Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review
Following on from the disappointment at Fastlane, SmackDown set out to remind everyone that it is the leading WWE brand in providing slightly less disappointment rather than their rivals, Raw. Similarly, I’ll be providing slightly less disappointment than my Raw counterpart, Elliot Dyson, as he doesn’t know how to refer to a specific tweet of mine. As a result he is no longer my Co-Editor. Meaning I am once again his boss. Read ahead for slightly less disappointing insults as I guide you through this weeks slightly less disappointing SmackDown Live.
The SmackDown management committee made their way to the ring, opening the show, in a segment that can be added to the list of already pointless segments this year. Daniel Bryan and Shane O’Mac argued their points as to who was the rightful No.1 contender for the WWE Championship: Randy Orton or AJ Styles. Both went over video packages recapping events fans are already aware of before agreeing that Styles and Orton should face each other for no.1 spot. I get it, not every part of WWE’s programming is exciting and unpredictable but do we really need to be spoon-fed information that the commentary team could have explained in half that time? That’s a rhetorical question by the way.
John Bella and Nikki Cena teamed up for the first time ever to take on Carmellsworth. The match was a squash as expected and at one point almost made me throw up as Cena and Nikki performed finishing moves in tandem – it was in no means cute and left a horrible reminder that these two will be working together at WretleMania. The saving grace out of all of this is the performance from Miz and Maryse. The pair attacked the Bella couple after the match and cut yet another savage promo targeting Cena as a false idol.
The stuff in between:
– Curt Hawkins was beat down by Ambrose again. As the latter went on to search for Baron Corbin backstage he was met by a surprise forklift truck to the chest from Corbin. Slowly this story is developing. Corbin is looking more ruthless and Ambrose’ unhinged nature is starting to get the better of him. These two are set to face each other for the IC Championship at Mania but it is yet to be made official. No doubt it’ll end up being an 8 Man Ladder Match like last year.
– Backstage, Mojo Rawley announced his intentions to claim his ‘WrestleMania’ moment just like that of his tag team partner, Zack Ryder, last year. Ziggler mocked him but, surprisingly, didn’t pull out a chair to beat anyone down.
– There was no official tag team action. No American Alpha, Usos or even Breezango featured on this week’s episode. *sad face emoji*
– Alexa Bliss and Mickie James no longer have an alliance. A Mick-Kick to the head stunned Bliss after the pair had just beaten Natalya and Becky Lynch in a shoehorned tag team match. As I said last week it looks as though there could be a fatal 4 way for the blue brands Women’s Title at WrestleMania.
The Main Event
A high-stakes match was on the card for the night’s main event. Throughout the match Styles methodically targeted the knee of Orton in order to set up the Calf Crusher. The Snake (as he shall now be called for turning his back on Bray Wyatt), fought back at every opportunity with many attempts for an RKO blocked. The best sequence of the match saw a second-rope DDT blocked and converted into a Calf Crusher. The Snake reached the ropes and was then able to deliver the earlier attempted DDT but as he went for the RKO a Pele Kick sent him crashing to the canvas. The match came to an end in fast pace as the Snake went for a mid-air RKO off a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles but instead, Styles faked the move, Snake bounced off the mat and Styles then went for the 450 splash but was also countered. Styles then fell straight into a pop-up RKO that ended the match and allowed the Snake to advance to the main event of WrestleMania to challenge Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship.
Orton and Styles certainly have some chemistry to produce a match of the highest order. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some of the other proposed SmackDown matches at WrestleMania. Unless we’re in for some unexpected twists in the next few weeks the best we can hope for is that the blue brand’s overall performance at WrestleMania is slightly less disappointing than Raw’s shower of shite at the moment.