The Smackdown Breakdown: “Follow The Buzzards”

Hello WNW People, my name is Mitch “Big M” Adams, and I am proud to welcome you to the Smackdown Breakdown.

Before we get started, I want to go on record saying how thrilled I am that Bray Wyatt is the WWE World Champion! This young man of pro wrestling royalty started his career with the absolutely awful “Husky Harris” gimmick on the original NXT due to the fact he did not possess the all important “LOOK” Vince and company praise above all else. However, after returning to developmental, he transformed himself into one of the most original and creative characters in the history of WWE!

But even then, with such an amazing persona and a whole stable of talented workers backing him up, Vince and co still seemingly had no desire to push him to his full potential. He has spent the last three years putting over super established workers (who did not need the wins quite frankly) biding his time, and waiting for his opportunity. And finally, that opportunity came in the form of the second WWE brand split!

In order to support both shows, Vince and company have been forced to do what was once considered unthinkable! They were forced to book established stars like John Cena (who, again, does not need the wins) to go under to new, younger talent. Essentially, Vince had to make new main event stars out of people he once considered unworthy of such honors despite what fans thought.

That’s why Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion on Raw and why now, Bray Wyatt is the World Champion on Smackdown. And judging by all the “You deserve it!” chants Bray received this week, I’d say fans agree that it was LONG overdue!

Now that I’ve covered all that, let’s get stuck into what happened on this week's edition of Smackdown Live shall we?

Opening Segment: Bray Wyatt, John Cena, AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan > B+
I enjoyed this segment, but for whatever reason, something felt like it was missing! Bray came out and cut another awesome promo…but this time as WWE World Champ. Cena came out and cut one of his “babyface that veers close to heel” promos that have been his trademark of late.

Styles came out and cut a promo in response to both men and argued that he was still owed a one-on-one WWE World Title match. Bryan came out to another huge pop and announced yet another awesome Smackdown main event match. A Triple Threat World Title match no less!

And yet, for whatever reason, I felt like something was missing. I still can’t put my finger on it honestly, and I don’t think I ever will. I mean, I enjoyed the whole segment a great deal obviously, but it just felt like there should have been more. And it’s the only reason why the segment did not get an A!

American Alpha vs The Ascension > C
This match was very, how can I put this…”Meh.” And I should not be saying that about an American Alpha match! It wasn’t bad by any means, but again, I just expected more. Maybe my expectations are too high this week?
Winner: American Alpha

Post Match Promo: The Usos > D
I was excited for The Uso heel turn at first, but thus far I’d say it’s been a big flop! Jimmy and Jey, unfortunately, suffer from a spectacular lack of mic presence, quite frankly. And it shows even in pre-recorded promos. Plus, didn’t we see this feud like three months ago? I know Smackdown’s mid-card is pretty bare compared to Raw’s, but this constant repeating of programs is getting old!

Backstage Segment: Ambrose, Ellsworth, Carmella & Bryan > F & B+
I know they had to work out something for Carmella and Ellsworth to do after their debut programs ended, but creative have really stiffed them with this. Both have proven to be far more talented than people have given them credit for, but no one on earth could sell this storyline!

The B+ part of this segment obviously goes to Ambrose and Bryan for actually being entertaining! I wish Bryan and Ambrose had more matches together when Bryan was healthy. There is obvious chemistry there!

Scheduled Match That Turned Into A Run-In Attack: Ellsworth, Carmella, Ambrose & Corbin > F & A
Again, as talented as Carmella and Ellsworth are…NO ONE COULD SELL THIS CRAP! But with that out of the way, the Corbin attack on Ambrose was done to near perfection. Corbin looked like a mean, bad ass heel, and Ambrose looked like a tough as nails Champion not willing to go down without a fight. The sparks flying after the table spot obviously did not quite go to plan (they went off too early), but I don’t think it took away from the segment.

Obviously, this was done to set up a Corbin vs Ambrose program for the IC Title. And I can not wait to see the matches these two will have!

Total Divas Crap > F-
I am so over this shit!!! The only plus side I see is that it will be over next week! But then we get to look forward to Cena and Nikki vs Miz and Maryse “GROAN.”

Backstage Interview: Baron Corbin > B
Corbin is clearly destined for great things in WWE, but his mic game could use a little polishing. It’s obvious he’s not comfortable cutting promo’s (yet), so they are just giving him these sound bites. But, for the most part, I think they are working. Sometimes more is less after all!

Backstage Interview: Dolph Ziggler > B
I am trying to get into this Ziggler heel turn because I know he’s doing everything he can to make it work. And to his credit, he is starting to win people over. But, I still can’t escape the fact that every bloody time Dolph picks up steam the rug gets pulled out from beneath him mid push. I simply can’t get invested in him knowing all that. However, If he keeps cutting promo’s like this, I’ll keep trying to push all that aside.

Mickie James vs Becky Lynch > B+
This was a very absorbing match in regards to storyline development. I’ve been digging the idea that Micke would feel resentful about the Women’s Revolution. And you know something, there is actually an element of truth in the storyline!

