The day after Raw impressed many with the superstars they picked up in the Shake-up. All eyes then turned to SmackDown Live to see how they would replenish their roster after losing the likes of AJ Styles, The Usos, Samoa Joe and Andrade.
The KO Show kicks off SmackDown.
Kevin Owens was hit by another incredible applause from his hometown fans in Montreal. I have to say, between Raw last night and SmackDown, I’ve been extremely impressed with the crowd at the Bell Centre. He introduces WWE Champion Kofi Kingston down to the ring as well as Xavier Woods. Owens notices the absence of New Day member Big E, and it is confirmed that he suffered an injury on last week’s show so will be out of action for a while. KO then offered his services to The New Day, by becoming Big O to help them out later in the night.
During the show we got some pretty funny segments of Owens having to force down a platter full of pancakes to become a proper member, and even him trying to recreate Big E’s entrance announcement. This whole segment was done really well. The crowd were into it, and the on screen the chemistry of Owens, Kingston, and Woods was really good.
A great opening to SmackDown this week.
Finn Balor def. Ali.
The Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor showed up on the blue brand for the first time as part of the Superstar Shake-up. His first competitor was none other than Ali. Balor put on yet another great TV match, just as he did with Andrade the night prior. Ali put up a real good fight, even hitting a top rope hurricanrana for only a 2 count. Balor ended up picking up the victory with a wicked drop kick into the corner, followed up with the Coup de Grace. I’m happy with the move for Finn Balor. US Champion Samoa Joe has gone the other way to Raw but could not appear, after being backstage.
Charlotte Flair def. Carmella.
This match didn’t really get that much time but both superstars did impress. They spent a lot of their time outside the ring with some hard hitting bumps, but Carmella was forced to tap out to the Figure 8. After the match, Lars Sullivan (now a SmackDown Live Superstar) made his way to the ring to pick off R-Truth. Sullivan also starred down at Carmella, who had to be helped out of the ring after her match. I like Lars Sullivan doing this, but it’s 4 times in a row now. I’d like to see someone actually do something about it.
Becky Lynch addresses the WWE Universe.
Becky two belts claims she’s going to run right through Lacey Evans, and says she doesn’t care who is next after Evans, she will beat them all no matter what the brand. Ember Moon then came out to announce she was on the blue brand. She says there’s no better way to make her name than to step up to the double champion. Another addition for SmackDown, Bayley also comes down to the ring. She claims she is no longer a tag competitor, and that she’ll be after the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
This segment did not stop with additional superstars coming out. Next up was Billie Kay and Peyton Royce of the IIconics. Paige then followed up on her promise to bring a new tag team to rival the IIconics. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville interrupt the former GM thinking they were the chosen ones. This turned out to be false, and Paige then announced Asuka and NXT call up Kairi Sane. A brawl then broke out between all the competitors which created an eight women tag team match.
Bayley, Ember Moon, Asuka & Kairi Sane def. The IIconics, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville.
I can’t help but feel there’s never enough time on SmackDown for an 8 person tag match. There’s just so many factors to the match, and all competitors find it a little harder to get all their stuff in. That said, this match was packed with high spots, notably Ember Moon diving off the top rope to her opposition below. Kairi Sane got the win for her team with an insane elbow, which looked perfect. I’m really looking forward to what’s next to come for SmackDown’s women’s division, they got some really good additions this week.
Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Kevin Owens def. Cesaro, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Before this match kicked off, Buddy Murphy had a video announcing that he had been called up to SmackDown Live, which is a great move in my eyes. Kevin Owens fit perfectly into The New Day, he knows how to do comedy really well in the ring, especially with Woods and Kofi. He was decked out in his normal attire but with a cut sleeve new day shirt on top. All three of the new New Day hit their finishers on Rusev, and Big O pinned him for the victory. The three worked so well together, I kind of hope he stays with them for a little bit. I do eventually think that it includes a KO heel turn on Kofi, seeing as the WWE Champion doesn’t have a contender yet.
Mr. McMahon announces SmackDown Live’s biggest acquisition ever.
McMahon first joked to the crowd how happy is was to be back in Montreal. It did not go down with the crowd well, which isn’t surprising at all. Vince introduces none other then musical star, Elias as the big SmackDown pick up. Elias comes down to thank the owner for knowing what WWE actually means.
He starts his performance for the Montreal crowd, to be interrupted by Roman Reigns. I really did not think Reigns would ever be put on SmackDown if I’m honest, but I’m intrigued to see how they use him. He attacked Elias with a superman punch, and then in a shocking move hit McMahon with a superman punch of his own. Reigns got the mic to say he doesn’t give a damn what Mr. McMahon says, SmackDown Live is his yard. The former Universal Champion then hit Elias with a spear to close the night out.
Not a bad SmackDown overall, but I think it’s hard to gauge any storylines during the week of the Shake-up. The next few weeks will be telling though, with Road Dogg no longer writing for them. But as this show proved, they have such a stacked roster that it would be hard to mess anything up.