Last night’s episode of SmackDown was actually the most enjoyable episode in about a month. There was a solid balance of storytelling and solid wrestling, as well as a really good pace to the show. We saw some feuds that hadn’t any progression for a couple of weeks as well as the wrap up of one of the weaker stories that SmackDown had offered us this Summer.
But despite the incredibly solid episode this week did make it apparent that there is a major hole in the current SmackDown roster and that is the lack of heels on the blue brand. King Corbin appeared in multiple segments that were loosely tied to his “King’s Ransom” angle but with The Miz and John Morrison serving as comedic relief at the moment we are left with really King Corbin, AJ Styles, and Sheamus in your major heel roles. It does seem that SmackDown might trying to remedying this by turning “Shorty G” Chad Gable and potentially even Nikki Cross heel. I find the potential of a Nikki Cross heel turn very interesting as she and Sonya Deville both have similar gripes against their (former) tag team partners. Could we see Sonya and Nikki teaming up in the near future to take on Mandy and Alexa? Probably not, but it could be interesting.
Overall, I’m glad with last night’s episode and hope that this marks the beginning of an upward trend for SmackDown. So, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of SmackDown 7/31.
- I like having the quick vignettes setting up the major matches of the episode at the top. It is something that really sets SmackDown apart from Raw or NXT.
- AJ and Metalik told a really fun story in their match. AJ having a counter for everything thrown at him is a good look for him in this reign following how he was booked earlier this year.
- Metalik had a really pretty DDT on Styles that deserved a shout out.
- Shorty G and King Corbin talking backstage was good. I think he’d be a great addition to the King’s Ransom storyline.
- Hey! Otis is back!
- Corey Graves calling himself the “Minister of Propaganda” for King Corbin was a very good joke.
- Shorty G’s attack on Riddle was not only a good story beat but his role up was pretty impressive.
- Cesaro and Nakamura’s party was fun. A feud with them and Lucha House Party should give us some solid matches
- Damn, Sonya’s attack on Mandy was brutal. I’m so happy this feud is still happening.
- Having Bayley win pretty cleanly to end the feud with Nikki and start a potential heel turn was really good.
- The Fiend attacking Alexa adds some depth to the feud with Braun I like it.
- Recap of the bar fight. I’m done with this feud, give me something new.
- Does SmackDown really have only two or three main heels now? We need some heel turns or a shakeup or something to make it better.
- I get the story that they want to tell with Big E’s return to singles competition but it does feel like they are burying his success before the New Day. He is a former NXT champion and a former IC champion. He’s got the resume to have a successful run.
- Is this Sheamus’ new go to outfit? I hate it.
- There is a gross misunderstanding of what #NaomiDeservesBetter was trying to accomplish. Her deserving better was deserving more than a karaoke based feud. Having her continually fighting Lacey Evans over that isn’t listening to the fans it’s spitting in their faces.