UPDATE: Due to injury, Balor is relinquishing his title which screwed up a lot of my plans. I’ve left the original idea on but it threw me off and so I’ll finish up the Smackdown portions tomorrow.
Summerslam was a very off paced show. The order of the matches was off, even with the necessity to re-charge the crowd. Styles vs Cena was an amazing match and signaled the peak of crowd engagement. They never recovered and only rose up for Finn Balor’s entrance and to boo the presentation of the new title belt.
The finishes of the several of the lower card matches as also heavily heel-centric which didn’t help keep the crowd motivated through a 6 hour show. Great value for your dollar, but the show was clearly too long and even then managed to somehow feel rushed at times. Thankfully, I missed the first half as I was performing at an improv show. I started watching at the woman’s tag match. I later caught the Styles vs Cena match on Youtube. Anyways, on to the fallout and preparation of future storylines!
Predictably, Balor came out ahead. Unfortunately, news seems bleak for his title reign. Hopefully, he can recover quickly and return to the ring in time for Clash of the Champions (a silly premise for a PPV but I digress). The booing of the championship belt has to be addressed if only to acknowledge the crowd’s opinion and not have it hover over Balor and all future competitors’ heads. Balor should have an impassioned speech explaining what the title represents symbolically. However, the tone mustn’t be condescending otherwise the fans might turn against them. There shouldn’t be any interruptions or even worse, talking down to the crowd from authority figures. Crowds tend to react negatively when being told how to act. As the perception out there is of a lackluster show, it’s important not to incite fans further.
Now, Rollins of course will want a title re-match. This will play out in a backstage segment with him demanding a re-match for the title. Foley will state Balor was right to say Rollins was given an opportunity for the title without qualifying for it. This time, it will be different. There will be a fatal fourway to determine the #1 contender. I’m tempted to give the winner of the Sheamus vs Cesaro best of 7 the title shot but neither have been built up to be legitimate challengers yet.
This leads to various wrestlers coming to petition for the shot. Lesnar will be suspended for his actions during Summerslam and be ineligible to participate. Owens will present his case that he never got his re-match for the NXT title and deserves a shot at Balor’s new title. Jericho will talk about how he was the first Undisputed Champion. Slater will show up and claim he beat Orton before Lesnar and he deserves a shot. Cesaro and Sheamus will also make their pitches at the same time but told they have their 2nd match tonight. Reigns will ask for his re-match opportunity but Foley will explain he remains the contender for the US title.
At the top of the first hour, Foley will come out and make the announcements of the challengers. The main event will feature Zayn, Rollins, Owens, and … Neville as the surprise entrant. This hopefully creates some friction between KO and Jericho which will lead to the break up of their make-shift team. It also allows Neville to be rub elbows with people higher than him on the card to help establish his credibility.
A lot of the build up on the show will be through backstage segments: Rollins complaining to Steph about needing to qualify, Zayn and Neville saying last night was a one night only thing and tonight they are opponents, KO asking Jericho to “watch his back” during the main event, etc.
Neville will be taking the pinfall loss here, but I think it’s time to raise someone to the main event scene. Jericho will try to interfere in the match to help KO, but will be foiled by Enzo and Cass to set up the rematch to their feud. In the confusion, KO will manage to pin Neville due to the distraction caused by Jericho-Enzo and Cass.
Following Summerslam, the only legitimate contender is AJ Styles. Had Orton put in a good showing or Bray interfered as I’d hoped, we could have had a larger field to choose from. Smackdown will be built towards Cena addressing the “WWE universe” on the meaning behind leaving his “Never give up” armband in the ring following his loss to Styles.
Just as Cena begins to talk, Styles music will come on. Smugly, he explains he wants to be in the ring to hear this. Cena will admit Styles was the better wrestler, but his attitude sucks. The two will argue over who is the best on Smackdown Live which obviously draws Ambrose’s attention as the champion. Ambrose will say Styles never had to go through what Ambrose has in the WWE. Sure he beat Cena, but Cena wasn’t the champion. He is. Styles will smirk then cheap shot Ambrose and begin wailing on him until refs break the two apart. Cena will then run Styles off but instead of being grateful for the save, Ambrose will hit Cena with Dirty Deeds to end the show.
