We are under three weeks away from SMACKDOWN’s second solo PPV NO MERCY, and the build up continues towards that event. Was this show as solid as last week? Let us take a look …
Women’s Smackdown Title Match for NO MERCY Contract Signing
Great way to kick off the show with Daniel Bryan announcing that Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss would sign their contracts in the ring for their match at NO MERCY. The match will be Becky’s first title defense of the Smackdown’s Womens Championship. Daniel Bryan promised nothing would happen and it would be civilised, we all know that isn’t going to happen. Alexa automatically started trash talking but Becky dished it all back and sold what the title means to her perfectly. Alexa got angry but Becky fought back, it was a fun segment, they both signed the contract and I am looking forward to their match. A nice build up, and both women progressed just fine.
Number 1 Contenders Match: American Alpha vs. The Usos
American Alpha are back and it is great to see them, Gable has his knee taped up selling the injury from a few weeks back. They are in revenge mode and I am liking the new attitude from The Usos, they give no fucks and aren’t all happy go lucky now. The match was really good, it wasn’t too long but they had enough time to make it work. I liked that it could have gone any way, American Alpha looked strong but The Usos were using their new tactics to get the upper hand. There was a solid story being told, and I am digging how the tag division is being booked. Hilariously backstage our Tag Team Champions were backstage watching and Rhyno was eating up that cheese with crackers. The Usos ended up getting the win, and I am okay with this. They later had a backstage segment with the champions, not a great promo but Rhyno and Heath sold it.
Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin
Jack Swagger was out for commentary, he didn’t say too much and that worked for him. This match didn’t happen last week and Apollo Crews came out all business, no smiles. The match wasn’t too bad, Corbin was very aggressive but I felt Crews had some of that in him as well. Corbin managed to pick up the win, and no doubt we will see a feud with him and Swagger. Which I am okay with, Crews needs something else, but this new aggressive and seriously thing is working better than the smiles.
IC Title Match: The Miz (c) with Maryse vs. Dolph Ziggler
So The Miz signed a new SMACKDOWN contract and the contract apparently said it he needs to defend the title on this episode against Dolph Ziggler and if he didn’t, his contract was null and void. What we got was a fantastic match, and one that was absolutely PPV quality. The Miz continues to up his game and Ziggler was definitely on point as well, they do gel quite well in the ring and this feud just clicks. Maryse was at ringside and causing some antics, because of course she is. She looked amazing I may add, wowza! I was digging this match so much, I almost got angry at my Maryse when she tried to spray Ziggler again! But the ref saw and he booted her out, the match continued. It did not continue for too much longer as The Miz used the spray and got the pin. The feud will certainly continue, and this makes me happy.
Randy Orton vs. Erick Rowan
I was really hoping for Luke Harper to show up, but that did not happen. Rowan has a nice creepy mask and Bray was not around. As expected this was a quick match and Orton hit the RKO. The match was followed up by a promo from Bray as Rowan disappeared from inside the ring. The feud continues with a slow build and not having much TV time, but it is absolutely effective and I want more.
Carmella & Natalya vs. Nikki Bella & Naomi
This was barely a match, after some quick in ring action, Carmella targeted Nikki Bella and pulled her out of the ring causing her team to get DQed. Naomi hit a kick on Natalya and went to help Nikki, not a great segment but it furthers the feud. I kind of hoped we could have had a some what decent match even if it was short but it was not to be. I think Naomi’s entrance was longer, as great as it is a match would have been much better. Disappointing after a very solid show so far.
Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
A pretty big match to end off the show, and it did deliver. These two had a pretty solid and entertaining match, I feel as though a fire has been lit under Dean Ambrose and he isn’t feeling as stale as he was. Even in the ring he feels a bit different, a little more unpredictable. John Cena wasn’t too bad either, I think he needs solid opponents to really get him in action instead of going into the usual mode. They do have chemistry and they did a great job of making this work, I wouldn’t mind more matches between them quite honestly. A win for Ambrose that came out of nowhere was very refreshing and it does help tell this story that John Cena can’t deliver anymore and he can’t win. The post match attack from AJ Styles on both men was good as well, but Ambrose at the end was standing tall. I love the unpredictability of this, anyone could win the title at NO MERCY and it is very exciting.
After all was said and done, Daniel Bryan announced that AJ Styles would be defending the title one on one against Dean Ambrose next week!
SMACKDOWN was definitely the superior show this week, it held my attention so much more than RAW. SMACKDOWN continues to be focused and each match and segment felt like it had a purpose. The only bit I wasn’t keen on was not getting a women’s match, but even then there was a reason behind the booking.