SmackDown hyped the introduction of two new championships on its first show since SummerSlam. Did it deliver better than Raw?
Following SummerSlam, most wrestling fans were interested to see where SmackDown went. Especially when you consider that the first SmackDown-only pay-per-view is on the 10th of September. To help figure that card out, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon introduced two new championships: one for the tag teams and one for the women. We also quickly figured out who would next challenge for Dean Ambrose’s WWE World Championship.
It was a jam-packed two hours of wrestling, and had some high moments (including Heath Slater). As always, there were some things that felt a little out of place, and could have been done better. So with that being said, let’s rebook this week’s episode of SmackDown.
When we were promised the new New Era of both Raw and SmackDown, we were promised a focus on the in-ring product and less about the authority figures. Well on Raw, we got an authority-driven segment to announce a series of matches for the WWE Universal Championship. Last night on SmackDown, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan started the show in the ring, with two new championships. On display were the new SmackDown Tag Team Championship and the SmackDown Women’s Championship, with their respective Superstars in the ring as well.
How about American Alpha enter the office of McMahon and Bryan, and say they want a challenge. It would totally be in character for them. Then they can reveal the new titles, and announce the tournament. Or one of the teams could make a claim after a match to wanting to be the champions or something.
Have the Superstars drive the storyline instead of the authority figure drive it. That’s the reason fans get so angry with heel authority figures. They are the ones that are driving the storylines, when fans would prefer the focus be on the Superstars. This way, the Superstars can do that and the authority figures provide support to it all.
Carmella turns ‘heel’
Really? Less than a month into her run as a main roster Superstar, the WWE decides to turn Carmella heel? Nikki Bella acts like a face in the ring yes, but she’s just not a character that people like as the underdog babyface. Her character works better as the stuck-up heel. It always has, it always will. So now Carmella, who two nights ago fought against Nikki, decided now was a good time to attack.
Before we start turning people and setting up future feuds, how about we establish the newcomers to the main roster. People who don’t watch NXT have no idea who Carmella is, and now she’s a heel. Instead, maybe they should build up the division. Have these women compete absent of face-heel dynamics. Alexa Bliss and Natalya can still use their heelish tactics, but have everybody scratching and clawing for the title. Have each match be a showcase so the crowd can figure out where they stand with these ladies. Have Carmella and Nikki put on a real wrestling match and show off their skills.
Then, once the division is established and a champion is crowned, you can go towards turning Superstars and changing the landscape. With an entire new division, quickly changing things only makes the fans more confused.
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler
I’m all for earning championship opportunities, and having Styles wrestle for his one-on-one match is fine. The issue is with allowing Dolph to get another chance. Bryan’s reasoning for giving Ziggler this match was because he was close to winning the title. Well Apollo Crews was close to winning the Intercontinental Championship. John Cena was close to beating AJ Styles. Should those guys get rematches too? Reasoning is a big thing for believable stories. It just wasn’t believable for Ziggler to be right back into the title picture, less than two days after he lost a title match.
A redemption story works better for Ziggler. Now that he’s lost again, where does he go? Is the redemption story on the horizon next? The SmackDown roster isn’t very deep with singles talent on the male side, so there isn’t a bunch for Ziggler to do. That could explain why he got this match. It just felt a little too quick, and doing something different with Ziggler would have been better served in this spot.