Hopefully this post is a bit more accurate than my Three Things on Raw post. WWE managed to only hit one of my three hopeful happenings on Raw last night. Smackdown Live this week has a real possibility of being a filler episode, but it can be an exciting night if they do these three things.
Keep Pushing the “Old Man Cena” Gimmick
John Cena ever since his move to Smackdown Live has never been more entertaining in the WWE. Yes, that even includes his “Thuganomics” run. “Old Man Cena” has been bitter and self-aware that his time is up, and others time is now. He has felt like a real character with real emotion for the first time in his career. He used to make returns and pander to the crowd like a typical white meat babyface. Instead, Cena returned a couple of weeks ago and arrogantly shouted that he’s tired of all this “new era BS.” Cena and AJ Styles had a raw contract signing. Styles pointed out Cena’s hypocrisy in calling out The Rock for being a part-timer and then immediately retracting those statements when he decided to take a less than full schedule.
We need this to continue tonight. I want Cena to show some real aggression toward Corbin and pound him. Corbin has been an interesting character that has made the most of his time on Talking Smack. He has also pushed the “Old Man Cena” narrative by calling Cena washed up. I expect Styles to either be on commentary during this match or to appear at some point. Cena needs to continue to walk the very thin line that is the “Tweener status.”
Story Progression for Dolph Ziggler
I am very excited for this turn of events for Dolph Ziggler. He was starting to get stale in his underdog role where he loses every single big match. In continuing the overall theme of “gritty, reality,” WWE is pushing this theme with the Ziggler character. Understandably, he is fairly pissed off for constantly losing and constantly getting his ass kicked. When Kalisto pops in to save him, that was the tipping point. He is the show off and he viewed this as being upstaged – no doubt because of his shattered confidence. The storyline continued in the next segment as Ziggler attacked Apollo Crews for questioning him.
Tonight we need Dolph Ziggler to continue this frustration and it needs to be directed at Apollo Crews. Crews has been directionless for far too long. I think a Ziggler/Crews match could really elevate Crews for the future. It needs to be gritty to get Crews fully away from his smiling nonsense. I want a Crews/Ziggler brawl where Crews gets the upper hand and Ziggler bails.
The New Wyatt Family Reclaim the Titles
The biggest complaint directed at the Raw Women’s division is “hot potatoing” the strap. Yes, giving American Alpha a couple week title reign could be seen as doing just that, but I think it could serve this feud well. We all know this feud is racing toward an Orton turn on the Family. I think tonight should be the red herring that tells the audience “all is well” with the Family and they are stronger than ever. The next time they lose the straps to American Alpha needs to be because of a much more disastrous miscue between the Family than the one a few weeks ago. The blow off to this American Alpha/Wyatt family needs to be American Alpha finally putting away the Family for good and keeping their belts and the Family exploding. It puts over the rookie American Alpha team and gets the Family into the next stage of this story.
That is my list of Three Things that Smackdown can do to ensure they beat Raw this week in quality. They don’t have to do much as Raw was a very weak show last night. Tune in tonight on Smackdown to see if WWE goes my direction and tune in tomorrow for a blog post on what show won the war for the week!