WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE! (4/4/17)
-WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi VS Alexa Bliss; Naomi wins and retains the championship.
-Curt Hawkins VS Tye Dillinger; Dillinger wins.
-Street Fight: Dean Ambrose VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
-Randy Orton & Luke Harper VS The Wyatt Family’s Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan; win.
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The first SmackDown Live after Wrestlemania, we now see what the blue brand will do in the aftermath. Styles bested the Commissioner, Cena and Nikki are engaged, and we have TWO new champions in Naomi and Randy Orton. Where do we go from here?
The NEW WWE World Champion, Randy Orton, comes to the ring.
The Viper defeated the Eater of Worlds despite the dark and disgusting imagery Bray Wyatt projected, and now he is here to revel in his victory. He then remembers he left a part out of his mantra: “If you face them for a title, you better make sure you beat their ass!” Bray thought he had power over Orton, but no, it is Orton who has power over Bray! But just then, Bray Wyatt communicates from darkness.
“You’re the master of nothing, Randy Orton.” The fight has just begun, and Bray will reclaim “what she promised me!” That rematch will come, but first something special. Bray wants a very different kind of fight that will “not only push your body but your mind as well.” Orton will be “twisted far more than you’ve ever been twisted before”! Everything will be turned on its head and Bray will “watch your soul devour itself” as one of them is “sentenced to eternal damnation.” A first ever “House of Horrors Match”. What does Orton say to this? Whatever that type of match it is, he accepts! And seeing as how Bray is here somewhere, just come to the ring for another ass whooping! Bray obliges! Bray and Orton brawl, Orton gets the powerslam! But then, it’s ERICK ROWAN who attacks! A new mask, but we know it’s Big Red himself! He throws Orton back to his master and the two beat him down! That causes Luke Harper to come out! He collides with Rowan before continuing to Bray, denies the Sister Abigail and boots Bray away! Harper and Orton stand tall against Rowan and Wyatt, seems this fight is not just for the title but for power in the Family as well!
Backstage interview with The Miz & Maryse. What is their reaction to Cena’s proposal? Only John Cena would make a proposal into a Wrestlemania Moment. The Hollywood A-list couple knows Cena was just saving face. However, with Superstar Shake Up coming, they’re calling out the new happy couple one last time! They vow to make this the last time we’ll see Cena and Nikki on SmackDown one way or another.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naomi VS Alexa Bliss!
Just days after the hometown hero won the title at Wrestlemania, it’s once again #GlowTime for Naomi against the Five Foot Fury that is the former champion. Alexa is the aggressor as she puts Naomi against ropes to choke and squeeze Naomi, then throws her down by her hair. Naomi kicks out, Alexa puts her in a headlock but Naomi turns it around to bulldog Alexa into a corner buckle. Naomi follows Alexa out of the ring to hit a running calf kick. Noami’s fired up, as is the crowd, as we go to commercials.
We return to find Naomi kicking at Alexa to get her to let go of a leg lock, but Alexa just slams that leg to the ground to pin. TWO, so Alexa goes right after the leg again. Alexa demands Naomi give up but Naomi endures and gets a ropebreak. Alexa yanks the leg as she lets go, then just puts Naomi in a corner to wrap the leg around the second rope. Alexa stalks Naomi as the champ staggers to another corner, then goes after the bad leg again. Alexa drags Naomi out of the corner by her hair, and throws her down again, TWO. Right back to the knee-bending leg lock, Alexa wants Naomi to give up. Fans rally for their hometown hero, Naomi kicks her way into a pin, TWO. Naomi limps to a corner but side steps to let Alexa bump buckles. On one good leg, Naomi brawls with Alexa, unloading so many forearms before hitting a back suplex. Fireman’s carry for a #GlowTime pop-up roundhouse, TWO! Alexa kicks that bad leg, spikes Naomi with a DDT, TWO. Alexa is getting frustrated now, she wrenches at the bad leg, and ducks Naomi’s enziguri. Alexa bends Naomi backwards with her choke grip then throws her by her hair again, but then Alexa goes running to get a Rear View outta nowhere! TWO! Naomi goes for another corner bulldog, Alexa pushes off but takes Naomi’s counter kick. Naomi sets Alexa in position, but then Alexa anchors Naomi from the moonsault. Naomi kicks Alexa off, but then Alexa pulls Naomi off the second rope and the champ falls onto the mat. Alexa pins but holds onto ropes! No count, Naomi rolls Alexa into her butterfly hold! Alexa taps and Naomi wins! The glow keeps on going, and all of Orlando celebrates with Naomi.
