It’s Smack Talk version 2.0 live blogging this as it’s happening, my thoughts , reactions, all fresh.
We start out tonight recapping the insane twist ending last week, with Randy Orton turning on Bray Wyatt, burning down the Wyatt compound and the body of Sister Abigail.
Smackdown Live is coming to us from Indianapolis. Shane McMahon comes out to really kick things off, along with co-gm Daniel Bryan. They’re here to determine who will face Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania. Is it a Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton, or should it be last weeks winner, AJ Styles.
Daniel says Randy, as its tradition for the Rumble winner to go on to main event it, Shane says AJ, as Randy did say he wasn’t going to fight Bray Wyatt a few weeks back. So both men are in contention for this title opportunity.
Admittedly I’m confused by this opening, they already announced like a week ago that AJ would face Randy Orton tonight for the opportunity to face Bray at Wrestlemania. And then they announce the match they already announced last week. On the one hand I get it, it catches casual viewers up to speed, but for us fans who know what’s going on, it’s killing time in a show for killing time’s sake.
Anyways, up next is our first match, Cena and Nikki vs Ellsworth and Carmella.
Match 1-John Cena and Nikki Bella vs James Ellsworth and Carmella
This match of course is to set up and test out their tag team chemistry before the Wrestlemania match against The Miz and Maryse, I’m expecting them to be at the commentary booth during this affair as well, let’s see if I’m right.
James Ellsworth is out first, calling himself the Mack Daddy of Smackdown, since he beat AJ Styles three times, and it took Cena about that many times to beat Styles, before calling out his friend that’s a girl, Carmella.
Cena comes out next, to a huge pop/John Cena sucks chants. Say what you will of the man, he gets crowds excited, one way or another. Nikki’s out next, and I must say, I used to be a Bella hater, but she’s impressed me in her in ring work as of late. Her promo skills aren’t quite there, but she can carry a match.
The match is about to start, when, you guessed it, Miz and Maryse come out, and Carmella takes advantage by super kicking Nikki in the face, as we go to break.
We come back as Carmella has control of Nikki, til she breaks free, tosses Carmella out of the ring, and makes the tag to Cena.
Ellsworth is scared to come in the ring, of course, as Miz is talking Smack on Cena on commentary. Ellsworth tries to attack Cena, gets countered, and Carmella tries to get in Cenas face but gets taken out by Nikki. Both Ellsworth and Carmella on the mat, Nikki and Cena hit the both of them with dual five knuckle shuffles, and an Attitude Adjustment times 2 into the STF times 2 for the win.
Miz and Maryse pull Cena and Nikki out of the ring, and take the mic. Miz cuts a promo on Cena, saying his relationship with his wife is more real than Cenas relationship with Nikki which feels real to me, this promo, about how fake Cena is. I’m rooting for The Miz here, as I have for a long time now.
Match Winner- Cena and Nikki
Curt Hawkins is out in the ring, calls out Dean Ambrose for dismissing him with a ddt so quickly, and out comes Dean Ambrose ,then Hawkins attacks him, gets taken out with a Lariat, and moves on to what he really came out for, calling out Baron Corbin.
Corbin is on the Titantron, saying he’ll fight when he’s ready, and he’ll take everything from him, including his title. Ambrose takes the challenge, and says he’ll go off to find him himself, hitting Hawkins with a Dirty Deeds for good measure before heading to the back to search for Corbin.
So, we’re almost an hour into the show, and have had literally one wrestling match so far. Wtf, there needs to be a better balance of story building and matches to make a better show.
Mojo Rawley says he will be the first Smackdown competitor to enter the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania, then Ziggler comes out to talk crap.
Ambrose still is searching for Corbin, who finds Ambrose and hurls a security guard at him before assaulting Ambrose, and using a forklift pressing down on Ambrose like it’s the empty arena match.
Ambrose sells the attack like he’s really hurt by this, which is a credit to his ability. And now for more talking, it’s Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, with her Blissertation, after this commercial break.
