Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 4/21/16: Contentious Canucks Vs. Ska Madness
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.
Contentious Canucks Vs. Ska Madness
– Heading off Raw’s biggest moment with AJ Styles’ New Japan buddies in Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows attacking WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and Styles denying any prior knowledge of the attack, we came into this show knowing that Styles would be a guest on Miz TV and if anybody knows WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz, he’d do his best to get answers. The opening video highlighted all this fun.
– As far as the opening Miz TV segment with Miz, Maryse and Styles, it gave us a proper follow-up to what we saw on Raw without giving us any new developments per se. That was fine, as we wouldn’t expect any on SmackDown. Miz was key to bring up Styles’ close friendships with both Anderson/Gallows in NJPW in 2014/2015 and using that friendship as the reason he brought them into WWE “to do his dirty work.” It appears WWE’s mission isn’t to get fans to think of Styles as a liar, but to believe his words when he denies everything. After all, heel commentator Jerry Lawler was painting suspicion all over Styles’ portrait. Liked the line Miz said where Styles not telling them to attack Reigns “practically gave them permission” to do so. Of course, it took a turn for the worse when Miz suddenly felt the need to get romantic with his wife, but the segment’s purpose served as Styles laid Miz out upon getting frustrated and taunted for telling the truth. Evidently, it also provided light hype for their match later on.
– 18 days after WrestleMania, Ryback decided he needed to be WWE United States Champion and challenged Champion Kalisto to a non-Title match. As it usually goes, when you beat the Champion, you earn a Title shot. Our question is why did Ryback wait so damn long? The match wasn’t anything special, as it played out a lot like their Mania encounter, with Ryback dominating with key spots such as his middle rope brianbuster, before Kalisto started a late comeback. The twist here though was that the “good big guy beat the good little guy,” as he countered the Salida Del Sol attempt into Shellshocked for the decisive win. How conveniently close to Payback. Guess we can add this to the card?
– Baron Corbin continues to come across like a true threat, by attacking Dolph Ziggler once more before their scheduled match. He dished out some barricade justice with a dash of steel step punishment, making it evident this was nothing more than a beatdown angle to put Corbin over. The third End Of Days on Ziggler on the floor was the proper finishing touch, but we’re surprised WWE has let it go this far, since Ziggler sells the move by landing headfirst and that inches close to concussion-related trauma. In light of the bigger purpose of pushing Corbin, we like it. We’ll expect this to become an announced Payback match by the next week.
– The Styles-Miz match served as the night’s time-filler, but the two’s competitive nature served for an entertaining match. We never doubted Styles winning, but we figured maybe it’d be because of a Cesaro appearance, but they went a step ahead and had Anderson/Gallows appear on the ramp when Miz tried to walk out, soon leading to the Phenomenal Forearm. It furthered the suspicion storyline for where Styles stands. Always a good thing. Should be noted they never attacked Miz, but were obviously there to support Styles, who looked conflicted.
– The backstage promo with Sami Zayn/Dean Ambrose helped hype the night’s tag match main event against Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens by showing the babyfaces developing light-hearted comedic chemistry. We basically got that Ambrose was angry with the way Jericho laid him out to end Raw and wanted revenge, while Zayn was determined to take out Owens and wanted a cool team name, like Ska Madness or SamBrose. Funny.
– The Anderson/Gallows backstage segment followed up on what we saw earlier, as they denied an alliance with Styles at the moment and simply said they were there to make an impact, also announcing they’d make their in-ring debut against The Usos on the next week’s Raw. Nice.
– In her quest to uncrown WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte at Payback, Natalya continued to roll on with momentum, while Creative also sought a way to utilize hometown girl Paige’s popularity and that all happened in the Natalya/Paige-Naomi/Tamina tag. The in-ring action was passable, though not highly memorable until the excellent double submission finish. Natalya keeps winning with the Sharpshooter and commentary covered the Natalya-Charlotte feud well to this point. Good job all-around.
– R-Truth and Goldust remain a confuzzled duo and the Truth-Fandango match with Goldust as Special Guest Referee was a real head shaker. They literally danced, all three of them, until Truth hit his finisher on Fandango out of nowhere to win. Then, Truth and Goldust danced some more. What did that possibly accomplish? Good god.
– The promo segment with Enzo Amore/Big Cass and The Vaudevillains served as good hype for their WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals match to take place at Payback. Glad that they’re “enhancing” The Vaudevillains to give them personalities and voices, as they won’t get far otherwise. Aiden English was a better talker than Simon Gotch, but we got the point that even though they were from the same place, they were out to win gold and turn Enzo/Cass into “proper” individuals (“How Are You Doing?”) while Enzo was priceless as always on the stick. This did more to hype their encounter than they could do in the ring alone.
– Did you know that Puerto Rico is full of historical significance and is the shining star of the Caribbean? Oh, the things you learn from repetitive Primo/Epico hype videos.
– The Ambrose/Zayn-Owens/Jericho main event was okay as far as SmackDown standards, but we thought it’d be much stronger than what we got. The pace was disappointingly tame, as it never got into “This is awesome” territory and simply served as a way for Jericho to again get one over on Ambrose by knocking him off the top rope and get him hanging in the ropes, for Owens to pin him thereafter. Not even a Pop-Up Powerbomb? Meh. The only cool part of it all was the hilarious moment where Owens jumped into Jericho’s arms in celebration.
- Ryback def. Kalisto via pinfall
- AJ Styles def. The Miz (w/Maryse) via pinfall
- Natalya/Paige def. Naomi/Tamina via submission
- Goldust As Special Guest Referee – R-Truth def. Fandango via pinfall
- Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho def. Dean Ambrose/Sami Zayn via pinfall
Posted on May 1, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Big Cass, Byron Saxton, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Enzo Amore, Epico, Fandango, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Natalya, Paige, Payback, Primo, R-Truth, Ryback, Sami Zayn, Tamina, The Miz, The Vaudevillains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.