Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 9/6/16: Done With That
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.
Done With That
– With Backlash five days away, WWE wasted no time getting its first SmackDown Live-Exclusive Pay-Per-View hyped up and ready to go. The opening in-ring segment with SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Nikki Bella, Alexa Bliss, Natalya and Naomi was a good start to things to hype the Six-Pack Elimination Challenge to crown the inaugural WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion between the ladies, as Bryan stood in the middle of it all. We got to see Lynch talk about her long journey and acknowledge her shortcomings as a kind of motivation. Natalya was a downer who called Lynch “boring,” while Bliss referred to everyone as “whiners” and insulted Bryan for being a “trophy husband.” Carmella got the last words when she bragged about her beatdowns on Bella. Eventually, the heels cornered Lynch and out came Naomi/Bella to back her up. We knew beforehand that we’d see a Six-Woman tag and that was easy to hype right from here.
– We figured out that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose likes his catering coffee with a boatload of sugar. What purpose did it serve? Not too sure, but it did add on to Ambrose’s recent lackadaisical behavior as Champion.
– The backstage segment with Bryan, SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon, WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse carried on the recent tensions between Bryan and Miz in relation to Miz’s feud with Dolph Ziggler and pending Title defense at Backlash. We had more angry Miz here, which helped things, as we saw Bryan lay down the law that Miz would be forced to defend his belt at Backlash or forfeit his belt. Bryan used last week’s occurrence where Miz backed away from a fight with Ziggler to fuel his argument. Nice stuff.
– The Miz-Apollo Crews match with Ziggler on commentary accomplished all it set out to do. We got to see another great performance from Crews, as he pulled out some more impressive stuff. At the same time, Ziggler got to vent his frustrations about Miz, who was opportunistic in how he won the match, when he shoved Crews into him outside the ring, which transitioned its way into a Skull-Crushing Finale. The post-match angle where Ziggler held the belt hostage in the ring only for Miz to send Maryse to get it back was perfect, since it put more heat on Miz for his cowardice and made us wait for the two to fight at Backlash. The buildup has been short but that “Talking Smack” segment really made it easy to book.
– The backstage sports desk interview with AJ Styles was good in that he got to bully around a production assistant when they replayed footage of him getting crotched to end last week’s show. This was Styles just being a jerk, which was a perfect way to book him after the clean pin over John Cena at SummerSlam.
– The hype video for American Alpha was simple and effective in getting them over as the young athletic upstarts that they are. They considered themselves a part of the tag team revolution and it wa shard to argue that case certainly.
– The backstage promo from The Usos hyped their WWE Tag Team Tournament Semifinals match with AA as they expressed respect for their opponents, but suggested that they themselves ran the show. It came off more face-ish than their behavior of late had been. Red flag.
– The Bray Wyatt fog promo did a fine job as far as hype for the Backlash encounter with Randy Orton, as they kept up this “God Vs. Predator” storyline. This made sense after we saw Orton busted open by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, with Wyatt around trying to pick up the pieces by playing his usual mind games. We can get lost in the mumbo-jumbo of Wyatt’s words, but he had a clear meaning and every bit of it was directed right at Orton, who he basically called outdated.
– The Six-Woman Tag between Bella/Naomi/Lynch and Carmella/Bliss/Natalya worked on the surface as easy hype for the Backlash match. Everybody got to do their own thing, but what stuck out to us most was Carmella’s improved heel mannerisms, particularly in how she teased Bella and ran away from her when she was charged at. Lynch was also extensively worked over by the heels, which led to the hot tag to Bella. After a few rapid-fire exchanges, it dwindled down to Carmella and Bella, to which Carmella ruthlessly targeted her neck with the Code Of Silence submission to make her tap out and held yet another mental advantage over her headed into Backlash.
