Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down

 

Almost every week since the WWE brand split, Smack Down has stepped up to the plate.  In most cases, they have exceeded expectations & outperformed Raw.  The Tuesday night crew had their work cut out for them this evening, following last night’s crowning of Kevin Owens, as the new Universal Champion. While their ending might have been less shocking, Smack Down Live definitely held their own once again.

 

The show began with a recap of The Miz & Daniel Bryan going at it on Talking Smack last week.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s what I’m talking about:

Some half truths in there & pretty compelling live TV. The truth is that Miz is awesome. Awesome wrestler, awesome performer, just plain awesome. Hopefully Smack Down Live is the platform that will allow fans to truly appreciate how good Miz really is. Tonight’s show began with Shane & Daniel watching this video from last week. Shane told Daniel that he owes Miz an apology & Daniel agreed, however he retorted to Shane that he found it ironic to hear from someone who has “beef with Brock Lesnar.”

This would lead us to a seething Miz entrance to the ring.  The rest is better worth watching that writing:

So good.  They’re both making their hometown of Cleveland very proud these days. Later, Daniel Bryan announced that Dolph Ziggler will challenge Miz for the Intercontinental Title at Backlash.

 

The new Tag Team titles were highlighted heavily throughout this episode with the continuing Tag Team tournament.  Tonight’s matches featured The Hype Bros defeating The Vaudevillians & Heath Slater/Rhyno defeating The Headbangers. This tournament is an absolute joke. Just give American Alpha the titles, unless The Nasty Boyz want to jump in. Maybe the Bushwackers are free. Even better, call the New Age Outlaws. Come on, between the mediocre NXT teams & 20th century WWE veterans, this is just a formality. It’s difficult to remain interested. Even when Renee Young interviews Heath Slater, his wife, & Rhyno from inside a double wide.

 

Bray Wyatt will return to pay-per-view at Backlash, to face Randy Orton.  Both had an encounter tonight that was effective enough to set their match.  Not much beyond that.

 

Naomi’s entrance is one of the best things in WWE right now.  It’s so different than anything else & this week’s entrance was a different variation from the one just a few weeks ago:

Naomi teamed up with Becky Lynch to face Natalya & Alexa Bliss with Nikki Bella sitting in for commentary.

Well at least now we understand why Carmella keeps jumping Nikki. JBL went out of his way to make sure that we all understood. Nikki’s return at Summer Slam in Brooklyn upstaged Carmella’s homecoming. Whatever…at least the ending to this match worked well.

 

Then there was A.J. Styles. The new “Face That Runs The Place”, as he requested the ring announcer introduce him from now on. As A.J. addressed the crowd, he was interrupted by Apollo Crews.

A.J. would reappear for the Dean Ambrose versus Baron Corbin main event match.

 

I like how the 3 interacted with each other here. Corbin lost, but still looked strong. Dean appears to be the wiser, battle-tested competitor in comparison to Styles. At least tonight he did.

 

So far, Backlash will feature:

 

Dean Ambrose v A.J. Styles (WWE World Championship)

Miz v Dolph Ziggler (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Hype Bros. or Heath Slater & Rhyno v American Alpha or Usos   (Tag Team Title Match)

Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Carmella, Nikki Bella, Naomi, & Becky Lynch  (Women’s Six Pack Challenge for Women’s Championship)

Randy Orton v Bray Wyatt

 

Looks good to me so far, plenty matches left to add.

As always, thanks for reading!

 

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