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

Often in life things can be quite complicated. I find myself forgetting where I am with things and wanting a simpler life. Much to my delight WWE have heard my cries for simplicity and for the second week running delivered a no nonsense SmackDown Live. A show that featured the return of a “part-timer”, a surprise title change, and that pesky Luchadora was back again.

Opening the show was the 15x Champ, and now part-timer, John Cena. After the typical “it’s good to be back” speech he went on to describe how he hates the “new era”. Stating that it’s still his era – kind of a heel move, don’t you think? Being the self-entitled “champ” Cena announced that he will be challenging the winner of the nights main event, a Triple Threat WWE World Championship match, to a title match at the impending Royal Rumble.

Mr Hustle, Loyalty and no respect for the new era // wwe.com
Mr Hustle, Loyalty and no respect for the new era // wwe.com

The first match up of the night was a Muller Four Corners Elimination Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Not surprisingly, Slater and Rhyno were eliminated first after an Uso superkick to Slater. The Usos were eliminated next by Chad Gable. Then the moment that shocked us all followed. As Orton and Gable were on the top turnbuckle, Luke Harper seemingly came to assist, yet Orton knocked him down and Gable took the opportunity to throw him off and set up for Grand Amplitude with Gable pinning Orton for the win. A short run for the Wyatt’s as Tag Champions comes to end and leaves me wondering who will Bray side with? Orton or Harper? The answer is neither. Orton will inevitably do a carbon copy of Daniel Bryans deceit during his forgettable run with the Wyatt’s.

Aww look at Jordan's tears of joy // wwe.com
Aww look at Jordan’s tears of joy // wwe.com

The following contest was scheduled for one fall and it was the repeat of the rematch of the repeat for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Alexa Bliss squared off with Becky Lynch after the latter surprised Bliss last week disguised as “La Luchadora”. As we have come to expect from these ladies the match was back and forth and at one point it looked as if Lynch had snapped Bliss’ arm in two. Then, “outta nowhere”, La Luchadora ran out from the back. But wait a minute? I thought that was Becky? Apparently more than one person can portray a masked persona in a move I call “The Sin Cara Theory”. The pesky masked woman exposed the turnbuckle while the ref was distracted and pulled Becky headfirst into the turnbuckle. Bliss then retained her title with a powerful DDT.

It's Mickie James isn't it? // wwe.com
It’s Mickie James isn’t it? // wwe.com

As previously mentioned the nights main event was a triple threat for the WWE World Championship with the caveat that the winner will have the most privileged honour of defending their title against Sir John of Cena at the Royal Rumble in January. In this truly phenomenal match to end the year Baron Corbin looked as powerful as he has ever been. As the Lone Wolf hit the End of Days on Ziggler, a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles, put the big man on to the canvas and out of the ring. Styles then took advantage of the already downed Zigglypuff and pinned him for the win. Following the match, John Cena ran out to the ring, took off his shirt, and looked as though he was ready to attack Style. Instead, the nobleman offered a handshake to Styles who, in repsonse, laid his title down between them and accepted the handshake, thus confirming Cena’s Royal Rumble match. Well, until the paperwork is officially signed off.

Say what you like but you know it will be another fantastic match // wwe.com
Say what you like but you know it will be another fantastic match // wwe.com

It was a remarkable way to end the year: Styles caps off a phenomenal 2016 by confirming yet another match for the ages is on the cards against John Cena; Alexa Bliss remains her tight hold on the SmackDown Women’s Championship; America Alpha have finally captured their first SmackDown Tag Team Championship; I’m now 231 days in to my never-ending VultureHound Review Tour thus confirming Elliot Dyson will forever be in my shadow.

Here’s to a Happy New Year everyone!

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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