I know I say this a lot, but every week I still wonder how the same company can be producing such different products. This episode of Smackdown was excellent, and it did a superb job at creating hype for TLC.
Seeing how Becky was able to talk throughout the entire opening segment, it must mean Kevin Dunn doesn’t have a beef with her accent. Jokes aside, both women did a magnificent job at selling their match at TLC. The banter between the two always feels real, and it always goes back to each one trying to be the best in the division. Yes, they use insults, but those insults never take over the actual promo.
This program has also been booked at a very good pace. Every time the two are together, they build on what they already have. In the case of this promo, the two worked a table spot, which does a lot in terms of creating excitement for their match cat TLC.
Dolph Ziggler & Kalisto vs Baron Corbin & The Miz
I don’t know why, but the entrances alone felt like they took 10 minutes. Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but it left me surprised as to why neither of them occurred during the first commercial break.
For a go home show, I’m glad we weren’t given an intracit tag team match. Instead, the superstars did well by utilizing ring side brawling, which is more effective. That creates the drama needed for this weekend’s PPV. It also made the contest more exciting, and that may have not been the case if it were a seven minute formulaic tag match.
Carmella/Nikki Bella Brawl
There wasn’t much to the first half of Carmella’s promo, however all of that changed once she made the insult about the chair. It wasn’t very PG, and that’s what gave it a tad bit of shock factor.
The attack from Nikki was simple, but her initial spear on Carmella looked incredible. It was natural, and that only showcased how offended Nikki truly was.
Ambrose Asylum w/James Ellsworth & AJ Styles
Every time JBL rants about Ellsworth, I absolutely lose my mind. JBL has his critics, however I’m sure he turns them quiet when James shows up.
AJ was definitely the highlight of the Ambrose Asylum. His promo skills were strong, and that allowed for his character to shine. Also, he was booked perfectly in the post promo brawl. While we know AJ is a strong competitor, this reminded us of how strong he can be.
Kane vs Luke Harper
Out of everything on this show, this was the only match that was actually filler. Even then, it still had a slight bit of context behind it.
Unfortunately, I can’t say this was the most entertaining match on the show. It felt too slow and it went on for too long.
American Alpha vs The Wyatt Family
Going into this show, I’m sure most of us believed it would be headlined by the Ambrose Asylum, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, it was headlined by a match that would determine the number one contenders for the tag titles. When was the last time that ever happened? By making this the main event only allowed for the tag division and titles to feel more important.
Considering how much AA has been pushed since being drafted, this match was unpredictable. Of course, they’re being groomed to be the faces of the tag division, but competing against Orton and Wyatt is no walk in the park (kayfabe wise). In terms of AA’s entire tag team run (NXT included), the Wyatt Family have been their most credible opponents.
Based on how dominant the Wyatts were, it appeared that AA may actually pull off a come back win. Well, if anybody thought that, they were wrong. While the Wyatts did have a distraction to help them, I’d say it was still a convincing win. The Wyatt Family hasn’t looked this good in a while, and I believe there’s big things in store for them heading into 2017.
Dean Ambrose/AJ Styles Beat Down
Wow, I couldn’t believe how passionate this beat down from Ambrose was. He made sure to let the audience know how much he hated AJ. I found this to be a great way to give their feud one last boost before TLC.
Everything about this episode did a lot in terms of building excitement for TLC. It had all the right ingredients for a good go home show. Nothing was overly convoluted, and the simplicity allowed for every feud to be presented coherently. The low point was Kane vs Harper, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode of Smackdown an 8/10.