The SmackDown Review – 11th April 2017

Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review

Considering this is my first SmackDown Review since the week before WrestleMania you could say, “it’s been awhile”, as American rock band Staind once voiced over 15 years ago (christ, I’m old). Since then (not 2001), we’ve seen the Undertaker supposedly retire, a couple titles change hands, and most recently the announcement of a “Superstar Shake-Up” which is basically an alliterative name for an informal draft. The process of which saw Raw and SmackDown superstars switch brands in the same way that Michael Scott declares bankruptcy.

Remember Rich Brennan? This is what he looks like now! // wwe.com

Opening the show to a huge pop was the United States Champion Kevin Owens. The “new-look” Owens, as clickbait headlines would have you believe, welcomed viewers to the brand new Kevin Owens show. Seriously, he was just wearing a blue tie and shaved his beard off. That’s about as much change as Luke Harper. The “heel face of America” challenged anyone in the locker room, to which Baron Corbin accepted the invitation as willingly as your Mum for her 5am booty call. As expected, but still to a raucous reception, Sami Zayn then revealed he also had moved to the blue brand. Even more surprisingly, due to him being out of the main title picture, AJ Styles announced he is not only staying on SmackDown but wants a shot at Kevin Owen’s gold. More cheap pops were secured as Daniel Bryan came out and said Owens will still be defending his title at the Raw exclusive PPV, Payback (oh, we’ll get to that), but he made a No. 1 contender match between Styles, Corbin, and Zayn the night’s main event. The match itself was fast-paced and full of spots. In the end, Styles defeated Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin after Zayn caught Corbin with a Helluva Kick, but then got hit himself by the Phenomenal Forearm and pinned.

Some other important shit bout dis “shake-up”:

– The Usos defended their tag team titles against American Alpha in yet another enthralling match. A superkick and splash onto Chad Gable was enough to settle it in the end.

– Following the tag title match, the Shining Stars appeared and attacked American Alpha, not only signalling their move to Smackdown but also once again looking like legit heels.

– Not that anyone cares but Mojo Rawley, the man who won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, defeated Jinder Mahal. So yeah, Jinder is on SmackDown and so is Rob Gronkowski apparently as he was once again there to witness his hyped bro win a match. RIP Zack Ryder.

Remember Rusev? This is what he looks like now! // foxsports.com

– New Day, Rusev and Lana have all been announced for SmackDown despite not appearing so they’ve kinda missed out on surprise pops but who cares – New Day, Rusev and Lana are coming to SmackDown Live!

– Byron Saxton will be working alongside JBL once again as the former has switched places with David Otunga. “Finally, the Sax has come back… home”

– Tye Dillinger defeated Aiden English with a Tye Breaker. English appears to be lost without his former partner Simon Gotch. Help him find a better gimmick than just singing terribly please.

– Dolph Ziggler cut a promo using some recycled words he found from his old promo’s on the WWE Network. He was interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura who had the crowd fully on his side to let Ziggler know exactly who he is. Zigglypuff then tried mega kick but failed as Mukamura used block. Ziggler then chose to run away. These Pokemon references doing anything for you?

Remember Tamina?.. This joke is getting old now! // foxsports.com

With the departure of Alexa Bliss to Raw, SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon introduced the Smackdown women’s division to the ring. The depleted numbers stood there waiting anxiously for their newest members/rivals to be revealed. Anti-climatically Tamina made her grand return after a year away. Despite this prolonged absence the crowd weren’t all that bothered and even began to chant “we want Sasha” when, suddenly, the Queen marched out! No, not Her Majesty Elizabeth II but the daughter of the Stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, mouth breathing, words slurring, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun! Yes, Charlotte Flair has arrived on SmackDown Live.

Since the most enthralling feud of SmackDown’s WrestleMania build up, Randy Orton, has confirmed he’s effectively buried the best possible outcome to that story by sending Bray Wyatt running off to Raw with his tail between his legs. Ahead of their almost futile rematch at Payback Erick Rowan tried to seek revenge for his estranged cult leader. In a run of the mill non-title match Orton got distracted by spooky Bray Wyatt on the video screen. Rowan then bashed the Viper with the ring steps to earn himself a hard-fought disqualification. Rowan followed this up with a full nelson slam.

Confirmed serial killer gimmick // wwe.com

The bizarre thing about this is that Orton (top champion of SmackDown) and Wyatt (officially of Raw) are still facing each other at Payback (a Raw exclusive PPV) for the (SmackDown exclusive) Championship. That’s a little confusing when Owens (now of SmackDown) is defending the US title at Payback with the added caveat that the Champ will be transferred to SmackDown. Still with me? No? Okay! My point is, why when we have two (technically speaking) cross promotional matches would they complicate matters by then using the draft as a consequence for the winner of only one match. Wyatt said he was on Raw as did Owens with SmackDown. Basically WWE are giving away the result of the “House of Horrors” match already because we all know you can’t have 4 men’s singles belts all on one show. Isn’t that right, Attitude Era?

Come by next week for more confusing ramblings about WWE’s mind-fuck product.