Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 2/11/16: The Phenomenal Two
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
The Phenomenal Two
– SmackDown’s beginning to carve its own identity, with a solid three-man broadcast team possessing esteemed credibility and actual matches hyped from Raw, case in point, the AJ Styles-Chris Jericho rematch. We were assumedly getting the match as the main event, so it was surprising to see Jericho come out so soon. His starting promo was good for being the match intro, as he talked about this night being important for him because he’d finally get his rematch and expressed how he respected Styles, but didn’t like him. Even liked him bringing up how he was in Portland, Oregon and how he had the match of his career in 2008 in the same building against Shawn Michaels, taunting Styles with the line that “phenomenal wasn’t good enough for Y2J.” The match was about to start and out came The Social Outcasts (sans Bo Dallas) of all people and we were pretty sure where this was heading, since it’s SmackDown and all. The Teddy Long Special… On that note, pretty rough night on the mic for SO, who fell flat with their comedy attempts, even if “Axel Rose” was a cool take on Guns N’ Roses. Luckily, Jericho put an end to that and it was on to impromptu tag action.
– The Jericho/Styles-Axel/Rose match was good for what it was, for the story of two rivals suddenly tagging together on the same night they were to battle together, using the “oneupmanship” theme throughout the bout to beat SO. Side note, why is “Radical Mongoose” a thing? Ugh. We did like how the finish of Styles tagging himself in and hitting the flying forearm when Jericho had the match won led to the post-match interaction with Jericho hitting a swift Codebreaker to lay Styles out.
– The Dudley Boyz’ first in-ring heel promo knocked it out of the park, as they looked to reinvent themselves by stripping away the one thing they were most synonymous with – tables. Certainly worked with Jericho back in 2008. Liked the visual representation of all the ringside tables and how they called for ringside personnel to remove them because that’d be the last time fans get to see tables. Bubba Ray was always good as a heel and we got some of that spark here, as he expressed disgust about being considered a nostalgia act (sounds like us a little, huh?) and how they were sick of hearing about Daniel Bryan retiring (easy heat) and other gripes. Especially loved the ending as they invited fans into their usual “Get the tables” catchphrase and instead took it away as they dropped the mic where they usually let fans answer, folded up the table and walked it to the back. Somewhere in Twerking Unicorn Valley, the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day were smiling somewhere. #SaveTheTables.
– Another big highlight on this show was the Sasha Banks-Naomi match, with the two going at it physically, all the while progressing the “strange bedfellows” storyline between Banks and Becky Lynch, who sat in on commentary. Banks relied on her hurricanranas and flips, while Naomi used stiff strikes and creative kicks. The fans were much into it, while Tamina played another factor at ringside, giving us a good tease when she got physically involved leading to a pinfall attempt. Lynch also spoke of her and Banks as allies and not friends (numerous mentions of Banks’ attack at the Royal Rumble backed this up), but this was business. We even liked the little stuff, like how Banks saved Lynch when she was getting beat down by Tamina and it almost costing her the match, which led right into the Bank Statement to a great reaction. Lynch’s facial expression after the match showed her applauding Banks, but with slight jealousy. Either way, this feud is clicking at the right time and better yet, the Divas Division has multiple stories.
– In a moment that has been too scarce, Styles got to speak in a backstage promo, where he got over that he took offense to being referred to as a “rookie” more than a “redneck,” hyping that we’d see later on why he was called “The Phenomenal One.”
– Yay, another boring, worthless Wyatt Family in-ring promo where Bray Wyatt promises The Apocalypse, a zombie rebellion, finding Atlantis, going to the moon, all big bold statements that end up failing in relevance since he never gets to back them up. This time (for real), he promised to place a war on the gods. We’re curious to see how the gods respond on the following Raw.
– The six-man tag between Neville/The Lucha Dragons and Stardust/The Ascension was a “summer throwback” for filler purposes, but it was over before anything truly fun could develop. Hell, Stardust didn’t even get to tag in before his poor partner suffered all three of his opponents’ aerial finishers to get pinned. Meh.
– With a lot of hype and a slight distraction at the beginning, we finally got our Styles-Jericho rematch and it didn’t let us down. We’d even say it was better the second time around, with both guys working in their usual stuff, starting out with a slow pace and then picked up at the right moment with close near-falls and submission moves. We liked how it seemed to be set up for Styles to win before Jericho practically stole it by pulling out the Codebreaker out of nowhere. That said, with Styles and Jericho a win apiece, naturally, we’d guess there would be a rubber match at Fastlane. Yay us? Also hyped for next week was an appearance by Brock Lesnar, which should always be fun.
- AJ Styles/Chris Jericho def. Curtis Axel/Adam Rose (w/Heath Slater) via pinfall
- Sasha Banks def. Naomi (w/Tamina) via submission
- Six-Man Tag – Neville/The Lucha Dragons def. Stardust/The Ascension via pinfall
- Chris Jericho def. AJ Styles via pinfall
Posted on February 20, 2016, in WWE and tagged Adam Rose, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Byron Saxton, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Fastlane, Heath Slater, Jerry Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Neville, Sasha Banks, Stardust, Tamina, The Ascension, The Dudley Boyz, The Lucha Dragons, The Wyatt Family. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.