As much as WWE holds up Raw as the flagship show, SmackDown Live hold itself up week to week as must-watch TV. So how did the go home show for Elimination Chamber go? Here are the best and worst moments of this week’s SmackDown Live!
The best of SmackDown Live
In the same place he announced his retirement last year, Daniel Bryan was of course welcomed back to his home state with thunderous applause and it was hard to not feel the need to chant YES! YES! YES! along with the crowd. Bryan’s passion for the wrestling business is still felt with his role as General Manager and the speech he gave was amazing and felt straight from the heart.
Then things got better when The Miz and Maryse and oh man, was the heat radiating off my TV. Their storyline is still one of the best things going on right now and given how deep Miz is able to cut and still back behind Maryse as a safeguard. Its classic face and heel dynamics at work and I love it.
Then of course led Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, and Baron Corbin to come out and we get a sudden Fatal 4-Way match booked.
Speaking of, it was actually a nice surprise since typically we’d get a tag team match but here there was really only one face and that changed things up and I like it when things get changed up in wrestling since it makes things exciting. On the with the match itself and there was plenty of great action from a blistering tower of doom spot with all four men that had the best reaction ever from Ambrose and plenty of great individual spot and even some Maryse interference.
More surprising was Baron Corbin. His section against AJ Styles was excellent and really showcased the talents of both men to the point I’d love to see and honest one-on-one match between the two very soon and that he got the clean pinfall over the former WWE Champion as well. This is huge going into this Sunday’s event and I won’t be surprised if Corbin himself is one of the last men remaining in the Elimination Chamber match. He’s been on a hot roll lately and hopefully its not stopped cold all of a sudden.
Luke Harper is Cryptic
Luke Harper has been something of an enigma recently and his promo this week added more to the mystery as to where his alliances lie right now, but I gotta say, it was a lot of fun and given his overall appearance, scary as well since Harper can just flip on a time at any moment.
Nikki and Natalya via Satellite
I was confused as to wherever or not this was one of the best or worst parts, but I settled on best since while the build up and Nikki Bella and Natalya’s was been more or less one note, the decision to have them interviewed via separate locations actually made things feel fresh and interesting whereas the past few weeks were just insults and brawls. Insults were thrown about, but it was good to see them hold back since they were no where near each other. Trust me, I did struggle with this one.
Crewsing Right Along!
I also struggled with this considering Apollo Crews vs. Dolph Ziggler was a match I was sure going to happen this Sunday and nothing really exciting happened until Crews suddenly got an upset win over Ziggler. That suddenly got my attention in addition to Kalisto coming to save his pal a post match assault. It was a great example of shocking results.
A dual contract signing took place for Becky Lynch and Mickie James and Naomi and Alexis Bliss. What made this one of the best things was the continuing at making Mickie James a great and believable heel and what a determined challenger Naomi is for Bliss’ title.
Cena vs. Orton: For the first time ever…since 2014
Its the match no one ever wanted to see again, but it turned out to be great. This was the first time in three years that John Cena and Randy Orton faced off and it did actually feel fresh. Cena hot off his win at the Rumble and Orton still with Bray Wyatt, it made it all exciting. Some of the spots and pacing did seem familiar, but to be honest both men played off each other very well.
The match was exciting back and fourth and the ending sequence with the ref bump and Luke Harper solidifying his face turn was just excellent. Cena’s win over Orton even new. I feel like I am in Bizarro world.
The Worst of SmackDown Live
What I mean here is a big problem with the show itself, random cutaways to the crowd. These happen far too often after big spots and moves and often linger on too long and kinda take away from the impact and that continued this week. Now I can see getting away with this in big situations, but more often than not lately, its become an annoyance and that didn’t change this week.
Too Many Commentators
As much as I love Mauro Ranallo, this four man booth is still overkill, so right here I’ll just say its the worst and when it gets good, it’ll be listed as one of the best things, but oh man, as good as SmackDown is, they need to address its announcer problems.
Tag Team Disaster
Oh man was this a mess. We needed a way to highlight the upcoming Tag Team Turmoil match this Sunday, so why not hastily put them all in a multi-tag match? This was predictable as it was bad and not even the major pinfall upset by the Ascension could boost this cluttered mess of a match.
A really solid SmackDown keeps things exciting enough heading into Sunday’s event and had plenty of surprises despite some pretty dud moments. Ultimately it was a show worth watching this week and a shining example as to why SmackDown is so great.
What were your best and worst moments of SmackDown this week? Let us know in the comments below!