There was no shortage of excitement in this week’s episode of Smackdown. The Women’s division and the midcard gave us the most to chew on as far as story development and it leaves a lot to look forward to, including the Elimination Chamber in a few weeks. Let’s discuss…
In WWE there is a philosophy; if you can create a moment, the logic behind it doesn’t matter. Look at Shane McMahon and Undertaker from Wrestlemania last year. In the main event for the Women’s title they went for the moment. It was a hell of a moment too. I mean most of us expected Mickie James to be La Luchadora but it still was a moment. The reveal was epic, the camera work was good and Micky’s face expression reminded me of her days feuding with Trish Status. It’s a welcome sight to have a vet like her added to the roster. So yea, moment.
Unfortunately they botched the main event. Last week, I said I hoped they wouldn’t book this the way they always book cage matches and they did. Both competitors where constantly trying to escape; only the heel should be doing that. Also why would the refs be so adamant on keeping the door closed but they didn’t even flinch when La Luchadora stepped in the doorway? It made the match feel pointless.
It was almost a good match too. The cage side kick and avalanche exploder suplex spot was amazing (Alexa Bliss, completely no sold after the near fall), but the whole purpose was to keep everybody OUT of the cage. So yea, pointless.
After the show on a fallout interview Becky delivered probably the best promo of her career, and while doing so she expressed my frustrations about the outcome. She talked about how it is the first women’s cage match, for the title no less, it was supposed to be history making. So you have to ask; is that small moment more important than what they have could’ve done? I don’t think so, but I’ll take the good with the bad.
The Real A Lister
The Commissioner opened the show and announce the plans for the Elimination Chamber. The fact that they are already bringing up the chamber makes me feel that Smackdown is sort of above the Royal Rumble and already planning the road to Wrestlemania. It’s exciting because the chamber has been gone for a while so it feels fresh.
The champ let him know who the show is really about when he confronted Shane about having to defend his title in the chamber. Then everybody took their turn making their way down to the ring to say stuff. As I said in my Raw review, I hate when they take tuns coming down to the ring to talk. It’s so orchestrated, but at the very least it led to an interesting interaction between AJ Styles and The Miz. This then turned into a pretty good match.
It didn’t last long, AJ couldn’t help but get John Cena involved, but Cena wasn’t having it. He eventually AA’d everybody. We are still at a point where Cena is fresh enough that he can do this. There wasn’t much story development here, but the dynamic between AJ and literally everybody he interacts with is awesome, so you can’t miss. Also, The Miz looked like he belonged. It’s amazing that The Miz was essentially able to rehabilitate his career with his performances alone. Yes, a lot of credit can go to Maryse, but he has done most of the heavy lifting with his mic work alone. Even before the brand split he was standing out, and I’m impressed.
This was my favorite segment of the night because it felt like an old Smackdown fight from the early Ruthless Aggression era. Fighting out by the fans just gives it a real feel and Natti’s jealousy is so beautifully ugly. When she yelled into the camera that both Bret and Nikki were going to die alone, it hit me that she was doing the best work of her career. Nikki Bella is almost getting eclipsed because whoever is writing for her is thinking lines like “best there is, best there was, best there ever will be, at stabbing people in the back” is going to get her over.
With that said, this feud is definitely going to get the Bella twin plenty of street cred, because images of her tackling Natti through a table is going to be stuck in our heads for quite some time.
I really dislike Jerry the King as a character and a performer. I was thinking that while King prepared to interview Dolph Ziggler without wearing a shirt (don’t act like it wasn’t weird). By the end of this segment, I was wanting more. The angle is crass and in bad taste but it still worked. Ziggler’s delivery makes him sound like he’s unhinged, but it’s subtle enough to make him interesting. I know a lot of people want to give up on The Zig Zag man, but I’m willing to give this carnation of him a try.
I give them a big pat on the back for trying something different, especially King desperately yelling for Ziggler to come back after he got back up. That was sort of a moment. The look in Kings eye’s was enough to sell me on whatever this is, and changed my mind on his ability as a performer. Hopefully this feud won’t last long though, this should be a hit it and quit it angle.
The story with Randy Orton and Luke Harper took a interesting turn. Nothing really significant happened but like the Ziggler segment, the execution was good. Look at Randy’s smile when Bray strikes Harper. Why is he smiling like that? Was this his plan all along? How will it play out in their match next week? Also I almost feel for Harper, I’m also looking forward to this feud bringing out the performer in Harper because he definitely has it in him.
Oh yea, I hated the match between Orton and Ambrose. Orton has always been my favorite growing up, and Dean Ambrose is one of my favorites on the entire roster, so I expected more. It felt like a house show match, it was soft, slow and they were just going through the motions. What the hell guys?
Everything going on with Ziggler and the Wyatt Family was amusing. Both storylines in the women’s division are extremely exciting. Smackdown is at a point were they are shifting the focus in particular feuds from week to week. One week it would be the main event and IC title, the next it would be the Women’s and mid card. It gives everybody opportunity, and it makes the roster look deep overall. Next week, they need to do something with the tag division though.
Shout out to Kurt Angle by the way
My grade: B+ Oh it’s damn true
Huge fan of pro-wrestling for over 25 years. Lived through the Monday night wars (WWE/WCW) and the ECW revolution. Currently a big fan of Lucha Underground, NXT, MLW, PWG, and even Impact Wrestling…