In Ring Segment: Women’s Title Contract Signing > B+
Renee Young opening Smackdown should be an ongoing thing! But Alexa is dead wrong about Renee’s fashion sense. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Dean Ambrose is a very lucky man! Alexa and Becky were both very strong on the mic here as they have been throughout this whole program. Alexa constantly talking about the way Becky speaks was an obvious reference to the ever growing idiocy that is Kevin Dunn. If anyone actually has any trouble understanding Becky Lynch, I’ll eat my left foot!
We all saw this breaking down into a brawl a mile away (it is a contract signing after all) but I don’t think anyone expected a table spot. These two can rock the house in any match, but a Table Match between Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss could potentially steal the show. As evidenced by how much people in attendance were popping for this segment.
Tag Team Match: Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto vs The Miz/Baron Corbin > C
As I predicted, Dolph Ziggler has once again had the rug pulled from beneath him mid push. And now it’s straight back to being a glorified jobber in the mid card for him. The guy should really consider the Cody Rhodes route of leaving and proving his worth elsewhere. Hell, half the roster in WWE should really give it a try! There are at least a dozen workers in WWE right now who are either aren’t being utilised to their full potential or not being utilised at all.
I could care less about the Miz/Ziggler program at this point. But I do care about the Kalisto/Baron Corbin program. Both have had to put up with being booked against their strengths on the main roster. But, since the brand split, it seems they are both finally being booked in a manner that got them over on NXT.
This match was all about furthering the programs of the workers involved (as is customary in go home shows), so it was sadly nothing special. But I did enjoy the intensity of Baron Corbin during the chair beatdown of Kalisto.
WINNERS via DQ: Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto
Backstage Interview: American Alpha > F
These guys have a fair amount of personality. But whoever wrote the dialogue in this segment should be shanghaied. This was just plain awful.
Wyatt Family Promo > D
Bray as strong as ever on the mic and Orton being the veteran he is more than held is own. We all knew Orton was pulling a Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family, and the tension of between him and Luke Harper was meant to tease that. But My problem with this whole storyline is still that it makes no sense kayfabe-wise.
Maybe this is the creative writer in me talking, but why would Bray buy Orton (WWE’s biggest lone wolf) converting to his side? Especially after Bryan fooled him with the exact same ploy.
I know WWE’s higher-ups and creative team think we have short memories…but did they really think we would be entertained by recycling an old storyline with such obvious end results!
In-Ring Segment: Carmella/Nikki Bella > B
Carmella was pure gold here! I especially like the way she handled the crowd when they tried to hijack the segment. This girl knows exactly what she’s doing in there.
Given all the digs she was taking at Nikki Bella (which while in kayfabe, are honestly all true if we are being honest) it’s no surprise this ended with a run-in. But I wish Carmella had have gotten a little offensive in.
I hope Nikki Bella goes under at TLC! Carmella more than deserves the rub with all the stellar work she’s been doing. But I think we all know Nikki will go over because WWE’s higher-ups want Cena’s girlfriend to look really strong when she wins the Smackdown Women’s Title by Wrestlemania time. I just hope they don’t give her another year long run with the Title. That would drag Women’s Wrestling back down to the stone age!
THE AMBROSE ASYLUM > A
I know I keep harping about this…But Dean Ambrose is so bloody entertaining! I laugh my head off every time they put a microphone in his hand. And can you believe the pop James Ellsworth gets every time he comes out to the ring? He is over as anything! WWE can't get Roman Reigns over no matter how hard they force it. And yet someone like Ellsworth gets over on his own with a creative storyline that developed organically. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
But now onto the portion of this segment that had everyone talking! The epic beatdown AJ Styles delivered to Ambrose and Ellsworth. Quite frankly I thought AJ was a little stiff with his use of all those foreign objects. The force of the chair shot he delivered to poor James made cringe a fair bit.
But that Styles Clash of the steps was one of the more brutal spots I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s a really good thing Ellsworth is chinless!
Otherwise, his face would’ve caught the steel steps on the way down.
It’s also a really good thing that Ellsworth made sure he positioned his head correctly for the Clash! Because I don’t think Styles could’ve saved him this time.
This segment, and the stretcher job of Ellsworth, complete with Ambrose saying “It’s my fault, I’ll fix it” was the perfect way to sell the TLC main event. Although, I think it may be fairly obvious that Ellsworth may cost Ambrose the Title somehow at TLC.
Kane vs Luke Harper > A
I always cop a fair bit of flak from some people over my opinion of big men in the industry. Because I feel that aesthetics shouldn’t be considered above talent, I get labeled as biased against big men.
But this is simply not true; I love to watch any worker who can put on a great match regardless of size or looks. And this match was a clear example.
Luke Harper can do things in the ring a six foot seven, one hundred and thirty-kilogram human being just shouldn’t be able to do. And Kane can still put on a great match any time it’s required. Even though he is pushing fifty years of age!
