WWE Smackdown Review
October 19, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
Following a string of really good shows after Backlash and an interesting setup for a main event involving a relative unknown following No Mercy, the blue team had quite the show to follow after the return of Bill Goldberg on RAW this past Monday night.
I noted on Wrestleview Live #4 on Facebook Live last week with Doug Lackey how entertaining the James Ellsworth character has become on WWE since his initial introduction as a jobber being fed to Braun Strowman back in July on RAW. He’s become the official mascot for Smackdown and is just flat out a fun act to watch. Booking him in a WWE World Championship match was clearly going to upset the “we take wrestling seriously, guys” base, but who cares. It was something different and entertaining.
Ellsworth brings the entertainment
Before we get started, I’d like to address the “we take wrestling seriously, guys” crowd. My Twitter timeline was filled with mentions from accounts like @cagesideseats and @BustedOpenRadio not enjoying this. The latter focused on the WWE World Championship being on the line and why it was a “travesty, a sham & a mockery.”
Why do some wrestling fans take a television show so seriously? Everyone knew Ellsworth was not going to become the new WWE World Champion. AJ Styles himself even brought up the David Arquette/WCW Championship debacle! Yet, this entertaining character even being put into a scenario involving a prop was so disheartening to some wrestling fans. Some of you need a hug and really need to learn to have fun.
As for the end result, I really liked the constant distractions by Dean Ambrose and how it eventually got to AJ Styles causing him to lose another match to Ellsworth. Styles played off the frustration great and Ellsworth having no clue where he was for the second week in a row was just as entertaining. Daniel Bryan setup Styles vs. Ambrose for next week where if Ambrose wins he becomes the new No. 1 contender. Ambrose has really found a good role for his character in recent weeks and I’m really enjoying the feud with Styles. WWE made a great call utilizing the James Ellsworth character the last few weeks. I really hope this isn’t the last we have seen of him as he could be a great comedy act going forward.
Randy Orton looks bored
If you missed the beginning of the show, you didn’t see Randy Orton cutting quite possibly the most uninspiring promo he’s attempted in years. I mean the guy literally had no interest in delivering his lines with any sort of enthusiasm. Mike Tedesco noted in his review of this week’s 10/17 WWE RAW that Goldberg’s return to TV showed that scripted promos really don’t have a place anymore in WWE and Orton’s opening promo was another glaring example of that. I’m still waiting for this Orton vs. Bray Wyatt thing to get interesting.
* Naomi was incredibly athletic and impressive in the ring on Tuesday night.
* Alexa Bliss continues to improve every week, both in-ring and on the mic.
* Curt Hawkins continues to troll and it’s great.
* Nikki Bella cut one hell of a promo this week.
* The Spirit Squad is still here?
* Jack Swagger left RAW to continue doing the same thing on Smackdown.
This definitely was one of the weaker episodes of Smackdown in recent weeks, but it was clearly a slow build to the main event between AJ Styles and James Ellsworth. It’s pretty hard to follow up that Goldberg return even with another crop of talent on display.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your Smackdown thoughts below.
Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview