Just when you think things are starting to improve, WWE takes a step back and reminds you that you were having a little too much fun. If it wasn’t for the fantastic Fatal 4-Way tag match and the brilliant subplot emerging between The Miz and Bray Wyatt, this week’s episode of SmackDown on FOX would have been one to miss. There’s nothing like dog food, cuckoldry and public humiliation to remind you that you’re watching a show with an audience of just one person. Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… the SmackDown Review.


– Alexa Bliss defeated Mandy Rose.

– The Revival won an elimination Fatal 4-Way to be named #1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

– Lacey Evans defeated a local competitor.

– Roman Reigns defeated Dolph Ziggler.

Bradley’s Best Bits:

Before we get into the swing of things, it should be mentioned that referee Jessika Carr made her main roster debut last night. Now that women are much a part of the product as anybody else, it was long overdue that WWE has its first full-time female referee on the main roster!

Kicking things off with the biggest talking point from last week’s show, The Miz got straight to business in declaring he will find out what happened to Daniel Bryan. This led to Bray Wyatt, from the Firefly Fun House, saying he believes Bryan is still with The Fiend and that the Planet’s Champion won’t be able to make it to TLC next Sunday.

With that, Wyatt requested The Miz come play with him at the pay-per-view instead to which Miz deflected by saying this isn’t about him. Only, Wyatt made it personal when he brought up the subject of “FAMILY”. The host of the Firefly Fun House made reference to his previous life as the leader of his cult-like family, which featured a split-second frame of the Wyatt Family including Daniel Bryan. Taking it even further, Wyatt held up a picture of Miz’s wife and children. This angered the A-lister who headed to the back to hunt down Wyatt. The Universal Champion would later ambush Miz and hit him with a Sister Abigail.

Whilst this is just a subplot in The Fiend and Daniel Bryan story, it is an interesting one at that. Miz is displaying a growing level of respect for Bryan which is, in turn, developing their own long-term rivalry and it again leaves us with more questions unanswered regarding Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. Even though the majority of the show this week left a lot to be desired, this gave us at least one good reason to come back again.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9pJ9tlae9w]

The match of the night saw a plethora of talented tag teams square off to determine the number 1 contenders for New Day’s SmackDown Tag Team Championships, who were there to watch on from commentary.

Out of Heavy Machinery, The Revival, Lucha House Party and the makeshift team of Mustafa Ali and Shorty G, it would be the “blue-collar solid” duo that would score the first elimination when they hit The Compactor on Lucha House Party.

As we’ve seen from Otis in recent weeks, he was able to get in his signature hot tag, including The Caterpillar, but was then blindsided by a roll-up from Scott Dawson and eliminated. A brawl then broke out between the final two teams when Mustafa Ali and Shorty G threw The Revival across the announce desk into Kofi Kingston and Big E.

With the artist formerly known as Chad Gable isolated in the ring, Wilder rolled through an ankle lock which sent the Olympian straight into an uppercut from Dawson and then a Shatter Machine for good measure. With their place as #1 contenders secured, Dawson and Wilder grabbed a mic and let the New Day know that their old school tag-team style of “no flips, just fists” will be what gives them the edge to claim the titles at TLC.

For Fox Sake:

Alexa Bliss marked her in-ring return with a win over Mandy Rose. The Goddess sealed the deal with her trademark Twisted Bliss, but the match itself was clunky. Rose still seems to have some way to go in improving her ring work whilst her partner DeVille was left at the wayside. Bliss getting back into the swing of things may take some build, which may also expose the lack of top tier talent within the women’s division of the blue brand as they try to partner her up with more opponents.

In a continuation of a very short backstage segment from last week, Drake Maverick bumped into Dana Brooke at catering. The GM of 205 Live questioned Brooke on why she was going out on a date with Batista instead of him. A bizarre thing to ask considering he is supposed to be married. They were interrupted by Elias who insulted Maverick by implying he slept with his wife. Again, bizarre. What is WWE’s Vince McMahon’s fascination with cuckoldry?

After the break, Maverick was in the ring where he was demanding a fight with Elias. This short-lived encounter saw WWE’s resident guitarist publically humiliate Maverick as he was spanked in the middle of the ring. After falling outside, Brooke threw him back into the ring for Elias to hit the Drift Away and allow Brooke to pin the downed man with Elias counting for the three. Honestly, I don’t know why I just described all of that. It was garbage.

After Lacey Evans made short work of local competitor Haley Jones, The Sassy Southern Belle was confronted by Sasha Banks. The Boss warned Evans to stay out of her and Bayley’s way and made her way to the ring only to retreat at the threat of a Woman’s Right. Evans was then attacked by Bayley and Banks on the ramp in receipt for Banks being on the receiving end of a Woman’s Right from The Lady last week.

Whilst this feud hasn’t had time to develop much yet, it is hard to take Evans seriously as the babyface in this one after months of seeing her use the “former marine” rhetoric as a way to instil old school values into the women’s division as a heel. Now, Evans is leaning with her family values alongside her history with the military as a way to connect with fans. This is beginning to make her seem more like The Liberty Belle of the SmackDown Women’s Division than anything else.

The main event of the night was a drawn-out match between resident large K-9 Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler. From the moment that the show-off was going for chin locks with more than 15 minutes left of the show, it became clear that maybe this week’s show was a little short for time.

Reigns did win the match with the customary Spear but he was pounced upon by Corbin and his throne carriers immediately following the bell. The Big Dog couldn’t fight off the numbers and was eventually handcuffed to the ring post where he repeatedly had dog food slopped in his face.

Even though Reigns vs Ziggler is as steady as you can go for the main event match, it did nothing but further their biggest stars humiliation from Corbin, and in rather puerile fashion too. Yes, they used dog food because Roman is the “big dog”, we get it. But when British Bulldog and Ken Shamrock did the same thing more than 20 years ago, we don’t need to see it again. It just went on for too long.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW3lBQHkLNg]

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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