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Roundtable: Examining a ho-hum night for SmackDown

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(Courtesy of WWE.com)

Moment of the night?

Joseph Nardone: This has been a recurring theme over the last few months, but The Miz cutting the promo on Daniel Bryan.

Like Dolph Ziggler before him, Bryan’s promo work went next-level thanks to The Miz dancing on the line of a work-shoot.

It was a really engaging segment that made everyone look the way they were meant to. It also opens up the door to the idea of Bryan returning to the ring at some point. I’m not 100 percent sure that was the goal, but if it was, it was a good start.

Nicholas Marsico: There were a number of very good moments on SmackDown this week. The security chase with James Ellsworth was great. Miz TV was really good, as was the two-second superkick victory for Dolph Ziggler over Curt Hawkins. The best of them all, however, was the “interview” segment with Alexa Bliss and Carmella. They were just awful. They kicked Dasha Fuentes out of the ring in the most condescending way possible. The two women conducted their own interviews with each other and acted like they ran the place, which projected the feeling that they actually do. Both of them exuded confidence and comfort in their performances beyond anything we’ve seen from either of them in the past. That’s saying something, too, because both of them have been excellent in their speaking roles since coming to SmackDown Live. Plus, I’ll take a “Wizard of Oz” reference any time I can get one, and Alexa’s was spot on. The evil was seeping through her pores.

Ronnie Rowlands: You couldn’t have asked the “not-moment” of the night question like last week? Because this show was a crashing disappointment. I’d have to go with the Carmella-Alexa Bliss promo. It’s been part of the, thus far, excellent rapport we’ve seen between the elimination match contenders we’ve seen on both shows so far, and that promo served not only to stoke tensions between the two brands, but between the ‘combustible elements’ within the team as well.

Fill in the blank: _________ should challenge Dolph Ziggler for the IC title at Survivor Series.

JN: If we are going the Raw route, then I would probably say Rusev.

However, given the idea that Ziggler is probably meant to retain, we are going to go way off the board here. Way, way, way off the board and go with Neville.

Give that kid a chance to shine on a Network Special, allow him and Ziggler to put on a fun match, and let the latter leave with the strap still in hand.

NM: Sami Zayn is out of contention for the Survivor Series team after being eliminated by Braun Strowman in the battle royal on Raw. He has long been a man without a country, but he began to carve out a niche when he stepped up to Strowman. Zayn is the guy who will accept any challenge. Who would be better to accept the challenge laid out by the Intercontinental Champion? He isn’t likely to win the match (nor is anybody who would fill that role), but that’s OK. “The Underdog from the Underground” is built tough. There is nothing that can harm him when it comes to losing matches because he’s one of the best underdog characters in the history of wrestling. That includes his time as El Generico on the independent scene. Zayn will step up this upcoming week on Raw to accept the challenge and he will have a great match, albeit in a losing effort, against the Intercontinental Champion.

RR: Sami Zayn. If nothing else, it’d be a brilliant match between two pretty even guys, both in the ring and in terms of their personas. Of course, this would mean that both men who are on precipices might lose, which wouldn’t be great for either of them. I’d still like to see the match though.

Fact or fiction: Alexa Bliss will win the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship next week.

JN: I want this to be fact very badly. Bliss is my spirit-animal.

That being said, it is difficult to see the WWE taking the title off Becky Lynch already. Her title run — through no fault of her own — has gotten off to an auspicious start thanks to the medical issues. She hasn’t had a sincere chance to lead the division because of it.

While Bliss is the best, and I’m all here for her title run, I don’t think the WWE should (or will) give up on Lynch just yet.

NM: Bliss has a very bright future ahead of her. Becky Lynch, amazing as she is, has been pigeon-holed into a spot in which her character is defined by the SmackDown Women’s Championship. WWE has a terrible propensity to make wrestlers lose in their hometowns, and next week in Glasgow is essentially that for Becky. It worries me that it could happen, but I don’t think it will actually be the case next Tuesday. It will be a good match that has been a long time coming. Alexa has done a spectacular job developing her character and WWE has perfectly set her up to become the next champion. It looks like they very smartly decided to ignore her loss to Naomi at No Mercy as well, which is a very good thing. The time will come for Alexa, but that time is not now.

RR: Sure, why the hell not? That woman is on an upward trajectory and Becky Lynch has nothing to lose in terms of stature and status. It could evolve into a great feud for both of them. That said, it really doesn’t matter who wins this match — a very rare thing as far as WWE booking tends to go.

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