Another Valentine’s Day is over for another year and what better way to celebrate the holiday than by talking about professional wrestling. WWE SmackDown Live! is over for another week. Coming out of the Elimination Chamber Pay Per View, how did the Blue Brand of the WWE stack up this week?
I enjoyed the match between Becky Lynch and Mickie James. This was the match these two should have had on the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. The match these two had just two days later had more impact because one, the action in the ring was solid from bell to bell and two, the right person ended up winning the match. In order for people to take Mickie James seriously for her return, she has to get some wins over credible opponents. This match against Becky Lynch was great to showcase Mickie being a ruthless villain. If they are going to bring back these veterans to make an actual impact on the show, they need to make sure the veterans are not considered weak.
One thing I really hated on the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View was David Otunga stating that Mickie James had not been wrestling for seven years. That is a lie. Mickie of course has been wrestling for organizations like TNA during her time away from the WWE. Thankfully JBL came back stating that she had been wrestling across the world during that time away but I think Otunga’s miscue on commentary gave the impression that Mickie was not the type of athlete that she really is. He made it seem that she’d been relaxing for seven years doing nothing and just decided one day to come back to the ring. For a veteran like Mickie James to be effective, she has to be considered a threat to the current roster. Sure, I expect Mickie to lose more often than not. She’s there to elevate new talent like Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss. If the audience is made to feel that Mickie James is not much of a threat, apart from the nostalgia factor, we’re not going to care if Mickie wins or loses.
The main event of the show was a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship between AJ Styles, John Cena, and Bray Wyatt. Bray ended up winning the match by pinning John Cena clean in the middle of the ring. To close out the show, Randy Orton came out and said he had no plans of challenging Bray for the championship at Wrestlemania, which set into motion the announcement of a Battle Royal next week on SmackDown Live! to determine who will face Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship.
I will be shocked if Randy Orton is not involved in the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania. What I fully expect to see is Luke Harper winning the Battle Royal next week to ultimately make it a Triple Threat Match for the title between Orton, Harper, and Bray Wyatt. Since Erick Rowan is apparently cleared to compete again, it may end up a fatal-four-way match. Since there are about six weeks of story telling to get through on SmackDown before Wrestlemania, I get why they’re doing this but I do have to admit to being a little confused when I saw it go down.
Overall, the show was a tad boring to watch this week. It had it’s bright spots in the Mickie James, Becky Lynch match as well as the triple threat that closed the show. Overall, this was not a good follow up to an uninspired Pay-Per-View in Elimination Chamber. The bad part of that Pay-Per-View was the fact that it was a one match show. There was no other real interest in anything apart from the Elimination Chamber match itself. That isn’t always a bad thing, especially if the roster takes it as a challenge to one up each other by having the match of the night. For right now, the stories on SmackDown Live! are a little stagnant which does not make for great television, especially since they have so much time to fill coming into Wrestlemania.