Smack Down Live Review & Recap
Smack Down starts with Randy Orton sauntering down to the ring, while the commentary team speaks of the ongoing feud between Orton and Bray Wyatt. Randy then begins cutting a promo on Wyatt, just to be interrupted by Bray who is backstage laying in a coffin. Bray then cuts another of his spooky and mesmerizing promo’s, warning Randy that he’s here. Immediately Luke Harper’s intro music plays and he begins toe make his way down to the ring.
Randy Orton Vs. Luke Harper
Randy Orton rarely gives up the size advantage to an opponent, but Luke Harper is truly a monster of a man. The two go at pretty quickly, with Randy seizing the upper hand. After delivering a super-plex to Luke Harper, Randy is stopped in his tracks by Bray Wyatts music beginning to play, as he’s rolled down to the ring in the same casket he was in from backstage, by several men wearing black sheep masks. Slowly Bray is led to the ring, as the show goes to commercial.
Coming back from commercial we find Randy on the ground outside of the ring. Bray crouching off to the side, and Harper in the ring as the referee continues his count. Randy barely makes his way back into the ring to avoid the count out, and Harper immediately begins his attack on Orton again. Orton gets the edge on Harper again though and begins beating Harper out of the ring before Bray Wyatt interferes causing the match to end as a disqualification, making Orton the winner. Wyatt and Harper keep the attack on Randy trying to throw him into the casket that is still ringside. As Bray goes to open the casket, Kane appears inside of it, and helps Randy in his attack against the Wyatts. Just as Randy Orton and Kane are winning the fight, the lights go out and Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper are nowhere to be seen when they come back on.
AJ Styles gives another great heel interview, thoroughly upset about his loss to James Ellsworth from last week. Going on to call him “A Fat skinny turd”. He then goes on to say Ellsworth winning that match last week to be as embarrassing as when David Arquette won the WCW Championship. Finishing his interview he calls out Dean Ambrose and promises to defeat James Ellsworth tonight.
Alexa Bliss Vs Naomi
Coming back from commercial we see Alexa Bliss already in the ring, wearing an outfit clearly inspired by Freddy Krueger. Actually not a bad look for Bliss. Naomi then comes down to the ring, doing her black light dance routine, and gets a fairly good pop from the crowd as she makes her way down to the ring. The ladies put on a good match, with a lot of back and forth. Well designed match that makes both of the ladies look good, as they each get in some good offense. Naomi shows of her athletic abilities, even performing a springboard body press from the top rope. Alexa pulls out the dirty moves, and after a rack to the eyes outside of the ring begins to take the advantage. Naomi pulls out a back breaker and begins a torrent of offense, and nearly pins Alexa Bliss after a moonsault from the top rope. She dips into the well one two many times though, and Alexa knocks Naomi from the top ropes injuring her on the turnbuckle. Alexa then throws Naomi to the mat and is able to hit her with the Twisted Bliss, and pins Naomi for the win. After the match Alexa cuts a short interview in the ring with Renee Young, promising victory over Becky Lynch when she finally gets her in the ring.
Apollo Crews Vs Curt Hawkins
The bald, shining, and always smiling Apollo Crews is in the ring ready for his match against Curt Hawkins as we come back from commercial break. Curt Hawkins makes his way into the ring, to his own voice over, giving himself praise. He then cuts several cheesy insults against Crews, who then quickly slaps him in the face, driving Hawkins from the ring. Hawkins then decides to leave the arena, claiming Apollo owes the crowd an apology since there will no longer be a match since Curt is now leaving the building. Not sure what creative is building to with this one, but it looks like they are taking a page out of Eva Marie’s playbook, of all hype, and no show.
Carmella does her usual moonwalk intro and then begins to skip to the ring, as we are shown clips of the previous encounters between Carmella and Nikki Bella. Carmella then begins to shoot on Nikki claiming she’s about to “spill the tea” on Ms. Bella, when Nikki comes down to the ring interrupting Carmella before she can continue. Carmella cuts a pretty good promo, claiming the only reason Nikki is where she is because of her relationship with John Cena. Carmella even goes on to show some edited clips from Nikki’s show Total Bellas, which are supposed to show how needy and whiny Nikki really is. While it’s a good promo from Carmella, it’s clearly a way for WWE to promote their newest reality show cash grab. Nikki responds with an “OK” response of her own, but Carmella looks the stronger of the two in the end, with the battle of words. Carmella even gets the last word, and drops the mic on Nikki before exiting the ring untouched.
Renee Young is backstage and begins interviewing the awkward, but charismatic James Ellsworth who’s getting ready for his match against AJ Styles tonight. Wearing a shirt which bestows Ellsworth one of kind mug on it, in all of his chinless glory. Elssworth actually gives a surprisingly good and touching promo, talking about just how grateful, and honored he is to even be going up against AJ in a title match. While it does come across a little corny, Elssworth pulls it off, because honestly he’s probably telling the complete truth. Coming close to tears Ellsworth says he’s just proud to be able to tell his future grand kids, that at least one night he was able to challenge for the title live in a WWE ring, as the show goes to commercial.
