Aimless Women’s Feud
While Raw’s women’s division is firing on all cylinders at the moment, Smackdown’s women’s roster seems to be stuck in a limbo, effectively killing time until Asuka makes her rumoured jump to Tuesday nights. After last week’s ‘meh’ cash-in attempt, Charlotte sought revenge against The Riott Squad, going one on one with Liv Morgan in a pretty drab encounter. Neither woman was particularly bad in this encounter, Morgan was just booked poorly and the match was a one-sided affair.
Sure, Charlotte got to look strong here but this whole thing just felt like it was buying time until they could build to their Mania match. This whole feud feels like filler and it isn’t connecting with the audience at all.
Shane and Daniel Bryan
After a few weeks of AJ Styles opening Smackdown, normal service resumed this week as Smackdown opened with Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon airing their dirty laundry in public. Out of context, the promos both men cut weren’t bad. In the context of this ongoing storyline, though, this was a case of ‘same shit, different week’. Remember when Lost got to about Season 4 and it became abundantly clear that the writers had no real idea what to do next? That’s how this feels. Shane is a dick one week, then we’re supposed to be on his side the next, one week Daniel Bryan is teasing an in-ring return, the next it’s made clear he will never return to a WWE ring. I admire the company for trying some long time storytelling but I’d advise they have an idea of where that story is going before they end up giving us this week in week out.
Smackdown Top 10 List
I hate to rubbish an idea before it even gets going properly, and who knows, maybe this will all work out in the long run, but the introduction of the Smackdown Top 10 just reeked of the company having run out of ideas. The list itself was farcical- Tye Dillinger was at number 10 because, despite having not done anything worthwhile for months, his gimmick happens to involve the number 10. Naomi was at number 4, why? She hasn’t wrestled in anything other than tag matches for the last few weeks. The New Day were above The Usos? What? They’ve done nothing but throw pancakes around for the last month and to make matters worse, the current number 1 contenders for the WWE title didn’t even make the list. What!?
The list was, above all else, utterly pointless and made absolutely no sense. What could have been used to elevate current feuds and storylines was just an exercise in reading off some popular superstars names in an attempt to get a cheap pop. So, what should the list have looked like? Here’s my take:
10: Baron Corbin
9: The New Day
8: The Bludgeon Brothers
6: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
5: Bobby Roode
4: The Usos
3: Shinsuke Nakamura
2: Charlotte Flair
1: AJ Styles
Dolph Ziggler’s Announced Return
— WWE (@WWE) February 7, 2018
When Dolph Ziggler left the US title belt lying in the ring only days after having won it from Baron Corbin, the internet was abuzz with what this might mean. Was Dolph retiring? When would he return? Would he be a surprise Royal Rumble winner? Well, Ziggler did make his return at the Rumble, at number 30 no less, but his run in the match was instantly forgettable and this week on Smackdown, it was announced that he would be back next week for a match with Baron Corbin. Seriously? After all of that build, he’s back in a match with Baron Corbin? The WWE may have more tricks up their sleeve here but if not, then this whole angle has been a huge waste of time.
This week’s Smackdown was an improvement on last week’s but the show is still being outdone by Raw. The wrestling side of things was really good, with both the main event and the US title match delivering but the storytelling on Smackdown is so just dull and repetitive right now. The show desperately needs to move away from this Shane/Kevin Owens debacle. While Raw feels like it is on the road to Wrestlemania, Smackdown feels like they haven’t even got the keys in the ignition properly yet.
Liam Hoofe – @liamhoofe
Photo Credits: WWE