SmackDown 10/23/18: Melee Mayhem

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Hola SmackDown fans and welcome to this week’s Redux. Evolution is only a few DAYS away but after this week’s SmackDown, it almost feels like WWE’s first all women’s PPV isn’t a priority for them at all. As if it ever was? Instead, this week’s go-home show feels like it was just another chore for them to juggle while still trying to clean up their mess with Crown Jewel.

In our first stop for the women, we look into WWE’s ‘investigation’ involving Becky Lynch attacking Charlotte Flair during Flair’s visit at the Performance Center from this past weekend. During her visit, Flair gives a pep talk to some of the women of the NXT roster, advising them to push themselves to their limits and emphasizes the importance of respect in the wrestling business.

Flair continues to praise the women in front of her, saying they are the present and future. Just as Flair wraps her visit with a Q&A session, Becky Lynch arrives with some advice of her own for the NXT Women’s division: don’t make friends with anybody. Lynch suggests striking opponents before they strike you. Lynch name drops Evolution and shortly afterward a pull-apart brawl breaks out between Lynch and Flair.

Back on SmackDown, Flair calls out Lynch saying that her attack at the Performance Center was unforgivable. Lynch disrespected the foundation that got them to where they are today, Flair accuses Lynch of changing and come Evolution, Flair will be standing over a friend that lost her way.

Originally set for this week’s SmackDown was a match between Naomi and Mandy Rose but just before show time, the match was changed into a tag team match where Naomi would team up with Asuka to take on Rose and Sonya Deville.

BUT THE MATCH NEVER HAPPENED!!!

Before any punches could be thrown, The IIconics come out to lay claim to Sunday’s Battle Royal. They are interrupted by Lana and then (birthday girl) Carmella who swaps talking for a dance break. Zelina Vega runs in, tosses Carmella inside the ring for a mini preview of what will play out in Sunday’s Battle Royal… only with a lot more people!

The chaotic scene ends with Asuka standing tall by being the last woman standing.

Thoughts: So on the final SmackDown before Evolution, we are treated to NO women’s matches? That’s not even including last week’s SmackDown 1000 which was also super disappointing! Instead, we are treated to a reminder of how a Battle Royal works – even though some of these ‘eliminations’ didn’t occur over the top rope.

I think my colleague Alex said it best: The potential was there, the talent is there and I’m sure we’ll still enjoy it, but it’s still a complete shell of what it could have been and that’s the most disappointing thing.

Now I will say that the SmackDown Women’s Title match is arguably the strongest match on the card given the stipulation, history and built the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. I’ve been enjoying this feud and will predict that Lynch will still retain.

As far as the Battle Royal, did the WWE forget to mention Zelina the first time around? Battle Royals have always felt like lazy and huge clustered style of a match for me. AT LEAST, this time the winner will be competing for a future Women’s Title shot – which kind of gives away that aa returning Legend will most likely not be winning. Here’s hoping we still get to see some kind of interaction between them and the current generation of stars!

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Are you still excited for Evolution? Who are you rooting for Sunday? Let us know in the comments below!