Well even though I’m still feeling Brock Lesnar stare into my soul from Monday’s Raw, I managed to break down this week’s SmackDown Live to its best and worst parts. Let’s get right to it!
The Best of WWE SmackDown Live
All Hail Little Miss Bliss
The start of this week’s episode immediately trapped me in a glass case of emotion. After it was revealed Naomi would have to relinquish the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship due to injury (more on that in The Worst), we get Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch for the title once again.
It was a really good match since Alexa and Becky are still really good together, but Alexa winning the title again is great, as much as I’d still want to see where Naomi would have gone with the belt. Bliss was a really good champion and I think she will be again, especially with her cheating heel ways in which to win it, further solidifying herself as five feet of fury.
We began with a negative, but got something that could become a positive given where WWE goes with the Women’s Championship on SmackDown heading into WrestleMania.
American Alpha beat Breezango in a rather bland affair of a match, but more interesting was after the match when the Usos came out. They walked through the crowd and I don’t know how to better phrase this, they just went insane. They looked like they were ready to brawl and then just went on a mad, rambling promo that just went all over the place and I loved it. Jimmy and Jey truly acted like as if they have lost their minds and I would have loved to been in the live crowd to gauge reactions. I really can’t quite nail down why it worked, all I can say is that just worked. The Usos really sold it and it further heightened the rivalry. It’s all good here!
Falls Count Anywhere
I am a sucker for when a Falls Count Anywhere match really does go anywhere and this match delivered in spades.
The final chapter in the Nikki Bella vs. Natalya feud, I can safely say this was the best match of the night. This has to be my favorite ending to a storyline in some time. Sure it was a bumpy road full of equal parts good and bad, but man did it go out on top!
Both Natalya and even more so, Nikki Bella looked amazing in this brutal encounter which saw a kendo stick get racked across their backs, a flying roundhouse kick off the barricade from Nikki who then planted Natalya on top of the announce table, and then they just go everywhere! Seriously, I would’ve loved this match even more if it went to the Red Lobster next door and someone used a plate of cheddar biscuits as a weapon.
Both women just looked great and really sold the drama and intensity perfectly. Natalya got the victory after Maryse helped when Nikki ran into her backstage and as she applied the Fearless Lock and she got wailed on with a pipe, allowing Nattie to get the pin. Thus further setting up that rumored Cena/Nikki vs. Miz/Maryse match at Mania.
Once again this was just the ending this feud needed and it helped set up future storylines too. So here’s hoping great things for Natalya going forward. Speaking of Natalya, brutal spot where her head went through a mirror. I loved it.
That’s it, No One Goes to WrestleMania!
This wasn’t so much a setting up the main event as it was setting up most of the SmackDown side of Mania really and that isn’t so bad. Okay I would have loved to had a decisive winner of course, but a false finish when used right can build up a story perfectly.
We get more setup as to Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin’s IC Title showdown, which I’m actually looking forward to more and more and John Cena’s elimination of The Miz and then Miz coming back later more than the Falls Count Anywhere put that mixed tag team match in concrete as to happening. Speaking of Miz, he once again stole my heart by mocking Daniel Bryan’s moveset and I just can’t help it, I love me that cheap nuclear heat. Delicious!
The final sequence was genius too with Luke Harper, AJ Styles, and Ambrose all put on a good show until Ambrose got the boot. It was also great then seeing Harper and AJ have a go at it until both eliminated each other at the same time. Hello 1994 and 2005 Royal Rumble match, its good to see you again!
Bryan ruled it a draw and officials couldn’t decide on whose feet touch first and then we just end this week with Bray Wyatt mysteriously laughing as Randy Orton looks on behind him. Creepy.
The Worst of WWE SmackDown Live
SmackDown got off on the wrong foot when it was revealed that Naomi’s knee injury would indeed mean she had to hand over the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship and meaning she’d miss out on WrestleMania. That just broke my heart right at the start of the show.
Of course injuries are all a part of pro wrestling and they can’t be controlled really. Its all part of the job, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t hurt for us fans that hate it when a good talent goes down. First Seth Rollins, now Naomi. Its just a damn shame.
Tag Team Woes
As much as I still loved the Usos promo, American Alpha easily handling Breezango was still a boring part of the overall show. I love both teams and it does break my heart to see Breezango just stuck in limbo when it comes to booking. Right now at least one problem I’d say of the brand split is that some of the divisions are a bit limited and right now with the whole Wyatt story, while I am enjoying it, it has taken away a fascinating component of the SmackDown tag team division.
Maybe this more unhinged version of the Usos will help kick things up.
What is Going On with Ziggler?
What is even going on here? Dolph Ziggler’s whole beef with Apollo Crews and Kalisto of course was advanced in the main event where Ziggler was impressive in having so many near eliminations, but a part of me just feels so disconnected in this whole program given Kalisto really hasn’t had much character since his feud with Corbin and WWE have completely wasted Apollo Crews. That was fair and away the most uninteresting thing that happened in that battle royal.
This was a wild ride of a SmackDown Live. It just went everywhere in terms of quality and emotional investment. Overall it was a rather entertaining show with some very big highs and some really small lows. The storytelling continues to be excellent when properly focused on and the mystery as to whom Wyatt will face at WrestleMania is too good right now. I love when wrestling can be unpredictable. Also that Falls Count Anywhere match, that was just the best.
What were your thoughts on SmackDown Live for this week? Who do you think will face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania? Let us know in the comments below!