Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/9/16: Channeled Energies
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 backstage segment with Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio provided nice hype for their match later on in the show. as Orton mentioned he was focused on his SummerSlam opponent Brock Lesnar and looked forward to taking Lesnar to Viperville, to which then Del Rio walked up and made light of the city name. It was basically a little war of words between the two. On paper, Del Rio was a notable name that Orton could defeat en route to SummerSlam.
– The opening in-ring segment with Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler carried off last week where Ziggler defeated Wyatt to keep the SummerSlam WWE World Heavyweight Championship match intact with him in it. This was Wyatt’s chance to denounce the loss, dismissed to Dolph’s use of the exposed ring post steel as he called himself a God. Well-delivered promo on his end. Ambrose’s portion referenced his many battles with Wyatt as he referred to him as a baby, to which Wyatt challenged him to back up his words. Ziggler’s involvement was interesting, since he ran past Ambrose to enter the ring in a way to upstage his SS opponent, but it led to what we expected – a brawl. In the end, Ziggler was laid out with Sister Abigail after he accidentally superkicked Ambrose in aim for Wyatt. Ziggler did look like an idiot for shouting, “What did you do?” at Wyatt, since he was asking him why he avoided his kick, because who wants that? Anyways, a nice chaotic start that elevated the Wyatts and continued the tensions between Ziggler and Ambrose.
– The backstage segment with Ambrose, Ziggler, Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan saw Ambrose/Ziggler get in each other’s faces, undone by the authority figures, who booked them to fight Wyatt/Rowan in an attempt to “channel their energies” towards working together to even make it to SS. Also liked the continuity bit where Bryan told Ziggler if he didn’t like it, “screw you.”
– SmackDown wanted to establish its Tag Team Division with the American Alpha-Mikey Vega/Mikey O’Shea match, which was done to a degree. The match itself – even though it featured O’Shea, a West Coast Wrestling Connection regular – was a disappointment since AA didn’t do all their signature moves. Basically, Vega did most of the selling and the heavyset O’Shea was only thrown over the top rope before Grand Amplitude ended it. Before the bell rang to start the match, we had The Ascension, The Vaudevillains and The Hype Bros. all come out as “spectators,” which gave way to an all-out melee after the match ended. We did like that AA emerged the lone survivors.
– We’re still trying to get used to the tacky sports desk set with Renee Young for interviews. That said, the segment with her and WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse gave us a glimpse into his SS challenger Apollo Crews with a hype video for how he became the contender and showed off some of his moves, while Miz/Maryse posed like French girls on the desk and marveled at each other. Funny, but one awkward looking kiss at the end there.
– Don’t sue us, but WWE has handled Eva Marie’s main roster resurgence well to this point, using every trick in the book to deliberately keep her from competing to drag out anticipation for her in-ring debut. Last week, she couldn’t compete due to a sudden “injury” against Becky Lynch, which led to take two this week. This time, after her spectacular voice narrated intro, she faked a wardrobe malfunction to get out of competing this time, which led to a feisty Lynch promo where she put down Eva for her excuses and that she was easy to fight no matter what, as she called out anybody to face her. Low and behold, it’d be Alexa Bliss, who cut a nice promo that she was here to “Bring Bliss to SD Live.”
– The Lynch-Bliss match was decent while it lasted, but didn’t even get close to scratching the surface of what these two could do together, since it was about the finish. We liked the idea of Eva “coming out again to compete” as a distraction tactic to Lynch, so that Bliss could come in from behind and hit her Twisted Bliss finisher to get her in-ring debut off on the right foot with a victory. Eva’s post-match promo saw her sarcastically spread sympathy to Lynch and hyped her in-ring debut set to happen next week now. Has this hatched a Lynch-Eva feud? Hey, things could be worse.
