After last week, what was to happen with the SmackDown Live Women’s Division? Ruby Riott and her associates ran right over the other blue brand female competitors. Would they do so again? Was this group somehow connected to Paige’s group that just called themselves “Absolution?”.
That wasn’t the only thing that happened of significance on Tuesday. Fans finally saw the breakup of a mid-card tag team, another tag team had their momentum destroyed, Kevin Owens was supposed to be punished by Randy Orton and how would AJ Styles fare in a two-on-one handicap match against the Singh Brothers (as if that was really a question)?
Here are your Five Winners and Five Losers From SmackDown Live – November 28, 2017.
5. Loser – Zack Ryder
Whenever a tag team breaks up, the babyface is usually the one who suffers. Marty Jannetty and others are a testament to that theory. Add to it the fact that Zack Ryder has never really gotten a fair shake, and you’ll understand why we think Ryder is going to the talent who’s glanced over when all this is said and done.
Most fans are hoping this is not the case because Ryder actually has a strong following, but we’re going to assume the WWE isn’t going to listen to most fans when it comes to the Internet sensation. He’s been relatively ignored up to this point, and that probably won’t change.
5. Winner – Mojo Rawley
The breakup of the Hype Bros. was long overdue and the winner to come of this split will likely be Mojo Rawley. He’s the talent getting the heel role thrust upon him and in breakups like these, that typically means the push goes along with it.
Rawley has the potential to be a fairly strong heel, so this could be good for him. The trick will be a new personality and shaking the over-energetic persona that came with his babyface role. It’s not conducive to being a good heel character.
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4. Loser – Benjamin and Gable
Well, it appeared these two were on their way to being something special in the tag division. But, just as they moved their way up to a prominent spot against the Usos, The New Day came along and pinned them clean in a match which essentially crushed their momentum.
Is this the WWE’s way of saying no other teams on SmackDown Live matter beyond New Day, The Usos and maybe The Bludgeon Brothers? We think so, and it’s a shame too because, unless Benjamin or Gable turn heel on each other, there’s not much else for them to do now.
4. Winner – Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon
The friction between the general manager and the commissioner is fun to watch. It adds a layer of depth to the show and it teases something coming between the two sides. Right now, the hint is that McMahon will be the one who creates the real problems but at this point, it’s really anyone’s guess.
The idea here that the two leaders of the show are at odds over what to do with Owens and Zayn is also fun to watch. Will Bryan continue to cheerlead for the best friends if they keep pushing buttons? Will McMahon continue to let Bryan make the calls?
3. Loser – Naomi
We’re just picking a female talent here, but the idea is that with the new women showing up on Raw and SmackDown Live, some of the current talent is going to get the shaft. Charlotte took the beating, Natalya ditched her team (thus keeping up her heel persona) and Naomi was simply pushed aside to make room for other ideas to unfold. Hopefully, this is not what happens to her on a permanent basis. If it does, where does she fit into the landscape of the Women’s Division?
At this point, it’s still too early to really suggest one way or another, but the first signs don’t seem to point in Naomi’s favor.
3. Winner – New Day
We labeled Gable and Benjamin losers so on the other side of that coin must be the team who defeated them and has the WWE behind them as a faction that can do no wrong. The New Day didn’t need to win that match, but that’s the way WWE booked it. The confidence the company is showing in these guys as a team that is nearly unstoppable, even when they don’t have a feud their in the middle of means they’ll be front and center on SmackDown Live for a while.
2. Loser – Singh Brothers
If the teasing of Jinder Mahal dumping The Singh Brothers turns into something that actually happens, the writing is on the wall for these two. Right now, this is the type of storyline that could go on for a while, but eventually, Mahal will either have to keep them or drop them and if he drops them, there really isn’t anything else in the WWE for these two small and non-legit tag team to do. They work as Mahal’s sidekicks and probably nothing else.
2. Winner – The Bludgeon Brothers
They were strong in week one of their debut and tonight this team was liked a well-oiled machine obliterating Zack Ryder in seconds. Their move-set is fun, devastating and their engaging enthusiasm is going to make them a team that will be tough to stop. Fans may not be 100 percent sold on the uniforms, but the team itself is a wonderful change of pace.
How is anyone going to stop this team? Will the WWE even let that happen or will Harper and Rowan (no longer Erick or Luke) just run over everyone on their way to the SmackDown Live tag team championships?
1. Loser – The Riott Squad
The Riott Squad themselves were not actually losers according to this writer. What wasn’t well done was the lack of addressing anything that happened on Raw and that means that the two incidences are likely not connected. If not, it seems like extremely odd timing to have three women come out on consecutive shows and take out the other female stars.
It’s like the WWE is offering two exact storylines and trying not to draw similarities between them. They have separate names and don’t talk about each other. It’s odd, but in a “we still like these ladies” kind of way.
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1. Winner – Owens Verus Orton
This match was incredibly well done. From start to finish, it was a match that ended a very strong show and was crafty, smart and served multiple purposes. First, it was set as a way to punish Kevin Owens and at first, it succeeded. The idea that Zayn was not allowed at ringside was also maneuvered around when Owens snuck through the crowd and got Zayn’s help on the stage (not technically ringside, so no rules were broken).
Best of all, the match was vicious in a way that made you think Owens and Orton really don’t like each other and that always makes for good television.
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