Hello WNW people, Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you too…The Smackdown Breakdown. Before we get started I would like to thank WNW personnel Kendra Bunyon, Jesse-Elizabeth Sherwood, and of course WNW boss Richard Gray for letting me have a crack at bringing back a classic segment. Hopefully, if you guys like what you read, I will be able to bring you the breakdown every week.
Ok, let's dig into what happened on Smackdown Live, shall we…
Promo video > A
I agree with you WNW people, Cena has been picking up the intensity on the mic as of late and Dean really fired back with the lazy part timer line he threw at Cena. But as far as Dolph is concerned, he has been a glorified jobber for so long its hard to take him seriously anymore, so his promo completely fell flat for me last week.
In-ring segment: Women’s contract signing > A+
Daniel Bryan in the ring leading the 'Yes' chant will always make me smile, and he’s been looking quite dapper lately too, if I do say so myself. Clearly, Brie has taken over his wardrobe and put her foot down on him grooming his hair and beard more often. He seems more relaxed than he has been the last few weeks as well, the “don’t boo that” line he ad-libbed really got me chuckling.
As he introduces Becky Lynch I had to remind myself while I was writing this that I lost a gentleman’s wager with fellow WNW writer Zack Kransey, which means I can no longer gush about her, sadly, so instead I’ll gush about Alexa Bliss. When Alexia Bliss enters an arena for whatever reason my interest is peaked, I have felt that way about her ever since she debuted in NXT, I don’t know what it is, but she intrigues me. To my disappointment as a comic fan, she’s not in Harley Quinn mode, but she still looks crazy hot (hmm, maybe that’s why she intrigues me). There was a lot of great mic work by both of these women, but Alexa honestly outclassed Becky here, it started out feeling like a whole mean girl cliche, but quickly turned into an entitled heel type promo, a welcome change from the catty stuff which is ussualy the norm in women's promos.
I was a little worried when Alexa flipped the table over onto Becky’s knee, Becky clutched it pretty quick and Bryan even looked concerned, fortunately, it looks like Becky just sold it well. I’m super pumped for their match at No Mercy.
Backstage segment: Bryan and The Miz > B+
This program is easily the most watched on Smackdown, maybe even the whole WWE, and for good reason.
Ever since the Talking Smack segment Miz has been on fire, both on the mic and in the ring, and the constant subtle teasing by WWE of in-ring return for Daniel Bryan has added more intrigue to it, even though we all know that Bryan returning to a WWE ring is virtually impossible. It was a good segment which helped reestablish Bryan’s authority over the Miz and continues the very well written storyline between the two.
Tag Team Match: Usos vs American Alpha - B+ for the match, A+ for Slater and Rhyno backstage
Finally, we got to see the great match between these two teams that we were hoping to see during the Smackdown tag team title tournament, although the heel turn and new look that goes with it definitely suits Jimmy and Jey. The backstage cut of Slater and Rhyno watching the match was classic, without looking Rhyno holds out whatever he’s eating for Slater to spray a large amount of cheese wiz on. This sight made me burst into fits of laughter.
Back to the match, it was an excellent tag team showing that sold Gable’s injury that he suffered at the Usos' hands.
American Alpha remind me so much of Charlie Hass and Shelton Benjamin it’s scary, and the Usos new found aggression is very interesting to watch. Jordan refusing to give up and barely able to stand but not giving Gable the hot tag is something I’ve never seen before in wrestling, I really liked it. Honestly, like most men, I usually prefer my displays of affection and caring between males to be stuff like fist bumps and handshakes, but every now and then, displays of concern and caring between buddies can elicit an emotional response from me, and Jordan refusing to give an injured Gable the hot tag drew an emotional response from me. The Usos winning this was the right call due to how well their heel turn is going, and also because it should be a heel team who ends Slater and Rhyno’s Title run, but I hope that’s not for a while yet.
Winners - The Usos
Backstage segment: Slater and Rhyno > B+
These two are bloody funny together, I keep cracking up every time Slater tries to get Rhyno on board with something, Rhyno’s face sells it every time. I also liked the aggression on Slater’s face when the Usos started insulting his “kids”, Slater having more of a mean streak in the ring would be something to see. Man alive, who would’ve thought that in two short months Heath Slater would be one of the most talked about people in WWE, it’s mind boggling and completely awesome.
Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin > C+
Look guys, I realise Apollo isn’t exactly Mr. Personality, but neither was Big E before he got together with Woods and Kingston, so have a little patience folks. WWE is really trying to sell the idea that Corbin is a ruthless competitor, but it sadly seems to be falling flat with the audience, which is a shame because I was a big fan of his work in NXT. I don’t want to sound unkind, but Swagger could really use some speech therapy. His lisp was very pronounced on commentary, but apart from that he sold himself far better than I thought he would. This match itself didn’t last long, and the stare down wasn’t exactly badass and I’m not all that keen to see these two have a match, but people on smackdown just keep on surprising me, so I hope I’m proven wrong about these two.
Winner Baron Corbin>
Curt Hawkins, once again, telling us random facts about himself, but this time in different silly voices. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s a Monty Python fan. These promos are starting to get annoying honestly, but I’m still interested to see him re-debut in WWE.
