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Laying the Smack Down: Kofi Sweeps Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Hub’s weekly smack talk about WWE SmackDown Live. Kofi Kingston finished his three-match sweep of Dolph Ziggler in the main event. Their best-of-3 falls match actually bested previous battles at both Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds. However, the fans at Moda Center in Portland had little great content to watch prior to the main event. Let’s break down Kofi sweeps week and more.

 

HEADLINE NEWS: KOFI-ZIGGLER III AN INSTANT CLASSIC

SmackDown Live opened with an impassioned promo from the WWE Champion. He said he’s enjoyed the best height of his career over the past few months. However, Samoa Joe attempted to eat him alive on Monday Night Raw. Kofi said he wouldn’t take that lying down. That’s when Ziggler interrupted, refusing to allow anyone to leapfrog him for another shot at the WWE Championship. The #Heel revealed that he arranged a best-of-3 falls match with Kofi for the main event.

Ziggler dominated the early moments of the main event. A turning point came when The Showoff sat down on a Sunset Flip attempt and grabbed the rope for leverage. The referee caught him cheating and interrupted his count on the fall. As a result, Kofi got the opening he needed. He rolled up Dolph for fall #1.

Unfortunately, Ziggler got worked up into a frenzy and took his brutality up a notch after the first fall. Then, he devastated Kingston with a Zig Zag. The resilient champ nearly scored the decisive fall on another roll-up attempt. Yet, Ziggler escaped this time and hit a superkick to even the falls.

The closing sequence turned into a sprint of reversals, counters and roll-up attempts. However, Kofi closed things out with Trouble in Paradise for the victory. This one far exceeded either of the pay-per-view matches. So, Kofi put a fitting cap on the rivalry if it is indeed an end to their program.

 

BEST OF THE REST: NIKKI CROSS EARNS ALEXA BLISS REMATCH

Nikki Cross came out as a woman on a mission against SmackDown Women’s Champ Bayley. The desperation and determination of the Scot came across as she passionately fought for her friend’s rematch. Cross gained the early edge on her frenetic energy.

However, The Hugger worked her way back into the match and gained control with an armbar. Nikki rallied and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Then, Cross and Bayley engaged in a number of roll-ups and counters. However, Nikki ended the seesaw struggle by shifting her weight to keep the champ’s shoulders pinned for the 1-2-3.

As a result, Cross earned The Goddess a rematch for the blue belt at Extreme Rules on July 14. Furthermore, Nikki winning the match and title shot for Bliss takes their story to the next stage. Cross wins the match and beats the champion, but the selfish Twisted Sister reaps the rewards because that’s so Alexa. These three continued to work well off each other.

 

BIG WINNER: SONYA DEVILLE/MANDY ROSE

The War Goddess attempted to retaliate after weeks of being bullied by Deville & Rose. However, Fire & Desire used the dreaded numbers game to come out on top like we knew they would.

Yet, Ember Moon brought the fire and fury early on. She took it to Deville with a series of dropkicks, pounding her around the squared circle. But Mandy Rose picked an opportune time to provide a distraction. Deville capitalized, shoving her into the ring post and stacking her up for a pinfall victory.

These three suffered from the lack of ring time devoted to them. However, the story they needed to present got over. First and foremost, it served to continue the ongoing beef between Moon and Rose. Most importantly, Deville picked up a win to continue building her credibility for the inevitable Fire & Desire split. In my opinion, WWE can build a legitimate main-event star out of Deville if they’re interested in doing so. She can pull off the heel personality well and contains a wide arsenal of ground-and-pound, MMA moves.

 

BIG LOSER: THE MIZ

Through no fault of his own, The A-Lister ended up the big loser on both Monday and Tuesday. This time, he fell to Elias in a best-of-3 falls match. The dreaded numbers game came into play at the end. “The Best in the World” Shane McMahon teamed up with Elias to put a hurting on Miz.

Shane-O-Mac sent a message to Roman Reigns with a spear. Then, Elias piled on with a top-rope elbow drop for the decisive fall. Adding insult, Shane then ascended the top rope and delivered his patented Coast-to-Coast.

Unfortunately, Miz remained McMahon’s personal torture instrument. He’s served as a punching bag for “The Best in the World” since WrestleMania 35. Not only can’t he beat his former tag team partner, he always gets served a humbling butt-kicking by McMahon and his minions. Fans continue to openly wonder why McMahon continues to ride the monstrous heel push at the expense of big-name Superstars each week.

