Tonight’s Smackdown followed a very similar formula to Raw from last night, which I’ll go further in-depth about in this review, but was somehow still more entertaining. The messed up part is that Raw is the one that has a PPV this weekend, and they put up a half-hearted effort. This week’s Smackdown had a touch of history mixed in with comedy, and solid wrestling. It also continues to benefit from being an hour shorter than Raw.
Onto the show…
Kevin Owens’ Highlight Reel w/Guest Shinsuke Nakamura
First of all, I love that Chris Jericho’s presence is still felt even without him on the active WWE roster. I can appreciate that KO didn’t just forget about all the stuff he went through with Y2J just because he’s going to his next feud. It’s sort of funny that SD Live! opens with a heel promo show, just like last night’s MizTV opening Raw.
Baron interrupting Nakamura, so he doesn’t have to speak in his broken English, was predictable. It sucks that they haven’t found anyone to be Nakamura’s mouthpiece, but Enzo Amore is THE ANSWER. I liked Corbin and Owens basically comparing who beats up Sami Zayn more. It became exactly like the Raw opening when they made a tag match out of it. To be fair, this is how most WWE shows open these days.
Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin
Things that stood out: Corbin yelling “shut-up” at referee Mike Chioda. Owens kicking Sami in the back of the head, while the ref was distracted, when he could have chosen to be lazy with a forearm. This is one of those matches that showed the action during the commercial break, which I always love to see. Lastly, Sami Zayn’s hate for Corbin was the whole story for this one.
In the end Owens and Corbin broke down, and that lead to the babyfaces getting the win via divide-and-conquer methods. Not a bad match, but didn’t really get the Atlanta crowd going.
The Usos coming out, and getting that SUPER BOWL heat, was a nice little precursor to the NEW DAY returning. New Day’s new gear is heavy with the “NEW DAY POPS” logos and colors. The highlight of this exchange had to be the “Booty Warrior” quotes from New Day. I’m looking forward to all that this feud can bring.
FASHION POLICE Segment
Hard boiled, film noir, Fashion Police is the best thing Fandango has ever been involved with. Tyler Breeze being “undercover” since he’s been the master of disguise lately was a nice touch. The sketch just ended too fast!
Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Nattie vs Carmella vs Tamina
Tamina looks out of place, like a fan who mistakenly made their way to the ring. These ladies wasted zero time getting the action going. Everyone was basically laid out within a minute of the entrances finishing. Tamina blew her chance at a table spot, Charlotte’s crazy moonsault to the outside missed her landing, Carmella kept it simple with a cross-body off the barricade, and then it was a strike knockout merry-go-round.
Charlotte’s powerbomb on Nattie through the table was the best powerbomb I’ve ever seen in a WWE Women’s (or Diva’s) match. Shane McMahon’s music hit, so they could address the fact that they didn’t even ring the bell before all the madness broke out. All the rumors that have been on the dirt sheets are apparently true, since Shane announced a Women’s Money in the Bank match. I guess we’ll all see how this goes.
Sasha Banks was backstage preparing for 205 Live, instead of in this segment, and Nia Jax tweeted that she likes how SD Live! uses all their women every week. Messed up, since Raw has an extra hour, and still doesn’t do that.
Breezango vs Primo & Epico
Ridiculous that they announce them as “Breezango” still, and not “THE FASHION POLICE”! Primo and Epico are still the bottom of the tag team barrel. Fandango wrestling in a trench coat, and pulling a (squirt) gun out of the pockets, had me thinking of Mac wearing the duster in “Always Sunny” for some reason. Tyler Breeze coming back with his janitor outfit again had me laughing, but he didn’t hold the tag rope before he was tagged in for his winning finish, so I have to deduct some points (despite not actually scoring segments).
AJ and Dolph square off before the commercial break. They just wanted Styles to get his cheap mention of “A.T.L.” in while he’s in his hometown.
Randy Orton came out, and told everyone his name a bunch of times. The Maharaja saved us with a little attitude, and then the Singh brothers clapped until everyone wanted to mute the television. It was pretty boring until Jinder showed up.
Dolph Ziggler vs A.J. Styles
This main event is similar to Raw’s, in that they’re both solid with no stakes on the line. The ladies would have been the main event, but they probably didn’t want to give away the surprise by having so little time left in the show when the entrances began. Ziggler and Styles didn’t take as long to get their momentum rolling, so the faster paced match didn’t hurt.
I’ve never seen Ziggler hit a top-rope variation of his stalling DDT, but it was “lit” as the kids say. I feel like this is another sign of how AJ Styles makes everyone else better when he’s in a match with them. These two definitely have that PLUS-chemistry, as they were pulling off clever outcomes to all their usual spots.
They found SOME stakes, as Dolph Ziggler won this match rather clean. If AJ wins, no big deal, but Dolph beating the guy who supposedly built this SD Live! brand is a come-up. A HUGE come-up! The funniest part is that it was yet ANOTHER hometown loss in the WWE cannon, as AJ went down in Georgia (which is like he 2nd home, since he’s from FLA).
Top 3 Stars of SD Live!
- * Dolph Ziggler: He pulled the best match of his 2017 out with AJ Styles in about 15 minutes. To top it off he won!
- ** Charlotte Flair: She’s, and all the other SD Live! women are going to Money in the Bank, but Charlotte’s powerbomb is what puts her in THIS spot!
- *** Fashion Police: They had a hilarious sketch segment, and pretty funny match with two of the biggest duds in wrestling. Not a bad night for a team they should no longer refer to as “Breezedango”.