With Randy Orton being too brainwashed to take advantage of his shot to main event Wrestlemania against new World Champ bray Wyatt, Smackdown now has to name a new #1 contender and what better way to do that then through a hastily thrown together battle royal? So who is going to be lucky winner? I would bet every cent I own that it won’t be Apollo Crews. That you can take to the bank.
The Steiner Step-Brothers vs The Boo Yaa Tribe
Finally everyone involved in the American Alpha and Usos feud are healthy and we can get this whole thing popping. Its not a moment too soon either because if I had to watch AA wrestle mediocre teams like Breezango and The Ascension again I think I would scoop my eyeballs out with a spork.
So AA beating Breezango was forgettable but the Usos showing up post-match and going full on hood in their promo was worth sitting through that torture.
Battle Oh-So Royale
The battle royal match itself was actually a lot of fun (my issues with it can be read below) and it was given a decent amount of time on the show too which I didn’t expect. I just love battle royale matches personally (its why the Royal Rumble is my fave WWE PPV) so this match always had a very good chance of pleasing me.
Almost every guy got a moment to shine and even the nonsense rule that allows already eliminated guys to successfully eliminate guys still in the match didn’t bother me that much considering only served to bite John Cena in the ass and no one cares about being fair to Cena.
And the final two being AJ Styles and Luke Harper was perfect. AJ is awesome so him main-eventing Wrestlemania would be great regardless of who the champ is. Luke Harper winning would seamlessly fit into the break up of the Wyatt Family storyline that is already running. Sure the controversy was silly (how the hell do you have a draw in a battle royale?) since AJ obviously hit the floor before Luke did but making it a non-contest which forces a deciding match between Luke and AJ on the next episode of Smackdown goes a long way towards making Luke an even bigger solo wrestler. Now if he’d just dump that drunken handy man aesthetic he has going on his transformation would be complete.
Battle Not-So Royale
I like the idea of a #1 Contender Battle Royale and Smackdown giving each of the entrants a little solo promo segment was a nice touch but this 10 man battle royale exposed just how thin the Smackdown roster is and just how badly the creative minds at Smackdown have been at the job of elevating some of the middle of the pack guys to be seen as viable main eventers.
Sure guys like AJ Styles, John Cena, Miz, Diggler Corbin and even Ambrose make sense being in the battle royale and Luke Harper and Baron Corbin are the exception to the rule when it comes to guys being elevated. But Apollo Crews, Kallisto and Mojo Whatshisname? No one cares about those guys and no one has thoughts that these dudes would ever even get a title shot on Smackdown let alone main event Wrestlemania. Its time to either put some serious effort into making these lower rung guys into something better or maybe its time to stop hording guys like Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Shinzuke Nakamura and the like down in NXT and bring them up to the Blue Show.
Don’t Cry For Me, Smackdown
As big of a bummer as it is that Naomi is injured and cannot defend her newly won Women’s Title, things got even worse with the way Smackdown handled this whole thing. On the plus side they didn’t just hand the belt to Alexa Bliss like it was the Miss America crown but did we really need yet another Alex vs Becky Lynch match? Now if I were booking this I would have made it a triple threat match between Alex/Becky/Mickie James and I would have had Mickie win the belt.
As Alexa mentioned there needs to be a fighting Women’s champ for Smackdown heading into Wrestlemania and I can’t think of a better road to take then have the bitter veteran in James winning the title and setting it up for Becky to get her revenge by defeating Mickie at the biggest show of the year.
This Is Still A Thing?
I have made no secret of my how apathetic I am towards this Nikki Bella vs Natalya feud and not even a Falls Count Anywhere match did much to change that opinion. What was most infuriating about this match is that Natalya had multiple instances where she was about to perform what looked like it would be a really cool ECW style move on Nikki but Nikki always fought out of it and then retaliated with a move that was nowhere near as interesting as what Natalya was attempting to do.
And no one getting a decent paycheck could come up with a better reason for Maryse to get involved in the match by attacking Nikki than her accidentally being thrown into Maryse backstage? That was cheap and lazy.
Dean Ambrose Still Continues Sucks