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What a bittersweet episode of Smackdown Live. On the one hand, we had ANOTHER fantastic main event to close the episode, but on the other hand A.J. Styles is probably out of WWE Title contention for WrestleMania 33. “THE FASTEST TWO HOURS ON TELEVISION” lived up to that moniker I just came up with, as it usually does in the Post-Draft Era.

3 Stars of SD LIVE!

  • * Randall Keith Orton: He earned his spot back in the World Title Match at WrestleMania by telling a HELL of a story in the ring with A.J. Styles. It’s not easy to outdo the best wrestler in the world, and I think Randall Keith did exactly that tonight. The RKO outta somehwere was fine, but just the way he sold every bit of pain from each time he moved his knee made me appreciate his work tonight.
  • **Alexa Bliss: Of all the ladies in the Women’s Title Picture on the Blue Show, Alexa Bliss just commands all the attention. She’s so smooth in the ring, on the microphone, and everywhere in-between. She doesn’t need to call people “ugly” or “bitch” to get that cheap heat, as she finds her way through each trash talking segment.
  • *** A.J. Styles: Playing the role of Daniel Bryan in this year’s “Road to WrestleMania” is A.J. Styles. He worked his way into, and out of a WrestleMania Title Match, and in the end will probably end up facing a McMahon at WM33.

Honorable Mention

J.B.L.: The way he said “who cares?” summed up Curt/Chad Hawkins’ current role in the SD Live! structure perfectly.

Maryse : Keeping it short and sweet.

The Holla Holla Tag Match:  Everyone played their role perfectly, even D-Bryan who put over Teddy Long’s G.M. abilities. Nattie turning on the one she calls “Beaker”, and then Alexa stealing the pin, only to have Mickie turn on her, too. That’s just exactly what all these characters would do to one another.

—Jeff