Welcome to this week's edition of best and worst of SmackDown. Unfortunately, it was the weakest episode in a month or so for several reasons why. However, there were still some positives as well.
So what were the ups and downs of SmackDown before the 2023 Royal Rumble? Keep reading to find out:
#3. Best: Bray Wyatt's interesting character change tease
Bray Wyatt appeared on SmackDown this week inside the Firefly Fun House, which is one week after he appeared as The Eater of Worlds, sitting in a rocking chair. The cast of the Firefly Fun House returned as well, and he seemingly teased reverting to The Fiend.
His character work is interesting, and we can see that it has polarizing reactions. We understand both points of view, but there is something bigger in play here, which is why it's best for us.
#2. Worst: The Sonya-Charlotte story on SmackDown
Sonya Deville and Charlotte Flair's feud for the SmackDown Women's title might be the worst championship feud we've seen in a long time. It has been so bad that the title challenger has no case or argument to get a title shot.
Sonya Deville got the heel heat with the low-hanging fruit - insulting Detroit. She even attacked The Queen from behind after the champion offered her a title shot right then and there. This was a big mistake, and the feud as a whole is a mistake.
#2. Best: A solid opener to the tag team title tournament
Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, aka The Banger Bros., took on The Viking Raiders. The Raiders have been handled well since the arrival of Valhalla, although they lost this week.
It was an excellent match nonetheless, and it will be interesting to see how the tournament plays out. The Banger Bros. will face Hit Row next week, while Imperium will face Legado Del Fantasma.
#1. Worst: Too many tag team matches?
One of the major issues with the blue brand this week was that four tag team matches were just too much. It occupied most of SmackDown, and it disrupted the overall flow of the show.
The matches themselves weren't bad, but it felt like it was too much. Thankfully, next week will feature only two matches to crown The Usos' next challengers.
#1. Best: A great ending to SmackDown and the Bloodline story
The Bloodline story was by far the highlight of this week's episode. Fans shouldn't be surprised that Roman Reigns was being cold towards Sami Zayn. We've seen it with Jey Uso before - where he takes away and gives love whenever he wants just so he can get what he wants.
However, this felt different. Paul Heyman convinced Reigns to make up with Sami Zayn, and they seemed to be fine before the contract signing. Kevin Owens would launch a sneak attack on The Tribal Chief and The Bloodline, even sending the Universal Champion through the table.
Sami Zayn arrived after it all happened, which makes us question what his intentions are, and why he came so late. Either way, something big is going to happen in the coming weeks.