Monday, July 22, 2024

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SmackDown 04/17/18 – A Shakeup that is fit for an Empress

Last night’s Smackdown Live! featured the second and final night of the Superstar Shake-Up. The previous night, on Monday night RAW, saw a lot of superstars head to the “A” show. With knowing that the RAW roster has been larger due to it being a 3-hour show, fans are still curious who would now support the blue brand.

The women that went from Smackdown to RAW were only the Riott Squad and Natalya. By the end of Smackdown, only a few ladies came to the “B” show from RAW, one from NXT and one that seems to have been snubbed.

Paige appears backstage with Shane McMahon and wishes him a Happy Shake-Up Day. He goes on to congratulate her on how good she has been doing as the new General Manager of Smackdown. She continues her new role by taking a page (pun intended) out of a former General Manager and Hall of Famer Teddy Long‘s book. She announces the main event to be Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles to face off against Rusev and Aiden English.

After Paige makes the main event, we find out, just by an announcement, that her teammates in Absolution will be coming to Smackdown. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are currently in South Africa with the RAW brand, so they were unable to show up to their new home. They both took to social media to show their approval.

Naomi was featured in the confrontation between the Usos and the Bludgeon Brothers. After a match-up between Harper and Jey Uso, the Bludgeon Brothers took their mallets and were preying on the Usos with them. Naomi came running and screaming down the ramp towards Jimmy. She pleaded with Harper and Rowan to not do this to her husband. They backed off and headed up the ramp instead. Harper took to Twitter after the match:

All night a ‘Mellabration was in sight as the new Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella was about to head to the ring for the first time after her cash in. She gets a, “you deserve it” chant from the crowd, to which she executes a heel reaction. She exclaims now one believed in her before she won the title, so now everyone wants to get on the Carmella train. Carmella continues to boast about her victory. “I am not just the princess of Staten Island anymore. From now on, all of you people, you can call me, the moonwalking, trashing talking, crown princess of Staten Island.” After this, she throws some choices words out to Charlotte Flair. She quotes Flair’s famous saying, “In order to be the woman, you got to beat the woman. Well, learn to love it, baby, because I am the woman.”

Carmella continues to gloat some more of how long she held her Money In The Bank briefcase to which she named Frankie. Although she will miss the time she had with Frankie, she now has Cleopatra (the Smackdown Women’s Title belt), that she will hold onto even longer. Flair’s music hits and she heads down to the ring. She mentions the fact that Carmella capitalized on an opportunity that was given to her by Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Carmella doesn’t feel that anyone had helped her, as when the ‘Mellabration first started she exclaimed that she won this title all on her own. Flair gives her some advice, “It is much harder to stay on top, than get to the top,” and that Carmella has something of “hers”. As Flair goes to enter the ring, the IIconics music hits and Kay and Royce head out to the ramp.

The IIconics continue to make fun of Flair. They explain that Flair is acting like a baby who had her “water bottle” stolen from her and needs a “nap and a diaper change.” They declare that Flair is “looking at the future, and the future is iconic”. Flair has enough and charges at the duo. As the number game becomes too much for Flair, Becky Lynch‘s music hits. Unfortunately for the viewers like me, from the comfort of my own home, did not get to see the full brawl as a commercial break ruins it (*sigh*).

After this annoying commercial break, the brawl is over and there is a one on one match happening between Flair and Kay. The match itself was decent, but nothing earth-shattering. Royce got involved slightly, only to have Lynch at ringside to even the numbers and help her bestie. Carmella was sitting at the announcer table, and just relaxes as a princess does naturally. The match ended in Flair putting Kay in the Figure Eight and that was that. Kay tapped out. The numbers game became an issue again. Carmella, Kay and Royce beat down Lynch and Flair. Now, I know what you were thinking, wheres Naomi? I then realized she was by her husband’s side. Who will come out to help straight fire and the Queen?

Asuka‘s music hits. Asuka is the newest member of the Smackdown women’s roster. Asuka evens out the playing field and the three good gals stand tall in the ring to finish out the segment.?

So we have Absolution and now Asuka officially on Smackdown. Who will be the one from NXT? Zelina Vega, the manager of former NXT Champion, Andrade “Cien” Almas, is coming with her client to the blue brand. She took to twitter afterwards to ensure everyone that she has a plan.?

Absolution and Asuka from Raw, check! Zelina Vega from NXT, check! So who was snubbed? Many fans are not happy that SAnitY were promoted to Smackdown, but the graphic did not show Nikki Cross. Does this mean the crazy Cross, who many people feel has been the most impressive part of the stable, will not be brought up with her male counterparts? Not Cool!

Cross did post on Twitter about the next Takeover in Chicago this June, so maybe she is going to be left behind?

Thoughts: Well, it was all predictable. The way I look at it is, not many women moved from Smackdown to RAW, so I didn’t expect many women from RAW to go to Smackdown. Out of the three that did, there was no surprise. Asuka has been more on Smackdown lately as it is due to her WrestleMania match with Flair. Absolution could do wonders on Smackdown, now that their mentor is the head woman in charge! So these moves were no brainers.?

Naomi’s little stint with Jimmy was interesting. I am not opposed to her being with the Usos as some sort of valet or manager, but she needs to stay active in the ring. She is too talented to just be involved in a valet type role.

I am loving everything about Billie and Peyton. Everything until they let Billie lose in her “debut” match. At least they let Billie compete though, as she has seemed to be used less lately in matches. Flair losing wouldn’t make much sense either as she just defeated Asuka’s streak. Really, either way, they went with this could have been controversial.? I am positive that Billie and Peyton are going to do great things on the main roster, especially if the rumors are true about a tag team division/championship.

As for Zelina, I am excited for her main roster jump. I hope they allow her to have matches though. Any hardcore fan who knows about her, knows that she can throw down in the ring. I am not fully against a manager/valet role, as she has done a WONDERFUL (in my Woken voice) job making Almas more relevant, but I have a real problem in feeing though that sets women back. It’s 2018 with women having multiple matches at decent lengths on each show. Please do not take a step back and pigeonhold one of them as JUST a manager/valet.

Lastly, Ms. Cross. I will be really disapointed if they hold her back. I am not really sure why they would. I mean, unless they will give her the NXT title next, there is no point. She is what made SAnitY the most interesting. It is rare to have women with men in the same stables. They missed a huge opportunity with that in the Wyatt family with Sister

On a final note: I honestly want the 4 Horswomen together again.

What did you think of the superstar shake up? Do you think more women should have been traded? How about different women? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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