Hello WNW People! Mitch “Big M” Adams here, welcoming you to the Smackdown Breakdown. As the title of this piece suggests, I’m not a fan of the name change for WWE’s richest prize. If they didn’t un-unify the WWE and World Titles after the brand split…then it should always be called a WORLD Title! Especially as Raw still uses the Universal Title as it’s top strap (Why they are still using that literally “red” hot piece of garbage I will never know).
But with that out of the way, let's get into what happened on Smackdown this week shall we? P.S. Please stay tuned tomorrow for the first edition of 205 Live Vibes right her on WNW. There, I will review 205 Live every week, as well as highlight what WWE should be doing with the Cruiserweight division as a whole.
Opening Segment: DB, Shane & Ellsworth > C
I guess AJ still isn’t cleared, so we got an “Ellsworth has the flu angle. On the plus side, we got a new number one contender by the end of the show!
MIZ TV: Styles, Ambrose, Ziggler & Harper > B
Miz and Styles on the mic riffing with each other in a segment should be a fan's dream! But instead, it was a colossal letdown honestly. The chin puns by Styles directed towards Ellsworth are honestly getting a little old. Although the tease of a future match between Miz and Styles got me pumped. Six months ago I never would’ve thought Miz would be in another main event program. And I was more than ok with that. But the brand split has done wonders for how I and many other fans perceive him.
Miz dispatched with Ziggly Puff pretty quickly (again why should we care about him WWE if you refuse to book him as anything else than a glorified jobber). Dean standing tall only for Harper to take him out was a nice twist. I hope Harper gets some more attention thrown his way so as not to get lost in the Orton/Wyatt storyline. All in all, this was an ok in-ring segment.
Backstage Segment: DB, Shane & Styles > B+
WWE has been skirting PG a lot in recent weeks (not that I’m complaining). DB’s protection line was funny, but Styles should have given a brief pause for the line to register more. It would’ve gotten a bigger reaction that way. The announcement of a Fatal Four Way Match to declare a new number one contender got me bloody pumped. The Fatal Four Way Match is one of my favourite “gimmick matches.” And when done right, they wind up becoming true classics, e.g. the IC Title Fatal Four Way at Extreme Rules.
Natalya vs Carmella > B
Despite the fact that Carmella should have gone over at TLC, she seems to be getting quite a bit of attention from Smackdown’s creative team and WWE’s higher-ups. Which is well deserved as she worked her arse off in that program. Natalya looked ok in the ring, but she can do so much better.
But again everything always comes back to Nikki Bloody Bella! Just once I’d like to have a Women’s match on Smackdown that doesn’t centre around the Title or Nikki Bella. JUST ONCE!!! It was especially annoying that Nikki spent most of her time on commentary plugging Total Divas and Total Bella’s (two shows few wrestling fans actually watch) further proving she’s nothing more than the Kim Kardashian of WWE.
I know I harp about my displeasure of Nikki Bella (a Diva through and through) still being a focal point of the WOMEN’S Division. But it needs to be said…women in WWE will never truly be considered on par with the boys until WWE eliminates the last remnants of the Divas Division.
This includes Nikki, Eva Marie and now my fellow Aussie Emma unfortunately (I refuse to call her Emmaline). That gimmick change was completely unnecessary as she was getting over with her NXT persona!
But I’m ranting again, sorry about that! Anyway, this was a decent match that gave Carmella a much needed and much-deserved win given all the work she has put in recent months.
WINNER via PINFALL: Carmella
Backstage Segment: Gabriel Iglesias, Apollo Crews, Miz & Maryse > F
I had to ask an American mate of mine of Facebook who this “Fluffy” guy was! Apparently, he’s a comedian! Although I never would’ve guessed. (Oh how far American comedy has fallen since the 90’s!) This segment was so beyond pointless and did nothing for Miz or Maryse. And honestly, the most entertaining person in the segment was Apollo Crews!
#1 Contendership For The Tag Team Title Battle Royale: American Alpha vs Hype Bros vs. Beauty and the Man-Beast vs Breezango vs The Vaudevillains vs The Ascension > B
This match was chaos, but it was a good kind of chaos. The entertaining kind of chaos! Although out of all the teams in the match, The Hype Bros were literally the last one I would have picked to win.
I would pick The Ascension over the Hype Bros for crying out loud. Although, Zack Ryder injured his knee in this match (don’t have to be a fan of his to genuinely hope it’s not too serious). So chances are we will get new number one contenders next week.
But the real story of this match (for me at least) was the continuing self-destruction of the team of Slater and Rhino. While I am intrigued where WWE will go with it, I am a little upset that the team didn’t last longer.
Heath Slater is a true success story of the brand split! And I hope after this angle with Rhino ends he is given something to do. Heath Slater shouldn’t go back to being one of the biggest jobbers in WWE.
WINNERS: Zack Ryder (The Hype Bros)
Video Promo: Baron Corbin > A
Very cool video that sells Baron Corbin so well!
WWE Smackdown Women's Title Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Becky Lynch > B+
I expected the count out finish as WWE obviously wants to extend this feud. And you will never hear me complain about that. But I do wish this match could’ve gone a bit longer.
WINNER via COUNTOUT: Becky Lynch
#1 Contendership For The WWE Championship Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match: Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz (Intercontinental Champion) [w/Maryse] vs Luke Harper > A
WOW, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MATCH!!! But, I have, to be honest, that was a bloody disappointing finish. I may be harsh on Dolph Ziggler, but I honestly just can’t get invested in any program involving him anymore.
And that’s not his fault; he works his arse off every single time he walks into an arena. But as I’ve mentioned before, when you have been booked as a glorified jobber for your entire career…it makes it impossible for you to get people invested in you. And therefore we all know Ziggler is NEVER going over Styles. So, why should we care to watch Styles vs Ziggler hmm WWE?
It would truly appear that AJ’s well-received Title reign will end with another John Cena win at Wrestlemania. Which I honestly don’t think he needs or deserves. Especially during a time where WWE is struggling to create new stars (a direct result of feeding anyone and everyone to Cena for a decade). And honestly, I feel very strongly that Ric Flair’s Title record should remain intact.
But the real person in this match I want to talk about is Luke Harper. As far as I’m concerned, he was this match’s MVP. If I were one of WWE’s higher-ups, I would be fighting hard to ensure he gets a push somewhere down the line. Clearly, he is one of WWE’s most underrated workers.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
Overall Grade: B
This week's show started slow, but a strong second half and a great main event made it must see TV. Most definitely an improvement from last week.
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91
And please feel free to check out 205 Live Vibes tomorrow right here on WNW!