With this being the last episode of Smackdown before 2017, it was important that the fans were given an exciting show. Along with that, they were owed one after the atrocious Raw that was aired on Monday night.
Side Note: I apologize to my readers for not posting a Raw review on Monday night. Since it’s the holiday season, I was preoccupied with personal matters.
We haven’t seen Cena in quite some time, so having him open the show wasn’t such a bad idea. It worked well in giving this Chicago crowd some energy. In fact, he brought a smile to my face with how he played with this live audience.
While he didn’t have a strong reason to demand a title shot, Cena didn’t need one. The attitude he showcased in his promo was enough. Yes, John did start with his usual motivational schtick, although he turned that into something extremely refreshing towards the end. He’ll most likely feud with AJ, and it’ll be interesting to see how that feud is handled.
Four Corners Tag Team Eliminaion Match
Going into this match, it was fair to assume that the Wyatts were the heavy favourite, but the in ring action took away from that. It allowed for the other teams to appear competitive with the champs.
Thankfully, the eliminations happened quickly, and in a way where the losing teams didn’t look bad. It was worked in a timely manner, that gave the wrestlers a chance to use quick bursts of energy. Sure, maybe at a PPV they can focus on longer action,but TV matches should be used to push more of the story. Of course this all worked out to give the fans a strong showdown between the Wyatts and American Alpha.
If the Wyatts were going to lose, it had to be done with a miscommunication finish. The team is too strong to lose clean. With that being said, it was great to see American Alpha win, and they didn’t exactly look weak. If anything, it showed the fans that they know how to take advantage of a good scenario. They’re a solid team, and come across as the top babyface threat in he division, I don’t see why they shouldn’t carry the titles.
Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss
I can’t say this was the smoothest contest on the show. The competitors were quite audible, and they tried more than they should’ve. This type of match would’ve worked better with simplicity. For example, there was no reason they needed spam all of those early pinfalls. It looked sloppy, and Alexa’s skill set was somewhat exposed.
The entertaining feud these two have been having wasn’t enough to save this match. Towards the end, it appeared both women looked lost. The finishing sequence of pins was once again too much, and it was nothing more than an eye roller.
The use of La Luchadora was quite interesting, and it was the only saving grace for this title match. Unless it’s Carmella, it didn’t appear to be someone that’s currently on the Smackdown roster. This only keeps the fans guessing on who it can be.
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler vs AJ Styles
Ever since this was announced, I’ve been eagerly awaiting for it. There’s been no more than a week of build up, and that’s a good sign that the Smackdown writers did a tremendous job at creating substance for this last week. Along with that, the individual backstage interviews for both Dolph and Corbin were effective in expressing their character motivations.
In terms of the actual match, where do I start? It was simply amazing. There was never a moment where the excitement died, and the competitors worked to their strengths.
Corbin may be the most green of the three involved, but that didn’t appear to be the case in this triple threat. Instead he kept up with the two in ring veterans, and looked like a complete beast. I’d have to say he was certainly the most threatening. In fact, his performance here gives the fans a reason to be excited about the main roster rookie moving forward. I can confidently say I wouldn’t mind a main title run for him sometime in 2017.
At this point, AJ and John are well acquainted with one another, so it only made sense for them to have a stare down and shake hands. They can leave the cheap shots and brawls for the upcoming Smackdown episodes. Also, this still makes Styles’ heel character more about competing than being a coward.
There were only three matches on this show, and only one in ring prom, yet it was one of the more exciting Smackdown’s that have been aired this year. The blue brand continues to find ways to make every feud feel important and this show was a good example of that. Even though there weren’t a lot of matches, all of the other feuds were showcased well through backstage segments. The low point of this show was Becky vs Alexa, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode a 9/10.