Earlier this week, I wrote a article with the three things to look out for on RAW. This was the post- SummerSlam show, which was the first official RAW completely headed by Triple H. Things went well for that show and a lot of things I wanted to see happened, especially with the U.S. Title. Now, it’s time for us to look at three things to look out for with the first official SmackDown fully ran by Triple H. We know a little more information going into the show, but let’s take a look.
The Intercontinental Championship:
We took a look at the U.S. Title on Monday, so it’s only right to look at the Intercontinental Title here. Another mid-card title that’s been suffering throughout the past few years, maybe even more so than the U.S. Title. Sadly, the intercontinental title hasn’t been defended on Pay-Per-View in so long that I’ve lost track of when the last time it was. Before current champion, Gunther, won the belt, the title was rarely seen. People thought maybe Vince would have the title on Pay-Per-View after giving Gunther the strap, but still, it wasn’t even on SummerSlam. But, we do know that Shinsuke Nakamura will battle Kaiser tonight on SmackDown for a chance to earn a I.C. Title opportunity. If he does, there’s a very fair chance that Shinsuke could battle Gunther for the title at WWE’s Clash at The Castle, after all, Gunther is from overseas and I’m sure that crowd would love to see him. The Intercontinental Title holds such a special place in the history of WWE and the hearts of the fans after the title was held by the likes of Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold and even Triple H himself. Plus, many, many more dating back decades. There’s a SmackDown roster full of potential challengers such as Shinsuke Nakamura or even Angel Garza, Drew Gulak, Humberto, Jinder Mahal, Ricochet, Sami Zayn, Sheamus, New Day and others. This title deserves all the love and appreciation in the world and hopefully the King of Kings gives that title some respect.
SmackDown Women’s Division:
Man, looking at the SmackDown Women’s Division on paper isn’t easy. It’s rough. The roster is slim, we’ve seen nearly every matchup there is to make and it’s gotten stale, fast. But, it was announced that seven women will compete in a gauntlet match to determine Liv Morgan’s next title challenger. The participants are Raquel, Natalya, Xia Li, Aliyah, Shotzi, Sonya Deville and Shayna Baszler. So far, this is a solid step in the right direction, despite seeing most of these women compete against each other often. The roster still has Liv, the champion, of course, as well as Lacey Evans who is noticeably absent here, plus Ronda Rousey who was suspended and Charlotte who is out of action. The roster is slim. But, it doesn’t have to be. We saw Bayley return with IYO SKY and Dakota Kai on RAW, so how about some new additions to the SmackDown roster? We could potentially see that tonight. The first that come to mind is Toxic Attraction, though Mandy Rose is still the current NXT Women’s Champion. Aside that, maybe we could see a call-up from Sarray, who recently lost to Mandy, so she’s effectively out of the NXT title scene for now. Or, someone like Jinny from NXT UK who’s recent moved to the states. We saw the return of Dakota, so maybe we could see another return in the likes of Candice LeRae or Tegan Nox. Seemingly, nothing is off the table at this point. But, one thing is for sure, this women’s division on SmackDown needs beefed up badly, so here’s to hoping that happens. I’ll be looking out for it.
Roman Reigns is the current WWE Undisputed Universal Champion and for the past few months we’ve seen much of the same from him. Wether it’s the same title challengers, or just not being on the show at all, Roman has had a lackluster reign recently. Don’t get me wrong, Roman is a great champion and his title defense at SummerSlam was amazing. But, he just needs some new flavor. We know Roman will face Drew Mclntyre at Clash At The Castle, but if Roman wins, who’s next? That’s what needs to be worked on. Right now, there’s no other top stars who are viable enough to face Roman Reigns. But, Triple H has until after Clash At The Castle to boost some people up into that main title spot. Obviously, I don’t think this will happen just tonight but over the course of the next few weeks, we need to see new top contenders. People like a Sami Zayn or Butch, who please for gods sake turn him back to Pete Dunne, or maybe Kofi Kingston can get another crack at it. Hey, Xavier Woods is also viable, he has a win over Roman. It’s by DQ, but a win is a win. There’s also Cody Rhodes who’s inevitable to be in that title scene when he returns and Seth Rollins has made it known that he has his eyes on the Tribal chief. But, what if Triple H called someone up from NXT to battle Roman. Imagine this, Bloodline vs. Legado Del Fantasma. Three on Three, all titles on the line. That sounds super fun. There’s a lot of potential challengers for Roman, but The Game just has to make it happen. We’ll see if he can in the next few weeks.
There’s a lot we expected out of RAW on Monday and for the most part, we got a solid show. Most importantly, Monday showed that there’s a future and something worth tuning in for next week and that’s what matters most right now. Lets hope Triple H and WWE can do the same with SmackDown, because the blue brand has suffered enough. We’re T-minus two hours away from the show as this is written and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that WWE keeps the ball rolling and has a solid Friday Night show. Let us know what you’d like to see out of SmackDown!
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