Curt Hawkins appears in the ring. He doesn’t want to hear about Superstar Shake Up, he wants to hear about himself! So he gives an open challenge to whoever is in the back, to the count of ten– The Perfect Ten is here!
Curt Hawkins VS Tye Dillinger!
Check the facts, Hawkins, the man who answered your open challenge IS a Perfect Ten! Tye shows off his technical skills and then shows his “TEN!” to Hawkins. Hawkins backs Tye down into a corner, less than clean break, and he stomps away. Back suplex from Hawkins, but Tye fights back. Sharp chops and a double forearm out of the whip reversal, Tye is on a roll! Hawkins ends up in a corner, time for Perfect Ten Punches! Knee pad down, Hawkins up, TYE BREAKER! Tye Dillinger wins his debut, and it was a Perfect Ten!
Backstage interview with Mojo Rawley. The Hype Bro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and celebrated with The Gronk. It’s a dream come true, really. So how did they celebrate? “We went ballistic!” They just wish they had Andre there, because the giant could party. It was the best moment of his life, his Wrestlemania Moment. But Mojo’s just starting, the bar has been raised and he’s gonna put some weight on it. “Can you feel it?!”
The Miz and Maryse come to the ring.
Not as themselves, but as Miz Cena and Maryse Bella! “Rule #1 of John Cena’s house rules is that you may NOT say ‘Cena Sucks’ at any time!” As such, the fans DO say “Cena Sucks!” Cena “romantically” then tells Nikki he “loves” her, so as to seem relatable. And now that they are a couple, they will do what they vowed to never do: leave WWE for Hollywood, for a very long time, so you really won’t be able to see them. “No more Cena!” But then a live violinist starts playing, and everyone in the audience knows what THAT means… SHINSUKE NAKAMURA!! The King of Strong Style is on SmackDown! And the crowd is electric to say the least.
Dean Ambrose VS Baron Corbin!
The Lone Wolf may have fallen short of winning the Lunatic Fringe’s Intercontinental Championship, but he is far from done tormenting the champion. Corbin starts by putting Ambrose in a corner and stomping away. He then takes Dean to another corner and stomps away again. Corbin throws Ambrose to ropes, Ambrose ducks clotheslines but his crossbody is caught. Ambrose fights out and punches away but Corbin just puts him down with a standing STO. Corbin sits Ambrose up to drive an elbow into his head before going outside to get a chair. Ambrose sees that, so he baseball slide dropkicks the chair into Corbin. FLYING LUNATIC sends Corbin rocketing over the announce table! Ambrose then drags Corbin up to throw him into a barrier, then gets on the table to jump off it for a forearm that sends Corbin over the barrier. Ambrose keeps going, he jumps off barrier with an elbow to knock Corbin into the front row! Ambrose and the crowd goes wild as we go to commercial.
Upon returning, Corbin lifts Ambrose but Ambrose slips out. Ambrose hurries to the top rope, but jumps over Corbin, Corbin spinebusters Ambrose through a table!
By the way, there was a table in a corner, set up during commercials. Corbin goes out of the ring and fetches a leather strap. Corbin smiles as he stands over Ambrose and then lashes him across the back. Even across the chest! Corbin wedges a chair into a corner before dragging Ambrose up. Corbin goes to throw Ambrose to the chair but Ambrose slides to a stop, Corbin rushes in and Ambrose sends Corbin into the chair! Corbin still staggers over to Ambrose, barely denies the Dirty Deeds, the two start brawling and Ambrose fires off forearms. Corbin goes running, Ambrose catches him with a knee and then a lariat, and now Ambrose has the strap! SMACK to Corbin again and again, then Corbin is clothesline’d out. Ambrose goes up high, flies and collides with Corbin again. Ambrose sees the other table that’s prepared on the outside and starts to formulate a plan. He sets Corbin on top, punching him in the head to keep him there, then climbs up again. ELBOW DROP through the table!! Double-edged as it was, Ambrose didn’t hesitate. Back into the ring, Ambrose climbs up once again. Corbin tosses a chair at Ambrose like a Frisbee, END OF DAYS! Corbin wins, evening the score! Can Corbin turn this into a future Intercontinental Championship reign?
SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon comes to the ring to address the Superstar Shake Up. The crowd cheers Shane O’Mac’s major showing against The Phenomenal One and he thanks them for that. Then to business, the “shake up” means the fans win as new match-ups will be possible, and that Raw superstars should pray and hope they end up in “The Land of Opportunity.” That’s when AJ Styles appears! Styles says he doesn’t know what’s happening with the “shake up”, but he says he doesn’t want to leave SmackDown. SmackDown is “The House that AJ Styles Built.” And the fans agree. Styles will be “damned” if someone is gonna come over to SmackDown and take that. But Styles is out here right now because he owes Shane something: a handshake. There is now respect between Phenomenal One and Commissioner, but Styles will fake a punch just to joke with Shane O’Mac. With that, Styles takes his leave. Will he get his wish of staying on the blue brand? Or is he going to end up going red?
