Every week, SmackDown Live seems to be getting better and better, and this week wasn’t any different.
As we approach the next PPV of Clash of Champions, how will the storylines develop this week? Will The Viper be able to take the edge in his feud with Kofi Kingston? Are The Revival going to go after the SmackDown Tag Team Championships? After defeating Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus, it looks like Charlotte Flair could be going face to face with Bayley.
There are two other important questions on the mind of the WWE Universe. The first one is, who will qualify in the first round of the King of the Ring? Secondly, who is behind the attacks on Roman Reigns? We find out the answers to these questions in this week’s edition of SmackDown Live. Let’s see how invested the WWE Universe was this week for the blue brand.
To kick off SmackDown Live this week, Randy Orton came out feeling joyous about his attack on The New Day on Raw. He went onto slate Kofi Kingston’s performance at SummerSlam, and that he wasn’t able to defeat The Viper in front of his family.
This brought out WWE Champion Kingston to the ring to attack Orton from behind. He delivered an impressive Trouble in Paradise and prepared Orton for a life-changing injury, by squashing his ankle into a steel chair and climbing the ropes, ready to jump. Before any more damage could be done though, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder came in for the save.
However, Kingston was able to hit them both with the chair he had prepared for Orton. This allowed for Orton to make a quick exit onto the entrance ramp.
For me this segment was a great way to open the show. I have been waiting for Kingston to be WWE Champion, and now he is he hasn’t had an outstanding rivalry yet. However, this rivalry is exactly what the WWE Universe wanted to see. Kingston is actually being challenged instead of looking like the obvious winner. I love how they’ve brought New Day members, Xavier Woods and Big E and The Revival into the storyline. Dawson and Wilder look great with The Viper. So far, it’s been a great storyline which could go on for a long time to come.
Next up is a King of the Ring match between Andrade and Apollo Crews. Is it just me who thinks these two are underrated in everything they do? Andrade was fantastic on NXT, but has yet to find success on the main roster.
The match started with Crews taking the lead, until Andrade was able to apply a headscissors, and taking full control of the match. Andrade was able to dominate the majority of the match from then on, until he made a jump from the top rope, which ended with Crews catching him in midair. This allowed for Crews to briefly gain momentum back, until Zelina Vega distracted him. This allowed for the former NXT Champion to deliver a hammerlock DDT to qualify for the next round.
For me, this match was brilliant. Andrade has been overshadowed for too long, and this could look like the push he’s been waiting for. Although Crews did lose, it doesn’t matter because he was able to show that he could match Andrade’s ring skills. Crews has joined the likes of Buddy Murphy in getting more TV time since Bischoff has been told he’s running the show, and although he’s not involved in a major storyline as of yet, it’s nice to see him getting matches. Vega is an essential part when it comes to Andrade’s future; Andrade isn’t always the best when it comes to promos but Vega brings that spark to the character. She was able to help Andrade to score the victory and lead him to the next round.
Following the first match of the night, it was time for A Moment of Bliss with special guest Charlotte Flair. It’s great that even if they’re not wrestling, we are actually getting to see our Women’s Tag Team Champions week in, week out. During the segment, Alexa Bliss stated that when Flair defeated Trish Stratus at SummerSlam, it was a passing-of-the-torch moment. The Queen insisted that it wasn’t passed, but that she took the torch from the Hall of Famer.
Alexa then stated that Bayley is the face of the SmackDown women’s division. The Queen of all Eras, suggested otherwise that she is the one that the company sends to media and red carpet events – not Bayley. This then prompted Bayley to come out and confront Flair, to which she said Charlotte could keep making the appearances as she would still be the champion.
Nine-time Women’s Champion Flair then offered the challenge to Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship to which the champ accepted. She then dropped Flair to the floor, leaving the Queen stunned.
I am all over this storyline. Although a lot of people are getting bored of seeing Flair always go for the championship – she is so worthy of a decent championship run. For me, Bayley doesn’t do an awful lot to justify herself as the face of the women’s division for SmackDown Live. I can’t wait for their match at Clash of Champions and I’m hoping for a new champion.
After an amazing debut match last week, Buddy Murphy challenged Daniel Bryan. Bryan exchanged words about Murphy, stating that he would expose him as a liar. This led to a big knee to the face, as soon as the bell rang. Murphy was able to maintain this momentum as he laid out Bryan at ringside. The former Cruiserweight Champion lost momentum as the match went on, when Bryan was able to apply his patented submissions.
Murphy managed to get out and catch Bryan with a brainbuster, however was too close to the ropes for the pin attempt. Rowan then got involved and after a bit of confusion, Murphy was able to capitalise from this, and hit Murphy’s Law to defeat the former WWE Champion.
Just fantastic – this match was brilliant from start to finish. I was hooked from the very beginning, and I’m so happy for Murphy. The former Cruiserweight Champion is riding a wave of momentum and was able to defeat a former WWE Champion. The direction of this storyline has been perfect, and it’s getting better each week. Bryan was great as always, and for him to put over Murphy just shows how good the Australian can be.
Another highlight was ‘Miz TV’ with Sami Zayn, which was also a great segment. It looks like WWE have partnered Shinsuke Nakamura with Zayn which is just perfect. This is because Nakamura isn’t as good when it comes to promos – whilst Zayn is perfect for this job. It certainly looks like there is a good direction and putting The Miz back into a title picture.
To be honest, in this week’s SmackDown Live there wasn’t that much bad. For the majority of the show I really enjoyed it. However, The Revival against Heavy Machinery wasn’t the best match. The Revival started a promo talking about their actions on Raw, and their attack on The New Day. However, Heavy Machinery came out and interrupted them. This led to a match between the tag teams – why? I didn’t really understand the purpose of this match but here we are.
Otis and Tucker were able to keep control of the match at the start. As the match went on they lost control to the former Raw Tag Team Champions. However, a top-rope elbow drop, enabled Heavy Machinery to get back to leading the match.
Otis was able to take full control of the match, until Wilder got the win for The Revival with a roll up.
I didn’t see much point of this match, other than to push The Revival further up the chain in the tag team division. The match wasn’t bad, but it was classic WWE booking out of nowhere.
The main event was the final King of the Ring match for this week, which saw Kevin Owens against Elias. Again, it wasn’t like this was a sloppy match or bad storytelling. It’s more that I am bored of Shane McMahon getting involved in storylines. In this match there was a lot of distractions from McMahon, which stopped Owens from gaining momentum. It was just a very cheap main event which saw the heels go against Owens.
Elias was obviously able to capitalise from this distraction and get the roll-up for the victory. Therefore, moving Elias into the next round of the King of the Ring.
I’m not a fan of this storyline – it’s become stale. McMahon shouldn’t be as involved as he is with all these storylines or at least have a break now. I’m hoping that Owens will ultimately get the upper hand at some point in the future.
Also, the less said about the reveal of the attacker, the better. This seems like a complete waste of time at this point.
This show was another fantastic watch, even with the slight problems with storylines. There seems to be good development with the main card and mid-card. They’ve also spent more time focusing on the women’s division and the tag teams as well. For the majority of the show it seems to be working and I’m over the moon. After the past couple of years of WWE not providing strong storylines, they seem to be moving in the right direction.
That’s it for this week’s investment rate. Make sure you check back with me next week, for my last one. Until then, binge watch some wrestling on the WWE Network.
You can find me on Twitter @jackdinsley. Thanks for reading.