It was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? SmackDown Live was in for a tough task after what Raw pulled out of its bag of tricks on Monday. While the show itself wasn’t terrible (although the rest of the internet would tell you otherwise), this one did have plenty of segments and matches that could have used the slightest bit of tweaking.
Before we get into it, it’s necessary to mention one thing: Raw pulled out all of the stops on Monday, probably in an effort to put over the new era that it keeps talking about. SmackDown Live somewhat gave the impression that WWE is going for the longer term payoff (not debuting American Alpha, being the place for guys like Rhyno/Shelton Benjamin), which would make the two shows very different.
Now let’s get back to what we do best, rebooking a show. For the first time, it’s time to rebooking SmackDown Live.
That women’s segment
A portion of the show that had so much potential, but just ended so oddly. Natalya and Becky Lynch had a Battleground rematch, which in its own right needed to be rebooked. Becky was able to pick up a revenge victory (or a 50-50 booking victory to the rest of us). Following the match, Alexa Bliss made her main roster debut, hitting the ring and starting talking about how good she was and that she was the real true star of the women’s division on SmackDown. Then, it broke down. Naomi returned to WWE TV and started getting involved. Then she was interrupted by Carmella, who the crowd loved. And then she was interrupted by Eva Marie. Obviously the goal of the segment was to introduce all the members of the SmackDown women’s division to the audience, but it just ended awkwardly.
In fact, they had the right idea when Bliss came out. After she came out, I (along with others) thought this was going to set up a Bliss-Lynch feud going forward. WWE should have had them go back and forth, they could have brawled a bit and off they go with their feud. The other women could have been introduced later, or next week, or in some other way that makes them feel important. This way it just felt like a high school argument.
Randy Orton vs. The Miz
So this one is easy. Basically, in the grand scheme of it all, Orton did the same thing on Miz TV that he did at Battleground on the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho. The only difference this time was he was able to get a match out of it. And then Orton went on to pin the Intercontinental Champion clean in the ring.
The hope of the brand split and new era was that champions would be a little more protected. There was really no reason for Orton and Miz to have a match. They could have put Orton with anybody. He could have even RKO’d Heath Slater for all I care. The match did nothing for Orton, in terms of his SummerSlam match, and all it did was devalue the Miz.
Have Orton take on a random jobber, or somebody else on the roster that they don’t have a specific plan for right now. Keep the champions protected.
Most of you are probably thinking I’m going to rebook Dolph Ziggler winning the Six-Pack Challenge to be the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sorry, guys and gals, but I’m not. Ziggler winning really isn’t the worst option. SmackDown needs main event players and rebuilding Dolph is good in the long term. But Ziggler pinning AJ Styles? That’s a problem.
Realistically, he could have pinned Baron Corbin, a guy he’s had a feud with and a guy that he’s beaten before. That would have made storyline sense. Corbin could then go on to be pissed that Ziggler got him again and take out his aggression on whoever his next target would be. Styles costing Cena this match as well could have been the start of their match for SummerSlam, but there was no hint of that either.
Instead, we’re going off with Ambrose vs. Ziggler. I’m intrigued, but WWE could have gone about it in a different way.