While Raw might be the land of racial diversity – as Big E’s ‘BlackExcellence’ tweet shows – Smackdown Live is arguably still the land of opportunity.
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley defeated the Ascension, Vaudevillians, Rhyno & Slater, American Alpha and Breezango in a Battle Royal for a shot at the Wyatt Family’s tag team belts. Yeah, the Hype Bros are your new number one contenders.
You can see the logic. Ideally you want a babyface team to go up against The Wyatts, so that rules out The Ascension, Vaudevillians and Breezango right away. Rhyno & Slater were the last challengers and Smackdown appearing to be adopting the slow burn for American Alpha’s eventual championship feud.
Unfortunately though, as is the way with Zack Ryder’s career, his pushes turn out to be face plants onto cement.
WWE themselves revealed after Smackdown that Ryder injured his left knee when attempting a Rough Ryder in the Battle Royal match. WWE’s Dr. Chris Robinson told the site:
“We think he injured his kneecap or his patella. We think it popped out and then popped back in, so we’re just going to do an MRI to make sure that there is not cartilage damage or some tendon tearing, stuff like that. Hopefully there’s not and it’ll be a shorter rehab period. If there is, there’s a different road we might have to go down that may take longer to get him to recover.”
Ryder isn’t the only wrestler on Smackdown currently injured. AJ Styles was meant to defend his WWE Championship against James Ellsworth on Tuesday’s episode, but he’s still recovering from the ankle injury he picked up during his match at TLC. This was explained away in storyline with James Ellsworth getting sent home because he had a cold.
Styles is also no longer being advertised as a ‘featured superstar’ for this weekend’s Smackdown live events, so he might be pulled from wrestling on those shows too.
But no fear, because John Cena will be returning to Smackdown in just two weeks time in Chicago.
Daniel Bryan is pretty great in general on WWE TV. On Talking Smack, live and unfiltered with Renee Young, he’s fantastic. In the past, he’s brought up TNA, made fun of Raw’s creative decisions and criticised WWE for relying on ageing stars like Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. And now, barely a minute into the most recent episode of Talking Smack, he’s said:
“You know what I love about our entrance that I never really noticed before? It’s the big fist flying through the thing! I don’t know if you remember the old Smackdown set, but there used to be a giant fist, and I was like, ‘man, Smackdown is really into fisting’.”
He must’ve thought, ‘I’m being too subtle here. I’m just going to go out and blatantly reference a hardcore sexual act.’
What did you think of Smackdown Live last night? Tell me how Luke Harper should win everything from now on in the comments down below.