AJ, SHANE, & BRYAN BACKSTAGE- Fine.
AJ wants to know whenhis rematch is and tells them that he doesn’t want it to be in the Elimination Chamber. He wants a one-on-one rematch. We find out that the people in the Elimination Chamber will be Cena, AJ, Miz, Ambrose, Bray, and Corbin. This will, of course, once again show why it is stupid to book an Elimination Chamber- or really any other elimination match, but especially the Elimination Chamber where you can’t have anyone interfere- just for the sake of having one: because now guys like AJ and Corbin who should not be getting beaten will have to be pinned.
Ambrose shows up and is annoying for a moment and then starts to leave. AJ says “good. Get out of here!” or something to that effect so Dean turns around and insults him… and we are actually going to get a clean blow-off to AJ vs. Dean. Color me surprised. Of course, AJ shouldn’t be losing now and neither should Dean so I’m sure this will end in some sort of bullsh*t, but just the fact that they are acknowledging that the issue should still be alive is good.
JOHN CENA PROMO & EGMENT WITH THE WYATTS-
Pretty much the first thing he did was put AJ over huge, which essentially had to be done for the purposes of damage control, and it’s good to see that they realize this. Orton and Wyatt come out and I immediately don’t care.
Bray says he is going to win the World Heavyweight Title at Elimination Chamber. Instead of being upset about this, Randy said what amounts to “and even if you manage to retain the title and beat Bay, then I will have my turn to take it from you.” So is Randy really supposed to be a true believer in Bray Wyatt right now? Because that is just way too out of character for me to accept.
Anyway, they go to fight Cena but Harper magics himself into the ring to stand with Cena and the Wyatts are scared off. Shane came out and booked this match for right now.
Two observations here:
1. So did Bryan and Shane really not have anything booked for five of their top six guys when the show started?
2. So does this mean that Harper has his own magic?
JOHN CENA & LUKE HARPER vs. THE WYATT FAMILY (Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton)- 5/10
The story they tried to tell was that Harper would fight Orton but wouldn’t lay his hands on Bray, which I thought was tremendously stupid because they made a big deal of Harper attacking Bray at the Royal Rumble! As a result I didn’t like this match very much. Also, Randy pinning Cena makes no sense, whereas Bray doing it would at least justify his presence in the Elimination Chamber.
That Elimination Chamber commercial with the guy playing the piano is terrible and needs to go. What sort of dumbass even comes up with something this bad? Who gets told “we need something to hype up this dangerous steel structure that our main event will be in” and decides that the best way to do this would be to mute all of the sounds of the wrestlers crashing into the steel structure and screaming in pain, and play piano music instead?
DELILAH DAWSON vs. CARMELLA (w/James Ellsworth)- no rating, good segment.
Ellsworth appears in his Carmella-approved garb and gives her a long, fancy introduction. It was great.
I was shocked by the amount of heat they got then Ellsworth tripped Dawson up to set up for the Code of Silence.
Dawson wears blue gear and has blue hair, which set JBL off on one of the most annoying tangents I have ever heard an announcer go on. I was hoping that Mauro was just going to calmly stand up, pull one of the monitors out of the desk and use it to beat JBL into unconsciousness. As for his crime, check out the first stupid announcer quote below.
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KALISTO- 2.25/10
Dolph wins a short match by using the referee as a shield to hit his finish. After the match he tried to take Kalisto’s mask off but Apollo Crews made the save, something they pointlessly telegraphed by showing Crews watching the match backstage. Anyway, we’re back to where we were a few weeks ago as the tedious cycle continues.
DASHA INTERVIEWS BECKY & NAOMI- both women were very good.
ALEXA BLISS! & MICKIE JAMES vs. BECKY LYNCH & NAOMI- 4.5/10
The camera angle they used for the Glitz Flip made it quite clear that Alexa didn’t actually touch Naomi with any significant force. Naomi wasn’t always at her best, either, but Becky and Mickie were both very good. Alexa getting pinned here feels pointless and redundant. I would have just used promos to build this feud up this week, then done this match next week with Mickie cheating to pin Becky.
DASHA INTERVIEWS AMERICAN ALPHA- great stuff. They’re annoyed at not having an challengers, so they’re going to go out and make an open challenge.
AMERICAN ALPHA MAKE AN OPNER CHALLENGE- and every single team comes out. You know… because they all actually want the titles. It turns into a big schmoz. Referees come out to try to break it up but they can’t because there are only five of them. The y brawled all through the commercial break. It got boring pretty quick. Eventually it was American Alpha and the Authors of Campaign left standing and nothing came of that.
BRYAN, NATTIE, AND NIKKI IN BRYAN & SHANE’S OFFICE- fine
I liked them using the phone call as a little acknowledgement that Brie still exists. Nattie shows up with her own personal security, one of whom looks like he might be related to Jonathan Coachman. She says they are because she doesn’t feel safe at work with Nikki running around attacking her. She says “I assume, though, that the reason you brought me here is to talk about my new merchandise.” I hope that they are actually giving Nattie some new merch. From a kayfabe POV, it seems like the sort of thing can’t possibly hurt the situation but might actually help smooth Nattie over.
Nikki shows up, too, and is shocked that Nattie would stoop so low as to hire personal security. Bryan tries to talk calmly but they keep talking over him until he screams “ENOUGH!” at the top of his lungs, which is something I imagine would happen on every episode of Total Divas if that show was a shoot. He tells them that he has booked them against each other at Elimination Chamber.
JBL’s attempt to explain the rules of the Elimination Chamber went WAY too fast to keep track of.
AJ STYLES vs. DEAN AMBROSE- 7.75/10
Miz is on commentary to let us know that there will be a f*ck finish in this here main event. He argued with Otunga about, of all people, Baron Corbin. Right before the commercial break, Corbin came out to watch the match. When we come back from commercial, he is on commentary, too, so now we’ve got five people talking, six people sitting there with headsets on (Tom Phillips) and seven people sitting there (Maryse).
Miz and Corbin argued a lot, completely ignoring the great match in the ring. They wind up brawling, which results in the referee being distracted so he doesn’t see Dean getting a visual pinfall on AJ. AJ then pins Dean with the Styles Clash. Then Miz hits Dean with his finisher. Then Corbin hits both Miz and Dean with his finisher.
I really wish someone would confiscate those “10” signs. Or even better, force the fans that brought them to eat them. That’s a suitable punishment for premeditatedly engaging in stupid bullsh*t that takes away from the match in the ring.
A decent episode of Smackdown.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. During the Carmella match, JBL was screaming at Mauro for having to nerve to “call this like it’s a serious match.”
This should be a firing offense.
2. Among other things in the above match, JBL yell at Mauro asking “how do you know her name?!”
Because Mauro spends his time concentrating on calling the match rather than on burying the wrestlers in and around it as jokes.
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