• Main event intrigue
WWE are keeping us guessing with what Triple H’s reasons for getting involved in the Universal title 4 way match two weeks ago. No Stephanie on TV this week only adds to the mystery. I’m guessing this all leads to Stephanie aligning with HHH and Foley resigning in protest. I said a few weeks ago that I believe Foley’s stint on TV is only going to be a short one with the intention being to promote the Holy Foley reality TV show on the network.
Kevin Owens got the win over Roman Reigns in a brilliant main event, I think Owens needs a good few decisive wins to build his championship credibility due to the way in which he won the title. With that in mind I still didn’t think for one second that Reigns would lose clean. He may have slipped down the card but I still don’t think the top brass have totally soured on him yet and his run at and probably with the U.S. Title will be to build him again to topple the unstoppable corporate champion, Kevin Owens.
• Women’s title picture
Things have been a little muddled in the Women’s title scene since Summerslam due to the uncertainty surrounding Sasha Banks, calling Bayley up and have her being announced to face Charlotte whilst advertising Charlotte Vs. Banks at Clash of Champions. The cluster-f*ck was finally resolved this week with Sasha Banks winning a number one contender’s triple threat match.
I wasn’t against Dana Brooke being added to the number one contender match as it keeps the one on one match between Sasha Vs Bayley on the back burner. I’m guessing that’s what the rational was here and we will probably wait until WrestleMania for that match up. In a weird way I’m happy Bayley took the pin as I think the Bayley character needs to be taken back to basics and have her start at the bottom and work her way up in true underdog fashion. This will seem a total rehash of her NXT journey and it is but the masses have not seen this journey and I don’t think the ardent fan will mind seeing it again.
Charlotte has improved so much on the mic and in her general presence, she is so convincing in her role. She has issues with her in ring work but I have to think that is caused by trying to out do every other match on the card (especially when in the ring with Sasha) and stepping outside of her comfort zone. Speaking of Sasha was it just me or was her Promo very odd sounding?
• Chris Jericho resurgence
Jericho is doing incredible work with his new persona, it is so outlandish and over the top that fans want to embrace it and cheer him but he is such a pro he still keeps the fans on the other side and gets the heat he is looking for. I have no doubt a baby face turn won’t be that far off with a match with Kevin Owens being the most logical destination.
Sami Zayn facing Jericho is logical booking and a guaranteed awesome match as long as they are given a decent amount of time. Zayn could do with a high profile win on one of the network specials but they may want to keep Jericho’s momentum to place him in the main event picture.
• Rusev’s mean streak
Rusev looked like a monster in the closing scenes of Raw, he hasn’t looked this strong since his feud with Cena ended last year. The only issue is who is the heel in his feud with Roman Reigns? Rusev is simply seeking revenge against the arrogant douche who interrupted his wedding celebration and caused his wife to end up in the wedding cake. He is also seeking vengeance for Reigns beating him to a pulp in their match that never was at Summerslam. He gallantly tried to compete the next day but injury got the better of him. WWE probably thought that this was the sure fire way to have the fans finally onside with Reigns but at the close of Raw the fans were chanting Rusev’s name!
• Commentary issues
This may seem like I’m being picky but in the Cesaro Vs Sheamus match up Cesaro picked up the win in tainted fashion, using the ropes to gain leverage. The commentary team should be disgusted by this tactic but instead they praised the actions saying Cesaro did what he had to ensure victory. Fast forward to Enzo Vs Epico, Michael Cole endorses Primo assisting Epico to get the win saying the Shining Stars have outsmarted Enzo and Cass two weeks in a row.
Surely the lead play by play voice should be the moral compass for the viewer and also be ‘the smartest person in the room’ by questioning the heel tactics and authority figure decisions. Unless we are going to see a return of the heel Michael Cole character (please god no!) his statements on Monday night make no sense.
Smackdown Live – 09/13/2016
• Overall show improvements
Smackdown is consistently becoming the better of the two USA Network shows, the two hours breezed by this week with not much that could be classed as filler. The argument could be made that this is due to Smackdown only having two hours to fill but I will argue that Smackdown makes better use of their resources.
A lot of the credit needs to go to the door of Ryan Ward, the former lead writer of NXT started as the Smackdown lead writer prior to WrestleMania this year and has made steady improvements to the show with logical storytelling and great matches being booked. Vince McMahon seems to be taking a hands off approach with Smackdown as this seems totally different from the typical McMahon booked show.
• AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena feud
This is a very interesting set up for the WWE Championship picture, it looks to be heading in the direction of Styles as a heel, Cena as the face and Ambrose as a tweener. Surprisingly Ambrose was pretty heavily booed by the Philly crowd for his turn on Cena. I think they would be better suited to have Ambrose go full fledged heel and have an Ambrose/Cena Feud heading in to the Rumble and all signs seem to pointing at Cena taking on Styles possibly at WrestleMania to take his 16th world title reign.
What can be said about AJ Styles? He is definitely the best in the business right now, not just in terms of his in ring work but the Smackdown creative team are getting the best out of his personality and his cocky mic work. Seriously though, ‘The Champ That Runs the Camp’, pure gold!
• The Miz knocking it out of the park
Wow, who would have thought The Miz would be firing up card as he is? He is delivering stellar mic work and showing some flashes in his in ring work. If he keeps accelerating the way he is, creative will have no option but to get him in the WWE title scene.
The way I see this going between The Miz and Daniel Bryan is Miz keeps getting in Bryan’s face, Bryan tells Miz he will defend his title against a challenger of his choosing at the next network special. The surprise challenger turns out to be Samoa Joe. Joe is still feuding with Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT but that feud could easily settled on NXT TV with Nakamura facing Booby Roode at the next Takeover in November.
• More Alexa Bliss cos-playing please
Not much else to say really!
The Women’s Division is heating up with Bliss now being the number one contender which I’m sure will give her a great confidence boost and also she will learn a lot working with Becky Lynch. Nikki Bella has been extremely selfless since her return doing the honours numerous times, her feud with Carmella is picking up steam and Carmella is showing great aggression that we have not seen from her. I fear Natalya and Naomi are going to be lost in the shuffle, I really don’t see where they fit in at the moment. Smackdown could do with a few more women on the roster to have some fresh matches and different feuds, there is only so much you can do with six (seven if you include Eva Marie) competitors.
• James F’N Ellsworth
This guy is awesome and has the loveable loser quality down too an art. He has a Mikey Whipwreck quality to him and could be a great addition to the roster. I’m in no way suggesting they strap a rocket to him and give him the title but have him be a jobber who gets lucky similar to The 123 Kid. Maybe if Smackdown gets its own Cruiserweight Division then he would have a decent part to play.
That’s it for this week, please check out my coverage of NXT and the 2 hour Finale of the cruiserweight Classic on Thursday. If you want to tell me how wrong I am please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org