We have exited the Fastlane and are now cruising along on the road to WrestleMania. So who will definitely face off against Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship at the biggest show of the year? Let’s find out!
The first bit of action of this night was the mixed tag team match between John Cena and Nikki Bella against James Ellsworth and Carmella and sure it really wasn’t so much a match as it was more build for Cena and Nikki facing off against The Miz and Maryse as they interrupted and joined commentary, but I’m okay with that as The Miz once again just stole the show and made love him more.
Though the in ring action was fun, I liked how Cena played up Ellsworth’s comedic character to really highlight both of their respective strengths and the work between Nikki and Carmella was very nice. The build up, pacing, and Miz commentary made for a far better opener than what started the show.
Then after Miz and Maryse jumped Cena and Nikki and Miz cut another amazing scathing promo that just stole everything. He said Cena hid his relationship to Nikki when it was best for his personal brand and what you just heard as the fire department coming into to put out the hot lines Miz spit. I loved it.
Forklift: Biggest Heel
For the second week in a row, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose makes nothing out of Curt Hawkins before yelling for Baron Corbin, instead this time Dean went searching for him and got wrecked. Corbin looks absolutely amazing right now and he should. Corbin came off as a proper bad guy and just looked as if he really wanted to ruin Ambrose when he crushed the champ underneath a forklift.
I hope when we naturally get our match at WrestleMania, they do put it in a gimmick match where no disqualification is needed. You are building up a match between two of the most dangerous guys on the whole company roster and it needs to have a match that highlights that while making both men look great in the ring.
Finally we have an opponent for Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. Granted as much as I loved how long term Randy Orton and the Wyatt Family was, it did cause a slight mess when it came to determining Bray’s oppnent, but now it looks as if that is all done.
Randy Orton will be facing down Bray and got that chance after a great main event with AJ Styles. Styles and Orton was always a dream match that many fans wanted, myself included and thankfully it did not disappoint. Orton’s style was actually very well utilized against AJ who once again, could give a dustpan the match of the year. Both understand how to really invest the audience, as evident by how much AJ worked Randy’s left knee and hamstring to lead up to a Calf Crusher to try and win the match. That is smart and I loved it.
Both men just gave this match their all and the last moments were some of the best with AJ psyching Orton out from turning a Phenomenal Forearm into an RKO before Randy did shorty after catch him with an RKO from outta nowhere.
That is great wrestling.
Where is the Champion?
You know what was missing from this week’s show? The WWE Champion. The absence of Bray Wyatt from this week’s episode honestly irked me more than anything. I know Bray’s character is such a force of nature and he can still have a presence on the show without needing to appear, but we needed him on this episode.
First of all, he’s the WWE Champion and I think that you need the champion on scree as much as possible not just to build up the feud with Orton, but also because he’s simply the champion. Furthermore, it robbed us of a really crazed Bray a week after Orton burned down his compound and the grave of Sister Abigail; I honestly hate that’s been pushed off for a week since it really didn’t do any favors for Bray and even Randy Orton. Please, get Bray Wyatt back on TV as soon as possible and never have him set out another episode.
SmackDown Live did not start great this week in a bland, forgettable, uninteresting promo between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan talking about the main event scene for Mania. It really did nothing except be a recap for why the main event match was happening on that episode.
Alexa Bliss came out with Mickie James to deliver the Blissertation and if Alexa Bliss does get a weekly promo spot called that I would be very fine with that as long as it doesn’t turn into a mess like we got here.
Becky Lynch and Natalya both came out to say they are going for the Women’s Championship at Mania before Daniel Bryan came out to announce that Bliss will put the title on the line at WrestleMania against every available woman on the roster then books Becky and Natalya against Bliss and Mickie and this was awful. The pacing was just all terrible and never really felt like it got off the ground, plus we have a tag team match with three heels and one babyface. What is seriously going on? The booking for this was all sorts of dumb and made no sense.
Also, way to suddenly have Mickie James turn on Alexa Bliss. Going for a pin on Becky, Alexa blind tagged herself in and got the pin. James looked miffed at that and sowed the seeds for a slow turn against her. Except they just did it right now. No build, no tension, just Mickie staking her claim for the title.
Even more so, is Mickie still gonna be a heel or turn into a face? This was just all around awful.
American Alpha, Where Are You?
Also awful, no Tag Team Champions American Alpha or the Usos. I know you gotta fit in and showcase who you need on a weekly basis, but what is the state of that feud? What is going on?
This is one of the more fragmented episode of SmackDown Live in a while. We got a fantastic main event and some nicely done undercard momentum, but so much just felt off here in terms of storytelling. Also the decision of not having the WWE Champion on the show this week is once again stupid.
This was honestly just a rough episode.
Well those were the best and worst parts of WWE SmackDown Live for this week, what did you think of the episode? Like it, hate it? Let us know in the comments below!