Following Stomping Grounds (I’m still not over that name either), how will the blue brand react to new challenges?
Following Raw, it was announced that Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe (a Raw wrestler). How will this impact on Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler?
It’s up in the air who would challenge Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Let’s find out what we learnt in this week’s edition of SmackDown Live.
1. The tag team division is well and truly alive
One of the things that hasn’t worked over the past couple of years in WWE is the tag team division. It has been seen as the lesser division by many WWE fans, including myself – as well as creative. I was surprised by how good the tag team division looked on the blue brand, especially when all the tag teams belong to blue brand itself and not from Raw (except for Sami Zayn).
The show started off with Xavier Woods and Big E facing off against current SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Rowan and Daniel Bryan. I loved the match, and one of the reasons was because it showed off how good Rowan is in the ring. He’s actually really good – whoever in creative decided to pair Bryan and Rowan together is a genius. He has come on so much as a wrestler, they just need to work on his promo skills and then the might have a future main eventer in Rowan.
Following the match, there was an interference from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who attached The New Day. This then brought out Heavy Machinery who came out to make the save. The match developed into an eight-man tag team match.
The match showcases Heavy Machinery, and by using the former NXT talent right, they can have such a positive impact on the current roster.
This has given me hope that the tag team division is well and truly alive, and I hope they use it right.
2. Bayley’s next opponent is… Alexa Bliss…. AGAIN
Hear me out, I’m not slating Alexa Bliss as a wrestler. I’m just slating the booking of her as a Raw wrestler, going for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. I know Becky Lynch is feuding with Lacey Evans, and the women on Raw haven’t got an alternative storyline. However, how is it fair on the SmackDown women, such as Carmella, Ember Moon, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville that they aren’t getting a chance?
For me, I would have Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross feud with Peyton Royce and Billie Kay for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. This is a logical move and let someone who’s not held Championship gold on the main roster have a chance.
As it well, why would Nikki Cross win the match for Alexa Bliss? This could have been a good chance to push Nikki Cross herself, but instead its indirectly pushed Alexa Bliss further.
3. Ember Moon deserves better
Keeping with the women on the blue brand, Ember Moon has been kept out of the title picture for much too long. She deserves a chance to face Bayley at least once, or even feud with her. Whilst at NXT, Ember Moon did a lot for the women of that brand, and she should be making waves on the blue brand.
However, instead of being given chances to prove herself, she’s jobbing to Sonya Deville. There is something not quite right about the division at the moment, and I hope creative work out what’s going on. They are absolutely nailing it right now with the tag team division, but they haven’t quite given the women’s division a chance to shine just yet.
4. The Miz and Shane McMahon Feud Will Seemingly Never End
For some reason, The Undertaker returned on Raw, as you do. No one asked for it, but he’s back again. He will be partnering up with Roman Reigns against Drew McIntrye and Shane McMahon at Extreme Rules. I have said previously that the Wild Card rule just isn’t working and is confusing everything.
For some reason, The Miz is still feuding with Shane McMahon and Elias on the blue brand as well. I think they just need to let this feud go with Shane and The Miz as it ended with that questionable match at Money in the Bank.
We saw The Miz face off against Elias in a 2-out-of-3 falls match, where if The Miz won, he would have another match against Shane McMahon. Elias ended up defeating The Miz, with the help of Shane of course. This means that there is now no future match between them. All I can ask, is that WWE take the hint, and move on.
5. Dolph’s luck has finally run out
Again with the Wild Card rule having a major impact, we now have Samoa Joe against Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules. Again, there wasn’t much call for this outside of WWE creative. Although, I’m over the moon to see Joe in the main event picture, it should be on Raw, not on the blue brand.
Dolph Ziggler came out and demanded he was added to the title match at Extreme Rules. It was made into a 2-out-of-3 falls match, and if Dolph won he would be added to the match to make it a triple threat. I personally wanted Dolph to be added into the match because it would have made the match somewhat relevant to the blue brand. At this point there is no relevance, and the match against Joe seems forced.
In a turn of events, Kofi won the match and beat Dolph which means that the match (at this point) is a one on one bout. Just how long will this remain the case, I wonder? I don’t think for a second that the match will end up being just the two of them. I think there would be a twist before Extreme Rules.
Despite this, I have to say I thought the show was one of the better ones that I have seen recently. Some strong developments in storylines and some good wrestling.