It’s time to break down yet another episode of your delight every Tuesday night, Smackdown Live. This week, the show was live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and we saw a tag team main event filled with stars and champions. Also, a new number one contender was crowned for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Here’s Shawn Wilken‘s Smackdown Live review.
Smackdown Live Review 9/13/2016
The Champ that runs the Camp
Kicking things off this week, AJ Styles came out to a well-accepted reaction as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. With a smile on his face and a John Cena armband on his bicep, he proudly exclaimed that “The Champ is here!” In an “I told you so” style promo, Styles let everyone know they could buy a lottery tomorrow with his suggested numbers and they’d all be millionaires.
Unfortunately, his millionaire attitude was halted when Cena himself came out to confront the new Champion. Stating Styles had something that belonged to him and that he wanted it back, the Phenomenal One comically tossed him back his armband. That wasn’t what Cena was referring to. It was the brand new Championship title around Styles’ waist. As he cut his speech about tying Ric Flair‘s infamous 16-time run as World Champion, a disgruntled Dean Ambrose made his way down to the ring.
With Ambrose putting Styles on the radar as a newly-made enemy, he then got into a war of words with Cena. The two traded jabs back-and-forth, much to the delight of the Philly crowd. The Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon then announced one hell of a main event at No Mercy, where AJ Styles will defend his title against Dean Ambrose and John Cena, in a triple threat match.
But for Smackdown tonight, the main event was announced; AJ Styles and a mystery partner would face the team of John Cena and Dean Ambrose.
Segment/Match Quality- 9/10 Phenomenal Forearms
The Hype Bros vs. The Usos
Dawning a new look and attitude, The Usos have gotten that breath of fresh air they so desperately needed. The match was short, and it had some good heel work from Jimmy and Jey. Despite a Mojo Rawley hot tag, The Hype Bros never got much offense in, and The Usos put away their tag team opponents. In what has become a highly-competitive tag team division, The Usos have made their statement to become contenders for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Samoan Superkicks
Face the Facts with Curt Hawkins
We get a closer look into Curt Hawkins‘ new character. Some would even say, a little too close.
Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Tyson Kidd Facts
Ziggler’s Last Opportunity
Claiming he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, The Miz believes he has brought more prestige to the title than anyone before him. Dolph Ziggler was then out to suggest that Miz proved everyone right. He couldn’t win without his wife. Tensions started to rise and Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan was out to announce a rematch between the two at No Mercy. Miz had other plans. Before leaving through the crowd, he let Bryan know that there would be no title defense until his contract was negotiated.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Hairsprays
The Lone Wolf Wants Gold
AJ Styles spotted Baron Corbin and immediately came up with the idea that the two should team up to take on Ambrose and Cena. Big Banter Baron had other plans, stating if the two were to be in the same ring, it would be against each other.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 End of Days
Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews
While the match never officially started, due to Corbin attacking Apollo Crews before the bell, the Smackdown crowd was treated to another surprise. Jack Swagger was out to announce that his contract was up with Monday Night Raw. With Swagger now on Smackdown, new things may come for the All American American. Although the promo fell flat with the awkward Rolling Stones references, the new attitude of Jack Swagger has left us wondering what could be cooking.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Proud Americans
The Era of Becky “Balboa” Lynch
Before the match to determine the number one contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Becky Lynch came out to declare she was a fighting champion. Fitting to call herself Becky Balboa while in Philly, Lynch thanked the crowd who rightfully cheered “You Derserve It” at the newly-crowned champion.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Hearts on Fire
Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
As Becky Lynch sat by ringside, the five women battled in a non-elimination match to determine who would face her at No Mercy. All five competitors got in their fair share of offense, with Natalya looking like the early favorite. Plenty of teases and false finishes for Nikki Bella and Naomi, however the match came to a conclusion with Alexa Bliss standing tall, stealing a win from Carmalla. Smackdown’s Little Monster now sets her sights on Becky Lynch.
Segment/Match Quality- 6.5/10 Sparkles
The search continued backstage as AJ Styles is still in need of a tag team partner for the main event. That is, until he spotted Kane. His hopes set high, Styles hyped up the potential team of The Phenomenal One and The Devil’s Favorite Demon. Kane laughed and walked away. And laughed some more. Back to the drawing board for Styles.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Hell, Fire and Brimstone
Heath Slater gets his Contract
Following a triumphant win at Backlash, the one man band Heath Slater was out to become an official member of the Smackdown roster. Dawning his brand new shirt, Slater wasted no time putting ink to paper. Thanking Rhyno, his kids, and God knows who else, Slater stated that they would be prepared any place, any time to take on anyone.
Out came The Ascension to ruin the party. Answering the challenge, a reluctant Heath Slater and his partner Rhyno would defend their titles.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Slater’s Kids
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Ascension
The first defense was a quick, and seemingly easy. The Ascension got their share of offense in, but a botch mid-way took all the air out of their cushion. The bout ending shortly after the failed spot, as Rhyno hit the gore for the three count.
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Botchamanias
A Familiar Face Returns
Down on his luck, Styles headed to the ring without a partner. Daniel Bryan showed up to ask if he found anyone and when it became obvious he did not, Bryan made a suggestion. Enter James Ellsworth, the lovable jobber that was crushed by Raw’s Braun Strowman in July. Disgusted by the sight of him, Styles stormed off.
Segment/Match Quality- 5.5/10 Seconds of Fame
Randy Orton Addresses Bray Wyatt
After an attempt to end a career, Randy Orton let Bray Wyatt know that his efforts had failed. Challenging him to a fight, Orton called out the eater of worlds for being afraid of him. Wyatt appeared, advising Orton to never sleep again. A flicker of the light later and Wyatt was by ringside, taunting Orton. Then, Erick Rowan showed up and attacked Orton from behind, only to be hit with an RKO. The Apex Predator stood tall, but rest assured this rivalry is far from over.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Trips to Viperville
John Cena & Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles & James Ellsworth?
Before James Ellsworth could even get down the ramp, he was attacked by The Miz. Hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale, Miz declared his rightful spot in the main event. For Ellsworth, it was yet another heart-break on national television.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Jawless Jobbers
John Cena & Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles & The Miz
There wasn’t much time left in the show, which meant the two teams quickly went to work and hit all the big spots. John Cena got his usual moves in ended the match with a thunderous Attitude Adjustment on The Miz. Unhappy with Cena taking the spotlight, Dean Ambrose hit a Dirty Deeds on Cena, post-match. What could this mean for The Lunatic Fringe? A possible turn in fan perception, or just a breaking point in his frustrations?
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s
Best Segment/Match of the Night- Opening Segment
Smackdown truly kicked off with a bang this week. The announcement of the No Mercy main event, thrilling promos from all three men. What more could a fan ask for? Dean Ambrose continues to shine on the microphone, and we heard a different tone in John Cena’s voice this week. A clash of personalities and beliefs made this segment a must-watch.
Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Slater/Rhyno vs. The Ascension
The match was a little too short and unfortunately contained a noticeable botch. It was nice to see The Ascension get some air time, but they faltered big time. Fans know what they can do, from their time spent in NXT, but their stock has dropped far too low to be saved at this point. Slater and Rhyno pick up their first win as champions, but the value of it is very little.
Show Quality- 6/10 Woo’s
A solid show for the Smackdown after Backlash. We got to see some matches announced for No Mercy and new faces rising to the occasion. The show hit some rough patches in the second hour, but never enough to lose momentum. Smackdown’s ability to keep the audience invested has remained consistent since they went live. Knowing a few matches are already booked, Smackdown now has plenty of time to build up those rivalries.