This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown was once again all about the tag team championship, The Usos, Riddle, Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and Sami Zayn. Roman Reigns too, I suppose, but he wasn’t even at the show. Again.
But, really, it was all about Riddle.
For whatever reason, WWE decided to go ahead and do Nakamura & Riddle vs. The Usos for the titles in the main event of this show, and by the end of the evening it was clear what they wanted to get out of this. It was never about putting Riddle and Nakamura together as a team, but rather furthering Riddle’s issues with The Bloodline as a whole to set him up for multiple programs.
Indeed, Nakamura was taken out of the match via an injury angle that left Riddle alone to valiantly fight on. He might have even had a chance too, except Sami Zayn played Reigns’ music from the production truck and ensured Jimmy & Jey retained. When he came out to celebrate, an enraged Riddle attacked him before he was overwhelmed by The Bloodline’s numbers.
It seems clear this is leading to Riddle vs. Zayn, and eventually Riddle vs. Reigns. That they’re using the tag team titles to build a challenger for the top title is fine, and Riddle being that guy is also fine. It’s all fine.
I can’t say I’m more interested in this than I was what they were doing with RK-Bro, but I get going this direction. The problem is it’s so obvious what happens once they do get there, what with the bigger match they’re building to come September.
I just wish Reigns was on TV more often. He really makes or breaks these shows with his presence, or lack thereof.
All the rest
- The New Day opened this week’s show introducing Drew McIntyre, who went ahead and announced he’ll be wrestling Roman Reigns for the WWE Undisputed Universal Galactic Eternal Championship at Clash at the Castle. But that’s a long ways off, and in the meantime they’ve got comedy to do! He called himself “Big D” and there was an attempt at crude sexual humor Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston interrupted, wouldn’t you know it. We’ll have to settle for “Big D” and all that implies.
- Meanwhile, the Brawling Bodies or whatever the hell they’re called, interrupted and I mention this only to put over BUTCH. While Sheamus and Ridge Holland were yapping on and on about fight night, BUTCH was behind them furiously pacing until he lost patience and just solo rushed the three dudes in the ring. As one dimensional as this character is, it’s arguably one of the best things on this show right now. This all led to a six-man tag, where BUTCH pinned Woods because, again, he’s better than all these guys.
- Max Dupri will reveal the first member of his group next week, which I’ll enjoy if only because it means less discomfort at watching him talk so closely to Adam Pearce.
- Jinder Mahal beat Humberto in a singles match that had much more to do with Skyscraping Shanky dancing and having a time with the ring announcer. I think I heard some faint “go Shanky” chants. This thing might be getting over, folks.
- Natalya won a Six Pack Challenge to become the new top contender to the SmackDown women’s championship. The match was more of a showcase for Rodriguez than Nattie but the latter is solid as a veteran who can be plugged in as a viable challenger when needed who will make the champion look good. There’s nothing to get terribly excited about here, unfortunately, but WWE reaps what they sow as far as how they’ve chosen to go about booking the women’s division on the blue brand.
- Madcap Moss has a new look and dropped the funny act but all I could notice was that he holds the microphone like Triple H used to, resting it on his chin, and someone badly needs to tell him to stop breathing into it all throughout his promos. I could hardly listen to what he was saying as those short breaths were reverberating through the arena. He got his match with Happy Corbin and lost because he couldn’t contain his anger. They’ll have a rematch at Hell in a Cell, because of course they will.
This was a decent enough show.