The Smackdown Breakdown: Keys To The Kingdom!

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Daniel Bryan

Hello WNW People, my name is Mitch “Big M” Adams, and I am proud to welcome you to the Smackdown Breakdown. Let’s get stuck into what happened on this week's episode of Smackdown Live, shall we?

Naomi Forfeits The Smackdown Women’s Title Due To Injury: Naomi, Bryan & Bliss > A
I feel absolutely awful for Naomi! She was easily the most underutilised female talent for years. And after years of toiling, busting her arse (no, I did not mean that as a joke about her booty) she finally got her due and her moment in the spotlight. But unfortunately, in a scene, we have become all too accustomed to in recent years she was forced to forfeit her Championship weeks after winning it.

It was especially poignant that it was Daniel Bryan asking her to do so! I have to wonder if Bryan took the time to have a reassuring chat with Naomi backstage before Smackdown went to air. As he said on television, he knows just how much this situation sucks!

But, as crappy as Naomi having to give up the Title is, Alexa Bliss coming out in full heel mode was simply joyful. I think I can state without fear of disagreement that Alexa Bliss is the very best female heel in WWE today!

The segment ending in a match for the vacant Title between Bliss and Lynch was expected! But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to see it happen!

Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch > B+
I’m not tired of seeing Charlotte vs Banks on Raw yet, and I am certainly not tired of seeing Bliss vs Lynch on Smackdown yet. I don’t think these two are capable of having a bad match together. It’s obvious these two have amazing chemistry together and have found their groove together in the ring. Although, like all their matches, I really do wish it had gone a little longer.

Bliss winning the match dirty feels like it’s setting up something more Mania honestly! And I can’t wait to see what creative and higher-ups are planning.
Winner: Alexa Bliss

Post Match Run-In: Mickie James > F
I have, to be honest, that run-in looked bloody sloppy! Mickie’s timing was way off, and I think it threw off Becky’s timing.

Multiple Battle Royal Promos > D, B & A
Kallisto’s promo was “Ehh” > D
Miz’s promo was rushed, but solid > B
However, as usual, Ambrose delivered the goods in the promo department! The torn up photo of Corbin was a very nice touch! > A

Backstage Interview: Natalya > C+
The same catty Diva style promo that Natalya has been forced to cut since doing this program with Nikki. Although I will admit, I popped a little for the “Silicone Insincerity” line.

American Alpha vs Breezango > B-
Once again, they are cutting the Tag Division on Smackdown short with these two-minute matches! But American Alphas tribute to the Steiner Brothers was super cool! Although, knowing Scotty he’d have something “interesting” to say about it! Hmm, I wonder if he has Twitter? Excuse me one moment while I google that! Well, he does have a Twitter, but nothing about the tribute.
Winner’s: American Alpha

Post Match Promo: The Usos > F
Very shouty and rambling promo from the Usos here! I really did not like it!

More Battle Royal Promos > B, C, B & A
AJ’s bullying of a backstage tech and skipping around like Fred Astaire actually worked quite well I think > B
Ziggler super kicking his backdrop was weird! > C
I prefer Mojo building up to “Hype mode” by starting slowly, and it worked well for this promo > B
And Harper is proving each week why he should’ve been given the spotlight long ago! > A

Backstage Interview: Nikki Bella > F
Can Nikki just retire already “Ugh!”

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Nikki Bella vs Natalya > B
Ok, you all know how I felt about this program. Natalya, the most underrated female worker in WWE today having to work the “Diva style” in order to accommodate the most overrated female worker in Nikki. But, I will give credit where it is due…this match was actually pretty decent. Both women worked hard to put on a good show (Common for Nattie, but usually uncommon for Nikki).

Although, that doesn’t mean the match was without its faults! Both Nikki and Natalya called multiple audibles during this match. I think Nattie even said to Nikki “good job” at one point. Which leads me to believe Natalya was the one calling the match!

But, the biggest issue with the match was that some things were obviously kayfabed (the mirror and the pipe), and other things were not (the table and the kendo stick). Women have more than proven to be able to work hardcore matches in the past without needing to “gimmick” the weapons. So why half arse it here?

In fact, the most dangerous spot in the match was Natalya being Alabama Slammed into the announcer's table. And that was obviously not kayfabed (Poor Nattie, that had to hurt!).

Maryse coming out and costing Nikki the match (with a nerf pipe) was obvious from the moment Nattie threw Nikki into her backstage during the match. And it is the first seed of what I think we can now confirm of the build up for Cena and Nikki vs Miz and Maryse at Wrestlemania.
Winner: Natalya

More Battle Royal Promos > B+ and B
Baron Corbin is quite possibly the biggest rising star in WWE! But as I’ve said before, he could use a little polishing as far as his mic game is concerned. I think higher-ups realise this to so they are only letting him do these little soundbites for now. But to Corbin’s credit, he makes them work > B+

I have always felt that Apollo Crews has gotten the rough end of the stick since he was called up to the main roster. Yeah, I get it! He’s hardly Mr personality. But there are many successful names in the industry (Hall of Famers) who were not larger than life either. And besides, Apollo actually cut a decent promo here! So maybe you guys should cut him some slack huh?

Wyatt Family Promo > B+
I am still not a fan of Orton being with Wyatt so sue me! But as usual, Bray’s promo game was on point.

10-Man Battle Royal for the #1 Contendership at Wrestlemania > A
Can you remember the last time people were so pumped for a Battle Royal? This match was actually quite good, with solid performances by everyone involved. Baron Corbin especially looked like a million bucks in there (big things in that young man’s future).

However, this match was more about setting up Smackdown’s big Wrestlemania feuds. So many seeds were planted here from Miz and Cena, to Corbin and Ambrose. Although, I think most of us were more interested in seeds planted for Corbin and Ambrose than Miz and Cena! Corbin vs Ambrose for the IC Title at Wrestlemania should be an epic match.

,
The whole thing ending on a cliffhanger with both AJ Styles and Luke Harper both going over the top rope at the same time ala the 1994 Royal Rumble was actually an inspired decision I think.

A. Because the WWE World Title match for Mania is in a state of flux after Orton’s announcement last week and this only continues the intrigue. Although, I still think that angle last week makes no sense character wise for Orton, and made the Rumble look worthless!

And B. Because it ended Smackdown on a cliffhanger! Something that was commonplace during the Attitude Era to help hook in viewers and make them tune in the next week!

Overall Grade: B+
That was an exciting show! One or two missteps but overall I think most fans would have been satisfied with Smackdown this week.

And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed it. Feel free to follow me on twitter @TheBigM91 and make sure to join in the fun and discussion that is WNW’s Facebook group created by Richard Grey and administrated by yours truly! The group URL is www.MMAPW.com, and it’s all about pro wrestling and MMA discussion. I hope to see you there!

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