SmackDown Live this week further built its card going towards WrestleMania with mostly talking, so how did that fair out for the show this week? Let’s find out!
The Best of SmackDown Live
The first half hour of this week’s show was a Miz TV segment and that was perfect. Usually some part of me would think it’s a bit much, but given how amazing The Miz and Cena were in their war of words, I was captivated.
Miz basically brought Cena out to dress him down as turning into what he hated the most and even mentioned in what I think was a bit of a worked shoot about how much Cena has been seen in the main event scene of the WWE for a good number of years. Then Cena fired back in what I also think is a bit of a worked shoot about how some of the WWE audience feels about him and what he feels about that and even dresses down Miz on not really bringing anything new up and said that he’s just borrowing from other people to make up who he is.
Someone call the fire department because these two guys are roasting each other!
Things got even more exciting when Maryse slapped Cena and then Nikki Bella came out, thus more than solidifying the mixed tag team match between the couples for Mania. After this great a build to it, I look forward to seeing how it goes. That’s how you do great promo work.
A Phenomenal Main Event
After the ending of last week’s show we were left with one solution and that is for Luke Harper and AJ Styles to go one-on-one to determine who is facing Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. Now given how amazing we already know AJ is and what a worker Harper is, especially from Elimination Chamber, this didn’t disappoint. The reason AJ is considered the best wrestler in the world today is how he really is able to have an amazing match with anyone and he helped compliment Harper here on this episode as they took it to each other.
Nice slow start, but it escalated and given what’s on the line, it had to and then AJ got the pin, but Harper got his foot on the rope and Shane McMahon restarted the match, which AJ won anyway with a pretty nifty 450.
I’m happy about the result, but not sure we really needed a Dusty finish put here in place to hike up the stakes, but I think it was more there to possibly signal ahead to AJ vs. Shane at WrestleMania, which I personally hope doesn’t happen.
Dean’s Not Happy
Okay I thought this was part of The Worst, but Dean Ambrose just making quick work of Curt Hawkins amused me since he just quickly took to the mic to call out Baron Corbin and really build up their impending Mania showdown, which I am looking forward to more and more because I think Dean would really carry Corbin and that for Corbin to get the IC Title would wonders for him as he’s improved to me over a while. Good stuff.
A Broken Family
After months of buildup and twists and turns, Randy Orton laid his cards out and it was magnificent!
Bray Wyatt’s invocation was interrupted by Randy Orton who revealed his plan of destroying the Wyatt Family from within, who just so happened to be at the Wyatt Compound, but more so where the fabled Sister Abigail was buried.
I really can’t express enough how amazing this was. It was months of payoff from what has been the most interesting storyline involving Randy Orton and the presentation of it all with the ground, the setting, and the editing really sold this and made it feel like a horror movie had just came into a wrestling show. Even better was Bray who looked so distraught and full of anger, especially when Randy lit Abigail’s resting place on fire.
Orton then declared that he would come after the WWE Championship, which now leaves the main event up in the air once again.
Again, this is how you payoff long form stories in professional wrestling. Wyatt is all-alone, his soul is broken, and Orton is ready to strike. It was just pitch perfect and I can’t wait for next week!
The Worst of SmackDown Live
Was That the End?
Our first match was a two-out-of-three falls match between Mickie James and Becky Lynch and it just sort of felt like a little bit more of the same to me. I’m also disappointed since I really like two-out-of-three falls matches and the second fall really was the most notable thing aside from Becky bumping Mickie into Alexa Bliss coming out there to interfere. I feel like this might actually be the kind of the feud given what I’m about to get into, but if it is, its a bit anticlimactic. Good on Becky though, she needs to momentum right now.
Natalya #1 Contender?
So there was a backstage segment which seemed to hint that Natalya is coming after Alexa Bliss and I’m not sure how to feel. I really like both women, but right now I’m not sure a heel vs. heel program for the title is what’s needed. I mean Natalya only just recently hit her stride as a heel against Nikki Bella and I’m just a bit confused by the situation, I mean I’m not opposed to seeing this two fighting over the title, but maybe some clear indication of who is who in it would be great.
Chairs, chairs, and more chairs
Chairs matches sucks, alright, they just do. I mean Baron Corbin and Kalisto’s one from TLC back in December is the best one, but that is the very definition of damning with faint praise. Here we get Dolph Ziggler not superkicking green screens this week, but going up against Apollo Crews who actually sprang to life at the start by just not giving a crap and going hard against Ziggler and showing off his great talents, but that only last so long before it goes into a boring slog of a match that Ziggler wins. What was even going on?
This SmackDown Live was actually a mixed bag with really one exciting match that had huge stakes to it and the others were just really there, but the show was bookend by two amazing segments that really do great story progression and buildup towards WrestleMania. Miz and Cena guarantees to be electric and I have to say again, Orton’s betrayal is the perfect payoff to his long con. I am excited to see next week’s episode!
What did you guys think of SmackDown Live this week? Best parts? Worst parts? Let us know in the comments below!