Smackdown Live. Photo by WWE.com
The SmackDown Live World Title Picture
Highlights of the Division
Jinder Mahal picked up another important win against the former NXT upstart Tye Dillinger in dominating fashion. The one thing the WWE is doing extremely well at is making sure they are pushing and protecting their top champion, as they should. A lot of champions on both RAW and Smackdown Live would lose in non-title matches at the expense of elevating the challengers chasing them. With the rivalry between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal, this story is all about disrespect and revenge. The WWE Champ’s repeated cliché promos are tiresome but it does hit a key old school theme—respect. We’ll see next week if Mahal will beat some respect into the Viper when he brings the Punjabi Prison Match to Smackdown Live.
John Cena picked up a huge win the main event tag team match on Smackdown Live. It looks like he might be eyeing for the United States Championship after his match with Rusev concludes at Battleground. It’s hard to see Rusev in any way beating John Cena in the flag match at Battleground but stranger things have happened. The franchise of WWE must be involved in either the US or WWE title picture for Summerslam since it’s the Wrestlemania of the summer. A match with AJ Styles for the US title would be fantastic both in a wrestling and promo standpoint, but a feud with Jinder Mahal for the WWE title would have an old-school patriotic feel to it.
Meanwhile, for the Rest of the Division
Shinsuke Nakamura will face Baron Corbin at Battleground which has some stakes to it. The Artist will need to maintain his undefeated singles run at the pay per view, his only loss came at the Money in the Bank ladder match. He has more to lose than Corbin does, if the Lone Wolf beats him than he’ll be relegated as a pretender in the main-event picture for the foreseeable future. If he beats Baron Corbin at Battleground than he might be closer to the WWE Title picture than he ever was.
Let’s see the rankings for the division this week.
WWE World Champion: Jinder Mahal (12 Wins – 10 Losses)
- Top Contender: Randy Orton (10 Wins – 7 Losses)
- Contender No. 2: John Cena (7 Wins – 4 Losses)
- Pretender No. 1: Shinsuke Nakamura (6 Wins – 1 Loss)
What are your thoughts on this week’s Smackdown Rankings?