Wrestling’s 4Rs: The Right, Wrong and Ridiculous of WWE Smackdown
How the 4Rs of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. The column will run TWO-THREE times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a “mark” column, nor a “smark” column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
– John Cena & Nikki Bella d. James Ellsworth & Carmella [SQUASH]
– Alexa Bliss & Mickie James d. Becky Lynch & Natalya [**]
– #1 Contender’s Match- Randy Orton d. AJ Styles [***1/2]
Ambrose Looks For CorbinCurt Hawkins called out Dean Ambrose to avenge the pre match attack from last week. Ambrose came out and Hawkins tried to attack him in the entrance way but Ambrose laid him out with a clothesline and entered the ring to cut a promo. Ambrose said Corbin didn’t have the balls to come out and fight him. Corbin appears on the screen and reminded Ambrose that he doesn’t show up for anyone and tells Ambrose to enjoy what he has for now, as he is going to take everything from him, including the Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose decided to come to him this time around and he went to look for Corbin backstage. Corbin threw a security guard into Ambrose, allowing him to repeatedly nail Ambrose with a lead pipe to lay him out. Corbin found a forklift and drives the lift onto Ambrose, pinning him to the ground. Officials tried to rescue Ambrose as Corbin walked off. This was a much stronger segment than last week. The callback to Hawkins last week was a cute touch but the promos from both were much better and the backstage attack was well executed and gave off the dangerous vibe to Corbin that was expected based on the promos he cut in recent weeks.
#1 Contender’s Match- AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton: Styles controlled with a side headlock early but Orton escaped and sent Styles hard into the corner. Orton cut off a Styles comeback with an exploder suplex, sending Styles to the floor. Orton hit the back suplex onto the barricade but Styles came back with a chop block to regain control. Styles worked the leg of Orton but Orton took him down by the hair and began to clean house. Full nelson slam by Orton got a near fall. They head up top but Styles escaped and brought Orton head first onto the top turnbuckle. DVD back breaker by Styles got a near fall. They traded counters and Styles rolled Orton into the Calf Crusher but Orton fought his way to the ropes. Orton blocked a springboard attempt and caught Styles with the draping DDT. Pele by Styles and he faked out Orton who tried to go for the RKO when he went to springboard. Styles missed the 450 Splash and Orton hit the RKO for the win. This was a really good match, Styles continues to kill it every time he main events Smackdown. It was more grounded styled match that didn’t have to go into near fall overdrive to get the crowd engaged. They had some clever counter spots and I loved the way Styles’ worked the match, as he slowed his own paced down knowing the significance of the match and wanted to leave no room for error. This made the finish all the more incredible, as that fake out spot was absolutely amazing in drawing people into the idea that Styles had Orton in the one moment but he still came up just a tad short and lost in the end.
James Ellsworth and Carmella vs. John Cena and Nikki Bella: Before the match, Miz and Maryse came out and the distraction allowed Carmella to hit Nikki with a super kick. Carmella attempted to cut off Nikki from making a tag to Cena but Nikki dumped her to the floor and made the tag. Ellsworth was hesitant to enter the match but Carmella forced him to fight. Cena hit a Blue Thunder Bomb and Nikki laid Carmella out with a forearm, setting up a duel Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena and Nikki hit their finishers before locking in the STF, forcing both Ellsworth and Carmella tap. Cena and Nikki made out after the match but Miz and Maryse attacked and laid them out on the floor. Miz cut a promo after the match, saying Cena lived up to his reputation as a liar. He said he and Maryse’s relationship is based on love while Cena and Nikki’s is based on publicity and branding. He said Cena and Nikki spit on real relationships and Miz promised it to end it starting right now. The match itself was mostly a squash meant to put over Cena and Bella’s strength as a duo, so it was harmless fun at its core. The post match stuff was strong with Miz cutting yet another solid promo as this feud continues to be surprisingly engaging.
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch & Natalya: Natalya caught Bliss with a basement dropkick that missed by a mile and she fires away on James when she comes in. Bliss sneak attacked Lynch and took control but Lynch cut her off with a Dragon screw leg sweep. Bliss bailed and Lynch went after her but James got a cheap shot in of her own, allowing them to retake control. James hit a hurricanrana on Lynch and Bliss jumped on her in the ropes for a near fall. Lynch fought out of the heel corner and she hit an enzuigiri on Bliss. Lynch cleaned house on James but Natalya laid her out with a release German suplex before walking out. Bliss tagged herself in and covered for 3. Mickie laid out Bliss with a spin kick after the match and held up the Women’s Championship. Decent TV tag match for the women and particularly strong outing for Lynch, one of her better ones in some time. The partners turning on each troupe was lazy and predictable and really didn’t generate any heat for anyone involved in the match. I’m also annoyed they were so quick to break up the Bliss/James unit especially since their interactions will be insignificant in that mess of a match we are getting at WrestleMania.
Alexa Bliss’ Blissertation Alexa Bliss and Mickie James came out and Bliss talked about the list of people that won’t face her at WrestleMania which include Naomi, Nikki Bella & Carmella. She said it certainly won’t be Becky Lynch, cause she has already done everything to her humanly possible. Becky came out and declared she intended to take back her Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. This brought out Natalya who said she’s championship material much like Bliss. Bliss denied Natalya a title shot as well, calling her the worst there is, was and ever will be. Mickie James interrupted the bickering and said Bliss was going to announce her as the #1 Contender for WrestleMania. Bliss was confused by this and once again, everyone argued. Daniel Bryan came out and said that since Bliss claimed she was the best wrestler on the Smackdown Women’s Roster, he’ll give her the chance by facing every available women on the roster at WrestleMania. He also makes a tag match for right now. This segment was atrocious. The promos were god awful, especially from Natalya and Lynch who’s lined and bickering made them look like complete geeks. This was one of the weakest Bliss promos to date and the whole segment was a mess. I have no desire to see this match as Mania and this segment pretty much failed in every way of getting some buzz going for the match.