HIGH FIVE

Shinsuka Nakamura/Finn Balor – Two of the greatest NXT Champions collided in a backstage segment. “The Artist” confronted the Intercontinental Champion, perhaps signaling an end to his tag team days with Rusev. Since Balor spent several weeks off TV, fans of the champ delighted in the teasing of a new storyline. However, the use of Nakamura with Balor seems puzzling considering things with Andrade didn’t feel completely settled.

New Day – We told you they would not skip a beat with that loss to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Xavier Woods broke up the LeBell Lock and combined with Big E to hit Midnight Hour on Daniel Bryan. They didn’t get much time to celebrate the non-title match victory over the SmackDown Tag Team Champs. The Pancakes & Unicorns Crew found themselves victims of an attack from KO and Zayn. However, Heavy Machinery came out to aid New Day. Then, the two babyface teams teamed up against the two heel teams.

Heavy Machinery – Otis and Tucker got an important thumbs after their Stomping Grounds appearance by making WWE TV. The segment felt a little clumsy. The most important plot point of the eight-man tag match seemed to be KO walking out on Zayn. With that being the case, Heavy Machinery against those two probably would’ve went off a little less wonky. Nonetheless, the Steaks & Weights boys still seem to figure prominently in WWE’s plans.

Elias – We’d love to see him no longer attached to Shane McMahon’s hip. However, he scored a victory over The Miz. This provided the one positive note to the continued devotion to Heel Shane’s destruction of The Miz.

Ember Moon – Sure, she got beat by the heel tandem of Rose and Deville. However, she broke through to get some ring time on WWE TV. Considering the sparse amount of time for women not named Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Bayley and Nikki Cross lately, that’s a victory.

 

LOW FIVE

Aleister Black – Okay, it’s seriously time for WWE to pull the trigger on putting the former NXT Champ in the ring. We’re working on a solid month of promos talking about people coming through a door to challenge him. Look no further than Ricochet to see how Black has stagnated. His former tag partner just won the United States Championship at Stomping Grounds and wrestled AJ Styles in Raw’s main event. Meanwhile, Black gets reduced to edgy 60-90 second promos each week.

Charlotte Flair – Perhaps The Queen just asked for some vacation time. However, it seems a bit weird to not see her featured for weeks at a time on WWE TV. I know fans have raged about her frequent turns with the championship belts. Yet, the simple fact remains she’s one of the best performers in the company.

The IIconics – The women’s tag champs had some regular segments for weeks with Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss that went well. However, they’re back to being purely backstage or non-entities. Here’s where the predictability of the WWE gets in the way of the product. It’s understandable if Billie Kay and Peyton Royce don’t always fit into the Raw or SmackDown storylines. Yet, wouldn’t that present the perfect opportunity to have them make a cameo on NXT?

Roman Reigns – Don’t get me wrong. The Big Dog remains a weekly presence on TV. I know the WWE Wild Card Era essentially made the brand split a moot point. However, I still think it’s a wrong that the “biggest acquisition” in SmackDown history makes fewer appearances on Tuesdays than Mondays.

Andrade – Flip the calendar back a month or so and we thought El Idolo might ride a rocket to the top. Now, he’s back to being left off TV for weeks at a time. It’s inconsistent handling of guys like this that causes fan pushback when matches seemingly fall out of the sky.

 

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Laying the Smack Down: Alexa Bliss Diss Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our weekly breakdown of WWE SmackDown Live. This week, we applaud the return of Alexa Bliss at her worst. The Goddess once again turned “A Moment of Bliss” into a segment spent dissing Bayley. Bliss will face The Hugger for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Stomping Grounds on Sunday. As a result, Alexa Bliss used her friendship with Nikki Cross to get over on Bayley and generate heat for their match. As usual, the Stomping Grounds go-home show for SmackDown Live from Ontario, California, succeeded a bit more than Raw did in setting up Sunday’s show in Tacoma. So, get your coffee mugs ready, Blissfits, it’s time to “break it down.”

HEADLINE NEWS: BLISS GETS TWISTED ON BAYLEY

I know I’ve lobbed some criticism at “A Moment of Bliss” segments in the past. However, this week Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross and SmackDown Women’s Champ Bayley stole the show in their segment. They took a feud with little to no heat heading into Stomping Grounds and went nuclear.

