With Backlash just over a week away, it is safe to say that SmackDown LIVE has taken a few steps back since the “Super Star Shake-up.” Although, one can argue the distraction of the SmackDown Live performers working the Raw event Payback distorted focus momentarily. Not so fast. SmackDown lost some of its identity in the “shakeup,” mostly in the form of the show’s MVP… The Miz.

Miz, and his antics, had become some of the best water cooler moments of the wrestling week. Nobody had any clue what the A-Lister was going to say next, and once his feud with John Cena ended at WrestleMania, Miz went to raw while Cena went away. (Not that we can see him anyway. Nobody can.)

Sure, “the blue brand” picked up a couple of stars in the swap. Kevin Owens is always a delight to watch, and with his win at Payback, Chris Jericho will also be joining SmackDown LIVE. (Maybe? We’ll get to that in a second.)

Actually, there has been some highs and lows from the past months, which usually leads to interesting television. Which leads us to our next segment…


YAY!: Don’t hinder Jinder!

The biggest marketing ploy SmackDown Live has insisted on since it’s inception last year is the fact that “the land of opportunity” showcases on Tuesday nights. The biggest example came just a few weeks ago, when perennial loser Jinder Mahal won a six-pack challenge match to become the number one contender to the WWE championship.

A saying in wrestling for giving someone a fast promotion is to “put a rocket” on them. Well, Houston, we may have a problem with Jinder Mahal. Pro Wrestling fans are rather ruthless, and any hint of the office trying to influence who their audience needs to care about is usually met with a gigantic backlash. Which is why Jinder aligning himself with the Singh brothers (formerly The Bollywood Boys), and making himself an anti-American heel may be perfect for his career.

Listen, most people are stupid and ignorant. Not knowing the difference between and Indian and a Muslim is common practice. Most people are just booing the turban, which if used to Mahal’s advantage, could really set up some amazing promos. The best villains are the ones who speak a bit of the truth behind their lies. Here’s hoping WWE allows Jinder to grow into a fully fleshed out character.


BOO!: The Face Vacant From The Space

Where, oh where, is AJ Styles? Certainly not on SmackDown Live! Nobody should count the mediocre face-off promo Styles and Jericho cut to open the show either. Style’s involvement in the segment was only a way to shoehorn him into the show, probably after someone realized he wasn’t booked on it. Fans get that a cooling off period was coming from Styles, however SmackDown Live needs AJ front and center in all major storylines. After all, he is the best performer on the planet between the ropes.

YAY!: “Dedicated Garment Gum Shoes”

Breezango got their grove back, ya’ll. The duo’s Rockford Files/Law and Order mash-up dubbed “The Fashion Files” was the scene stealer of SmackDown! There has never been any doubt that these two journeymen have talent and charisma, but sometimes it just takes a while to find where potential is fully taken advantage of.

A long underrated tool of sports entertainment is absurdity. When done wrongly (Triple H performing necrophilia on a dummy in a casket) it comes off cheap and idiotic. When done correctly on the other hand (The Undertaker, seriously, everything about his career is absurd. Start to finish, really, just think about it.) Everything about this gimmick is absurd, and everybody is buying in. To get a character over you need to buy in, and much to our enjoyment it seems Breeze and Dango are going to take this pairing over the top.

Seriously, if you haven’t seen this segment, please do so…

BOO!: Noam Dar’s annunciation.

Seriously bro, open your mouth and speak. His promo needed to be rewound three times to remind me not to watch 205 Live. Not that anyone needs that reminder.

BOO!: Charlotte is like a face now?

Charlotte Flair is amazing at her job, and in my opinion was the 2016 WWE performer of the year, she is that good. Usually, when a character becomes so amazing the audience’s first instinct is to begin to cheer them. This is starting to happen to Charlotte.

A six-woman tag between “The Welcoming Committee” and the unlikely alliance of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi is on the horizon. WWE would be wise to have Charlotte turn on Naomi after helping them win, because a good guy Flair is no fun.

BTW, stop putting half the women’s roster in groups, there is only like 6 of them to begin with. Who is going to fight now?

YAY!: “Strong Style” is around the bend.

18 days away to be exact… Get your air violins ready!


Seriously, four commercials during SmackDown Live about the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura? Part of me is ecstatic that WWE feels the need to make a big deal about “Swagsuke” and his big debut. The other part is wondering if they realize that airing 373 commercials about anyone is going to lead to over exposure.

Just like Shinsuke swag. After all, the king is going to be the king!


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Title (Nitro, 1996)

What did YOU think of SmackDown Live? Leave any questions or comments below, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @themikeycuralli!

32 year old adolescent from Westchester, Illinois Day Manager at Casa De Puros in Forest Part, Illinois Head Football Coach For Lyons Football Club in Lagrange Park, Illinois Here to bring you that fire in all things professional wrestling, television, super heroes, and anything else "THE POWERS THAT BE" will allow me to get away with! :) Follow me Yo! Twitter: @themikeycuralli Instagram: @mrmikeycuralli