For the second edition of SmackDown Live the WWE did a whole lot better than last week. Having JBL talk less was one part of it; having Daniel Bryan talk more wasn’t. The focus more and more turns towards Dolph Ziggler and I wonder how big the piece of cake will be for Dean Ambrose in this scenario. What actually happened and my thoughts and theories about it, you can read here. Enjoy!
Even though I highly doubt that any WWE official has read my article about the first SmackDown Live show from (but William Regal once did, so you never know!), the second show was far better because they actually corrected four main things that I criticized last week. And those were:
- Dean Ambrose should have been on commentary during the Six Pack Challenge; he usually adds to the specific match and it was illogical that he still came out after the match when he couldn’t care less about his next opponent before // Dean Ambrose is on commentary for Dolph Ziggler vs Bray Wyatt
- JBL is annoying in every role, it doesn’t matter if he’s face or heel // JBL talked less
- Bray Wyatt appeared like the nice guy that he is in real life // Bray Wyatt is back doing heel stuff
- Wasn’t AJ Styles supposed to be heel before the brand split? // AJ Styles cuts some heavy heel promo
So, it was good to notice that WWE either saw the bad stuff for themselves and corrected it immediately or listened to their fans. I guess it’s the first possibility but it’s still good that they did something for the better. And now straight to my little analysis of this second edition of SmackDown Live.
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon can’t walk backstage on their own before they’d met the entire roster and the whole security
Most important things first: next time, please hand out a sheet of paper with the names of the SmackDown Live roster in CAPITALS to Daniel Bryan, make him read it one-hundred times and write it down two-hundred times, so he won’t ever again mistaken Apollo Crews’ name for Apollo Creed. Some people already can’t wait for the day when he calls Chad Gable as Clark Gable. Just another point that makes it obvious that Daniel Bryan just isn’t made for a talking job.
So, Bryan & Shane not only met The Miz with Maryse to make a Triple Threat match for the #1 contendership to the Intercontinental Championship. Also Randy Orton crossed their paths. He got the security because of the RKO he hit Brock Lesnar with on RAW. And finally Dean Ambrose strolled by to announce that SmackDown Live was about to begin now with him addressing his people about the #1 contender for his title. The way he said it, made it clear to me that he likes Dolph Ziggler as much as I do.
Dean Ambrose tells the Showoff, he shall show off
Now, I’m pretty sure that Vince McMahon had a big hand in what Dean Ambrose said to Dolph Ziggler during their chit-chat inside the ring. But it was all true and some of those facts indeed annoy me about Dolph Ziggler. The man often uses Twitter to point out his frustrations about being in midcard or being ridiculed by stupid storylines or else.
It’s the same reason why Dean Ambrose doesn’t use Twitter or any other social media channel at all. But I think even if he did he would just use it in kayfabe, heel tweets when being heel; face tweets when being face. He wouldn’t write about personal stuff (except for hunting down spiders or writing to William Regal about his dead goldfish); he wouldn’t do Q&A and would hardly interact with fans. He certainly wouldn’t complain about stupidity or misuse about his wrestling alias in WWE.
Unlike his fans – included me – who were angry about his nicknames or use or character or booking, I think that Dean Ambrose is fine with everything that is thrown in his way. That’s the big difference between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler (also the very men behind those wrestling characters) and it was pointed out perfectly here by Dean Ambrose. And after Dolph Ziggler shouting at him his whiny life story of dreaming from WWE as a five-year-old but having to swim against the fish despite him being ‘that damn good’, Dean Ambrose closed his promo with telling him that he is not and this:
“It’s not because of conspiracy theories, not because of anybody’s holding you back or holding you down, you’re gonna find out what your real problem is. Your real problem is, you’re not as good as you think you are.
After Dean Ambrose went off, Bray Wyatt appeared to challenge Dolph Ziggler for a match for this show to prove that he’s worthy of this opportunity at SummerSlam. But in case Bray Wyatt wins, he would happily take his place.
A squashed Triple Threat & no match for the women
After Dolph Ziggler got his match from Bryan & Shane backstage to prove his worth to all people, the first match of the night started. It was the Triple Threat match between Kalisto, Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews for the #1 conterdership to the IC title with The Miz and Maryse on commentary. Within three minutes (plus one commercial break) Apollo Crews won this match by pinning Kalisto. Just before the end, Baron Corbin landed rather awkwardly on his back outside the ring. He shouldn’t do this very often.
But it wasn’t bad enough to keep him there. Instead, Baron Corbin made Kalisto feel that he made him responsible for the bad landing. Apollo Crews made it back inside the ring and a little brawl broke loose with Baron Corbin finally hitting The Miz with The End of Days. But, of course, Apollo Crews still is the #1 contender.
The Women’s Division of SmackDown Live got barely a few minutes of screen time when first, Becky Lynch and Eva Marie entered the ring for their match but apparently the entrance got Eva Marie a problem in her leg, so the match was off. And right after it Carmella and Natalya argued backstage, so we’ll have a match between those two later tonight. The really important fact about the women of SmackDown Live is that they’ll have their own title belt. I would like for all six of them to fight over it at SummerSlam.
American Alpha make their SmackDown Live debut & AJ Styles has got something to say to John Cena
They only had a squash win of 3:30 minutes against The Vaudevillains, without any storytelling, just high flying and grappling action. Plus, I still can’t believe that The Vaudevillains just don’t really work on the main WWE roster and are used as a lower midcard team. Maybe it’s partly because Simon Gotch is kind of trouble backstage (which I don’t get either), maybe it’s because most modern fans don’t really care about good gimmicks any more. If you dare, you can write me into the commentary section on this page, why you don’t like The Vaudevillains – or why you like them. It’s quite sad, but I guess that chivalry indeed is dead these days.
I was complaining about AJ Styles not being heel enough last week. So he needed to deliver this week. I need to point out that I haven’t seen anything about the guy in WWE so far. Because I’d hardly seen anything about WWE at all in recent months. Certainly I’ve heard the smarks yelling and screaming that he’s the best inside the ring but not so good on the mic. So, I was prepared for some cringy stuff from the man when he promised to address John Cena.
But the man himself came out before AJ Styles could even say one single word, and John Cena got a loud and very positive reaction from the crowd. Obviously, he wanted to hear AJ Styles’ words directed at his face. And what both men finally delivered basically was a slightly longer version of the previous Ambrose vs Ziggler promo. AJ Styles complained about not getting what he supposedly deserves – the Ziggler role – while John Cena said that he’s still in WWE and accepts any stupidity thrown at him, because he loves the wrestling business – basically what Dean Ambrose said, just in other words and with more focus on kids and families.
So, while John Cena is in the WWE for his love for it, AJ Styles is in the WWE because he want for John Cena to say that AJ Styles is better than him. That’s still no trophy for the man but maybe he just soft-pedaled his claims from the start to the end of this promo. Finally, AJ Styles challenged John Cena for a one-on-one match at SummerSlam and John Cena accepted.
Fandango is squashed by Randy Orton & Randy Orton is squashed by Brock Lesnar
You can take this match as a tiny little preparation for Randy Orton and his match at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. The security was out there to circle the ring but they still couldn’t stop Brock Lesnar from entering the ring and hitting an F5 to Randy Orton.
Right before Randy Orton was about to hit the RKO to Fandango after just three minutes of match time, Brock Lesnar appeared in the crowd and finally caused Disqualification to the match. There was no further brawl or beat-down; Brock Lesnar just wanted to return the favour. And later on he was see with Paul Heyman, both of them driving out of the arena and towards the sunset.
The before mentioned match between Carmella and Natalya was supposed to happen right before the main event. Carmella came out, doing a bit of variation to his usual entrance talking when out of nowhere Natalya attacked her from behind, hit the Sharpshooter on Carmella and then left her lying on the floor. That’s still no match for the Women’s Division and I began to wonder if that’s a tactic from WWE to make people anticipate the next women’s match of SmackDown Live really, really much.
Sorry, Dean, but it really is Dolph Ziggler for you at SummerSlam
For the stipulation match between Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose made his way out onto the commentary table. He probably didn’t want to miss the fun of a little beat-down this time. Right before we went back inside the arena, Dolph Ziggler was promised another championship match against Dean Ambrose if he just refuses Bray Wyatt’s challenge. So, Ziggler got the idea that Bryan & Shane don’t believe in him as well. Classic start to a heel turn for Ziggler, even though he’s already heel to me. Right now, there’s just too much focus on Dolph Ziggler in this storyline; there’s no real edge or deeper story to Dean Ambrose here. Maybe that will happen once Ziggler’s heel turn is completed.
Now, the main event really was a main event match because it had the story, some extra edge with the exposed turnbuckle plus a lot of praise for both opponents, hyping the match itself and actually talking about what went on inside the ring by Dean Ambrose on commentary. It probably hurt Bray Wyatt a little bit that Dolph Ziggler outsmarted him and used his idea and weapon against the supposed Face of Fear of the WWE – not great booking for Bray Wyatt here during the match. But Dolph Ziggler needed to be portrayed with a heelish manner, so someone had to play the victim, and that was Bray Wyatt. After about nine minutes (plus one commercial break) Dolph Ziggler won with the help of the exposed turnbuckle (it probably depends on the very referee if that’s a legal strategy / use of weapon).
To make Bray Wyatt look strong again, Erick Rowan attacked Dolph Ziggler after the match when the man taunted Dean Ambrose from standing on the ring ropes. For whatever reason, Dean Ambrose was out to beat up Erick Rowan and help (?) Dolph Ziggler. He probably just wanted to have an intact opponent for SummerSlam. But then, Dean Ambrose was just shoved outside the ring, and Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Dolph Ziggler. Maybe Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan are just there for the heel turn of Dolph Ziggler. But I still hope that the focus isn’t entirely on this part of the feud. Because it would make the WWE World Championship into nothing more than a nice little accessory to the shoulder of Dean Ambrose.