The AJ Styles vs. John Cena and the Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz feuds are heating up. Also, we may have the Dolph Ziggler heel turn developing slowly and we may have more participants announced for the Royal Rumble tonight. However, let’s talk about what really matters tonight, Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a Steel Cage tonight! Will it be awesome? Probably. Will Mickie James debut tonight? Doubtful…Let’s find out!
WWE brings Smackdown Live to you from the FedEx Forum at Memphis, Tennessee.
The show opens up with a little video hyping the Steel Cage Title Match between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch later on. The Steel Cage is shown hanging above the ring.
Shane McMahon’s music hits and he heads to the ring. He talks about the Royal Rumble two weeks away and mentions some guys who are competing in the match. Shane says Smackdown Live have a last stop before Wrestlemania in 8 weeks when the WWE World Championship is defended inside the elimination Chamber, AJ Styles’ music hits interrupting Shane. AJ comes out and they talk about Shane expecting AJ to defend his title but Shane brings up he might not even be champion at that point. A big “AJ Styles” chant breaks out and Shane praises AJ’s in ring skills but says he doesn’t like his attitude. AJ starts barking again about defending his title at the Elimination Chamber when John Cena’s music hits and he comes out.
AJ doesn’t let Cena speak and calls Shane stupid. AJ asks who is next to challenge him while still mad about defending his title when The Miz’ music hits and he comes out with Maryse. The Miz says he is going to the main event of Wrestlemania, by winning the Royal Rumble or winning the Elimination Chamber. AJ talks to The Miz about him being delusional and brags about what he’s done, Cena starts making comments to make AJ and The Miz fight which works when Shane books AJ vs. The Miz next as Cena just stands back. Opinion: Strong segment for everyone, I loved how Shane announced the Elimination Chamber and how AJ just complains about defending the title, it makes it easier to process the amount of PPV’s we’re having.
Dean Ambrose and Shane McMahon are talking backstage when Dean said he wanted to be in the Elimination Chamber but Shane said they could talk about it, then Dean asked for a new championship belt but Shane said there is only one belt, so Dean then asked for a match with Randy Orton because of the beating he took from the Wyatts some weeks ago and Shane agreed.
1) AJ Styles vs. The Miz.
In a match where both guys’ styles clashed (Yes, that is an intentional pun and it was great because it actually happened so shut up), The Miz defeated AJ Styles by DQ in about 14 minutes when AJ tried pushing Miz into Cena but Cena punched him away. Opinion: As I said before, this match was a “styles clash” and it was a heel vs. heel match. It was a mixture of a really flashy match like AJ likes and a much safer and slower match like The Miz likes, which is why I think the match wasn’t as well received from the live crowd.
Nikki Bella is walking backstage heading to the ring.
Nikki Bella makes her way to the ring, when she gets there she calls out Natalya to settle what they started last week. Natalya appears through the crowd and tells Nikki to look at the titantron, Natalya appears on the merch stand on the titantron as Nikki starts going after her. Natalya takes Nikki’s merchandise and throws it to the ground, she complains about not having merch as she takes a bunch of things and starts walking away. Nikki finally gets there and jumps into Natalya breaking a table and continues the attack on the stand as staff members try to break it up.
Opinion: This feud is really heating up, it seems personal, at times it seems like they are trying too hard for it to be personal but its working. Hopefully Natalya just doesn’t jobs to Nikki.
Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton is hyped for later.
Alexa Bliss is interviewed backstage about her title match later on. She says she is not afraid and she will walk out still the champ and in a way no one will ever forget.
The Hall of Fame video package for Kurt Angle is played.
Dean Ambrose makes his entrance followed by The Wyatt Family.
2) Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose.
In a really enjoyable 11 minute match, Dean Ambrose defeated Randy Orton by pinfall with a roll up after Orton was distracted with Luke Harper getting into the ring.
After the match, Luke Harper got into the ring again and he and Orton started punching each other before Bray split them up. Bray then punched Luke with Orton smiling which led to Luke Harper to leave the ring. Opinion: Good match, not great but still good just to keep going this thing between Orton and Harper which is also picking steam up and hopefully leads to a high profile match for the whole Family at Wrestlemania.
Becky Lynch is interviewed backstage. Becky says she remembers Alexa’s face two weeks ago when she made her tap out and Alexa won’t leave tonight as champion.
Jerry “The King” Lawler is introduced for his “King’s Court” segment. Jerry talks about Memphis a bit and then introduces Dolph Ziggler. Jerry starts talking about Dolph’s situation and his attitude change, and then shows a video of Dolph’s attack on Kalisto and Apollo Crews last week. Dolph doesn’t say a word and is already leaving but Jerry convince him to stay and talk, Dolph says he knew Jerry was going to try to make him look bad and then plays a video of Dolph beating up Jerry on RAW 2012. Ziggler says that is him hitting elbows on Lawler’s chest minutes before he had a heart attack and he knows Lawler blames him and he should blame Ziggler. Dolph says if Jerry keeps going with his questions, he’ll finish what he started 4 years ago, Jerry said he had one more question and pretty much asked him how did it feel to forever be a loser. After this, Ziggler hit Lawler in the chest with a Superkick and Ziggler left as JBL rushed to the ring to help Lawler. Dolph leaves as Lawler keeps on screaming to him in the ring. Opinion: Great segment! Much better than I expected, I honestly expected Ziggler explaining his frustration and stuff but it helped Ziggler so much to make it look like he caused a real heart attack that really shocked fans when it happened. Great segment all around.
Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and says the Wyatt Family are entering the Royal Rumble Match but first they need to solve a personal issue so next week, Luke Harper and Randy Orton will fight and after that, they will be stronger than ever.
The Steel Cage starts lowering and Becky Lynch makes her entrance followed by Alexa Bliss.
3) Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss. Smackdown Women’s Championship in Steel Cage Match.
In a satisfying match that I may have overhyped, Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch by pinfall with a DDT after La Luchadora attacked Becky when she had the Disarmer locked in.
After the match, Becky and La Luchadora continued the attack on Becky until Becky turned the tables and unmasked La Luchadora to reveal she is in fact Mickie James. (MICKIE MOTHERFUCKING JAMES). Alexa attacked Becky from behind and Mickie and Alexa celebrated in the ring. Opinion: Holy Shit! It actually was Mickie James! When La Luchadora appeared she clearly wasn’t Deona Purazzo anymore but to be honest, I thought Mickie would look…bigger in the suit, but she looks great and this storyline is going to be great and having Mickie in the division and as a heel is about to be awesome.
That’s Smackdown Live! Now this may the best episode of Smackdown Live that did not have any title changes or any major development in storylines or surprises apart from Mickie James’ return. This was a simple yet effective episode that had a bit of everything. It only had three matches but they were all great and every segment felt like it was important. Yeah, this way we don’t get to see most of the roster but it makes for 2 fun hours of wrestling. Oh, and I really wanted to see Carmella and Ellsworth interact but I guess I’ll just wait. Final Rating: 8.9 out of 10.
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