WWE Smackdown Preview: 26 July, 2016
In the wake of Dean Ambrose’s incredible WWE Title victory in a furious Triple Threat Match at WWE Battleground, SmackDown Live prepares to take the WWE Universe by storm!
How will Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan raise the stakes?
Following their tremendous success in the WWE Brand Extension Draft on SmackDown Live’s premiere last Tuesday, Commissioner Shane McMahon and his General Manager Daniel Bryan will now hit the ground running with the help of an explosive locker room.
And it’s already getting interesting. In the spirit of friendly competition between WWE’s two premium brands, SmackDown Live struck first by beating Raw in the ratings last week! There is no doubt that Shane and Bryan intend to keep it that way. But how will they maintain their success? Big blue’s new live element will create a new level of spontaneous energy to the show each and every week. GM Bryan has also maintained he will put Superstars first. But what other factors might contribute to SmackDown Live staying on the top of the New Era?
When it comes to the WWE Title, the champ is here!
Certainly having the WWE Champion won’t hurt! Yes, Sunday at WWE Battleground, WWE Champion Dean Ambrose triumphed over ex-Shield cohorts Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in an awe-inspiring Triple Threat Match to keep WWE’s most prestigious prize on Tuesday nights! But now that everybody knows where it is, the real question becomes: Who is coming after it?
Could it be SmackDown Live’s resident 15-time World Champion John Cena? Or maybe it’ll be the Superstar who has made it his mission to neutralize the Cenation for months (and who likes a good title now and again), AJ Styles? Wouldn’t Randy Orton love to be WWE Champion heading into his SummerSlam showdown against Brock Lesnar? Or with Bryan known to fight for the underdog, what about the powerful Apollo Crews? Whoever decides to step into the limelight, look for a possible huge WWE Title match to be in the works for “The Biggest Event of the Summer” in the wake of Raw’s creation of the WWE Universal Title Monday.
But what about the rest of the SmackDown’s title picture? Certainly those with a thirst for gold can seek the Intercontinental Championship. The Miz is still in possession of the title,in spite of a less than definitive double-disqualification at WWE Battleground. With Darren Young on Raw, it will be interesting to see who takes his place as the No. 1 contender. Moreover, seeing as how Raw is in the midst of creating a WWE Universal Championship to offset the void created in the absence of the WWE Title, couldn’t SmackDown Live conceivably create addition titles as well — for the good of say their many talented tag teams and elite Women’s division? With Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, anything is possible.
What unstable elements threaten to tear SmackDown Live apart … in a good way?
Another thing that may set SmackDown Live apart from the competition is the potentially catastrophic nature of those currently residing in its locker room. In addition to the unstable aforementioned WWE Champion, what about the likes of The Viper Randy Orton? Or the vicious Baron Corbin? Demon Kane? Are you kidding me?
Such a volatile group of Superstars might not even make it from the car to the front door without inciting a brawl. Have you ever heard of Bray Wyatt — now separated from Wyatt Family disciple Braun Strowman — to recruit peacefully? The point is, at the very least, the WWE Universe can look for the all-out bedlam week in and week out.
Pure Bliss: NXT prepares to heat up Tuesday night
Perhaps the most exciting element of the WWE Brand Extension Draft was the announcement that six NXT competitors would be among those selected.
Now, with American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Mojo Rawley and Carmella all coming to SmackDown Live, the WWE Universe is clamoring to find out what’s in store for these up-and-coming Superstars. The possibilities are endless. Though the WWE Tag Team Titles currently reside on Raw, greatness can be measured in many ways, and the likes of The Usos or The Vaudevillians are perfect for a dynamic combination of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable to prove their mettle on the main roster. Speaking of tag teams, has the WWE Draft effectively brought the “Hype Bros” back together? Hmm? Mojo did help Zack Ryder at WWE Battleground. And now that they are on the same show again, it’s definitely in the realm of possibility.
But the story of NXT potentially does not end with the men’s division. Case in point, consider Alexa Bliss! Last week, in an emotional WWE.com Exclusive, the vibrant athlete expressed just how much being drafted meant to her. It will be interesting to see how well her passion will transfer against her SmackDown Live opposition. And don’t you dare forget Carmella or you may regret it. The Staten Island Princess looks to cement herself in the upper echelon of SmackDown Live in a hurry and probably won’t mind taking out that likes of Becky Lynch and Natalya to do it.
The wild card
But not everything great comes from difference. SmackDown Live is also loaded with former World, Intercontinental and United States Champions, including Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder and Kalisto, each one as skilled as they are dangerous and each one with SmackDown success in recent years. For them, it may be a new night, but in reality, it’s just another opportunity to reaffirm that SmackDown Live is their house.