Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/2/16: Returning The Favor
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.
Returning The Favor
– The backstage segment with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon, General Manager Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton was a good follow-up to Raw’s ending, since we saw Orton’s surprise RKO on his SummerSlam opponent Brock Lesnar, before he was chased away by security. Luckily and logically, we opened up as Shane reprimanded Orton for his actions. That went down the drain once Shane praised it as “awesome.” Really, Shane? Anyways, with all the security presence to keep Lesnar out of the building, that basically meant that Lesnar would appear. The part that followed where WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse complained to Bryan/Shane about the way they were treated was okay, but one big hurt to his argument was that while he complained about not being celebrated by the locker room in the ring after he retained the IC Title at Battleground like they did with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose was that Miz himself was one of the people holding up Ambrose on their shoulders. Yikes. The lack of logic here. Anyways, this led to a half-assed announcement where Bryan booked a triple threat between Apollo Crews, Kalisto and Baron Corbin to determine Miz’s #1 contender. This was then followed by the authoritative duo running into Ambrose, who made it known that he was about to head to the ring to address his #1 contender, Dolph Ziggler.
– The in-ring segment with Ambrose, Ziggler and Bray Wyatt was a lot to take in. On one hand, the mission to sell Ziggler as a truer threat to Ambrose was evident. On the other, we wonder if they did too much damage to Ziggler’s character with Ambrose’s words to build him back up where people cared enough. As for the little tickers that appeared when superstars made their entrances, it was cool for about the first three times, but ultimately took up needless space because they only told us when they mainly debuted. They tried to have Ziggler convince Ambrose that they were similar before Ambrose criticized him that he was “all show” and “no go.” Of course this was followed with Ziggler mentioning their different paths, as he actually mentioned being a male cheerleader to start out and then worked his way to the top while Ambrose “arrived on top with a SWAT team.” Ziggler luckily showed some fire as he talked about being overlooked for the longest time and would “burn Brooklyn to the ground and take that Title.” Ambrose’s response felt a bit heelish and we question having the favorite Champion tear down the desperate challenger since the mission here was to sell Ziggler. They then had Wyatt deliver Sister Abigail to Ziggler and offered a challenge for Ziggler’s #1 Contender spot. We have our main event and Wyatt seems more heel again.
– The backstage segment with Ziggler, Shane and Bryan was okay, since it made sense for Ziggler to want to take the match on despite that he had nothing to gain from it. His reasoning was that nobody bought him as a contender. Alrighty.
– The WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender Triple-Threat match between Kalisto, Crews and Corbin with Miz/Maryse on commentary was a decent, yet quick match. Not nearly enough time to establish everyone. Thank goodness the crowd was hot for Crews, who got the pin over Kalisto after he got rid of Corbin over the top rope. The post-match angle was okay, since an opportunistic Miz laid out Crews from behind with the Skull-Crushing Finale, but was then laid out with End Of Days by Corbin to a pop. Where exactly does this leave Corbin? Also, poor Kalisto.
– Becky Lynch and Eva Marie were set for a match, until Eva had an apparent ankle injury and couldn’t compete. If this wasn’t legit, then it was a nice heel way of getting out of competing, which would fit Eva’s character. If this happens again next week, then we know it’s the act. For some reason, her overdramatic voice narrator entrance is growing on us.
– The backstage set segment between Renee Young, Carmella and Natalya was okay in that it set up a Carmella-Natalya feud, something new. The bad part of it was that the exchange between Natalya and Carmella felt robotic and unbelievable. Hopefully, they convince us better in the ring.
– The American Alpha-Vaudevillains match served its purpose as AA’s main-roster debut and they played it much like their past NXT bouts. VV weren’t completely squashed, but their offense was scarce. The reaction to AA was nice, as they were over for everything. Chad Gable stood out early with an amateur sequence as he worked on Simon Gotch’s arm, while Jason Jordan got all the hot tag glory, which then led to Grand Amplitude, delivered with extra impact. Another big highlight was Gable’s top rope double clothesline. AA ain’t here to play.
