8/9 WWE Smackdown Review: Lackluster episode, Bray Wyatt plays the victim, Orton prepares for Brock


WWE Smackdown Review
August 9, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

With an upcoming tour of New Zealand and Australia this week, Smackdown was left without appearances by John Cena or AJ Styles in what could only be described as an average to lackluster episode where little to nothing of importance took place.

While Smackdown tonight may not have been a “chore to get through” as Mike Tedesco described in his review of last night’s RAW, if you happened to take a pass you made the right choice this week and literally didn’t miss anything.

Bray Wyatt plays the victim

A callback for a majority of the episode on Tuesday involved Bray Wyatt and calling on his brother in arms, Erick Rowan, for help against the two men that will face off at SummerSlam for the WWE World Championship in current champion Dean Ambrose and challenger Dolph Ziggler. I wrote a few weeks ago that Bray Wyatt as a solo act had a lot of potential and tonight felt like a step backwards for his character having Rowan involved. I’d really like to see WWE give Wyatt a genuine run as a solo act and potentially with the WWE World Championship once things wrap up at SummerSlam involving Ziggler.

I’m of course speaking as if I’m assuming Ziggler has no shot of walking away as champion. Stranger things have happened and despite some interesting comments during the “Stone Cold Podcast” on Monday night, it would appear WWE is sticking with Ambrose as the champion for the foreseeable future. The tag team main event was your usual WWE tag main event presentation and nothing was really that wrong with it. I actually enjoyed the ending sequence and the post-match attack by Ambrose on Ziggler. Yet, I’m reminded how Wyatt continues to take a back seat once again on WWE programming.

We are still doing this with Wyatt, WWE?

Randy Orton prepares for SummerSlam

WWE has done a very good job in building up the Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton showdown in two weeks at SummerSlam and tonight was no different putting added emphasis on the dangerous nature of the “RKO out of no where.” We’ve definitely see Orton and Del Rio before, but the two put together a decent match and Del Rio trying to mess up the arm/shoulder of Orton before SummerSlam was a nice touch.

Heath Slater wants a contract, BAYBAY!

I have to give it to WWE on this idea with Heath Slater post-WWE Draft. It’s remained interesting and tonight was another good example. The tease of Slater possibly getting involved with the now WWE-friendly EVOLVE promotion shows a lot of promise after another loss on Tuesday night. Slater completely ignoring an olive branch from Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan was another fun element. More of this please, WWE.

Quick Thoughts

* American Alpha looked great and the tag division shows promise on Smackdown.

* As I noted on Twitter, this Eva Marie act gets better every week.

* Alexa Bliss had a nice in-ring debut against Becky Lynch.

* Not a fan of Carmella’s entrance, but she had a good match with Natalya.

Overall Impression

While it may not have been WWE’s fault with talent like Cena and Styles being absent due to the upcoming overseas tour starting tomorrow, it definitely was a weak episode of Smackdown this week and nothing overtly stood out from the pack. Dean Ambrose might be one of the most underwhelming WWE World Champions to date and I’m still not really sure why we should care about Dolph Ziggler as a challenger just yet. WWE has some work to do with that build with two weeks left. It’s pretty clear SummerSlam is another roadblock both brands need to get through to really kick things into gear for this brand split.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you thought of Smackdown in the comments below.

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