SmackDown airs tonight (Aug. 26) with a live show from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. This is the fourth SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Clash at the Castle, coming up on Sept. 3.
Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. deserve a second chance
Tonight’s show includes a “second chance” Fatal 4-Way match in the Women’s tag team championship tournament. Toxic Attraction has been removed from the bracket due to injury, which means four previously eliminated teams are all back in the mix.
Three of these teams are makeshift pairs that only existed to fill out the original bracket. This includes Natalya & Sonya Deville, Shotzi & Xia Li, and Dana Brooke & Tamina. The fourth team is clearly the one that deserves a second chance: Nikki A.S.H. & Doudrop.
Now that Vince McMahon is gone from WWE and Triple H is in charge of creative, this is as good a time as any for certain wrestlers to get a second chance to show what they can do in the ring. Doudrop in particular is a talented wrestler who would greatly benefit from something as simple as a name change. Her association with Eva Marie is a relic from a previous era and there’s no need to continue holding her down with it. It’s time for a change.
Meanwhile, Nikki A.S.H. tried something a bit different with the “almost a superhero” character last summer, but it’s almost one year since it turned into a dead end gimmick. It’s time for Nikki to shed that dead weight, and there are actually signs that this is happening.
Both of these women could use a fresh start in WWE, and tonight’s second chance Fatal 4-Way match might just be the impetus behind such a change.
The rest of the title scene
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was Claymored by Drew McIntyre last week. The Usos weren’t in the building, so Sami Zayn was tasked with providing backup for the Tribal Chief. Sami did take one Claymore from Drew, but he failed to revive in time to also take the second one. The Bloodline is almost certainly going to chew out Zayn for falling down on the job. And while all of these folks are busy dealing with each other, do they notice Karrion Kross & Scarlett looming in the background, with the clock ticking?
Intercontinental Champion Gunther is set to defend his belt against Sheamus at Clash at the Castle. Sheamus earned this title match by winning a five-way match last week against Madcap Moss, Corbin, Ricochet, and Zayn. Will Sheamus take on more of a babyface role for this upcoming fight with Gunther?
SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan is still very weak and very vulnerable. Shayna Baszler could have easily snapped Morgan’s arm last week, but she took mercy on Liv because she didn’t want their title match at Clash at the Castle to be postponed due to injury.
The Usos are the WWE tag team champs but don’t have any competition right now. Their current role is to get beat up by Drew McIntyre and manipulate Sami Zayn into doing their bidding.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Ricochet goes one-on-one with Happy Corbin tonight. Ricochet beat Corbin earlier this month on SmackDown, but Happy is a sore loser who only escalated tensions from there with a backstage sneak attack.
- Ronda Rousey is a suspended badass who doesn’t give a shit about the system or its rules. She was arrested last week after demanding that Adam Pearce reinstate her. He pretty much admitted that he’s not important enough to have that kind of authority, and then he had her arrested. Rousey appears to be getting over as a babyface with the crowd in this role, despite what initially looked like a heel turn at SummerSlam.
- The New and Vicious Viking Raiders wasted everyone’s time last week with a pointless funeral for the New Day. That segment was a swing and a miss, and Kofi and Xavier Woods should have a good laugh about it tonight.
- Maximum Male Models were booted out of the ring last week so that Hit Row could give us “something special” in the form of an awful musical performance. This didn’t help anybody get over. Is it leading to a match?
- Johnny Gargano made his surprise return to WWE on this week’s Raw. Triple H is full of surprises, so is another one coming tonight?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?