News SmackDown recap & reactions: The culprit

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The People's Champion
It wasn’t Erick Rowan; it was a picture of Erick Rowan!

So! That culprit reveal was certainly...something. Daniel Bryan promised to find Roman’s true attacker and we got some dude who looks like Rowan. And I find that pretty damn funny.

All throughout this search for the person who attacked Reigns, Bryan’s been masterful in pointing out flaws in the accusations pointed his direction. We can’t take Buddy Murphy’s word for anything since his accusation was extracted through torture. And when Murphy rephrased his accusation by saying he “thinks he saw Rowan,” Bryan tried to poke holes in the man’s integrity.

And then we get this for the big reveal. It’s funny, because it shows just how damn guilty Bryan and Rowan are. This was the best they could do?

Meanwhile, if you were ever looking for the ingredients to establish a new wrestler on a wrestling show, may I direct your attention to Buddy Murphy?

Firstly, he’s talented as hell. He proved it in his match last week against Roman Reigns, and he proved it again here in a match against Daniel Bryan.

Secondly, we have a genuine reason to cheer for him. Have you seen the crap he’s dealing with? It’s not a sob story or someone preaching about how they’ve been an underdog their whole life – lookin’ at you, Chad Gable. Instead, it’s someone who’s getting hell from anyone and everyone, all for standing in the wrong hallway at the wrong time.

I wish we could have gotten a bigger, more fun reveal, but I did wryly enjoy it. But now, it’s time for Roman Reigns to make his move. It was Rowan, Big Dog. Now what?

Starving Artists

Sami Zayn has needed something to sink his teeth into ever since his return from injury and initial heel turn. He promos were fantastic for a while, but all he did was lose and fall off the show.

Now...pairing with Shinsuke Nakamura to get air time to get his words in? Perfect.

MizTV was our second superstar-hosted talk show of the night, and his guest was the struggling Sami Zayn who apparently reached an epiphany during his loss to Cedric Alexander. His greatest moments are always altruistic, he claimed; that’s his key to rising once again. He can help others, and he’s found his first canvas in the Artist himself – Shinsuke Nakamura.

It’s a fantastic partnership, in my opinion. Nakamura and Zayn are both phenomenal with their physical expressions. Nakamura’s haughty smirk when he refused Miz’s question was spectacular, as was Zayn’s happy nod to Nakamura to hit a final Kinshasa.

I feel like this paring will allow both Nakamura and Zayn to consistently stay on television and to be involved in feuds that WWE didn’t seem interested in giving them on their own. And if that’s the case, the partnership is already a success.

The Rest

King of the Ring, Round 1: Elias def. Kevin Owens
– As soon as Owens approached Shane McMahon, I knew where this was going.

Owens asked the boss to please reconsider the $100,000 fine from last week. And after humbling himself and doing right by Shane, Shane betrayed him and screwed Owens over.

I’m shocked. Shocked!

(Not that shocked.)

King of the Ring, Round 1: Andrade def. Apollo Crews – This all came down to Zelina Vega coming in clutch with the assist. Crews came to play in a big way and was able to stay competitive until Vega held onto Andrade so Crews couldn’t drag him to the center of the ring to put El Idolo down for the count.

Crews looks really great coming out of this match. I hope he gets more opportunities to shine moving forward.

Bayley and Charlotte are now feuding – The feud you’d expect after Ember Moon was disposed of is happening. We had a Moment of Bliss segment where Charlotte basically argued that Bayley is stupid and unmarketable. Bayley shoved her off the chair in response.

Kofi Kingston tries to return the favor – After Randy Orton’s electric segment on Raw, this came off a bit hollow to me. Orton was bragging about hurting Xavier Woods when Kingston hit him with a Trouble in Paradise and set up to snap Orton’s ankle with a chair. The Revival rushed in to stop him, but Kofi had more than enough time to get the job done if he wanted to. Instead, he ran the trio off and stood tall...which is fine, I guess.

The Revival def. Heavy Machinery – Not too much to this one. The Revival were taped up after Kofi hit them with some chair shots earlier in the night and used a schoolboy pin to steal the win.

Chad Gable is short – This ain’t getting my man cheered like I’d hoped; the crowd laughed at the “you must be this tall” sign that Shelton Benjamin put on the door.

I liked a good portion of this show, but it didn’t feel all that memorable to me. I wish we had more going on in the women’s division. This was also probably the weakest week of this Reigns/Murphy/Bryan story so far. Still a solid show, but nothing that you had to watch.

Grade: C+

Your turn.

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