It’s that time of the week again, where I’m back with the investment rate for SmackDown Live.
Now with the card pretty much set for SummerSlam, this was the final show before the PPV. Last week’s SmackDown Live ended with Roman Reigns in the bizarre incident backstage, so there was bound to be a lot focused on that. Anyway, let’s get into this week’s show.
Charlotte Flair kicked off the show this week, throwing shade at Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus. She discussed how today’s athletes are a lot better than what Stratus ever faced. Flair turned to a video package which was meant to highlight what “The Queen of All Eras” had achieved. However, in a turn of events, it instead showcased Stratus’ achievements instead.
After the video had aired, Stratus appeared, and then said that Flair wouldn’t be where she is if it wasn’t for her. She commented that she wanted the match more than anything, to prove herself to Flair.
This then allowed Flair to state that she was going to beat down the Hall of Famer at SummerSlam. Stratus responded to this with a slap, which closed the segment.
I thought this was a great opening for the blue brand and a welcome change for the women’s division. I can’t remember the last time that the women opened for SmackDown Live. For me, it feels good that we have a solid women’s storyline that doesn’t involve the championship on the line. Although it has only been building for a couple of weeks, this was a great final moment before their match at SummerSlam.
Following the opening, up next was Dolph Ziggler against Rey Mysterio, which was quite a fitting match. Ten years ago at SummerSlam, they faced off against each other which was fantastic, so I was looking forward to this. To enter into the match, Ziggler mocked Goldberg’s iconic entrance, which gained a negative response from the audience.
However, the match didn’t start, as Ziggler blindsided Mysterio with a superkick. The Showoff grabbed a microphone, and listed the legends who kept on coming back to WWE, and that on Sunday, it would be Goldberg’s last. Then out of the blue, Ali came down and wiped out Ziggler.
I felt this was a great segment for the Ziggler because it showed him as a solid heel and showing the crowd going against him. Ziggler works best as a heel and when the WWE Universe can’t stand him. I’m hoping that this is the career relaunch that he has been hoping for. It certainly looks like that Goldberg is going to put Ziggler over at SummerSlam.
Roman Reigns addressed the recent predicaments he had found himself to be part of. In the interview, he vowed that he would figure it all out by the end of the night. I thought this was a great segment because it was good to see Reigns be natural and to have time to speak. Basically, be himself for a change. It worked well.
To end the show it was SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan. As soon as the bell rang, Bryan and Rowan were in control of the match, with brutal attacks on the current champions. However, as the match proceeded on, The New Day were able to gain momentum until Rowan used the ring steps to flatten The New Day causing a disqualification victory for The New Day.
Bryan and Rowan carried on the beat down on The New Day. While backstage, Reigns cleared the locker room of everyone except Buddy Murphy. It was heavily rumoured on social media that the former Cruiserweight Champion was behind the attacks on Reigns. He interrogated him on the attacks, which led to a beatdown from the Big Dog. It was then revealed that it was Rowan who was behind the attacks.
To close the show, Rowan and Bryan watched Reigns from the ring leaving the show on an exciting cliff-hanger. I thought the match between The New Day and Bryan and Rowan was a good match, and it led perfectly to the backstage segment. I’m looking forward to seeing where this storyline does end up going, and I’m hoping to see some progression at SummerSlam.
Other highlights from the show were ‘The Kevin Owens Show’ where Shane McMahon was the special guest. This was a great segment that has set up their storyline for the climax at SummerSlam.
Aleister Black vs. Sami Zayn took place, and this was a brilliant match between two talented wrestlers. I’m hoping to see further matches between the two.
Finally, Kofi Kingston responded to Randy Orton, just days before their WWE Championship match at SummerSlam. This again was a solid segment, and it feels like it could be the match that everyone has been wanting to see since 2009. I feel that this storyline has been managed very well, and it’s going to come to a possible end at Summerslam. It may very well continue after, which would also be exciting.
Following the attack on the former World Champion, this led to a match between Ziggler and Ali. Although the match had two talented wrestlers in it, it didn’t really justify them at all. I didn’t see the relevance to have Ali come and save the day either but I’m glad he did because it was a chance for him to compete against Ziggler.
I’m a big fan of the women competitors in WWE because, after years of not using them right, they’re finally being utilised well. However, Natalya competing against Ember Moon? Well, that’s another story. For me, why would you have two number one contenders face off against each other on the show before the PPV takes place?
As soon as the bell rang, Natalya went straight for Ember Moon with brutal attacks. It was mainly Natalya that had control of the match from the get-go but Moon managed to take control briefly. After the match went outside of the ring, Natalya was able to apply the Sharpshooter on Moon… only for Bayley, the SmackDown Women’s Champion to get involved and save Moon from the submission.
Why would Bayley save Moon from losing the match? Surely, it looks good for Bayley walking into SummerSlam seeing Moon lose to Natalya? Honestly, ever since Moon has been on the main roster she has been badly booked and this is yet another time it’s happened. I don’t know if it’s because Bayley isn’t a good champion or if Moon isn’t ready for the championship yet.
I have got to say that the blue brand put on a solid show from the start until the very end. This week there was a lot of positives instead of a lot of negatives. The WWE Championship storyline has been fantastic since the start of Kingston’s reign, and I’m looking forward to seeing him face The Viper at SummerSlam.
The storylines between Flair and Stratus and Ziggler and Goldberg are both exciting. If done right, both Ziggler and Flair will go over and win against the Hall of Famers. There’s no point in really letting Stratus and Goldberg win as it wouldn’t make sense.
For me, Bayley and Moon haven’t worked from the start of the storyline and I have no idea what direction they are going in anymore. I don’t think Bayley works with being the lead woman for the blue brand, and hopefully, she will drop the championship soon.
The Owens and McMahon storyline is leading to a great match at SummerSlam, and hopefully, we will get closure with this storyline once and for all.
Finally, the Reigns storyline is probably one of the best things that have happened for a while. It’s kept the WWE Universe captivated, and every show ends with more questions. The creative team have done a brilliant job with this storyline.
One of the best SmackDown’s in recent weeks in my opinion. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens at SummerSlam and how it impacts the blue brand.
I will catch you next week for my investment rate. Until then, go watch some wrestling!
You can find me on Twitter @jackdinsley. Thanks for reading.