6 biggest winners and losers from last night's SmackDown - August 14
For the first time in a long while, Raw surpassed SmackDown this week, as the blue brand's go-home show to SummerSlam fell flat. Most major angles didn't kick into a higher gear, and the show was full of anti-climaxes. It was a poor excuse for a go-home show that advertised once again the creative doldrums WWE's main roster is going through in 2018.
There were clear warning signs a month ago during the build to Extreme Rules, but it now definitively looks as if the string of strong episodes SmackDown has boasted since the Shakeup have ended in the build to SummerSlam.
In this environment, did anyone manage to get people more hyped for their matches at SummerSlam?
#1 Losers: The women
Carmella once again proved that she's a disastrous champion last night, as yet another overlong opening promo fell flat, failing to promote the SummerSlam triple threat as anything fans should go out of their way to see. She feels like an unnecessary and detrimental third wheel, with the real focus being on her opponents, yet even their story wasn't accelerated in an exciting way last night.
The slow-burn rivalry between Charlotte and Becky in the tag team match that followed the promo was continuously teased, with Becky refusing to tag her partner into the match at a critical juncture.
Nevertheless, it felt like this bridge had already been crossed, and the angle wasn't elevated. Instead, the entire segment felt like a half hour of filler to open the show. This isn't the way to advertise a match.
The women's division is a mess, and it's imperative that Carmella loses the championship on Sunday, while Charlotte and Becky turn on each other. However, as we've seen with the long confusing saga of Sasha and Bayley, somehow that doesn't seem likely.