The Three Count: A Forgotten Team Could Save SmackDown’s Tag Division

smackdown

Credit: WWE

WWE Friday Night SmackDown continues to deliver quality shows. Compared to WWE RAW, the blue brand is the superior show, and it’s not even close. This week, WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, yet again, stole the show with his outstanding performance. It’s hard to remember the last time a WWE storyline was appointment viewing the way this one is.

Otherwise, Friday’s booking of the women’s division stunned many fans, as Bayley suffered a shocking loss. Plus, the tag team division received a breath of fresh air.

Forgotten No More

It might seem crazy, but The Forgotten Sons could save SmackDown’s tag team division. Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake haven’t been on TV for a few months. They were reportedly pulled from programming following Jaxson Ryker’s controversial comments. But the duo returned SmackDown this week by aligning themselves with King Corbin. Some fans expected this alliance when Corbin hinted he’d be bringing reinforcements to the show.

The Remembered Sons, if you will, helped the kind defeat Murphy and the Mysterio family. As we pointed out last week, Corbin is supposed to be the heel, but he merely leveled the playing field on Friday night. The Mysterios resorted to some villainous tactics to defeat Corbin last week. His new partnership with Cutler and Blake was a natural response to the Mysterios’ actions. Fans may not love the Forgotten Sons, but SmackDown desperately needs some fresh duos for the tag division.

This lack of depth was quite apparent on Friday. The Street Profits got into a confrontation with Robert Roode and Cesaro backstage. But the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions have already faced Roode’s and Cesaro’s respective teams multiple times. The WWE tag division, across both brands, has grown quite stale. So at this point, practically any attempt to shake it up should be welcomed. Hopefully, Cutler and Blake will capitalize on this second chance and become a successful team. WWE could certainly use another legitimate, compelling duo that could challenge for the gold.

roman reigns

Photo Credit: WWE

Roman Reigns Was Unhinged

Perhaps the most noteworthy takeaway from the SmackDown main event scene came at the end of the show. There, Reigns brutally attacked Owens, as you might expect. But then “The Tribal Chief” unleashed his wrath on his cousin, Jey Uso. He left both men lying after a violent assault with a steel chair. Friday’s performance arguably added yet another layer to Reigns’ nuanced character.

Reigns wanted to punish his Uso for his failure to make Owens respect him last week. Well, mission accomplished. The WWE Universal Champion gave both men a lesson they couldn’t ignore: Reigns is not someone you should mess with. Here, he didn’t just look like the man who has dominated SmackDown with an iron fist in recent months. At times, he looked like an unhinged monster heel. If “The Tribal Chief” looked this wild during the height of his success, imagine how vicious he could become once he loses the title. This small touch is just one of the many reasons Reigns’ storyline is the best thing WWE has done in a long time.

bayley

Photo Credit: WWE.com

A Rough Week For The Women’s Division

The SmackDown women’s division had a rough outing on Friday. First, Natalya defeated Bayley. Now, if Bayley’s new rival, Bianca Belair, cost her the match, one could understand this decision. But while Belair was watching the match at ringside, she didn’t distract Bayley at a critical moment. Instead, Bayley tapped out and lost the match cleanly.

Belair and Bayley are firmly on a collision course in a feud that should push “The EST” up the unofficial rankings. But because Bayley has been slumping since she lost the title to Banks, a likely Belair victory won’t be as transformative as it could have been. Earlier this year,  Bayley was a main event player. Now, she’s falling fast, and her momentum is ice cold. Many fans want to see Bayley get booked as a stronger heel heading into a clash with Belair. Instead, Bayley’s losing streak limits the impact this feud could have on Belair’s ascension.

Then, Banks and Carmella continued their rivalry in a side-by-side interview. This writer has never enjoyed WWE’s reliance on this format. They always come across as awkward and unnatural. Banks, more than anyone, can make these segments believable. But you can’t blame anyone if they cringed during this interview. As for the content itself, Banks was confident (if not cocky) as always. Meanwhile, Carmella maintained that Banks is jealous of her natural gifts in the ring. At least WWE is finally adding an actual narrative to the feud. We’ll have to wait and see how it continues to progress. But this week’s segment didn’t exactly leave fans anxiously awaiting the next heated development in this story.

As always, there’s so much more to get into. We haven’t even touched on Reigns’ brutal beatdown of Otis or the six-man tag team match that was held in honor of Pat Patterson. Check out the SmackDown Double Down podcast to hear our thoughts on the show. Make sure to tune in next week after SmackDown for the newest episode of the show. It’s available on the WrestleZone Facebook page.

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