The 4/18/2017 SmackDown Rebound features my thoughts on the biggest moment of Jinder Mahal’s career along with Charlotte becoming a lone wolf.
The broadcast opened with a graphic in honour of Matthew “Rosey” Anoa’i. Fans will remember him as part of 3 Minute Warning with Jamal/Umaga and as The Hurricane’s Super. Hero. In. Training. Matt passed away at the age of 47 on Monday.
Charlotte is Furious
Charlotte Flair came out to start the show and called out Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for not awarding her a SmackDown Women’s Championship match yet. She emphasized the fact that she has waited 7 DAYS! 7 days without being given a title shot! I loved this way of introducing Charlotte to the SmackDown audience with her over the top heel personality. Naomi would come out to offer that title match before attacking Charlotte. This brought Shane out who said that championships have to be earned and that those two would fight for Charlotte to do just that. That would happen later on.
Jinder Mahal, Future WWE Champion?
The opening match on SmackDown was a 6-Pack Challenge to be the Number One Contender to the WWE Championship. The Superstars in this match included: Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler. If you don’t think that SmackDown is the land of opportunity, that lineup may change your mind. All of those guys are either underdogs or underrated. You don’t see an AJ Styles in this match, this is all about creating new stars and WWE has done that so well in recent years.
Jinder Mahal would go on to win this match and after dealing with all the tough times like when he was with 3MB and when he teamed with Rusev. It’s truly a fresh start for one of the most overlooked guys in the locker room. He’s in the best shape of his life and has been very good in the ring since making his return. Many people forget that he faced Seth Rollins to be crowned the first NXT Champion. He lost that match, but the company thought enough of him that he was runner-up to be the face of the brand. He would win with help from The Singh Brothers holding Zayn’s feet back.
I’m actually interested in his feud with Randy Orton after Orton deals with Wyatt. I think it’ll be a good chance to see how good Jinder Mahal can be and I think he’ll surprise some people.
Bray Wyatt wants Randy Orton to feel the pain that he’s endured at the hands of Orton. It’s just the latest in a string of videos ahead of their House of Horrors Match at Payback. I really hope this match delivers way better than their Mania match did because that was a colossal disappointment from my point of view. I’m cautiously optimistic about this one.
Charlotte Gets The Cold Shoulder
It’s not easy being The Queen. That’s something Charlotte found out in short order as Tamina, Natalya, and Carmella (with Ellsworth) made their disgust known by bumping her in the hallway after each of them made their problems with her known to Shane McMahon.
She would have a highly entertaining match with Naomi which showed off the athleticism of both women quite well, as expected. I really love how meticulous Charlotte is in the ring. She does so many little things throughout a match well. It can be something as little as the way she taunts her opponent verbally to exposing her knee on a knee drop. There aren’t many better heels and I’ve really enjoyed watching her evolve into the star that she’s become. I especially loved the way she reversed the Rear View into Natural Selection, it was a great sequence! Charlotte is the new Number One Contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship!
Charlotte would then meet the rest of the heels in the hallway before wooing as she walked away. There’s no Becky Lynch here which makes me wonder if Becky may end up aligning with Charlotte somehow. As good of a heel as Charlotte is, a face run for her would be amazing and I could easily see her becoming the most popular female in WWE. She already has quite a following as a heel. I think that day is coming and I really like this outcast storyline for her. Charlotte gets her title shot next week.
The Shining Stars Are Victorious
Primo and Epico got a victory over American Alpha on SmackDown. They were listed as Primo and Epico Colon on the graphic so we may be abandoning that Shining Stars gimmick altogether. It wasn’t going anywhere and the only way these guys are going to be taken seriously is to go back to their roots which looks to be exactly what they’re doing. I’ll be interested to see if they can keep their momentum going. These guys aren’t slouches, they’re two of the most well-traveled wrestlers in the locker room. They deserve a return to prominence after being saddled with the Los Matadores gimmick and then The Shining Stars gimmick.
Owens Stirs Things Up
Kevin Owens introduced himself as the champion of the United States of America from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He then beat up Gary Gandy in about 30 seconds. Owens then got back on the mic telling the American citizens to put their hot dogs down and that he’d remain the face of America. He remained out there on commentary for the match between Baron Corbin and AJ Styles
Styles Finds a Way to Win
Baron Corbin and AJ Styles renewed hostilities on SmackDown in a very competitive main event match. I like how Corbin is getting a lot of time in the spotlight on SmackDown. I really feel like he’s being groomed for big things in the second half of the years. I could see Styles winning the US Championship and then resume the feud with Corbin. I think Corbin could learn a lot the more he’s in the ring with AJ. Styles ended up winning the match after knocking Corbin into the crowd and getting the count-out win. It was a good way to end the show and it continues AJ’s momentum.
The Final Word
SmackDown continues to have that feel that anything can happen. I was disappointed that people like Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura were largely absent from the show. Lana doing another striptease is still weird to me. How does that translate to her wrestling? Whatever. Anyways, it was a decent show and I think it’ll really start to hit its stride once Payback is over.