Hello, WNW people, and welcome to the Smackdown Breakdown. As you know I’m not one to beat around the bush, so let's just get stuck into what happened this week on Smackdown Live shall we…
Opening Promo > A
An excellent opening video featuring No Mercy’s theme song teasing Cena, Ambrose and Styles face to face to face. I need to find out who sings No Mercy’s theme; it’s such a cool track.
Bray Wyatt vs Kane > F
This match was pretty decent, up until the final moments that is. Orton appearing on the Tron upside down “groan,” was bloody lame. It did little to enhance the storyline, and the count out finish just pissed me off. Having Bray walk out of the match is no better than him going under, yet again. Wyatt and Kane both got pretty decent pops as they entered the ring, but Wyatt was honestly louder. Kane can honestly still work at an elite level, even though he is pushing fifty; he has had a true Hall of Fame-worthy career. This whole thing is another trademark case of wins and losses mattering in WWE because I want to get into this feud, but I just can’t because I know how it will end. Bray puts over Orton, and one of WWE’s most unique characters is once again used as a glorified Jobber!
This match gets a big fat F, for so many reasons!
Winner: Kane Via Count Out
Backstage Segment: Baron Corbin and Jack Swagger > D
Baron Corbin, despite being pushed as a legitimate threat to everyone on the roster, doesn’t seem to be connecting on the main roster, and I honestly don’t think feeding with Swagger will help. And his “bully with a chip on his shoulder gimmick” would work better if he was mainly going after workers that the IWC favours. That is what made his character work on NXT. In fact, if I could be so bold, it seems (to me at least) that Corbin is now as miscast in his current role as Roman Reigns is with his over on Raw. Call me crazy, but if WWE were to switch their gimmicks and have Reigns play the bully with a chip on his shoulder about not being liked as much as so-called “Indy guys”, and have Corbin play the more tweener badass that would simply make a lot more sense booking wise. Reigns would probably be a lot more accepted as a main eventer, and Corbin could be tearing up the mid card, it’s just a thought!
Backstage Promo: Bray Wyatt > B
Short, sweet, but to the point. Bray never fails with his promo’s. But still, as I said before, it’s hard to get further invested in someone when you know they're going under, even if they are one of the best promo artists in the business today.
Alexia Bliss vs Nikki Bella > B
Before I get into the match, I have three observations about Alexia Bliss!
1. My fellow Aussie Buddy Murphy (a seriously underrated talent in NXT by the way) is a very lucky man to be dating her.
2. As a comic book fan, I LOVE her Harley Quinn inspired look; it suits her character perfectly.
3. She is incredibly talented in the ring; she is showing us more on Smackdown Live than she ever had a chance to on NXT playing Blake and Murphy’s valet.
Given recent events, I’ll refrain from using my Kim Kardashian comparison for Nikki Bella, but I will say all the shameless plugging for Total Bellas makes me gag. I have no problem stating that I’m confident very few wrestling fans watch Total Divas, and I’m sure fans won’t be watching Total Bella’s either!
And even though I saw Carmella getting involved and Becky making the save a mile away, I’m not complaining too much, as I get to see more of Becky and hear people chant for her. As you would expect Nikki gets the win via DQ, and Daniel Bryan comes out during the commercial break and announces the whole thing gets restarted as a tag match.
Winner: Nikki Bella Via DQ
Becky Lynch & Nikki Bella vs Carmella & Alexia Bliss > B+
JBL joked on commentary that Bryan was doing his best Teddy Long impression, making this a tag match. I wonder how poor old “Tag Team Teddy” really feels about his unofficial title? One thing Raw has done better than Smackdown the last few weeks is the booking of their Women’s Division, especially this week. But still, this tag match was nothing to sneeze at, great work by all involved (even Nikki put the effort in). However Becky, as usual, stole the show, she is so over!
I would rather the Women’s Division get a bit more air time, and to be taken a little more seriously, though, it seems as though the Nikki/Carmella program has more focus on it the the Women’s Title program. Alexa getting the pin over Becky kind of surprised me, but it helps build up their match at No Mercy obviously, so I’m all for it.
Winners: Bliss & Carmella
Backstage Segment: Bray Wyatt > B
Ok, even I am starting to get a little tired of the repetitive nature of these backstage segments. Although I will say Orton using the rocking chair as bait to trap Bray in a locked container was a clever touch. And the camera shot of Bray going nuts inside the container was creepy and cool.
Daniel Bryan’s Susan G Koman Segment > F
After doing a bit of research on Susan G Koman, I feel that the less said about WWE’s association with this “Charity” the better!
The Hype Bros vs The Vaudevillains > F
I honestly forgot these two teams were on Smackdown! And it’s easy to see why. Simon Gotch has a very well deserved reputation as a botch master, and as hard as Mojo Rawly tries, people are genuinely not "hyped" by him or Ryder.
This match sucked from start to finish, and the Ascension’s mere presence on the ramp made it suck even more!
Winners: The Hype Bros
Miz TV: Dolphumentery > SUPER F!!!!!
I had planned to explain in the upcoming weeks here on the Breakdown why I have given up on Dolph Ziggler and refused to get invested in him ever again. But then WWE creative does the job for me with a whole bloody video package! It’s sad and pathetic to see how a decade of stop/start pushing will do to a worker's career. And it does nothing to give Dolph the underdog feel Creative is trying to sell us. Nor does it make Miz look like an A- hole heel, in fact, it has the opposite effect. It makes it look like Miz is dishing out some harsh truths, even with all the trick editing. And it reinforces why I can no longer allow myself to get invested in “Ziggly Puffs”.
