I know it’s common within the “smarter” wrestling fan that nobody really watches Smackdown these days. Ironically it is one of the highest shows on cable behind Monday Night Raw. Many claim that nothing happens on the Thursday night program compared to its highly touted counterpart. And for a while they were right but recently WWE has Been bringing more claim to the blue brand as it ramps up to the January move to the USA Network. Do you need proof? I thought I would do something a little bit different this week and write about Smackdown specifically and give my predictions on the card September 20 in Houston Texas at Night of Champions.

The MVPs of the show for the last few weeks is without a doubt The New Day. Some may say that that’s no surprise since the trio has gotten time on Raw but they get much for time when Smackdown to showcase their comedic ability without the WWE and US title pictures to worry about. Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston were all over the show this week as their crusade to #SaveTheTables from those damn Dudley Boyz. The Power of Positivity was on commentary, in backstage skits and in the main event. I think WWE is really starting to realize what they have in those three and are using them in interesting ways.

The main focus For the WWE Tag Team Champions is their feud with the Dudleys and the battle with The Primetime Players. Tensions definitely seem to be mounting between all three teams. I will be interested to see how they do a three-way heading into the pay-per-view. Given the history of Bubba and D-von I would not be surprised if we get a triple threat table match at the Toyota Center. Ironic since the city played host to TLC 2 in 2001 at Wrestlemania X-Seven. It is really evident that the Dudleys have given the division the spark that it really needed.

Speaking of spark, I’m intrigued with the latest developments regarding Stardust and Neville. The Prince of Dark Matter has enlisted the services of the Ascension in his battle against The Man That Gravity Forgot. I am actually interested to see where this goes. I like that Stardust is kind of creating his own Legion of Doom (not the Hall of Fame tag team with Hawk and Animal but the partnership of villains from the old Super Friends cartoon). I think given their look the Ascension makes perfect sense for the storyline and give them a purpose and a chance to reintroduce them to the WWE audience. Who will be added to this feud? Who knows? But it is going to look to be a lot of fun. And will we see somebody new come to the aid of Neville? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Someone who doesn’t want to wait in the Divas number one contender Charlotte. The genetically superior diva has positioned The Authority to have her title shot against Nikki Bella before Night of Champions . The thought being that she wants to stop Nikki from achieving the longest reigning Divas champion record I would imagine that this is going to happen this Monday. I’m guessing that given all the stories out there that Nikki wants to beat AJ’s record I see Charlotte winning the title. And if that is the case then what will the match be at the pay-per-view? Will Nikki automatically get her rematch? Will Paige and Becky ask for a title shot against the new champion causing the breakup of Team PCB?

I honestly think this is the next progression to really open up the Divas division. The team dynamic was good for the introduction of the new NXT talents but now it kind of hampers what they can do with in ring matchups.

Speaking of titles, given a backstage promo on this week’s episode of Smackdown it looks like Kevin Owens will be challenging Ryback for the Intercontinental title. I think this is a great way to proceed with both the Evolution of Ryback and the further adventures of Kevin Owens and creates new fresh match ups that we may have not anticipated. It will be interesting to see how the brawling style of Owens matches with the power style of The Big Guy. I think this will be a lot of fun.

Another thing that will be great is apparently the feud going between Sheamus and Cesaro. These two had great matches previously. The hard-hitting style really complements one another and it’ll be interesting to see what they deal September 20 if that is indeed where they’re headed. I would almost have WWE put The Money in the Bank Briefcase on the line and switch it to the Swiss Superman giving fans hope that he could be a top star. Plus I don’t see Seth Rollins losing the WWE title anytime soon. And going from one heel to another doesn’t seem like a logical progression.

Can imagine how crazy fans would go if Cesaro were to cash in on Seth Rollins? It would be kind of ironic as well as in his previous incarnation on the independent scene Halliburton briefcase being billed from the Swiss Bank. I know it may be a pipe dream but it definitely seems they are leaning that way.

One of the most surprising things from this week’s show was the more aggressive side of Bo Dallas. Following the audience mocking him for the beating he got from Brock Lesnar, he unleashed R Truth really showing a renewed focus of possibilities for the inspirational one.

My least favorite part of the show was the Miz TV segment. That wasn’t because the performers themselves were terrible but the whole segment felt kind of silly. To be fair WWE try to make things feel a little less silly by bringing up Summer and Dolph from 2014. However, Lana kind of looks like a moron during the whole thing as the footage they showed she was already on the roster. So The Ravishing Russian reacted like she hadn’t seen the interaction before? And if Summer actually cheated on the Bulgarian Brute given his reaction to Lana’s breakup wouldn’t he be angry at his “Hot Summer” unless it is a ploy. You think considering how Lana was to be the brains of the Bulgarian Brute during the partnership, she would be smarter and not fall for something so silly.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.