SmackDown In A Nutshell: Blue Brand Time To Go Red?

Folks, fret not…in spite of these wild and crazy new wild card rules, this is still very much the SmackDown Nutshell. In case you missed RAW last night, however, let’s get you  caught up. Vince McMahon decided to do something about ratings, so he came to RAW with some SmackDown Superstars-including one (Roman Reigns) he forbade from appearing. See how much fun hypocrisy can be? In any event, tonight do we have the blue brand’s time to go red? It’s entirely possible, seeing as Vince has said now that on any given show, three (four counting Lars Sullivan) Superstars can come visit. Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see who shows up tonight!

Best Match of the night:

You can flip a coin here…the tag title match was good, as was the world championship triple threat match. Either would be a good call here.

Worst match of the night:

Ali and Andrade. Too short, and both got passed over in order to give Randy Orton a boost ahead of Money In The Bank. Seriously, if you think about it…if these two were given a chance and say, fifteen minutes to work? They could actually blow the fans away. Both men are talented and athletic, more than capable of stealing the show. Instead, they served as jobbers for Orton.

And WWE wonders why they have a ratings issue?

Crowd Chants of the Night:


Take a shower

AJ Styles


Star of the Night

I’d give this to a couple choices.

Choice one: Daniel Bryan and Rowan. I mean, they did become the SmackDown Tag Champs tonight, so there’s that.

Choice two: Kofi Kingston. WWE continues to play up the underdog/B+ Player bit, and Kofi continues to overcome.

Spot of the Night:

Have to give this one to Lars and his power bomb of R-Truth through the table in the back.

Well, that was until the main event spot. AJ was going for dual DDT’s. Kofi escaped his, and delivered an SOS to Styles-and in doing so, allowed Styles to still DDT Sami Zayn. Impressive.

Jobber of the Night:

Ali and Andrade feel like they jobbed tonight.

Upset of the Night:

Nothing of note

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

I am struggling here…but I think I’d go with…holy sh!@, SmackDown did not suck nearly as bad as RAW. Perhaps having one less hour on Tuesdays helped here? Having a little more time to plan for the train wreck that is wild card rules? That probably did not hurt either.

Botch of the night:

I don’t think it was a botch…more like, corny. The interviewer bailed as Matt and Truth are talking about Lars…they move up, Matt turns around, and says “look, it’s him!”. I mean…groan…

LOL Moment of the night:

Truth interrupting Matt, but forgetting why.

Noteworthy Moment:

So, we had AJ Styles on SmackDown. He was joined by Sami Zayn, Jimmy and Jey Uso and The Miz, along with Lars Sullivan. Now, I am not a math major, but that’s six, not 3 or 4 like Vince had said on RAW.

I said it last night…I will say it again (and I am not alone in this). Either have rules and stick to them, or say “the brand split sucks, we give up”. I mean…no one knows who decides to show up on the opposing show night after night, right? So how, in theory, would a SmackDown Superstar know? Do they all show up and see who gets on TV first?

Yes, I know it’s all scripted so that all is planned…but it just underscores how terrible the idea was, how atrocious the execution has been, and so on.

Overall lowlights:

This will contradict what comes next, but hear me out.

Yes, the matches tonight were good…but…the sudden pseudo-abandonment of the brand split? It’s bizarre. So many others in all sorts of blogs, social media and elsewhere, have all said the same thing. It is half-baked, and that’s about as nice as I can be about it.

I’d rather them give the recent shuffling a chance to work…or, pull the plug entirely. But here’s the thing: while some Superstars-like Styles, Reigns and a few others-are worth watching two nights a week…there are plenty of Superstars on both brands who will end up lost in the shuffle. With AEW looming, Vince won’t care as long as they can’t show up working for Cody…so that’s not a great situation.

Overall highlights:

My frustration above is sort of unrelated to the show itself. This wild card phase is annoying and frustrating for reasons we should all know…but here’s the honest truth about this particular chunk of two hours: this SmackDown was actually not horrible. However, when you factor in what it took to get there-a RAW tag team and two RAW Superstars-that dampens it significantly (in my opinion, anyways).

If I take that bit out of the equation, then sure, the show was good. But it’s really really hard for me to take it out of the equation.

After the final bell:

So far, I am not a fan of the wild card rules. I am wishing WWE would just come out and either end the split, or stick with it. This phase, wild card rules with seemingly random guys showing up on the opposite brand? It already sucks, because last night it was three, then four that could…and tonight I believe we had six? If the rules are out there and are instantly ignored, then what exactly is the point?

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