By: Frank Hyden
Last night’s Smackdown was the fallout episode from Hell in a Cell. It featured some pretty good action and hyped a big match for next week. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Roman Reigns and Jey Uso promo
Reigns came out and talked about how he loves Jey but Jey has to bend the knee. Jey yelled that he hates Roman and was very emotional. He asked Roman how he could do what he did and Roman answered by saying that’s what you have to do as champion. Jey yelled he can’t get with that but Roman said either he falls in line by the end of the night or he’s out of the family. Jey did a good job showing the inner turmoil he was in and Roman did a good job by speaking very calmly. The contrast made the segment even better.
GOOD- Kevin Owens beat Dolph Ziggler to join Team Smackdown
This match was solid. It wasn’t spectacular but it was effective. Owens pinned him after the stunner to become the first man on the Smackdown Survivor Series team. I imagine most people watching knew Owens was going to win but there was a slight chance Ziggler would win.
GOOD/BAD- Lars Sullivan sitdown interview
I’m torn on this because Sullivan didn’t act like an unstoppable madman here, but more like a normal person. Well, a normal person with childhood issues. It’s good to see them do more than just make him a screaming lunatic, but on the other hand, I don’t know if being bullied as a kid and wanting to hurt people because of that is really going to make people want to see more of him. I don’t know, though.
GOOD- Bianca Belair beat Natalya and Billie Kay to join Team Smackdown
This match was a little rough in places, no surprise given it was a triple threat. Belair won, which is fine but extremely predictable. Anyone who’s watched the show for more than a few weeks knew Belair would win. I’ve written many times about how being predictable isn’t necessarily a bad thing but in this case it would have been interesting to have Billie or Natalya roll up Belair to win, then Belair uses that disappointment to propel herself forward and go on a winning streak. Instead, now she’s won and is on the team, but probably gets to stand around for a few weeks until Survivor Series where they’ll hopefully have her toss around Nia Jax a few times to show her strength. She might be one of the last women standing in that match but I don’t know if they’re quite ready to push her like that just yet. I just think it would be more interesting to be unpredictable and if they still want Belair on the team, have her win a big match on the go-home episode right before the PPV.
BAD- Murphy “apology” to Mysterio family
Murphy and Aliyah Mysterio came to the ring, where Murphy wanted to apologize to the Mysterio men for his recent actions. Seth Rollins came out instead and talked some about how he liked them together. He ran down the Mysterio men until Dominik came out and attacked him. Murphy threw Dominik off and went after Rollins himself. Dominik spun him around and Murphy attacked him. Then Rey came out but Aliyah got in the way when he tried to hit Murphy with the 619. She said she loves Murphy and they kissed as Rey tried to get her to leave but she refused. The acting wasn’t very good and this is too soap opera-ish for my tastes. I don’t care about the age difference between Aliyah at 19 and Murphy at 32, that’s only ever been brought up by prudes on the internet. Love is love and it’s never been portrayed as Murphy manipulating Aliyah. I just don’t like this because it’s too much soap opera, or maybe novela, stuff for me. Moving on…
GOOD- The Street Profits beat Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
This was good, as you would expect from these teams, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been. I kind of hate saying that because this was the best match of the night, but you just know that these guys could put on an all-time classic if they were given the time. There was a really cool spot where Cesaro sent Montez Ford flying over the barricade. Angelo Dawkins then took over on offense before the heels double-teamed him and almost pinned him before Ford broke up the pin. A little later, Ford hit his skyhigh Frog Splash and got the win.
GOOD- Sasha Banks and Bayley promo
Banks ran down Bayley and said that it wasn’t the two of them that were going to run the whole damn show, it was Banks herself. Bayley came out and brought up the signing of the contract under duress but then brushed it off and said that Banks can win championships but she can’t keep them. So she’s challenging Banks to a title match next week. Banks accepted so we’re getting that next week. It’s obvious that some type of bullshit is going to go down in that match, either Bayley gets herself DQ’d or someone interferes, but there’s no way Banks loses the title that quickly. At the same time, they’re not going to have Bayley lose to her again so there’ll be some shenanigans. I just hope that they have enough of a match to make it worth it. If it’s like a 2 minute thing, that’ll be disappointing.
GOOD- Jey Uso beat Daniel Bryan to join Team Smackdown
The match was pretty good and Uso beat Bryan clean. They’re really getting behind him, which is nice to see. Roman Reigns came down to ringside partway through the match. After Uso won, he told Reigns that he’s with him, he loves him, and he understands now. He punished Bryan some more before Reigns told him to make Bryan understand and Jey beat him up more, hitting another Superfly Frog Splash from the top rope through Bryan on the announce table and kept landing punches on him as the show went to black. This was an interesting way to take the story, especially because of how Jimmy Uso will react to this. Hell, they could easily get a couple week’s worth of segments out of that. We’ll have to see what happens but it should be good, this whole storyline has been good.
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