The Hugger came out in an uncharacteristic mocking manner of Bliss and her love of coffee. However, Alexa Bliss had none of it and quickly flipped the script on the champ. The Goddess called Bayley an entitled, bully champion who will never be as good as she thinks. (You know, the same criticism grenade people hurled at Alexa Bliss for years). As a result, a brawl broke out. The Hugger got the initial jump on Alexa Bliss. Yet, Bliss’ new bestie, Cross, pulled Bayley off and that allowed Alexa to gain the upper hand. In fact, Little Miss Bliss suckerpunched Bayley and eventually left her laid out.

Alexa Bliss always shines on the mic. The big surprise this week came in the form of Bayley hanging with her on the verbal jabs. These two took a break from being at each other’s throats for a singles title since 2017. Yet, they quickly made their rivalry feel important again with this shining star of a segment. It easily stood out as one of the best on WWE TV this week. Alexa Bliss also announced that Cross would appear in her corner at Stomping Grounds.

More importantly, the women’s division bounced back as a whole on both Raw and SmackDown Live. WWE fans once again saw the women sit out another show in Saudi Arabia and were disappointed with the news that there are no plans for a second Evolution show this year. Though it’s disappointing WWE refuses to revisit the success its all women’s pay per view had last year, it’s encouraging that the women had a few strong storylines after weeks of being minimized.

BEST OF THE REST: DOLPH ZIGGLER GAINS REVENGE

The Hollywood Heel made a point of blaming Xavier Woods for his loss at Super ShowDown. So, booking the two against each other to set up Ziggler’s rematch with WWE Champ Kofi Kingston at Stomping Grounds made sense.

Before the match, Woods, Kingston and Big E poked fun of Ziggler. As a result, the #Heel responded with criticism of Kingston’s worthiness as champ. Then, Kevin Owens attacked Kofi and Big E at ringside before they all got barred from the match.

Soon after, Ziggler took advantage of Woods without his buddies to protect him. The Showoff superkicked Woods off the ring apron before hitting a Zig Zag and another superkick for the pin.

Like Alexa Bliss, Ziggler did a good job of working some heat into a feud that hasn’t had much room to grow. Despite facing each other at Super ShowDown, Ziggler and Kingston still feel like a thrown together rivalry without much tension. The Showoff looked a little flat in his first shot at Kingston in Jeddah. Here’s hoping he brings more magic to a steel cage match like he did with Drew McIntyre this winter on Raw.

BIG WINNER: THE MIZ

Technically speaking, Drew McIntyre and Elias defeated The A-Lister and 24/7 Champ R-Truth in an elimination tag match. However, The Miz stood out above the rest in his role of putting over every heel in the segment.

Before the match, McIntyre vowed to take out Roman Reigns at Stomping Grounds. As a result, The Miz responded with contempt and mockery for McIntyre and Shane McMahon over Reigns destroying them on Raw. Furthermore, Miz shined on the mic as he took responsibility for what Shane has become. The A-Lister said he took it upon himself to finally beat “The Best in the World.”

Then, Shane O’Mac announced Miz would face McIntyre and Elias in an elimination tag match with a partner of his choosing. That’s when R-Truth popped up from under the ring. Shane then kept the heat on, making sure Miz couldn’t tag Truth out until he ate a running high knee from Elias to get eliminated.

Soon after, McIntyre brutally manhandled the A-Lister as Truth had to flee from the horde of mid-carders who chased him for his title. The Scottish Psychopath took out Miz with a Glasgow Kiss-Claymore Kick finishing burst. However, the beatdown continued after the bell. Shane dragged Miz into position for a second and then a third Claymore from McIntyre.

This seemed like a perfect setup for The Big Dog to emerge from backstage for the big save. However, his absence actually helped The Miz. Hopefully, The A-Lister’s ability to maintain the spotlight on his feud with Shane, even in the shadow of Reigns’ beef with Shane O’Mac, sets up his ultimate revenge on “The Best in the World.”

BIG LOSER: HEAVY MACHINERY

Though Otis and Tucker scored a victory, it came against The B-Team. When has beating Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel done much for anybody’s career? In fact, the most effective part of this segment came in the form of SmackDown Tag Team Champ Daniel Bryan berating Heavy Machinery as a guest commentator. Bryan almost always stars on the microphone.

As for what happened in the ring, Otis and Tucker wore down The B-Team with its power. Ultimately, Big Otis performed the caterpillar to set up The Compactor for the 1-2-3. After the match, Universal Champ Seth Rollins pounded Dallas and Axel with chair shots because they considered serving as Baron Corbin’s guest referee at Stomping Grounds.

