Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The SmackDown Files: The Concerto of Shinsuke Nakamura Edition (4-4-2017)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to the Post-WrestleMania Installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. This marks the fifth and final day of WrestleMania Madness. Like their red counterpart last night, the blue brand had a few surprises of their own to wrap up WM season.

Also, SD Live have two new champions in the form of Randy Orton as WWE Champion and Naomi as SmackDown Women’s Champion which should push the SmackDown after Mania over the top. Did the company end WM week on a high note or did they go out with a whimper? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt will face off in a House of Horrors Match sometime in the near future. One can only presume that it will take place at Backlash next month. Orton wanted to kick his ass immediately and Wyatt granted his wish by attacking Orton in the ring.

·        Orton got the upper hand but he was pulled out of the ring by a returning Erick Rowan. Luke Harper eventually made the save as Wyatt and Rowan retreated up the ramp.

·        The promo exchange between Orton and Wyatt was nondescript, but it set up Orton and Harper vs. Wyatt and Rowan in a logical way despite Harper and Orton’s contentious history that led to the destruction of The Wyatt Family in the first place. This is the epitome of an unholy alliance.

·        Naomi retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship when she made Alexa Bliss tap out the headscissors crucifix choke for the submission win. The match was solid, but it was almost ruined because Beach Ball Mania was running wild once again. Fortunately, the crowd focused on the action after the balls were confiscated. The international crowd can be a fun bunch, but they get a little carried away at times when it comes to entertaining themselves instead of paying attention to the wrestlers in the ring.

·        Welcome to SD Live, Tye Dillinger!

·        Tye Dillinger scored a Perfect 10 when he defeated Curt Hawkins with the Tye Breaker in a fun showcase match. Let’s hope Dillinger finds success on the main roster because he is a very talented wrestler who can elevate the mid-card scene in a meaningful way.

·        The Miz and Maryse donned their finest John Cena and Nikki Bella gear one more time as they mocked the recently engaged couple. They did a spot-on impersonation, but things took an interesting turn when a violinist appeared on the main stage and played a familiar tune which led to the debut of…

·        Shinsuke Nakamura! Nakamura did his entrance as the fans sang in perfect harmony. Miz and Maryse were wise to leave the ring as Nakamura played to the crowd. It was an awesome moment which indicates that The King of Strong Style is the new top babyface on SD Live while Cena is away on Hollywood business.

·        Baron Corbin defeated Dean Ambrose with the Deep Six in a hard-hitting and competitive Street Fight. To say that Ambrose and Corbin had a better match than the one they had at WrestleMania would be an understatement. The match kept the fans engaged and featured sick table bumps as Corbin tackled Ambrose through a table midway through the bout. Ambrose returned the favor by dropping a flying elbow from the top rope onto Corbin while he was lying on a table at ringside.

·        When Ambrose went up top again, Corbin chucked a chair at Ambrose which set up the finish. It should be noted that the Intercontinental Championship was not on the line. However, the victory puts The Lone Wolf back in title contention.

·        Shane McMahon and AJ Styles buried the hatch. Styles made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave SD Live. Let’s hope The Phenomenal One stays put because he has been a delight to watch on Tuesday nights over the past eight and a half months. Seeing him on Raw would be okay, but he might get lost in the shuffle because the roster is so bloated at the moment. Styles should be front and center and on SD Live. Let’s hope the Powers That Be realizes that as well.

·        Luke Harper and Randy Orton defeated Erick Rowan and Bray Wyatt when Harper kicked Rowan into an RKO for the win. The match was decent, but it dragged when Harper was isolated from Orton during a large chunk of the bout. Orton eventually made the hot tag and was about to take out Wyatt when the lights went out in the arena.

·        When the lights came back on, Wyatt was sitting on the ramp laughing at Orton for no apparent reason. I guess he wanted Rowan to eat the pinfall in order to fight another day on his terms. Wyatt’s game of hocus pocus led to the aforementioned finish as the show went off the air with Orton and Harper standing tall.

·        This was a solid way to end the show. The House of Horrors match was hyped on commentary and it should be interesting see what happens next since there is a lot of downtime before Backlash. The Shark should remain on standby because I have a feeling Orton and Wyatt are going to jump over it like an Olympic Hurdler for the next six weeks…

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was solid. The first SD Live after WrestleMania had its own surprises as Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura made their long-awaited main roster debuts. They were over with the crowd and it should be interesting to see how they are integrated into the blue brand once the Superstar Shakeup is complete.

·        The Tag Team Division was MIA once again which is becoming the new normal for all the wrong reasons. The Usos are the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, but they have been rewarded with little to no airtime as of late. American Alpha are colder than a dead fish and the rest of the division is a hot mess. Let’s hope SD Live replenish the cupboards because this is the sleepiest division in WWE.

·        The creative team is currently in wait-and-see mode until the WWE Free Agency period is over. The landscape will be different, but I don’t expect a seismic shift because the key storylines seem to be intact for the time being. We shall see if my theory checks out next week. Fingers crossed!

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

No comments:

Post a Comment