The first SmackDown after WrestleMania was an interesting show with debuts, names changes, and new feuds being established. From a disappointing appearance from Ronda Rousey to the crowd being ecstatic at the appearance of Shinsuke Nakamura, it was an eventful night. The big question we are asking at Lace ‘Em Up is, did it live up to the ‘Season Premier’ we were promised?
The Good: The In-Ring Work Was Great This Week
Every match on the show was great, even when the quality of the segments are not great you can always count on SmackDown to put on great bouts. Butch and Xavier Woods but on a fantastic showing with both furthering the storyline between The New Day and Sheamus’s new crew. Gunter made his SmackDown debut in a squash match but it did what it needed to do, allowing for this main roster audience to see how powerful this man from Austria truly is.
Lacey Evans had a video package talking about her real-life story, a story anyone who has watched Breaking Ground on the WWE network will already know. They are preparing her for her return and as much as I enjoyed the Sassy Southen Belle gimmick there is something more real and likable about how she is being presented now. If you ever had the chance to see her work in NXT then you will know this is the Lacey Evans we love. This is how she should have always been presented.
The Bad: Rousey & Flair Fail To Deliver Any Fire
This is the best Ronda Rousey has looked since her return, visually she has it all, unfortunately, that is where the good points stop. Ronda’s promo skills haven’t improved and the crowd made their displeasure clear. The whole segment felt awkward but an ‘I Quit’ match sounds like the kind of stipulation this feud needs. It really could do with something to make it exciting, Charlotte Flair appeared on the tron and tried to save this segment but it wasn’t great.
What else happened this evening? Well, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss went their separate ways, which sucks as they were a good team. Also, Moss seemed very over with this crowd. McIntyre and Sami Zayn was alright and set up a match for next week, but kinda felt very thrown together. Despite the show having great matches throughout the night the time spent in the ring over a 2-hour show was disappointing, around 15minuites over the course of 4 matches.
The Mass Amount Of Name Changes
along with Pete Dunn’s name being changed to Butch there were more name changes as new stars made their way to SmakDown Live this week. Imperium made their debut tonight on the main roster, with WALTER, I mean Gunther making his way to the ring. he was introduced by Ludwig Kaiser who used to be known as Marcel Barthel, they were all in red, which is very strange to see and their new music isn’t as imposing as the classical stylings of Symphony No.9 in E Minor by Ludwig van Beethoven. Also yes, the crowd was chanting ‘WALTER’. The big question is, where the hell is Fabian Aichner?
Requel Gonzalez has a new last name, now known as Requel Rodrigez she cuts a great promo, and the team of Angle Garza and Humberto Carrillo make an appearance. The three of them actually look great together and if we team these three together, with Requel in a Chyna-like role we could be on to a winner.