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

My father once said to me, “when life gives you lemons, throw them away because lemons are nasty… here, have an apple instead”. That’s certainly what WWE have done when it comes to taking the title away from Styles and thrusting it so eagerly back on John Cena. What I’m trying to say is, they had an opportunity for something new but my dad, portrayed by Vince McMahon in this instance, thinks it’s better to spoon feed you the same old fruit you’re used to digesting. We don’t all talk in metaphors but I do and that’s I write the SmackDown review.

Following the title change at Royal Rumble, this week, SmackDown started with a backstage segment featuring Shane McMahon, AJ Styles, and Daniel Bryan – a match we’d all love to see. Shane O’Mac announced the competitors for the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber in less than 2 weeks time. Alongside the Champion, John Cena, will be AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin and The Miz. That whacky Dean Ambrose then interrupted and demanded a match with Styles (who has already beat him a number of times may I add) which Shane made the nights main event.

Still an unlikely duo // wwe.com

The second opening segment (yep, still no wrestling) had John Cena come out and admit he was wrong about AJ Styles – calling the Phenomenal One an “elite-level” Superstar who brought out the best in him. Typical of Cena as Champion he immediately declared he is willing to defend his Championship. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton then came out and responded by saying they’re going to set the championship free. Whether that means? Are they actually going to get rid of the Championship altogether? If Bray wins the title at Elimination Chamber do they not realise they will ultimately be facing each other at Wrestlemania? These are questions you can’t provide the answers to, and for that, I am sorry.

An even more unlikely duo // wwe.com

They made their way to the ring in an attempt to attack Cena but the lights briefly cut out before Luke Harper, now fully grown babyface, appeared beside Cena. Mr McMahon Jr then came out for the cheap pop and turned this confrontation into the first match of the night – a tag team match between the heels and the babyfaces just like the good ol’ days. Randy Orton picked up the victory with an RKO to John Cena which could be a sign of things to come if Cena is the Champ going into Mania.

Less interesting stuff:

– Unknown jobber, Delilah Dawson, who looked more like the Genie from Aladdin, was crushed with relative ease at the hands of Carmella assisted by James Ellsworth. The latter grabbed Dawson’s feet from ringside which resulted in Carmella locking in the Code of Silence for the win. I really don’t know where they’re going with this and, to be frank, I don’t care.

– Big nasty Ziggler defeated nice little Kalisto with a superkick and tried to remove Kalisto’s mask after the match but was chased off for the fourth week running by Apollo Crews. To quote myself from moments ago, “I really don’t know where they’re going with this and, to be frank, I don’t care.”

– The returning Naomi continued her push for the respective brand’s Women’s Championship. Teaming with Becky Lynch to take on Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, Naomi won the match with a spinning roundhouse and a resulting split-legged moonsault. “Dope af” I shouted as I began to feel the glow.

– American Alpha have stolen an idea from John Cena and issued an Open Challenge for their SmackDown Tag Team Titles. What ensued was a chaotic battle royal that made no sense at all. In the end it was far too confusing and only served as a reminder that they have no clue what they’re doing as Heath Slater and Rhyno stood opposite American Alpha. In fact I don’t think they have any idea what to do with the tag team division until Angle and Benjamin team up to kill America Alpha.

How is this still a thing? // wwe.com

In the main event, AJ Styles quite easily defeated Dean Ambrose, which has done well to demonstrate the slight gap between mid card and main event. Baron Corbin and The Miz were sat in on commentary to make the announce table longer than the list of people who want to bang your mom. Just like the aforementioned ‘mom-banging list’ the pair couldn’t keep their hands to themselves and got into a fight while the match was underway. A tope suicida from Dean Ambrose temporarily put a stop to the ringside squabble when he landed on both men. This set up Styles to meet Ambrose with a Styles Clash and score the victory as he returned to the ring. Styles made his way up the ramp but more action was to follow in the ring as The Miz hit Ambrose with a Skull Crushing Finale but, in turn, he received an End of Days from Baron Corbin…

The End of Days is just the best // wwe.com

Aaaand that’s a wrap.

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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