Backstage interview with Nikki Bella and Naomi > C+
Naomi builds up Nikki pretty hard here, saying she’s overcome adversity and has the “glow!” Whatever that means.
I may be biased, but I’ve never been a huge fan of either Bella twins, I see Nikki as the Kim Kardashian of WWE, although some may see that as a good thing. But credit where it's due, her “I’m feeling rebooted, but Carmella is just bootleg” line was actually well delivered.
Backstage Interview > D-
As soon as Dolph compared Miz and Maryse to Bradgelina I instantly tuned out, am I the only one who finds the shameless pop culture references in WWE tiresome? Dolph tried very hard to sell himself in this promo but it just didn’t work for me, but when you’ve been jobbed out for most of your career with only brief periods of great success, you would need the Rock’s promo skills to sell yourself to the audience.
IC Title match Miz vs Dolph Ziggler > B+
The bottom part of Maryse's outfits seem to get skimpier every week, I’m not complaining of course, but I know a certain Queen of WNW who likes to critique her wardrobe. This match was never going to be as good as the classic Miz and Dolph had at Backlash, but they still put on a solid performance. Miz has impressed me so much over the last few weeks, he seems to have recommitted himself and it shows, both in his matches and his promo work. I know Vince likes his little jibes, but all the easy takedowns, easy ground and pounds and sleeper holds Dolph applied to Miz at the start of this match, and at the start of their match at Backlash was just a “shake my head” moment on every level, even the biggest CM Punk hater would be thinking “Just because Punk lost doesn’t mean you won Vinny Mac.”
I expected Maryse to be ejected during the match, but I didn’t expect Miz to use her hairspray in the eyes thing to win the match, so on that front, I have to give creative a little credit for that one. I really don’t know if I will ever feel anything for Dolph again quite frankly, I don’t know where WWE plans to go with him, but cknowledging the fact he scores twenty losses for everyone one win isn’t exactly giving him the underdog look they’re aiming for, and it saddens me to say that.
Winner The Miz
Randy Orton vs Erik Rowen > B
A Nice short little match. Rowen looked good here working with someone the calibre of Orton, but this match was only to further the Orton/Wyatt program, so it was never going to be must see.
Winner Randy Orton
Bray Wyatt Promo > A
I know some people are tired of Bray’s promos, but I will always love them. His promos are still one of the most creative things on WWE TV, it’s also one of the most frustrating things on WWE TV, as I can not fathom why Vince keeps jobbing out WWE's most unique character in almost every bloody feud. Bray Wyatt should be main eventing PPV’s/Network specials, instead, he’s putting over Kane, Ugh!!!
Tag Match: Naomi and Nikki Bella vs Natalya and Carmella > F
Well, that was quick, I know this match was done solely to further the Nikki/Carmella storyline, but to deprive Natalya and Naomi of the great showing we all know they could’ve put on in this match is a bloody crime. But at least I got to see Naomi’s entrance, I LOVE IT! It's fun, creative and different, three things WWE needs more of.
Winners Nikki and Naomi via DQ
Backstage Interview > A
I have to admit, the WWE World Title belt looks beautiful on AJ Styles shoulders. Mainly because I, like everyone else, never would’ve believed a “TNA guy” or a “New Japan guy” would ever hold WWE’s richest prize. And despite what some people have said AJ can actually talk, and talk very well. I’ve never seen someone use dictionary definitions to explain why there aren’t in a feud before, and him continuing his “Champ that runs the camp” line must be a “Cena haters” dream. AJ continues to impress at every level, and Vince McMahon is right to regret not signing him sooner.
John Cena vs Dean Ambrose > A
One thing that made me laugh like crazy before the match was a brief camera shot of a small boy wearing an Ambrose shirt booing and giving a big thumbs down to Cena during his entrance, it’s just not something we are used to seeing, but then seeing more adult males cheering Cena every week isn’t something we are used to seeing either. As much as I do prefer Smackdown to Raw, it does feel a bit like bizarro world at times. The match itself was a solid main event, a lot of back and forth action, I’m glad Ambrose got the win as he needed a strong showing after losing the Title. And call me a Cena hater if you want, but eventually him winning almost every time and in such an overwhelming manner had started to become counter-productive, so Cena putting over the new guys is the right move, especially as his career is clearly winding down and WWE has to start depending on a few newer faces.
I honestly saw AJ coming out to attack both men after the match a mile away, but I didn’t expect Bryan to come out straight out afterwards to announce Styles vs Ambrose in a rematch for the WWE World Title, and it's yet another example of why I think Smackdown is the better show, it's simply far less predictable than Raw.
Winner Dean Ambrose (And clean at that!)
The biggest thing that strikes me about Smackdown Live (and I think most fans will agree with me) is how much better WWE TV truely is under a two-hour format, and for that reason alone Smackdown is better than Raw in my opinion. Raw, since the brand split, has so much filler in between moments of greatness that in order to watch it, you require larger than normal amounts of patience. But when you watch Smackdown, it feels like they rarely waste precious moments of air time, and the talent is definitely better off for it.
And that, WNW people was the Smackdown breakdown, I hope you enjoyed it.
Follow me on twitter @TheBigM91