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 edition of Smackdown Live, shall we?
Opening Segment: Bryan, Miz, Corbin, Styles & Ambrose > A
What a wonderful opening segment this was! I will never get enough of the huge reactions Daniel Bryan gets every time he comes out to an arena to a sea of 'Yes!' chants. The man worked a handful of matches in the last two years of his in-ring career, and he’s still the most over person in the company. That honestly makes me a little sad considering it’s now been a year since he first announced his retirement. But seeing him enjoying himself out there cracking jokes at the Miz’s expense made me smile!
I love the Miz’s jealous heel routine he has going with Bryan the last few months. They have always had great chemistry together in the ring and on the mic! Plus, how epic was the burn Bryan laid on Miz? It was a cheesy line I know, but it was still cool.
AJ Styles and Baron Corbin also looked strong on the microphone once again. But it’s still obvious that Corbin is a little nervous with a microphone in his hand. However, the level of bravado and intensity he gives off is very effective in covering it up.
Dean Ambrose scored a HUGE pop coming out to the Seattle crowd! Not that people don’t make noise wherever he is performing, but he got something extra this week. I guess the area now known as “Daniel Bryan country” has become more of an IWC hotbed.
I honestly jumped out of my chair a little when Bryan announced the Fatal-4 Way! It was just the perfect cherry on top for what was a superb opening segment.
Fatal-4 Way Match: Baron Corbin vs Miz vs AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose > A
Talk about popping a crowd and getting them hot at the start of the show! Every participant in this match looked like a million bucks and put on a hell of a show. But the person I really want to talk about is the “Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin!
It’s been obvious to me for quite some time that he is headed for big things in WWE. Despite the fact that he is honestly a little green in some areas, the man simply has IT! He was honestly directionless for a little while after being called up to the main roster and having his successful Anti-IWC gimmick, seemingly abandoned for a generic heel bully persona.
But since the brand split, he now clearly has the right people backstage (Creative and certain higher-ups) in his corner. And he is just getting better and better every week! Thankfully, it would appear WWE’s higher-ups have decided to take his time with him and are pushing him organically. As opposed to the Roman Reigns method of pushing him too hard too soon. Just you watch guys, in a year or two he will be main eventing shows…GUARANTIED!
Winner: Baron Corbin
Luke Harper Promo > B
It would seem the Luke Harper solo push is on, and I think that is a good thing! The man is a seriously underrated talent in every conceivable way. While I liked this promo personally, but I think he could have done a little better. But it’s still early days yet!
Total Divas Style Crap: Natalya & Nikki Bella > F
You all know how I feel about this stuff! So I’m just going to say if you have recorded Smackdown this week…skip this part. You won’t miss anything but an archaic “Divas Division” style storyline that only sets Women’s Wrestling back!
Apollo Crews vs Dolph Ziggler > C
Many may disagree with this statement, but I really think Apollo Crews has gotten the rough end of the stick since being called up! It’s clear he is a special in-ring talent who reminds me of both Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Lashley. Yeah, he’s not Mr. Personality, but plenty of successful people in the industry weren’t either.
I wish this match could have gone longer as I think Crews and Ziggler could have some amazing matches together. But this was all done to get Ziggler some more heat and cement the heel turn.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Post Match Shenanigans: Ziggler Beats Down Kalisto & Crews > B
We all saw the Kalisto run-in and beatdown on him and Crews by Ziggler. But shockingly, it worked pretty well I think. I’m still waiting for WWE’s higher-ups to pull the rug from underneath Dolph mid push again obviously. But so far, I think this heel push is working for old Ziggley-Puffs!
Backstage Segment: Ziggler & Bryan > B
Nice Interaction between Dolph and Bryan here. And the handicap match announcement actually had me a little intrigued.
Women’s Contract Signing: Becky, Mickie, Naomi, Alexa > B
While “workers” like Nikki Bella and Eva Marie set Women’s Wrestling back, workers like these four keep pushing it further in new and exciting ways. I know you guys are probably sick of me singing the Women’s divisions in WWE’s praises, but can you really blame me for enjoying what these girls are doing?
Although this segment was spotty in some area’s, it was still fun to watch! And we all know contract signing end in brawls, and it's an open joke amongst both fans and people in the industry. But let's face it, that’s kind of what makes them fun nowadays!
It was suggested to me that Micke James mic game hasn’t quite been up to snuff since her return a few weeks ago, and I kind of see it now. She seems to ramble on a bit, going high and low like Psycho Sid (but without all the botches). I hope she finds her groove again on the microphone.
Becky and Alexa looked strong on the mic as always, but I really could have done without some of the mean girl stuff! And Naomi didn’t quite deliver with the promo, but she more than made up for it with that sweet round kick to Alexa.
I don’t think Naomi will be getting a run with the Smackdown Women’s strap anytime in the next couple of months sadly! But I can’t imagine she won’t win the Title before the end of 2017. Side note: I love Naomi’s entrance!
Twelve-Man Tag Team Match: The Usos, The Ascension & The Vaudevillains vs Slater & Rhino, Breezango & American Alpha > B
One thing that is sadly being neglected by higher-ups and creative on Smackdown right now is the Tag Team division. And booking a match likes this just looks very lazy quite frankly. However, to the credit of everyone involved in this match, they made it work.
This was honestly an ok match all things considered! And to the shock of everyone watching…THE ASCENSION GOT THE PINFALL!!! I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
Winner’s: The Heels
John Cena vs Randy Orton Number 10,763 > D
As much as we all respect these two and see them as the two biggest workers to come out of the “Ruthless Aggression” era…we’ve seen all this before. I mean, what can they do together that they haven’t already done a million times before? This was just the wrong choice of main event for Smackdown, but thankfully it probably won’t be the main event of Wrestlemania. Unless of course, Vince has finally lost his mind completely!
Winner: John Cena
Post Match Shenanigans: Harper Took Bray’s Head Off > A
Does Harper have some impact behind that discus lariat or what? Kendra Bunyon said on the open thread that it resembles JBL’s clothesline from hell regarding impact, but I wouldn’t go that far. (Sorry, but my name was brought into this, so I have to respond. M, you need to watch some of JBL's and some of Harper's clotheslines, because I think Harper's are as strong. I wonder if there's a way to prove it mathematically.)
I haven’t been a fan of the Orton/Wyatt storyline as I’m sure you all know. But I’m actually looking forward to Orton vs Harper at Elimination Chamber! I think they are going to tear it up on Sunday (Monday Australian time).
Overall Grade: A-
It is truly mind boggling how WWE can put on such a crap show with this week's Raw, but then put on a great show with Smackdown the very next day! The only explanation I have is that Vince simply mustn’t pay as much attention to the blue brand than he does Raw. He still has final say on everything obviously, but it’s clear he’s not micromanaging Smackdown.
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91