There wasn’t anything overly epic that happened on this particular episode, but it was well balanced. In that sense, it didn’t really need an over the top moment, because each story worked to keep the fans invested in this show and for next week.
Based on how last week’s show ended, the Ambrose Asylum perfect way to open the show. The emotions have been running high between Ambrose and the Miz, so it’s essential to give them a huge spot on the show. For the most part, this was a strong segment and it made this feud feel like a big deal, but their were far too many jokes from Dean. Everything that came out of his mouth had a comedic tone, and he could’ve toned it down because it took away from the Miz’s seriousness. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing jokes, but not as much as he did.
Nikki Bella vs Natalya
The quick ambush from Natalya before the match was great way to set the tone and showcase the hatred between the two. The two created even more magic when they started to brawl before the ref could ring the bell. I thought this was a lot more effective than having a match because it allows for the feud to grow without the two having two wrestle. The fans now have a reason to look forward to seeing how this program plays out next week.
Kalisto vs Dolph Ziggler
I never thought about a possible match between these two, but it’s an exciting pairing once I thought about their styles. Ziggler was able to sell Kalisto’s moves extremely well, which is something many others on the roster have a difficult time doing. That’s not a shot at the selling abilities of the rest of the roster, but due to the fact that Kalisto always has to play the small underdog. With Ziggler being a smaller competitor, we were able to see a more even match up.
Dolph losing this contest was a good idea, because it furthers this current character arc. At the same time, his post match beat down of Apollo Crews and Kalisto also made sense. He hasn’t gone through a typical heel turn, and that’s what make his current incarnation quite compelling. Essentially, Dolph’s character can still kick ass, he just doesn’t know how to secure a win.
American Alpha vs The Wyatt Family
The pace at which these four wrestled was great given the story they were trying to tell. While it was a typical “heel starts off strong and babyface gets the hot tag” it worked because it showcased how angry the Wyatt Family was for losing the titles. At the same time, it made American Alpha look like a resilient team that can keep up with the veterans.
Absolutely neither of the competitors felt out of place, as each of the four had the perfect amount of screen time. That gave each of them a chance to shine and let their characters come across well. I’d also go as far as saying this was the first time Gable was given the same amount of importance as Jordan. Seeing how he was the one to get the roll up pin, he looked just as strong as his partner.
The eventual chaos in the Wyatt Family was predicted a while ago, but it’s unfolding in an entertaining way. I’m glad it’s not purely about Wyatt and Orton, but it includes Harper as well. Now that Bray is clearly upset with his disciples, they’ll be branching off into a new story and now the fans have a reason to be excited to see what happens next week.
Carmella vs CJ Lunde
These Carmella-Ellsworth spots are starting to become a bright part of Smackdown. The match wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but it was a lot of fun to watch, simply because of this new pairing. It’s allowing both characters to remain relevant and entertaining at the same time.
Baron Corbin vs John Cena
This contest was well promoted and legitimately felt like a big deal. That’s certainly a testament to how the creative team has done such a superb job at building Corbin and making it feel like he can hang with the main event stars.
I’d say this match was allotted the right amount of time and worked a proper way. Nobody was expecting these two to put on a clinic, so it needed to be more about a dramatic pace. Corbin looked strong because he was able to take it slow and Cena was able to showcase that he doesn’t have a ton of ring rust. Along with this, the fans were able to see how much Baron dislikes AJ Styles, which allows for this segment to feel more intricate. Not all heels have to be friends.
I can see how some fans may dislike the clean finish, but it actually makes sense. Corbin has just entered the main event scene, and he was taking on the top guy in the company, so does he really look bad for losing? This is his first major loss, which came at the hands of John Cena, so there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, this can be used to further his character moving forward. Lets also keep mind Baron has also run through a good chunk of the Smackdown roster.
It’s amazing how the writers on this show can continuously give the fans a reason to look forward to the next show. Just about everything on this episode was entertaining to watch, but every story was able to leave the audience guessing and wanting more. I can’t say there were any low points, but the high points included the Nikki/Natalya brawl and the tag title match. Overall, this show deserves a 9/10.