AVClub: Previously on SmackDown! Live: SmackDown! Live’s post-brand split debut was kind of a dud. This week on SmackDown! Live: Things still aren’t perfect, but they’re better. Much better.
That’s the blessing and the curse of watching any wrestling era happen in real time. It’s truly great to be able to see the changes as they occur for the show, especially when they’re changes for the better. But it’s also kind of awkward and frustrating to watch said changes, especially when you just want instant gratification. And you’re a wrestling fan, so of course you want instant gratification. Luckily, something fascinating happens with this week’s edition of SmackDown! Live: WWE actually learns from its mistakes and missteps, and they change things accordingly. Not just in terms of SmackDown! Live being different from RAW, but in terms of SmackDown! Live being different from standard WWE as a whole.