When Chris Jericho says that his best friend, Kevin Owens, is the longest reigning Universal Champion in history, it's funny because, while true, it is a ridiculously meaningless thing to tout. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, which is why a heel character on the TV show would make this type of claim, and the company itself would (and should) never, ever do so.
Dean Ambrose and John Cena faced off for the first time ever in Smackdown Live history!
Whoa, Ambrose won clean!
Alexa Bliss continues to sparkle shine on the big stage, and it is awesome.
Any fear I had about how The American Alphas were going to be handled is pretty much gone (for now). Jason Jordan refusing to tag out to his severely injured partner and brother was a moment. And The Usos have fully embraced their new personas. This is all so good to watch. When The Usos confront Slater & Rhyno backstage, note that Rhyno is basically unfazed by anything said to him. He does warn about not touching his crackers, but it’s a very calm warning. But when Slater’s kids are mentioned, he kinda loses it. Something’s going on there, I think.
Cena losing clean is something special and should be being shouted about. There aren't many that have done it on TV over the years. Should help Dean become stronger. Not sure that Cena deserves to be in the title match now though after losing 2 straight matches.
Seriously, when is the last time that Cena lost clean on a TV match? Cena doing clean losses at all (and I mean real ones, not MITB to Punk losses, but full on Summerslam Jobber Cena clean losses) is rare, but Ambrose just straight out-wrestling him and getting a legit pin on a Smackdown feels like something we haven't seen in a decade.
Didn't get to see much of this, but again impressed by the less-is-more that I did get to see that is obliterating Raw to an embarrassing extent:
-The Usos are fully revitalized as heels. They've changed up their moveset, mannerisms and the overall way they carry themselves to go with the alignment and attire changes (though I think Jey went about .8 X-Pac with his attire this week), which are all important and overlooked things. Not only to the two of them seem to be enjoying wrestling more, but as characters, they seem to enjoy being bad, a school bully/jock way. It's great. Please take note, everyone running Raw (and whoever has Dolph Ziggler's fate in their hands).
-While I didn't love the Heath Slater home visit a few weeks ago, left to their own devices, Slater and Rhyno have tons of charm as we expected and saw in their other, less scripted moments. Slater has a certain put-upon vibe to him that low-level comedy acts rarely have the skill or at least the OK to display. The way he his face just fell and he seemed upset in a more sad than angry way when the Usos indirectly threatened his family is the kind of thing that can generate real sympathy (it reinforces that he really is fighting for his weirdo cartoon family), and that being the thing to kind of wake up Rhyno is the same thing: give your faces actual human, relatable qualities instead of booking them all as invulnerable Bugs Bunny assholes.
-American Alpha doing a slowburn to the one thing they can accomplish is how it's supposed to be done, how it was done successfully for decades. Stop bringing people in and making them immediately win the one belt they're eligible for, or shooting them directly past the US/IC-level titles where they're supposed to cut their teeth. Make them have to work for it, because then we want them to win and they actually accomplish things.
-Ambrose beating Cena clean and Styles teleporting in to close things out was a great way to put all three on even keel. Agreed that, technically Cena doesn't deserve to be in a title match now, but that also gives Ambrose something to rail against, since Cena is the perpetual holder of the John Cena World Title and gets title matches whenever he wants.
-If Cena's not winning the belt at the next PPV (and he shouldn't), maybe let Ziggler put him out? Cena is everything Ziggler (the character) thought/thinks he's supposed to be, and is the character most in need of an alignment change who (since Roman and Cena can't change, it seems) might actually be allowed to change. I dunno, just a thought, as I'm not sure what else you could possibly do with him now.
Cena/Dean could have been a great PPV main event and not a 10 minute Smackdown match, but I enjoyed it. Maybe they're setting Dean up to lose, because I don't see Cena losing again and with Dean being given a token win, he can take the fall.
I think Dean is more likely to beat AJ than Cena if AJ drops it earlier (which is doubtful), since Cena is taking more time off to do more American Grit. Unless the plan is for Cena to win his 16th title, lose it right away, and then come back for the REAL record-breaking 17th world title for WrestleMania, he's not winning the belt any time soon.
