4 Ups & 3 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Feb 20)

Taking the slow lane to Fastlane.

AJ Styles Baron Corbin
WWE.com

The difference between Raw and SmackDown is day and night at the moment.

Neither are perfect, but while the red brand gambled (and largely succeeded) with an experimental format built around a near two-hour gauntlet match this week, SD stuck to the same trite formulae as always. Such is the problem with lead writer Road Dogg's ailing Tuesday night show.

That isn't to say last night's episode was bad (far from it, in fact), but there was little meat on SmackDown's bones. AJ Styles and his revolving door of WWE Championship contenders continued in their holding pattern, dominating the runtime, though they did deliver a set of enjoyable singles matches. Elsewhere, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin wrestled The New Day, The Riott Squad clashed with SmackDown's female babyfaces, and Jinder Mahal got all hot and bothered over a top 10 list.

While Raw went all-in on expansive in-ring action, nonsense like this was SmackDown's idea of innovation. The show badly needs a shake-up, as although it still delivers a few fun moments every week, none of it feels essential anymore.

Let's dive into it...

Contributor
Contributor

A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. Big on football, MMA, professional wrestling, and hip-hop. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up.

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