Hey Wrestling fans,
I am back after missing Backlash for personal reasons. I will bring you the live coverage from tonight's Smackdown! Live event.
WWE Smackdown! Live
We begin the show with a video package of Backlash, showing our new Champions Becky Lynch as WWE Smackown! Women's Champion; Heath Slater and Rhyno as our new Smackdown! Tag Team Champions; and AJ Styles is crowned the new WWE World Champion, AJ Styles.
Speaking of AJ Styles, he is introduced to the ring as he makes his way out, belt around his waist, pegged as "The face that runs the place". We get our regular announce crew of Mauro Ranallo, JBL and David Otunga (That still sounds off to me). They mention that AJ went at all lengths to become champion. AJ takes to the mic.
"I told you so" is his opening statement. He says he told us all that he would beat John Cena, and he did. Then he said he would beat Dean Ambrose and become Champion, and he did just that. He says if whatever he says is not only true, but it is gospel. He says if he tells you to buy a lottery ticket and gives you the numbers, we better go buy it. (hey AJ, hit me up later!).
"World, I am the champ that runs the camp!". And then John Cena makes his return.
John says he wants back what is his, so AJ takes off the armband, and throws it at Cena. Cena said it wasn't that, he still has something that he wants back... and points at the championship (Oh, well ain't that original). He uses a Ric Flair quote that he has to beat the man, and right now, AJ is the man. He says he has one goal left and it is to be the 16-time champ (We got Ric for that, but you know, whatever!). Dean Ambrose makes his way out and goes to the ring. AJ raises the belt in front of Dean. Dean said AJ made a mistake. He said when he kicked him in the jewels, he stole from Dean and he will make him miserable for it. Cena spins Ambrose around and tells him he has no right to complain about a low blow when he hung AJ a few weeks back. He got in Ambrose's face for not stepping up or having any balls. (WOW, John... risky).
dean says he has no patience for Cena and calls him a "Part Timer" (Hot Damn, this is getting personal). Dean says John can't get it done anymore. Shane McMahon makes his way out. (Maybe he is sellign Girl scout cookies!?).
Shane says there is a lot of tension in the ring. He says AJ is amazing by beating Cena, and while finds it insulting to hear him call himself the "Face that runs the place". He says that Aj however took the easy way out to win the champion. He tells Dean Ambrose that he is entitled to his rematch in a one on one match, but at a later time. He says at No Mercy, it will be a Triple Threat between Cena, Ambrose, and Styles. But tonight, it is Ambrose and Cena vs. Styles and a partner of his choosing in tag team competition.
Later on, we get Randy Orton addressing the attack from last night from bray Wyatt. We also get a fatal 5 way for the number one contender's spot for the Smackdown! Women's Championship. We then go to break (Finally!!).
That was almost 20 minutes. That's usual for Raw but I haven't seen this on SD in a while. I am not disappointed though since they need to put more focus on the storylines instead of simple backstage skits and short matches. Surprised to be Cena back already, but not surprised it is a Tripel Threat.
Back from break, we get the same video package from the last week for Conor's Cure. We then head back to the ring, where The Hype Bros and The Usos are already in the ring.
The Hype Bros vs. The Usos
The match starts quickly with Zack Ryder hits a second rope dropkick on Jey Usos, but gets quickly caught with a tackle to the injured leg of Ryder. Double Team from the Usos. Hot tag to MoJo Rawley and Jimmy Uso gets a tag too. Hard tackle to Jimmy, and Stinger splash to both Jey and Jimmy. The Usos moved in order to take control, as Jimmy hits a Superkick and Jey hits the top rope Splash, and gets the 3 count.
Your Winners: The Usos
Less than 5 minutes!? We get a nice heel turn last week, and this week, a quick beatdown. The Usos can deliver good matches, good or bad, but the matches needs to be longer.
Later, we get Heath Slater and Rhyno. Coming up next, The Miz and Maryse are making their way out, and we go to commercial.
Back from break, we get a vignette of Curt Hawkins. More quotes Chuck Norris-like. He says its time to "Face the facts". Out comes Miz with Maryse. He gets on the mic, and says that everyone is calling him a coward. He says he left Backlash as champion with his beautiful wife. He says he is champion for 160+ days. He says he beats over 130 men who held the championship. Out comes Dolph Ziggler. he says Miz is trying to make himself bigger than he truly is. He says everyone else knows he is not a top guy. Miz says he is the main event wherever he went. He says Ziggler's career is 6-feet deep. Dolph says he knows he is in a slump. He says Miz should earn his respect, no Maryse, no stunt doubles, no excuses. Just Dolph and Miz. Maryse takes to the mic (becuase I guess she runs the relationship). Miz tells everyone to shut up while she is talking. Out comes Daniel Bryan (Look, he is wearing flanel...).
He says Maryse cheated so that Miz keeps his title. He says Dolph is getting a rematch. Miz says no, he didn't earn it, and he wants to renegociate his contract. Daniel walks down while Miz continues to complain about getting what he wants. As Daniel walks into the ring, Miz and Maryse slips out of the ring and through the crowd.
