This was quite the wild show, and it didn’t slow down. The writing team and booking staff deserve all the credit in the world for making Smackdown a meaningful show. Their momentum is going strong, and by now they deserve to be called they “A” show.
The opening video package was truly a work of art. There were still undertones of humour, but they also made it in a way which could excite any fan that was watching. I for one, was eagerly waiting for the main event.
Randy Orton vs Luke Harper
Last week after the main event, my sister had pointed out to me that she had a new found respect for Orton. In kayfabe, she was impressed that Orton is so willing to get involved with spooky wrestlers like Wyatt, Harper, and Kane. After hearing that, I to gained more respect for Orton. It’s a neat detail that gives Randy’s character some more depth.
I can’t recall if these two have ever wrestled before, but they meshed well. They sold the feud properly by not holding back and starting out with a fast pace. Also, Bray coming out in a casket was a great touch. It was fairly obvious where this match was going, but that didn’t matter. Watching Kane pop out of the casket was mark out worthy for any fan that can still suspend their disbelief. Overall, this was a fun and entertaining way to open the show.
Naomi vs Alexa Bliss
I wonder if Bliss is picking out all of her looks on her own. If she is, then she truly is a great talent. If not, then someone out there knows exactly what suits her and what she can pull off.
From start to finish, this match was a whole lot better than what thy put forth at No Mercy. They looked more comfortable with each other, and they were also able to showcase their mini feud. It wasn’t extremely fluid, but I’d say it was still entertaining.
Both competitors made the most of presenting their characters to the crowd. Yes, Alexa is just a cowardly heel, but she does a believable job at presenting that character as her actual self. Bliss’ post match promo added to this, as it was fitting to her. Along with that, Naomi is becoming a great white meat babyface. She’s finding a way to use her in ring work to also get her over with the crowd.
Curt Hawkins vs Apollo Crews
I know Curt Hawkins was supposed to be a rip off of the Chuck Norris quotes, but I never thought he’d play that character as well as he did. From the few lines he cut before leaving, I was thoroughly entertained and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Carmella/Nikki Bella Promo
It’s amazing how much a performer can improve by simply changing their character. Carmella was smoother than ever in her promo, which shows that turning her heel was a smart decision for her career. I know this promo was also used as a slight Total Bellas plug, but Carmella used that to her advantage. The lines she threw at Nikki were amazing because of the reality behind the context. For WWE television, they were original, as nobody has ever used insults like that towards Bella.
Nikki on the other hand came across as a tad bit forced. Her comebacks at Carmella didn’t sound personal enough. Instead, she just reminded the fans about her accomplishments “as a women”.
The Miz & The Spirit Squad vs Dolph Ziggler, Rhyno, & Heath Slater
Last week, the writing team did a great job at intersecting these two feuds, and that worked well for keeping these six busy on this show. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a whole lot of storyline progression in this match. At the same time, it was great for pleasing the live fans because it included a team of fan favourites. I was shocked how Miz’s team came out on top, but it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with this program next week.
Jack Swagger vs Baron Corbin
Before this match started I thought to myself “I don’t think this show will have a low point”. Well, I was completely wrong. I’m all for seeing Corbin squash someone and look strong, but not through a stale rematch. He won at No Mercy, and I don’t think anybody cares to see Jack Swagger in action.
James Ellsworth vs AJ Styles
One of the best parts about this match was AJ Styles’ reaction towards Ellsworth being cheered. His anger and frustration was conveyed very well, and it set the tone for how he viewed this contest. Also, Ambrose and the announce team were perfect additions. Each of them added to the comedy which made this match entertaining. Say what you want about JBL, but his anger towards Ellsworth was fitting for his character and it made me laugh.
When Ellsworth nailed Styles with that super kick, I completely marked out, similar to the live crowd. The two performers knew that James was over with the fans, so it was wise of them to give him a bit of momentum. Due to how over he was, I thought they also worked the best finish possible. AJ didn’t flat out defeat Ellsworth, but instead he lost because of his anger issues. Overall, this title match was everything I assume fans wanted from it.
From start to finish, this turned out to be an excellent episode of Smackdown. Every major feud was given progression, which only gives the fans a reason to tune in next week. Also, just about every match on this show had a purpose. The low point was Corbin vs Swagger, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 8.9/10.