It’s been a little while since I’ve done some opening remarks, but I need to bring it back.
I used to say that SmackDown was mostly a one storyline show. But I’m actually realizing that WWE is a one storyline company.
But what the Reigns storyline is doing is becoming the best storyline in all of wrestling. It’s better than anything on Raw. It’s better than Karrion Kross and Finn Balor and the rest of them on NXT, too.
And it’s better than Kenny Omega’s belt collector stuff in AEW. Yes, really, and I’m saying this as a fan of AEW as well, and a big fan of what Kenny is doing.
While I love it though, it’s also frustrating.
Because more things could be like this. Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley could be telling an incredible story on Raw with their history together outside of WWE. The Lilly thing could be compelling and interesting, with Shayna Baszler not being sacrificed for it. Why can’t more stories in WWE be like this one?
All I ask is for it to make sense. Aside form the main features of this show, the rest of it was just repetitive, which we have talked about numerous times. That used to be just a Raw issue, though. Not anymore.
And not only was this show repetitive, it set up most of next week’s show to be the same damn thing! That’s so frustrating when this show has the Reigns storyline.
So let’s get to it. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!
Master of manipulation
Roman Reigns started the show doing what he normally does - stare daggers into Jey Uso.
What we didn’t know was that this week was going to be Jey’s shining moment since last year’s Hell in a Cell.
Reigns said that Jimmy and Jey owe him for his help last week. They need to answer for embarrassing the family. All of a sudden, the Usos music played and Jimmy Uso got into the ring.
Jimmy wasn’t playing that game. He called out exactly what I’ve been saying about Roman - Roman’s jealous and doesn’t want anyone else on top except him. Reigns tells Jey to take care of this.
Later, Jey walks up to Jimmy and the light shone through. Jey can’t admit to Jimmy that he knows they could have won on their own. Jimmy said that Reigns is the one disgracing the family. It was building up in Jey the whole time and he finally let it out. He doesn’t know how to get out of it. Absolutely brilliant performance.
Jey went back to Reigns and said that Jimmy said if he wanted to meet, it would have to be in the Usos locker room. More stellar performance from Roman laughing at his cousins having a locker room since he’s the Head of the Table. But he entertained it.
Jimmy blew up at Roman saying he didn’t care about the Universal Championship and that he’d be inducted one day as a spoiled bitch. He said he knew this was Roman’s way of operating since they were kids and he isn’t falling for it anymore. So Roman asked Jey if he saw what Jimmy was doing, and Jey had enough. He said he was tired of both men and walked off.
And then the master of manipulation came back, just as he did last year at Hell in a Cell. Roman used his passion and his emotion to combat Jimmy’s willing to fight him. Roman calmed down and said that Jimmy is causing Jey to lose it. It’s him who is wrong and should be looking out for his brother. How dare he abandon his brother.
It was absolutely brilliant. And Jimmy played right into it and sulked off to go find Jey.
But all this time, Roman actually had a date with Rey Mysterio for his actions last week. So they used Jimmy and Jey being out to do a 2 on 1 beatdown, but Reigns overpowered the Mysterios and threw Dom out of the ring like he was a pebble. I nearly jumped out of my chair.
This was an interesting way to set up a Cell match for Roman and Rey. I honestly thought that Rollins and Cesaro (talked about below) would get that treatment and maybe Roman would sit out of the pay-per-view. Rollins and Cesaro have been going on since WrestleMania.
The match still gonna be fire, though. This was a great interaction between the veteran and the Head of the Table.
A real knee slapper
If SmackDown wasn’t the Roman Reigns show, this would be the main feature.
This had every right to be terrible but delivered on so many levels.
Ding Dong Hello! is the best talk show in this company and Bayley is the best host. She brought out the “Drip God” Seth Rollins and Rollins threw to a video package from last week. Guests typically don’t do that but I’ll make an exception since it was the coolest thing they did with the ThunderDome last week.
When that was over, Bayley and Rollins laughed. The two most grating laughs in WWE together. My goodness.
But after 10 seconds I found myself chuckling.
Then Bayley played the clip of Rollins pummeling Cesaro, and when that was over, they both howled again. I straight up laughed with them.
When the doorbell rang again, I knew who it was, and I was so excited. Cesaro destroyed the Ding Dong Hello! set with Seth’s body, and his pants came off!
I thought the segment was over, but it was so brilliant to have the tables turn by having Bianca Belair come out to laugh at Bayley.
This feud is about laughs, and I am okay with that. To be honest, Bayley’s laugh isn’t as grating to me as it is for others.
Seth and Cesaro really should have gotten the Hell in a Cell treatment. Darn it.
Big E and Kevin Owens defeated Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn
Big E and Big O teaming up again. Crews showed incredible strength by holding E up in a German suplex position for 4 or 5 seconds before completing the move. Crews and Zayn were gelling as a team and really able to separate the babyfaces from each other. At one point Owens tagged in and had such a great enraged demeanor on Zayn. He’s so great at that. Zayn almost won with the Blue Thunder bomb, but E broke it up and then a scary moment happened where E and Crews went over the top rope awkwardly but were thankfully okay.
And we’re just gonna do this again next week with Azeez in Sami’s place. Alrighty then.
Liv Morgan defeats Carmella via 50/50
And we’re just doing something that already happened last week. “The most beautiful woman in all of WWE” Carmella is now her official tagline. Morgan did her part to bring aggression. A quite funny part that couldn’t have been scripted because this company is creatively bankrupt aside from Roman Reigns - Carmella went to the announce table and told Cole to tell the audience at home how beautiful she is. All of a sudden the cameraman fell over Morgan crawling behind him. McAfee played it well. 50/50 booking strikes again. See you both next week!
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin
And we’re just doing something that already happened last week and the week before and the week before. Look I love the BOOGS and Nak pairing, but if WWE thinks that they’re the goofballs here and not Corbin, they’ve got their heads twisted.
And we’re just gonna do this again next week with the crown on the line. Alrighty then.
Montez Ford vs. Chad Gable got the interference treatment
Of course a heel setting up a “my partner won’t come out to the ring. Promise!” angle typically means that the heel’s partner is going to come out after blindsiding and beating up the babyface’s partner in the back. Who would stupidly take a bet that this isn’t going to lead to a tag team match next week?
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?