WWE SmackDown 5 Takeaways: Shinsuke Nakamura is Looking Strong

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In the latest episode of WWE SmackDown Live, the fans were treated to Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship celebration and learned the names of the six superstars who will be competing for the briefcase at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

The first episode of SmackDown Live following Backlash left me feeling more satisfied than the pay-per-view did, perhaps because Jinder Mahal’s championship win seemed to settle in more during his celebration. Or maybe it was because the tag team main event was actually quite good. Of course, I could just be ecstatic that Becky Lynch picked up a victory via submission, as opposed to taking the loss for her team.

Whatever the case, it was a strong episode of SmackDown Live that was as entertaining as the episodes prior to the “Superstar Shakeup” that made the “blue brand” the A-show in the WWE.

Here are five takeaways from the latest edition.

Must Read: Highlights and Grades for SmackDown Live

5. Could Kevin Owens Actually Win Money in the Bank?

I found it incredibly interesting that Shane McMahon had planned on leaving Kevin Owens out of the Money in the Bank ladder match, despite the fact that Owens defeated AJ Styles at Backlash and remains the United States Champion. As Owens mentioned on the show, his credentials in kayfabe are at least as strong as the other five men’s, making sure to note that Styles, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler all lost at Backlash. Then, Shane O’Mac simply said something to the effect of, “You’re right, Kevin. You’ll be the sixth guy now.”

Every time Owens appears on Talking Smack, he goes out of his way to antagonize both Shane McMahon and host Renee Young. He did this from the first time he stepped into an interview with them, and it seemed like his confrontations escalated at Backlash. Tension between Owens and Shane O’Mac has been teased from the beginning, and it might even lead to a match between the two of them, just as Shane and Styles fought it out at WrestleMania 33.

Even though it’s hard to see Owens capturing the briefcase alongside his United States Championship, I still wonder if he could actually win Money in the Bank. It would give us a reason to look back on this segment, and it would be an interesting storyline. Owens could try to cash-in during especially controversial circumstances, and things could develop from there.

Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn, and Baron Corbin, who has now lost back-to-back times to Zayn under shocking circumstances, look like the three favorites to win. However, you could write an argument for any of the six members, even for Owens and Ziggler.