Wait what? We thought Owens vs Zayn for #1 Contendership was set for Fastlane. Oh the capriciousness of WWE programming. This is Smackdown Live.
Anyways, Shane McMahon had an excellent promo tonight, pointing out why Daniel Bryan was giving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn so many opportunities: Their “Yep” movement, no matter how silly it may sound to a normal person, reminded Daniel Bryan days of a glorious past but abruptly ended by concussions. Shane had hit Daniel hard, and you could see it on Daniel’s face. For a moment, we could sympathize with the American Dragon. AJ Styles also did what a babyface should do, and that was to tell others what the audience wanted to hear – the General Manager and the Commissioner should stand back, and not pushing The Phenomenal One around like a ragdoll. A great promo segment to open the show.
Livv Morgan exposed her underdevelopment here, as she looked like an absolute rookie against Charlotte. It was not a bad thing, actually – it only went to show that Livv needs to work harder to prove herself. The match itself was nothing too spectacular, just another show of superiority from the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion, but a little point we would like to note here was the use of ejection from ringside. Usually, the ejection is reserved only for big matches (usually for a championship), when the referee deems it necessary to ban the henchmen (or henchwomen) completely from ringside to protect the integrity of a high-stakes match. But now the trope was used on a run-of-the-mill episode of Smackdown Live, and there goes another way of adding extra drama to consequential matches.
The exact opposite of last week happened tonight – Bludgeon Brothers had a squash match, and The Usos made their entrance as Rowan and Harper were leaving. It was a nice detail, showing that WWE was not rushing to build this feud. That was a good thing – slow kindling means blazing flame, which was exactly what storylines nowadays need. Meanwhile, The Usos cut another badass promo, sending warnings to all potential lurkers of their titles. In a way, it felt like they were talking to The Bludgeon Brothers. Another fine touch.
Oh and the prison door slamming graphic was gone now. Good.