Randy Orton & Luke Harper VS The Wyatt Family’s Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan!
The Viper broke apart this family of frightening forces, thereby freeing the Swamp Thing that is Luke Harper. On the flip side, Big Red Rowan is still loyal to the Eater of Worlds and will fight whoever threatens his crusade of darkness. The match starts with Rowan and Orton, Bray barking orders. Rowan seems perplexed by the Viper for a moment, but he pushes out of the RKO to floor Orton with a spinning heel kick! Orton slips to the outside as we go to commercials.
We return as Orton side steps and sends Bray into the buckles. Bray staggers back, Orton pushes him away, tag to Harper! Harper rallies on Bray, going corner to corner and then over to the apron. He knocks Bray down, slingshot senton before knocking Rowan off the apron, then dumps Bray out. FLYING HARPER sends Rowan over the announce table, but Bray runs Harper over with a clothesline. Back into the ring, Bray tags Rowan before hitting a back senton, Big Red hits a body splash, TWO. Rowan drags Harper up to club him in the back and put him in a corner. Sharp chops are answered by chops from Harper, Rowan whips Harper corner to corner and the former family member hits buckles. Rowan grinds and squeezes Harper’s head with both fists, but Harper endures to get out. Rowan clubs Harper before sending him to the ropes, spinning slam, TWO. Tag to Bray, they isolate Harper with punches. Bray shouts at the “ungrateful” Harper, but Harper boots out of a corner only to get that turn-around lariat! TWO! Tag to Rowan, stomp and elbow drop, TWO. Rowan bulldogs Harper into a buckle, then gives headbutts before setting Harper top shelf. He clubs away on Harper, headbutts the ribs, then drags Harper out of the corner. Harper fights back, so back into the corner he goes. Corner to corner, Rowan crushes Harper and then dropkicks him, TWO. Tag back to Bray, he clubs Harper with crossface punches before wrapping on a chinlock. The fans rally for Harper, Harper gets up and fights back, Bray goes running but gets a scrapbuster slam! Bray crawls and tags Rowan, Harper tags Orton! The Viper powerslams Big Red, and then Rowan goes to the apron. Orton wants his signature DDT but Bray disrupts that. Orton throws Bray to the apron, hanging DDT! Orton hears the voices and targets Bray, but then the lights go out! Bray is at the ramp, Rowan goes to Full Nelson Slam Orton, but then SUPERKICK from Harper sets up an RKO! Orton and Harper win! Bray seems to not acknowledge or accept this defeat, but he does sarcastically applaud Orton’s victory. What does the Face of Fear have planned for Orton when they enter the House of Horrors?
The Raw-After-Mania crowd is also this SmackDown-After-Mania crowd, yet they were far less rowdy and more willing to let the show be the show. Therefore, no complaints about the crowd this time. No complaints for the show, either, as SmackDown kept things at a high quality level. Great opening with the hometown hero defending and retaining her title so that Orlando has something to cheer to get things going, and Naomi puts Alexa in her rear view (obvious pun was obvious) and can move on to any number of new contender(s) on the way to Backlash. In contrast, Ambrose loses to Corbin in a really good Street Fight so that the Lone Wolf sticks around as a contender. It was a shame their Wrestlemania match wasn’t a Street Fight or some kind of No Disqualification match but we all know WWE is far from perfect. Hopefully we get a proper No DQ title match at Backlash to give this feud a proper blow-off.
The Perfect Ten AND King of Strong Style are on SmackDown! It’s a week before the supposed Superstar Shake-Up, hopefully that doesn’t affect a potential Shinsuke VS Styles in WWE. Unless the Shake-Up puts them both on Raw, because there has been talk that Vince wants to put Styles there and it’s heavily implied when Styles’ newest shirt design is in red. At least Styles shook hands with Shane so that their relationship will be amicable regardless of where The Phenomenal One ends up.
Orton’s feud with Bray Wyatt is not over, and that’s a good thing as WWE needs to redeem these two after a match that was lacking in many ways. A first ever House of Horrors match sounds intriguing, but hopefully it isn’t clunky or confusing like the Punjabi Prison Match. As for tonight’s tag match, it was a good return for Rowan though he takes the pin, but that speaks more to the mysterious plans of Bray Wyatt. The Family is crumbling as it is, but I hope it doesn’t fall apart again so soon.
My Score: 8/10