If you haven’t been watching Smackdown Live lately then you’ve been missing out on what is, at the moment, WWE’s best weekly product. With RAW being centered around The Shield, Braun Strowman, and Ronda Rousey the 3-hour flagship show has failed to put together a consistent run of high-quality shows thus far in 2018.
That has not been the case with Smackdown Live. The blue brand has been knocking it out of the park with strong feuds, top quality matches, and new champions rising through the ranks on Tuesday nights. Obviously, being just a 2-hour show that usually features at least 3-4 legitimate wrestling matches certainly helps elevate Smackdown Live as a weekly show, but there’s more to it than that.
Smackdown Live feels more… dare I say… genuine? When I sit down to watch Smackdown Live I know that I’m getting a legit wrestling show with high drama and a lot of action. When I sit down to watch RAW I think to myself, “Okay, they’ll open up with Roman Reigns, he’ll get interrupted by a heel, and whoever the general manager is this week will come out and make a match. Then, we’ll have the Ronda Rousey ass-kissing segment (which I usually skip). Then, we’ll have some random, asinine squash match featuring a talent that we don’t care about but WWE wishes we would. We’ll also get way too many video packages, a promo for a WWE movie, and just more filler that doesn’t matter.”
Let me follow that up by saying that I don’t hate RAW, I just find it to be less genuine and more like one big WWE commercial for 3 hours. Smackdown Live is that antithesis to that. It’s what made us all wrestling fans to begin with. Dynamic characters, intriguing rivalries, and high-quality wrestling.
This week was no different. We had The Miz and Daniel Bryan continue their rivalry with a short, but solid opening segment. The biggest takeaway from this was the announcement that not only with Daniel Bryan and The Miz be facing each other in Australia, but that the winner will earn the right to face the WWE Champion. This could keep the hopes of a Daniel Bryan-The Miz Wrestlemania showdown alive. Their rivalry is too good and has been too long in the making to end it at a show in Australia. These two deserve a Wrestlemania main event, and with the WWE Championship entering the picture that possibility is now alive and well.
It was after this that the heels of Smackdown Live really took over the show. We were treated to Randy Orton barging into the production truck and forcing some poor sap to put together a collage of images from Orton’s match against Jeff Hardy from Hell in a Cell. Orton had this poor fellow by the neck as he sadistically admired his work, and promised to do even worse to his next victim.
— WWE (@WWE) September 19, 2018
Are we getting full-on psycho Orton now? Man, I hope so. Randy Orton, when he commits to the role, can be the greatest, most horrific heel in the WWE. I don’t know who his next victim will be, but if Orton keeps this up he could become the scariest heel on the Smackdown Live roster.
We were then treated to a heel turn in the form of… wait for it… this could be big…. it was…
Look, I want to be excited about this because I actually think Aiden English is kind of cool. I know, I know, I might be the only wrestling fan who thinks that way, but he’s got a unique quality about him that separates him from the pack, and I like that. As for this feud? I guess I’m glad it will finally come to a head at some point, but I can’t tell you the last time I ever got jazzed up for a Rusev match.
Luckily Smackdown quickly refocused itself and we got one hell of a match after this. We got AJ Styles vs. Andrade Cien Almas.
This match was really, really good and, once again, Andrade Cien Almas showed that he can hang with the top talent on Smackdown Live. Styles would win a hard-fought, back-and-forth battle and would then swiftly be attacked by Samoa Joe. Styles managed to fight him off, but Joe is clearly still enraged about what happened at Hell in a Cell, and this feud looks to be far from over which is great news for all of us.
Billie Kay then had a match. Do you care? No? Neither did I. Let’s move on.
Smackdown Live closed out with Becky Lynch’s official coronation as the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion. I was thrilled about this even before the segment got started because it shows how highly WWE thinks of Becky Lynch. Having her close the show the first Tuesday after a big PPV is huge for Becky’s stock, which has been skyrocketing lately.
Becky did not disappoint and she cut a fantastic promo towards Charlotte. She played the cocky, confident, scoundrel type of champion and nailed it. She actually had me laughing at this part:
— WWE (@WWE) September 19, 2018
How awesome is that? Heel Becky might be the best version of Becky we’ve seen since she moved to the main roster, and she looks to be fully embracing the role.
Considering what Becky Lynch, Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton are doing right now it is not hyperbole to say that Smackdown Live currently has the best heels in WWE. Tuesday nights are about to become more deliciously evil and I am all about it.