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

As is often the case I find myself being right about a number of things, especially where SmackDown is concerned. So it came as no surprise when there was a grand reveal of who is La Luchadora during the night’s main event – A steel cage match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. In the rest of the show, there was no Baron Corbin, confirming my suspicions that Mr Jonathan Cena has actually buried him; Natalya and Nikki Bella are still fighting over which season of Total Divas is the best; and there was yet another kink in the ever twisting tale of the Wyatt Family.

Opening the show was the Mac Daddy Jr. Shane announced that the Elimination Chamber ppv will be exclusive to SmackDown and will be two weeks following the Royal Rumble. He went on to add that the WWE World Championship will be on the line in the Chamber match, with the caveat that the winner will then defend their SmackDown World Title at WrestleMania 33 – kind of a given that a World Championship should be defended at the grandest stage of them all, don’t you think? AJ Styles, however, did not like this one bit. Yet, before he could explain himself was interrupted by John Cena but Styles wouldn’t let the Face That’s Barely in the Place (SmackDown) talk. Not surprisingly the Miz then came out and claimed he is the main event. Then of course, Cena rustled everyone’s jimmies so the Commissioner made a match between Styles and Miz the first match of the night. Not for the title of course.

It’s only a matter of time // wwe.com

Cena sat with the commentary team as Styles took on the Miz. Eventually Styles haphazardly threw The Miz into Cena at the announce table, who then launched the Miz into the barricade. Which is certainly no way A List celebrities should be treated! The match ended in a DQ as Styles attacked Cena. Usually that would mean the other person would win by DQ but considering no one really cares about the result there was no official decision. For the second week in a row Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment but this time to both Styles and the Miz. The closing shot to this opening segment saw the 15x Champ lift the WWE World Title above his head. We get it, John, you want to beat Flair’s record.

In a feud that is fast becoming more disinteresting that your parents marriage, Nikki Bella once again called out Natalya. Strangely, Natalya was stood near the crowd towards an exit, but it quickly emerged she was going to trash up some Nikki merchandise from a merchandise stand because heels are fantastic marketing experts. I assume this is all part of Natalya’s plan to attend every SmackDown event, house shows included, and trash Bella merchandise in order to lower the value of her stock, then buy it all at a low price and watch Bella’s stock rise once again as she comes out on top in the feud. Sounds accurate, right? Anyway, the segment ended as Nikki made her way to the stall and jumped Nattie and the pair had to be pulled apart by needlessly muscular security guards.

Is that Steve Austin on the left? // wwe.com

Dean Ambrose was up to no good again and sort of made it look as if he doesn’t care all too much about his Intercontinental Championship. In a backstage segment with Shane O’Mac he stated he wants to be a part of the Elimination Chamber match, which considering the WWE World title contenders list is stretched thinner than the list of people that find you interesting, we already know this will happen. The Lunatic Fringe also insisted to Shane McMahon that something should be done about the state his championship was left in by the Miz. A pretty good one if I’d say so myself seen as the Miz raised interest in it since he won the title the day after WrestleMania 32. Yet, this was all part of the match set up that saw Randy Orton take on Ambrose in a non title match. As the Viper was on the cusp of victory, for the third week running, Luke Harper got in Ortons way. The almighty leader, Bray Wyatt, stopped Harper from interfering but Randall Keith Orton got distracted in the process and couldn’t hit his finisher the “Randall Keith Orton”. Instead, he was rolled up into a schoolboy by Ambrose who scored the vicotry. Following the match, a fight broke out between Harper and Orton. Bray Wyatt stepped between the two but Harper continued to insist it was Orton’s fault and so the titular Wyatt hit Harper. With Wyatt now appearing to side with Orton the greater plan is in motion that will eventually see Orton destroy the family from within. Harper and Orton are set to face each other next week.

If this doesn’t make you feel sorry for Harper then I don’t know what will // wwe.com

Just when you thought your daughter was safe to leave the house Jerry Lawler returned as host of the “King’s Court” segment. Joining him was Dolph Ziggler who Lawler wanted to interrogate as to why he is being such a d**k to the smiley-faced minorities of the SmackDown roster. Adolph Ziggler was mute throughout and was about to leave until “King” called him back. In response, Ziggles showed the crowd old footage of him beating down Lawler in 2012 and shamelessly took credit for Lawler’s heart attack. The now raging heel claimed that Lawler does indeed blame Ziggler for his heart attack and threatened to finish what he started. That means he will kill Lawler and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. Just as Lawler called Ziggler a loser Ziggler superkicked right in the heart and left before JBL came to the ring to check on his pal.

He could have at least put on a damn shirt // wwe.com

As previously mentioned the main event of the night featured a Steel Cage Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Alexa Bliss retained her title against Becky Lynch due to La Luchadora interfering in the cage and attacking Lynch as she’d locked in the Dis-Arm-Her. Bliss eventually won the match with a DDT to score the pinfall victory. After the match, Bliss and the mystery Mexican continued to beat down on Lynch but Becky struck back and pulled off La Luchadora’s mask to reveal it was who I knew it was this whole time, Mickie James. Not like Lynch could have pulled the mask off her in the previous weeks? Then Alexa and Mickie crushed Becky before the now Mickidora raised Bliss’ arm in victory for the final shot of the night.

I don’t think anybody saw this coming… // wwe.com

Rightly so the SmackDown women have proved they are just as entertaining as their Raw counterparts. I suspect next week Mickie James will be in a tag team match with Bliss against Becky Lynch and an Irish incarnation of La Luchadora, ‘An Trodaire’. You’ll have to do a bit of research to appreciate that one. I also imagine Ambrose will have changed the Intercontinental Title somehow by maybe drawing his name in Comic Sans across the front. He is unpredictable to be fair!

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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