Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review – TLC Edition

SmackDown hosted this pay-per-view event in what could be mistaken for a glorified Extreme Rules. Last nights show was showcased by AJ Styles defending his WWE World Championship for the hundredth time against Dean Ambrose, only this time, in a TLC match. The night also featured a tables, ladder and chairs match for the Miz’s Intercontinental Championship and a well orchestrated tables match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. There was also the small matter of Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt teaming up to take on Heath Slater and Rhyno for the blue brands tag belts. Ooooh exciting!

The night kicked off with an orgy of tag teams facing each other. The babyface alliance of Apollo Crews, The Hype Bros and American Alpha swept aside the dastardly heel team of Curt Hawkins, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains in a match which served only as a chicken dippers starter just for the kids. It was American Alpha who won the match for their team with yet another Grand Amplitude.

It seems as though Bray Wyatt may finally be getting somewhere as last night he and Randy Orton defeated Heath Slater and Rhyno to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions. After Luke Harper saved the Viper from a Gore outside the ring, the third generation superstar ran back inside the ring, and hit Rhyno with an RKO “outta nowhere”. This hopefully makes the rise of the new Wyatt Family’s rise to greatness as Harper and Orton put their differences aside for the greater good – “the greater good”, repeated the mindless marks.

Sister Abigail doesn't care if Heath has kids // wwe.com
Sister Abigail doesn’t care if Heath has kids // wwe.com

A No Disqualification Match between Nikki Bella and Carmella looked to settle the score on who actually cares about the Season 2 premiere of Total Bellas. Here’s a clue, it’s not me. Bella lost the plot and sprayed the Princess of Staten Island with a fire extinguisher before finishing her off with the 2.0 version of the Rack Attack to win the match. As Nikki was making her way up the ramp Carmella screamed down the mic and revealed that it was actually Natalya who attacked Bella back at Survivor Series. I’m glad she reminded me, I’d almost forgot!

Another match for the ages between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler ensured that both of these men have etched their names in the history books whenever people come to discuss great Intercontinental Title matches. Miz hit Ziggler twice with a low blow at the top of the ladder, toppling him off, to retain his Intercontinental Championship. Yet another fantastic bout between these two charismatic stars featured Yes chants being turned into “Miz” chants and leads me to believe fans might finally be starting to realise that the Miz is legitimately one of the best workers in the business. Both men have divided opinion but it has to be said they’ve consistently put on quality matches over the last year. Whatever direction this continues in I’m certain they’ll continue to entertain to the high standard we have grown to expect.

The Miz went to town with that ladder // wwe.com
The Miz went to town with that ladder // wwe.com

Baron Corbin defeated Kalisto in a Chairs match to determine who would be named the new leader of the Labour Party or something. The match started with Kalisto forgetting the chairs were outside the ring after most of the build up was an awful promo for WWE Super Cards (whatever they are?). With the odds stacked against Kalisto, David Otunga claimed that the chairs would put things on “an even field” for the tiny Mexican. Otunga then described the feud as a “damp squid” and that he “could care less” about Kalisto “extracting revenge” on Tuesday night. Being the high flyer there was some very good spots from Kalisto but at the end of the day, the End of Days on to a pile of chairs proved too much for the Lucha Dragon.

In a slow build up to a fantastic conclusion Alexa Bliss was able to defeat Becky Lynch to be crowned the new SmackDown Women’s Champion and hopefully remind the Irish Lass Kicker that SteamPunk is no longer “cool”. Smart heel tactics throughout from Bliss was enough reason for you to realise she is the future of the SmackDown Women’s division. I’m sure Charlotte and Sasha marks out there will disagree with me on this but this match was what the two could have hoped for back at Hell in a Cell. There was clever teases from both Bliss and Lynch of both nearly going through a table before the match culminated in with Bliss Powerbombing Becky through the table they originally set up first. Dare I say it but Becky and Alexa have just made me proud to review SmackDown Live.

A blissful victory for Alexa // wwe.com
A blissful victory for Alexa // wwe.com

Yet, there’s always chinless reminder that I can never be too proud to be in charge of a SmackDown review. In what was (I hope) the end of the title feud between Styles and Ambrose, the two squared off in the eponymous TLC match for the WWE World Championship. A shocking James Ellsworth heel turn guaranteed AJ Styles the retention of his WWE World Championship in Dallas, Texas. Ellsworth has now had his fair share of the limelight but the spot of the night has to go to Capchin Charisma for sending Dean Ambrose flying off the ladder through the tables below.

The most phenomenal of all the forearms // wwe.com
The most phenomenal of all the forearms // wwe.com

The usual cathartic ending to slow burning feuds will mark new beginnings on Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver

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