by Erin Dick
Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.
The fallout from what was a fantastic Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on the part of SmackDown, was of course another enjoyable show from the blue brand. Yet, Elimination Chamber has left little resolved on the other side.
Who would there be to kick things other than the ‘Eater of Worlds’ and new WWE World Champion himself, Bray Wyatt? To a sea of lit fireflies and chants of “You deserve it”, Bray Wyatt serenaded the Anaheim crowd in celebration of his first title win in the WWE. “Sister Abigail always spoke the truth, and so do I… I have the whole damn world in my hands,” he proclaimed in a stirring, almost baby face promo.
Bray was shortly interrupted by John Cena ahead of their scheduled rematch for the title, offering his respect to the new champion and contesting the afore-mentioned “Era of Wyatt”. AJ Styles quickly interjected in the conversation to remind John and Bray of his owed rematch, a proposition that invited General Manager Daniel Bryan to the discussion. A Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship was then set for the main event of SmackDown Live between Cena, Styles and Wyatt.
The first match of the night was between American Alpha and the Ascension for the SmackDown Tag Team titles. It’s refreshing to see a mere two teams tossing up in the ring as opposed to the entire locker room. Alpha were exciting as usual, and the Ascension showed some semblance of character. After a few close calls from the Ascension, Chad Gable picked up the win with his patented bridging suplex. Their celebrations are cut short by a video tape of the Usos laying down challenge to the tag champs, and a program looks to be developing here. Finally.
The dreaded Valentine’s Day reference arrived early, in an unnecessary feature from the hottest couple on the block, Carmellsworth. Meanwhile, Dean searched frantically backstage for Baron Corbin, after the beat down he received in the Elimination Chamber match over the weekend. Daniel Bryan, who just happened to be sauntering by, granted Dean’s request of a match against Ellsworth up next. Because these are the priorities of the Intercontinental Champion.
James Ellsworth got a talk segment with Carmella in the ring for some reason, before Ambrose’s music hit. After a delay, Baron Corbin dragged Ambrose out from backstage by the collar. After a fleeting moment of retaliation, Ambrose took a Deep Six through the set, adorned by some pyro and a plate of delicious looking cookies. It’s looking a safe bet that Ambrose will here forth be treated as a transitional champion.
The Natalya-Nikki beef has surpassed the point of ridiculous. After some cringe-worthy dialogue exchange (Nikki: “Um, No. Yes.”), repetitive and shallow motives and yet another backstage fisticuffs, a furious and simultaneously adorable Daniel Bryan declared a Falls Count Anywhere match. It will take place between the two women for next week’s episode of SmackDown, Daniel irately explained before whining “Jesus” and storming out of the frame, leaving security to keep the two ladies at a safe proximity to spit snark at the other.
Dolph Ziggler had a backstage talk segment, addressing his newfound hatred of the new generation of superstars looking to replace him. While these facts may not be entirely accurate, it’s great to see that the wheels are still turning for Ziggles. They’re a bit stiff, but they’re turning nonetheless.
Next up, is the Elimination Chamber rematch between Mickie James and Becky Lynch. Mickie had some cutting words on Talking Smack post-ppv: “It’s really nice to have everything handed to you… to be told you are the leader of a generation of amazing women’s wrestlers when it was going on well before you, well before me, well before all of that.”
The energy was lacking in comparison to their pay-per-view match a few nights prior. James was able to pick up the win by feigning injury and coaxing Becky into the corner, hitting the Mick Kick and going for the cover.
Naomi headed to the ring to not only share her championship victory, but to reveal a knee injury. She glowed with realistic positivity, before Alexa Bliss came to make a statement of revenge. It’s hard not to love Alexa Bliss, who clearly loves herself even more. But Naomi didn’t back down. Alexa requested her rematch in a week’s time, and left a cold air in the ring behind her.
At the onset of the WWE Championship match, Bray Wyatt was attacked mid entrance by Luke Harper, after being recently exiled from the family and defeated by Randy Orton at Elimination Chamber. Heel move? Hard to tell these days.
The match itself was a show-stealer. The top of the card on SmackDown continues to impress, with thrilling main events week after week. Announce table spots, a tease or two for Cena and Styles, and ultimately, a Sister Abigail to Cena to help Bray Wyatt retain the title.
The show is not yet over, as Randy Orton headed to the ring to address the patriarch of the Wyatt Family. He confessed his loyalty to Bray, and refused to take on his opportunity to fight Bray at WrestleMania, before kneeling at the feet of the ‘New Face of Fear’.
The Wyatt Family strikes a pose, and the curtain closes on another great week of SmackDown Live.