This was the second-to-last episode of SmackDown this year, and it certainly delivered in a big way, barring a few hiccups. However, the focus was less on the 2023 Royal Rumble and more on setting the stage for future storylines and potentially ending by 2022.
John Cena will return next week. However, before we get to that, let’s take a look at this week and what happened on SmackDown:
#3. Best: Bray Wyatt Meltdown on Smackdown
In the latest episode of SmackDown, Bray Wyatt attacked a cameraman. The cameraman was identified as a man named JT Energy – a student of Seth Rollins and a graduate of his Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.
Wyatt’s promo was great, and the way he lost his train of thought before having a complete meltdown was incredible. His subtle character work is what makes him so great, and it’s no wonder WWE is courting him again.
# 2. Worst: Handling of multiple Superstars in the Gauntlet match, including Xia Li
There was one positive aspect to the gauntlet match on SmackDown – Raquel Rodriguez was booked as a strong babyface. down which side? Everyone else was treated very badly.
The growth in Emma and Tegan Nox looked like genius, and the loss of Xia Li completely nullified her storyline assault from last week. We’re not even sure why the attack happened, and no explanation was given.
Liv Morgan felt like a placeholder when she was quickly pinned, and Shayna Baszler, the “Final Boss,” fell completely flat as she was pinned with a quick roll-up.
# 2. Best: Hit Row losing to The Usos
Hit Row was never going to defeat The Usos, and it was no surprise when the Undisputed Tag Team Champions defeated their challengers relatively easily on SmackDown. It was the right decision and the way it was handled was also done in the right way.
Unfortunately for Hit Row, they are not on The Usos’ level and have very little credibility at the moment.
#1. Worst: Main event felt like a live event match
In the main event of SmackDown, Braun Strowman and Ricochet faced Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci in a match titled “Miracle on 34th Street”. It was a fun match that the audience enjoyed, but the issue was that it felt like a live event match with cameos from The New Day as well as Ballerina.
Samantha Irwin kissing Ricochet under the mistletoe was also fun, but overall, it didn’t fit as the main event of the blue brand. Would have been better as an opening match instead.
#1. Best: Sami Zayn’s Incredible Promo
Sami Zayn stole the entire show this week with her incredible promo. He hyped up Roman Reigns and made him proud ahead of next week’s big main event as he and The Tribal Chief take on Kevin Owens and John Cena.
This promo and Roman Reigns’ hug gave Sami Zayn a summary of her past year. This would have worked well as the last section.