The Best And Worst Of WWE Smackdown Live 5/23/17: Backlash Backlash

Hey Blue Team,

Overall I really enjoyed this week’s Smackdown Live. Breezango continues to entertain, the novelty of having Nakamura on the blue brand hasn’t worn off for me yet, and best of all, no Randy Orton. If you liked Backlash than boy was Smackdown the show for you. Every match on the show was some kind of Backlash rematch.

Is anybody else starting to get worried about Rusev? Two weeks ago he skyped into the show to let Shane McMahon know that he would be on the next episode but he hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Where is he? Is he okay? I hope he didn’t get caught up in anything bad. I know he has close ties with the Russians.

This was the first week of the USA network using picture in picture to show us at home what’s happening in the matches during the commercial breaks. They have done this in the past but according to reports this is the first of it now being a weekly thing. I do not care for it. I find it distracting and just too much. It feels like I’m being bombarded with content. It’s kind of nauseating. Not only is it a little hard to watch but it also kind of messes with the timing of the matches.

The women’s tag match felt a little too long to me because of sticking with it during the commercial breaks. I may have to keep fast forwarding through the commercial even if they keep the matches going.

Worst: The Bottom Rung Of The Ladder

This week’s Smackdown Live opens up with Shane McMahon introducing the participants in this year’s Money In The Bank ladder match. They manage to kill six minutes by having each of them come out one by one as their music played. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura. That’s one hell of a ladder match. They do a fun bit where Shane calls out that Kevin Owens is not supposed to be out there. He isn’t in the MITB ladder match. He just walked out to ringside with everyone else like he should be there. Owens makes a case that he should be added to the match because he was victorious at Backlash when some of the guys Shane has put in the match lost. Shane caved and added Owens to the match. The rest of the segment is everyone taking turns talking to various degrees of success.

As twenty minute talking segments go this was not the worst. It moved along at a nice pace and with the exception of AJ referring to Kevin Owens as Eric Cartman, none of the dialogue was too cringe-worthy. But still, we have seen this type of segment so many times that I’m left with the feeling that they could have tried something different here.