It could help if the plan is for Dean and AJ to trade the belt a bit, which I'm not against since SD's main event scene should be preserved and AJ just beating everybody scorched-earth could hurt the thin roster. Orton's sometimes injured, Cena's basically part time, and you can't just toss Dean out of the mix, but you need to get a few months out of AJ on top.
Dolph's entire arc seems destined to end in a heel turn, but then you have no upper midcard faces on SDL. I think Miz/Dolph have great chemistry and they've done a lot of work to get sympathy back for Dolph after the Rusev/Lana disaster.
The Alexa/Becky contract signing is the best contract signing of 2016, NXT included. I love the booking of Bex on SDL, she takes the verbal abuse from Bliss, comes back with her own fire, then gets physically assaulted, gets back at Bliss for that, THEN gets back to the ring and signs the damned contract. The faces don't have to vacillate between being loser chumps and unbeatable ubermensch, they can be relatable badasses. Bliss was terrific with her facial expressions here, first the cockiness and then the "oh shit, have I bitten off more than I can chew?" once Becky got going. Bliss is more polished than Bex on the mic, which probably makes her the best active woman wrestler on the mic, with Becky a close #2.
The Miz is otherworldly right now. That was some clever heel strategery to win that match - I'd forgotten about that mace. His slowly including Daniel Bryan's moveset into his matches is golden and the crowd is catching on. When they decide to give the rub to someone by having them beat him, it's going to blow the roof off the place. Also, when did Miz suddenly become a solid hand who could put on ***+ matches on demand?!
Oh yeah, Cena lost clean. Apparently the last time that happened on SmackDown was March 1st, 2005, when he lost the US title to Orlando Jordan. And if you're looking for clean, like really clean? June 22nd, 2004, to the Undertaker.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!
It has to be the plucky story to win the title. Doesn't it?! If they take their time with them they have 2 great wrestlers waiting to go on their own in years to come. They (being backstage) will love Jordan in particular.
I've liked The Miz for years. I think he's one of the best things going in the company, and I'd love for them to put the WWE Championship on him again at some point in the future. Right now, he's white-hot as Intercontinental Champion.
"Sir, I'd like you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off." "Work, work, work..." --Zoe and Wash, Firefly
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Originally posted by Dr UnlikelyIf Cena's not winning the belt at the next PPV (and he shouldn't), maybe let Ziggler put him out? Cena is everything Ziggler (the character) thought/thinks he's supposed to be, and is the character most in need of an alignment change who (since Roman and Cena can't change, it seems) might actually be allowed to change. I dunno, just a thought, as I'm not sure what else you could possibly do with him now.
Since Bray looks like he'll be eating another RKO and losing another feud soon, it would help both he and Ziggler if Dolph becomes the first wrestler to actually get converted into a Wyatt Family follower. He gets so disheartened by all his losses that he's now susceptible to what Bray is saying. Dolph and Rowan form the new tag team, Harper is expected back in November (I think?) and with Bray in charge, suddenly that's a very formidable faction. Plus, Nick Nemeth then gets to finally stop bleaching his hair.
George Michael weighed his options. Maeby had chastised him for not taking risks, and what would be a bigger risk than perpetuating a lie about software just to ignite the passions of a woman? Of course it would be a lie, and since Maeby wouldn't know it was a lie, he wouldn't appear to be taking a risk. Perhaps the bigger risk was to tell his father he was lying, that he came up with it because he wanted his father to leave so he could enjoy what remained of his senior year. After all, he wondered, wouldn't that be the course of action taken by an overtly sexual man, a man who owns a pair of matador pants? He had not responded now for 41 seconds according to his unfailing internal clock, and it was time to come clean.
She runs funny and throws really awkward looking punches/forearms. Due to lack of experience or talent, she's not as controlled a performer as most of the WWF's non-developmental male workers and more solid female workers like Jazz.