Well let's bring on some new faces! Introducing to Smackdown Live, Bobby Roode and Shelton Benjamin!
Roode had a more-difficult-than-I-woulda-thought debut match against Aiden English (JBL even gets in a "beer money" joke), while Shelton Benjamin was introduced by Daniel Bryan as Chad Gable's new tag-team partner -- Bryan explained that in trading Jason Jordan to Raw, he got Angle to hook him up with Benjamin. Only, Shelton doesn't look too pleased to be immediately put into a tag team with Gable. Uh oh!
After insisting that Nakamura wouldn't get another title shot, he instead is booked against the Singh Brothers. He wins, of course, but then is taken out by the champ post-match. Part Two after all? We shall see.
The Hype Bros lost to the Usos and continued their march toward breakup -- that IS coming eventually, isn't it? Or will the announcers just keep referring to their issues?
And we took another step toward Shane vs. Kevin Owens with a final US title match that started with Baron Corbin as guest ref, only to be pulled out by Shane when he missed a low blow, leading to Corbin quitting and Shane counting the pinfall on Owens. Of particular interest here, IMHO, was Owens's initial invitation to Sammy Zayn to be guest ref, noting that "It's not like you're doing much since you've come to Smackdown." Planting seeds for a "friend" section of their relationship upcoming? Would be interesting.
Oh, almost forgot -- the return of Dolph Ziggler, who runs down pretty much every highlighted personality trait/angle people have used to get over while he's been gone (singing, glowing, dancing, speaking Punjabi, etc.) and promised he'll do all of them next week. Something to look forward to!
Yeah, that Bobby Roode introduction... He really should have come out and beat English before the commercial break. Having the match go on that long doesn't make him look great, but hopefully that's just a small misstep.
I was disappointed by the guest referee. KO offering the role to Sami, even though he knows Sami could just screw him if he still hated him was interesting. Then Corbin volunteering to do it was meh. I guess the KO/Sami angle is still intriguing but it was just an uninspiring plan B to have Corbin in that spot. Breezango, New Day, Ellsworth, I would've taken just about anybody over Corbin.
Originally posted by Hokienautic Oh, almost forgot -- the return of Dolph Ziggler, who runs down pretty much every highlighted personality trait/angle people have used to get over while he's been gone (singing, glowing, dancing, speaking Punjabi, etc.) and promised he'll do all of them next week. Something to look forward to!
My reaction was more like "Oh god, what are they going to make Ziggler do next week". But I'm interested in seeing what it is so I guess it worked? Maybe he'll bring back his Spirit Squad gimmick!
Nous ne nous pouvons pas sortir. Smackdown already has more people than time. Dillinger, Harper, Rowan, Ziggler, probably someone else I (like the writing staff) am forgetting, I like Benjamin and don't mind babyface Roode, but this has to be a kick in the shorts for a few people.
I'll be much less pessimistic about the Sheamus title reign if it means the Sheamus/Rusev/Barrett unit (sans Authority) becomes the show's main antagonist. For years, Undertaker's purpose was to slay the monster of the day.