Alright guys, the Raw Talk went over pretty well, so it’s time to talk about tonight’s Smackdown Live, which just ended about 18 minutes ago. Usually I’d be watching 205 Live right now, but I want to get this out before I do anything else, so let’s get into it shall we?
We started out tonight with a nice retrospective on the rivalry between Randy Orton and John Cena, which actually got me more excited about the match tonight, as it was a well put together piece, refreshing our memories about the great battles these two have had over the years, setting the tone for the main event tonight. And possibly the main event of Wrestlemania as well, depending on what happens on Sunday at Elimination Chamber.
They’re live in Seattle, Washington, Daniel Bryan’s hometown, so it makes perfect sense that he kicks off our show tonight, coming out to huge pops from the crowd. The crowd is just going nuts and it translates well to us watching at home as well. As he mentions, the last time he came out to the ring in Seattle was when he had to announce his retirement from in ring competition last year.
The Miz comes out soon after this with Maryse to continue their feud, and as always with these two guys the verbal sparring is on point. If only they could settle this in the ring. Enter another participant in the Elimination Chamber match, Baron Corbin, whom the crowd is going nuts for as well, he’s really starting to get over as of late with the additional personality he can show in his Talking Smack interviews, great stuff.
Out comes Dean Ambrose, entertaining and random as ever, followed by AJ Styles. If I had to guess at this point, we’re having ourselves a tag team match tonight playas.
Oh, what a tweest, it’s not a tag team match tonight, but Daniel Bryan books a fatal four way match with these guys that’s starting right now..well after this commercial break at least.
The Miz vs AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin. Wow, this is one hell of an opening match, great spots by all four guys, a lot of brutal looking hits,and an entertaining series of near falls midway through the match. Highlight of the match was Baron Corbin showing off his strength, powerbombing all three other opponents from the top turnbuckle. This guy is going to be somebody in the WWE very soon, mark my words.
A lot of innovation in this match too, Ambrose takes The Miz into a bulldog then transitions into a clothesline to AJ Styles. Other takeaway from this match, I really want to see a Styles vs Miz feud, that would be a money match right there. In the end Maryse saves Miz from a pin by AJ after a great phenomenal forearm, which sets up Baron Corbin to hit him with the low blow and the pin. Great way to kick off the show tonight. Loved every minute of it.
Luke Harper promo is next, how have they not given this guy a mic a long time ago. He’s fantastic on the mic, way better than most of the Wyatt Family past and present, save for Bray himself. I hope we get more Harper on the mic soon. Another talking segment up next, Brie and Natalya in a split screen interview, just a really catty segment, not really entertaining, but perhaps this is to bring in the Total Divas/Bellas audience into watching the show, which I’m all for. I just wasn’t feeling the segment myself.
Back to some in ring action, Dolph Ziggler taking on Apollo Crews, whom I actually got to meet a few months ago before a house show here.
Seems like they’re trying to make Ziggler something again, it’s not really working for me, like you have to be more than just being a dick to be a good heel. Aside from his bit with Jerry Lawler a few weeks ago, I just am not feeling the heel thing. Crews counters Ziggler’s attempt at Sweet Chin Music with a rollup, for the win. Ziggler loses his mind at this and grabs a steel chair and starts to beat Crews with it. Kalisto comes out to help and gets beaten with the chair as well. Afterwards, he attempts to leave the arena, but Daniel Bryan stops him and asks him what the hell he’s thinking, setting up a handicap match at Elimination Chamber, Apollo Crews and Kalisto vs Dolph Ziggler. That could be a decent match. We’ll see.
Now we have the double signing for the women’s matches at the ppv, where it’ll be Alexa Bliss vs Naomi for the Smackdown Women’s Title and Mickie James vs Becky Lynch. Some good barbs back and forth from the women before the signing and, as is tradition, an all out brawl right after. I really hope they give the title to Naomi, she’s deserved it for a long time coming. She’s consistently the most athletic woman on the roster.
Up next it’s a tag team match, with all the babyface teams, American Alpha, Rhyno and Slater, and..Breezango? against the heel teams The Ascension, The Usos, and The Vaudevillains. Nothing really special here, this match really shows how thin the tag team division is on Smackdown. It’d be better served just folding it into the Raw tag team division, and just going across the brands. Only thing of note is wow, The Ascension picked up the win…I did not see that coming..at all. Wow.
Luke Harper is announced to take on Orton at the ppv on Sunday, this card got a bit more stacked for sure.
And now we’re at the main event, Orton vs Cena. It was a mostly good match, there was no real sense of purpose to it though, just a main event match for no reason other than a possible preview of Wrestlemania, really felt like an exhibition, there was nothing in the match that made me feel any type of rivalry between the two men. Some good spots though, both men kicked out of the other’s finishers, then the Ref gets knocked out and all hell breaks loose including Luke Harper attacking Orton and Bray Wyatt, setting up Cena for one final AA to Orton and it’s one, two , three, Cena wins lol.
All in all, other than the opening fatal four way match, this set up to Sunday felt kind of lackluster, and Raw I think had the overall better show this week, which hardly ever happens. But this is what happens when you put your top guys that aren’t Orton or Cena in the opening match of the show, there’s only one place to go after that. Final grade for this week’s Smackdown, a C. I’ll be back on Monday talking about Elimination Chamber, but stay tuned to this site for other geeky stuff as it happens.