After James Ellsworth showed up sick to work and was prevented from facing AJ Styles, courtesy of the flu, the show took a much more interesting direction. Some new faces got a shot at the top and it was a much needed change of scenery. What happened last night? Let’s talk SmackDown!
When Miz told AJ Styles that he was above his level, it made me go “Oh, WOW!” Leave it to the A-lister to deliver a punch line like that. I love Miz’s confidence and the way his hard work has been paying off lately. He deserves to be where he is – in the spotlight.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Luke Harper enter the picture. Some attention after his return is good. I was expecting him to go after the IC title, not the World title but for now, that works as well.
The one person who can’t get that shot on the last SDLive of 2016 is Ambrose. We’ve had too much of AJ vs. Ambrose. We need a break from this feud.
Carmella def. Natalya
Carmella is getting better and better in the ring, I must say. With the way she plays her character, she has become one of the brightest stars in the SmackDown Women’s Division.
Natty is denying these allegations too rigorously and Nikki is too unwilling to believe it was Natalya, so in the end, the attacker might end up being Natty after all. I was starting to suspect an underlying twist but the way things are going, the storyline will be straightforward.
Nikki, for all her years in the WWE, is still terrible at acting. How could she possibly be that fake in every exchange?!
Tag Team #1 Contender’s Battle Royal
This was one of my favourite segments of the night. The big names in the division didn’t get as much time in the ring as the lower card guys and that was yet another brilliant way of giving talent a chance to stand out. Well done, Team Blue!
Rhyno’s elimination, apart from furthering the break up of the Beauty and the Manbeast, allowed Slater to shine. I’ve never seen Heath that impressive. He stood his ground like a champ for a long time.
Fandango might have gone before Tyler Breeze but Dango had the most realistic-looking elimination. Tyler Breeze, on the other hand, delivered the most beautiful elimination when he kicked Jason Jordan out of the way in the most spectacular fashion.
Prince Pretty played smart and lasted a long time. It took three consecutive elimination attempts to get rid of him and when Konnor finally pushed him out, the crowd booed. Breezango could be big, if given the chance.
The Hype Bros were the obvious winners when you look at the final three because they were the only face team left and the champs are heel. However, The Ascension vs. The Wyatt Family sounded like a much better feud. What if they are both heel, they’d try to outheel each other and it would be great!
Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss
Bliss tried to run away and the faked out an injury to get out of the actual fight. I know she’s heel but antics ala The Miz usually get quite tiresome very quickly. I expected something different from Alexa’s reign. I thought Bliss would be more of a fighting fury.
I’m not feeling the Bliss vs. Lynch feud. Something’s missing. Their matches are good but the rivalry feels weak.
Dolph Ziggler def. Dean Ambrose, The Miz & Luke Harper
The main event was great! No man was left behind. Everyone looked outstanding.
The way Ambrose eliminated the Miz was perfection. It was a case of what goes around, comes around and it felt god to see the A-lister taste his own medicine.
It made me laugh when Ambrose was trying to pull off some fancy spins on the apron and Luke Harper just floored him. Harper took the opportunity that was given to him and ran with it. I was rooting for him to win all along. Harper vs. Styles would be a dream match. However, realistically, you can’t expect to have the disciple in the main event while the master is a tag team champ.
What Miz was trying to do in the end is beyond me. I know what happened but Miz’s actual intentions – I don’t know. His interference made no sense. He doesn’t like both guys, why help either of them? Plot convenience – that’s why!
Ziggler will make a good opponent for AJ Styles. It will be a beautiful match and Ziggler will lose it in a spectacular way. It’s predictable but it will be a nice piece of wrestling to watch.
What are your impressions from SmackDown? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB, or Twitter!