Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 8/30/16: Talking Smack
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.
– With the inception of SmackDown Live as this “anything goes” kind of show, there were several moments on this episode that gave it that vibe and we’re all for it. They even managed to push the “Talking Smack” post-show “show” as something to always keep an out for, as they opened with the hot exchange we saw there between SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan and WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz after Miz blew up on Bryan when he was referred to as a “coward.” It might’ve actually been one of Miz’s best promos ever. Complete fire. Definitely intense.
– The backstage segment with Bryan and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon was a nice “insider”-esque moment where Shane reprimanded Bryan for “getting in a talent’s face” and called for him to apologize, while Bryan retorted that it was ironic coming from a guy who had a beef with Brock Lesnar. Burn.
– The hostile work environment only continued with the in-ring segment with Miz, Maryse and Dolph Ziggler. It was a great idea to start right out with angry Miz, who again ragged on everybody that criticized him for “working a soft style” and that they weren’t the star that he was. We forget how excellent Miz can be on the mic when he was a purpose. Even better was Ziggler’s end, as he was looked at for being brave when he came out and called Miz out on not having the passion for the business and only used the IC Title to be famous. He challenged Miz to a fight and when Miz teased that he would, he backed out of the ring like a great heel. Of course, Ziggler got the last word when he called Bryan right, which angered Miz some more, but there remained no physicality. Definitely a good way to start the show and a Ziggler-Miz feud that just had its seeds planted. A nice change from the usual, definitely came out of nowhere.
– The Tag Team Tournament First Round match between The Hype Bros. and The Vaudevillains was a battle between arguably the two teams lowest on the totem pole, though based on the action we saw here, it was VV who claimed the lowest spot. Despite a ho-hum promo that reminded us that they liked all throwback errythang, they pretty much only did rest holds and were soundly defeated with the Hype Ryder. Not sure what the post-match promo from Hype Bros. was all about, as they said they were a train and uttered the line, “Choo, choo, playboy,” but we’re sure Hype Bros. went over here to lose to a bigger team in the next round.
– AJ Styles continued to carry ultra confidence ever since he beat John Cena at SummerSlam and self-claimed himself as the new “Face That Runs The Place” as we saw in the backstage segment with him and Apollo Crews that set up conflict simply because Styles spoke to Crews condescendingly about not knowing who he was. There was a nice spelling bit in there too, as we assumed a match would happen later. Crews shows potential in the ring, but he needs a character beyond the “smiling athlete.” Give him an edge.
– The Styles-Crews match stemmed from the pre-match Styles promo where he gloated some more and was met by Crews in the ring, when he revealed he had permission to challenge him right there. As far as the match, Styles carried Crews to his best effort to date, as he came close a few times to actually pinning Styles, before we were brought back to reality as Styles won with the Phenomenal Forearm. Good way to push Styles since he was the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
– Ever since the draft, Heath Slater has been presented as a hard-luck heel who just can’t seem to land a contract on either show despite his confident personality. The long-term plan seemed to actually get people to rally behind Slater to turn him babyface based on everything that happened to him to this point. We saw a segment where Renee Young went to Slater’s house (a trailer in Alabama) where she sat with his “wife” (an overweight lady that we weren’t sure actually was his wife) and Rhyno, his tag partner. Young asked hard-hitting questions while his wife presented cheese whiz, crackers and vienna sausages. Funny. Slater remained confident as he spoke about Shane probably not being able to meet his contract demands anyway and tried to paint himself as a “family man,” though it seemed contradicting based on what we saw. On that regard, the segment was a bit confusing since they’ve already got a good slow-burn face turn with Slater brewing, yet they had him portrayed as some kind of comedic liar. That said, Rhyno provided the most comic relief, as he sat there and shrugged when asked why he teamed with Slater and mainly smiled as he ate crackers. Guess this was to provide some insight on Slater’s personal life but we got more comedy than sympathy out of this. What exactly was the goal here?
