By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, and Aiden English: Styles, Gallows, and Anderson reuniting seemed to click more than Gallows and Anderson teaming with Finn Balor on Raw. For whatever reason, it felt like Balor was brought down to the level of the miserably booked Gallows and Anderson, whereas Styles gives the duo a boost when they team together. I’d love to see WWE reestablish the friendship between Styles, Gallows, and Anderson this year only to bring over Balor in the next Superstar Shakeup and have him lead Gallows and Anderson to turn on Styles. Fantasy booking daydreams aside, the match and the post match angle were effective in putting more heat on Nakamura. Okay, one more fantasy booking moment. Anderson saved Styles from a Kinshasa, but Styles was late to return the favor. Any chance this leads to Gallows and Anderson eventually aligning with Nakamura?
Miz TV with Big Cass: This was an important segment for Cass and he did a fine job on the mic. Yes, it was disappointing that they didn’t deliver the first Miz and Daniel Bryan segment since Bryan’s return, but it’s the type of thing that they should keep viewers waiting for. They tried to establish that Miz and Cass are not working together, but I came away from this with my guard up for a swerve.
Carmella and Charlotte contract signing: Carmella did a fantastic job of generating heat with the live crowd. She has really come into her own on the mic and I’m looking forward to seeing how she performs in the ring at Backlash. Alexa Bliss broke out as a heel star on Smackdown. Is Carmella on the verge of doing the same?
Asuka and Becky Lynch vs. The IIconics: Asuka lost at WrestleMania and now she lost in her Smackdown debut. I’m still not crazy about the WrestleMania decision, but having her lose a tag match where she didn’t actually take the loss for her team is no big deal. They put some heat on Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. I just hope this isn’t step one in yet another parity booking program with the women on Smackdown.
Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin: I expected the highlight of the segment to be Orton returning the favor by stealing this match from Jeff Hardy. Instead, we had the surprise attack on Hardy with Sunil Singh becoming the first wrestler to break the rules of the brand split, which was followed by the even more surprising upset win for Benjamin.
Samoa Joe promo: My favorite Joe promos continue to be when he looks right at the camera and calmly describes his sadistic intentions. Simple and effective.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Erick Rowan vs. Jimmy Uso: The Usos were framed as the baddest tag team in WWE not all that long ago. The Bludgeon Brothers arrive and now the only way the Usos can beat one of them is off a distraction caused by Naomi. It was fine for a television moment and got a rise out of the crowd, but the new direction of the Usos act isn’t clicking with me and I fear that we’re seeing the duo morph back into the smiling Usos we saw before they broke out on the mic and showed more of an edge.