Tag Team Championship
Enzo and Cass’ loss precludes them from challenging for the titles. The DQ finish during Summerslam naturally leads for the feud between the Club and New Day to continue. Raw marks the 1 year anniversary of the New Day capturing the titles which leads to a celebration and all the silliness the champions will muster to congratulate themselves.
The Club will come out sans lab coats, a joke which was fine for 1 show but that’s it. No verbal exchange, no cutesy jokes. Just a brawl between all 5 men. Foley will come out and admit the Club deserve a rematch. Tonight! This will spoil the celebration as the duo will prevail due to underhanded tactics leading the odd man of the New Day to jump up to the ring apron to call the ref’s attention. This distracts the ref further for even more blatant cheating and the pin to dethrone the New Day.
With news Sasha is taking time off to nurse some injuries, Charlotte is left without a challenger. This is the perfect time to introduce Bayley to Raw. Charlotte will come out, declare herself the alpha female of the Women’s division now that Sasha has “gone home to cry”. Bayley will be defending the honour of her friend and demand a non-title match. Instead, she’ll have to face and defeat Brooke to start the program between the two.
The Miz will host a talk show segment with Ziggler. He’ll condescendingly ask Ziggler “What’s next for you after losing your one shot at the title.” Clearly irate, Ziggler will ask what was next for the Miz after he lost his single world heavy weight championship? The two will continue to argue before Miz is on the receiving end of a super kick.
I already covered Slater’s appearance on Raw. On Smackdown, he’ll make the case he deserves a title shot after beating Orton; milking his DQ win for what it’s worth. Shane will explain he isn’t even on the roster before Daniel interrupts and agrees. Before Shane can ask him why, Daniel will say “Trust me on this.”
Slater will come out and instead of Ambrose’s music. It will be The Miz. Maryse will be on commentary complaining it is unfair her husband has to have a match after getting a super kick earlier. Allow Slater to get some offense in, but eventually Miz does get the win due to a thumb to the eye and a skull crushing finale. As he prepares to lay the boots to Slater to further add injury to the free agent, Ziggler runs down and chases him away.
Smackdown Women’s Division
With the addition of Nikki Bella to the division, Smackdown now has 7 women although that is counting Eva Marie who is on suspension. In the GM office, all 6 active women will be showing solidarity by demanding a title. Daniel and Shane will inform them they have an answer as the camera pans to a bingo tumbler. They’ll announce a single elimination tournament to decide the next Smackdown Live Women’s champion. One of the women will speak up, say Carmella, about the fact they are only 6 of them.
Shane will add that they are actually 7 once Eva Marie returns from vacation. But that is why there is the bingo tumbler. They will be drawing the brackets with the first one to get a bye. Obviously, the winner of this “bye” will be Eva Marie to get her even more heat. The matches will take place once or twice a show. This allows for Eva Marie to get back in time from her suspension for her 2nd round “match.” It also helps pad the cards for a few weeks as Backlash is on September 11th and could feature the semi-finals and the final match having a proper 1 build going to the next PPV.
With Nikki Bella’s return, let’s have her get a match against Carmella or Naomi and take the pinfall loss.
Smackdown Tag team division
The tag division needs to move away from the clusterfuck booking and go to more traditional matches. However, American Alpha are clearly marked to become the champs. However, let’s stretch this out some and make their competition a round robin. Each team thus faces one another and earn points (2 for a win clean win, 1 for a DQ/countout victory, 0 for a loss).
This allows one or more teams to establish “dominance”. You could book the eventual outcome as a tie to set up a final match. Another option is for the winner of the tournament having lost to another team during the tournament. This naturally sets up the first #1 contender. You could play up these rankings in such a way to establish a sort of pecking order and clear underdog/favourites. With DQs/count-outs giving fewer points, this can also play into the story. Maybe Alpha goes into the final match of the tournament with 7 points and their opponents have 8. Alpha has to win clean in order to be crowned champion. The other team could end up trying to lose by count out or DQ or interference come in wanting to screw the faces. Heck, this doesn’t even have to happen to the top team but earlier in the tournament to set up under card feuds. Perhaps midway through the tournament, a team needs to win cleanly to keep their chances alive. A screwy outside interference takes place eliminating them from possible contention.
And here is where I suggest something controversial. Make it the “Smackdown Tag Team Cup” instead of a belt. It makes the whole thing unique and distinct.