To sum up, Heavy Machinery got a victory and will get a title shot against Bryan and Rowan at Stomping Grounds. However, they have yet to get booked as much more than comedic relief. As a result, it’s difficult to evaluate how serious of a threat they pose for the SmackDown Tag Team champs. Unfortunately, this match against The B-Team failed to give them much more credibility with the fans or heat with the champs. Like Ricochet in his match against United States champ Samoa Joe, Heavy Machinery must make a favorable impression at Stomping Grounds to stay relevant.

HIGH FIVE

Women’s Tag Team Division – Paige announced in a backstage segment that The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka and Kairi Sane, may finally get a title shot. They will face WWE Women’s Tag Champs The IIconics at a WWE Live event in Tokyo on Friday. With a victory, Asuka and Sane will get a future title opportunity against Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. This seems like a slam dunk. WWE will likely book Asuka and Sane strongly in Japan. Therefore, we may finally get the serious women’s tag team championship match we’ve waited to see.

Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose-Ember Moon – Also backstage, the War Goddess finally confronted Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose after week of torment. Moon rolled up on Deville and Rose while they were munching on some donuts. For those unfamiliar, Deville and Rose host a donut review show on their YouTube channel. Meanwhile, Moon eventually decked Rose to the ground. As a result, she sparked a brawl with Deville. Here’s hoping we get the payoff of the great content these three could deliver in the ring against each other.

Aleister Black – The Dutch Destroyer continued to work some magic with behind-the-scenes promo work. His character appears trending in a darker direction, and hopefully his excellent mic work leads to in-ring work after Stomping Grounds. Fans remain invested in Black, and he’s done all he can to shine in his limited time in the spotlight each week. However, WWE needs to pull the trigger on a feud for him soon. Another month of promos and people will lose interest entirely.

Andrade-Apollo Crews – El Idolo ambushed Apollo Crews backstage this week. Since there’s no announced match with Intercontinental Champ Finn Balor for Stomping Grounds, Andrade needs someone else to keep his momentum going. He and Crews represent two of the most athletic guys on the roster. It’s up to WWE on actually giving these guys some time to deliver in the ring.

Drake Maverick – The weeks of social media work by the 205 Live General Manager finally paid off. Maverick kept up the 24/7 Championship shenanigans by disguising himself as Carmella. He ambushed R-Truth on his way out of the arena at Ontario, California, to claim the 24/7 belt. To sum up how ridiculous this is, a YouTube commenter pointed out on WWE’s video clip that Maverick won a main roster title before Sami Zayn. That sums it up better than I could, folks.

LOW FIVE

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn – WWE’s version of the Washington Generals continued their losing streak. This week, they jobbed out to Universal Champ Seth Rollins and WWE Champ Kofi Kingston in a best-of-3 falls tag team main event. KO and Zayn’s weakness hit a new level this week. Kofi pinned Zayn immediately after a Trouble in Paradise right after the opening bell for the match. Rollins ended the match, 2 falls to none, with a Stomp of Kevin Owens. WWE also announced Owens and Zayn would face Big E and Xavier Woods at Stomping Grounds. Seems like KO and Zayn will eat another “L” on Sunday, too.

Paul Heyman – WWE made a point of showing the Beast in the Bank’s advocate intently watching the main event backstage. This constant reminder that Lesnar holds the fate of the champions in his hands just looks forced at this point. We all know Rollins will retain against Corbin at Stomping Grounds. Does anybody need a reminder that Lesnar wants retribution against the Beastslayer?

Roman Reigns – It made little sense that a SmackDown Superstar like Reigns goes MIA on his own show after such a big impact on Raw. The Wild Card Era in WWE continues to make a mockery of the brand split and show bookings. Furthermore, Reigns represents one of the few Superstars people buy tickets to see. I’m sure plenty of people left Citizens Business Bank Arena on Tuesday feeling let down Reigns no-showed his brand.

Finn Balor – It’s understandable if the Intercontinental Champ needs to miss time due to injury. However, it’s something the show should address. He’s one of the faces of the SmackDown brand now. His absence from the TV taping and the upcoming pay-per-view sticks out with little to no explanation why.

Shane McMahon – I know it seems like I harp on it every week. However, plenty of stories hitting online rumor sites speak to frustration from Superstars over the push Shane is getting. For another week, Shane gets premium placement on both shows. Meanwhile, SmackDown draws such as Charlotte Flair, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Ali and others remained off TV this week. I know Shane remains a part of the Stomping Grounds show on Sunday. However, it seems counter to what the fans would like to see on a weekly basis.

