Bray Wyatt Challenged WWE Champion Randy Orton
One of the main reasons why I wanted Wyatt to win at WrestleMania on Sunday was because Orton is rarely compelling as champion. I feel like we've seen it a million times already and he never has anything of note to say during his promos. Then again, this failed feud with Wyatt hasn't him, Wyatt or anyone involved any favors. This segment did set up a "House of Horrors" match between Wyatt and Orton for a future date, whatever the hell that might be, as well as reintroduce Erick Rowan to the roster after a long layoff.
SmackDown Women's Champion Naomi def. Alexa Bliss
Bliss and Naomi have worked well against each other in the past and this was another nice matchup from them. While I would have dragged out the feud a little longer, my belief is that Bliss is headed to Raw in next week's Superstar Shakeup, and if that's the case, they might as well get the rematch out the way now. Naomi did a good job in selling her previously injured knee and I assume Charlotte Flair will be next to challenge her for the championship.
Tye Dillinger def. Curt Hawkins
Dillinger has come a long way since being superkicked by Shawn Michaels back at Cyber Sunday 2006 ("I just kicked Stan!"), and he deserved this main roster call-up more than anyone else. He and his "Perfect 10" gimmick got over huge in NXT and one can only hope that popularity translates to the bigger stage. I just don't want a repeat of what happened with Tyler Breeze, who was also a talented wrestler with a unique gimmick that was never given a chance to succeed. As a match, this was a quick squash for Dillinger that the fans in attendance ate up.
The Miz and Maryse Mocked John Cena and Nikki Bella; Shinsuke Nakamura Debuted
Miz and Maryse were once again hilarious in their impersonations of Cena and Nikki, and I was actually convinced for a few seconds that was them. How dumb of me to think that. It appears Cena and Nikki will be gone from WWE TV for the foreseeable future, so this was a fine way to wrap up the rivalry. And SHINSUKE NAKAMURA, BAYBAY! What a hell of a debut, and it was so damn cool that they brought in the same violinist who performed during Nakmaura's entrance at TakeOver: Brooklyn 2 last year. He didn't have to say a single word and he was instantly established as a star. He seems to be a perfect fit for SmackDown, so fingers crossed he doesn't switch shows next week.
Baron Corbin def. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight (Non-title)
I was slightly disappointed by how underwhelming the Kickoff match was between Ambrose and Corbin at WrestleMania, but this more than made up for it. Both men were certainly in their element in the extreme environment and they pushed each other to the limit. The crowd remained engaged in the action as a result and Corbin winning was what needed to happen. This should lead to a championship rematch where Corbin captures the gold, possibly at Backlash next month.
AJ Styles Confronted SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMAhon
Shane didn't share any new information on the Superstar Shakeup as promised, but what followed with him and Styles was well done. Styles boasted about his victory and showed respect toward Shane while also remaining a heel. That takes true talent. Styles will shine no matter where he ends up, but for SmackDown's sake, he should stay on the blue brand. Moreover, I'm interested as to whether this was meant to plant the seeds for a future Styles face turn, which you know is only inevitable.
WWE Champion Randy Orton and Luke Harper def. Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan
What a weird way to close out such an eventful evening. I mean, it would have been a servicable main event on any other night, but as the unofficial end to WrestleMania weekend, it fell flat for me. I know I wasn't the only one who thought something would happen, like the debut of a new Wyatt Family member or something along those lines. Sadly, that was not the case. It was a solid match that furthered the feuds involved, and I was happy Harper was allowed to finally score a meaningful win, but this Orton vs. Wyatt program needs to conclude as soon as possible.
SmackDown Live was every bit as entertaining as Raw on Monday night with its NXT call-ups, a title match, a return, a strong Street Fight and an energetic crowd. They weren't nearly as rowdy as they were for Raw (I assume most people went home like I did), but they were more alive than an average audience. As noted, the Wyatt-Orton stuff isn't doing anything for me at this point and I wish it wouldn't be the focal point of the program. However, that could all change with next week's Superstar Shakeup, so we'll see who goes where and what feuds are affected as a result.
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