Hello, WNW people, Mitch ”BIG M” Adams here. And I welcome you to this week's edition of…The Smackdown Breakdown!
Now before we get into the breakdown for this week, I must apologise for posting this a day late. I was unfortunately quite ill on at the time of Smackdown’s broadcast, and I simply couldn’t have written it to meet anyone's standards at the time.
But now that I’m on the mend let's dig into what happened this week on Smackdown Live, shall we…
In Ring Segment: Ziggler & Miz > B+
Maybe I'm harsh on old Ziggy as his promo here honestly wasn’t too bad.
But even after his win at No Mercy I still just can’t get invested in the guy all things considered. However, I can get invested in Miz after all the amazing promo work he has been doing the last few weeks. Although I found Miz and Maryse mourning “the death” of the Intercontinental Title an excellent heat getter, the fact remains that the Title's prestige “died” years ago sadly.
All the shots Miz has been taking at Daniel Bryan, both in the ring and on the mic have been brilliant heel moments. It’s something that keeps Bryan at the forefront of fans minds after retirement. Real life, I think this is Miz’s Kayfabed way of paying tribute to Daniel. And if that is the case, I have a greater level of personal respect for the Miz.
I really liked the awesome one's line “If you think I was willing to do anything to retain that Title…what do you think I’m willing to do to get it back?” Miz chasing the Title is something I never thought I’d be excited for.
However, not even Miz going full blown epic heel on the mic is enough to sell a Spirit Squad introduction! And the cheer was like something out of a Disney Channel movie. Spirit Squad is the only reason this segment doesn’t get an A.
Two On One Handicap Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Spirit Squad > F
Well, this will certainly change my opinion on Ziggler's booking in WWE (sarcasm alert). I mean honestly, what the bloody hell was the point of this match? If they wanted to give Ziggy a strong win after No Mercy then give him someone like Apollo to go over. Don’t give him the only two remaining members of the Spirit Squad who’s phones haven’t been cut off!
Mike Mondo looked out of shape and clumsy as anything in the ring.
While Kenny Dykstra looked like he gave himself a hernia delivering a clothesline to Dolph, that only looked to be about a five on the stiffness scale.
Simply put this match did nothing for Ziggy and gets a big fat F!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Post Match Shenanigans > C
The post-match attack being broken up by Rhino and Slater caught me by surprise. I sincerely hope Dykstra and Mondo haven’t been re-signed and aren't going to work a program involving the Smackdown Tag Titles.
But it looks like that may, unfortunately, be the case.
Backstage Segment: Daniel & Shane Issue The Challenge To Raw > A
Brand Warfare returns this year in WWE at the 30th Survivor Series!
And I, for one, could not be more pumped, even if I tried. My fantasy booking mind is going haywire concerning who will be selected for all three Raw and Smackdown teams. And I love the fact the Women’s Division will be featured in a traditional Survivor Series Tag Match.
The good people here in WNW are already taking sides in what will hopefully be an epic brand war. And we are planning something special for you guys in the lead up to the PPV/Network special. (Sorry if I’m spoiling the surprise, CJ Blaze.) But, just to make things very clear to my fellow WNW writers, and to you the WNW readership…I BLEED BLUE!!!
Shane and Daniel looked positively giddy announcing the challenge to Raw. It is very clear (to me at least) that these two really do enjoy working together on screen. All this adds up to a very excited fan sitting here typing this out.
Carmella vs Naomi > C
Have I mentioned how much I love Naomi’s entrance? It’s a shame PG prevents her from twerking in her entrance. If that were to happen, a certain WNW reader would probably have a heart attack (G’day Xavier, how’s it going?).
As I have mentioned before, as much as WWE constantly reminding us of how much of a big deal we should think Nikki Bella is, I can't help but gag! The one good thing about it all is that it makes Carmella look like a legit threat to the Smackdown Women’s Division. But that may have all gone out the window in this match.
We all saw Nikki coming out and distracting Carmella for Naomi to get the quick pin a mile away; I’m not complaining about that. But I do take issue with Carmella running for her life from Nikki two days after she pushed Nikki to the limit in a one on one match.
I know that Diva stuff is all Nikki knows, but it still sucks that with all the progress WWE has made in regards to women’s wrestling, they still go back to Diva Division mentality when booking someone who is not a four horsewomen member. However, on the plus side, at least Naomi looked good in this match.
Backstage Segment: Alexa & Bryan B & F
Ok, firstly the F portion of this segment goes to WWE’s production truck over how poorly the audio was in this segment. Normally the people in WWE’s production truck don’t get enough praise! But on this occasion, they really dropped the ball as I could barely make out what everyone was saying with all that distortion.
Alexa is going to be a big deal on Smackdown, and Daniel making a match between her and Naomi left a big smirk on my face. I have no problem saying that several women on the both rosters could out work with a lot of the men on both rosters.