– The AJ Styles-John Cena in-ring segment was another strong promo exchange between the two, yet it felt like a whole bunch of nothing to set up a SummerSlam rematch we figured was coming. Styles complained and hated everything while Cena passionately talked about how he loved everything. The storyline inched a bit too close to the Kevin Owens-Cena feud last year, as the heel’s motivation is to undo the inspiration that Cena has instilled in today’s youth and brainwashed them into thinking he’s a legend icon. Or maybe this was to put to rest any rumors that Cena was leaving WWE with all the reality television show appearances. Styles got the last word in, but it felt longer than it needed to.
– Low and behold, the beast got his revenge. The Fandango-Orton match with increased security presence was meh, since it never materialized into anything special (despite the logical reason that the match happened with Fandango angry at Orton for his Battleground comments) and then was quickly forgotten about once Lesnar hit the ringside area to deliver a quick F5 before security and Shane escorted him out of the arena. It got a nice reaction, but was expected for the most part. Insert your jokes about SmackDown security here.
– The backstage segment in the GM office with Bryan and Heath Slater played off the previous segment as Slater criticized the job of security to let him into the office, as he continued to boast about being “sports entertainment’s hottest free agent” to which then Bryan booked him in action next week to earn a spot onto the SmackDown roster, as the opponent was revealed with a gore to the floor. Yup, it’d be Rhyno. Slater probably has no chance. We actually forgot about Rhyno on SmackDown until this.
– The backstage set segment with Young and Ambrose hyped the main event from Ambrose’s perspective, but outside of his “anything can happen” line, was anything hardly noteworthy.
– As you’d expect, Orton offered no words for a backstage interview upon being F5’d. Let’s hope the brand hopping stops now.
– The Natalya-Carmella angle was your usual Natalya beatdown, as she attacked Carmella from behind as she made her catchphrase-filled entrance to near crickets, Yikes. At least the heel Natalya handles this part well.
– The backstage segment with Bryan, Shane and Ziggler involved them trying to talk Ziggler out of the match again and he replied with an emphatic “screw you” since they didn’t think he could win. Probably done for shock value if anything.
– The main event between Wyatt and Ziggler for Ziggler’s #1 Contender spot at SummerSlam with Ambrose on commentary was ultimately a good match in the end, but not nearly dramatic enough for us to think Ziggler was ever in danger of losing. The action was at least buyable, as Ziggler came out of the gate aggressively to end it early, before Wyatt got the advantage at the halfway point. Some good near-falls down the stretch with the Zig Zag from Ziggler and Yurinagi Suplex from Wyatt as examples. In the end, Ziggler used the exposed turnbuckle that Wyatt loosened up and a superkick to get the win. They tried to paint the idea that Ziggler would do anything to win and was a “new” Ziggler, but how can you root for a guy who partially cheated to win (he’s done that before), the same guy they’ve tried to convince us has a chance against Ambrose, who tore him down earlier? This didn’t put Ziggler over much but they’ve tried their best. As for the post-match angle that involved Erick Rowan and the heel beatdown by the Wyatts on Ambrose/Ziggler, it likely sets up a Wyatt/Rowan-Ziggler/Ambrose tag match for next week that’ll pass some time. At least Wyatt was better positioned at show’s end.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Triple-Threat – Apollo Crews def. Kalisto and Baron Corbin via pinfall
- American Alpha def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall
- Randy Orton def. Fandango (w/Tyler Breeze) via DQ
- If Dolph Ziggler Loses, Bray Wyatt Gets His Spot At SummerSlam In WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler def. Bray Wyatt via pinfall
Posted on September 5, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, American Alpha, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Carmella, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Eva Marie, Fandango, Heath Slater, JBL, John Cena, Kalisto, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Paul Heyman, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Shane McMahon, SummerSlam, The Miz, The Vaudevillains, Tyler Breeze. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.