SmackDown airs tonight (Sept. 9) with a live show from Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. This is the first SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Extreme Rules, which takes place on Oct. 8.
There’s one more guy to feed to Roman Reigns
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns found a way to escape Wales with his championship intact. The Tribal Chief has been at the head of the table for over two years, and there’s a pretty good chance he will remain champion all the way through WrestleMania 39. That means WWE needs to find more warm bodies to feed to him.
The last few weeks of WWE television have given fans a good idea of which wrestlers might be challenging Roman between now and then - Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Austin Theory, Karrion Kross, and maybe Seth Rollins. And after this week’s episode of Raw there’s one more obvious name to add to the list; Braun Strowman is back in WWE, and it sounds like the plan is for him to be a babyface on SmackDown.
Drew McIntyre is an extremely flawed future title contender because his loss to Reigns in the United Kingdom means he has no chance to beat Roman in any other location. That’s why babyface Braun shoots right up to the top of the list of SmackDown babyfaces who can main event a PPV with Reigns.
However, Extreme Rules is a B-level PPV, and reporting indicates that part-timer Roman isn’t booked for the event. That means Braun will have some time to feast on SmackDown heels this month and next month before getting his shot at Roman later on, perhaps in Saudi Arabia in early November.
Strowman is on the show tonight and will address his return to WWE. Which SmackDown heel will be the first one to Get These Hands? You’ll have to tune in tonight to find out the answer to that question.
The rest of the title scene
SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan defeated Shayna Baszler at Clash at the Castle. Will this loss help Shayna realize that Ronda Rousey was right when she said Shayna doesn’t have that killer instinct anymore?
Intercontinental Champion Gunther chopped the hell out of Sheamus’ chest en route to a successful title defense at Clash at the Castle. Given all the extra players involved here such as Imperium and the Brawling Brutes, this is a feud that could easily extend into a gimmick match at Extreme Rules.
The Usos are the WWE tag team champs but don’t have any competition right now, especially after Strowman destroyed multiple teams on Raw who were competing for a shot at the titles. Jimmy and Jey have more important matters to tend to tonight, such as the formal introduction of Solo Sikoa to The Bloodline. I’m sure that Honorary Uce Sami Zayn doesn’t feel threatened at all by the newest member of The Bloodline.
Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah are the new Women’s tag team champions. They already beat Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. on this week’s Raw. Will any team on SmackDown step up to the champs?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Ronda Rousey immediately attacked Adam Pearce after her suspension was lifted last week. Now that she’s officially back in action, who else is in Ronda’s crosshairs?
- The Viking Raiders defeated The New Day in a Viking Rules match last week. It would only be fair to run this one back in a New Day Rules match, no?
- Happy Corbin is a losing loser who loses. After falling to Shinsuke Nakamura last week, Corbin ended the night by getting inside JBL’s limo. Will a partnership with JBL be enough to turn Happy’s luck around?
- Hit Row is very good at humiliating Maximum Male Models.
- Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux really enjoy messing with Drew McIntyre. Now that McIntyre’s match with Roman Reigns is out of the way, WWE will probably make a heavier push towards a match between Kross and McIntyre.
- When exactly are Sasha Banks and Naomi returning to WWE television? How about Charlotte Flair?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?