Alexa is here to talk about who her Wrestlemania opponents will be, by saying first who it’s not going to be. She names off Naomi, who’s injured, Carmella, who’s busy with Ellsworth, and Becky who she’s beaten plenty already.
Out comes Becky, to try to challenge her, but out comes Natalya, to continue her feud, but then Mickie James says that she will be her opponent at Mania. Alexa seems confused, and tries to backpedal. So I’m assuming some sort of battle royal to solve this will be incoming, and here comes Daniel Bryan to make sense of this chaos.
Okay maybe not quite a battle royal, but at Wrestlemania it will be Alexa Bliss defending her title against the entire available women’s roster, which is kind of a thin roster so it’s not that impressive. Unless we have some surprises at Mania,like Kelly Kelly or Beth Phoenix showing up in the match. But, as far as tonight goes, Bryan says he’s picked up some tips from managerial legend Teddy along, and tonight, were having a tag team match, Natalya and Becky vs Alexa and Mickie.
Match 2-Becky Lynch and Natalya vs Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
An hour into the show, and we’re on our second match. Seriously. We start out with Natalya in the ring with Alexa. Nothing to write about here, they switch out with Becky vs Mickie.
I’m really not feeling the Women’s Division on Smackdown. It feels very spread thin. If anything with the brand split, it should have been all women on one brand and all tag teams on another. They don’t have enough women on the active roster to split them effectively.
And of course this match also goes to commercial, because they don’t have a lot of people available for this tv taping it seems. It’s really kind of sad.
Match ends when Natalya suplexes her partner Becky Lynch, in case you thought she was turning face here, nope she’s still a heel. Alexa goes for the pin, then Mickie James hits her with the Mick Kick, and holds up the women’s title. Come Wrestlemania it’s every woman for herself.
Match Winner-Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
We get a medical update on Dean Ambrose after his attack by Baron Corbin from earlier. Josh Phillips says that Ambrose has some broken ribs. I’m sure this is all kayfabe stuff. Just getting heat on Corbin leading into Mania.
Up next, we have our main event.
Match 3-AJ Styles vs Randy Orton
An hour and a half into a two hour show, and we have three matches. What.The.Hell?! I feel bad for people who paid good money to watch this show in person. Or that the dark matches tonight were fire, cause this is sad. Well, at least they get to watch 205 Live right after this. But still..Where is everyone? No tag teams tonight, barely anybody here tonight at all to perform. What kind of wrestling show is this?
AJ Styles comes out first , takes the mic, says he has turned this show around into the A show of WWE, and gets nothing in reward for that. He was built for the main event of Wrestlemania, and nobody will keep him from that.
Randy Orton is out next ready to fight. He tosses AJ out of the ring, then points to the Wrestlemania sign, saying he will be in that main event spot.
Orton takes control early on, was thinking this would be more of an even fight. AJ takes over for a second, but this match is mostly Orton right now.
Seems that Orton has an injured leg, which AJ is starting to put an attack on, great in-ring psychology.
AJ has control of the match now, and now it’s back to Orton, this is becoming a great match, no clear cut winner here, both men are at the top of their game.
Styles tried the Styles Clash but Randy counters, but then Styles counters that counter with the Calf Killer submission hold. Orton struggles but gets to the ropes to break the hold.
Both men fight on, Randy gets the upper hand with a ddt, and gets ready to hit the RKO, Styles counters that with a Pele kick, Orton is staggered. Styles outside ready to hit the Phenomenal Forearm but Randy tries to counter that still with an RKO, but botches the move entirely, going for it too soon, and ends up on the mat, prone, ready for Styles to hit him with the move again, but instead Randy strikes out of nowhere, hitting Styles with an RKO for the win, Randy Orton is going to face Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania.
Ok, that was a great match, like literally the only segment that really mattered tonight though. Two hours for one good 20 minute match. Smackdown, you’re better than that, I know you are. That was a crap show tonight. Here’s hoping next week is better.
Match Winner-Randy Orton
Show Grade-D minus