That being said, tonight we are live from Buffalo, and yes it’s the first night of the new logo for SmackDown-and I do like this one better than what RAW has. Let’s see how this new era gets kicked off, shall we? Lord knows RAW set the bar fairly high.
Best Match of the night:
By default, this has to go to the main event, right? The only other match that would warrant consideration would be Orton/Miz, but that wasn’t spectacular, nor was it meant to be.
The main event gets it. It had some pretty good action, numerous finishers, and of course, a nice, refreshingly different winner. Though I think it would have been better to put Bray Wyatt against Dean Ambrose, and I think fans would have appreciated that as much, if not more…but they still seem happy with Ziggler too.
Worst match of the night:
The opening battle royal was a bit lackluster. Don’t get me wrong, I was fine with Crews getting the win, but it didn’t feel all that awesome and new and exciting. Which is what we expected from the New Era. Considering it was the first pure SmackDown match on SDL? I wanted more.
Crowd Chants of the Night
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Sign Heath Slater
Star of the Night
I have to give this one to Ziggler. On a night that wasn’t nearly as exciting as RAW’s was, between a new Women’s Champion and the major push of Finn Balor, Ziggler was the big winner on SDL. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was a major bright spot, week in and week out earning match of the night type praise, but lately he’s been stuck in a rut. I’d say he’s unstuck, as he’s your new number one contender.
Spot of the Night:
Honestly, I might have missed one or two, but nothing really stood out for me as a spot of the night.
Jobber of the Night:
It was going to be the guy Heath Slater punched when he came out of nowhere to lobby for a job. But then, it became Heath as Rhyno too, came from the crowd to gore him. Shane referred to Rhyno as the hottest free agent, and it sounds like Rhyno, who only just returned to NXT, might have already graduated to the main roster of SmackDown.
Upset of the Night:
Ziggler winning. I was sure it would be Wyatt. Then Styles. Then Cena. Never thought the new regime would have the cajones to re-push Dolph, but indeed they appear to be going that route. Good on them.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
I don’t believe it, but Dolph Ziggler might just be getting a push again. Or at least, a sniff of one, as he finally gets himself back into a World Title match. He became the new number one contender to Dean Ambrose’s title, in stunning fashion with a superkick and pin on AJ Styles.
Botch of the night:
JBL, saying wouldn’t it be shocking if Miz beat Orton on the debut of SmackDown Live. Except…that was last week.
The exchange following Becky blocking a Sharpshooter was off, as Natalya was sent into the ropes, the timing was off and Natty had to hold on to the ropes rather than bounce off them. Something was missed there.
Commentary of the night:
The Miz went down faster than a plate of Buffalo wings.
That was conjoined twins close
There’s a good chance these two steal the show at SummerSlam
You have a guy who will do anything, and one who can do anything.
LOL Moment of the night:
Heath Slater coming out and acting like he’s a hot free agent, only to get destroyed by a surprise gore from Rhyno.
Orton and his juvenile remarks on Miz TV.
Hey, what do you want me to say. It was slim pickings this week, and without Goldust or R-Truth playing Pokemon Go, you just take what you can get.
Really somewhat surprised that the SmackDown announce position remained at ringside, but I suppose they want to differentiate between the shows just a bit, so that might make some sense.
I do like the new graphics for the show, but the “live” can’t stick around too long.
Shelton Benjamin, long rumored to be returning to WWE, has been confirmed as a signee to the SmackDown roster.
Looks like Rhyno was a free agent pickup, too.
Liked the women all getting to come out. Becky was getting interviewed after finally beating Natty, at which point Alexa Bliss decided to interrupt. Then Naomi cut her off, as did Carmella and then Eva Marie. So how long until Shane and Daniel make a second Women’s title?
SmackDown-specific PPV come back starting September 11 with the return of Backlash. Does this mean we get RAW-Specific ones too? If so, does it mean we get one for each brand per month? Or every other month? Inquiring minds want to know…
Maybe I am being too critical, but this did not feel like it differentiated itself enough from RAW. Last night we got two fatal fourways, leading to a one on one match to determine the challenger for Seth Rollins, winner taking the Universal Title.
Tonight? Battle royal, giving us a 6th entrant into the main event 6 pack challenge, winner to face Dean Ambrose. Sorry, but it was basically a new spin on RAW. Why couldn’t we have gotten a tournament? Time limit matches, points for wins and draws, each man wrestles X number of matches, winner goes to SummerSlam. In the event of a tie, those two face off either on the show before SummerSlam, or on the opening match of SummerSlam, to decide who fights Ambrose. To me, that’s fresher than what we got.
Between the 6 pack and the battle royal, however, it was two matches that used up a lot of the roster. Maybe not the wisest move.
For me, there was one main one. That, of course, being Dolph Ziggler’s elevation to number one contender.
It wasn’t a bad show, it just seemed lacking still.
After the final bell:
Not a horrid show, but I expected and wanted better, especially considering how RAW threw down the gauntlet last night. Not that they had to give us a title change tonight, but something big. The biggest news, outside of Dolph Ziggler, would be the return of Shelton Benjamin, the apparent signing of Rhyno, and the return of SmackDown-only PPV.
That still doesn’t trump Finn Balor and Sasha Banks. Right about now, I think Shane is wishing he’d drafted Shinsuke. Because he would have been an excellent response to a strong RAW, no matter who he faced. Just saying….