Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 2/21/17: Feel The Blow

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 






(Aired 2/21/17) 

Feel The Blow 

– The opening video recapped last week as new WWE Champion Bray Wyatt had to defend against John Cena and AJ Styles. Also shown was Luke Harper’s attack on Wyatt as revenge, which only created another obstacle for the Champ. Sure enough, he battled through and actually pinned Cena to keep his belt. Autocorrect turned that into “belly.” Do with that what you will. Anyways, The “Era Of Wyatt” was set to continue and his influence was so great that even Royal Rumble Winner Randy Orton refused to face him for the belt come WrestleMania 33. What a loyal disciple. In turn, SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan determined that a 10-Man Battle Royale would take place to determine who would face Wyatt at Mania. Simple enough and we’ve got a huge main event on our hands.

– The camera panned the crowd and in the middle was a nice Wyatt impersonator. They showed the graphic for the Battle Royale and it included the likes of Cena, Styles, Apollo Crews, Dean Ambrose, Mojo Rawley, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Kalisto, Luke Harper and Baron Corbin. Right off the bat, we laughed at the inclusion of Crews and Kalisto in there. Anyways, out came Bryan to a raucous reaction and he brought out WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi. It was already known that she banged up her knee despite her victory over Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber. She limped with a brace on her left knee. This was a good lead-in to what we suspected would be a Title relinquishment since Bryan knows what that’s like all too well. They could’ve had SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon do the honors, but Bryan here made it a more emotional, relatable moment. Good call. There was a believable emotional angle to this too to have natural sympathy for Naomi, who was probably set to miss Mania at this point too. It tore into our heartstrings. Those were real tears too. As Naomi headed up the ramp, Bliss’ music hit and we couldn’t wait for those two to pass each other. Bliss made a “Sorry to be you” face towards her and tried to plead her case to Bryan to get the belt she previously had handed back to her. She trolled the crowd excellently here as they tried to deter her with “What?” chants. She even had a logical argument that she waited two weeks already for a rematch. Of course, Bryan didn’t comply and instead booked Bliss to take on Becky Lynch and the winner would be the new Champion. A nice, feel-good show-starter. Guess we’re back to where we were before Naomi creeped into the Title picture. Will La Luchadora make her return too while we’re at it?

– The WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Bliss and Lynch began with some back-and-forth action, though there was a noticeable botch where Lynch performed a drop toe hold as a counter to a Lou Thesz Press by Bliss. Despite that, the two clicked and even we were taken aback by the finish. Bliss used the ring apron for a break and then pulled a cheap shot to the throat and pulled on the tights to earn her second Title reign. Mickie James even came out again to celebrate. We like this. James tried to sneak attack Lynch, which you think would be easy these days, but the “Irish Lass Kicker” saw it coming this time and cleared her from the ring. Guess you can’t win them all. We assume that’s another match for the future?

– Ambrose cut a promo from a randomly dim location backstage as he brought up being electrocuted by a table he was dropped onto last week by Corbin. Ever the motivational tool, he had a picture of Corbin’s face taped to the wall.

– Kalisto spoke backstage about the Battle Royale and mentioned adversity and all that fun stuff. Boos were audible from the crowd, which makes sense since this guy has no chance here to main event Mania, but we guess that’s the spark you need for an underdog promo. Not being pessimistic, just realistic.

– We panned to The Miz/Maryse in their locker room. Miz name-dropped all his projects and why he’s a celebrity to worship. Most of his promos are like that. He hyped April 2 as his next “big premiere.” Say, isn’t that close to Mania?

– To conclude this recent wave of backstage promos, we heard from Natalya in regards to Nikki Bella’s fan support in lieu of their Falls Count Anywhere match. She took the chance to drop some zingers about how she was “manufactured in a factory” with “silicone insincerity” and bad wrestling skills. We just couldn’t help but love how much “silicone insincerity” rolls off the tongue. That should be a tag team name. Totally. Nice heel work for Natalya standards.

– The Breezango-WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha match was paint-by-numbers material to get AA over some more. BZ did manage to get a cheap shot to begin things, but that was about it. Jason Jordan noticeably slipped after he got out of an attempted BZ double suplex. We thought the finish was awesome though, as the Sky High Bulldog was an obvious homage to The Steiner Brothers. The magic in it all happened once The Usos emerged from the crowd, mics in hand and lit some fire as they called out the Champs and teased confrontation. It was almost like a freestyle rap. It actually works for them. It was almost hilarious in a way, but that’s a good thing here. That encounter’s also a matter of time. Nice hype device.

– Backstage, Styles was giddy as a schoolgirl as he was confident he was headed to the Mania main event. He also annoyed a backstage employee. That was interesting itself.

– Ziggler’s promo was more confusing than anything. We immediately dismissed the green screen “DZ” as lame, but then he superkicked it out of the shot and proclaimed the “play was an act.” Just, what?

– In the locker room, Rawley spoke about his recent luck of winning two Battle Royales in two weeks, but this one was special because it was Mania. Well, really? Also some boos were audible here, since we assume Rawley will not main event Mania. SmackDown just wouldn’t be ready for such a thing.

