The best and worst of SmackDown


Roman Reigns made his presence felt in the high-stakes main event.

The latest SmackDown episode is in the books and as always it’s time for another installment of Sportskeeda’s best and worst. The blue brand men and women brought their A-game tonight as the show contained some big moments.

WWE is busy setting the stage for Hell in a Cell, with certain ongoing storylines taking a few twists. While there were several positive takeaways, SmackDown also had some downsides.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t work on the May 20 episode of SmackDown:

#3. The Best: The Tag Team Championships Main Event

This week’s SmackDown had a premium live event feel with the unification match as the headliner. The Usos made history by unifying the RAW and SmackDown Tag Titles by defeating RK-Bro.

While the game was satisfying, the booking made it even better as it made sense from multiple perspectives. For starters, the Usos needed to win to bolster Bloodline’s unbeatable aura. The Samoan faction looked phenomenal as they celebrated with six belts following the SmackDown Main Event.

WWE made the right decisions while remaining focused on the immediate future of The Bloodline and RK-Bro. In addition to the Usos’ victory, WWE also deftly planted the seeds for the rise of a promising challenger to Roman Reigns.

The tribal chief interfered in the match and pushed Riddle off the top rope in front of Jeys Frog Splash, who won the match. The angle seemed to set up Riddle vs. Reigns for Money in the Bank, which sounds like a potential show stealer.

Consider: Paul Heyman on the possible next opponents of Roman Reigns, The Usos, The Bloodline Domination & more

#2. Worst: Butch vs. Xavier Woods

While we enjoy performing Xavier Woods and Butch, it gets tiring to watch the exact match for weeks.

New Day’s feud with Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch has been going on for ages. To make matters worse, WWE also has no plans to pull the plug from the Angle as this was Woods and Butch’s third singles match on SmackDown since the first week of April.

It seems that WWE writers are running out of plot ideas while fans are running out of patience. It’s not beneficial for the talents involved as they don’t get positive reactions. The company is working on a six-man tag team match and we hope it marks the end of this unnecessarily long story.

#2. Best: The beginning of Gunther vs. Ricochet

As seen on SmackDown, Gunther rolled past Drew Gulak and unleashed a post-match attack after his win. Ricochet confronted the former NXT UK Champion, effectively starting their feud.

WWE rarely gets it right with one of their sophomore titles. To the credit of promotion, the officials are heading in the ideal direction with the Intercontinental Championship. From a stylistic point of view, Gunther vs. Ricochet is a dream match.

Ricochet needs strong opponents for fans to talk about his reign. A storyline starring Gunther is fresh and could potentially spawn some classic battles between the superstars. The One and Only’s unmatched aerial skills pair perfectly with Gunther’s powerful offense, and we can’t wait to see them pull their magic at a high-profile WWE event.

The whole angle could get even more interesting if Gunther wins the championship. You can learn why the decision could be “best for business”. exactly here.

#1. Best/Bad: LA Knight debuts on SmackDown as Max Dupri

It’s getting tough to keep track of Shaun Ricker’s in-ring names!

IMPACT wrestling fans knew him as Eli Drake. NXT viewers loved him as the LA Knight. His new avatar, Max Dupri, has now been introduced to the main WWE audience.

Almost every NXT talent undergoes a name change prior to being called, and that’s a big reason why LA Knight/Max Dupri’s debut feels a bit odd too. On SmackDown, he was introduced as the CEO of “Maximum Male Models,” meaning he’ll most likely be an executive.

However, the man behind the gimmick is a gifted performer both in and out of the ring. The 39-year-old surprisingly got by with a weird name like LA Knight in NXT. We’re pretty confident that Max Dupri is still a more acceptable alternative and he won’t have any trouble making the best of what he’s given.

The former IMPACT World Wrestling Champion has been a long time coming to join the WWE main roster, and despite the odd presentation, Max Dupri could become a popular name among SmackDown fans.

Is Roman Reigns vs. The Rock likely to happen? We asked Paul Heyman himself here.

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