(Almost) Live Reactions to WWE SmackDown Live

Hey, everybody, we’ve got a go-home show for the blue brand! Last week didn’t really do all I needed it to, so hopefully, this week can address those remaining issues. Would it? Read on to find out.

Opening Segment

Kevin Owens began the show with an edition of The Highlight Reel, y2J’s old talk show. Owens talked up his recent accomplishments, then looked to the future to address his upcoming opponent, AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One entered and threw shade right back before Jinder Mahal entered and projected a WWE Title win for himself come Sunday.

Pretty standard intro, nothing too exciting from anybody involved, which isn’t really what you want to see on the go-home show.

AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal

Mahal overpowered Styles for the duration of the match. Styles had a few hope spots, but every time he seemed to be getting some momentum, the Singh Brothers would get involved and help swing things back into Mahal’s favor. Styles could catch no recess from the power striking game of Mahal. Styles found his moment and set up for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Owens took his knee out. Mahal took advantage and hit the Khallas (Cobra Clutch Slam) for the win.

Result: Jinder Mahal wins by pinfall

Remember when it took Cena hitting his finishing move 4 times to put Styles away? Like, in January? Not sure why I brought that up, just had that random thought. It’s very hard not to have a good match with Styles, so it’s shocking to me that this was on the verge of missing a “good enough” rating. Rather boring, quite slow and very one-sided, I just didn’t care. Hey WWE, do a double count-out so that you don’t have to give either of your #1 Contenders the week before their title matches. This is exactly the type of situation that finish was conceived for. Here’s a fun bit to just forget about this:

Primo and Epico Colon vs Tyler Breeze and Fandango

Primo and Epico took turns putting the hurt on Tyler Breeze. He finally made the tag to Fandango, who exploded into the match, getting the win with a Falcon Arrow (huh?). After the match, The Usos cut one of their crazy promos, which was nice.

Result: Breezango win by pinfall

This is one of the matches I’m more looking forward to on Sunday. Breezango has been making me laugh, I like The Usos’ promo abilities and characters, and their match will probably have a bunch of superkicks, which is always neat. Was I to poke holes, since when did a Falcon Arrow end a match? Ain’t nobody won a match with a Falcon Arrow before tonight since 1972.

Contract Signing

Naomi, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Tamia Snuka, Natalya Neidhart, Carmella, and James Ellsworth gathered in the ring together to sign some paper. They all fired back and forth, with some special tension developing between Ellsworth and Lynch, which is interesting in a strange kind of way.

Not bad, not bad at all. There was some good tension by the end, and there were some interesting character developments running throughout, with Charlotte hinting that she’ll most likely be a heel again before long.

Carmella vs Naomi

The action began with both warring factions stood at ringside. Naomi got the better of the early exchanges. The heel’s various managers started getting involved. The ref tossed Ellsworth out, and Natalya and Tamina weren’t far behind. Instead of leaving, though, they brawled with the face managers. Amidst the chaos, Carmella hit a roll-up for the win.

Result: Carmella wins by pinfall

Solid, though nothing extraordinary. The heel stable wins again, which is good, they came off as a more cohesive unit, and I wouldn’t mind if Lynch feuded with the stable one-by-one after Sunday. The ringside shenanigans added some fun, too.

Randy Orton vs Baron Corbin

Corbin was at Orton’s more technical mercy early on. Growing frustrated, Corbin resorted to power moves and strong strikes that floored the WWE Champion. They traded big shots. Orton went for an RKO but missed. His second attempt was right on the money, though. After the match, Mahal’s allies The Singh Brothers assaulted Orton while Mahal talked trash over the carnage.

Result: Randy Orton wins by pinfall

When I saw this match announced, I thought “That’ll be slow”. And, it was. It.. was… slow. But, slow can still be compelling, and this hit that mark for me. It was a hard-hitting, hard-fought match that made Corbin look good, even in defeat. The post-match stuff with Mahal was decent, too. No big complaints from me.

And that was SmackDown Live. I think it falls under the “g00d enough” category. It was a fine show that never really blew me away. I would have liked maybe a video package for Shinsuke and Dolph, and some of the results were a wee bit questionable. But, I’m looking forward to Backlash, and really, that’s what this show’s job was. So, maybe I can’t exactly call it a failure.

Make sure you subscribe to the site, so you never miss an article. It’s entirely free, and there are no side-effects, so why wouldn’t you? And I know you have your own very interesting thoughts about this show, so remember to leave them in the comments below, or come tell me on Twitter @ejdupras_VVV. Keep an eye on the site, and there’ll be something very, very special coming after the weekend, possibly in an audio podcast format featuring yours truly and Danny Finnz. So check in for that, it’ll be great, and I’ll see you for a bit of RAW!

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