AJ Styles Promo
Smackdown opened with AJ Styles gloating about how he’s no longer fired, so he can face Shane McMahon at the ultimate thrill ride Wrestlemania 33. And if you thought AJ shoving McMahon’s head through a car window was bad last week, just wait what Styles has in store for him tonight!
A few hours waiting in a parking lot, it seems.
The feud is still working, but they dropped a far more interesting night-long plot line – keep AJ fired. Shane clashes with Daniel Bryan throughout the night about letting Styles back into the company, with the GM screaming it’s too dangerous for McMahon’s health. AJ will seriously injure him. But then, obsessed with revenge, Shane pulls rank and commands Bryan to reinstate him.
The main event segment is AJ and Shane standing face-to-face in the ring with Daniel about to make it official. Bryan sighs, mutters that McMahon brought this upon himself, and then rehires Styles. AJ – waiting for this so he can attack Shane without criminal charges being brought (because, as we all know, you can literally get away with attempted murder on Smackdown) – pounces on McMahon and starts to beat the crap out of him. Shane’s pride is his downfall.
Instead, Smackdown mostly ignored the whole firing aspect of the story.
The Usos beat American Alpha
Jason Jordan got married at the weekend. Congratulations. As a present from all of us here at WWE, you’re going to lose your tag team championships two weeks before Wrestlemania.
What a match, though. The last five minutes in particular were fantastically back and forth, with The Usos finally winning the tag team championships.
It’s too late for Wrestlemania, but this hopefully lays the groundwork for a stronger, more focused-upon tag division from April onwards.
Total Bella Bulls***
In a change from the usual in-ring shoot promos, The Miz and Maryse instead played ‘unseen footage’ from Total Bellas, entitled Total Bella Bulls***. Maryse brilliantly played both Nikki and Brie as though they were obedient pet dogs to The Miz’s John Cena. Cena needing cue cards to say ‘I love you’ was a great touch. Both segments were superb, and an inventive, entertaining way to further the feud.
Randy Orton beat Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin and Randy Orton had a very decent match, which was really to set up The Lone Wolf vs Dean Ambrose at Wrestlemania. The Lunatic Fringe turned up on a forklift, distracting Corbin long enough for Orton to hit an RKO from – guess where? Go on, I bet you won’t get it. I’ll give you a min-OUTTA NOWHERE.
Afterwards backstage, Orton was ambushed by loads of dudes in sheep masks, where Bray Wyatt treated him to a private rendition of ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. It’d almost be romantic if it wasn’t for the creepy levels of intimidation.
John Cena beat Fandango
The Miz and Maryse weren’t the only ones cosplaying as WWE’s power couple. Tyler Breeze dressed up as a very sexually confusing Nikki Bella for Fandango’s match against Cena.
No? Not sexually confusing for anyone else?
It wasn’t for me either. I was only making a joke.
The actual Nikki Bella eventually took out Breeze while Cena pinned Fandango. Cena cut a great promo on Mike (that’s the Miz’s real name) on Talking Smack afterwards.
Becky Lynch vs Carmella
Alexa Bliss somehow won Becky Lynch vs Carmella. The original match lasted barely a minute before Smackdown’s entire female roster got involved, which Bliss ended standing tall.
The best part was Daniel Bryan’s description of James Ellsworth being dropkicked by Becky Lynch: “Yeah, the Big Hog just took it! Took it right to the face!” He gives zero f****, people.
Shane McMahon Challenges AJ Styles
In the in-ring main event promo, rather than all the character-based stuff I proposed at the start, AJ disingenuously apologised to Shane, leading McMahon to attack him right away – going straight in with those terrible potato punches of his. After Shane knocked AJ out with a monitor, he performed his trademark diving elbow through the announcer’s table to close the show.
So that was this week’s Smackdown Live review, which means I get to debut the blue brand’s specialised rating system. Prepare yourselves, because it’s pretty clever. It took me a while to come up with this. Was Smackdown Live – five, four three, two or one.
Only one of those rhymes.
If you’ve got anything better, which I’m sure you do, let me know in the comments below.
This week’s Smackdown is FOUR!
The opening tag was a really great wrestling match, the Fandango, Miz and Maryse comedy was actually funny, and the AJ/Shane angle had a hot finish – even if that’s not how I would’ve done it. The only real dud was the women’s division – entirely crammed into one five minute angle.
What did you all think? Let me know in the comments down below…