The SmackDown Live on USA Network era is dead; long live Friday Night SmackDown on FOX.
Last night saw WWE set their blue brand off on its bold new voyage with a fun, breezy show typical of SD over the past few years. It was a fitting season finale in that regard. While nothing within these two hours touched last week's highs, almost every match or segment worked, the flaws were borderline nitpicks, and it established a number of new points for the FOX debut and Hell In A Cell to pay off.
The ongoing Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper continued with the babyfaces getting the upper-hand after last week's destruction. Speaking of destruction, Brock Lesnar was nowhere to be found, meaning Kofi Kingston was restricted to a pre-recorded interview segment. Elsewhere, we got Sasha Banks going after Becky Lynch, a couple of effective squash matches, The Kabuki Warriors' return to television, and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ali.
Let's break it down...
(Author's note: after two-and-a-half years in the saddle, this is my last SmackDown Ups & Downs column. Another writer will take over following the move to Friday nights and I'll be covering AEW Dynamite going forward. Thank you for reading, commenting, and following this generally good weekly show with me.)
WhatCulture's big bad wrestling news baron. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.