– On paper, the Bray Wyatt-Randy Orton “Sermon For The Serpent” promo exchange seemed solid since they had a decent new feud to work with, as Wyatt called Orton a snake and presented him as a man who could be defeated, while Orton retorted that he wondered if Wyatt really was who he said he was. Between Wyatt’s mumbo-jumbo talk and Orton’s monotone promo delivery, the exchange kind of bored us a little bit. Don’t get us wrong though, a feud between the two could be the best thing for them right now. We’ll just have to wait when the feud transitions from microphone exchanges to forearm exchanges. We know a match between them will happen, as it was set up for Backlash.
– There was some nice hype for the Six-Pack Challenge to crown the first SmackDown Women’s Championship at Backlash between Nikki Bella, Carmella, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss and Natalya. We saw a Natalya/Bliss-Lynch/Naomi tag match as Bella sat on commentary to address Carmella’s two recent sneak attacks on her. The in-ring action was energetic between Lynch and Naomi (her new entrance continues to get a nice pop) before Carmella attacked Bella for a third time and caused Lynch to get distracted and caught by Bliss in a pin where she had the tights pulled too. Everybody gets a little something (except maybe Natalya) and Carmella should elevate things some more when she finally gets to speak out about her actions.
– There were some more funny Curt Hawkins facts as he continues to get pushed as a godly individual in a very “MacGyver”-esque fashion. We’re ready for it to go down.
– The Tag Team Tournament First Round match between The Headbangers and Slater/Rhyno definitely seemed to put the focus back onto pushing Slater as a fan favorite, as he even slapped hands with fans on the way to the ring and Rhyno tried to get the crowd excited during the match itself. It tells you how skinny the roster is when they have to pull the Headbangers out of obscurity, but they actually put in a decent performance after a 16-year absence and were a good enough foil for Slater/Rhyno to solve. Ultimately, it was Rhyno who was the difference maker, as he came into the ring to break up a pinfall and dragged Slater closer to the apron so he could get tagged in and then finished it off with a Gore to a nice pop. We’re not sure how Rhyno busted his face open, but that happened too.
– Things took an odd turn towards main event time, when we saw Styles on commentary before we were interrupted by Gary “The Milkman” Milliman, who stood in a purple casual business suit and wanted competition and stripped down to his tighty whities and socks before his “competition” was revealed to be Kane, to which he tried to put his pants back on and got chokeslammed. Probably just to remind us that Kane still existed and set up a situation where he and Baron Corbin (the main event opponent for WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose) could cross paths. Wonder why they nixed things between Corbin and Kalisto. That said, the match itself went exactly like you’d expect, as Corbin was on offense most of the time as Styles pointed out Ambrose’s biggest flaws of not being smart. Ambrose’s matches have become a little played out in terms of his in-ring style at this point, but Corbin being in there with him made it a little interesting enough. We even liked the way Corbin bullied around Referee Charles Robinson, though we knew already they wouldn’t give Corbin a clean loss to Ambrose at this point, especially with Styles out there. The interaction between Styles and Corbin was also interesting, before they led to the finish where Styles stood on the apron and targeted Ambrose but actually hit Corbin to cause a DQ. The Styles/Ambrose brawl to end the show landed on the comedic side when Styles was left to hang on the top rope when Ambrose saw a PF attempt coming. We guess this was an okay way to advance their feud, but Styles needs something extra to truly feel like a threat to Ambrose. Haven’t quite seen that when he’s against Ambrose, though he has shined against others lately like Crews and Cena.
- Tag Team Tournament – First Round – The Hype Bros. def. The Vaudevillains via pinfall to advance
- AJ Styles def. Apollo Crews via pinfall
- Natalya/Alexa Bliss def. Naomi/Becky Lynch via pinfall
- Tag Team Tournament – First Round – Heath Slater/Rhyno def. The Headbangers via pinfall to advance
- Baron Corbin def. Dean Ambrose via DQ
Posted on October 15, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, Apollo Crews, Backlash, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Curt Hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Gary Milliman, Heath Slater, JBL, Kane, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Shane McMahon, Talking Smack, The Headbangers, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Vaudevillains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.