It was a somewhat odd episode of SmackDown, especially considering that it was supposed to be the final one before Money in the Bank 2022. Unlike most premium live events, the Friday Night Show was merely one day before one of the most important events of the year.
We'll get right into the ups and downs of SmackDown this week. There wasn't too much to take from because a single segment and match occupied half an hour. Either way, let's get right into it:
#3. Best: Unique new characters for MMM clients
We understand some WWE fans are skeptical about MMM and what they have done to Mace and Mansoor. But let us counter by asking a single question - What have either of the two done from a character standpoint before this?
There was nothing that distinguished them from other stars. Mace hadn't been used for a long time, and neither was Mansoor. The duo wasn't progressing, and MMM was one way of getting them on TV.
It might be a harsh reality for the "smart" fans to accept, but even a top talent like Pete Dunne wouldn't have gotten over as much if he weren't Butch on the main roster. This, for us, was one of the positives of SmackDown.
#2. Worst: A waste of 30 minutes with the opening Battle Royal
Why waste half an hour on a battle royal that has no consequences? The opening segment of SmackDown saw the now-overdone moment of the qualified MITB stars being up on the ladder.
This was, of course, except for Omos, who stood down. It should provide an interesting perspective on how WWE plans to use him in the ladder match. Ezekiel, Happy Corbin, The Miz, and Madcap Moss came out to claim the final spot.
We got a "Good-Old-Fashioned Battle Royal" that served no purpose. If Corbin won and qualified, it would have been understandable. But it made no difference as he still had to go through a fatal four-way main event.
This was a big mistake made, but Madcap Moss deserved to be in the match.
#2. Best: A solid six-woman tag team match on SmackDown
The build-up to the women's MITB ladder match was simple yet effective. The babyface trio of Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Liv Morgan took on Shotzi, Raquel Rodriguez, and Lacey Evans. Overall, there are only two heels in the women's ladder match.
Morgan won by pinning Shotzi, an obvious but well-received result. We hope that the women can steal the show with its star-studded line-up with a lot of familiar faces and one fresh one (Rodriguez).
#1. Worst: The lack of build to the women's title feud
A championship feud is supposed to be important. Overall, the build-up to the SmackDown Women's Title feud has been average at best - peaking at social media and not delivering much on television.
Either way, it hasn't been great, and the outcome is somewhat predictable. So what could WWE have done better? For one, it would have been better to have them face off in the ring than two forgettable backstage promos.
#1. Best: The Viking Raiders' return
The Viking Raiders have been handled well since their return to SmackDown. They've hardly spoken a word and used their actions to do their talking.
Erik and Ivar are far more credible as heels, and their destruction of The New Day should ideally set them up for a SummerSlam clash against The Usos.
As of this writing, they're likely the most credible team that WWE has to dethrone The Usos. Perhaps it would add to the shock effect if they decimated the Undisputed Tag Team Champions in a one-sided match. It's a feud that we can see on SmackDown post-MITB.
Vince Russo named the one thing that will make everyone stop watching WWE here.