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

Introductions are never easy which is why this week on SmackDown the show literally continued from where things left off only seven days ago. The show focused largely on the story between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon leaving little room for the other stars to fight for the limelight. Similarly to the creative team at SmackDown, I’m about to skim over the minor details of SmackDown in order to tell you more about Shane McMahon hogging all the airtime in this supposed “New Era”.

No one believed AJ Styles was legitimately fired by Daniel Bryan, if you did you’re an idiot, yet the GM was at hand to confirm the decision had been reversed. Well, that’s the least we expect considering assaulting someone with a forklift and burning down someone’s home gets you rewarded on SmackDown. Styles opened the show and bragged about beating down his Commissioner. That’s not a euphemism either. Feeling no remorse, Styles said things are about to “go from bad to phenomenally worse” for Shane O’Mac. YOU SEE WHAT HE DID THERE? Throughout the show, just like last week, Styles was in the parking lot waiting for Shane. Instead, come the closing segments, Shane was already in the ring and called out Styles. They brawled. Shane jumped through a table because it’s the attitude “new era”. I’m sceptical at the best of times but I’m very worried that not even a man of Styles’ ability can carry this match. Let’s hope for the best.

Air McMahon in full flight // wwe.com

Some other weird sh*t that you just gotta know:

– Randy Orton defeated Baron Corbin after that pesky Dean Ambrose returned with a forklift truck. Ambrose accepted the Hardcore Intercontinental Championship match for WrestleMania. I imagine on next weeks show no DQ will be added to the stipulations allowing Ambrose to crush Corbin with a forklift in return.

– Luke Harper cut a promo which suggests some possible WrestleMania interference that may cost Bray the title.

– Miz and Maryse showcased fantastically hilarious parodies of Total Bellas called “Total Bellas Bullsh*t”. Yeah, it probably should have just been called “Total Bullsh*t” but it was great nonetheless. Following the release of Southpaw Regional Wrestling this is just the kind of comedic relief WWE needs on its main programming. It’s also going further in aiding Miz’s efforts in turning the crowd against John Cena. Not that he needs much help.

– Bray Wyatt’s sheep-masked-minions (seriously, watch this) detained Randy Orton as the now broken (as if he already wasn’t damaged) Wyatt performed some form of satanic ritual on the Viper. It seems as though Wyatt has grown stronger since bathing in the ashes of Sister Abigail and we can only hope this means he will soon possess the sort of unearthly powers just like that of the Undertaker.

– Lance Catamaran aka John Cena defeated his co-anchor Chett Chetterfield aka Fandango. Following in tune with the earlier parodies from Miz and Maryse, Tyler Breeze was dressed as Nikki Bella. It was pretty fun but as a solid comedy duo and still good wrestlers it would be great to see Breezango legitimately compete as a tag team for once and not get completely buried.

A presenting team divided // wwe.com

– Carmella defeated Becky Lynch but what followed was a taster for the cluster f*ck of a WrestleMania match that will feature “every available woman” on the SmackDown roster. Now, I know last week I mentioned a hopeful return for Paige but a week is a very long time in WWE so let’s just hope for an Eva Marie return instead.

Saving the best action (and first match of the night) till last (is this confusing?), the Tag Team Division made an almighty return. After weeks of pretty much nothing from the Blue Brand’s plethora of duos we were handed a Championship Match for the tag titles. The Usos took on American Alpha in what was one of the best tag matches I have seen this year. In the early stages Gable and Jordan were on top but then as the match progressed the Usos gained the upper hand. In the end though it was a low-blow on the ropes and a Superkick to Jason Jordan that secured the Usos their first ever SmackDown Tag Team Championship. It was the classic tag team back and forth coupled with the surprise title change which has, once again, raised the bar within the tag team division. With WrestleMania less than 2 weeks away there may not be any encapsulating tag team storylines but there will certainly be one hell of a re-match at WrestleMania for the titles.

Usos Reigns supreme… // wwe.com

Things are slowly starting to come together with SmackDown’s WrestleMania card. Bray Wyatt is getting creepier; Miz is getting funnier; Styles is more aggressive than ever; and the Tag Team Division has proved it’s well and truly still alive! I might just actually enjoy the Blue Brand’s half of WrestleMania… “might”.

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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