Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 4/7/16: Eye-To-Eye

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.






(Aired 4/7/16)


– It’s no secret to see WWE dragging out WrestleMania’s spectacle throughout the week with dashing highlight videos, and that’s what the opening video did yet again. You’d think they focus on Raw After Mania, but we’ll just sip our tea.

– With AJ Styles suddenly rocketed to #1 contender status for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship held by Roman Reigns, they wasted no time getting the two to interact. This was a great segment, mainly for the contrasts in character. Reigns seems to be more of a tweener here, as he basically told everyone he doesn’t care if they like him or hate him, because he’s the Champ and that’s all that matters. Preferably, that’s a better way to book him these days, especially as he goes against the popular Styles, who certainly has paid his dues elsewhere to be able to main event a WWE Network Live Special (does anyone say Pay-Per-Views anymore?). We were a bit skeptical about the dueling chants as per the taped environment, but we liked that Reigns got the last word here, basically telling Styles to his face he’d never beat him.

– You’ll know exactly how much the WWE United States Championship has fallen when you see that its holder, Kalisto, was used in a squash match for the debuting Vaudevillains. As far as that match, it was okay, doing enough to establish the old-school repertoire of the 1920’s-esque throwbacks while not letting Lucha Dragons exactly go down without a little fight. The Whirling Dervish looked good as the finish and we’re willing to see where Vaudevillains go down the road.

– Sure, they could be telling more emotionally investing stories in the Women’s Division, but it has been much worse than WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte-Natalya. Their Roadblock match was a taste of what they could do in the ring together and a program with the two on a “Tradition vs. Modern-Day” angle is a good way to keep the Champ busy while maybe bigger plans happen in the future. On that note, the Natalya-Summer Rae squash match was a keen way to give Natalya momentum while having Charlotte/Ric Flair on commentary kept her overconfident perspective in everybody’s ears.

– With Maryse back on TV and Zack Ryder involved in an actual midcard feud, it suddenly feels like 2010 again. Anyways, the WWE Intercontinental Championship rematch between Champion Miz and Ryder was entertaining while it lasted, perhaps not to the level of their Raw match, but let us almost believe that maybe Ryder would win it back for a “hot potato” angle, but Maryse being at ringside provided the fatal distraction, as she tossed a turnbuckle pad into the ring to throw Ryder off into a Skull-Crushing Finale that keeps Miz Champ. We were surprised that Ryder got his IC Title rematch before even Kevin Owens did.

– The Apollo Crews express train continues to roll, this time as he outlasted Curtis Axel and outwitted his Social Outcasts stablemates. Crews has a nice smile. Yup. Oh, that’s about all we had for this. Another win to build Crews up and suddenly main roster TV feels like NXT TV last year this time. Kudos to Mauro Ranallo for the “Crews Control” line. That’ll make a mighty fine t-shirt one day.

– Baron Corbin is cutting more promos than we remember, but it’s not the worst idea for the 2016 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale winner, who could use the rub from an accolade upon his main roster introductory stint. His backstage promo was short but effective in bragging about his big week, ending with the proud declaration that thanks to wiping Dolph Ziggler’s face with the floor this past Raw, the End Of Days were indeed upon us.

– Becky Lynch has been the perfect example of a genuine babyface who has been stuck in “so close but so far” territory as per her many attempts at winning the WWE Divas Championship and failing. It’s not a bad idea to build her back up with mini-feuds in the meantime, also giving the Women’s Division some feud diversity in the meantime. Sure, a lot of the content in the Lynch-Emma backstage segment revolved around Lynch’s black eye, but we like where it’s going. Also, an odd observation, but Evil Emma seems more over with Dana Brooke next to her. That could just be us though.

– Primo and Epico continue to tell us to visit Puerto Rico because it’s beautiful and better than where we live. Either they’ve become PR’s newest spokespeople or they’re making an imminent tag return. Anyone want to bet how long it lasts before they revert back to Los Matadores?

– Nothing makes us more sad than a wasted Tyler Breeze and it continues to be that way, even as newer NXT talent make their way onto the main roster. Breeze was used as squash fodder for Dean Ambrose, who got back onto the winning side of the spectrum with a bout aptly concluded by Dirty Deeds. The real money of this segment was the wordless interaction between Ambrose and Chris Jericho, who shot him a dirty glance upon coming down the ramp for the tag team main event. That’s a program we can root for.

– Goldust and R-Truth continue to shell out eye-rolling backstage “comedy.” When will this madness end? They hyped some segment for the next week’s Raw that’ll come from Los Angeles, the mecca of celebrity stars. You couldn’t pay us enough to care about this.

– The tag team main event between Jericho/Owens and Cesaro/Styles gave us the same players from the stellar Raw main event, and they delivered again in impressive fashion. This helped further establish Cesaro’s return momentum, gave Styles and Jericho an excuse to throw down some more and who doesn’t love themselves some deranged Owens? Down the stretch, this was the peak, ending in the well-done finish where Sami Zayn came down the ramp restrained by officials to distract Owens to get caught by Styles for a roll-up that gives him some momentum heading into battle with Reigns. Even better, Zayn and Owens brawled to end the show. We just can’t wait for Raw.






Quick Results

  • The Vaudevillains def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall
  • Natalya def. Summer Rae via submission
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship – The Miz (Champion) (w/Maryse) def. Zack Ryder via pinfall to retain
  • Apollo Crews def. Curtis Axel (w/Bo Dallas, Adam Rose, Heath Slater) via pinfall
  • Dean Ambrose def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall 
  • AJ Styles/Cesaro def. Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on April 17, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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