I loved every minute of this match, but I wish it weren't a TV match. Missing the action due to commercial breaks really sucks.
WINNER via PINFALL: Kane
Backstage Interview: Becky Lynch > A
I wish to repeat the fact that Kevin Dunn is a bloody idiot! Becky Lynch not only speaks fine, but she speaks with passion and charisma. I especially liked the non-PG line directed towards Alexa (more please WWE).
Tag Team Turmoil - Finals American Alpha vs. The Wyatt Family >B+
Sadly, we all knew what the result of this match was going to be ahead of time. But it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of it I don’t think. And the Fact that Smackdown’s Tag Division got to close a show is a very cool moment.
As I have mentioned before, American Alpha are probably the best mat wrestlers in WWE today. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have been compared to Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass, but I would like to make a different comparison if I may. Yes, it’s there is a strong influence of the Worlds Greatest Tag Team with AA. But I honestly see a fair amount of the Steiner Brothers in Gable and Jordan. Seriously check out some Rick and Scotty content on the WWE Network. You will see what I’m talking about.
The story this match told in regards to Wyatt, Harper and Orton worked very well. But it still makes little sense to me kayfabe wise all things considered.
WINNERS via PINFALL (Wyatt over Jordan): The Wyatt Family
Backstage Segment: Slater/Rhino, Styles & Ambrose > B
Interesting way to end a show! I really liked Rhino getting into AJ’s face. A match between the two would be something to see I think. If they ever worked together in TNA can one of you fine WNW people let me know so I can find it online, thank you?
A backstage brawl to end a show is something I don’t think we’ve seen since the Attitude era. And I really enjoyed it (Again, more please WWE)
Overall Grade > B
WWE always phone it in with “go home” shows these days on both brands. Sadly this week’s Smackdown was no exception. However, amongst the far too many talking segments, there were two excellent Matches. And the Ambrose Asylum segment was a cool, but brutal highlight!
Big M Reacts: 205Live
I’m just going to do a quick run through of each match and give them a grade. I’ll then give my final thoughts same as Smackdown. If this is something you’d like to see every week WNW People, please let me know. But if I can give a short message to the fans in attendance at this week's Smackdown who chose to leave before 205Live started…You missed out big time Dummies!
The Bollywood Boyz vs Tony Nese & Drew Gulack > B
Hey look, it’s the Global Force Wrestling Tag Team Champs the Bollywood Boyz! All joking aside these two young men representing India can actually go. But they seem a little out of their league when in the ring with people like Nese and Gulack. This was an ok match, but I think the wrong people went over.
Winners via PINFALL: The Bollywood Boyz
Jack Gallagher vs Ariya Davari > A
You’d think someone with Gallagher’s look and ring style wouldn’t have a chance in hell of getting over with a WWE audience. And yet the crowd were popping for him in this match big time.
He truly was one of the big surprises in the Cruiserweight Classic. Everyone thought watching his European chain wrestling style would put them to sleep. But he has so much charisma and personality he makes every single lock and takedown entertaining.
I popped like a massive mark when I saw him tie up Tozawa into a human soccer ball and took a penalty kick in their match at the CWC.
And I did so gain in this match.
I don’t know a lot about Ariya Davari other than his older brother. He didn’t really get to showcase what he can do here. Nor did he have the opportunity to do so during the CWC. So I will reserve any sort of judgment on him until such time as I can see what he can do. All in all, this was a fun match.
Winner via PINFALL: Jack Gallagher
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Brian Kendrick (c) vs Rich Swan > A+
Now that is how you book a Cruiserweight Championship Match! The story these two men told in the ring was truly something special. All the back and forth in this match built and ebbed in perfect rhythm. And most importantly the audience in attendance was 100% invested in it.
Rich Swan’s story is something that is truly life affirming. I am so very happy for him and all his current and future success. Kendra Bunyon was honestly a little heartbroken by Kendrick’s loss (Our Queen has a little crush), but she shouldn’t worry! Brian Kendrick will be a huge star in the Cruiserweight Division for years to come.
This was just a wonderful match that restores my hope in the Cruiserweight divisions future.
Winner And New Cruiserweight Champion: Rich Swan
Overall Grade > A
I think it was clear to everyone watching that Smackdown’s crowd in attendance (at least the ones that chose to stick around) were far more invested in the CW’s than any Raw crowd ever!
I wish that WWE would do the background video segments on the CW’s shown in this, my new favourite WWE Network show on Raw. It would help get the casual audience more invested in these incredible athletes.
I firmly believe that the whole division would be better off on the blue brand. And while we are at it move the IC Title to Raw. There sadly isn’t enough roster depth in Smackdown’s mid-card to support it, and Ziggler vs Miz has been done to death!
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown and my reaction to 205Live. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91