Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The SmackDown Files: The Blue Brand Blues Edition (10-25-2016)

By: Keila Cash 

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After last week’s Miracle on Ellsworth Street, what did WWE have in store for us tonight? Did Dean Ambrose earn another shot at AJ Styles’ WWE World Championship or did the Lunatic Fringe fall short due to a last minute lapse in judgment? The answer to these questions can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of SD Live in no particular order. 

·         Here’s a clear sign that James Ellsworth is rolling the dough. His hair is slicked backed with his edges shaved to perfection. 

·         For reasons unknown to anyone, Randy Orton dropped Kane with an RKO which allowed Bray Wyatt to pick up the win. That was the most notable thing from Kane vs. Wyatt as they faced off in a No Disqualification match. Luke Harper came out to take a few cheap shots at will which caused Orton to make his way to ring to presumably help Kane. That didn’t happen as he turned on his tag team partner. The Orton-Wyatt feud takes another sharp turn in the wrong direction. 

·         Alexa Bliss finally had her breakthrough performance as a heel during her segment with Becky Lynch. She did a great job on the mic as she talked about Lynch being scared of her and finding excuses to avoid their SmackDown Women’s Championship match in Glasgow on November 8th. She was confident and fully embodied being the mean girl by wearing a “Sorry Not Sorry” t-shirt to drive that point home. 

·         Lynch was a little bit rusty during her promo. Her accent was thicker than usual which made it difficult to understand what she is saying at times. Lynch is usually at her best when she is calm, cool, and collected. She was probably extra excited to be back on SD Live after a brief medical hiatus. 

·         Bliss’ attack on Lynch was good as she rammed her back into the ring post. Bliss tossed Lynch back in the ring and nailed her with a DDT. 

·         Afterward, Bliss grabbed some spray paint from the timekeeper’s area and sprayed a yellow line down Lynch’s back while she was lying face down in the ring as the crowd showered Bliss with boo.

·         Lynch and Bliss should have a good Women’s Title match in a couple of weeks. If they are given enough time to do their thing in the ring, it could turn into something special.

·         The Hype Bros punched their ticket to Survivor Series as they defeated The Ascension when Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder laid out Viktor with the Hype Ryder. The match was decent while it lasted. 

·         Oh dear. Randy Orton is suffering from a case of Daniel Bryan Syndrome as Orton is auditioning to be a member of The Wyatt Family. This is not going to end well unless Orton plans to turn on Wyatt. I will retract my previous statement from earlier tonight when I said that this feud has taken another turn in the wrong direction. It has taken a detour into Batshit Crazy Land. 

·         I am not a rocket scientist, but one would think that the Women’s Champion from both Raw and SmackDown should be declared the captain for their respective teams at Survivor Series. I have no problem with Tag Teams earning their spots, but it’s a little screwy when Heath Slater and Rhyno are given a pass to the November Classic to represent their brand because they are the Tag Team Champions while Nikki Bella and Natalya who don’t have any gold around their waists vie for the role of ring general when that honor should go to Becky Lynch or Alexa Bliss. I don’t think that’s fair or logical.

·         Nikki Bella vs. Natalya to determine the team captain for the Traditional Survivor Series Women’s Elimination Tag Team Match was good, but it seemed like both ladies were moving in slow motion at times. They picked up the pace down the stretch and the highlight of the match was Nikki Bella by powering out of Natalya’s surfboard submission and turning it into the STF. She pulled a page out of John Cena’s playbook as the fans popped for the finish. 

·         After the match was over, Carmella attacked Nikki Bella from behind and laid out her with the Bella Buster. Carmella mocked Nikki by using John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” hand motion as their feud continues. 

·         Natalya not being part of the Women’s Survivor Series Team sucks. She is a veteran that deserves better than sitting on the sidelines during the November Classic. Out of the five available spots, she can’t leapfrog over Carmella or Eva Marie? That’s blasphemous on so many levels. 

·         Kenny from The Spirit Squad is making the most of his television as he continues to show off his abs every chance he gets. 

·         Heath Slater and Rhyno successfully retained their SmackDown Tag Team Titles when Rhyno nailed Kenny with a wicked Gore to pick up the win. 

·         The match was nothing more than a backdrop for The Miz and Dolph Ziggler as they bickered on commentary throughout the bout. It was harmless for the most part. 

·         James Ellsworth cost Dean Ambrose his shot at the WWE World Championship when he laid out AJ Styles with No Chin Music outside the ring. The referee saw what happened and had no choice but to disqualify Ambrose and give Styles the win. Ambrose was stunned, Ellsworth was almost reduced to tears, and Styles smiled like a Cheshire Cat as SD Live went off the air. 

·         The show ended on a flat note because the referee does have some wiggle room when it comes to outside interference. If the ref suspects that someone is acting shady at ringside, he has the right to eject the wrestler without calling off the match. If Ellsworth attacked Styles inside the ring, the DQ would make more sense. Even though the outcome was done to forward the Ambrose-Styles feud, I am still mixed on how it all went down. 

·         As for the match itself, Styles and Ambrose had another good match that got better after the commercial break. It was really enjoyable to watch as the action went back and forth. The craziest spot of the night took place when Styles suplexed Ambrose outside the ring which caused them to land hard on the floor. It was a dangerous move, but it didn’t slow either man down. Another highlight was Styles dropping Ambrose with a Springboard Inverted DDT. They always bring something fresh to their matches which kept the audience engaged from start to finish. 

·         Styles attacking  Ellsworth outside the ring was a good red herring that fooled people into thinking that Styles’ obsession with Ellsworth would cost him the match only for Ellsworth to help him inadvertently which has the be a cruel joke courtesy of the wrestling cosmos. 

·         Daniel Bryan will probably remedy the situation on Talking Smack by giving Ambrose another chance. It’s a good way to kill time as the creative team build towards Styles vs. Ambrose for the WWE World Title at Survivor Series or Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.

·         Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was okay at best. Once again, the main event saved the show from being a snoozefest. 

·         The blue brand is killing time until Hell in a Cell takes place on Sunday. Hopefully, things will kick into high gear as the official promotion for Survivor Series gets underway. 

·         I will give the creative team credit for trying new things such as Randy Orton joining the Wyatt Family. It’s probably a swerve, but it’s better than Wyatt and Orton playing a game of Ring Around the Casket. 

·         The Tag Teams will have something meaningful to do as they vie for the last three spots in the Traditional Survivor Series 10-on-10 Elimination Tag Team Match. American Alpha, The Usos, and Breezango should earn their spots unless something crazy happens. What am I saying? Natalya is sitting on the bench while Carmella and Eva Marie are in line to take her rightful spot. Anything is possible. 

·         Also, WWE is doing a nice job promoting Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship when the show emanates from Glasgow in a couple of weeks. It feels like a big deal and that crowd is going to be on fire as they cheer on their fellow countrywoman. 

·         The only thing plaguing SmackDown at the moment is the questionable way they are utilizing their roster each week. Some mid-card wrestlers who are getting television time are not ready for primetime which makes the show seem listless at times. WWE had the winning formula a couple of months ago. Let’s hope the company can re-capture the blue brand magic that made Tuesday night must-see television. Fingers crossed! 

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Expose. See you later, boys and girls! 

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