Backstage, AJ is walking backstage, and sees Baron Corbin. He tries to solicit him into being his partner. Corbin says he rather wants to be his opponent, not his partner and walks away. We get a commercial break.
Another promo. I thought they would move on from The Miz and Dolph, but I guess they have nothing better for either guy. The Intercontinental title needs to have value again. I say, book a Cage match between the two. Oh and BTW, Miz still has a contract, so refusing to fight or defend his title, wouldn't that make it a breach!? Tsk tsk Daniel, the GM should know that!
We return with Baron Corbin in the ring, as he awaits his opponent for tonight, Apollo Crews. Apollo never had a smile this time. He was all serious. Baron jumps Crews from behind and sends him outside. "End of Days" on the outside floor. Baron gets in the ring and taunts, but Jack Swagger made his way to the ring. Seems he is on Smackdown! now. He is wearing street gear (Hey, that's new). Baron rolls out of the ring and walks away. Jack Swagger takes the mic, and says Smackdown is his new home. he tries to speak upbeat, but the crows doesn't seem interested. The crowd got into it for "We the People".
I like this! I have always been a fan of Swagger but felt he never got the right place. This new look and attitude was good. Also, as short as it was, I am happy that "Happy-go-lucky" Apollo Crews left his smile at the Gorilla position and came out serious and with an agenda. Too bad he got a beatdown, but let's hope the new serious Apollo sticks around.
We saw Becky Lynch making her way out before they cut to a commercial break.
Back from break, they are announcing Baron Corbin for Talking Smack to discuss the arrival of Jack Swagger. Becky Lynch makes her way down to the ring. Charlie Caruso is in the ring to interview Becky. She asks her if the win sank in yet. "You deserve it" champ. Becky calls herself Becky Balboa (Ha! Catchy). She says there was nothing more she wanted than this, and she is the first Smackdown! Women's champion. "Just like Philly is a fighting city, I am a fighting woman, so come on out Bros". Naomi makes her way to set up the fatal 5 way match. Otunga says Naomi is WWE's version of Nicky Minaj (Except Naomi has talent, David). Nikki Bella makes her way out next. Natalya is up next and Alexa Bliss following, and finally, Carmela.
Fatal 5 way: Nikki Bella vs. Carmela vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss
Nikki went straight for Carmella. Natalya intercepts and takes control of Nikki. Carmella tries to step in but steps into a "Nattie by Nature". She then hits a Mitchinoku driver on Naomi. Nikki hits her a forehead to the knee. Carmella breaks the two count. She runs away from Nikki, but Nikki gets out fro the side, runs up the steps and hits a flying clothesline to Carmella. Sunset flip to Nattie, but Nikki get sback in to stop her. Double boot to Nikki's chest. Top rope sitting Headscissor but Nikki turned it into an Electric Chair. Bliss goes for the two count on both girls but they kick out. Natalya grabs her by the Harley Quinn doe, and Naomi hits a sitdown Atomic Drop; Natalya hits the run over drop kick, and Nikki gets the Bella buster and Naomi hits the Rear View (Okay my hands hurt now). Natalya catches Naomi and slams her head first into the steel steps. Runnign forearm from Nikki. Alexa tries to take over but Nikki is too strong. Nikki goes for the TKO, but Carmella hits a superkick on Nikki, and Bliss throws Carmella out to take the 3 count on Nikki.
Your Winner and new Number One Contender: Alexa Bliss
Backstage, AJ is still looking for a partner, he runs into Kane and says "Just the man... creature" I was looking for. He says them teaming up has a good ring to it. Kane laughs and walks away. Up next, he signs his Smackdown! contract (I smell shenanigans... or maybe some funny business). We go to a commercial.
I thought Natalya would have been the first challenger, but Alexa is fine. Just give them time and a decent chance for a good match and there should be no problem.
Back from break, Shane is in the ring with a Contract Signing set up in the ring. He says Smackdown! is the place for opportunity. He says one man took it and became the first Smackdown! Tag Team Champion. He calls out Heath Slater. Both he and Rhyno make their way out. Heath hugs Shane. He has a new shirt that says "I Have Kids" and "I Need this job" (Cute, maybe I should get one for my next job interview). Shane says to just sign the contract. Heath raises the contract and then signs his contract. Heath said they are movign to a double wide and buying a refrigerator. He thanks Rhyno. He says he and Rhyno will face anyone. Rhyno seems unimpressed. Out comes The Ascension in new colors (About damn time!). They said, you said anytime, anywhere, anyone... well theres here, now, us. Heatrh says the ring is not set up, but Shane said its fine. Shane said we will have our first Smackdown! Tag Team title match right now and we go to a commercial break. (So, not like, RIGHT now?)
We get back to the show mid-match.
