By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kane def. Bray Wyatt by Count-out
The last thing I needed was another match between Wyatt and Kane coming off their boring Backlash bout. Granted, it wasn't terrible, but their chemistry is awful and I have yet to see one match from them that I have remotely enjoyed. Once again, Wyatt lost to Kane for no apparent reason. I guess it was better he got himself counted out this time instead of eating a pinfall loss, but I don't know how anyone can see him as a legitimate threat to Orton at this point. If he loses at No Mercy, I've officially lost all hope (implying I haven't already). On a related note, their ongoing angle that carried throughout the show was well done.
Nikki Bella def. Alexa Bliss by Disqualification; Bliss and Carmella def. Bella and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch
Bliss vs. Bella would be a nice program down the line considering this was the first time they had ever faced off in singles competition and they have a good dynamic together. The match was kept brief before Carmella interfered and caused it to turn into a tag team match also involving Lynch. It was a well-wrestled matchup and furthered both feuds effectively. Lynch always looks like a fool for getting distracted by the heels, but at least it led to a big win for Bliss over the champion, a solid momentum booster for her heading into the title match.
SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan Presented Replica Championship Belts to Breast Cancer Survivors
This was essentially the same segment we saw on Raw, but I guess they felt the need to spread the love to SmackDown too and that's totally fine. Similar to Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Bryan was the perfect person to host this segment as he's very likable and never comes across scripted. Once again, classy stuff from WWE.
The Hype Bros def. The Vaudevillians
Neither The Hype Bros or The Vaudevillians have had much going for them as of late, but I appreciate the effort to make them mean something by giving them their chance to shine. The match was decent yet ultimately forgettable. Mojo Rawley is barely passable in the ring, but I like The Hype Bros as a unit and I hope they continue to get built up. It appears The Ascension might benefit as well, and that will only work as long as they're portrayed the right way. That said, the damage might have already been done.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Dolph Ziggler
The feud between Miz and Ziggler has surprisingly (and I say "surprisingly" because they've faced each other a million times before) been my favorite of either brand for weeks now and this was another excellent encounter from them. When Ziggler is motivated, nobody can touch him on the mic. As I've said in the past, however, he never wins, so it's difficult to buy into what he says. Nevertheless, both he and Miz cut great promos here and the returns of Mikey and Kenny Dykstra were a cool touch. Never did I think I would ever see The Spirit Squad back on my TV again!
Jason Jordan def. Jey Uso
I have never cared much for The Usos on their own, so I was actually somewhat glad this match didn't last long. Jordan won in pretty decisive fashion, but I loved how The Usos unleashed all their aggression on American Alpha afterward before fleeing from the ring to avoid Heath Slater and Rhyno. The Usos continue to do tremendous work as heels and I wouldn't mind them winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at No Mercy.
Jack Swagger def. Baron Corbin
I was going to comment on how weird it was that they were holding this match a mere two days prior to the pay-per-view and not at the event itself, but it looks like a rematch might be in store given the controversy surrounding the outcome. The finish was goofy, but the match was good for what it was. Swagger is a lost cause to me in 2016, but if nothing else, this program gives Corbin some much-needed direction for the foreseeable future.
WWE World Champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena Came Face-to-Face-to-Face
As expected, all three men brought their absolute A-game on the mic here and delivered phenomenal promos (pun intended). It's amazing to think how far Styles has come as a talker since debuting in WWE while it's clear the real money with Ambrose is as a heel based off his superb promo here. I was slightly disappointed Cena didn't speak much because he's been cutting some exceptional promos lately, but the ending brawl to close out the show was red hot and I love how all three men have stood tall at various points over the past three weeks.
While last week's edition of SmackDown was more entertaining on the whole, this certainly succeeded as a go-home show in getting me amped up for No Mercy on Sunday. The card looks pretty stacked on paper and I'm invested in most if not all of the feuds going on at the moment. The closing segment was the highlight of hte night, but everything else held my interest. SmackDown continues to be the best thing going in WWE right now and the blue brand is truly living up to its moniker in being the land of opportunity.
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