Chad Gable vs Jimmy Uso > B+
Short, but solid, one on one match that continues this program between American Alpha and The Usos. Chad Gable is an amazing mat technician who may be the most underrated member of his team. Jey Uso giving the assist to Jimmy in a rather creative way just added that little something extra to this match. I mean, if you are going to cheat, do it with style, right?
Winner: Jimmy Uso (with stylish help from Jey)
Backstage Segment: Hype Bros & Accession > F
Arguably the two worst Tag Teams in WWE today having a stare-down in the locker room. Of course, this is going to get an F!
In-Ring Segment: AJ, Dean & James Ellsworth > A
This was a very good in-ring segment that put over AJ more than ever.
And it sold a match many couldn’t think would work…AJ Styles vs James Ellsworth. AJ is getting more and more solid on the mic every single week. Dean Ambrose was his usual intense and hilarious self. And Ellsworth's body language, while very over the top, was actually pretty effective. Bryan coming out to make Dean the special guest referee was the cherry on top.
Dean ripping off the referee's shirt and emptying his pockets, handing out all manner of items to a perplexed AJ to hold onto made me laugh out loud. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…Dean Ambrose is pure Money!
AJ Styles vs James Elsworth With Dean Ambrose As The Guest Referee > A
Before I get into this match, I wish to make a point about what it means for one worker to look after another in the ring. AJ Styles' finisher, The Styles Clash has an undeserved reputation as a dangerous move in the industry. This is due mainly to a few workers over the last three years making the simple error of tucking their chin as opposed to placing their head forward when taking the move from AJ. AJ always gives his opponents ample time to do this before leaving his feet, as there is little he can do about his opponent not getting themselves in the correct position after he does so. However, AJ being the true professional and selfless human being that he is somehow after leaving his feet, knew that Elseworth’s head was out of position and adjusted himself mid-air to land on his feet. This quick thinking not only probably saved Ellsworth's life but also could have potentially hyperextended one or even both of AJ’s knees, which could potentially lead to serious injuries for AJ Styles. So from now on I don’t want any WNW reader ever to post comments claiming AJ Styles is an unsafe worker. He would risk injuring himself rather than risk injuring the person he’s working with.
Now some may have found Ambrose’s antics as the referee in this match irritating, but personally, I couldn’t stop laughing at everything Dean was doing in there. From tripping AJ, pretending to answer his phone during the match, to flirting with a woman in the front row asking for his autograph, everything Dean did made my sides split with laughter.
And whether some people want to admit it or not, Dean Ambrose helped James Ellsworth get over with the crowd.
Backstage Segment: Orton & Kane > A
I was sold by this segment purely from Kane telling Randy that he had issues after his dark and demented monologue.
Backstage Segment: Bryan & Shane inform AJ Of The New #1 Contender > A
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am actually excited about Styles vs Ellsworth for the WWE World Title next week. Even though poor old James will, and of course should lose, I hope the match is booked in a manner that will get him over somehow.
In Ring Segment: Wyatt Family Promo > B
I was very happy to see Luke Harper return this week at No Mercy.
He is one of, if not the most talented big men of his generation. Luke’s portion of this promo was short but sweet, and Bray was his usual brilliant self. But honestly, this felt pointless.
Tag Team Match: Randy Orton & Kane vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper > B+
As I said above, Luke Harper is one of the best big men working today. He can perform moves most men of his size could only dream of pulling off. And as I’ve said many times before, I can not fathom why Bray is not in Championship storylines.
Kane, even after all these years can still work at an elite level. Although I always thought Kane hailed from the fabled land known as Parts Unknown, not Knoxville Tennessee as the graphic during his entrance claimed! So sue me, but I feel like kayfabe should still be strictly adhered to in some aspects of pro wrestling.
Kane and Randy as a tag team is a prospect I find quite intriguing, quite intriguing indeed. I can see them being tag champs somewhere own the line as a matter of fact. Maybe you guys can come up with some tags team names for them in the comment section?
This match was solid, but not all that stellar of a TV main event. And the “derp” lights out ending which resulted in Kane vanishing as Orton was looking for the hot tag kinda fell flat on me.
But still, all four men in this match looked great, apart from Randy botching Sister Abigail. And it helped further sell the Orton/Wyatt program while also possibly setting up a new program involving Harper and Kane. Now that is a feud between two big men I would love to see.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
Overall Grade > B+
Now this weeks edition of Smackdown Live was by far a massive improvement on last week’s. I am so pumped about the WWE World Title match, and Alexa vs Naomi for next week's show. Plus the announcements by Daniel and Shane about Survivor Series has every WNW writer chomping at the bit. It’s going to be a very fun couple of weeks!
And that ladies and gents is the Smackdown Breakdown; I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91