 

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Laying the Smack Down: New Day Edition

It’s a New Day for The Nerd Hub’s weekly breakdown of WWE SmackDown Live. Yes, it is. This week, Big E of New Day returned yet again. He even joked if returns were title reigns he’d be Charlotte Flair. Cue the Xavier Woods trombone pop. Unfortunately, the rest of the show from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento followed the safe formulaic approach we’ve come to know and hate from WWE. With Super ShowDown just put in the rear view and Stomping Grounds only weeks away, we got rehashing of most of what happened in Jeddah. Let’s break it down.

HEADLINE NEWS: NEW DAY DROPS THE HEELS

Not much new to tell you from the main event. Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn continued to serve as the pimped out fodder for WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. This time, Kingston teamed with his New Day boys, Big E and Woods, to defeat the three B-plus player heels in the main event.

Outside of Big E’s awesome crack at Charlotte Flair, Ziggler ran his mouth some more on how he’s more deserving than Kofi to hold the belt. He also blamed Woods’ interference late in the Super ShowDown match for Kingston’s victory. The Hollywood Heel said Kingston can only beat him with his New Day brethren backing him up. Naturally, this led to Zayn coming out for another tiresome rant on getting justice against hypocrites. As a result, Owens soon followed because he and Zayn are annoyingly tied at the hip again. As expected, WWE creative took the passion and energy Zayn and Owens worked up independently on the mic for weeks after WrestleMania and wasted it. They got placed back in their predictable space again, getting spanked by babyface champions.

Even the match went like most New Day matches you’ve witnessed a thousand times. Big E got them off to a hot start against heel patsy, Zayn. Woods then got his butt kicked for a while. However, Big E came back to save the day with a hot tag that set up Kofi for the big victory. Yet, Ziggler actually handed New Day the victory this time. He thumped Zayn with an errant superkick before Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise for the pin.

As far as main events go, the action during the match went over okay. However, the story remained a dud for me. Nobody believes Ziggler will win the belt at Stomping Grounds. So, it’s a lot of work to set up a match most people aren’t all that excited to see in the first place.

BEST OF THE REST: BAYLEY BUILDS MOMENTUM

The arrow continues to point up for SmackDown Women’s Champ Bayley. WWE creative found the formula for what worked for her at NXT and that needs to continue. Nikki Cross, the newfound companion of Bayley’s Stomping Grounds opponent, Alexa Bliss, pushed the champ. However, Bayley fought her way back with a closing onslaught capped with a top-rope elbow for the 1-2-3.

This Bayley seems much different than the milquetoast version of her as Raw Women’s Champ in 2017. She’s outsmarting her opponents, while still formidable enough physically to match up with almost anyone on the roster. It makes no sense for WWE to put the SmackDown belt on a Raw talent like Bliss at Stomping Grounds. So, hopefully they continue to invest more time into this rebooted Bayley as champ. However, WWE often throws smart booking decisions out the window in favor of blondes when it comes to the women’s division. Let’s hope that’s not the case in Tacoma on June 23rd.

BIG WINNER: ALEISTER BLACK

Don’t get too excited. The former NXT Champion failed to escape Promoville this week. However, he dropped a fire and brimstone version with all the aggression on the mic that we’ve come to expect from him in the ring. One of the hardest strikers in the biz lashed out in a big way. He had a backstage staffer open the door to the room in which he was taping his message and then let loose. He vented that his door remains open and he’s ready for anyone who wants to walk through it.

The passion reflects the heart of the true competitor Black is. He’s not received his chance to compete in months. Like a dying man suffocating from a lack of air, Black seemed desperate to field any challenge. Unfortunately, his in-ring work still seems like it’s at minimum a few weeks away. I doubt he makes his way on the Stomping Grounds card, so we likely won’t see what’s in store for him until the Raw or SmackDown after the pay-per-view show at the earliest.

BIG LOSER: THE MIZ

We opened the show with Miz TV and this led to thirty minutes straight of putting over Shane McMahon. I vomited a little in my mouth. It’s bad enough that they had Shane beat Miz at WrestleMania and Money in the Bank and Roman Reigns at Stomping Grounds. However, WWE continues to double down on the use of Shane each week as they overexpose him week after week as the big baddie on the block.

