WWE SmackDown – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 22/11/2016

Team SmackDown focused on the Superstars’ victory at Survivor Series and took actions to solve the inner issues that threatened the team. Aaand James Ellsworth got a WWE World Championship opportunity. How did it all happen? Let’s talk SmackDown!

Shane/Ambrose/Ellsworth/Styles

Shane reprimanded Ambrose for briefly joining the Shield but it was more of a slap on the wrist, rather than a serious punishment. That’s the problem when you’re a “nice guy” type of a boss – people don’t listen.

AJ Styles decided to pick on James Ellsworth again. However, in all honesty, AJ made sense. Many guys who train their whole lives never get even close to the WWE and there’s Ellsworth, who miraculously lands a contract out of the blue.

Ellsworth asking for a championship shot is a bit over the top. It was a long way coming but still, it’s pushing the boundaries a bit. I’m sure there are guys who can actually wrestle who could benefit from that opportunity.

Miz def. Kalisto

Ever since he returned, Kalisto has been so impressive every time he enters the ring. He deserves a title and a good run. Unlike last time he was given the gold, he needs to get promo time and actually wrestle.

Corbin ruined it for Kalisto again. I thought it would have been a nice storyline shift if the Kalisto/Corbin rivalry got mixed up with the IC title and the gold was carried by one of them. However, Ziggler made his presence felt and broke my sand castle.

Miz/Ziggler has been good till now. I have no complaints. However, dragging it out for too long will make it boring, regardless of what the guys do in the ring or on the mic.

Tag Team Turmoil

Most of the matches were short and quick. The two teams, who actually had a wrestling match were The Usos and American Alpha, which is no surprise, since they are the two top teams in the division.

The eliminations went as follows:

  1. The Hype Bros def. The Ascension
  2. Breezango def. The Hype Bros
  3. American Alpha def. Breezango
  4. American Alpha def. The Vaudevillains
  5. American Alpha def. The Usos

My problem with this tournament was that we’ve seen all these matches before with the exact same outcome. Hype Bros will always go over Ascension. Breezango have the crowd but still no vote of confidence from the Creative. The Vaudevillains only come out to lose. And the Usos are badass but always come up short in the end.

I love American Alpha. However, faced with the Wyatt Family they stand no chance. The Wyatts are above the tag team level and by the looks of it Randy is still on the “I’m devoted to Bray” act. I’d be astonished if Gable and Jordan came on top next week.

On a side note, did anyone else notice Rhyno’s new facial hair? Rusev is becoming a trend-setter in male fashion in the WWE and that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

Becky Lynch def. Natalya

This actually was a good, technical match. It wasn’t flashy but as pure wrestling, timing and fluidity of movement, it was nice to see.

Unfortunately, the match lacked atmosphere. I like Becky. She’s great in the ring but I don’t feel her as a champion. Her character should be out there but it’s very mild in reality. Her reign has been fairly bland.

Alexa Bliss, on the other hand, is a fire cracker. She has so much personality, it’s impressive. I think she should have the championship.

Baron Corbin vs. Kane

This was a punishment match for Corbin. Again, not a very effective punishment from the SmackDown leaders.

I’m very pleased with how Kane is treated by the Blue Brand. He looks intimidating without taking centre stage.

Kalisto flew in out of nowhere. Good work from the cameramen, the angle made Kalisto’s attack that much more exciting.

This feud is going great. Not only did Kalisto attack fiercely, but even when a chair was involved, Baron Corbin was still willing to get back in the ring. Both won’t back down and it makes for a suspenseful rivalry.

James Ellsworth def. AJ Styles

After being chased out of the building, Ambrose had more TV time than when he’s meant to be on the show. It was hilarious watching him play on Shane’s nerves until Shane himself left. There was no way this wouldn’t culminate with an appearance from the Lunatic Fringe in the main event.

Despite losing to Ellsworth AGAIN, Styles isn’t portrayed as week. There actually is moral to the story. He could have won easily but he wanted to bully Ellsworth and took his time to taunt him. Essentially, being a jerk cost him the match.

Also, Ellsworth was booked to look better than he should. He could have taken the open lane to the top, Ambrose provided but he lingered on and got rid of AJ on his own. That was so unbelievable, it got the crowd cheering.

Ellsworth vs. Styles for the title will be yet another joke of a match. Ellsworth cannot win. Imagine this guy’s name in the list of WWE champions, even if AJ’s to invoke a rematch close and get the belt back 15 sec later.

 

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

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