Miz & Spirit Squad Vs Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater & Rhyno
Dolph wants revenge. Heath has got kids feed. Rhyno just hates male cheer leaders. That’s the only reasoning we’re given for this ill booked, and strange match up. While the Spirit Squad members of Mikey and Kenny aren’t terrible wrestlers, the outfits and gimmicks leave much to be desired. Any offense the guys get off just seems cartoonish, and unbelievable, even for sports entertainment standards. The most exciting moments of the match take place, when both Ziggler and Miz are in the ring, and it just makes you wish they would let the two of them battle it out without the extras. The match reaches it’s frenzy though when Heath enters the ring and begins cleaning the mat with the Spirit Squad. Rhyno even jumps in and gets a gore in on one of the Spirit Squad members (sorry couldn’t catch which one it was this time) driving him from the ring. Miz then hits Heath over the head allowing Kenny to get the roll up pin to the crowds dismay. I pray they are not setting up an ongoing feud between Heath, Rhyno, and the Spirit Squad.
Daniel Bryan’s on the phone when Natalya walks up to get his attention. In one of the strangest promo’s I’ve seen in awhile, Natalya begins quoting lyrics from Whitney Houston songs, as if they were her inspirational thoughts on how to win matches in the ring. She then goes on to ask Daniel if he’s been following her cat on Instagram. Pretty funny since we know that Natalya is some kind of weird cat lady wrestler, but still a strange promo to say the least.
Jack Swagger Vs Baron Corbin
I’m really liking how they are building Baron Corbin up. He’s got a nice intro, and a very menacing look. His promo’s are getting better and better, and he’s settling nicely into his heel persona. Swagger starts the match off quickly, and the two big men quickly battle their way outside of the ring. Corbin begins unleashing a barrage of forearms on Swagger against the barricades, before hitting Swagger with a strong and impressive End of Days and puts Jack Swagger away in fast time. Nice build up for Corbin. Looks like it’s still jobber city for Swagger tonight.
Daniel is still trapped backstage with Natalya, as she’s showing him pictures of her cats in her phone, when Dean Ambrose shows up wearing his referee shirt. Daniel thanks Dean for the interruption, as Natalya slinks of with her kitty pics. Dean then goes on to say how he’s excited to officiate the match tonight between James Ellsworth and AJ Styles. Daniel Bryan interrupts Ambrose and explains to him, he can’t be ref tonight, due to his actions from last week. He then tells Dean he can be ring announce, time keeper, or commentary if he wants. Dean then says yeah that’s what I’ll do as he walks off. Daniel looking confused asks Dean exactly which one is he going to do, but Dean is already gone, and we, like Daniel, are left wondering what madness Dean Ambrose has in store for us.
James Ellsworth Vs AJ Styles
Dean Ambrose makes his way down to the ring prior to the match starting, as the commentators debate which role he’s going to play while down at the ring. Next comes AJ Styles to the ring, looking angry that he’s even in this match. Clearly AJ believes this challenge to be far beneath him, and berates Dean Ambrose from inside the ring. James Ellsworth then comes out, and gets the best crowd pop of the night from the crowd. The crowd even chants Elssworth name in the same rhythm and cadence they chant Goldberg. Dean Amborse then announces both men as the lead in to the championship match. Ambrose also begins the match since he is also going to be playing time keeper, and rings the bell repeatedly not allowing the match to start. He then announces a commercial break pausing the match after it had just begun. There are a ton of funny spots through out this match, one of my favorite being when AJ attempts to put Ellsworth in a chin lock. Ellsworth easily slips out of it though, due to his lack of chin, which Ellsworth expertly sells in comedic fashion. AJ pretty much beats Elssworth from post to post, as the commentators make every silly joke they can about Ellsworth’s appearance. At one point it even looks like Ellsworth is getting beat out of his boots, literally, and even gets tossed in and out of the ring back and forth by AJ Styles, and Dean Ambrose. With the crowd cheering him on though, Ellsworth is able to get in one super kick knocking Styles to the mat nearly getting the three count. Announcer David Otunga might have gotten the line of the night though yelling out he hit him with No Chin Music. Styles quickly gets Ellsworth back on the defense, as he mercilessly beats Ellsworth against the ring post. Allowing Dean Ambrose to goad him into the beating more, AJ does not stop when the Ref signals for the stop, and AJ is disqualified, making James Ellsworth the winner over the WWE World Champion for the second week in a row. Dean then announces the winner Ellsworth, right before hitting AJ Styles with the Dirty Deeds.
Once again this week Smack Down Live flew by at a nice pace. The few bad segments and matches they had, were relatively short, and they kept the pace moving by pretty quickly. Continuing on story lines, and setting up even more reason for the rivalries between the main superstars on the roster. With much better promo’s and interviews from the likes of Carmella and Natalya, this brings some new depth to the Smack Down’s womens division, and by making Baron Corbin look like the beast he is, I’d give this episode of Smack Down Live a B-. If they had actually made the exchange between Curt Hawkins and Apollo Crews take place backstage as opposed to in the ring, it would have given it more of a sense of believability. Also I’m not sure who keeps booking the Spirit Squad, but please either stop, or give the guys a gimmick that would make someone wanna watch them wrestle in the first place.