They introduced new, blue, SDL-exclusive women's and tag titles, and yes, they have the same designs as their RAW counterparts. Complain here or here (The W). My biggest concern is, why the hell would Eva Marie ever want the blue women's title?
Anyway, Backlash will have a six-pack challenge to crown the women's champ and the finals (presumably not the semis) of a single-elimination tournament to crown the tag champs. And Heath Slater gets himself into the tag tournament (!), after finding himself an unlikely partner in Rhyno, forming the The One Man-Beast Band. The American Alphas and the Usos advance on this show.
Before Slater's announced for the tag tourney, he's caught looking at the women's belt, which prompts Bryan to tell him he's not equipped for that title, and it makes me wonder why everyone seemed to think that Steph's comment about introducing LGBT storylines automatically meant the L, G, or B.
Big winner Styles tells Ziggler, "I don't like losers" (which honestly doesn't sound like advice at all, AJ) and that kicks off a show-long angle that culminates in one hell of a match that cements Styles as Ambrose's next title challenger.
Carmella does a heel turn, and I'm happy she got some reaction for it.
Shane says he's not done with Lesnar, and I laugh heartily.
Bray sets his eyes on Orton, setting up a new program.
It didn't go unnoticed by me that they slipped in a "Clash of Champions, sponsored by..." spot.
So, Backlash is in less than three weeks. Can this SDL roster support a worthwhile standalone card? Looks like they could pull it off...
-Ambrose/Styles -Orton/Wyatt -women's six-pack -tag title finals -Corbin/Kalisto -Miz/Ziggler in match 2 of the best of 7 KFC series
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I lost my shit on here years and years ago when Lance Storm debuted on Raw not wearing pants, and so help me, I lost my shit last night when Randy Orton came out in pants, but it a totally different way. When he first came out in actual street clothes, I assumed that the angle was going to be that Brock's assault caused enough trauma to cause amnesia in Randy, and that he no longer knew who he was (The Man Who Never Wears Pants), perhaps leading to an angle where The Snake God who controls the voices in Randy's head finally takes over Randy's body and it turns out that this is the moment Bray Wyatt has been waiting for, The Snake God made flesh here to devour the world.
The revelation that Brock is only getting fined $500 and not suspended gives me some hope that Orton gets to follow-up, because I think anything other than having Orton punt Brock to write Brock off for a rematch is terrible booking at this point.
On the not terrible booking front...well, how about that? Smackdown is actually a tight, effectively-booked little show? An in-ring segment that sets up multiple angles at once, introducing two titles, setting up a feud that ties the Styles/Cena and Ziggler/Ambrose matches together and advancing Slater.
Smackdown has a stunningly thin roster (nearly the entire roster of non-champions were in the ring when Slater needed to find a tag partner...huge shout-out to AJ and Slater for that "NO, I won't be your tag partner!" exchange on the ramp) and this is proof that you could have just booked Raw and Smackdown as one giant roster if you, you know, put any care at all into things. But a really thin, well-booked show is vastly better than a flabby, horribly-booked show overflowing with talent, it turns out.
(Rhyno as Slater's partner was kind of a dud in that it just happened, though I did like Rhyno citing the need to make "above-ground pool payments" for agreeing to it. Personally, I was rooting for the Undertaker to stop Heath on the way out of the ring and say "You wanna do it?", leading to UnderSlater aka The SkySlaters aka The Correporate Ministry aka Death Metal Valley aka American Band-Ass aka Dead Man Band aka The Pheathnoms aka The Brothers of Heathstruction aka Big Heathvil aka Booger Redheads.)
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I don't think I've ever said this before but I liked Breezango. Their short promo was entertaining enough and they both can wrestle. I don't know that they are title material or anything but they've at least moved ahead of Ascension, Vaudevillains and Hype Bros. for me.
I loved seeing the Carmella turn, her gimmick wasn't doing it for me. Even if she does the same gimmick it will be better as a heel. I don't know that a six-way is best way to go for the title though. I appreciate that Smackdown is booking a women's division where everyone is a part of it but the degree of difficulty for a good six-way is pretty high.
Rhyno as Heath Slater's partner was the least inspiring choice they could have made. For a minute I was hoping Ambrose would show up and be like "why the hell not" and be Slater's partner for a week or two while Styles and Ziggler figured out their differences. But they got rid of Ziggler pretty quick. Not sure what they do with him now. If they wanted another tag team they could team Ziggler/Miz but that'd be a pretty big step down for Ziggler.
So, uh, before Slater came out, Bryan and Shane were going to run a 6 team tournament? Somebody double-check my Steiner math, but I don't think that's physically possible? Anyhoo, I was really hoping that Slater's partner would wind up being John Cena, reminding him to Never Give Up, helping him achieve his dream of a job that will care for his, uh, several daughters, a situation that a crass and uncaring management finds hilarious. Rhyno's not the worst choice, though, and the call-back was pretty great.
Originally posted by Tenken347So, uh, before Slater came out, Bryan and Shane were going to run a 6 team tournament? Somebody double-check my Steiner math, but I don't think that's physically possible? Anyhoo, I was really hoping that Slater's partner would wind up being John Cena, reminding him to Never Give Up, helping him achieve his dream of a job that will care for his, uh, several daughters, a situation that a crass and uncaring management finds hilarious. Rhyno's not the worst choice, though, and the call-back was pretty great.
(edited by Tenken347 on 24.8.16 1024)
Thought about Cena, too. Cena and Slater team-up (CeSlation? Ce-Man Band? Rock-Rap Connection?) and the new, humble Cena seems to be resigned to quietly doing his time as a partner in the tag ranks. But soon enough, he and Slater end up confronting AJ Styles in the ring, and Cena says that he can't help but notice AJ still has Cena's armband on. "Well, you have one of my armbands on." And as David Otunga silently removes his headset and joins Slater and Cena in the ring, all three take out and put on Nexus armbands and begin a brutal beatdown of Styles.
I don't think the "you gotta win the tournament or you're not on the roster" thing was necessary as it either forces our first Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions to be Heath & Rhyno, or it draws the "free agent" angle way past its expiration date.