SmackDown In A Nutshell: Let The Drafting Fun Begin!

let drafting fun begin

We are wrapping up yet another wrestling week with yet another SmackDown In A Nutshell…but not just any SmackDown In A Nutshell. Nope, this one is the start of the latest Superstar Draft, so let the drafting fun begin!

That’s right folks, it is another Superstar Draft. We last did this about a year ago, so it’s time to shake things up once again.

There have been plenty of rumblings about who is headed where, but SmackDown is when we can stop guessing and start knowing.

The draft will, of course, predominantly involve RAW and SmackDown, though there’s talk of NXT getting in on some of the drafting fun. According to a rumor early in the week, there should be at least two NXT Superstars on the move.

But, that’s the drafting fun that we will see play out over the next few nights.

Outside of the drafting fun, we know we’ve got a SmackDown Women’s Championship battle between Bayley and Sasha Banks. That’s a nice match to look forward too, though it seems a bit odd to give it away.

If for some reason that isn’t doing it for you, we know to expect Sheamus and Big E in a battle, so there’s that.

If none of that does it for you, well then I hope you are into the drafting fun.

So without any further delay…

let drafting fun begin

Let the drafting fun begin!

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see what happens next!

Best Match of the night:

We did have a few good matches to choose from, which was nice for a change.

For me, this is the tag team championship match.

My only complaint here is that it wasn’t hyped. I had no idea either Kofi or Xavier was going to be back tonight (if I should have, I apologize).

Was cool to see them back, and victorious once again.

Worst match of the night:

I almost don’t have any complaints, match-wise.

Like, maybe I could complain about Sasha and Bayley, if I didn’t see the booking logic…but I do.

WWE wanted to tease things, but not give away a PPV-caliber title match. So we got a dirty ending to a very brief match…which set up a challenge for Hell In A Cell.

Predictable, but smart.

Star of the Night

I will take the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, for this one.

Spot of the Night:

There were quite a few to consider here…and I really don’t feel compelled to choose one.

Big E and Sheamus gave us a number of spots-to be expected when you brawl throughout an arena and take some bumps on cars.

Hard not to give a nod to Lars Sullivan and his power.

And then we could go with Kevin Owens with the Pop-Up Power Bomb of The Fiend through the table.

See? Plenty of choices.

Jobber of the Night:

Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy and The Miz. You can include John Morrison too, I suppose.

Morrison and Miz because, well, they lost to a makeshift team, on what ended up being their SmackDown swan song for the year.

Upset of the Night:

None really? I mean, you might not like Riddle and Hardy winning their first time as a team, but so what.

Big E was upset that his trio split up, if you prefer we go there?

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

The Freak is back.

As in, Lars Sullivan.

This was someone who I honestly wasn’t sure we’d ever see back in a ring for WWE. He was out injured, and then had a ton of negatives pop up from his past.

It wouldn’t have surprised me if WWE released him, but when they did a mass round of releases and he wasn’t included…

So he’s finally back, and for now, right back where he left off. Coming to the ring and destroying anyone that moves.

Botch of the night:

If one happened, I don’t recall.

LOL Moment of the night:

Otis and his legal-ese. Like, I am not overly loving the angle involving a lawsuit to take away the briefcase, and there are times where I dislike them making him seem to be quite stupid…

But, it can make for some comedy, and outside if that, we did not have much tonight.

Noteworthy Moment:

Outside of the returns (Lars, Kofi and Xavier), the big focus was largely on the draft.

In terms of that, I’d say not much in the way of surprises.

Neither men’s champ is moving. Asuka is staying on RAW.

Bayley wasn’t yet drafted, but with Sasha landing on SmackDown, one wonders if Bayley gets picked to RAW and drops the belt at the PPV.

Other item of note, the Reigns-Uso Cell match is a first ever “I quit” match, within the cell.

Overall lowlights:

I don’t really want to say lowlight…more like a gripe, and I have no other spot for it.

For one thing, I kind of don’t like the draft happening on the two shows. I know it IS contrived, but it’s also done in a way that doesn’t help things.

Last year, with FOX, I know WWE tried to emulate the NFL-type draft rooms.

Here’s a crazier idea: have the draft happen on a Saturday or Sunday PPV type slot. Sure, it’s “only” 3 shows (gotta have NXT in on it too), but allow each brand to “protect” 10 Superstars, or whatever, and then let the rest get drafted.

Maybe it’s crazy, but it could work. Plus then, neither show is going first or feeling superior.

My other gripe is some factions get drafted part and parcel (Hurt Business), while others get split up (New Day). Yes, I know there isn’t really logic to it, but can we try a little bit?

Like, a faction is drafted as one pick. A tag team as one pick.

Or, one Superstar one pick, and if you want all of the New Day on RAW, it’s costing you three picks…or you have a factions round, where the only ones picked are factions that round.

I know, I know…too much thinking and logic.

Overall highlights:

Aside from my above gripes, I actually liked the show.

We had several really enjoyable matches-the street fight, the unexpected tag title match, Fiend-Owens…there was a lot to enjoy.

Some of the draft was predictable, some a little puzzling (like, Dana Brooke was drafted, but some much bigger names weren’t yet, because saving them for RAW?).

All in all, a good show though.

After the final bell:

A strong show. Lars wasn’t quite the surprise return I expected (for FOX, I half expected a Lesnar tease or something), but it was nice.

Even if WWE has convinced us that Retribution belongs to RAW, it would have been smart to have them disrupt the draft too, don’t you think?

I am waiting to see what WWE does with the tag titles, since the Street Profits are still on RAW, but so too are the New Day. My best guess, Profits to the blue brand, since Bianca was already moved over.

Also curious that Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were drafted to RAW, considering the women’s tag titles tended to just move all over. That one was a bit curious, but perhaps they have something in mind there…or in a few weeks we will still see them defended all over.

Looking forward to what goes down Monday.


Introduced to professional wrestling in the 1980’s thanks to Superstars and Saturday Night’s Main Event, John’s passion for the... More about John Deegan

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