It is the SMACKDOWN after their first solo PPV, did they keep up the momentum? Let us examine it …
AJ Styles Is The Champ That Runs The Camp
Yes that is another new catch phrase for him, and he is all ego as he comes out to gloat about being the new WWE World Champion. All that gloating comes with a price and John Cena makes his return to SMACKDOWN, and he wants something back. AJ throws the arm band at Cena, but of course that isn’t what he wants. Cena wants to be the 16 time champion, so he is making his intentions for the title known. Saw this coming, I think he mentioned or teased it in a recent interview. This then brings out Dean Ambrose and rightfully so, he did just lose the title. He has words with both men but he really handed it to Cena on the mic and it was damn good. Before long Shane McMahon makes his way out to defuse the situation. I have to say this opening was really good, it had a really big feel to it, with Cena being back, AJ as the champion and Ambrose angry over his not so clean loss. Shane announces Cena will take on Styles at NO MERCY, but so will Ambrose! The main event for their next PPV is set, a Triple Threat match. Also tonight Cena and Ambrose will team against AJ and a partner of his choosing, if he can find one. I have no issue with the Triple Threat main event, but I do not want AJ to lose this quickly and soon to John Cena.
The Usos vs. The Hype Bros.
A rematch from BACKLASH, the Usos are certainly owning their new personas and it does feel good to see something different from them. The match was decent, back and forth action but definitely a showcase for the Usos. Mojo got in some good offense, and the commentators seem to love him. I need to point out the magic of Mauro, he can tell the Usos apart! Hoping the Usos stay out of the title picture for a little longer, they need to have a good feud with American Alpha.
The Miz Addresses Himself
Well when it comes to The Miz he certainly knows how to talk about himself, and that he did. The Miz has absolutely been killing it this year and he continues to cut amazing promos. I love how he boasted about his IC Title run, how long he has been the Champion and the prestige he has brought back to the title. There isn’t much to argue about, I think he’s been a great Champion and the title certainly means something. Dolph Ziggler comes out angry over his loss at BACKLASH and he wants a rematch. Maryse was having none of that, and the crowd were having none of her (you so crazy crowd). This brought out GM Daniel Bryan (to which JBL called him the GM of RAW … urgh), stating that Ziggler does deserve a rematch, but The Miz disagreed. He wants to renegotiate his contract and he left. This bizarre feud between The Miz and Daniel Bryan is intriguing.
Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews
Well this match did not happen as Baron Corbin attacked Apollo before the match and took him out at ringside with End Of Days. However the segment was not over, Jack Swagger’s music hit and he made his way out. Now for those of you playing at home Jack Swagger was just on RAW, he suffered a loss against Jinder Mahal. We heard his RAW contract was coming to an end, and now he has signed on with SMACKDOWN and is first to jump ship. He cut an interesting but somewhat weird promo in the ring, Baron Corbin did not stick around. He is definitely over and I honestly hope he feels rejuvenated and gets a good push. He deserves it, and I would be down for a feud with Corbin.
Rating: 2/5 (2 for Swagger)
Fatal 5 Way Number One Contenders Match for the Smackdown Women’s Title: Naomi vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
First off Becky Lynch came out and had a few words about her win, and she is killing it. I am so proud and happy for her, I love the whole Becky Balboa thing it’s adorable! I like they made a contenders match right away, it’ll give Becky a good feud to work towards with NO MERCY. We had the women from BACKLASH all competing for the chance, and that made perfect sense. The match itself was really decent, not as good as the PPV bout but good. Each women got their moment to shine and it was made clear there are no friends. Natalya went after the new girls a lot I noticed, and Naomi goodness she is fantastic when she is on but she sort of botched a bit of a move. Too obvious she was looking for Natalya to do a move, damn girl.
The end came after Carmella hit a big kick, and Alexa Bliss took her out and got the pin. So happy to see Alexa get this opportunity, I think the feud between her and Becky could be really good.
Heath Slater Signs His Smackdown Live Contract
The moment finally arrived, Heath gets to sign his contract! This was a fun segment, Rhyno and Heath come out together and Heath gets a little too emotional over everything and Rhyno doesn’t look impressed. It was nice to hear the ECW chant for Rhyno and Heath being so happy for him. I was reminded of Cletus from The Simpsons when Heath was naming off his kids! His new shirt is amazing, this character needs to keep going and going! Heath signed the contract and got a little too exciting saying they will take on anyone at any time … Rhyno not too happy. This brought out …
Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. The Ascension
Yes The Ascension came out and challenged the new title holders to a match. The Ascension have new face paint and it looks great, this is a team that really needs to be build back up. They destroyed everyone in NXT and since the call up they have just kind of been there, rarely getting a win. The match itself was fine, with The Ascension getting in a lot of moves on Slater and isolating him. It makes sense because Rhyno is the beast. Heath does get the hot tag and Rhyno cleans house and gores them a victory. I would love to see Heath clean house and shock everyone like he did at BACKLASH.
Randy Orton Addresses Bray Wyatt
A shame that Orton was unable to wrestle at BACKLASH, I was looking forward to that match. The feud continues however as Orton talks about the backstage attack and not being able to have the match. He wants a match with Bray now, Bray appears on the titantron and then he appears in front of the announce table. The mind games continue and I do enjoy this, it’s simple but effective. Bray disappeared and Erick Rowan showed up in the ring and attacked Orton. Orton wasn’t going to have any of that and he hit the RKO. Wouldn’t be a mad idea to have Wyatt/Rowan vs. Orton/Partner soon, that way Orton doesn’t need to have a full match and we can see the teases in a match.
John Cena/Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles/The Miz
So during the show, AJ was seen approaching people backstage to be his partner, including Baron Corbin who said he would rather face AJ because he wants the title. Daniel Bryan approached him backstage and said James Ellsworth would be his partner. You may remember he was the funny looking jobber fed to Braun Strowman a few weeks back. Anyway as Ellsworth made his way out, The Miz attacked him and said he was the main event. He joined the match as AJ’s partner and I really love this move! Honestly The Miz and AJ made a pretty decent team, and strangely enough Ambrose and Cena did also. You could feel they were making sure to have tension in there but putting it aside to work together. The match was pretty good, some good moments and everyone got in their ring time. The Miz honestly has been so good in the ring, it’s great to see. Ambrose as well is feeling a lot more fresh and I want to see this continue because he was really getting stale. His promo on Cena was great and seeing him work a little differently here was also good.
I thought the match had a good flow, and it rounded out a pretty good episode of SMACKDOWN. I actually liked how they played with Cena and Ambrose as a team, they didn’t have a breakdown and fight mid match or anything. The Miz was determined to prove his worth and AJ sees himself as the biggest star, it all came across really well. John Cena ended up pinning The Miz, and while he celebrated Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds. I loved that ending, and Ambrose shouldn’t be happy with Cena. He deserves his rematch without someone else being inserted into the match. Good storytelling and SMACKDOWN continues to deliver the goods.
SMACKDOWN was another solid show this week, I enjoyed it a bit more than RAW. It is a shorter show and it is really focused and there aren’t any moments that feel like filler. NO MERCY is already starting to shape up and I like where it is headed.