Written by: JR
The opening segment with Orton was not well received by the crowd at all. He received a fair share of boos and in typical Orton fashion he did a poor job of showing a poker face. When Wyatt appeared via satellite, there was a noticeable shift in the crowd atmosphere as he received a large amount of cheers. Wyatt used his “powers” to appear behind Orton and began to fight him. During the fight Erick Rowan appeared with a modified sheep mask and began to attack Orton with his fellow Wyatt Family member. During this 2 on 1 attack, Luke Harper hurried to the ring to assist Randy Orton which forced the Wyatt Family to retreat. This would plant the seeds for a tag team match later on tonight. Earlier in the segment, Bray challenged Orton to a “House of Horrors” match in the future. Based on the previous laughably bad Wyatt segments that were supposed to be “creepy”, I have VERY low expectations for this match. I hope that I’m wrong about the match but none of the writers have been capable of effectively writing for the Bray Wyatt character.
The Women’s Championship match was a decent TV match. Naomi did a great job of selling her knee injury and was consistent with it during the match. For Alexa Bliss’ future she most likely will be sent to Raw for next week’s “superstar shakeup”. If she isn’t moved they should keep her away from the title picture for a while.
Tye Dillinger’s main roster debut was very well received by the crowd. The “10” chant is extremely over and had been frequently heard for months and especially was heard at Wrestlemania and Raw this week. If I were to grade Dillinger as a talent, I would give him a B-/C+. Dillinger is someone who has been part of WWE’s developmental system for numerous years and just recently became over with the fans with his Perfect 10 gimmick. He probably will never be a World Champion but he will be a great midcard wrestler who has a great connection with the fans and is dependable in the ring.
The Mojo Rawley segment was bad. I understand that the WWE wants to milk his friendship with Rob Gronkowski but they need to modify his character. His “Stay Hyped” gimmick is similar to a stereotypical college fraternity member who goes out to clubs, has fun, and wants to be the life of the party. The fans however hate it and can’t relate at all which explained why boos were heard when he appeared on the screen.
*Randy Orton opening promo
-Interrupted by Wyatt via satellite; challenged Orton to a “House of Horrors” match
-Erick Rowan returned to attack help Bray fight Orton
-Luke Harper came down to fight off Bray and Erick Rowan
*Miz and Maryse backstage interview
*Women’s Championship match: Naomi defeats Alexa Bliss
*Tye Dillinger’s main roster debut
*Tye Dillinger defeated Curt Hawkins
*Mojo Rawley backstage interview
*Miz and Maryse in-ring segment mocking John Cena and Nikki Bella
The Miz and Maryse in-ring segment involved them mocking John Cena and Nikki Bella in similar fashion to their Total Bella parody skits. The highlight of the segment and of the entire night was the main roster debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. His debut is a must watch for everyone. Nakamura has captivating charisma and a superstar presence that will make him a main event staple. Although Nakamura didn’t say a word to The Miz, Nakamura’s presence was felt that night and unfamiliar fans were able to get a glimpse of his dynamic personality.
The Street Fight with Corbin and Ambrose was a good match. It was much better than their subpar WrestleMania quarrel but then again that’s not saying much. I was surprised that the match wasn’t for the Intercontinental Championship but I have a feeling that Corbin will take the title pretty soon.
AJ Styles and Shane McMahon had a nice exchange and Styles showed signs of a face turn by shaking Shane’s hand for their Wrestlemania match. Unfortunately, Styles’ promo forshadowed a move to Raw for next week’s “shakeup”. He mentioned that he wanted to stay on Smackdown and he stated that he helped make Smackdown the great show that it currently is. The Nakamura acquisition is bittersweet for Smackdown because this most likely means that AJ will be sent to Raw next week.
The main event was decent on a wrestling level but on a storyline level it was lackluster. A part of the match involved Bray using his “powers” to make the lights go out. Usually when the lights come back on, he has teleported away from the ring or someone new will appear. However, when the lights came back on Bray was seen on the entrance ramp and nothing else had really changed. His team lost the match and the show ended in unspectacular fashion. Another noteworthy part of the match was the underwhelming response Orton got from the crowd for his entrance. It’s already evident that giving Orton the WWE Title at Wrestlemania was a poor booking decision. On the flip side, Wyatt’s title reign was very forgettable so it’s a lose-lose situation regardless of how their rematch ends.
*Miz and Maryse segment interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura
*Street Fight: Baron Corbin defeated Dean Ambrose
*Shane McMahon in ring promo about the superstar “shakeup”
-Interrupted by AJ Styles
*Randy Orton and Luke Harper defeated Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan
The most important part of Talking Smack was the surprise appearance of The Usos. They expressed their frustration about not defending the Tag Titles at Wrestlemania and not getting any TV time for tonight’s episode. Shane McMahon was filling in for Daniel Bryan as the co-host and said that they could defend their titles next week. I’m glad that this problem has been addressed because the Tag Team Division has been neglected for many weeks. Hopefully after the shakeup the Tag Team Division will be revitalized and rejuvenated with new direction.
The Usos made a surprise appearance
Overall show: This was an episode that was highlighted by the debuts of Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura. The show had a lot of filler parts but after the roster shakeup Smackdown will have all the parts needed to go back to normal. The only parts of the show that I recommend watching are the Nakamura and Dillinger debuts as well as the Corbin-Ambrose match.