Hello WNW People, my name is Mitch “Big M” Adams, and I am proud to welcome you to the Smackdown Breakdown. You all know I don’t beat around the bush so let’s get stuck into what happened on this week’s episode of Smackdown Live, shall we?
In-Ring Promo: AJ Styles > A+
I know I keep harping on this…BUT WHO THE F**K EVER SAID AJ STYLES COULDN’T CUT PROMOS? The man has honestly become one of the best talkers in WWE. I know that is a bloody, bold statement to make, but I am 100% standing by it! The best promos always have an element of truth to them, and AJ cutting a promo about being screwed over by management just works so well because, storyline wise, he really has been. And the fans know it!
AJ has said in interviews that he needs to be a better heel because fans love him so much which is true! But the thing of it is the character is meant to be a heel, but he’s kind of being booked as a babyface getting screwed all the time. It’s kind of like the Roman Reigns conundrum! He’s meant to be a babyface, but fans simply want to hate him, and everything he does just screams cocky, arrogant heel! I don’t know if it’s a shift in fan perspective or an inability by WWE to properly book people, but I find it all fascinating. And I hope you all feel that way as well when I explore this subject in greater detail in the next House of “M” that will be posted this weekend (cheap plug alert).
Becky Lynch vs Natalya > B+
I am never disappointed with a Becky Lynch match on Smackdown! I honestly believe that she is the true dark horse of NXT’s Four Horsewomen is the sense that while everyone was focused on how Sasha, Bayley, and Charlotte were making history on Raw, she was making history on Smackdown with Women like Alexa Bliss! I have also been impressed by Natalya as of late. Everyone knows she is the most underrated worker male or female in WWE today, and I am so glad that after having to regress to the “Diva” style of working to accommodate Nikki Bella she is being given the opportunity to show what she can really do! Yeah, she may have lost clean, but Natalya still got to show us what she can really do in the ring for a change! And that is going to go a long way.
Post Match Shenanigans: Carmella Attacks Lynch & Natalya > B
Call me crazy, but I think Carmella will wind up having a Title reign at some point this year. Yeah, she’s currently stuck with this awful storyline with Ellsworth. But I’ve seen glimpses of brilliance from this girl since she debuted on the main roster. All she needs is the right storyline, and she’ll be off like a rocket.
Miz TV: Miz, Maryse, Cena, Niki & Bryan > A
I have to give Smackdown’s Creative team a lot of credit for somehow getting wrestling fans invested into a storyline and mixed tag match that is being done purely to get the Total Divas audience watching Wrestlemania on April 2nd! Miz and Maryse sold the crap out of this segment with some of the bet promo work I’ve ever seen a Wrestling couple ever do. I was especially impressed by Maryse skills on the stick. I guess wen you’re married to one of the best talkers in the game you are bound to pick up stuff up.
I really wish when Nikki was doing her promo Maryse would have gone off script and said something like “Are you talking about yourself or me?” because let's be honest…all of those insults Nikki was hurling at Maryse actually describe her to a tee! Daniel Bryan coming out to make the mixed tag match official for Mania was to be expected, but as usual, he made it fun. Daniel Bryan during his WWE managed to do what did not come naturally to him and developed and entertaining promo style.
All in all, I grow more and more impressed by how Smackdown’s creative team manages to turn something that should be crap into pure gold! Meanwhile Raw keeps turning stuff that should be brilliant into pure crap! It’s quite remarkable really.
Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss > C
I was honestly expecting so much more from this match! It was honestly a bit of a letdown. I don’t know what it is, but Mickie James just seems to be on the back foot ever since her return to WWE! I mean, given her reputation in the industry and after her incredible match with Asuka on NXT, you’d think she’d have no problem gelling with all the new workers in today's women’s division. And yet she just can’t seem to click with anyone in the ring or on the mic! I hope this changes soon, because honestly, it may start to tarnish her legacy soon. Plus, why would they book Alexa Bliss to go under clean before Wrestlemania when she is already considered to be the underdog going into the multi women match? You’d think they would want to make her look strong, so fans don’t think the outcome of the match will be predictable and lose interest. So yeah, honestly a bit disappointed with this one!
