On Sunday, SmackDown Live will put on its first brand only pay-per-view in the post-draft era. Tuesday night was its last shot to sell fans on this event, and its main event of A.J. Styles taking on Dean Ambrose. It also settled on its final for the tag team championship tournament, and it involved a turn from an unlikely place.
With that being said, let’s re-booking the go-home show of SmackDown.
The opening segment
Allowing Daniel Bryan to open the show with the SmackDown Women’s Championship was a great idea in concept. Bryan can get the belt and all six ladies over while selling the match for Sunday at WWE Backlash. Using this segment to have the girls fight and set up their six-women tag team match left much to be desired. We had a version of this at SummerSlam, and rather than do it again, SmackDown should have used time on this show to put on singles matches.
Alexa Bliss could have fought Naomi and Becky Lynch could have faced off against Carmella. Having single matches allow each girl to stake her claim for the belt, and gives them a better chance to get over with the crowd. A six-woman tag match was just a lazy way to get all six women in the same ring and have them fight. That’s what happens every time there’s four or more Superstars in a match.
SmackDown could be creative and different. These girls have real talent. They are arguably the better brand for women, in terms of talent. Use that and let them show off their talents in singles matches. It would have made the match this Sunday better.
Apollo Crews’ booking
Well this is becoming a recurring theme within rebooking SmackDown. Apollo Crews was thrown back into another match with no meaning. This time, it was a SummerSlam rematch against The Miz. So not only did Crews not have a direction, but he got put back into a match that we’ve already seen within the last month.
Rebooking this would have been easy. Have Dolph Ziggler take on Apollo Crews. Two guys that are trying to prove something square off. The Miz could be on commentary, and in the middle of the match, he distracts Ziggler and Crews capitalizes. It could be booked in a way to save Crews from looking like a bad guy. This way, The Miz doesn’t have to wrestle as the champion and Crews gets a good victory to jump-start him into whatever they want to do next with him. Even in a loss, Ziggler furthers a feud and the heat between him and The Miz increases just five days away from their championship match.
Taking out American Alpha
The idea of taking out American Alpha to avoid a face versus face finale on Sunday in the Tag Team tournament is a great idea. I just wouldn’t of had it been The Usos. Credit where credit is due, my co-host of the PWP podcast Jaime Eisner has been talking about this for weeks, but this was the perfect time to employ it. The WWE needs heel tag teams, and they have a pretty darn good one in NXT with The Revival. Most fans know of the bad blood between AA and The Revival. What a debut it would have been for The Revival to cost American Alpha a shot at being the first SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Then Heath Slater and Rhyno can have their moment on Sunday; the big payoff to this Slater story. On the flip side, now the WWE has a ready feud between AA and The Revival that can go on for a couple of months, before transition AA back to their title chase. Instead, The Usos were turned too late, and American Alpha will be facing them after their return. That’s not that feud that fans really want to see.