Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 1/24/17: Brother Vs. Brother

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.






(Aired 1/24/17)

Brother Vs. Brother 

– The General Manager Daniel Bryan/Miz/Maryse backstage segment was another perfect example of chemistry done right. For months, Miz had been at his boss’ head ever since he was criticized in that infamous Talking Smack promo. There was no better way to set up a Lumberjack Match than have Miz boldly claim he “paid all of the locker room’s salaries with star power.” Bryan, apple aside, was all wits, as he used Miz’s statements against him to give him a WWE Intercontinental Championship rematch, but under his rules to prevent outside interference. Welcome to the world of logic. None of that on Raw.

– The Randy Orton-Luke Harper match was wildly hyped beforehand with the emphasis of “Brother Vs. Brother.” The two had been at odds ever since Orton joined The Wyatt Family in October, with Bray Wyatt in the unfamiliar position of peacekeeper. With two previous near-implosions, it made sense for Wyatt to want them to “hash things out,” as we even saw a hint towards a possible new member or turn on a current one. As we’d expect, the crowd sided with Orton. They also used the moment to hype the Royal Rumble match, since all three Wyatt members would compete. Nice pop for Orton’s second rope DDT. Orton dropped Harper onto the announce table and Harper came back with a big boot. What made this match work was plain psychology and constant camera cuts to the expressionless Wyatt, who only got involved to toss both men back in the ring when it appeared they would both get counted out. Commentator JBL made some vocal slip-ups, as he referred to Wyatt as “Luke Wyatt” and then “Randy Harper.” Yeah, we caught that, sir. Harper attempted the discus clothesline only to fall into the RKO as Orton won. The post-match angle kept things going, as Wyatt teased helping Harper to his feet only to deliver Sister Abigail. We loved the idea that commentary played this up in two ways – Wyatt being done with Harper or simply “tough love,” which Wyatt was known for. Either way, with the Rumble close, we’d be interested to see how Orton/Harper compete in there.

– The Mickie James/WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss/Becky Lynch in-ring segment was a superb followup to last week’s swerve return of James as La Luchadora. This was hyped as a James interview to explain things. Even though she was all smiles, she still walked with a swagger all her own. She battled “What?” chants from the crowd, but the content was solid. James was regarded as a “Top Diva” in her time and defeated Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22 to win her first Title, a feat notified by James in the opening minute of her promo. We loved the tie to her resentment towards Lynch being related to the “Women’s Revolution” slapping her own past accomplishments in the face. It’s completely logical in a “Newbie Vs. Veteran” kind of way. After all, Lynch’s sort of the “Shining White Knight” of the Revolution Era. As far as her explanation of why she sided with Bliss, her answer was that Bliss “remembered her moments.” Sort of weak, but we adore the idea of James/Bliss as a bad girl duo and more for Lynch to overcome. It was expected to see Lynch come down angry, as we also loved that James continued to taunt her on the mic even as she made her way down. What took this segment over the top was the clever spot of Bliss hiding in the crowd to attack Lynch when she chased James over the barricade. It was another week and another two-on-one beatdown.

– The Carmella/James Ellsworth video segment with the storyline being that Carmella wanted to “make over” the dimwitted Ellsworth hurt our brains. It was basically Ellsworth dressing up in funky outfits, only to be approved by Carmella’s “selected” golden outfit. Are we supposed to feel for Ellsworth that Carmella’s using him, as she clearly wasn’t romantically interested in him? Ellsworth turned heel at TLC and hasn’t redeemed himself yet, so why should we feel bad?

– The 10-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale for a Rumble spot between Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Konnor, Viktor, Curt Hawkins, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Fandango, Tyler Breeze and Mojo Rawley with Baron Corbin on commentary would’ve felt bigger had the contenders not composed of the Tag Team Division’s underlings. That said, it was a good chance to show off Corbin on the mic, who reminded us that he won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale in his main roster debut. Slater was almost eliminated by Rhyno to start things out and we were underway. Slater was eliminated by Konnor while Viktor held him down from outside. It was left to Breezango and Rawley. Wonder who’ll win this one. Breeze accidentally eliminated Fandango, which set up Rawley to throw him over the top and win. Two birds with one stone – push Corbin and Rawley.

