Thanks to both football and a (still) ongoing move to a new house, my relationship with pro wrestling has been far too limited in 2017. But I always find time for the “A-Show.”
WWE SmackDown LIVE opens this week with a helpful recap of the Ambrose-Miz feud. Over the last three weeks, people were slapped and a title changed hands. The new Intercontinental Champ comes out to start the show. JBL goes into a forced diatribe about Ambrose’s face not being good for the company. If I recall, he said the same stuff when Ambrose was WWE Champion. I say that if Ambrose is tagging Renee Young, then his face is probably just fine.
Not the Ambrose Asylum. The first bit of news is Ambrose is entering the Royal Rumble. He also wanted a live alligator for the show, but there’s something about permits. I see we’re back to “goofy Dean,” which is never a good thing. Miz, who was presumably going to be Ambrose’s guest, comes out to interrupt. He too will be in the Rumble. He also wants his title to be handed back to him because Ambrose coerced the ref to continue the match last week, when it should have ended in a DQ. Ambrose instead hands him a “Participation Trophy” (nice call-back!). Miz responds with a cheap shot, followed by a good old fashioned heel beatdown. Maryse goes to slap Ambrose, but misses and hits Miz instead. This allows Ambrose to recover and hit Dirty Deeds. Play his music to end the segment! This was the last we saw from either man on the show.
Tonight: Cena vs. Corbin! American Alpha vs. The Wyatts! Nikki Bella vs. Natalya!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 11, 2017
Hmmm….not sure there was one that particularly stood out this week. I’d hoped to be putting “Baron Corbin beats John Cena” in this spot, but alas. Luke Harper accidentally kicking Bray Wyatt was a nice twist, however, and I’ll give that the honor instead.
Note that it will sound like I’m contradicting myself when we get to the “What Fell Short” section. But the Wyatts losing and the Wyatts breaking up, while obviously related, are two separate things. The tension between Harper and Bray was a bit of a curveball and I think it worked. I can see this leading to a three-way feud and it wouldn’t be surprising if the tension really came to a head in the Royal Rumble match, which I assume all three guys will work.
Speaking of the Rumble, throughout the show they did several “Remember The Rumble” promos. This obviously plays off the “Remember The Alamo” slogan since the show is in San Antonio. This year’s lineup (one-third of the field set) looks pretty strong, at least so far. They showed Cena winning in ’08, which was one of the better Rumble matches ever. (There are only three that I would rate higher).
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