The newly rechristened WWE Smackdown Live! kicked off with the “hot sauce” last week. They showcased the new era talents, many coming from NXT. We were informed of a couple of surprise returns. There were fresh segments and new camera angles. They even gave us an unpredictable main event finish, which named Dolph Ziggler the new #1 Contender to Dean Ambrose‘s WWE World Heavyweight Title. The end of this show left everyone wondering, can Ziggler still hang in the main event scene?
This week’s show looked to answer that question with Dolph being the clear focus of the night. He delivers a great promo in a segment with the champ, and, in the main event, he puts his #1 Contender status on the line in a successful defense against Bray Wyatt. Superkick! Not to be outdone, AJ Styles and John Cena have a strong back-and-forth, with Styles lobbing a particularly salty insult on the Nashville audience. This sets up their tie-breaker match for WWE SummerSlam on August 21st.
Looming over the event’s proceedings was the impending retaliation by WWE 2K17 coverboy –to which you can view Moody’s first Roster Reveal here— “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar for “The Legend Killer” Randy Orton‘s RKO “Outta Nowhere” on WWE RAW. It came in the form of a thunderous F5 Tuesday night in the middle of Orton’s match with Fannndannnnngooooo.
Match of the night? A toss-up between the main event and NXT strongholds, the new Steiner Bros., American Alpha vs. those pesky, but not-so-nifty anymore Vaudevillains. New Smackdown colorman David Otunga must’ve been ready, willing and Gable to meet these dudes for brews later, because he was all over their shit. And justiably so.
Overall, a solid second showing for #SDLive— with the drawback being for a product known as the “wrestling” show there wasn’t that many actual matches (4).
Thangs done changed.