WWE Smackdown Live Results and Review: Ambrose and Styles Face-to-Face (September 6, 2016)

WWE Smackdown Live Results and Review

Air date: September 6, 2016

We Write Wrestling – @WeWriteWrestlin

The competition between Smackdown and RAW heats up tonight, even though it seemed to cool down the night before. Listen, I don’t review RAW on here, but it doesn’t take a Monday Night expert to say that the show was terrible last night. Let’s hope that Smackdown can top that tonight, as we head to Smackdown’s first brand exclusive PPV in just 5 days. Will anything big or monumental happen just days before Backlash? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s head to the ring to kick off the show.

Opening Segment

This episode of Smackdown starts with the intro video first, something that we don’t see too often. It is nitpicking, but I honestly hope they start the show off with a small segment formula instead, examples being what they have done the past few weeks. But putting that aside, the show starts off with Daniel Bryan in the ring and the Women’s championship beside him. Daniel Bryan quickly sells the 6-pack challenge that will be at Backlash, mentions a women’s match that will be later, then introduces Becky Lynch for an interview. Becky cuts a decent promo, but then Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Naomi and Nikki Bella all come out, and do what you could call a “brawl”.

But this brawl, wasn’t much of a brawl. Nikki Bella got a cheapshot, and the team of heels ran away. This segment was very weak compared to what opened RAW this week, but it did set up the match later on (6 woman tag match with heels vs babyfaces), and it did plug the PPV which is the main purpose of this specific episode. RAW’s open was outstanding, but this interrupting of others talking and eventually brawling was the type of formula I was hoping would be left with the old Smackdown. The micwork wasn’t all too bad in this segment, but Carmella is definitely the weakest link out of the division when it comes to talking.

Match 1: The Miz (w/ Maryse) vs Apollo Crews

After the commercial break we come back to Daniel and Shane discussing what just happened in the ring, but they get rudely interrupted by The Miz and Maryse. The Miz complains about his title match against Dolph Ziggler for the IC title at Backlash before he heads out for his match up next. The were right behind the curtain to the stage while this happened, and The Miz walked out to the ring just as the segment ended. I thought it was pretty cool because I haven’t seen WWE do a backstage segment like that before, and it was a great idea that I hope to see again in the future.

But let’s talk less about technical camerawork and more about technical wrestling. The Miz faces Apollo Crews in the first match of the show. One thing to note, the challenger for the IC title on sunday, Dolph Ziggler was ringside on commentary for this match. Apollo kicked this match off with some great spots, like a backflip off the apron, onto Miz who was on the floor. This match was greatly led by Crews, but Miz got the cheap win by distraction, then the Skull Crushing Finale. I think this match was great, and it most likely directed more heat towards Miz, which is what you really need when you face such a bland guy like Dolph Ziggler.

Match 2: Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch and Naomi vs Natalya, Alexa Bliss and Carmella

Before our 6 woman tag match, Bray Wyatt cuts a very boring promo on Randy Orton, that seemed to put the crowd to sleep. It sure put me to sleep, it was the first time I was ready to sleep at 10 in a long time! But after that slumberfest, Bella, Lynch and Naomi team up against Natalya, Bliss and Carmella even though it will be every woman for themselves on Sunday. Carmella seems to be doing a terrible job being a heel, because her entrance, catchphrases and tone have remained the exact same since she was a face. Maybe they just turned Carmella heel so that they could have an even number of faces and heels in the 6-pack challenge this Sunday, but I sure hope that Carmella turns back to babyface soon.

This match was not good. Like at all. The middle of the match was full of restholds, and the finish to the match was completely botched. It was supposed to end with Alexa Bliss nailing her finisher, Becky tackling her to the outside, and Nikki losing to Carmella via submission. What really happened was that Bliss completely missed her finishing move, Becky tackled Bliss to the outside at the slowest speed possible, and she got caught in the ropes. Carmella did her finisher, and that ended the match that was filler and cheap promotion for the Sunday match.

Match 3: The Usos vs American Alpha (Tag Team Tournament Semifinal Match)

The Tag Team Tournament continues on tonight in the semifinals with the very new American Alpha facing off against The Usos. This match was quite the shocker, with it ending in under one minute. American Alpha get jumped by The Usos while walking to their corner, but AA was able to pull it together and hit their finisher to move on. This match genuinely shocked me, and that’s what was great about this match. You have to have shockers every once in a while, and that’s what made this match stand out.

After the match, The Usos shake hands with American Alpha, but they jump the team once again, this time possibly doing damage. Chad from AA got targeted very much on the left leg, with a Superkick to the back of the leg and a frogsplash onto the leg. I think that The Usos could be great heels, if it’s played right. Attacking and possibly injuring the most over team right now could give them great heat, and they could easily go from there.

A collection of useless segments

The commentators after the break also did a great job at selling how serious the “injury” from Chad Gable could be, and they did a great job at making The Usos look like monsters. Before our in-ring altercation, we get an interview by Randy Orton backstage, and he tells the most long, boring and built up story about a fictional man being jumped by a snake. This story depicted Randy as the snake, and Bray as the man. It was very boring, and seemed like a big flop.

We go down to the ring after the Orton interview, with Fandango trying to find a dance partner. After the person he found ringside didn’t do the job, he calls to the backstage for any dance partners. Kane comes out, and eventually chokeslams Fandango. End of segment. Is this what the Smackdown filler feels like? RAW usually has an hour of these weird and useless segments, but Smackdown only has around 10 minutes every week. It’s like a supercut of what WWE threw in minutes before the show went live. These 10 minutes are so WTF worthy every week that we could make it a past midnight Adult Swim show and it would blend right in.

Match 4: The Hype Bros vs Heath Slater and Rhyno (Tag Team Tournament Semifinal Match)

Before our next tag match in the Semifinals of the tag tournament, we see a vignette about Curt Hawkings, mentioning that he will debut next week on Smackdown. Our next match is the second semifinal match in the Tag Team Tournament, with The Hype Bros facing the eclectic duo of Heath Slater and Rhyno. This match mostly took place during the commercial break, but what I saw wasn’t that bad. Hype Bros mostly led this match, but we did see Slater and Rhyno on top at the end. I think that this wasn’t that good of a choice though.

Although the Slater/Rhyno gimmick is golden, most of the momentum that The Hype Bros had has been taken away. And you might think “well you don’t want to bury Slater and Rhyno”, but Slater has been able to be over for a while when his gimmick was “I keep losing contract chances”. If you can get over by losing matches, then don’t bury a new tag team. But besides that, I am happy that I will still be able to see the great Slater on Smackdown, and I am happy that Slater’s family of 15 will have food for another week.

Dean Ambrose/AJ Styles Pre-PPV Confrontation

To end off the show this week, we get a confrontation between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. This segment entails of the two wrestlers trash talking and the show ending with Dean Ambrose getting kicked in the crotch, and Styles celebrating. This segment was a complete waste of time, and the ending was anti-climactic and boring.

This didn’t sell me on the PPV match at all, and I honestly expected much more. When I expected this show to be better than RAW, I didn’t know I would be so let down. We saw some decent tag matches, but the spotlight on the women’s match was terribly executed, the useless segments mashed together and end were all shameful. RAW won this week, and this show left me with little hope for what the PPV will be like. Hot off the PPV next week, you know where to be, I’ll be here reviewing what will hopefully be a better show. But until then, see you soon.

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