– Harper’s promo had the most intriguing angle to it because it was geared towards everything a Wyatt promo is known for – a hanging light amidst darkness, but instead it was a different purpose entirely. He was now free and if he won, Wyatt had nowhere to “run.” We were confident to call him the favorite, since a win would create a scenario where we could have a Triple Threat. Orton could insert himself back into the match to help Wyatt take Harper down. Oh, the possibilities.

– Bella was approached backstage about her thoughts for the match. She expressed her former sympathy for Natalya, but that was no more. All we were thinking here was “Isn’t this an excellent time for Natalya to attack Bella backstage again, since you know, Falls Count Anywhere.” She tried to sell a zinger as she called Natalya “The Broken Hart” but all we heard in our heads was the word “Delete.” You know.

– The Falls Count Anywhere match between Bella and Natalya started reminiscently of the brawl angle they had a month ago when Bella speared Natalya to the canvas. Bella getting a table wasn’t something we envisioned. Looked like Natalya took a kendo stick to the boobs. Of course, the barricade they went into in the crowd looked protected, but at least we got a nice Bella enziguiri spot off it. They teased a powerbomb spot with Natalya off the apron, but it was just an awkward minute where Natalya just had Bella’s hoo-hah in her face for too long. For what it was worth, Natalya suffered an Alabama Slamma on the announce table for two. They ended up backstage and for the second time, Bella was thrown into Maryse, as a contraption with curtains fell atop her as Natalya went into a glass mirror. We imagine she’ll get involved with the finish based off that alone. Our assumptions came true once she came out bearing a lead pipe and walloped Bella in the leg and mid-section while she had Natalya in a Bella Lock. Miz actually came out to restrain her, but the damage was done, as Natalya recouped the scraps and won. This obviously sets up a Maryse-Bella feud and we imagine the husbands likely get involved. Our only critique here would be that the lead pipe didn’t look like it hurt. It looked like what you end up with after you finish a roll of paper towels that she got hit with.

– Like a walking Frank Miller comic entitled “Lone Wolf,” Corbin talked up dreams of inflicting pain and destruction backstage while in the spotlight. How wonderful.

– Backstage, Crews addressed Ziggler taking out his leg and mistaking his kindness for weakness and that wouldn’t be the case anymore. Guess there will be an early elimination attempt?

– Out of the fog emerged Wyatt/Orton as the Champ remarked that Orton “earned the keys to the kingdom” and whoever won tonight would be his sacrificial lamb come Mania. Sounds about right.

– Gentleman Jack Gallagher cut a promo to hype a match with Tony Nese for 205 Live up next. Guess that’s all good since Gallagher faces WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville at Fastlane. He needs to get built up strong as a contender.

– The 10-Man Battle Royale to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at Mania between Cena, Styles, Kalisto, Ambrose, Ziggler, Corbin, Crews, Harper, Rawley and Miz started as Ambrose (last out) made a beeline right for Corbin. Guess he had good practice on that picture earlier. Rawley was first eliminated by Corbin. Kalisto had a brief nice showing, but was sidetracked when he messed up on a Salida Del Sol off the top rope on Ambrose. Ziggler eliminated Kalisto as he went for his mask and superkicked him off the apron. Crews eliminated Ziggler with a roundhouse kick. Ziggler took a chair (why wouldn’t he?) and beat on Kalisto, which distracted Crews and caused his elimination by Corbin. Crews ended up chasing Ziggler away. It was a car crash style as it went on. Better than we thought it would be. Miz took another shot at Bryan with the corner dropkicks, but his cockiness got the best of him when Cena swiftly eliminated him. There’s your connection to Maryse-Bella. There was also a great triple German suplex spot. Ambrose eliminated Corbin, which caused him to get revenge by way of End Of Days on the floor. That advances that. Miz then came back in to eliminate Cena. We basically love that this sparked some new feuds. Ambrose was eliminated by Harper after they/Styles had a dramatic standoff on the apron. It was left to Harper-Styles. Liked the close calls that they both had. As far as the finish, sigh. Harper appeared to have suplexed Styles to the floor first and didn’t actually fall at the same time, despite their attempts to make it look so. This became one of those lame “controversial decisions” scenarios. This is starting to become a thing every Battle Royale. Bryan simply came out to declare it an official draw and that there’d be a winner next week. We assume a Styles-Harper match? We did like that Harper took initiative to hit the discus clothesline on Styles. There was an increase in “Luke” chants, so we can tell he’s slowly getting over the way he needs to. Solid end as Wyatt/Orton appeared on the screen as the Champ laughed his way to the bank. Or swamp? Where do Wyatts laugh their way to? That’s a mystery for another time we guess.






Quick Results 

  • WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship – Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch via pinfall to become new Champion 
  • American Alpha def. Breezango via pinfall 
  • Falls Count Anywhere – Natalya def. Nikki Bella via pinfall 
  • 10-Man Battle Royale To Determine The #1 Contender To The WWE Championship At WrestleMania 33 – AJ Styles, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Kalisto, Dean Ambrose, John Cena, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley and Apollo Crews to an official draw; No winner determined 

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 November 22, 2017, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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