WWE SmackDown on Fox Results: The Rock Overshadows Current Stars, More Hot Takes

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2019

WWE SmackDown on Fox Results: The Rock Overshadows Current Stars, More Hot Takes

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    Becky Lynch and The Rock on SmackDown.
    Becky Lynch and The Rock on SmackDown.Credit: WWE.com

    WWE has been making the most of premiere week with the season premiere of Raw and the first two-hour episode of NXT on USA, but Friday was the most important night with the debut of SmackDown on Fox.

    The network and WWE have been hyping this partnership for months ahead of Friday's show with numerous appearances by Superstars on various Fox Sports programs.

    Management even held off on booking the majority of the Hell in a Cell card until after SmackDown because it didn't want any of the show's results to be obvious ahead of time. 

    In addition to a WWE title bout and a Ladder match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon, WWE made sure to get some big guest stars for Friday's debut.

    Let's look at some of the biggest takeaways from Friday's show. 

WWE Needs a New Rock

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    The first SmackDown on Fox opened with Becky Lynch, Baron Corbin and The Rock having an interaction in the ring. It was obvious after the first minute that WWE has never seen another personality like The Rock since he left for Hollywood.

    The Great One has long been considered the most charismatic person to step foot inside a WWE ring, and it's clear the company has struggled to find anyone who can match up to him on the mic.

    A lot of people have come and gone over the years who could control a crowd. John Cena, Edge, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are just a few of the people who have held the WWE Universe in the palm of their hand, but nobody does it like The Rock.

    If this segment proved one thing, it's that WWE has never been able to create another star quite like him. Unless WWE wants a retired wrestler to keep outshining its current crop of talent, it needs to start trying to find another Great One.

Fox Wants WWE to Be Big Again

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    While WWE has seen unprecedented financial success in recent years, it has yet to reach the level of cultural relevance it had during the Attitude Era.

    Fox has done a great job promoting SmackDown through Superstar appearances, commercials and plugs during other shows, but Friday's SmackDown proved the company is dedicated to making this partnership successful.

    The pre-show helped demonstrate how much Fox is putting into this venture with numerous reporters from Fox Sports showing up to interview WWE Superstars.

    The presentation felt like a relaunch of the blue brand, and WWE made sure to give fans plenty of memorable moments throughout the show.

    If this is how SmackDown is going to be treated moving forward, it will surpass Raw as the A-show in no time. 

WWE Tried to Fit Too Much into 2 Hours

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    Friday's show featured some memorable moments, but it was also the perfect example of WWE trying to cram too much on to the show for new viewers.

    We saw an eight-man tag match with only a few people ever getting tagged into the ring, and the main event between Kofi Kingston and Brock Lesnar lasted less than 10 seconds.

    It makes sense for WWE to want as many people to get exposure as possible, but this was not the right way to go about it.

    The Lumberjack match with Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan was a good way to get a lot of faces on television without sacrificing time.

Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar Need to Headline WrestleMania 36

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    As painful as it is to admit, WWE does not have anyone like The Rock to draw new viewers in right now, but it has the next best thing with Cain Velasquez.

    The former UFC champion showed up at the end of SmackDown with Rey Mysterio and proceeded to send Lesnar retreating up the ramp after a few punches.

    Velasquez is the man who defeated The Beast at UFC 121 for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, so they have unfinished business they can settle in a WWE ring.

    This kind of rematch, even if it happens in a fictional environment instead of inside the Octagon, will bring a lot of eyes to the product.

    At this point, WWE has no choice but to have these two fight at WrestleMania 36. No other event between now and 'Mania deserves this kind of attraction, and WWE knows how valuable it will be.

    If the idea is to use this match to get non-WWE fans to check out the current product, WWE has found the perfect combination. 

A Lot of Draft Moves Are Obvious

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    The WWE draft kicks off next week on SmackDown, but WWE has already spoiled some of the moves by including some Superstars in the opening video packages for the show they are not currently with.

    SmackDown's opening video prominently featured Seth Rollins, who is still the universal champion and the top Superstar on Raw.

    Doing this not only makes it clear he will move in the draft, but it also spoils the ending of his Hell in a Cell match against Bray Wyatt. The Universal Championship will stay on Raw, so that means The Fiend is likely leaving with the belt on Sunday.

    Sasha Banks is another Raw star who is part of SmackDown's new intro. The Boss already has blue hair, so we should have seen this coming from a mile away.

    We all know WWE is scripted and spoilers often leak ahead of time, but having a company make this kind of mistake right before a pay-per-view is shortsighted at best. 


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