Tuesday rounded off the Superstar Shakeup as the blue brand seemingly readied themselves for a big move to FOX later in the year.
SmackDown finished their show as arguably the better product with demons, shenoms, pirates and big dogs all making the switch to Tuesday’s. Couple that with Owens being a more then suitable, albeit less flexible, fill in for Big E in The New Day and the line of contenders getting even longer for ‘The Man’, this week’s show was definitely one to remember. But what did we learn? Well take your seats, because school is in session.
1. They really are sticking with Owens as a face…and that’s alright.
Last night’s show opened with Kevin Owens in front of his hometown crowd talking to The New Day on ‘The K.O Show’. They discussed Kofi’s title win and Big E’s injury. Owens offers to be their back-up tonight so cue twerking, pancaking eating and we get the birth of Big O, leading to their win in a six-man tag main event against Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev. Now, many (including me) thought after all the comedy and fun, Owens was going to drop Kofi with a stunner, powerbomb Woods on the apron and there we go; instant first feud for the WWE Champion. Alas, no; Owens wrestled in a New Day top and competed from bell to bell as a face. This may be because he was in his hometown, but I’m hoping this means they are sticking with Owens as an everyman face. Owens is funny, he is affable, he has all the traits that make him as good a face as he is a heel.
(also, Woods having a breakdown over his UUDD roster all going to RAW was hilarious.)
2. A singles run for Cesaro?
Something I noticed straight away was Cesaro appearing on his own to offer his services to Nakamura and Rusev. With rumours of Sheamus’ career winding down due to neck issues, are they looking at another Cesaro singles run? I would not be against Cesaro being the first challenger for Kofi Kingston (wishful thinking I know), but the matches he could have against a recently-moved Finn Balor or the aforementioned face Kevin Owens? Count me in. There’s been enough of a gap between now and the last failed Cesaro singles push, so why not give him another Cesaro swing at it?
3. Balor in blue is long overdue.
No, I’m not talking about his pants. Although, they were rather fetching.
Finn Balor should have been on SmackDown YEARS ago. Ideally, the minute he came back from shoulder surgery. He’s a fantastic talent lost amongst the Lesnar’s and Braun’s of this world on RAW, there was no way he was going to push his way to the front of the queue. However, on SmackDown; he has more wrestlers he can have kick-ass matches with, he immediately is at the top of the card due to the fact his is arguably the “smaller” show (that won’t be the case once that FOX money kicks in) and the blue brand has always been known as the sports brand in WWE’s sports entertainment, so it fits him like a glove. This was proven with his fantastic match against Ali last night, and I hope this is the first of many.
4. SmackDown’s women’s division is STACKED.
Overnight, the blue brand has gone from an afterthought with the ladies at WrestleMania to having the best division in WWE’s recent history. Bayley and Ember Moon made the switch from RAW, Kairi Sane made her move over from NXT, Liv Morgan has split off from The Riott Squad to join SmackDown and Mickie James to top it all. SmackDown has collated the talent from one of the best women’s eras in NXT (Asuka, Charlotte, Bayley, Carmella, Liv Morgan, Ember Moon, IIconics) with a former NXT Women’s Champion in Kairi Sane and the small matter of Becky Lynch at the helm. That is some tasty looking roster there.
Also, did they hint at a Bayley heel turn? IMAGINE.
5. Roman Reigns can show how good he REALLY is
After the red herring of Elias, Roman Reigns was revealed as the big aquisition for SmackDown Live. He punctuated that by taking out ‘The Troubadour’ and superman punching Vince McMahon.
I’ve never understood the Roman Reigns hate. It’s not him who is to blame, it’s the crappy writing and booking that has messed him around. The guy is a FANTASTIC wrestler but, with no disrespect to Brock Lesnar or Braun Strowman, he’s not exactly going to have workrate out the backside with those two. Even with Drew McIntyre, you know it’ll be booked out to work the classic WWE ‘big man’ style. However, much like with Finn Balor, being on the “sports” brand rather than the “entertainment” brand means he can really put his skills to the test. I am excited by the thought of Reigns vs Nakamura, Reigns vs Ali, Reigns vs Kofi and even the re-runs of Reigns vs Rusev, Reigns vs Bryan and Reigns vs Owens will seem fresh now.
Although, I do hope after last nights segment we are not getting Vince vs Roman on SmackDown. No one wants this.
You can find me on Twitter @MattyID. Thanks for reading.