– The Nikki Bella/Natalya parking lot taped segment continued their streak of brawls not in the ring. This time, Bella brought up how she was on the production truck next to her husband, but that didn’t mean anything. Natalya crept from behind and threw her into said truck, as she also noted that her own picture was nowhere to be found. Poor Bella.

– The WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles/John Cena in-ring segment was one last fiery hype for their Rumble encounter. Styles had some sensible gripes as a Champion not being shown respect by the “higher ups.” He brought up being shown all the way in the back of the event poster and referred to as “Some Guy From Atlanta” by Cena on the Today Show earlier in the week. Cena’s response was one of his more emphatic promos in recent months, as he “spit fire” over Styles’ mere complaints and soaked up the idea that he was a WWE machine not “built for the indies.” Oh, that insider jargon. It was also an addition that Styles was frustratedly speechless after Cena left.

– The Kalisto-Dolph Ziggler match was built off Kalisto’s recent disdain for Ziggler’s attitude change. When we last saw Ziggler, he superkicked Jerry “The King” Lawler on The King’s Court. Dastardly indeed. We expected an even bout, so you could imagine our shock when Ziggler won it with a superkick in 25 seconds. We kind of liked that, though. The post-match angle saw more of the same as Ziggler grabbed a chair and went to the ring. Interestingly, for the second straight week, JBL appeared to want to confront Ziggler, but held off. Crews attacked from behind and tried to swing the chair, but missed, as Ziggler escaped. Will we get a Triple-Threat of sorts?

– The Naomi/Bliss in-ring segment was a worthy “bait and switch,” as this was originally supposed to be Naomi-Natalya squaring off. We assumed this would be a way to put Natalya over and highlight Naomi’s return after three months at the same time. However, we saw footage where Bella got revenge on Natalya backstage and Naomi was left in wait. That opened the door for her to issue a challenge and that brought in Bliss, who treated her as a joke. Good interaction. We figured it’d build to something later and that was confirmed when later on, it was announced that there’d be a Six-Woman Tag at the Rumble between Bliss/James/Natalya and Lynch/Naomi/Bella.

– WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose’s backstage promo hyped the lumberjack match, as his main goal was to destroy Miz’s face. Now, that’s motivation.

– The Lumberjack Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Miz and Champion Ambrose was outside of the box enough to keep things interesting. They utilized the lumberjacks smartly, especially as things progressed. Miz tossed Ambrose out onto the “heel side,” but Ambrose narrowly escaped harm as he slid back in. Also liked how JBL noted it was the same official in the match who didn’t call for the disqualification in the match where Ambrose became Champ. The faces eventually got their hands on Miz. In the best moment ever, Ambrose went for the lunatic lariat (so overused) and was pulled out by the heel lumberjacks. In a cool spot, Ambrose tossed Miz onto the heel side to set up his own tope suicida to take everybody out. Good tease as we saw Maryse hold Ambrose’s foot down from outside to set up Miz to hit the running knee (like Bryan) for a two. Miz continued to copy his boss’ in-ring moves for easy heat. Ambrose jumped off the top rope onto all the lumberjacks and Miz below. The lunatic lariat connected as he went for the cover, but Corbin broke it up. That sparked the entire ring brawl known all too well around Rumble time. Eventually, things calmed down and Miz almost school boy’d Ambrose for the three. Right afterwards, Ambrose countered with Dirty Deeds to retain. A little bit of everything. Also found it funny how JBL complained that it was a “plan to make Miz lose” to end the show.






Quick Results

  • Bray Wyatt At Ringside – Randy Orton def. Luke Harper via pinfall 
  • Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royale For A Royal Rumble Spot – Mojo Rawley def. Viktor, Konnor, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Curt Hawkins 
  • Dolph Ziggler def. Kalisto via pinfall 
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship – Lumberjack Match – Dean Ambrose (Champion) def. The Miz (w/Maryse) via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on July 2, 2017, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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