Here we are for Smackdown live on Tuesday nights (or Wednesday mornings for us Australians), starting off with the live draft. How did the show go and what can we look forward to? Let us proceed …
1st Draft Picks …
So the show is basically some draft picks and then matches. The very first draft pick goes to Raw and it is for Seth Rollins, he was my pick for who would be drafted first even without the title. Smackdown picks Dean Ambrose, Raw picks Charlotte, Smackdown picks AJ Styles and Raw picks Finn Balor. Pretty good names for the first lot of picks, and Finn Balor being number 5 is pretty ace! Finn Balor picked before John Cena, let that sink in. I might add I giggled when Shane called Seth the Crossfit Jesus!
John Cena vs. Luke Gallows
Gallows brings out AJ Styles and Karl Anderson, so John Cena has Enzo and Cass for back up. Gallows actually got in some good offense on Cena, but it didn’t last too long. Cena manages to get the upper hand and before long the guys on the outside are ready for a fight. Styles and Anderson get thrown outside and Cena hits the AA for the win. Not a long match since it is a shorter show and we have the draft happening. As a final build up for the big match at Battleground it was okay.
Second Round Of Draft Picks
This is where the picks start feeling weird and Raw just seems to be way over powering, it feels like Smackdown isn’t being seen as a serious property. Raw picks Roman Reigns, Smackdown picks John Cena, Raw picks Brock Lesnar, Smackdown picks Randy Orton and Raw picks The New Day.
Zack Ryder & Darren Young w/Bob Backlund vs. Rusev w/Lana & The Miz w/Maryse
This was actually a fairly decent match, with the crowd really excited for Backlund. Good back and forth action, lots of build up for the title matches happening at Battleground. Darren Young was the star of the match and they did not go with an accidental ending either. With encouragment from Backlund, Young hooks in the Crossface Chicken Wing and gets The Miz to tap out. The crowd went absolutely nuts for the move, and it was good to see some build up for him. I think he will ultimately lose at Battleground, but he had a nice moment.
Bray Wyatt vs. Xavier Woods
Pretty much a squash match with mind games from Bray Wyatt and scared as hell Xavier Woods. Not much to this, some build up for Battleground but nothing special. I am looking forward to the match but the weirdness from the compound just sort of killed the momentum for me. No surprises with who wins.
Kevin Owens vs. Kane
This match did not even happen, Kevin Owens yells at both McMahon’s and their GM’s for not being drafted yet. As he walks down the ramp way Sami Zayn comes out and attacks. The two go at it and eventually make it into the ring where Kane chokeslams them both.
3rd Round Of Draft Picks
Raw picks Sami Zayn, Smackdown picks Bray Wyatt solo – so the team are being split up I imagine. Raw then picks Sasha Banks, Smackdown goes with Becky Lynch and then Raw picks Chris Jericho. Odd picks in odd places, Smackdown now has one woman with Raw having two.
Dana Brooke & Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
A handicap match, and I am pretty sure for Battleground Sasha will pick someone who has not been drafted from NXT. Not a bad match but nothing great, Sasha gets in some offense and looks to have a win but doesn’t see Charlotte get the tag who then gets the pin.
4th Round Of Draft Picks
Raw picks Rusev with Lana, Smackdown picks The Miz with Maryse, Raw picks Kevin Owens (so Zayn and Owens remain together), Smackdown picks Baron Corbin (uhhh what?) and then Raw picks Enzo and Cass. Raw clearly has the better picks, I just don’t understand why Smackdown didn’t go with a team to boost numbers at this stage?
Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho
I giggled at Jericho using cut up tshirt for a scarf, classic. For the most part this was a really fun match with some great moments and action. There is definitely some chemistry between these two, and they have a good work flow together. I love all of the upper cuts Cesaro throws and I could watch him hit them all day non stop. The end came when Jericho caught Cesaro with a mid air Codebreaker but it was so shoddy and didn’t hit too well.
Natalya vs. Alicia Fox
Match does not happen as Becky Lynch has launched into an attack on Nattie. More build up for their up coming match, more could have been done really.
5th Round Of Draft Picks
Raw drafts Anderson and Gallows, so they wont be with AJ however that opens up a group with Balor now. Smackdown picks AMERICAN ALPHA! I marked out for this, I love this team so much and I know they are going to be amazing on Smackdown. Raw then drafts Big Show, not sure why. Smackdown gets Dolph Ziggler and Raw gets Nia Jax.
6th Round Of Draft Picks
The final televised draft picks are Neville for Raw, Smackdown picks Natalya, Raw picks Cesaro, Smackdown picks Alberto Del Rio and Raw picks Sheamus. The rest of the draft will take place on the network – full draft results can be found here.
WWE World Title Match Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins
A rematch from Raw because of the awful ending, and the match was more of the same. They had some good back and forth action and they really tried to make it seem like we didn’t just see this match yesterday. Not much else I can really say because we already just had the match. I can appreciate what they are trying to do, get ratings in and everything. I was expecting some interference from Stephanie to try and get the Title on Raw but that did not happen. Dean Ambrose scored a clean win over Rollins and the show closes out.
I am sure next weeks live Smackdown will be a lot better, but this was a weird episode and the draft just did not work. The picks did not feel even and the announcements made from the Smackdown side felt so weak. I did not understand some of the choices made after the show either, if you are having Cruiserweights on Raw, why draft Kalisto to Smackdown? I guess we wait and see, Battleground should be some what interesting at least. WWE needs to really pick things up next week otherwise people really will just tune out and not care for the brand split.