torpedo SD Live? I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who muted the TV when Jinder started talking. Adding Orton, and then Bray Wyatt, didn’t make me any more eager to hear. I’m sure I can figure it all out, though.
The bright side? The Bollywood Boys aren’t going to be as goofy as they’ve been previously, so they might be fun to watch work now. Also, Jinder’s win got a pretty huge reaction on my Twitter timeline. It wasn’t exactly positive, but everyone had something to say/tweet about it.
Nakamura video package… solid.
AJ Styles felt like he was leading Baron Corbin through their backstage promo. It’s probably hard for Baron Corbin to focus when he’s thinking about how jealous he is of AJ’s head of hair.
Charlotte Flair vs Naomi
If they’re going to have The Champ lose on regular TV, which is a monthly happening in the WWE these days, at least they gave the match time to develop. Now the story becomes can Naomi overcome the seemingly more talented newcomer… who beat her clean here. No mind-blowing spots, or anything like that, but you could see these two slowly becoming more comfortable working together.
The backstage on-going story about CarmEllsworth, Nattie, and Tamina was the exact opposite of what Braun had going on last night for Raw. This was lame and uneventful, while that was NON-STOP action and entertainment.
Primo & Epico vs American Alpha
The Vince Vaughn from “Swingers” gimmick is gone, and Primo and Epico are back to being pro-wrasslin heels. They even have a new entrance tune. Thank THE WRESTLING GODS! The match was fast, had some solid looking moves, but the ending was weak. The kick that finished Jordan looked like it totally whiffed.
“Lana coming soon” is just another lame dancing gimmick for the Smackdown Women’s Division (See: Carmella, Naomi, etc). Also, “Coming soon” has worked out terribly for Eva Marie and Emmalina recently, so why do it like this again?
Tye Dillinger introducing his own video package. He’ll be lucky if he ever wins TEN matches on the main roster. Him not being on Raw is a missed opportunity for him to co-opt the “Man-bun Monday Movement”.
Kevin Owens vs Gary from Kentucky
Didn’t take long for Kevin Owens to make the United States Championship GREAT AGAIN. It also didn’t take long for him to defeat Gary.
Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles w/Kevin Owens on Commentary
Commentary didn’t seem too bad tonight, until Kevin Owens got on the mic, and showed just how untalented the rest of the commentators are. The match itself was on-par with what you expect from an AJ Styles main event. The difference in sizes made these two perfect opponents.
The ending worked Owens in cleverly, and AJ won via count-out, which I prefer over a roll-up any day of the week.
The 3 Stars of SD Live
- * Jinder Mahal – Can’t hinder Jinder this week. He’s a World Title Contender, and all of a sudden he’s got his own stable. Let’s see where this goes, which I imagine is about as far as he and Khali went.
- ** AJ Styles – That main event performance was the best in-ring part of SD Live! this week. Styles rarely disappoints, and Corbin stepped his game up to match.
- *** Charlotte Flair – The Queen has arrived on Smackdown, and she’s not bringing a dancing gimmick.