On Tuesday night’s Smackdown Live, everyone was talking. Everyone who appeared on-screen, of course. (Sorry, Tye Dillinger and R-Truth.) But yes, on Tuesday’s episode, there were a few matches, two of them being tag-team affairs, but for the most part, this was a show that is dying to get this Sunday’s PPV, Backlash, out of the way. We saw yet another Andrade “Cien” Almas promo from Zelena Vega’s iPhone. We were not reminded of SAnitY’s impending arrival, which will likely take place next Tuesday. We even saw the demise of Paige’s stable, Absolution, which happened during one of the sixty-seven backstage segments Tuesday evening. Everybody had something to say, but nobody had anything to do.
The show began with the return of Miz TV on Smackdown Live, and it was like the A-Lister had never left the blue brand. The Miz, wearing what reminded me of the gear the Power Rangers wore in the 1995 classic MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE, carried -- repeat, CARRIED -- Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton in the opening segment. Jeff Hardy is just happy to be there, and Randy Orton is just there so he doesn’t get fined. Hardy and Orton don’t hate each other, but The Miz won’t have that. In this segment, Miz is mimicking what he tried to do in his feud with Finn Balor and Seth Rollins over the Intercontinental Title -- turn two babyfaces against each other. The story is the same, but the cast is different and The Miz is facing Seth Rollins on Sunday because this company is incapable of planning for the future.
But what stood out on this show, once again, were the IIconics, with a splash of Carmella who very well may be money. ('Mella *is* money, excuse me.) Billie Kay and Peyton Royce debuted on Smackdown Live just a few weeks ago, but this program already feels like it’s their show now. Like Alexa Bliss before her on the blue brand, Royce just has it. Her comedy instincts are perfect, her reactions to, well, anything, really, are top-notch, but she is even better than Bliss in the ring this early in her career. It’s clear Royce is going to be a star and is likely headed down the Alexa Bliss track, which is a really good road to follow if you’re Peyton Royce. Asuka, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Kay are all incredibly talented and the crowd ate up the main-event match, but you can just tell the Peyton Royce Era is on its way, and I am all the way here for it.
Weird way to open the show with Paige. All I could think was, “Paige here.” She’s a lot better of a talker in the ring than backstage, and I don’t really know why.
“You do know I took Maryse to Hollywood, don’t you?” - The Miz.
I wish we were getting Miz vs. Orton vs. Hardy on Sunday because, you know, that’s what this go-home show felt like it was doing.
Why can’t Shelton Benjamin have his old “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me No” theme? I’d even allow a “Gold Standard” theme to return.
Another bad night for WWE officials not knowing how to deal with managers.
Hardy and Orton are both in really good shape. Neither seem incredibly thrilled to be feuding, but I hope they find something compelling for them this summer because they'll deliver in the ring.
RKO Outta Nowhere on Hardy worked.
“We’re better than Asuka!”
Royce’s commentary on Carmella moonwalking back into frame was the moment of the week.
“Sheamus really is the worst.” - Big E.
The Bar and a New Day program should produce a lot of fun matches. I’m in.
Rusev and Lana should never be apart again.
I’m worried Rusev, Lana and Aiden English are going to be Smackdown Live’s Titus Worldwide stable.
Lana’s accent this week was something.
Big Cass can deliver a promo now, folks. I didn’t time it, but it felt like he was given close to ten minutes of solo time on the mic this week.
Shinsuke Nakamura has to win Sunday, right?
Cesaro styled and profiled and I’m OK with it.
Carmella is still screaming.
Let Samoa Joe talk every damn week.