Once again, Smackdown continues to be the “A” show for the WWE. This show in particular gave the fans a reason to tune in, and stay for the full two hours.
This turned out to be a great way to kick off this particular episode of Smackdown. Once again, the Miz was outstanding in his rant towards Rene, and that worked perfectly in furthering his feud with Ambrose.
Considering how there was an IC title match later on in the night, it was wise to keep Miz and Ambrose from getting into any kind of physical altercation. In that sense, the intense stare down and Maryse’s slap were perfect for setting the tone for their upcoming match.
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler
We’ve seen this match up many times within the past year, but luckily for the fans in attendance it wasn’t flat. Both Corbin and Dolph did an excellent job at keeping the fans hooked. I especially loved how intense the last few minutes were.
The second Dolph ate the clean pin, I planned on writing about how his character couldn’t go any further. Well, the WWE must have read my mind. Turning Ziggler heel was the only option for his character. He’s been playing the same part for years, and it was certainly time for a change. This should’ve been done weeks ago, but it still works now.
Becky Lynch vs La Luchadora
This match was so weird, yet it was pretty entertaining. My only gripe with this contest was the finish. It made Alexa Bliss look extremely weak, as Becky squashed her pretty quickly. I simple DQ would’ve been more effective.
The La Luchadora gimmick has actually shown to be an interesting and creative way to further this title program.
John Cena/AJ Styles Contract Signing
What makes this feud so amazing is how the two use their history to further it. While it just started back in July, the two have created enough chemistry where every interaction feels intense. The promos from both men were extremely strong and high in emotion. I didn’t want their back and forth to end, that’s how strong their chemistry is.
This segment didn’t need to end with Corbin interrupting, because he felt out of place. He’s not involved in it, so why even throw out there.
Carmella vs Aliya
The pairing of Carmella and James Ellsworth may be strange, but it’s starting to look like an interesting angle. This is smart way to keep Carmella busy while properly utilizing a talent such as James Ellsworth. After seeing several backstage skits between the two, it made this particular match entertaining.
Breezango vs American Alpha
There was nothing special about this match apart from it keeping AA relevant. Also, it was a smart way to promote something for next week’s show.
Nikki Bella/Natalya Promo
Nikki wasn’t on her game for this promo. For the most part, her words lacked any sort of direction and weren’t as strong as they should’ve been. Thankfully Natalya was there to make this promo feel important.
The Miz vs Dean Ambrose
One thing that Smackdown does that Raw can’t is give the main event that big fight feel. It doesn’t happen every week, but it’s a noticeable trend that’s been helping with the show’s success. This match was no exception to that trend.
The start of this match was solid in terms of building momentum, and showing the fans why Dean Ambrose is one of the top babyface wrestlers. That fast brawling style is where Dean excels, so it was great to see him doing what he does best. As for the Miz, the first half of the match was a perfect showcase of him being a coward, and him running from Ambrose was great for his character.
The last four minutes were filled with drama, and it was a lot of fun to watch. There was enough crowd heat and cheers for this finish to be done perfectly. The only issue with the finish was Ambrose kicking out of a pin after getting hit with the title. Why couldn’t he go down with an eye rake or school boy pin? That way Dean doesn’t look like a super human and the Miz doesn’t look incompetent. Apart from that, I don’t see any issue with the title switch as it’s crucial to for a top babyface like Ambrose to win a big match.
Talking Smackdown (Miz’s Meltdown)
The promo that was cut by the Miz here is the reason he deserves to stay at the top of the card. His passion and anger felt extremely real, which is not too common these days. After seeing this interview, I truly would consider the Miz to be one of the best talkers in today’s pro wrestling scene.
There were some slow moments in the show, but the majority of it was quite eventful. There was a big title change and a notable heel turn, which doesn’t happen too often. If anything, a lot of those moments are saved for PPVs. Smackdown is truly embracing the whole idea that “anything can happen”, and it doesn’t feel redundant. The low point was American Alpha vs Breezango, while the high points were the contract signing and main event. Overall, I give this episode an 8.5/10.