Hello, WNW people, Mitch “Big M” Adams here, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to The Smackdown Breakdown. Let's dig into what happened this week on Smackdown Live, shall we?
Backstage segment: Ambrose & Ellsworth > B
Dean handing James his very own WWE Shop T-shirt (I’d buy it) was just magic. Mauro’s “Chinderella story” line made me shake my head a little, but Dean, as usual, was brilliant. So it balances out enough for it to be graded B.
In-Ring Segment: Orton & Wyatt > B+
Randy seemed a little uncomfortable on the microphone here if I'm honest! The promo was a bit of a rambling mess about quicksand and him going crazy. Bray, as usual, delivered the goods in his tron video promo. The motif may have looked a little familiar (Undertaker might call gimmick infringement), but it was effective. And I loved Bray’s alteration of his catchphrase to introduce Luke Gallows. Some might have found it corny, but it’s the little things that help sell matches.
Mb>Randy Orton vs Luke Gallows > B
Ok, I know I said Bray sitting in a casket was an effective motif, but having sheep masked druids walk Bray to ringside in said casket halfway into the match is stealing from Undertaker a little too much!
But that aside from that, this was an ok opening match all things considered. Luke Gallows can do things in the ring most men his size simply can’t do. And Randy is still one of the best workers in the industry today! But the DQ finish from Bray interfering was predictable and ended what could have been a great showing for Luke.
Winner: Randy Orton via DQ
Post Match Shenanigans > B+
Ohhh, so that’s why they overused the casket in this storyline! I should’ve seen Kane magically appearing in the casket during The Wyatt’s beatdown of Orton a mile away. But for some reason, I didn’t, and as such it was a nice little surprise for me. The pop Kane got was pretty cool as well, but a Brother of Destruction style angle will always get a nice pop. The Wyatt’s disappearing act was again predictable, but it was still effective in building tension for this program.
Backstage Interview: AJ Styles > A
I would love to know who the moron who started the discussion “AJ can’t talk and has no charisma.” This was a near pitch-perfect backstage promo as far as I’m concerned. The trash talk, the WCW references and the little injections of subtle humour are heel promo staples that still work so well today. I have no problem saying that AJ Styles isn’t just one of the best the industry has to offer in the ring. He is one of the best in the industry on the mic as well!
Alexa Bliss vs Naomi > A
Where did Harley Bliss go? Why do we now have Alexa Kruger instead?
I’m sad and heartbroken that we no longer have a clown princess of Smackdown anymore. But I soon got over all of that after I watched Naomi’s entrance this week, and her new ring gear! Jimmy Uso is one very lucky man, and that is all I have to say about that.
Ok, enough drooling over the pretty girls Mitch, It’s Time to review this wonderful women’s division match. These two women may be the dark horses of both women’s divisions in my opinion. Is Naomi the only women’s wrestler in WWE history capable of performing a springboard?
Is Alexa the shortest, yet still athletically gifted women’s wrestler in WWE history? I don’t know the answers to those questions for sure (please feel free to post the answers in the comment section if you have them), but what I know is these two are bloody entertaining to watch.
Naomi’s high-flying offence is so very, very exciting. And Alexa’s mean streak was an awesome thing to see in the in the women’s division.
Alexa getting the win was to be expected, but Naomi deserves to be put in the next Smackdown Women’s Championship program after this current one ends.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Post Match Interview: Alexa Bliss > A
And to top everything off, Alexa can cut a great heel promo as well!
Is there anything the competitors of Smackdown’s women’s division can’t do?
Curt Hawkins vs Apollo Crews > F
Come on, another week, another show where Curt Hawkins doesn’t work a match! This crap has officially gotten old, and I have been more than patient. I have actually been looking forward to Curt Hawkins re-debut in WWE, believe it or not. But I honestly could have done without the Eva Marie style entrance with the annoying voice over. I like the “face the facts” gimmick he now has but don’t overdue it WWE. And eventually, he has to make his in-ring re-debut!
Winner: Match Never Happened
In-Ring Segment: Carmella tells the truth about Nikki Bella > A
As many of you know, I am no fan of Nikki Bella in any way shape or form. The Kim Kardashian of WWE is one of the last remnants of WWE’s Diva's Division. And that crap well and truly won’t be gone for good until women like Nikki FINALLY leave WWE.