– The Orton-Del Rio match was the expected back-and-forth bout, as Mauro Ranallo put them both over as former World Champions, though we expected Orton to come out on top. The superplex was a nice highlight, but the finish left us a bit empty. Disappointing to have Del Rio deliberately strike Orton with a chair to cause a DQ. In the end, it set up another “#OuttaNowhere” RKO as Orton hit it before Del Rio could strike him with the chair, but why couldn’t that be the finish? Unless Del Rio didn’t want to lose to Orton by pinfall, that’s what they should’ve went with. It’s not like Del Rio’s character is more relevant these days.
– The backstage segment with Heath Slater and Rhyno hyped their upcoming match where if Slater won, he’d get a SmackDown contract. The joke here was that Slater sought empathy from the beast, but got caught in lies about how many kids he had to support and what kind of pool he recently bought. Slater’s growing on us a little bit as the weeks pass.
– The segment with Scooby-Doo and Miz was worth a chuckle at best, since it was Miz who made it work with his George Costanza-esque screams, as the meddling dog locked him in the Scooby-Mobile while he went inside Miz’s car, after Miz criticized the Blu-Ray cover for not having his face on it. Mildly intriguing, but same Scooby crap like from Raw.
– The Slater-Rhyno match for Slater’s Potential SmackDown Contract was alright. The two don’t have the best chemistry, but the stakes at least kept the crowd somewhat engaged. They actually cheered for Slater at one point, while commentary questioned Slater’s integrity and after an attempt to win using the ropes failed for Slater, he was gored out of a contract. JBL’s line about Slater’s “13 kids” was funny.
– The Rowan/Wyatt backstage segment hyped the main event, as Wyatt big-talked to his longtime soldier to prepare to give his life to the Wyatt cause, or something along those lines. Hard to tell. Seen it before.
– In a case of “talking your way out of luck,” Shane/Bryan actually considered signing Slater to a SmackDown contract before he barged into their office and criticized the brand for the “unbearable odds” he had and that they didn’t deserve him. It’s irony and it continues this “free agent” thing Slater has going at the moment. We’re okay with that.
– It’s apparent from Carmella’s entrances that her Enzo-lite schtick doesn’t work for her as well, yet we saw some character progression on this episode with the match between her and Natalya. She called out Natalya with her entrance promo and saw a sneak attack coming, as she stopped her in her tracks, which cited a near-brawl before the bell. The action picked up from there, as Natalya played up the crowd and her opponent with lackadaisical covers, which saw Carmella flip the script and catch her in her Code Of Silence submission to make her tap. This was a fine step towards establishing her as a submission specialist amongst the diverse SmackDown Women’s Division.
– Renee and the sports desk introduced a fancy hype video for the AJ Styles-John Cena feud, which focused on the dueling chants they garnered and much from last week’s promo segment. Decent stuff, but we hoped for some advancement.
– We liked the simple effectiveness of Baron Corbin laying out Kalisto backstage as it tied into his elimination from the Battle Royale, as he blamed Kalisto for costing him the Title. Will they turn this into an easy feud?
– The tag team main event between Ziggler/Ambrose and Wyatt/Rowan was decent, but never took off beyond its purpose. Nothing outrageously memorable besides the finish, mainly because Ambrose came up short on a suicide dive attempt on Wyatt, that left Ziggler to superkick Rowan and get the pin. We liked that Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Ziggler right after to establish the “every man for himself” mentality. Their feud has gotten better, but it’s still missing something. Perhaps they’ll discover what it is as SummerSlam draws closer.
- American Alpha def. Mikey Vega/Mikey O’Shea via pinfall
- Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch via pinfall
- Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio via DQ
- If Heath Slater Wins, He Gets A WWE SmackDown Live Contract – Rhyno def. Heath Slater via pinfall
- Carmella def. Natalya via submission
- Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan via pinfall
Posted on September 12, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Eva Marie, Heath Slater, JBL, John Cena, Kalisto, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Mikey O'Shea, Mikey Vega, Natalya, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Scooby-Doo, Shane McMahon, SmackDown Live, SummerSlam, The Ascension, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Vaudevillains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.