Is there anyone better than AJ Styles in the ring at the moment?
Is there anyone better on the mic than The Miz at the moment?
Is Smackdown Live handily beating Raw in terms of quality almost every week?
The correct answers are No, No, and Yes. Once again, Smackdown Live delivers another high quality show that feels fresh and exciting. But, as with everything, it wasn’t perfect. So let’s get down to business and go through the Mores(the good parts), the Flaws(the bad parts) and the Snores(the not good but not bad and kind of boring parts) for this week.
- AJ Styles VS Randy Orton
What an incredible main event. Sure, you could argue that a “first time ever” match could be an interesting build for a Pay Per View or Network special, but that’s an argument for another time. These two had a fantastic match that left us satisfied, but wanting more. Special mention to AJ faking out Randy Orton with the Phenomenal Forearm and Randy jumping for an RKO. Excellent work. Randy’s promo near the beginning of the show was also great.
- AJ & Shane McMahon’s confrontation
Ok so this wasn’t shown on Smackdown, but it deserves a mention because it was incredible. It felt real, it felt out of control, and best of all, we got a rare glimpse at the Gorilla position, and Michael P.S Hayes in what can only be described as an incredible suit. This is a great start to what appears to be an AJ/Shane Wrestlemania match.
- The Miz, and Talking Smack
Again, not exactly a part of the broadcast, but I HAVE to bring up The Miz. As I said in the intro, is there anybody better on the mic than him right now? No. Once again this week, he, and Maryse as well to be fair, delivered a fantastic promo after a fairly forgettable match (we’ll get to that). However, whenever he makes an appearance on Talking Smack, he goes to another level. The unscripted nature of the show, coupled with his natural talent to be a proper heel, he’s turned myself from someone who hated seeing him, to feeling like his segments are literally must-see.
- The Lone Wolf
Baron Corbin has changed my mind. He, like The Miz but to a lesser extent, has gone from a “fast forward this segment” guy, to someone I’m interested to watch. His promo this week, and the aggression he showed when he attacked Ambrose was good, and I hope it leads to some kind of gimmick match at Wrestlemania.
- Mixed Tag squash matches.
Ok, last year I dug the James Ellsworth story. Right up until the point he tipped that ladder over. That was literally the tipping point. And this current storyline with Carmella smacks of WWE signing him and then realising they had no plans for him. This match was boring, and as I said earlier, forgettable. Luckily Miz was there to save it. Stereo 5-knuckle-shuffle’s, especially botched ones, never need to be seen.
- Shane McMahon
I’m not sure what it is, but whenever I see Shane talking in the ring as the Commissioner, I don’t buy whatever he’s saying. Something is getting lost in translation. He seems bored, or at the very least, not invested in what he’s saying. Let’s have more Daniel Bryan, and less Shane unless he’s in a storyline.
- The Champ is Not Here
Where was Bray Wyatt? It’s less than a month to the biggest show of the year, and the WWE champion was completely absent from this week’s Smackdown Live, aside from promo packages. Not good enough.
- The Blissertation & Women’s Tag Team Match
This match was fine. The idea of “every available woman on Smackdown Live’s roster” is vague enough that some returning female wrestlers could still be a part of this match (the rumour is Kelly Kelly is going to be at Wrestlemania), but what’s worrying is that the “One against all” nature of the match could be used to pass the belt off to someone who hasn’t earned it. Alexa is great as champion, and should hold the belt for a long time. That would help differentiate the Smackdown Women’s division from Raw’s, even more than it already is.
- Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is the opposite to Baron Corbin. This time last year he was someone I was always interested in watching, but throughout the course of the last 12 months, I have become more and more bored by him. He just seems like a neutered version of Cactus Jack. But less interesting. While I’m on the subject of Ambrose and Corbin, as someone who has watched wrestling since the 90’s, I find it wholly unbelievable when the commentary team say that Ambrose being trapped under a forklift is completely unacceptable. Maybe it’s just me wanting to see some parts of those bygone eras come back, but I just find it so watered down sometimes. Also were the commentators just not watching at that point? Why was there no commentary?
- Curt Hawkins
Why did we get months of vignettes if he was just going to be used this way?And that’s it. Another great week of Smackdown Live, but not without some hiccups. I highly recommend watching Talking Smack if you haven’t, especially for The Miz’s absolutely amazing promo. Just try to endure Apollo Crews before that.
Let’s talk again soon!