Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down; Superstar Shakeup


Last week, Shane McMahon announced Paige as the new General Manager of Smack Down Live. Little did he know how shrewd & cunning this person was as an executive. In Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday night, Paige was at the helm when Smack Down Live acquired a HAUL of WWE talent….serious talent. The trade off in talent pales in comparison to the quality received by Paige & Shane.

Assuming these were actual trades, here’s how it would probably look on paper. (These are  in sequence of Smack Down Live’s old roster members to its new roster members):

Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler for Samoa Joe

Natalya & Mojo Rawley for Asuka

Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal for Jeff Hardy

Kevin Owens for The Miz

Baron Corbin for Big Cass

Breezango & Zack Ryder for The Bar

Riott Squad for Absolution

The Ascension & Chad Gable for Anderson & Gallows

Mike Kanellis for R-Truth


Not only did Paige win pretty much every transaction there, Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon, & the Raw brand got taken to the woodshed, metaphorically speaking. When you add in the NXT debuts for Andrade “Cien” Almas, Zelina Vega, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, & Sanity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) this roster is LOADED with talent.  Oh and that one guy, Daniel Bryan. He’s pretty good. Then we STILL have Styles, Nakamura, Orton, New Day, Usos, Charlotte, Becky, Naomi, Tye Dillinger, Rusev & Aiden English! Put all that with Jeff Hardy as the U.S. champion, the dominant Bludgeon Brothers as tag team champs, A.J. as the WWE champion, & now Carmella as the Women’s champion to get an incredible amount of fan interest. Speaking of interest, the most well executed “heel turn” in recent memory has been with Shinsuke Nakamura. Aiden English told A.J. Styles at the beginning of this week’s show that Shinsuke was currently on an “anywhere but Providence vacay” but today was actually “Rusev Day”:

Paige took a break from fleecing Kurt Angle of talent to make the night’s main event tonight: Aiden English & Rusev versus Daniel Bryan & A.J. Styles.  Here’s how that panned out:

While many fans seem to be struggling with the idea of a Big Cass/Daniel Bryan feud, remember that both men are returning from serious long-term injuries. This relationship between these two will be able to initiate matches for many house shows, that both Bryan & Cass can use to become reacclimated. As for Shinsuke, what a fresh coat of paint this heel turn has been for him. Everything from his sarcastic “No speak English” responses to his incredible facial expressions have really seemed so natural to him in this role. There are so many positive possibilities for him in this character & I do believe that he will attain that WWE championship very soon.

Finally, welcome to Master’s level Promo Class led by Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Peyton Royce, & Billie Kay. Carmella threw herself a ” ‘Mellabration ” to celebrate her first week as Smack Down Live Women’s champion & chronicle her path along the road to gold :

This segment was cut up by WWE’s YouTube page but if you haven’t watched the segment in full, I highly recommend the full version. Quick summation: Carmella says “Baby, ‘Mella is money!”  Charlotte says Carmella only had the briefcase because of “that chinless freak” & only was able to cash it in because of Peyton & Billie. Billie says that’s a “pathetic” excuse. Peyton says Charlotte is a “big baby” that is “cranky poo” & needs “a nap & a diaper change.”  Each one of these superstars are dynamite promos & Smack Down Live is ridiculously lucky to have all 4 at their disposal. Have fun Paige!

If you couldn’t tell by my glowing reviews of this week’s episode, I am very high on the acquisitions, call-ups, returns, new GM, & remaining talent on Smack Down Live. Now, let’s see what next week holds. Until then, thanks for reading!

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