5 things that should’ve happened on SmackDown Live this week
Ever since WWE created the Fastlane pay-per-view it has been met with mixed reactions, to say the least. From the onset, the WWE Universe perceived Fastlane as a B-grade PPV on the road to WrestleMania. However, WWE has been working tirelessly to change that opinion over the last few years. That change saw Brock Lesnar wrestle on the show, Charlotte Flair’s PPV streak end and Goldberg win a World Title in record time.
However, by judging Smackdown Live’s match card for the show, Fastlane has once again been downgraded into an uninteresting affair.
On this week's Smackdown Live, the blue brand’s creative team dished out another disappointing broadcast that left wrestling aficionados uninspired, uninterested and most of all unexcited. But the main question that needs an answer is: why is the blue brand struggling to stay relevant if they have key elements that can ensure its success?
The answer is simple, WWE is either wasting those key elements in the wrong narrative, underutilising their talents or overlooking their star power which has resulted in tons of lost credibility.
This episode of Smackdown Live was no different as WWE is building towards a PPV that is sure to disappoint fans.
However, if the company made the obvious choice of presenting an episode of Smackdown Live that veered of the generic road like Monday Night Raw did the night earlier, the blue brand wouldn’t have been bogged down with Shane McMahon’s and Daniel Bryan’s authority issues, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s predictable shenanigans and the common trend of presenting overdone matches that set up further overdone matches.
#1 The King of Strong Style gains momentum
When Shinsuke Nakamura hurled Roman Reigns over the top rope at the 2018 Royal Rumble PPV and won the 30-man battle royale, many were expecting WWE to build towards the much-anticipated dream match, and to WWE’s credit, they did just that, initially. As Styles is looking more than certain to walk out of Fastlane as the WWE Champion, Styles vs Nakamura is all set for WrestleMania.
However, it is one thing to start building a World Title match by announcing it and on the other hand it is important to build up the two competitors as credible opponents. By judging WWE’s handling of Nakamura in 2017, the company needs to focus on his journey to The Show Of Shows every week on Smackdown Live.
From poorly booked narratives to highlighting his weaknesses, WWE made every mistake in the book when handling Nakamura’s 2017 main roster run. Therefore, Nakamura is in desperate need of a major character overhaul, and the blue brand’s creative team should be working every week to ensure that “The King of Strong Style” regains parts of his lost mystic.
And by utilising a short video package to sell the credibility of Nakamura on the road to WrestleMania and having him wrestle a dark match after Smackdown Live went off the air, is bad decision making on WWE’s part in hyping up one of the most important stars in the company right now. Therefore, this week on Smackdown Live fans should’ve seen Nakamura being used in a much better way.
Whether it would’ve been opening the show against the likes of Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and even Sami Zayn, or seeing Nakamura even make an appearance to put added pressure on Styles on whether he could make it to Wrestlemania as the WWE Champion would’ve still been a better use of “the king of strong style “this week on Smackdown live. Nakamura needed a moment to leave a lasting impression in a buzz-worthy week in WWE and while WWE’s focus was completely towards the fatal five-way match at Fastlane, they shouldn’t forget that match is merely a subplot in the overall narrative of Styles vs Nakamura.