WWE SmackDown Live – Review, Highlights & Analysis from 26/07/2016

Following the roaring success of the first New Era RAW, SmackDown Live aired its first real episode after the Draft and the game was on! The Blue Brand not only answered the challenge, but it also raised the bar even higher. The New Era in the WWE is here and it’s awesome! Let’s talk SmackDown Live!

SmackDown Live Begins

The opening segment, starting with a walk and talk from the back of the stage, made me feel as if I’m watching the Grammies. There was a feeling of grandeur in the arena.

Dean Ambrose, standing in the middle of that ring, surrounded by everyone, pronounced as the leading man was a scene I thought I’d never see. It was a dream come true.

RAW had 8 men, competing for the big opportunity and SmackDown Live had 6 but that is normal, having in mind the roster is smaller and the runtime is more limited.

The line-up was interesting – Cena, Wyatt, Ziggler, Corbin and AJ Styles. The big names we all know but for Corbin that’s a good sign of faith. In general, the #1 contender here was harder to predict than on RAW.

Battle Royal for Spot #6

Pretty much every male on the roster was in this match. The tag teams were eliminated quickly, as expected. Then it came down to Kalisto, Apollo Crews, Kane and ZacK Ryder.

Realistically, out of those four, Kalisto is most entertaining in the ring but he wouldn’t have been a plausible opponent for the men that already were booked for the 6-Pack Challenge.

Kane is too old to get a push now and Ryder….well, who’d believe a Ryder push now, after all the fake ones we’ve seen.

The logical choice for a winner was Apollo Crews. However, he lacks something in his character. He’s a very generic, smiley dude. His gimmick needs to be tweaked, if he’s to get over.

Becky Lynch def. Natalya

Becky vs. Natty was very different than the women’s matches we saw on RAW. This was a proper brawl. It was rough and brutal. It reminded me of a wild bar brawl. It was slower and less technical but the sheer aggression made it good.

Also, the overall length of the match made the quality so much better. Same as on RAW. The women, being given some time in the ring, can show some proper wrestling skills.

Not having the a championship for the female talent, SmackDown Live bet on introducing the entire division. The line-up is impressive with a predominantly heel side.

The boos Eva Marie got were unreal. Ironically, she’ll get a push because of that

Miz TV

What’s with Randy Orton and talk shows? From the Highlights Reel to Miz TV. It feels as if the WWE is reintroducing the character, so people will warm up to Randy before his match with Lesnar.

I must say, it’s working. The fans seek the RKO and the Viper Ville line has the potential to be a trend. The only person at a loss here is the Miz.

Randy Orton def. The Miz

It was obvious that Miz would lose this match. However, the way he lost it was cringe-worthy. The Viper practically toyed with him from minute 3 onwards when he hit the first RKO.

Two RKOs and a complete waste. So much for Miz, being a credible champion. He’s so great on the mic but his gimmick in its core requires him to look weak.

Heath Slater/Rhyno

My guess about Heath Slater not being drafted turned out to be true. It’s a gimmick and Slater’s rocking it. He’s so great on the mic and the fans do support him.

Rhyno got the upper hand but I’m not hyped about him. I’d much rather watch Heath Slater because he truly is entertaining. The things he says…that’s some talent!

I think Heath should keep appearing on both shows, asking for a job and he should keep getting turned down. Then one day, he should viciously attack one of the champions, most likely the Miz, take him out, earn a title shot and win. Heath deserves the push.

Dolph Ziggler def. Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Apollo Crews and AJ Styles

I did not see that coming. I said this match was harder to call but Ziggler would not have been my first pick, by far. I’d have had a heel in there, as it would be done traditionally. The WWE did so much better.

SmackDown Live booked the crowd’s favourite to face the crowd’s favourite champion. Face vs. face, both truly loved by the fans. SummerSlamm will offer us a great show!

I don’t think Dolph will win it, though. Ambrose got the title too recently. He deserves a longer reign. It would be a great push for any heel to take down a beloved champion like Ambrose.

 

What are your impressions from SmackDown Live? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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