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

You’d think during the week of the Royal Rumble SmackDown would want to do their upmost to emphasise the importance of the match and how their superstars are aiming to outdo their Raw competitors. Yet, this was far from the case as last nights show seemed to focus more on the individual match ups rather than the Rumble itself. Despite this here’s a lot of words about very little action.

A good start to the show witnessed The Miz engage SmackDown GM, Daniel Bryan, backstage. The A Lister was upset that he and his wife, Maryse, didn’t have their own private dressing room. Miz demanded that Bryan should give him his Intercontinental Championship rematch against Dean Ambrose as a compromise. I don’t know about you but I know what I’d rather have… Yes, a private dressing room with Maryse. I’m just as despicable as Lawler, I know. The Miz went as far as requesting it be made no disqualification but the Goatman instead made it a Lumberjack match. Bryan probably thought because he looks like one that he’d get to be a part of it. I’m sorry, D Bry, no dice.

Carrying on from last weeks inter-Wyatt-clash Randy Orton faced Luke Harper under the watchful eye of their leader, Bray Wyatt, who watched from his rocking chair at ringside. Orton eventually dodged a Discuss Lariat from Harper to hit him with the RKO for the win. Following the match, Bray got in the ring and shook hands with Orton. He then offered a helpful hand to Harper, but instead of helping him up him, give him a Sister Abigail. The pair of Orton and Wyatt then left the ring and left us all wondering if Eric Rowan will make a surprise return on Sunday and help Harper eliminate both Orton and Wyatt. As invested as I am in this tale my issue lies with Orton being the infiltrator into the Wyatt Family. Just like casting a huge Hollywood star in an action film you just know he will come out on top in the end. He’s too big of a name in this story to not have a treacherous plan. Step aside Bryan Cranston as “The Infiltrator” this is Randall Keith Orton’s time to shine.

Orton is winning the mind games // wwe.com

Mickie James is back and she came down to the ring for an interview with Renee Young. Explaining her actions last week, James said, despite being gone from the WWE she never stopped watching. She went on to get some real women’s heat (not the pregnancy kind) and rejected the Women’s Revolution, believing their should be greater emphasis on her own achievements. According to the former Trish Stratus wannabe, Alexa Bliss was the only one to remember her and that’s why she helped her to take out Becky Lynch. The latter then came running down to the ring and chased James into the crowd, when suddenly, Bliss attacked Lynch from the crowd and the heelish pair continued to beat down in the ring. I guess you could say the Irish Lass Kicker got her ass kicked… I’m sorry.

Carmellsworth is still a thing but hold on don’t pull faces just yet! This little segment featured Carmella finding a new look for the Chinless One and it was actually pretty funny. Eventually they settled on an outfit that made poor Ellsworth look like Carmella herself. A little bit of comic relief goes a long way if it’s done properly. However, I’m sure this will go on to have every ounce of comedy squeezed out of it until even Carmella’s reputation becomes non repairable.

Somebody call Breezango. We need the fashion police // wwe.com

You know how people have just been freely announcing their participation in the years Royal Rumble match? Well, for some reason others have been forced into pointless qualification matches. Last night saw Mojo Rawley win a Battle Royal for a spot in match while Baron Corbin sat in on commentary for this match. It literally makes no sense. Losing out were Breezango, The Ascension, The Vaudevillains , Heath Slater, Rhyno, and Curt Hawkins. The majority of which will more than likely feature in the Rumble anyway. The most interesting part of this match came near the start when Rhyno tried to eliminate Heath Slater first. I guess they’re not really a tag team anyway.

The war of words between AJ Styles and John Cena continues to amaze. Styles rightly complained about his placement on the Royal Rumble poster. Have you seen it? He’s holding their most prestigious title and he’s near the back! It’s a disgrace. The Phenomenal One called out Cena and complained about what was said about him on some American breakfast show I’ve not heard of where they called him “a guy from Atlanta”. As underwhelming as that is for his status at least it’s factually correct. What followed was the usual comments about Cena’s absence from Styles with the typical Cena response of “people boo me but so does your mom. Recognise”.

*mic drop* // wwe.com

In an effort to boost his new-found heel status, Dolph Ziggler, beat Kalisto and threatened to cave his head in with a chair before JBL stood in the way presumably defending his pal Jerry Lawler’s honour for last week. In a converse effort to boost his very low babyface status, Apollo Crews, ran out and sent Ziggler on his way up the ramp.

I was surprised to find out that Naomi had been off-screen for three months as she had suffered an ankle injury. This shows how little interest I’ve had in the SmackDown Women’s B card of late. Naomi was set to make her return against Natalya but the Canadian was jumped backstage by Nikki Bella before the match could take place. In fairness she did have it coming after she once again lambasted Naomi about her relationship with John Cena. Does she not know that Total Bellas (only on E!) will provide her with all the Nikki Bella relationship gossip that she needs. Back in the ring and Naomi wasn’t happy to not have anyone to fight so challenged anyone from the Women’s locker room. Just when I thought Jerry Lawler would emerge, instead, it was Alexa Bliss who walked out. Yet, she wasn’t there to answer the call and went as far as refusing to acknowledge who even Naomi was. I know the WWE are pretty big on protecting their stars so they should probably have the medical staff check Alexa for a concussion because Naomi hasn’t been gone that long. Bliss then rebuffed Naomi, saying she wasn’t worth her time, and walked away.

As set out earlier in the show the main event was an Intercontinental Championship Lumberjack Match. With the baby face Lumberjacks to the left and the heels to the right it was Dean Ambrose who eventually came out on top to retain his Intercontinental Championship. Towards the end, all of the lumberjacks charged to the ring, brawled with each other and then left. Ambrose won the match with the dirty deeds.

Maryse does a great impression of a horny dog // wwe.com

It’s the Royal Rumble this Sunday so why not take a look at something a little more interesting than last night’s SmackDown. In preparation for the event why don’t you brush up on some Rumble facts so you can impress your friends, if not, your maths teacher. Bye!

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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