This week, Miz had Elias, Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon on as guests. As you’d expect, it set up in-ring work for this group. However, the twist came in the naming of a gauntlet match for The Miz. He started off with Elias, and managed to win that one because they’ve made The Walking Truth a joke again. However, McIntyre laid out The A-Lister with a Claymore Kick to beat him. McMahon then went to work on the worn-out Miz. Though he fought back valiantly, McMahon won again with a triangle choke. The Best in the World continues to saddle up Miz for a ride to the top.

It’s sad to see one of the best talents in the WWE get used like the Miz has this year. He’s truly had crap booking since the tag team storyline started at the end of 2018. Unfortunately for Miz, there’s no hint he’s headed for anything meaningful in the near future.

HIGH FIVE

Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose – The evil twins doubled their fun this week, tormenting Carmella and Ember Moon. Backstage, Deville and Rose destroyed Moon’s video gaming system. This seems like a tease for a program involving the three in the future. In the ring, the Golden Goddess interfered several times to help get Deville a victory over Carmella. She placed Deville’s foot on the ropes to break up Carmella’s Code of Silence. Then, she twice distracted the Staten Island Princess on the outside. Though Carmella hit a suicide dive and a superkick to take out Rose, she ate a leaping knee from Deville when she got back in the ring for the loss. It’s more strong booking for Deville and Rose.

Nikki Cross – Though she lost to Bayley, Cross continues to get use on both shows after going months without being on TV at all. She’s last remnant of Sanity left on the main roster with any chance of success. Cross has looked great in the ring against some of the top women in the company, but creatively it seems like her character is still being worked on.

Apollo Crews – The rarely seen Superstar received a backstage warning from Zelina Vega that teased a program with Andrade. Crews brought up Andrade’s loss to Intercontinental Champ Finn Balor at Super ShowDown. Needless to say, Crews and Andrade could put on quite a show in the ring. Let’s hope WWE gives us a match between those two great athletes at some point.

Chad Gable – Another MIA Superstar since switching brands, Gable had a cameo during Crews’ backstage promo. He appeared to be taking notes behind Crews. Then, Gable, who had most of his hair cut off recently, later made his 205 Live debut. Not to keep harping, but 30 minutes of Shane is exactly why guys like Crews and Gable get relegated to bit parts backstage.

Aleister Black – There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the former NXT Champion. After weeks of promos seemingly leading us nowhere, it looks like Black appears close to hitting the ring in a few weeks. Let’s hope the commitment made to him with these promos leads us to something more promising than the reboot of Mojo Rawley. In my opinion, I’d rather see someone like Black get a shot at Kofi than Ziggler. However, WWE has yet to prove they believe in Black on the main roster to this point.

LOW FIVE

Heavy Machinery – Why would we take these guys seriously when the SmackDown Tag Team Champions don’t? We got a brief appearance from Daniel Bryan and Rowan who basically told us Otis and Tucker don’t deserve a championship shot. So, WWE creative goes and proves the point by having them wrestler “local competitors.” They squashed former Tough Enough contestant A.J. Kirsch and Dave Dutra. To make matters worse, the “local competitors” had cardboard championship belts. Nothing to see here, unless you like seeing Otis do the caterpillar.

Elias – Remember when WWE seemed to be building him for something? He and Dr. of Thuganomics John Cena delivered one of the most memorable moments of Wrestlemania. Then, The Undertaker reappeared the next night on Raw in Brooklyn to take out The Living Truth. Now, he’s a mere minion to Shane McMahon. WWE evidently only seems him as a clown musician.

Drew McIntyre – He’s no longer everyone’s edgy pick to clean up the Raw roster and become a main event player. Now, he’s Shane McMahon’s lap dog. Way to neuter someone with a name as cool as Scottish Psychopath, WWE. You know since Roman Reigns lost to Shane at Super ShowDown that McIntyre’s eating a loss at Stomping Grounds for sure. That would make three fat Ls in a row for big Drew against Roman.

Carmella – She spent a good portion of early 2018 as the SmackDown Women’s Champ. Now, she’s running for her life backstage with R-Truth in the 24/7 Championship shenanigans and putting over others. With Bayley getting run as champ, Mandy and Sonya on the rise and Charlotte Flair always lurking, Mella seems out of serious title contention for quite awhile.

The Miz – He’s one of the best talents in the company mired in one of its worst stories. Welcome to WWE creative hell, A-Lister. The one bright spot remains that his fans can watch him, Maryse and Monroe Sky on his reality show, Miz and Mrs. 

 

RELATED: LAYING THE SMACK DOWN: GOLDBERG EDITION

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