The King of the Ring tournament continues over on Smackdown with Apollo Crews taking on Andrade and Elias facing Kevin Owens. The former was a pretty good match to watch where Andrade stole a dirty win whereas the latter had great hard-hitting action (see Elias’ thunderous high knee to the jaw and Owens’ awesome high-risk moves) that ended in controversial fashion, thanks to Shane McMahon.
So far, the tournament is shaping up well with great contenders remaining. Samoa Joe, Cedric Alexander, Elias and Andrade will face new opponents in next week’s Quarter-finals. Really looking forward to that!
One thing I would’ve loved to see that Smackdown was missing is a women’s match, not just a talkshow segment. Charlotte Flair plays such a great villainess to Bayley’s safe heroine rep and is really the only interesting person in the feud. I don’t know why Bayley is pushing Charlotte around, it’s very unchampion-like.
And too bad for Bayley, Charlotte’s right when she said more people ended up talking about Charlotte’s match with Trish Stratus than Bayley’s with Ember Moon. Compared to Raw, Smackdown’s women division seems quite muted possibly because the good ones keep having matches on Raw and not on their own brand.
To me, Bayley as a champion isn’t strong enough to represent the Smackdown’s women division. She’s very overshadowed by Charlotte right now.
Another low point for me was the revelation of who Daniel Bryan and Rowan thought really attacked Roman Reigns. After building up so much anticipation, it ended with the most awkward way possible. Daniel looking so serious alone could make me laugh but the whole thing is getting frustratingly draggy. Not sure why they’re taking this long to reveal.
If this ultimately ends with Rowan being the attacker and that those two were the ones lying the whole time, I’m gonna be really disappointed. The story started out interesting but now it’s growing stale.
Despite that, Smackdown was still a decent show with some really good hits like the abovementioned matches and the Shelton Benjamin making fun of Chad Gable with the short man joke that made me chuckle.
Here are my favourite moments from this week’s Smackdown episode!
The alliance of Sami Zayn and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
This is such a fresh and brilliant concept. There’s no doubt that Shinsuke Nakamura is one heck of a charismatic guy but language barriers can be such a pain. So what do you do? Pair him up with another charismatic guy like Sami Zayn but one who can do all the talking for the both of them! I never thought I’d want this partnership but now that it’s happened, I can’t wait to see what these two will do next.
At the King of the Ring tournament, Sami lost out to Cedric on Raw which left him feeling kinda lost about where he stands in the deep sea of talents that is WWE. But Sami quickly realised that he could be less “selfish” and help out others instead — so he chose to help Shinsuke. Sami talked about how he has all this talent but is unable to express them the way he wants to without being understood. And he likened that to Shinsuke who can’t express himself because he can’t speak English despite being a very skilled wrestler and champion.
When The Miz asked Shinsuke if that’s what he wants, Sami cut in, “What language do you expect him to answer you in, huh? English? English that could benefit you? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Shinsuke Nakamura is Japanese. And he is an artist. He is a poet. Do you understand the pain that is experienced by a poet when he can’t articulate what is in his heart, what is in his soul? Of course you don’t understand that. But I do.”
Wow! Mind = blown. If that isn’t a powerful social commentary right there, I don’t know what is. Leave it to Sami to take this special power and bless the world with it! Let’s hope WWE doesn’t butcher this angle.
Watch the full segment:
Randy Orton repeatedly calls Kofi Kingston stupid, Kofi gets payback
Another amazing segment from the show is the opener. In continuation from Raw, Randy Orton put Kofi Kingston on blast, claiming that the WWE Champion kept failing. He also kept repeating that Kofi was “stupid”, something that has become sort of an iconic line as it was the one that sparked off the feud between them in the first place. Randy had called Kofi that once years ago and Kofi claimed to use that as motivation to improve over the years so that one day he could become WWE champion.
I love the fact that this feud between them isn’t over yet and that things are now escalating even further like they did yesterday on Raw. Remember how Randy intervened the match between The Revival and The New Day? Randy cruelly made Kofi watch The Revival break Xavier Woods’ leg. And today on Smackdown, Kofi got his revenge by surprise-attacking Randy with Trouble in Paradise. Hearing Kofi repeatedly saying “This is for Woods!” and seeing him slap the face of an unconscious Randy filled me with glee. Even more so when The Revival tried to rescue Randy but Kofi single-handedly sent them back out with merciless steel chair shots. Who’s stupid now, huh? Truly an exciting feud development.
Watch Kofi gets his payback on Randy and The Revival here:
Buddy Murphy vs Daniel Bryan
Hands-down the BEST match of the night! I’m really glad that they’ve finally given Buddy Murphy the green light. He’s now not only in an interesting storyline with two of WWE’s biggest stars in Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, he also gets to showcase his in-ring talents and beat a former world champion.
From start to finish, this match was amazing. Both wrestlers got their moments in the spotlight but in the end, I think Buddy shone just a little brighter there. Even the crowd was convinced and started Buddy chants during the match.
Watch Buddy fly with the super cool over the top rope senton dive and ultimately win the match: