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WWE SmackDown Slays the Competition Heading into WrestleMania 33

Guys, we gotta talk about Smackdown.

WWE Smackdown has done their homework and has put their best foot forward on the road to WrestleMania.  To which the blue brand has been doing fairly well since the brand split, Tuesday night’s episode was top notch for me.  We had great matches and stellar work from the likes of The Miz, Baron Corbin and Bray Wyatt.  After years of subpar storylines and being called the second rated show, Smackdown is excelling beyond Raw.  Smackdown is living proof that the art pro wrestling in WWE is still alive in 2017.

The opening segment was hot from start to finish.  I think that while John Cena and Nikki Bella will finally get the chance to work together, I am excited to see how The Miz and Maryse will work together for this feud.  The Miz is still white hot regardless if Cena was allowed to run over his passion filled rant.  The attitude from Bella was great, and I wished the company would allow all of the women to do this especially with the Raw women.  Bella has been on fire since her return, and dare I say this is her best work to date.

There is no doubt that Corbin will be WWE’s next top star.  He is red hot and has been nothing short of excellent in this feud with Dean Ambrose.  The feud has been taken up another notch, and I can’t wait to see these two tangle at Mania.  Even though it was only a promo segment, both Ambrose and Corbin were short, sweet and to the point.  Both men will benefit in the long run and Ambrose’s days as Intercontinental Champion looks to be numbered.

I liked the fact that Apollo Crews showed his aggressive side against Dolph Ziggler in the Chair match.  However Ziggler has been on a hot run since turning heel.  That continues, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of this.  Crews needed this program with Ziggler, and with Smackdown’s good booking, my expectations are pretty high.

Seeds are planted for Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James with Bliss’ interference gone wrong during the two out of three falls match with Becky Lynch.  For this feud to have lasted months between the three ladies, I am not tired of it and won’t be anytime soon.  This feud has been done brilliantly and every woman has benefitted.  I definitely want to see Lynch and James tie up again soon.  Where Bliss factors in will be answered soon.  I won’t be mad if this ends up being a multi-woman match considering Naomi may return from injury in time for WrestleMania.

Natalya’s interruption with Bliss definitely sparked my interest.  I would absolutely love to see Natalya carry gold once more before she calls it a day in WWE.  She is also one of the more underrated performers in the entire company.

I said this on Facebook and via text with one of my girlfriends during the show, but AJ Styles and Luke Harper could have fought all night as far as I was concerned.  Like JBL (I think) said, Styles just doesn’t have a bad day at the office.  He doesn’t – and his match with Harper was easily the match of the night for me.  Harper is so underrated, and his match with Styles was a dream match most of us didn’t think of until tonight.  Harper is a future WWE Champion, and tonight showed why from his pre-match promo to the match itself.  I love me some Luke Harper.

I’m not a fan of the rumored Styles v. Shane McMahon match, but it looks like seeds are definitely planted for that too.  Personally I think Styles deserves better, and I am not sure how this will benefit him.   There was little hope in my fangirl heart that I would finally see Randy Orton v. AJ Styles someway, somehow at Mania.  Well, there still is, let me stop lying.  In case you don’t know, that’s one of my dream matches.

Speaking of Orton, that ending.  Shades of the Attitude Era were present throughout the segment and I was definitely surprised at how the betrayal of Orton happened.  I was not disappointed and Wyatt’s reaction was spectacular.  I don’t think he could have sold that better.  I was legitimately pumped after the show, and I haven’t felt this way in a long time about WWE programming.  This Orton and Wyatt feud is brilliant.  It couldn’t have happened to two better Superstars.  Orton’s sinister demeanor as he literally brought Wyatt to his knees was just so well done.  Everything with their feud came to a head in that moment.  Orton couldn’t have done any better as well as Wyatt.  I absolutely LOVED it.  Wyatt and Daniel Bryan’s feud was child play, yeah I said it.

I said this so many times, but Smackdown’s motto is ‘the higher the risk, the higher the reward’.  Everyone on Smackdown is ready for WrestleMania, and they are on their A game.  The only thing I could gripe about other than Cena is that Curt Hawkins’ return was in vain and the lack of tag action.  The brilliance of tonight’s show beneath the surface is that the matches didn’t feel rushed, the promos left you wanting more, and that Raw is in serious trouble.

All in all, Tuesday night’s episode is 100% why the blue brand is exceptionally better than WWE’s flagship show.  Raw has been put on notice for real.

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Sarah Hirsch

Pro wrestling fan that is new to the blogging world.

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