(C) Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Ascension
The Ascension having total control over Heath Slater. Rhyno tries to run in, but Connor throws him out. Tag to Viktor, and Connor dropped him before Viktor could connect. Rhyno throws him out. Heath gets the hot tag to Rhyno, and takes it to Viktor. Huge Spinebuster, and gets a two count. Heath jumsp on Connor to get a sleeper but gets thrown out. Tackle by Rhyno. He hits the Gore on Viktor and gets te 3 count.
Your Winners and still Champions: Heath Slater and Rhyno
After the match, we are sent backstage where AJ runs into Daniel Bryan, and he says they appointed him one. James (The guy who looked like he'd pee his pants at the sight of Braun Strowman - That's how I know him as). AJ looks disgusted and leaves. Another commercial break (Shocker, right!?)
Back from break, we get the video package for the "Cruiserweight Classics" and Mauro praising it and saying he enjoys working with them. Out comes Randy Orton. We get a repeat of Sunday, where Bray attacked Randy Orton and was replaced by Kane in the match. Orton cost Wyatt the match (No surprise there). He grabs a mic and is about to speak.
He says Bray is the Face of Fear because he is afraid... afraid of Orton. He says Bray attacked him because he was afraid to face him on that night. Orton calls him out and says face is fear. That leads to another video promo of Bray. He says he embarassed him, and now Orton should not sleep. His creepy video passed and we see him standing outside the ring in the dark. The video aired again, and Erick Rowan is there and attacks Orton (wait, didn't Bray toss him aside). Orton hits the RKO, and his music hits. Bray was nowhere to be seen at this point. Up next is John Cena and Dean Ambrose vs. Aj Styles and James Elmswood (Or Jimmy The Jitter like JBL put it so well). Here we go for another commercial.
Back from commercial, they are now saying Alexa Bliss will join Baron Corbin on Talking Smack. "The Champ that runs the camp" AJ Styles makes his way out. James makes his way out like a kid, and Miz jumps him and hit the "Skull Crushing Finale" on him at the entrance. The Miz throws him away and makes his way to the ring to join AJ Styles, claiming that HE is the main event. He shakes AJ 's hand. John Cena is out next, followed by Dean Ambrose. We go to another commercial before the match begins.
John Cena and Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles (C) & The Miz (C)
Back from break, the match already started. The Miz has control over John Cena. During the break, AJ hit his Fireman'a Carry into that flip over head to the back of the knee (There's a Japanese name for it). Miz hits his running clothesline to the corner. Goes for it again but John dodges, throws himself to tag Dean, while AJ is taged in as well. fast paced action from both guys. Swinging backbreaker to AJ and a flying standing elbow. He gets a 2 count. He gets AJ in the corner and gets some corner punches but goes after Miz and throws him in the fence. AJ hits him with a Pelee Kick, and then another commercial break (Seriously!?)
Back from break, both Ambrose and Miz are down. Cena screaming at Ambrose to tag, but Ambrose goes about it on his own. Goes for a top rope suplex, but Miz pulls him off and hits a flying Double Ax Handle. He tags in Aj. AJ hits Cena to distract the ref while Miz smothers Ambrose at his corner (I miss that classic heel stuff). Ambrose gets some knife edge chops but AJ stops him and kicks him some stiff kicks to the back. Ambrose tries again to take control and reverses a back elbow from AJ and turned it into a neckbreaker. A hot tag to Cena while Miz comes in as well. Cena hits a Five Knuckle Shufflwe. He goes for the FU (Sorry, Atttitude Adjustment). AJ runs in, but Ambrose counters and flies out of the ring onto AJ, while Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment again, hits it and gets the three count.
Your Winners: John Cena & Dean Ambrose
Post-match: John celebrates while Dean looks at him and hits his Dirty Deeds on John and screams at him for getting into his rematch. That ends the show.
Already setting up matches for No Mercy, which is great! I like the Triple Threat idea, and I hope AJ wins and continues to cement his legacy in the WWE. Great to see John Cena back because Smackdown! needs its top stars.
Glad to see Jack Swagger getting another small push, even if it is to lose to Baron. His look was better than the clean cut, or the bearded look like everyone else had for a while. We were supposed to have Curt Hawkins tonight, all we got was another promo but of him and not just more Chuck Norris-like phrases.
Here we go for the Top 3 wins and Top 3 Fails:
Top 3 Wins:
- Jack Swagger on Smackdown! : He is talented and needs a better chance. A feud with Baron Corbin could be what he needs.
- The No Mercy main event and build-up: I am glad to see Cena back, and glad that Ambrose is completely "Tweener" and takes down both guys without hesitation
- Ascension change: They lost and they lost fast, but the change in look is a start. I hated that they had too much of a Demolition/Road Warriors wannabe feel. Now they can set themselves apart.
Top 3 Fails:
- Ascension: Speaking of them, Connor messed up a move badly, and in my opinion needs to be careful. Heath was bleeding, and that could have been much worst.
- Too many short matches: There were way too many matches. I get they want to have as many guys on teh show as possible, but with promos and continuous video packages, less is more. They need lessmatches that show quality, rather than quantity that people can't get into.
- The commercials. Enough said!
Well, once more, thank you for reading and commenting. Have a great night!