WWE SmackDown had a solid show planned for this week. We saw Brock Lesnar return as a top babyface, and Roman Reigns successfully defend his title. There were a couple of drawbacks in the episode, but overall, its short duration allowed the writers to put up an entertaining display.
Here, we look at the biggest flops and hits from the blue brand this week. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Brock Lesnar made his much-publicized return on WWE SmackDown this week. The Beast Incarnate seemed to be in a great mood despite the indefinite ban and the million-dollar fine that kept him off the television. He featured in the opening segment and was interrupted by the No.1 contender for the Universal Championship, Sami Zayn.
This week, a “persuasive” Lesnar convinced – read threatened – Zayn into challenging Roman Reigns for the title. The two shared excellent chemistry inside the ring, and together, they delivered an entertaining segment. It reminded us a lot of Brock Lesnar from the early 2000s, who loved to have fun on TV, both inside the ring and during backstage segments.https://video.twimg.com/tweet
He had promised that he would be by Sami Zayn’s side during the main event. The latter went a little too far in his attempt to convince Lesnar when he said that The Beast Incarnate doesn’t have a good record against Roman Reigns.
As a result, Zayn was forced to visit the Suplex City multiple times on WWE SmackDown, and a couple of F5s later, Brock Lesnar left him to fall prey to the Universal Champion.
The Tribal Chief walked to the ring and defeated Sami Zayn in 18 seconds to retain his title. It has now been confirmed that he will put his Universal Championship on the line against Lesnar at the Day 1 pay-per-view.
This match has been in the making for a while, and the good thing is that now we will see Brock Lesnar take control of the mic in the absence of Paul Heyman. That said, Heyman is still expected to play a major role in the title feud between Lesnar and Reigns.
It can be argued that Zayn looked weak inside the ring, and that’s right to an extent. He could have delivered a great match against Roman Reigns and deserves to be a part of big matches. However, this loss can motivate his face turn or help add to his conspiracy theory.
The writers must ensure that they book him well on the Friday night show as they can’t afford to lose someone as entertaining as Sami Zayn.
#4 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Sheamus
One of the best matches on this week’s WWE SmackDown featured an in-ring battle between two former tag team partners, Sheamus and Cesaro. The expectations were high from the match between two superstars who share a long history between them.
Their recent rivalry has paid a perfectly subtle nod to their time together as a tag team, resulting in entertaining segments.
The match between Sheamus and Cesaro had multiple great spots. They are familiar with each other’s offenses which helped them come up with exciting counters. The two also mocked each other and exchanged dialogs pertaining to their past glory.
The Celtic Warrior eventually won the bout, but we hope this isn’t the end of his rivalry with Cesaro on the blue brand.
Since Sheamus and Cesaro are unlikely to enter a title picture over the next couple of months, it would be better to keep them involved in a promising storyline. It will keep them both on TV and give them an excellent chance to build credibility on SmackDown.
Moreover, the fans seemed to be heavily invested in their match, and thus, it would be a wasted opportunity for the writers not to experiment with this narrative.
This week on WWE SmackDown, Sasha Banks faced Shayna Baszler in a singles match. They had a brief encounter, but it was one thoroughly entertaining.
Both the superstars looked strong in the match, allowing them to elevate the competition in the women’s division. Banks and Baszler’s involvement in a much-awaited clash undoubtedly lived up to the potential, despite the huge contrast in their in-ring style.
The Queen of Spades relied on her brute strength to control the momentum while Banks made full use of her technical abilities. The Boss did well in selling each of Baszler’s moves, making the latter look vicious throughout the match.
Although Shayna Baszler was dominant inside the squared circle, Sasha Banks found a small window of opportunity and capitalized on it to seal her victory.
It is evident that both Banks and Baszler will not be a part of the SmackDown Women’s Championship picture just yet. Thus, it would be great to see them engage in a good feud on the blue brand, allowing both superstars to narrate a compelling storyline.
There were moments in this bout that showed us glimpses of the incredible chemistry between the two, especially the time when Shayna Baszler cleverly countered Sasha Banks and held her in Kirifuda Clutch. We hope to see the creative team will capitalize on the potential rivalry between Banks and Baszler.
#2 Flop on WWE SmackDown: The Viking Raiders
This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown saw The Viking Raiders face Los Lotharios in a tag team match. It was an extremely underwhelming bout, and no one came out of it looking strong. Angel and Humberto conveniently took Ivar out of the equation and gained the number’s advantage over Erik inside the ring.
Soon after, we saw Shinsuke Nakamura at ringside and Rick Boogs on top of the commentary desk, playing his guitar to distract Los Lotharios. The plan worked for barely a second as Angel quickly took advantage and pinned Ivar on the Friday night show.
Nakamura and Boogs’ plans backfired, and The Viking Raiders walked out of the ring to confront the Intercontinental Champion and his ally. Instead, all four superstars started dancing together at ringside.
While Pat McAfee’s brief dance on top of the chair was entertaining, this spot ended up compromising the credibility of everyone involved. The Viking Raiders, who were once the tag team champions, somehow get over a loss on SmackDown because the culprits played their theme song?
We understand that the creative team did not want to pit two babyfaces against each other, but it was still a colossal blunder to commit on the show.
Additionally, Shinsuke Nakamura is the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Wouldn’t it be better to have him involved in singles feuds with other top superstars on SmackDown who aren’t a part of the Universal Championship picture?
#1 Honourable mentions from WWE SmackDown: Top stars who got their revenge
Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss returned on WWE SmackDown with their talk show, but it was far from a fairytale for both superstars. Their show was hijacked by Jeff Hardy and Drew McIntyre, who attacked the insufferable duo in response to their unfunny jokes.
McIntyre and Hardy have been fantastic while working together, and it is expected that they will continue to perform together for a while before either of them finds themselves in a singles feud.
Toni Storm got back at SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair with a plate of pie. The Queen had humiliated her potential challenger last week, and Storm sought an opportunity to make things even.
It was not a strong segment, but it served the purpose. We might finally get a title match between both the superstars, something that has been in the making over the last few weeks.
Lastly, we saw Kofi Kingston return on SmackDown this week. He inserted himself in the match between Jey Uso and Xavier Woods after Jimmy Uso tried to attack the King. The match ended in disqualification, but it was confirmed that The New Day would challenge The Usos for the tag team championships at the Day 1 pay-per-view.