Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/16/16: Styles Crash
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 opening backstage segment with Commissioner Shane McMahon, General Manager Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Heath Slater was a fine open to the show, as we saw Orton officially sign off on the contract that ensured that he and Brock Lesnar would battle at SummerSlam, only five days away. Slater continued to use his “Free Agent” gimmick more to the comedic side, as he presented Bryan/Shane a fruit basket (likely stolen from a funeral parlor, funny) since he recalled them close to signing him, before they said no because of how they were dissed. We were left with how Orton “had an idea.” Wonder what that could possibly be. At least there was a tie with Slater to Lesnar. It’s actually pretty smart to have the one guy who could bounce back and forth between shows interact with the two feuding guys on separate shows.
– The MizTV segment with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Maryse, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and (later on) Apollo Crews was great final hype for the Ziggler-Ambrose SS match as well as Crews-Miz afterwards. It was clear early on despite his words, that Miz wanted to simply stir the pot and allowed a platform for Ambrose and Ziggler to battle with words. Some of Ambrose’s words had to sting, as he had a heel-like confidence to his posture with cruel words. On the other side, Ziggler’s response was impassioned and just as great. It was a battle of “Performance Vs. Pressure” on the stick. Even better, Ziggler hit a sneak superkick that laid out Ambrose to end the segment. It might’ve hurt Crews that his part in it wasn’t shown until after they returned from commercial break, as we saw that he laid out Miz with the spin-out powerbomb.
– The 12-Man Tag Match between The Usos/American Alpha/The Hype Bros. and The Vaudevillains/The Ascension/Breezango gave us heavy action in a short period, as it revolved around the bounced idea by commentary that this was for potential contention of a future SmackDown Tag Team Championship. As we’d expect, it boiled down to a brawl at one point. The abilities of all were showcased, as it came down to rapid-fire finishers as The Usos took everybody out at ringside before AA hit Grand Amplitude to end it and remind us that SmackDown has a lot of damn teams and no Title.
– Give WWE credit, they’ve handled Eva Marie on the main roster brilliantly, from the purposely stalled matches that prevent her from competing to the narrated entrances. This time, she was set to compete against Naomi, who herself also received a “makeover” to an extent with remixed theme music, neon-filled ring attire and a new dance routine upon her entrance. It seemed sort of pandering compared to her Team BAD persona, but she could use it. This time, the narrator informed us that Eva was “delayed due to traffic.” Hilarious.
– The backstage segment with Alberto Del Rio and AJ Styles served as main event hype for the Del Rio-John cent match and for the Styles-Cena SS match. Styles’ played it up like a “pep talk,” as he praised Del Rio for putting Cena on the shelf for nine months before Del Rio rejected the good words. Styles put Del Rio in his place as he reminded them of their SS statuses. Something tells us that was more of WWE telling us what they really think of Del Rio these days. His defeat of Cena at last year’s Hell In A Cell remains his biggest accomplishment upon his return.
– To our surprise, we saw enticing “Curt Hawkins Facts” that you could compare to Matt Hardy’s old “V1” entrance. It was pretty funny and perhaps they might do more with the former Brian Myers.
– The Orton-Slater match was short, as it was revealed that Orton pitched the idea that if Slater won, he’d get a SmackDown contract. We knew that was definitely not happening with SS so close. Ironically, it did happen but in a way where we saw Orton dominate as he got DQ’d for not backing away from Slater in the corner. Post-match, we saw Orton mock Lesnar’s suplex moveset and gestures before he hit a definitive RKO to send a message to the “Beast Incarnate” for SS.
– The backstage segment with Slater, the medical trainer, Shane and Bryan continued the trend of how Slater again talked himself out of a potential contract. The guy has a “free agent” shirt now, so we doubt they’ll put him anywhere so soon. The basic gist was that Slater didn’t know where he was and mistook Bryan/Shane for Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon/General Manager Mick Foley when they presented a contract for technically beating Orton. We did find it funny how Slater took credit for “beating the hell out of Brock and Orton.” It’s also ironic that they’ve used Slater to advance the Orton/Lesnar feud on both shows with interactions. The ending confused us, as Shane lifted away the contact before Slater could sign it, so just because it’s a verbal agreement, does that mean it’s void now?
– The Erick Rowan-Ambrose match had a logical story of an angry Ambrose looking to take his aggression out on one Rowan. It was portrayed as a gutsy Ambrose match, as Rowan pulled some pretty stuff out of his repertoire like a spinning heel kick. Before the match was even underway, there was an interesting interaction between Orton and Wyatt on the ramp as they crossed paths. Anyways, this was your predictable Ambrose win to keep the Champ strong for SS as he beat Rowan with Dirty Deeds upon a second attempt on the move. The post-match angle where Wyatt turned his back on Rowan and tossed his sheep mask aside on the rocking chair could spell some dissension upon The Wyatt Family, but we really hope they don’t try to make Rowan a face again. Ugh, he was doing so good in this role again.
– The Natalya/Alexa Bliss-Carmella/Becky Lynch match continued the Bliss-Lynch and Carmella-Natalya feuds from last week, with some new stuff mixed in this week. There was plenty of physical action thanks to Lynch and her aggression. The finish was cool since it involved Eva Marie coming out finally to try to distract Lynch again like the week before, only for it to backfire on her when Naomi, her original opponent from earlier, trumped her entrance and that allowed Lynch to apply the Disarmer on Natalya to make her tap out. Evidently, it was revealed a six-women tag would occur between the six ladies at SS, so at least they’ll get on the SS card.
– They continued the Baron Corbin attacks on Kalisto backstage, as this time, he held Kalisto against a garage door and reminded him that he was a victim that would always get beat down by him simply because he could. Probably SS pre-show material, but even the little things work.
– The Cena-Del Rio match with Styles on commentary was fine SS hype, as Styles bickered with commentary over his disrespect for Cena as they sold his credibility in the ring and company overall. The in-ring action was decent as we saw “The Face That Runs The Place” get his revenge against the guy that put him on the shelf for nine months in your basic “Cena overcomes” victory. The post-match angle with Styles/Cena first went to Styles on the side with momentum as he laid out Cena with a Phenomenal Forearm immediately after the match and claimed he was sick and tired of hearing that the future would go through him and looked to change that. Before he could issue more torture upon Cena, he was upstaged and eventually got hit with an Attitude Adjustment through the announce table off the steel steps. Maybe a taste of the chaos that’ll probably come at SS with these two. Good stuff.
- 12-Man Tag – American Alpha/The Usos/The Hype Bros. def. The Ascension/The Vaudevillains/Breezango via pinfall
- If Heath Slater Wins, He Receives A SmackDown Live Contract – Heath Slater def. Randy Orton via DQ
- Dean Ambrose def. Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt) via pinfall
- Carmella/Becky Lynch def. Natalya/Alexa Bliss via submission
- John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio via pinfall
Posted on September 25, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Breezango, Carmella, Curt Hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Eva Marie, Heath Slater, JBL, Kalisto, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Natalya, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon, SummerSlam, The Ascension, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Usos, The Vaudevillains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.