Starting a new era presents a lot of problem, so there’s little doubt there’d be some blips. In the case of Friday Night Smackdown, most of them were nonsensical and were done simply to be done.
And off we go, to the ugly
- Raw superstars open Smackdown (brand enthusiasts will love this). While some of us don’t mind the mixing of the brands or believe there shouldn’t be brands, given there’s a draft next week and this is Smackdown, maybe they should’ve had some Smackdown superstars to open it? The fact the Raw superstars seemed to outnumber the Smackdown superstars was interesting. Kinda makes one wonder if they have any faith in the Smackdown stars or are we seeing some of the potential results of the upcoming draft to gauge our interest?
- While the opening segment was perfect, to be honest, the Rock should’ve been the first one out there or have him come out when a Smackdown superstar ran their mouth. Maybe even relive a moment with one of the legends in the audience. Not like there weren’t plenty available.
- Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman. This was done simply to get some play on ESPN and other sporting news. Given how much Fox has thrown behind Smackdown by pimping it on their NFL broadcasts and loaning their reporters it’s not a surprise. What’s a shame is the waste of an 8-man tag match with Heavy Machinery, Ziggler and Roode, Randy Orton, Miz, and AJ Styles.
- Kofi Kingston losing. Kingston has been an awesome champion and he deserved to put up more of a fight than the ten seconds it took for Lesnar to beat him. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, but Kingston deserved so much better. Fans are justifiably upset at this.
- Remember booking being mentioned before? Well, here’s another one and it comes from fans on the internet sharing their displeasure (ie rumors/conjecture). Apparently, those in attendance were upset not so much for the Lesnar/Kingston match, but because there was no dark match and no appearance of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin despite him being promoted as being there.
- Legends wasted. Given all of the time various legends have been in the ring or backstage being interviewed or shown, this may be a stretch for many. The thing is, while the show felt like a pay-per-view, aside from the Rock and showing legends in the audience, they didn’t do a whole lot to honor the last twenty years. It felt right they would have given they’re entering a new era, and many are left asking why didn’t the Undertaker make an appearance? We mentioned Austin above, but the Undertaker was just as integral to Smackdown as the others, and it felt like a slight to not even have him make an appearance.
The premiere of Friday Night Smackdown was as good as expected in many ways, but the more we try to make something perfect, the more we can make mistakes. While they weren’t glaring, it does raise a couple of questions going forward like what are their plans for Kingston, and how soon until Velasquez is under contract (he’s not yet according to reports)? Hopefully, WWE creative will have some fun answers for us.