By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse Hosted 'Miz TV' with AJ Styles
Yeah, because after two talking segments on Raw, I'm sure fans were dying to see another edition of 'Miz TV' on SmackDown. They should have advertised the tag team main event in addition to this segment because although it ultimately proved to be worthwhile, I don't think it was enough of an incentive for fans to tune in. That aside, Miz was once again a fun foil to Styles and I really liked how they brought up and discussed Styles' history with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson from Japan. Miz actually asked the hard-hitting questions in regards to whether he and the former Bullet Club members are aligned, but as expected, we weren't given any answers. Furthermore, this segment set up their match for later in the night nicely.
Ryback def. United States Champion Kalisto (Non-title)
In storyline, Ryback had a reason to ask for a rematch after Kalisto used the exposed turnbuckle in their WrestleMania match, but why did it take him this long? In fact, this was Ryback's first non-Main Event or WWE Superstars appearance since 'Mania, and that was three weeks ago! The match was pretty decent, but the crowd sat on their hands for it and it's hard to blame them. Ryback hasn't been on TV in weeks and Kalisto hasn't had anything going for him, so basically, neither of them have much (if any) momentum right now. The only good thing about this bout was its fantastic finish. Really cool reversal from the Salida del Sol into the Shell Shocked.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin Went to a No Contest
It would have been asinine to give away the rematch here, so it was smart booking to have Corbin attack Ziggler before the bout and put more heat on him in the process. No, Ziggler isn't being "buried"; he's simply not as big of a priority as Corbin right now nor should he be. I honestly believe his time has passed. I'm a fan of his work and like watching him wrestle, but as we've seen in recent years, he'll only go so far, whereas Corbin has the potential to be the roster's next monster heel and thus should be booked strongly in his first few months in WWE.
AJ Styles def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (Non-title)
As I mentioned during the series of matches they had two months ago, Miz works best against opponents who can carry him to a competent contest and that was certainly the case here. Miz scored just enough offense where he didn't look weak in defeat and Styles picked up another nice victory, but it always annoys me when midcard champions take unnecessary losses. The finish was well done with Anderson and Gallows distracting Miz at ringside, fueling speculation that they're in cahoots with The Phenomenal One.
Paige and Natalya def. Team B.A.D.
I was hoping for more follow-up from Natalya forcing Charlotte to tap out in Monday's eight-woman tag team match, but no such luck. In fact, Charlotte was nowhere to be seen on the show to explain her actions, so that was slightly disappointing. Instead, we received a filler tag team match that was designed to give the England native Paige a hometown win more so than spotlight Natalya. It was a decent match, but didn't serve a storyline purpose.
R-Truth def. Fandango (Goldust Served as Special Guest Referee)
Ugh. I laughed during this "match," but not at the horrendous gyrations from Fandango and Goldust in the ring. Rather, I got a kick out of whoever was whistling at ringside during it. Hilarious. Anyway, this was total throwaway and I don't care any more about the Golden Truth angle than I did before. If anything, I actually care less because this was embarrassingly bad.
The Vaudevillians Interrupted Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo is absolute fire on the microphone. I wouldn't argue with anyone who says he is the best talker WWE has had in years. Meanwhile, The Vaudevillians struggled a little with their promo (Aiden English seemed more comfortable than Simon Gotch in my opinion), but they held their own just fine. Every crowd so far hasn't been into the Vaudevillians shtick, but maybe now that they're in the finals of the tag team tournament, that will change. I would hope so because otherwise officials might sour on them sooner rather than later a la The Ascension.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho def. Dean Ambrose and Sami Zayn
The only thing better than the rivalries between Owens and Zayn and Ambrose and Jericho right now is that the matches featuring all four guys have been excellent and this tag team matchup was no exception. They work very well together and both feuds were furthered effectively. Ambrose awkwardly falling off the top rope and Owens subsequently scoring the win came off as anticlimactic, but other than that, this was a serviceable main event.
Similar to Raw on Monday night, this edition of SmackDown wasn't as strong as the past two weeks, but still solid on the whole. The main event was thoroughly entertaining and I enjoyed everything involving Styles and Miz, but the rest of the show felt like filler. Additionally, the England crowd wasn't nearly as electric as I assumed they would be, but it's possible they weren't mic'd properly. If you're wondering why my review of the show is up earlier than usual, it's because a satellite version of SmackDown was uploaded early Tuesday. A dark segment involving Miz and Shane McMahon was also included if you're interested.
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