By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Check out my free podcast audio review of this edition of Smackdown at
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
Charlotte, Asuka, and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay: A good six-woman tag team main event. The Iiconics were impressive and had a nice tag team sequence. As much as Smackdown is in love with tag team matches it’s odd that they haven’t introduced women’s tag titles. Anyway, Asuka was finally given a chance to shine for the first time since WrestleMania. We’ve seen a lot of meaningless six-woman tag matches on Smackdown since the brand split, but this felt like more than filler. The women worked hard and delivered a match that felt like it belonged in the television main event slot.
AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Shinsuke Nakamura: The Styles promo about his match with Nakamura was nothing special, but Joe appearing on the stage to address Styles was a nice surprise. Joe also delivered one of those great, intense Joe promos that left me anxious to see their first WWE match. The Nakamura sneak attack on Styles was well done and put even more heat on him heading into the now No DQ match at Backlash.
Miz TV with Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton: The Miz’s robe and headband are deliciously over the top and are just perfect for him. Miz attempting to stir up trouble between Hardy and Orton was right up his alley. I continue to get a kick out of how the babyfaces see through his antics and yet they still end up at odds anyway. In this case, it took until after the tag match that followed this segment when Orton hit tag partner Hardy with an RKO. This all served as solid hype for the U.S. Title match while Miz also worked in some hype for his own Intercontinental Title match on Sunday.
Rusev and Lana: An interesting development with Lana implying that Aiden English is holding her husband back. Of course, the truth is that WWE creative has held back Rusev since his glorious tank entrance at WrestleMania 31. Still, it’s nice to see that there could be some light at the end of the tunnel for the criminally underutilized Rusev.
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Big Cass and Little Daniel Bryan: The ol’ little person impersonating a full-sized wrestler gag is tired. On the bright side, Cass has come a long way from the days when he looked petrified whenever it was his turn to say a few words after Enzo Amore carried their promos. He’s not carrying himself like a typical big man in his promos even if the theme is all about his height, but he’s certainly more poised and comfortable on the mic these days.
Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus: A Hit worthy match and it was nice to see an actual singles match on Smackdown. It’s just hard to be excited about New Day when the act feels stale and they are apparently feuding with Sheamus and Cesaro over nothing. I’m ready for a Big E singles run.