I honestly hope the rumours of him actually leaving after No Mercy are true because I can’t see him EVER being taken seriously again in WWE.
It doesn’t matter how strong his promo work in this segment was, it doesn’t matter how good of a heel begging to have his arse kicked Miz plays, I felt nothing but sadness for this segment. And the remaining members of the Spirit Squad that don’t have their phones cut off coming out for Dolph to super kick only made it worse. If there were a lower grade than F, this segment would be getting it!
Backstage Segment: Bray Locked In The Container > D
I love Bray, but this was pointless. What the bloody hell has happened to Smackdown?
Jey Uso vs Jason Jordon > B
Anyone who thinks Roman Reigns wouldn’t be more successful as a heel should see how awesome the Usos have looked the last few weeks! Even though I was hoping to see Jason Jordan work a terrific one on one match, the quick finish and the heel attack afterward did make the Usos look like a million bucks.
The save from Slater and Rhyno don’t make them look like a cheap meal either. All in all, I am so looking forward to the Tag Title Match at No Mercy. Although I would like to see American Alpha get to show off what they can do in the coming weeks, no matter what happens at No Mercy, they can’t be the Usos whipping boys anymore.
Winner: Jason Jordan
Backstage Segment: Bray Locked In The Container Part Two > C
This segment was so much better than the last one, but still little purpose to it unless someone was actually in that container with him?
Although seeing Bray possibly losing his mind in isolation is a unique idea as well. There are so many things WWE could do with the Bray Wyatt character, but they seem quite happy just to job him out in every feud, it is so bloody frustrating.
Backstage Segment: Orton Loses Wyatt > B
Ok, we all saw Bray not being in the container when Orton opened it coming from a mile away. But at least this segment had some purpose to it, and Orton flipping out when he saw Wyatt had somehow escaped does make it look like Wyatt is in his head a little. Does anyone else hope WWE might actually bring out a Sister Abigail character? Because I do after all these segments.
Video Package of Cena’s recent promo on Talking Smack > A
Mixing Cena’s Talking Smack promo with the comments from AJ and Dean that inspired it was a very simple, but still very nice touch. More adult fans cheering for Cena would’ve been unthinkable before the draft, but thanks to him upping his promo game the last few weeks, we have heard a lot less “Cena Sucks” chants. Although I will say this, I feel Dean’s promo on Cena two weeks ago on Talking Smack was stronger.
Curt Hawkins Announcement > B
FINALLY, no more of these silly promos. Hawkins re-debuts at No Mercy.
Jack Swagger vs Baron Corbin > C
Now, what I'm about to write may seem harsh, but does anyone give a rats arse about Swagger anymore? I’m serious! Let me know in the comments section and on social media. I’m curious to see if ANYONE cares.
It annoys me so much when I’m told that fans these days are “fickle” and “complain too much” about how WWE pushes workers. Jack Swagger is a textbook example of why fans complain sometimes. He has spent years as a Jobber with only one or two poorly booked pushes in between, gets kept off TV for a year, comes back, and we are supposed to care about him? Meanwhile, some of the most talented people in the industry are being fed scraps, and some of the most overrated talents get given the whole bloody world!
This match didn’t do much for either man, despite their best efforts in the time they were allotted. Although I will say the finish was different. Having Baron reaching for the rope only for the ref to misinterpret it as a tap out hasn’t been done since Taz vs Bam Bam Bigalow all the way back in the original ECW I believe. (Post below if you know of one happening more recently in the WWE.) And I admit it makes a little intrigued to see what happens next between these two, but not much.
Winner: Jack Swagger (Disputed)
In-ring Segment: AJ Styles, John Cena & Dean Ambrose > A
AJ mic work seems to get better and better every week, who was it that said he couldn’t talk again? Dean keeps coming out to more massive pops every week, so I think we can dispense with the “He’s not as over as people think he is” talk. I also love the digs Dean has been taking at Cena lately. Definitely, it adds heat to the program I hope they will have after No Mercy and their filming commitments.
My jaw dropped when AJ screamed out “SHUT UP” as soon as Cena was about to start talking, and the promo he then cut on Cena was simply epic, his “You chase history, but I make history" line was just perfect (hence the title for the breakdown this week). The whole segment both Dean and AJ wouldn’t let Cena talk, and he sold all of their digs towards him (some of them probably feel like a shoot to some IWC members). Cena genuinely looked angry, and that’s what most fans want to see out of him. Less Saturday morning cartoon, more “I’m going to kick your arse!”
Things breaking out into a brawl was to be expected, but I enjoyed the fact that everyone looked strong at the end. Everyone got the upper hand on someone, at some point. It is little things like that sell the main event, where each man is presented as a legit threat to the other.
Overall Grade > C+
That was honestly a very weak go home show before a PPV/Network Special. The only thing that saved it was The Women’s Tag match and the big No Mercy sell promo by Cena, Styles, and Ambrose. For the first time since the brand split, I have to admit Smackdown was worse than Raw for the week. That worries me as both John Cena and Dean Ambrose are expected to take at least a month off each some time after No Mercy. Cena will be filming American Grit season two, and Ambrose will be filming a WWE Studios Film. Both projects are very poorly timed as far as Smackdown is concerned, as it’s clear the blue brand needs all hands on deck.
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown; I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91