Smackdown Live! is over for the week. The Blue Brand of the WWE builds it’s roster towards the Royal Rumble. On this episode, we had John Cena face off against Baron Corbin as well as a Tag Team Championship Match between American Alpha facing off against The Wyatt Family. To top things off, we had an encounter between Dean Ambrose and The Miz. How did this week’s show fare?
I have to say, the tag team match was a bit of a disappointment. We had American Alpha in their first real test as Smackdown Tag Team Champions against The Wyatt Family and for the most part, the champs were an afterthought in the match. I get why that was. They wanted to focus on the tensions between Luke Harper and Randy Orton. Yet in doing so, they sacrificed a chance to make the new Champions look like they deserve the titles. They didn’t win the match. The Wyatt Family lost the match with a stupid case of interference from Luke Harper. What I guess we’ll see within the next couple weeks is Randy Orton reveal that the only reason he joined the Wyatt’s was to play mind games with them and that’s fine. I just didn’t care for the fact that they wasted a chance to get the audience behind American Alpha. You could see the audience sitting quietly as the champs made their way to the ring which is sad because they are a talented duo.
I loved the mic work of The Miz and Dean Ambrose to open the show. It was simple yet effective work which continues an interesting feud. One of the biggest success stories of the brand split has to be The Miz. I don’t know what happened but he’s got a fire in his performance that hasn’t been there in a long time. While I doubt we’ll see him reach Main Event status again, I do see him taking the role that Mr. Perfect had back in the late 80’s, early 90’s of the athlete who is the gate keeper to the Main Event. If you could have a good feud with Mr. Perfect back in the day, you moved on to face Hulk Hogan at some point. He was your litmus test to see if you could handle working at the top of the card. Don’t take that as a knock against The Miz. Not everyone can be the star quarterback on the team. Yet coaches love that one player that helps make everyone better and The Miz is quickly becoming that guy. And honestly, I’ll be more than happy to eat my words if he gets a shot at the WWE Championship again.
The match that closed the show was Baron Corbin vs John Cena. I was a little worried about this match coming into it because I simply haven’t seen enough from Corbin to make me think he deserves the spot they’re giving him yet he ended up impressing me in the end. John Cena ended up winning the match which was the right call yet Corbin comes out looking better despite the loss.
I would recommend a couple things for his character however. One, he needs some major help on the mic. He has to be able to believably deliver the lines given to him which he currently isn’t doing. While the WWE shies away from it, if they see money in this guy, a manager would do him a huge favor by being the mouthpiece he needs now as well as being someone who can coach him on delivery. Second, I want to see more emotion from him in the ring. He gives no facial expressions which takes me out of his matches. If you’re building him up as a lone wolf who loves beating people, have him smile occasionally. Show him enjoying beating someone. He doesn’t have to have a goofy grin for the length of a match, just have him work someone over and give one brief smile. It would show some personality.
Overall, I would say the show was a lackluster effort this week. It wasn’t bad by any means. It just lacked a big moment that made this a show that you need to revisit.