Smack Down Live Review
After a M. Night Shyamalan-esqe twist ending to TLC this past Sunday, Smack Down Live begins the show with it’s reigning world champion AJ Styles, who comes down to the ring with a surgical boot on his right leg. AJ goes on to tease the crowd with pics of his ripped tights from Sunday nights TLC match. WWE cleverly allows AJ to poke fun at himself, after Sunday nights chants of “Let’s Go Butt Cheeks”. Ellsworth comes out to Boo’s, as he interrupts the champ, and even mocks him of faking his injury, so as not to face him tonight. Styles responds with several verbal jabs of his own, and reminds Ellsworth Ambrose will come for him. On cue, before they can continue, they are both silenced by Dean Ambrose’s music. Ambrose strolls down to the ring, oddly calm. He enters the ring with no words, and gives a hand shake extending James Ellsworth, the Dirty Deeds. Dean Ambrose then immediately leaves the ring and coolly strolls back up the ramp.
Rhyno & Heath Slater Vs. The Wyatt Family (Smack Down Tag Team Championship Match)
Rhyno and Slater cash in their rematch clause quickly, after losing their Tag Team titles at TLC. Sadly what ever faith management had in this duo seems to have run it’s course, as this is an extended squash match. The Wyatt family makes short work of the former tag team champs, who are only able to muster one or two offensive pushes. The match ends with Bray holding Heath for the sister Abigail, before throwing him to Randy Orton for an RKO, pinning Slater for the count. It’s kind of sad to see Rhyno and Heath go so unceremoniously, after they’re entertaining run as Tag Team Champs. Who would have thought Slater would come out as the most memorable part of the draft return. He was able to take that, and push his I got kids gimmick to a title run with a returning Rhyno. Hopefully they will allow, the guys to pursue their story lines independently as solo superstars.
Backstage Interview – Kalisto is shown stretching, and slightly wincing, when the backstage reporter comes up asking about his rematch tonight. Kalisto cuts a choppy promo and ends it with “Speed kills”
Carmella Vs Natalya
Mostly a smack talking segment, Carmella enters first and talks crap about Natalya attacking Nikki at Survivor Series. Second week in a row Carmella expertly hushes the crowd from their “How you doing” chants, during her promo. While Carmella’s in ring wrestling skills still have much to be desired, her mic skills improve every week. Natalya marches to the ring and a tussling session between both women erupts. The ladies trade blows till Carmella runs from ring with Natalya in chase. As Natalya looks for Carmella backstage, she runs into a stoic and angry looking Nikki Bella who stares Natalya down, before walking away with no words uttered.
Backstage Interview – Baron Corbin is walking backstage, when he’s stopped by the same reporter, and informed of Kalisto’s comments about being faster than him. Corbin cuts the standard big man promo, and even hijacks JBL’s mosquito line, proving once again Corbin should play it silent and tough. Not everyone needs to talk.
The Ascension Vs The Hype Bros
I still like the new face paint from the Ascension. With each member doing their own thing, it doesn’t come across as cliched. Sadly things don’t seem to be looking up for The Ascension, as they start the match already in the ring. Any long time watcher of wrestling will tell you, if your already in the ring as we come back from break. You have a slim to none chance of winning. The Hype Bros make their usual all over the place entrance, and a so-so match up begins. Only real interesting thing about this match, was the quick backstage interviews shown as the match was starting. The Hype Bros make short work of The Ascension, and win with a Hype Ryder. I’m not sure who the Ascension made mad backstage, but I hope they bought them a Christmas present, to start 2017 on a better note.
Miz TV with Guest Dean Ambrose
Miz does his usual smart Alec heel role, as he and his wife Maryse saunter to the ring. Miz even taunts the crowd asking “No you deserve it chants”? Gotta love to hate the Miz. After giving himself several pats on the back for retaining his title at TLC, Miz introduces his guest Dean Ambrose. After some snarky back and forth, Ambrose gets heated when Miz questions his fighting spirit. Miz trying to calm his guest, gives Dean a runner up participation certificate. By the end of the segment, Daniel Bryan comes out and makes a intercontinental match between The Miz and Ambrose for later tonight. I’m really enjoying the cocky wrestler versus management angle with Bryan and The Miz. Nice twist on an old angle, that’s been done to death. Not sure if the guys like or dislike each other in real life, but the chemistry between the two spills off of the screen.
Kalisto Vs Baron Corbin
Kalisto came out looking very strong against Corbin at TLC, and the two put on one of the bets chair matches I’ve ever seen. Kalisto does a good job of selling his back injury, or he really did hurt his back. After several strong back and forth blows, and moves, Corbin gets the upper hand, and hits Kalisto with the end of days, putting him away for the three count. Corbin will appear on Sports Center tomorrow night. Corbin a former NFL player, and golden gloves boxer, is a worthy person to be on ESPN.
Nikki Bella w/ Sophia Grace. Don’t know who she is or what they’re talking about really. Something about Ms. Grace’s new single “Hollywood”? So yeah that happened.
Chad Gable of American Alpha Vs Tyler Breeze of Breezango
Funny backstage skit before the match starts. Fashion Police are in the locker rooms backstage handing out citations to the the Alphas. Tyler gets out a few good lines like, Uggo outfits, and book em’ Dango. Nice fast match. Good wrestling from both men. Breeze in my opinion is a very under rated performer. He can pull off some great offensive moves, but still sell well when being attacked. Breezango aka The Fashion Police show they deserve a push, even when the mess up. Fandango gets caught up in the camera cords around the ring, while trying to interfere in the match. While clearly a misstep on Fandango’s part, he finds a way to work it into the match, and comically trips over the cord. Gable gains the upper hand, and pins Breeze with a German suplex pin combo.
In Ring Segment
New Smack Down Womens Champion Alexa Bliss, proudly comes down to the ring wearing her new championship belt. Soon into her promo she drops another “B” bomb, which elicits a small response from the crowd. Becky comes out, and issues a new challenge to Alexa for that night. The new champ seems about to take the challenge when she rolls out of the ring, and walks off with her title, leaving a frustrated Lynch.
Dean Ambrose Vs The Miz (Intercontinental Title Match)
The Miz once again tonight shows why he’s arguably the most improved wrestler of 2016. Fresh off of a great match at TLC, Miz jumps right into this match with the same vigor and ruthlessness. Miz has to be the top heel in the WWE today, only rivaled by Charlotte Flair perhaps. Their is a great moment where Miz hides behind his wife, stopping Ambrose from diving out of the ring onto him. Nice match between Ambrose and Miz overall though. Lots of back and forth. Eventual interference from Maryse, but unexpected appearance from James Ellsworth who comes out to help Dean. Inadvertently, Ellsworth costs Dean yet again another match for a title. After the distraction, Miz hits Ambrose with a skull crushing finale, and pins Dean for the three count.