This WWE Network event was, interesting. Had some highs, some lows.
The pre-show kicked off with a decent match between Apollo Crews and Bacon Rorbin. Crews botched a few spots, and the guy seriously HAS TO STOP SMILING!! Geez. The guy is stale like matzah. The Lone Wolf however, certainly stood out, which granted wasn’t difficult, but really showed some fire tonight. Crowd sounded mostly behind him too. Thankfully Corbin got the win.
The main show begins with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan running through the card, and opening the show with the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. I get they are trying to put SmackDown Live over as a top show, but even with the WWE World Championship and Intercontinental Championship, the rest of your titles are called “SmackDown ___________ Championship.” Come up with something better.
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Winner: Becky Lynch
Really good match. Carmella was way off her game, it was obvious she has taken the heel route but she really needs to work on her “acting” skills. Nikki Bella scares me. He rest of the women come out ready to fight, but her entrance involves stripping her top and gyrating her ass. This reeks of the old Divas Division which WWE has publicly thrown in the trash. Besides, Naomi and Alexa Bliss compete for the best ass category. In any event, Bliss put on a great performance, channeling some sort of Harley Quinn, but was eliminated first. Second to go was Naomi, followed by Natalya, who wasn’t really relevant in this match at all. Carmella eliminated Nikki and then gets slapped by her before leaving. This sets off Carmella into some sort of hyena-like rage, which Lynch takes advantage of, busts out three BecksPlexes, and locks in the DisArmHer for the win and title.
Backstage: Randy Orton is beaten up by Bray Wyatt. So… this is how he gets written off TV?
The Usos defeat Hype Bros to advance in the Tag Team Tournament
This was fairly obvious. Usos are out in new heel attire, but I spent most of the match doing dishes and then cleaning the kitchen. I came down in time to see a submission victory. Sorry, the match was dull and Mojo Rawley is VERY annoying.
Backstage: Miz tells Daniel Bryan he wants to re-negotiate his contract and get more respect. Bryan doesn’t say a word. Not sure what the deal is. First it was scripted as a shoot on the Talking Smack show, but now Miz is back as the egomaniac demanding respect and benefits. So, not really sure if WWE has a plan or not.
Intercontinental Championship – The Miz defeats Dolph Ziggler to retain
Really good match, Miz seems to be back to his old self, the self who was WWE Champion and would put on a hell of a match. Great back and forth between Ziggler and Miz. At times Ziggler over-sold a bit, but it was fine. The match came to an old school heel conclusion, with Maryse spraying something into the eyes of Ziggler, allowing Miz to strike with the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Reminds me of Sensational Sherri spraying perfume.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Well, this match doesn’t happen. On television, Bray beat up Orton earlier in the show. In reality, the doctors didn’t clear Randy to get back in the ring. Bray demands a 10-count be made, they run through it, however the ring announcer is handed a note, Bray will compete in a No DQ match against… KANE.
KANE defeats Bray Wyatt in a NO-DQ match
Strangely, we get a pretty good brawl between the two. Kane took a sick bump through an announce table. Wyatt and Kane hit their big moves, chokeslam, senton, swinging side slam. Lot of big moves on the outside. Wyatt seems to have the match won, however Randy Orton shows up, hitting an RKO, followed by Kane planting Wyatt with a chokeslam for the win.
Well, this continues the Wyatt/Orton feud until he is cleared to wrestle again, but man, Bray being handed another loss, to Kane? If I didn’t know better, I would think Bray is either being buried… Or maybe WWE is keeping Bray hiding low for now, and will surprise us all with a big win in the near future.
Backstage, AJ Styles tells two guys who apparently are on the indys they will be failures, but the highlight of their career is meeting AJ Styles. Uh. Ok. Really do not like the stolen “Face that runs the place” gimmick.
SmackDown Tag Team Championships – Heath Slater & Rhyno defeat The Usos to win the championships.
Yes, you read that right. It was a great match, the crowd was hot for the underdogs, and I’ll give credit to the Usos. This new heel-mode is working very well, using a lot of dirty double-team tactics to beat down their opponents. Few moments where it appeared the dream was over, but Slater powered back. Rhyno with the Gore allows Slater to pin and win the titles for his team.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship – AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose
Great, great match. Style’s “Calf Crusher” sounds like a Mega Man weapon. Ambrose comes off perfect as the unconventional champion, using bizarre tactics and moves to keep the title. Some moments appeared to channel Rowdy Roddy Piper. Both took some sick bumps. Both told a great story, appearing tired and running out of steam, running out of moves left in both arsenals. Styles with a 450 splash, awesome. Ambrose slingshot AJ into the ringpost. Ambrose plays the insane role so well. Diving dropkick while AJ was stuck on the bottom rope. At some point, I think the crowd was booing Ambrose. Ambrose took a big Pelee kick, but hit the rebound lariat, taking AJ out of his boots. A crash winds up taking out the referee, allowing AJ Styles hit Ambrose in the groin, followed by the Styles Clash, with the referee waking up in time to administer the three count! Winner and New WWE Champion: AJ Styles
Decent pay-per-view, better than expected. The real surprise, it’s only 10:30pm, and the show is over. Yep. Some matches were a bit bland, nothing special past a regular SmackDown show. The highlights were the Women’s Championship, Tag Team Championship, and the WWE Championship main event. Last match was great. Wasn’t earth-shattering… nut-cracking is a better comparison.