Mickie should be considered on the same level of Trish and Lita quite frankly. But because she came into WWE during a time when Trish and Lita were winding down their careers, she is instead remembered for being the last legit wrestler in a women’s division filled with models who’s only purpose was to look hot on TV. She was even ridiculed for it (remember the infamous Piggy James promo’s by Lay-Cool?).

So when she returns to WWE, feeling resentful about how the talent of the women’s revolution is seen and is determined to prove she’s better than someone like Becky Lynch…she gets out-grappled for ten minutes straight and has to cheat to win. That is a great story! But I fear it’s one WWE creative will not capitalize on properly. Still, this was a good match that continues this program.
Winner: Mickie James

In-Ring Segment: Naomi & Alexa Bliss > B
I don’t understand why people are so divided over Naomi. Some people (like me) love her entrance and her ring gear. Others, can’t stand either!

Some people (like me) love her in-ring style and wish to remind you that she is the only women on the roster that can do a springboard! Others, think she can’t work a match at all!

However, I think there is probably one thing we can all agree on in regards to her. Her promos really do suck and feel the glow is a crap catchphrase. But thankfully, for this segment, Alexa Bliss is dynamite on the stick. I enjoyed the match these two had at elimination chamber, but obviously, I think they can do much better. And obviously, with the segment ending in Alexia’s ultimatum, they will get the opportunity to do so.

Pre-Match Shenanigans: Harper Attacks Wyatt > A
As I said last week, the single push for Luke Harper is well and truly on! And given the reaction, he got from the crowd when the lights came back on, and he attacked Wyatt…I’d say fans are most definitely looking forward to seeing it.

Triple Threat Match For The WWE World Championship: Bray Wyatt (c) vs John Cena vs AJ Styles > A+
Bloody hell Smackdown has been putting on great main event matches on TV lately. There have been quite a few that were PPV/Network special worthy as far as I am concerned! And this match was absolutely no exception.

The ebb and flow of the match was perfect with each man getting their spots in without it feeling forced. The drama of Cena possibly beating Ric Flair’s record was palpable. The awe-inspiring move-set of AJ Styles once again took my breath away. And Bray Wyatt looked like a million bucks out there. Especially after pinning Cena CLEAN for the second time in a row!

As cool as Raw’s main event was this week with Bayley going over Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Title…this match was better. Another win for the blue brand!
Winner: Bray Wyatt

In-Ring Segment: Orton forfeits his No.1 Contender Spot > F
Well, this was just the perfect downer for such a huge upper that main event was. I am not a fan of this storyline as you know because like the rest of you I thought it was obvious that Orton would be reviled to be pulling a Daniel Bryan on Bray. It simply would not make sense storyline wise for Orton to really become a loyal member of the Wyatt family. The storyline was a no win situation either way, but the former option was still 100X better than the latter. SO WHY IN THE BLOODY HELL DID THEY GO WITH THE LATTER!!!

Orton giving up his Title shot at Wrestlemania to try to prove his loyalty to Wyatt once and for all is just plain stupid.
1. It throws away ten years of booking that established the Randy Orton “Apex Predator” persona!
2. It makes the Royal Rumble match seem utterly worthless for the second year in a row!
3. It makes no difference anyway since we are 99% sure Orton vs Wyatt is still a lock for Wrestlemania!

So why on earth would WWE creative go in such a direction? No, seriously, I want you guys to give me your best answer in the comments section as we are all about reader interaction here at WNW. You don’t think I would get that bent out of shape over a dumb creative choice in WWE would you LOL.

Overall Grade: B
Once again Smackdown had a lot to love, and a lot to hate this week. But it was still an enjoyable show. Which is more than I can say for the hot garbage Raw has been producing the last few weeks!

And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed it. Feel free to follow me on twitter @TheBigM91 and make sure to join in the fun and discussion that is WNW’s Facebook group created by Richard Grey and administrated by yours truly! The group URL is www.MMAPW.com, and it’s all about pro wrestling and MMA discussion. I hope to see you there!

  • David F

    Cena and AJ should be involved in WWE title match at Wrestlemania and I would have no problem with fatal four way between Cena, AJ, Wyatt and Orton with Shane being special guest ref. This way AJ gets big match at Wrestlemania and is not stuck with Shane and Cena going after 17 title is in play too.

  • kyleferretti

    Man some harsh words here. I have two reactions. First for Ziggler – he can’t control his pushes man, you fault him too much. Generally its the brass that pull it out from under him, not himself. The crowd generally loves him cause they know he can go. Second – they did the Orton thing because it was unexpected. Did you want the predictable and for him to turn on Bray right then and there? That would have been silly and people would have reacted negatively to that. They will continue to build this I think. Ultimately leading to him turning on him for that WM event. Guess we will see.

  • ATLANTIS

    Re: Orton. If he used his title shot for the RAW title instead it would make more sense, as the Wyatts would be the Apex of both brands