Backstage Segment: AJ Styles Attacks Shane McMahon > A
Holy shit that looked vicious (sorry Nanna) I mean really, AJ beat the tar out of Shane. Not even the obviously fake blood could take away from just how well AJ and Shane sold this. Even Renne Young got to play a part in this segment showing concern for Shane before shouting “Oh my God, he’s bleeding!” And as a bonus for us old school fans, we got to see Fit Finley on WWE TV again! Backstage brawls can honestly turn into car crash TV a lot of the time! But when done right, they can really add to a program. And WNW people let me tell you..this was done right!
Backstage Segment: Bryan Fires Styles > B+
Some people were complaining that heels should not have been admonishing AJ in the locker room for beating down Shane, but I actually think it's added to the narrative. I mean, you know a bad guy has done something really awful if other bad guys feel it was wrong! Some people now think Because Daniel fired AJ that that means he’ll be on Raw next week regardless of the match with Shane! Not that he couldn’t face Shane as a Raw guy who felt jilted by Smackdown (In fact that would probably add to the match), but I honestly doubt anyone is switching brands until the next WWE Draft which is rumored to happen not long after Wrestlemania!
Mojo Rawly vs Dolph Ziggler > F
Well, that was bloody pointless! And yes Tom Phillips and JBL we know that if Mojo throws Dolph over the top rope in the Andre Battle Royal, he’ll be eliminated. Believe it or not, we have watched wrestling before!
In-Ring Segment: Orton & Wyatt Promos > A+
Randy was solid on the mic here, but Bray simply stole the show as usual! He just looked so much darker, more demented, more dangerous in this segment. I know I harp about how much I enjoy Bray’s promo work, but he’s ramping it up for the road to Wrestlemania. And I am loving it!
Backstage Interview: Baron Corbin > B+
Corbin continues to improve every week in the ring and on the mic! I can’t wait for him and Ambrose to start working matches. This feud is going to be EPIC!
The Usos vs American Alpha > B & F
I was surprised this was the main event for Smackdown, but I certainly wasn;t going to complain about it! WWE never does much with their Tag Teams come Wrestlemania season, and both American Alpha and the Usos deserved a chance to shine. But what they absolutely do not deserve is to have the production truck cut away from their match to show Shane McMahon ignoring doctors, trainers and producers and watch his busted arse slowly walk to the entrance way! I get it, the storyline is important! But as a byproduct of continuing to cut away to Shane, your making the tag match look unimportant!
Not cool WWE, not cool!
Shane Announces Him vs AJ At Wrestlemania > F
I don’t know if he was selling or not, but Shane almost looked concussed! And with the fact he took away from the tag match between Alpha and the Uso’s as well as USA Network cutting off Smackdown ten seconds after he came out, I’d say it was a mistake to announce himself vs AJ at Mania this week! WWE’s higher-ups should have waited until next week to do it I say!
Overall Grade > A
Usually when WWE does a “Segment heavy, Wrestling light” type of show it’s bloody awful. But this was not the case for this week's Smackdown! Every single segment (apart from the last one) was well written, well sold and served a purpose. Unlike Raw where just about every segment was pointless, illogical and awfully written!
It never ceases to amaze me just how much better written Smackdown is than Raw every week! And I can’t fathom why Raw’s creative team isn’t tearing a few pages from Smackdown’s. The only answer I can come up with is that Vince McMahon simply pays less attention to Smackdown and doesn’t interfere as much. And in my opinion, this illustrates how he should no longer be in charge of WWE’s creative direction! He simply no longer knows his audience.
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown.
I hope you have enjoyed it.
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