– On paper, we expected a lot of time to be killed in the Tag Team Tournament Semifinals between The Usos and AA but they opted for the shocker option. We saw Usos and AA shake hands before Usos jumped AA from behind to start the match, which drew some boos. Somehow, AA managed to pull off Grand Amplitude within the first 20 seconds to pull off the huge upset. We were initially disappointed to be robbed of a potential classic, but what resulted was even better – an official Usos heel turn when they faked post-match sportsmanship and savagely targeted Chad Gable’s back leg with stiff kicks and a Samoan splash right on it. The way it ended up playing out was actually perfect in that case.
– Orton’s backstage promo was a good response to what we heard from Wyatt earlier, as they continued on their theme as Orton claimed that Wyatt’s overconfidence would cost him in the end. He told a vibrant story about a snake who ended up taking both a man and his prey. We were pretty pumped to see what the two could do in the ring together and to their credit, they hadn’t made contact as of yet.
– The in-ring segment with Fandango, Etty and Kane kept on the theme of weekly Kane chokeslams at the expense of poor Fandango, as he bullied around Etty, an audience member who apparently lacked passionate dance moves. If anything was an indication of time filler, was this ever it. We could’ve used Kane for that dreaded “Old Day” Raw segment.
– We saw more of angry bully Styles as he destroyed a backstage employee’s telephone for showing pictures of his family when he was paranoid he took pictures of Styles. Well, yikes.
– More Curt Hawkins “facts” christened our screen before we learned that he was set to return next week. We’e pumped to see the former “Prince Of Queens.”
– Between the happy-go-lucky babyface team of The Hype Bros. and the comedic-yet-hearty journey of Heath Slater’s quest for a SmackDown Live contract, the Tag Team Tournament Semifinals match between Hype Bros. and Slater/Rhyno had our initial interest. Also liked the added touch of Slater’s “family” in the first row behind the commentary booth. There were actually seven kids. The whole time Slater was portrayed as this “family man,” while they were in Nebraska, usually a blue collar town. Rhyno was also cheered heavily here, which helped the big match spots. Basically, it was Rhyno who did most of the work, as he pulled Slater out of the way of the Broski Boot and tagged himself in to hit a Gore to a big pop. This made the Finals Slater/Rhyno against AA, while the status of AA was unknown because of Gable’s injury. Slater had become the first great example of long-term post-Draft WWE storytelling. He had been dead in the water with Social Outcasts, but over time, he had actually gotten popular with the fans.
– The sports desk promo from The Usos was a perfect follow-up to their earlier actions, as they likened jealousy of the fans sticking with AA over them who busted their asses six years to entertain them as the main reason for what they did. Plain, simple and effective. Their highlight were the words, “Done with that.”
– The Ambrose-Styles in-ring segment to close the show did just enough to keep us looking forward to their Backlash encounter for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Ambrose handed a participation bowling trophy to Styles, which provided a visual aide for Styles’ argument that Ambrose didn’t take him seriously and needed to after he beat Cena. Ambrose’s retort was perfectly stated when he mentioned beating Styles in the ring upon their last match and that he was a different person from Cena and brought people to their limits. Styles responded the only way he knew how – a low blow. A “receipt” if you will, but it worked thanks to what we saw last week. So in all, this feud had been highlighted as a culmination of Styles’ overconfidence/jerk attitude and Ambrose’s come-and-go intensity and laid-backness. Only good things could come from this.
- The Miz (w/Maryse) def. Apollo Crews via pinfall
- Six-Woman Tag – Carmella/Alexa Bliss/Natalya def. Nikki Bella/Becky Lynch/Naomi via submission
- Tag Team Tournament – Semifinals – American Alpha def. The Usos via pinfall to advance
- Tag Team Tournament – Semifinals – Heath Slater/Rhyno def. The Hype Bros. via pinfall to advance
Posted on October 18, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Apollo Crews, Backlash, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Curt Hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Etty, Fandango, Heath Slater, JBL, Kane, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Shane McMahon, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Usos. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.