Magic City SmackDown Live! – A Recap for 09/20/2016

Tonight’s SmackDown Live comes to us from Birmingham, Alabama, my former home.

First off, I’m surprised that SDL failed to fill the upper level of the BJCC.  I went to a Raw back in February and it was definitely sold out.  I was in the upper decks myself.  Sure, it was the road to Wrestlemania, but I’m still surprised.  It didn’t keep DarkMatchMatt away as he and Daisy were visible several times throughout the broadcast.

For once, I’m going to start with the top of the show.

Flipping Tables

We start we start with a really solid Women’s segment.

It’s a great picture.

I’ll be honest.  I normally hate these contract signing segments.  Daniel Bryan claimed that it wasn’t going to escalate to violence (which was met with raucous boos).  Everyone knew it was going to happen.  Even Todd Chrisley knew it was going to happen.

Okay.  Maybe he didn’t.

Becky was stellar but Bliss really impressed me here.  She made it clear why she deserved to be the Number 1 Contender.  She proved that she’s a legitimate threat to the title.  And that’s why this was a success.

And again, I think what made this fresh is just how they’ve been handling the SDL’s women’s devision from day one.  They definitely haven’t done everything right, but this has been great.

Contracts Negotiated

Miz is on Fire.

Over the past week, Bryan and Miz were airing their disagreements over the latter’s contract negotiations on Twitter.  The Awesome One even threatened to check with Foley to see if they wanted the IC Champion on Raw.

They came to terms…but somebody didn’t read the fine print.  Turns out, he’s got to defend the title against Dolph Ziggler, tonight.  And Bryan twisted some of Miz’s words and used him against him.  Sweet burn.

The match was good.  I really like Miz using Bryan’s moveset and mocking the Yes Movement.  He’s a perfect heel.

The crowd was really great for this match too.  There were a lot of near falls, not surprising for a Ziggler match, and that pumped everyone up.

The ref caught Maryse before she maced Ziggler yet again and ejected her from the match.  Now, I don’t know if I’m just a stupid idiot and should have seen it coming or if it was just really well done.

Miz tries to leave with his title and lose via count-out.  Ziggler isn’t going to let it end like this though.  They fight on the outside of the ring before Ziggler manages to get Miz back in the ring.  I didn’t see it, but Miz picked up the Pepper spray and got Ziggy in the eyes.  I don’t know how I didn’t see that coming.

Miz picks up the win to another round of thunderous boos.

What are they doing with Ziggler though?

Part-Timer John

I was excited for Matt.  It’s his second time seeing a John Cena match live.  The first being his US Championship lose to Alberto Del Rio.  It looks like Matt is John’s bad luck.

Dean, after thunderous boos last week after a Dirty Deeds on Cena, put on a good show tonight.  The crowd was undeniable a Cena house.  Sure, there were the alternating “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants.  But I didn’t hear a “Let’s Go Ambrose” or really much of a response for Ambrose at all.  It wasn’t the virtually dead crowd for Raw in Memphis the night before, but it’s not an Ambrose stronghold by any means.

Cena eventually hit a AA on Ambrose.  Kick out to John’s shock.  Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds on John.  Cena kicks out, which is a surprise to no one.

I loved the closing sequence.  Ambrose went for the rebound lariat and got got caught in the Fireman’s Carry setting him up for a Dirty Deeds.  But Ambrose wiggled out into a sit-out pin for the 3 count.

Cena lost.  On TV.

To put it in context, Cena apparently hasn’t lost a singles match on Raw or Smackdown since 2009.  He’s lost PPV matches and tag matches but not a gimmick-free Singles match with no tricks.

AJ was there to hit his two challengers with a Forearm and Clash.  It was nice that he wasn’t on commentary and just attacked them after the match.  Bryan reminded us that Ambrose is due his rematch, which will happen next week.  And Ambrose hits AJ with a Dirty Deeds to end the show.

Update: 10/22/16

Seems like I totally forgot about The Usos Vs. American Alpha #1 Contenders Match.

Solid match and good to see American Alpha back so soon.  They’re definitely going with the injury angle to put over the Usos in a big way.  It’s working.  I’m glad they had the payoff for Heath and Rhyno and have spent a few weeks building up the Usos.  When Heath and Rhyno lose their championship at No Mercy, they’re going to have mega heat.

This is a prime example where it’s clear that SmackDown has a clear plan.  They’re not booking the show week to week.

Everything Else

  • Randy Orton is cleared to wrestle again, apparently.  He made quick work of Erick Rowan.  Erick disappeared at the end of the match and Bray cut another cryptic promo.  Looks like the match is back on for No Mercy.  I wouldn’t expect Bray to win.
  • Baron Corbin picks up another win against Apollo Crews with Jack Swagger on commentary.  I’d expect Corbin Vs. Swagger to be on No Mercy, probably the kickoff.  As far as Crews is concerned, looks like he’s going to hangout at the bottom of the SDL card for while.
  • The Women’s tag match was over before it ever really started.  Carmella couldn’t keep it together and couldn’t wait for Natalya to submit Nikki with a Sharpshooter.  Nattie looked pissed.  Nattie is a heel but she still sort of follows the rules.  And a win was just taken from her by her tag team partner.  I’d expect some kind of fallout to happen next week with those two.  Naomi was also in the match but the story wasn’t about her.
  • Emma Watch: No, Emma was not on SmackDown Live tonight.  Maybe next week?
  • David Otunga is still garbage on commentary.  JBL and Mauro have gotten more comfortable with each other.  They don’t have the chemistry of Mauro and Lawler or Mauro and Bryan, but it works well enough.
  • Just like Raw, ratings were in the toilet this week.  It’s disappointing.  Tonight’s episode was solid.