Cagesiders? I think SmackDown Live will be juuuuust fine.
On the second night of the Superstar Shakeup, we saw a lot of talent flip brands. Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor flipped to the blue brand to battle Ali in an awesome match that I’ll cover later. Buddy Murphy is making the jump from 205 Live to SmackDown Live and that will be fantastic to watch. Kairi Sane is moving up from NXT to enter a tag team with Asuka – that should be super fun, too!
But we were promised the biggest move in SmackDown Live history. Who would it be?
Roman Reigns, of course.
And I guess you could debate if he’s the “biggest move ever” and I really don’t care one way or another. What I love about the move is how fresh this will feel for Reigns. He’s had the Lesnar prophecy hanging over his head for ages, it seems. And for once, we won’t have to worry about the inevitable Beast matchup. He can be his own guy and fight new opponents. It has the potential to be an extremely good time.
Now, I could criticize a bit on how this went down. Vince was pumping us up as if Elias was the big reveal until Roman interrupted; then, Vince got angry at Roman for said interruption. He ate a Superman Punch for his troubles.
Now that’s silly for one of two reasons. You could say that Vince acted surprised by Roman’s intervention, which would mean that the WWE expected us to forget that the McMahons were in charge of all roster moves. I’ll give them credit and assume that this wasn’t the case.
That means that Vince was, in storyline, genuinely pumping Elias up as the big get for SDL and that they planned to mention Roman online or something. And that’s...c’mon.
Either way, watching Vince get owned is always fun. And my goodness, not hearing Michael Cole sputter, “IT’S THE BIG DAWG!” was a gift from heaven. I’ll take what I can get.
“Big O is funnier!”
Let’s make this clear right out of the gate: Big E should never be hurt. If this was a just world, this gift from god himself would always be on television entertaining the masses. But...things happen. And in his absence, the New Day needed a new third man, and I’m so here for Kevin Owens in the New Day.
Who else would be willing to commit so fully? Who would don the unicorn horn and pelvic thrust like his life depended on it? Who else has the vocal fortitude to belt out that legendary New Day intro?
The Big O, that’s who.
The New Day and its honorary third man faced off against Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev, and Cesaro in what amounted to the main event of the show. I thought it was a fun match, but the one thing that stuck out was Rusev’s...interesting sell of Big O’s Stunner. Did Rusev forget that’s the move these days oooor...?
Either way, I’m all in on this version of the New Day. Give Big O some bright, sparkly pants to wear and put that man on UpUpDownDown.
...Now. Can we toss Tyler Breeze into the mix? What’s one more honorary New Day member?
One Finn Two Finn, Red Finn, BLUE FINN
Hey y’all. I called it. Balor’s on SmackDown Live. And my goodness, they gave us Balor vs. Ali right after Balor vs. Andrade. WWE, you’re spoiling me.
What a fun matchup it was, too. Balor was breaking out some moves from the not-often-seen-repertoire since he was working from above far more than usual. Ali was the one getting the high spots as well with his suicide dive through the ropes. And I know this was during the commercial break but did I...did I see Balor taking advantage of the ref’s 5-count?
Ali’s Frankensteiner from the top rope was fantastic, as was Balor’s dropkick to set up the Coup de Grace. The two men shook hands after the match.
This was another really good selection for the Shakeup, in my opinion. Balor’s been on Raw forever and if he’s not going for the red belt, he would have just been recycling through the same people he’d been fighting for over a year. Who knows? With so many good guys on SmackDown, we might even see something new from the Extraordinary Man.
Charlotte def. Carmella – In her first match since WrestleMania, Charlotte was back to form. I’m excited to see that she’s staying on SmackDown, too. Considering who moved over in the Shakeup, the SDL women’s division has the potential to be excellent.
Lars Sullivan is still my jam – I’m smitten with this dude and I won’t apologize for it. Have been since his NXT debut. He plays his role very well.
Kairi Sane, Asuka, Bayley, and Ember Moon def. The IIconics, Sonya Deville, and Mandy Rose – Man it’s weird to hear Bayley getting booed. Anyway! Lots to love about all the folks in this match. Sane’s phenomenal and I’m excited to see how she and Asuka can develop a report on SDL. As for Bayley, her “no hugs” line was ominous. Ember Moon is one of my favorites as well, so I’m hoping to see her gain traction at last on a new brand.
Buddy Murphy is on SmackDown Live – Give me Murphy vs. Balor and Murphy vs. Reigns as quickly as you can. Please and thanks.
SmackDown’s one Achilles heel - Now if there’s one thing about SmackDown’s new roster that you could criticize, their tag team division is a bit bare. However, with so much singles men’s talent on the roster, I’m fairly certain that it won’t turn into a big issue.
Fun show! I have no complaints.
Who won the Shakeup, Cageside?