|Segment||Consider This Alternative|
|Randy Orton to the ring; Jinder Mahal with The Singh Brothers; Kevin Owens to the ring, followed by AJ Styles; Baron Corbin, then assaulted by Sami Zayn; melee ensues with Orton, Styles and Zayn standing tall||Cliché SmackDown set-up for a 6 man tag main event. I was actually hoping for just a tag match scenario with Orton & Styles teaming against Mahal & Owens. The inclusion of Corbin and Zayn insinuates that the WWE still sees them as main event players, but with Zayn’s abysmal win-loss record, I just can’t buy that right now.
I think he is in desperate need of a clean win. Put Zayn in a match with Aiden English and let him dominate and get some momentum before re-visiting the unfinished business between he and Corbin. The other 4 players can main event this program and further their feuds heading into Backlash.
|James Ellsworth, Carmela and Tamina announce Natalya to the ring; Naomi announces Becky Lynch to the ring; Charlotte announces herself; Natalya vs. Becky Lynch; Natalya wins via pinfall after interference||So at least Natalya got a win for her Welcoming Committee faction. But do we have to keep involving the entire SmackDown women’s locker room? It’s a nauseating concept week after week after week.
Why couldn’t Becky just face Natalya on her own? Her character runs solo anyways – let her attempt to stand up to this heel faction, get unfairly pummeled in the process, and then have Naomi come to her rescue and clean house. There was actually no need for Charlotte in this segment. Right now she should remain in the background, awaiting for the perfect opportunity to strike and re-ascend to championship glory. Let some other mini-feuds develop so we can avoid the weekly mosh pit and get some depth in the storytelling.
|Backstage dispute between Naomi and Charlotte; Becky Lynch plays peacemaker; The Fashion Police sketch||Ugh. 6 women’s tag match set for Backlash. No comment.
WeeeOoooh! WeeeOoooh! WeeeOoooh! Fun way to set up their upcoming match with The Ascension. I think the only thing I questioned was why The Ascension didn’t retaliate when Breezango walked in on them? I guess I don’t fully understand their gimmick. Konnor is looking more and more like a savage cannibal with his weight gain and unkempt facial hair – maybe that duo should drop the shoulder pads in favor of goat masks and form a sadistic alliance with Erick Rowan? Call them “Slaughterhouse 3” and have them wreak havoc in the tag division. Regardless, this segment was about humorous setup and I hope these sketches continue.
|Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan; Rowan pins Harper||The ole thumb to the eye. This was crap. I can’t believe this is a rivalry renewed. Luke Harper is so far above this.
If not for my aforementioned “Slaughterhouse 3” concept which in this match-up, would involve a run-in from The Ascension to save Rowan, I would suggest a Career Match. And I’d have Rowan tuck his goat tail between his legs and vanquish into forgetability.
|Dolph Ziggler to the ring; Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring; a referee to the ring to start a proposed match and the *psych, Ziggler flakes out, the two brawl and Nakamura stands tall; backstage with Sami Zayn, Randy Orton and AJ Styles||A little less conversation, a little more action, but still not a MATCH.
If we are waiting until Backlash to get a Nakamura match, it better be worth it. He better come out on top, and immediately be inserted into a title chase. He’s too good to be a sideshow known as “The Artist.”
Aiden English is my go-to guy on SmackDown right now for someone to get a win over, so I suggest that instead of another Shinsuke promo, we get the debut match, and a squash victory. Ziggler can jump him after the bell, the two can brawl, and The King Of Strong Style can still come out on top – they key is just letting the wrestling stand for itself.
Then Zayn’s senseless rambling promo makes look like even more of a pussy! I feel bad for the guy at this point. He doesn’t need a re-packaging – he just needs to be re-built. I think back to his promising debut against John Cena when he injured his shoulder, but gave such a gritty in-ring performance that even Cena seemed to be genuinely impressed by his potential. Where is that Sami Zayn? Drop the comedy and get tough!
|The Ascension vs. Breezango; Breezango wins via pinfall; The Usos promo on the ramp||12 Days!
It was kind of a funny promo.
The way this is all headed, it seems like a one-of title match-up at Backlash before The New Day arrives and a true feud with The Usos begins. That will be great, but I’d like to see Breezango get a moment. SmackDown has always been the whackier of the two shows – why couldn’t the blue brand champions consist of The Fashion Police and Jinder Mahal?
To make the tag match feud seem bigger, I could see The Usos just jumping Breezango following this win. Breezango could then return the favor next week during an Usos match-up, and now we have a better sense at how bitter these two teams are towards one another.
|Mojo Rawley backstage with little kids telling stories about Andre The Giant; Rusev on social media angry at Shane McMahon||Couldn’t we have just combined this whole set-up so an irate Rusev interrupts Mojo’s “tour”, terrifies the children, and smashes the Andre trophy into a million pieces? MACHKA!|
|Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers, Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn, AJ Styles & Randy Orton; Mahal pins Orton||The good thing is that Jinder Mahal looked like a legitimate threat to take the title from Orton at Backlash.
What bothers me about these London shows are that they become so overdone in a way that the WWE feels the need to showcase every superstar on the roster. This leads to too many mixed tag matches that take away from the overall storytelling. The build to the PPV’s really suffer in my estimation.
Leaving Corbin and Zayn out of this tag match would have been enough. Let Jinder and Randy shine along with Kevin and AJ – they are the major players right now, so feature them. Instead, the top of the card just looks diminished, and casual fans will wait for the likes of part-timers like Lesnar and Cena to return and give the product relevance. It makes it incredibly tough to invest in the next generation of superstars, which is too bad because these guys are clearly talented.