The Blue brand was a celebration this week, as The New Day welcomed back Big E. But that wasn’t all.
We also had more manipulation from Alexa Bliss to Nikki Cross as she does her bidding ahead of her SmackDown Women’s Title match with Bayley, Daniel Bryan and Rowan continue to butt heads with Heavy Machinery and a reingnition of the rivalry between The Miz and Shane McMahon.
But what did we learn this week? Here are five things we learned from SmackDown Live.
1. Shane McMahon Continues to Take Up Air Time
As he has for the past few weeks, Shane McMahon continued to suck the air out of the building with his shtick. McMahon forced Miz to do an edition of MizTV, and came to the ring with his lackeys Drew McIntyre and Elias. He kept droning on about being the best in the world, and eventually booked Miz into matches against Elias and McIntyre.
Yes, McMahon is a heel. Yes, what he does gets heat. His two lackeys, however, should be the ones in these positions. McIntyre and Elias are both extremely talented and should get a chance to show what they’ve got. McIntyre could become a world champion one day, and Elias has shown he’s a talent in the ring in the past. Yet week after week, McMahon continues to be the biggest heel on Tuesdays.
2. Heavy Machinery Are Coming For The Tag Titles
SmackDown Live had Daniel Bryan and Rowan come out to show that they’re fighting champions. To do so, they had a scheduled match against some local talents: the Yolo County Tag Team Champions. Instead, Heavy Machinery came out and took their place in the match to prove their worth.
Heavy Machinery were over huge with the Sacramento crowd. Tucker and Otis showed some solid aggression and look like actual threats to Bryan & Rowan’s tag title reign. The tag team division had looked thin after the injury to Jeff Hardy and the Usos moving to Raw. While two teams does not a division make, a hot tag team title feud between two teams that aren’t the Usos or New Day will bring the SmackDown Live tag team title scene back to prominence.
3. Aleister Black Really Wants a Fight
Someone, anyone, please fight Aleister Black. This week’s promo from Black reached a new level of intensity. He is begging anyone to come and pick a fight with him. While some superstars like Randy Orton have responded online, no one has stepped up to the Dutch Destroyer.
Black was a featured player when he was first brought up to the main roster alongside Ricochet. He’s gone from a tag team championship match at Wrestlemania to looking for a dancing partner. It’s smart from WWE to build him up with these vignettes. Beforehand, a non-NXT fan may have just seen him as a silent, tattooed striker. Now fans are getting to dig into the layers. Just like a great game with a long tutorial level, I think we’re now ready for the action. Let Black go back to kicking people like he does so well.
4. Ember Moon is Done Being Bullied
A running feud on SmackDown Live has continued this week, as Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville bothered Ember Moon again. Instead of smacking a book out of her hand, this time they took aim at her Nintendo Switch and if anyone’s seen Moon on UpUpDownDown, that was a bad call. After Rose and Deville left, Moon lost it and screamed. It looks like she isn’t going to put up with the bullying any longer.
It’s smart of WWE to give some feuds to women’s wrestlers that aren’t in the main event. It’s not something they’ve historically been great at building into the show. The presentation of Moon is a little muddied right now. Is she a loner? A nerd? What’s her motivation? WWE needs to give her a microphone or some backstage promo time to let fans into her character’s deeper drives.
5. The New Day is Back Whole, And We Should Be Thankful
Here’s a list of the highlights from the New Day’s promo together: a Mulan reference, Big E taking shots at Charlotte’s booking, and Woods asking to be done so he can go back to E3. The New Day are still so exciting as a faction because they’re so genuine. Their ideas bounce off of one another, and their chemistry in the ring is just as good as it’s ever been.
Big E being back gives the team back its entrance and its big muscle. Kofi Kingston reigning as WWE Champion with the New Day having his back is something a lot of fans never thought they’d see. Many figured a break-up would be the catalyst for one of them to reach the top. Instead, we get a babyface champ with some back-up; a refreshing change of pace.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @EvanGomes_. Thanks for reading!