The WWE Shakeup is continuing and oh boy is it exciting. If you read my review of the WWE RAW Shakeup last night, then you know I love wrestling stories. And the WWE Shakeup is the time when new stories are born in the WWE.
And it does not take long for WWE to get to the point as Kevin Owens immediately comes to the ring looking dapper as hell in a new suit. Talks the trash, speaking in French Canadian, which the audience seems to hate.
Baron Corbin comes out and immediately we know that Fight Owens Fight will be having a rivalry with Baron Corbin. Clearly WWE is intent on pushing Baron Corbin, which is smart given that he has one of the best developed characters on the show, even this early into his WWE career.
Then Sami Zayn’s music pops and he comes to the ring grinning. Sami Zayn makes perfect sense on Smackdown. The lad’s style is blue through and through. And this probably means that the Kevin Owens / Sami Zayn rivalry is back, but with the addition of Baron Corbin and…
A.J Styles (legend).
As A.J Styles comes to the ring it’s pretty clear that there’s already a four-way rivalry between four extremely talented WWE superstars. And the audience loves it, cheering “This is awesome” and “A.J. Styles”.
A match is set between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. And another match between A.J Styles, Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn. Probably A.J Styles will win but we will see.
After a break, the freakish Eric Rowan comes to the ring looking like a monster from Uncharted. “Voices” plays and Randy Orton comes to the ring. A match with a seemingly obvious victor: Randy Orton, unless there is interference.
Lo and behold. Bray Wyatt comes out from his… layer… just like he did on RAW. He laughs his ass off about the House of Horror’s match at WWE Payback. And the distraction gives Eric Rowan the opportunity to his Randy Orton with the steel stairs.
Shawn Michae’s movie trailer plays.
Oh. The pain. That’s what I feel when I watch Shawn Michael’s The Resurrection Of Gavin Stone trailer. I mean… wut?!
Smackdown comes back with a tag-team match between the Usos and American Alpha. And even though The Usos are rocking it with their new urban look, part of me misses the more-theatrical New Zealand Haka entrance and their more flamboyant personas. It was great having that culture representation.
The Usos VS American Alpha ends up being a great tag-team match. And afterwards Primo and Epico come “from outta nowhere” to join the awesome tag-team division on Smackdown. Still, the Smackdown Live tag-team division is nowhere near at stacked as the Raw tag-team division.
Mojo Riley comes out after his shocking win in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal to step up against Jinder Mahal.
The fact that Jinder Mahal is getting pushed so much is fantastic. His physique is insane. But the question is, will WWE Creative make him a typical heel (like most other Eastern wrestlers; The Iron Sheik, for example).
Of course, Jinder Mahal is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but WWE will probably sell him as a Middle Easterner and a heel. Especially given the need for more heels right now.
Not surprisingly, WWE make the foreigner lose to the American, as though this is still the mid 1980s, as though such brazen prejudice were permissible in today.
There’s a subtle little moment of media genius as the commentators say that we will be seeing the Smackdown women next, and then Shane McMahon comes out. Questions of whether Shane McMahon is secretly a woman. Instead he says he’s about to reveal the new Smackdown female superstar. He introduces the entire Smackdown female roster to the stage. Who the hell is Shane about to introduce that deserves this much hypes?
The entire crowd thinks that Charlotte Flair is coming. And then POW!, Tamina (daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka) comes to the ring. The crowd’s not interested though. Charlotte comes out. But there’s a total mess-up in the programming. Charlotte Flair is introduced to Smackdown and is made to look like the big deal she is. But the show cuts to a break before Charlotte can even speak. Disrespectful much?
So basically, Charlotte got swapped for Alexa Bliss. Who got the better deal? Leave a comment.
Next up, time for the audience to chant, “Who are you?” It’s Aiden English, singing in an Andrew Lloyd Webber way. But it’s cool because, thank God, legend Tye Dillinger interrupts him. And here comes an obvious win for the Perfect 10.
To be fair to Aiden English, his shtick is legit. Stopping in a match to sing a random Aria is hilarious. But despite being possessed by the spirit by Pavarotti, Aiden English loses to Tye Dillinger.
It’s about time WWE got Tye Dillnger’s real rivalry set and start pushing him for real. Any good writer knows, one of the keys to telling a good story is immediately creating conflict the second you introduce a character. Tye Dillinger has just been introduced. He needs conflict now.
Dolph Ziggler comes to the ring, but no one remembers what his whole deal is as his story has lacked any major plot points for a while now. However, it seems he’s about to get his moment in the sun, the Japanese sun, because Shinsuke Nakamura comes to the ring. A new rivalry is made between Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler. And it couold very well be the best story of Dolph Ziggler’s career.
Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and A.J. Styles come to the ring. And Baron Corbin’s entrance is now darker than ever (making sense, given that the commentators were just taking about how Baron Corbin has the darkest mind in the WWE).
Seeing A.J Styles, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin in the ring together, this new rivalry makes perfect sense. All three of them represent the blue collar worker in different ways. Sami Zayn is the honest blue collar guy with integrity. A.J Styles is that stylish blue collar guy. Baron Corbin the hardcore, loner one, the sort of dude in the factory who always seems to be in a dark corner looking at you through the corner of their eyes like they’re going to stab you. In fact, given the characters of these three superstars this match could easily take place in a factory. Blue collar boys. Do it with their hands muddied.
Turns out A.J. Styles is the toughest blue collar as he wins the match and becomes number one contender.
And that’s Smackdown done. Lot of great new rivalries to look forward to this year.
What do you make of the new changes to the rosters? Leave a comment.