Tuesday night’s WWE Smackdown Live commenced from the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville.
The show featured a six-pack challenge featuring Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Jinder Mahal, Erick Rowan and MoJo Rawley to determine the number one contender and face WWE champion Randy Orton at Backlash on May 21.
Also on the show, Charlotte defeated women’s champion Naomi and they will battle on next week’s show for the championship. And the main event of the show featured AJ Styles defeating Baron Corbin by countout.
It was an exciting show but were the four questions heading into the show answered? Let’s take a look:
1) Who walks out the number one contender for the WWE championship for the WWE championship? This writer thought it was plain as day that Harper would walk out of Louisville and head to Backlash in Chicago as the next challenger for the biggest prize on Smackdown Live.
Instead, WWE threw everyone a curveball and went with the unlikely Mahal. The fans in the arena and on social media were outraged. They didn’t see it coming and it was pretty smart by WWE.
It introduced new characters in the Bollywood Boyz and it created a new top star all in one match. Many have speculated on why Mahal is getting a push but who cares. Let’s see how Mahal does and then we can armchair quarterback. Mahal cut a good promo after the match and on Talking Smack so he’s off to a good start. You never know what you have in a talent unless you give them an opportunity.
2) Does Nakamura finally have a match? After the six-pack challenge, WWE teased that Nakamura was coming up next. But, fans were let down as a video was shown highlighting what Nakamura has done in his 13 months in the company.
Another point of contention was the announce team calling the Japanese star, “The Artist Formerly Known As”. It is ripping off Prince and kills some of the aura surrounding Nakamura whose been known throughout his career as “The King of Strong Style”. Typical of WWE to have to always want to trademark something even though a talent has gotten over with another nickname. Would make sense since that is the nickname Nakamura’s had and even had when he first entered the company. Only in WWE.
3) Will anyone step up to challenge Kevin Owens? “The Face of America” held a “Face of America Challenge”. Who would it be?
His challenger at Payback for his United States championship, Chris Jericho? The number one contender for the strap, AJ Styles?
Not even close as it was local talent Gary Gandy. The match didn’t last long as Owens squashed Gandy in seconds and went on to commentate the main event between Styles and Corbin.
4) Does talent that has matches that are on Raw appear on the show heading into Payback? On last week’s show, Wyatt appeared in a segment with Orton. This week we saw the same exact thing.
Orton was in the ring with Mahal when Wyatt once again was on the Titantron to promote their match coming up at Payback. Next week should see Wyatt and Jericho appear in the arena to help promote their matches on the Raw exclusive pay-per-view.