But the one plus about WWE continuing to present Nikki as one of history's great female workers “GAG” is that when someone is booked to go over her, it’s presented as a big deal. And I hope Carmella will be booked to go over Nikki again at some point because she honestly deserves it with all the great work, she’s been doing.
Carmella looked far stronger on the mic than Nikki did (although that’s not shocking). And the “Total Need-Freak” video was probably the only one in history that didn’t need much editing for heel promo purposes. If that’s what happens in a typical episode of Total Bella’s, I’m obviously not missing much! Hell, some fans even started chanted “Need-Freak” at Nikki after the video ended. I’m serious, some fans honestly started to turn a little on Nikki in this segment.
I doubt Nikki is going to go under to Carmella again anytime soon, but I honestly think she should. Who’s with me?
Backstage Interview: James Ellsworth > B
James Ellsworth can actually cut an ok promo. Not great, but ok.
Six Man Tag: Miz & Spirit Squad vs Ziggler, Slater & Rhino > B
This match was honestly a lot better than I’d thought it would be. But the finish made me roll my eyes and shake my head. Still, there was a lot to like here! Who would have ever thought before the draft that Heath Slater would be one of the most over people in WWE in a few short months? And Rhino, at forty years of age, can still work at a high level.
I know I’m not one to talk, but Mike Mondo is seriously out of shape! And does Kenny Dykstra have a hernia? Because every time he hits a move, he instantly clutches his abdomen. I am honestly over the program between Miz and Ziggler. Mostly because I am just over Ziggy! But both he and Miz looked good in this match as well. I really do hope the program between Miz and Dolph ends soon because I honestly think Miz should be working the main event. And that is something I never thought I’d say.
Winner’s: Miz & Spirit Squad
Backstage Segment: Daniel Bryan & Natalya > B
I have been wondering where on earth Natalya has been since her heel turn flopped. Although she may get over with this new comedy gimmick, they might be trying out. The Whitney Houston quotes were funny, and the look on Bryan’s face, when she asked him if he followed her cat on Instagram, made me laugh out loud. I am curious who will be on the Smackdown Survivor Series teams other than Natalya. But it doesn’t really matter! I mean whoever they pick will smoke Raw. You hear me Kendra Bunyon, Zack Krasny and the other members of WNW’s Raw PPV Predicts Team! Smackdown is going to kick Raw’s arse!!!
I do the final edits here, so if you really want to call me out, I get to make nasty comments back in your blog. Therefore, you and the rest of the SD Predicts Team are going down, and not down under!
Jack Swagger vs Baron Corbin > F
I don’t know what went wrong with Baron Corbin on the main roster! Whatever it was, it’s killed whatever momentum he built in NXT. He’s been a jobber for a while now, so I fail to see why I should care about Jack Swagger. Also, I don’t see how Baron squashing Jack is meant to help him get over in any way.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Backstage Segment: Dean Ambrose Saves Bryan From Cat Pictures > A
Dean is so bloody entertaining in every backstage segment lately, and Bryan sells everything these days with a simple, yet brilliant look on his face.
WWE World Title Match: AJ Styles vs James Ellsworth > A+++
If #PleaseSignEllsworth wasn’t trending on social media, I’ll eat my left shoe. I firmly believe that with some in-ring seasoning and a little character work, James Ellsworth could be the next Santino Marella.
Pro Wrestler, ring announcer, timekeeper, salesman, and comic genius!
Is there anything Dean Ambrose can’t do in WWE? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Dean Ambrose is arguably the best all-around talent in WWE today.
Everything Dean and AJ did in this match got Ellsworth over here, and they sold their program at the same time as well. I don’t know who came up with this storyline, but whoever it was should be asking for a raise. Some may feel this whole angle has made the WWE World Title into a joke, and I can understand that. But honestly, I have been so entertained by this angle the last two weeks I could not care less what it may do to the Title’s prestige.
We all saw the DQ finish coming, but it doesn’t matter, for this match was booked perfectly. People are invested in Ellsworth, and people are invested in the Ambrose/Styles program. I can’t sing this main event’s praises high enough.
Winner: James Ellsworth via DQ
Overall Grade: A
Now that is how you book a weekly pro wrestling TV program! Two hours, with no filler segments and very few poor booking decisions. Now, while Raw will have much higher TV ratings than Smackdown this week, thanks to Goldberg, I don’t think any fan will say that heaping pile of hot garbage that was this week's Raw was better than this week's Smackdown Live.
And that ladies and gents is the Smackdown Breakdown; I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91