WWE Smackdown Review
September 27, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
What a difference a few weeks makes in WWE.
Before I get started with the review, I have to eat some crow. A few weeks ago in my review of the 9/6 episode of WWE Smackdown Live I closed with the following statement: “Remember when people said this would be the better show? Yeah, they were wrong.”
Guess what? I was wrong. WWE has really found a way to create a fun and entertaining atmosphere for Smackdown every Tuesday night since the Backlash PPV. While that PPV didn’t blow me away, it definitely set the tone and really let this brand break out from RAW.
I’m was genuinely interested in the main event tonight and WWE is flat out doing a solid job building interest for the Smackdown-only No Mercy PPV in two weeks on October 9. With what largely felt like a phoned-in show last night according to Mike Tedesco’s review of RAW, it was nice to see another entertaining two hours of wrestling from the blue team.
Another solid main event
Even with No Mercy just two weeks away, I really enjoyed the callback by WWE to live up to the words of Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon (who’s been notably absent from the show the last two weeks) of booking a rematch between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. WWE has done an excellent job building up a story for Styles, Ambrose and John Cena heading into No Mercy and it was nice touch to have Cena on commentary tonight. To see Styles excelling this quickly and easily in WWE is quite amazing if you really think about it. The in-ring work from Styles and Ambrose was well done and I’ve actually found myself interested in the Ambrose character for once. Obviously a flash title change here wouldn’t have made much sense, but the involvement of Cena at the end really kicked it up a notch.
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler exchange words in Cleveland
First off, kudos to WWE for putting together that video package highlighting The Miz’s career and really making this segment feel special with his homecoming. It was easily one of the best things they’ve done for Miz’s character on WWE TV since that amazing introduction they put together for him back in 2011 for WrestleMania 27 (see below).
The cheap shots at Cleveland combined with the obnoxious smiles of Maryse has really upped the presentation of The Miz in the last few months. Toss in a frustrated and fired up Dolph Ziggler and you have the makings of one of the best promo exchanges on WWE TV all year. Things are really clicking for The Miz right now and the stipulation of Ziggler putting his career on the line at No Mercy makes things even more interesting in two weeks.
* The Usos continue to impress since the heel turn.
* It’s quite amazing to see the positive turnaround Heath Slater has had this year.
* Carmella is really settling in nicely with her new heel role. Good move by WWE.
* Wasn’t a big fan of the backstage stuff with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt.
Outside of the largely strange and uninteresting backstage segments involving Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, this was another solid episode of Smackdown that was capped off with a solid main event between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. WWE is firing on all cylinders right now with the Smackdown brand. It makes you wonder how much sharper things could operate on Monday night’s with RAW if they didn’t have an extra hour to book.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your Smackdown thoughts in the comments below.
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