I have not got used to watching SmackDown since I started to review Raw. It's just … a lot of struggle, you know? So, ten minutes after the start of SmackDown, two things hit me.
First, a competent general manager of babyface is like a manna from heaven. Oh my God Paige, I've needed you for so long. Secondly? I have never heard anyone at Raw hear Becky Lynch's reaction for quite a long time.
Lynch recounted how annoying it was to watch someone enter his shadow – and I love this sentence, by the way – to fight Ronda Rousey in his place at Survivor Series. And that of course brought the woman in question: Charlotte Flair.
Everyone, I'm so happy about the return of Charlotte, genetically superior. I'm a big fan of this mentality since NXT, and it's a perfect jewel for Lynch, the man. The two men exchanged vicious pikes for a moment while Paige beamed with pride.
And let's go back to Paige for a second; she was the pivot of this whole story, the catalyst for a whole division. Paige offered a title match to Charlotte at TLC because her passion and willingness to match Becky are obvious. This time though? Match TLC. Let's go crazy.
The rest of the locker room worried that Paige was letting Charlotte sneak past. They expressed their grievances and got this: Paige actually listened to the talent and gave them a chance to prove him wrong! I know! I can not believe it either!
Paige booked a royal battle in the main event where the winner would join the TLC match. And for a moment, I was convinced that it was maybe Mandy Rose. She has spoken a lot and has clearly been a central part of the opening segment.
But no, how can you let Asuka pass when she gets the reaction she's had tonight? This is the best of SmackDown and I am already convinced that this match should be the main TLC event.
To be honest, there is a huge gap between these three names and the rest of the division. WWE should probably work on it. But with the Royal Rumble in just two months, I can not be too critical.
Straight Edge Joe
My oh my how the story repeats itself.
Jeff Hardy received an impressive tribute on this show, celebrating 20 years of death-defying and general madness. Or as probably call them Hardy boys on a Tuesday.
And it was great! The production team vibrates with this kind of videos and the crowd is well engaged. I watched with a warm and fuzzy heart while Jeff under-sold his adventure completely in the wrestling industry.
…But then? Joe
Samoa Joe crashed and I swear he is the most vicious wrestler in the WWE with a microphone in his hand. Instead of celebrating Jeff's ability to overcome his past problems and finding happiness and success, Joe made fun of man for his vices and made fun of Hardy for his failures.
"People like you never change, Joe? Really!
And of course, he talks about Jeff's story with alcohol and drugs. We have also heard each of the arguments that Joe has already made of a certain Savior Straight Edged. This version of CM Punk and this version of Samoa Joe are however completely different. while Punk was delusional and maybe even frightened by what Hardy was defending, Joe is just a bad guy who makes fun of anyone for being "weak".
My oh my if it's not effective though. I hope the matches here delivered as well as this segment did.
Usos def. The bar – The Big Show shot again and here is my shocked face. The match was fun, but it was just your opening match affair.
Daniel Bryan does not want it – I really searched AJ Styles promo tonight. He said he understood that Bryan was doing something naughty to win. He can relate to that. But trampling his face repeatedly after the match? It disturbed Styles and Bryan's explanation did not help at all.
I love how Styles took pictures of Brock Lesnar, by the way. Bryan jumped on his homework, "picking pointers" from Raw and whoever takes hits on Raw these days is a good guy in my book. But it irritates AJ because he wanted to not miss dates, always to be at shows. It disgusts him to lose to a man who acts like Bryan's.
I love how simple it all was. I also love how much AJ Styles displays disgust. He's really good at that.
The child in love with Miz and Shane McMahon – The Miz is killing him. After fighting with New Day – and lost – he immediately asked Shane to ask why he was not helped. I could not help but laugh when Miz awarded the World's Best Trophy to Shane, disconcerted.
Nakamura ambushes Rusev – Ok, that's not it. If Paige is supposed to be an awesome GM, that sort of thing has to be smothered in the bud. And frankly? Nakamura and Rusev are too good for these things. I do not think that stuff really engages the crowd.
The … killer colleague? – I do not know how I feel about Randy Orton at the moment. Is he going through a mid-life crisis? Trying to recover his glory days Legend Killer? It's odd, certainly, for Orton, but I do not think there's enough content to spark the reaction they're hoping for.
It was a breath of fresh air after crossing Raw yesterday. There are clearly problems, but we can work with that, people.
Same time next week?