Smackdown LIVE came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week. Not a ton of buildup to this show as Smackdown has been lacking as of late. The most prominent story to follow is the follow up to Sami and KO being fired and beating down the recently cleared Daniel Bryan.
Jinder Mahal & Rusev def Bobby Roode and Randy Orton
The match itself was long and boring but I was really happy with the result. Rusev got the win over Orton and in turn made the United States title match at Mania a Fatal Four Way. That’s necessary because I’m not intrigued with any of the three guys previously in the title picture. Orton is dull and boring, Bobby Roode needs a heel turn, and Jinder is just awful. Rusev is over, he’s good in the ring, and this man should be the United States Champion.
Becky Lynch def Ruby Riott
Another pretty flat match but I, again, liked the result. Becky Lynch is too underrated to continue getting bad losses. I’m glad they finally at least gave her a win. The loss doesn’t hurt Ruby. To be honest no losses hurt any women right now other than Nia, Alexa, Asuka, and Charlotte. Everyone else is going to be in a pointless women’s battle royal.
D-Bry is back
Daniel Bryan the competitor is so much better on the mic than Daniel Bryan the GM. His emotion was perfect here, he was intense, and believable. Setting up the tag team match for Mania was a lot simpler of a process than I imagined. He did well in conveying why he always gave Sami and KO countless opportunities and why he’s finally had enough of it. Real effective segment overall. Did well in building up the match.
Bludgeon Brothers def New Day via DQ
The biggest story here is they eventually set up the triple threat tag match for Mania. Again, I thought they would elaborate on making the match a little better but that may be asking too much of WWE. I like adding a little bit of a twist in having the Uso’s and New Day collaborate to try to take down the bigger beasts in the Bludgeon Brothers. Honestly their triple threat tag team match should be pretty good if given the right amount of time.
Dolph Ziggler def Tyler Breeze
Did not care about this match at all. Still do not like Breezango. At all. Dolph Ziggler is an underrated heel and his talent is being wasted. He’s just one of many thrown into a useless Andre the Giant battle royal.
Shinsuke Nakamura def Shelton Benjamin
Interesting that Shelton Benjamin got a main event spot. I’m not complaining. Shelton has an agile move set that oddly gels with Nakamura’s. The match wasn’t given a ton of time but wasn’t bad. I’m enjoying WWE playing the angle of Shinsuke and AJ wanting each other to be 100%, it’s something two face’s should be doing. The post-match mic exchange with the two was cringe worthy. Shinsuke with a mic is not good. AJ, on the other hand, did very well and sold the match. After Shinsuke left, AJ got attacked, Shinsuke helped, and then stopped right before he could connect with Kinshasa and yelled, “Knee to face!” That’s exactly how this should go. Shinsuke should not lift up a mic, he should wrestle, AJ should do the talking, and Shinsuke should yell, “Knee to face!” That would be perfect.
Weak show. Real weak. D-Bry’s segment carried the show and will be most talked about. The main event and aftermath was alright but not great. I’m looking forward to that match at Mania but not really any much more than I was before. We got a lot of answers for Mania matches but no real buildup to any of them, they were just made. The show failed to get me excited for next week and did nothing as far as getting me more ready for Mania.