For the second straight week, SmackDown Live had the chance to be the better show.
After what most would consider the worst Monday Night Raw of the New Era, SmackDown had a chance to claim the top spot. While their main focus has been on the main event feud, it has also built up Apollo Crews, debuted American Alpha and had Eva Marie kind of make her debut.
While not a bad show, at least to older standards, this show lacked just that little something special and extra. Handed a golden opportunity to build themselves as an alternative to those that don’t like Raw, SmackDown still hasn’t separated itself enough to keep fans away from the flagship show.
That all being said, let’s try to fix what WWE did Tuesday, and see if we could have made it better.
The opening segment
At the conclusion of last week’s show, The Wyatt Family stood tall over both Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler. With Erick Rowan making an appearance, and how the beatdown took place, all signs pointed to a tag team main event for this week’s show. And that was fine. It made sense, and having the champion and his challenger team is always a good piece of storytelling.
Was it really necessary to have an opening segment that was basically the same, to hype up a match that most people probably assumed was going to happen anyway? Why couldn’t that backstage segment with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan been enough to make the match? That time at the beginning of the show could have been used for Apollo Crews or give something else for the tag teams (we’ll get to that). Instead we got the same thing that closed the show last week, which wasn’t a good look.
Tag team division
Speaking of those tag teams, what on earth was that tag team segment? Having those tag teams just come to the ring to watch? Shouldn’t the heels have just beat up American Alpha? And then why did The Hype Bros attack fellow faces? Was it supposed to be for these supposed SmackDown tag team championship?
How about we see these teams in action? The Hype Bros could have fought The Ascension or the Vaudevillains, allowing to see those teams and giving them a chance to stake their claim to be the top team. Instead we just got a random segment that left us with no really conclusion.
Eva Marie’s wardrobe malfunction
All right, so we need to talk about this. Using these excuses to get Eva Marie out of matches is an awesome piece of storytelling. WWE is playing up her persona and trying to get more heat on her, which is working. That all being said, using Becky Lynch for this is just awful. Mentioned here before, SmackDown is viewed as the B-show for the women. Without a title, it’s hard to argue against this point. Having its top female doing segments like this certainly doesn’t help refute the claim.
Why couldn’t Becky come out and say that she didn’t get a match last week, and challenge the locker room. Bliss could have interrupted and did her thing, and Eva could have come out after and said that she’ll make her debut next week. She already has a ton of heat on her; adding more is OK in certain circumstances. This wasn’t one of them.
Use SmackDown as a place to showcase more women, not give fans more reasons to view Raw as the superior show for women. Build them up and put them in meaningful stories. So far, we haven’t gotten a ton of that.