The Miz Hosted Miz TV with John Cena
Contrary to popular belief, I was actually open to the idea of Cena and Nikki Bella feuding with Miz and Maryse heading into WrestleMania when it was initially rumored around Royal Rumble time, and they set it up quite well with what happened on last week's episode. Everyone always expects the worst from Miz TV, but the dude has been on fire for months and he cut a phenomenal promo here as well as Cena, breathing new life into what was once a lifeless rivalry. Maryse and Nikki also played their roles remarkably well and now I find myself looking forward to the mixed tag team match at WrestleMania.
Becky Lynch def. Mickie James in a 2-out-of-3 falls Match
This match had the potential to be something special with the stipulation it had, but it really wasn't anything above average. For starters, most of the match consisted of commercial breaks, which I figured would happen after the opening segment lasted a whopping 25 minutes. Although what we saw was solid, the pinfalls felt rushed and they weren't given a ton of time, so the whole matchup ultimately underwhelmed in my eyes. On the bright side, they seem to be setting up a Triple Threat match for the SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania based on Alexa Bliss' interference backfiring at the end of this bout.
AJ Styles def. Luke Harper in a WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Part of me held out hope this match would last the entire hour, but no such luck. At any rate, this was a really good match with an insanely overbooked finish. I had heard rumblings Styles would win only for Shane McMahon to take his title shot away from him, and I assumed that the match restarting was what that meant. Well, apparently not, since Styles then went on to win clean. It's interesting that they're keeping us guessing as to who will be vying for the title at WrestleMania, but I highly doubt Bray Wyatt vs. Styles will stick.
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Curt Hawkins Went to a No Contest (Non-title)
I was actually content with the match not coming to fruition because we all knew it would have been a short-lived squash, anyway. Meanwhile, the verbal back-and-forth we received from Ambrose and Baron Corbin instead was absolutely excellent. I'm not a fan of whenever Ambrose resorts to comedy in serious situations, but Corbin was fantastic in his delivery. These two have the potential to contest the match Ambrose should have had with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania last year.
Dolph Ziggler def. Apollo Crews in a Chairs Match
The booking of this feud has been ass-backwards since the start, and Crews attacking Ziggler before he could even make it to the ring didn't help matters. That said, the match itself was by far the best thing we've seen from these two to date, surprisingly enough. Much like Baron Corbin and Kalisto did at TLC last year, they made the most of the silly stipulation and produced a fun little match with a few sweet spots mixed in. Please let Ziggler's win here by the end of this awful rivalry once and for all.
Randy Orton Betrayed WWE Champion Bray Wyatt
I think it's safe to say no one saw this coming, which is what made it as awesome as it was. I mean, most of us already knew Orton was bound to turn on Wyatt eventually, but this was weird timing with Styles earning a title shot earlier in the evening. Why would he choose now to betray Wyatt? That aside, the visual of Orton burning down the house Sister Abigail's body was buried in was damn cool. I honestly would be open to a double turn, and I'm much more intrigued than I was before in regards to what the WWE title WrestleMania match will be.
Once again, SmackDown Live delivered a strong show from the way it ended to the opening segment to Styles vs. Harper. Even Ziggler vs. Crews exceeded expectations and I enjoyed the Corbin vs. Ambrose exchange. The 2-out-of-3 Falls match fell flat for me, but it didn't drag down this entertaining episode for me. The blue brand continues to kill it on the road to WrestleMania and the next month of programming should be interesting, to say the least.
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