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Smackdown Live After Mania Review (4/4/17) Orlando, FL

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The first Smackdown Live after WrestleMania did not disappoint at all. We kicked the show off with the new WWE Champion, Randy Orton. The ‘Viper’ talks about his big win at this past Sunday’s WrestleMania when all of a sudden Bray Wyatt pops on the screen. Not only does he wanna have his rematch for the title, he wants to have a special kind of match. Something that’s never been done before. A ‘House of Horrors’ match. Randy gladly excepts. He tells Bray to come to the ring. The lights go out and Bray appears in the ring – Taker style. They exchange blows. Then, someone grabs Orton’s leg and pulls him out the ring. Turns out it’s none other than the returning Erick Rowan. Both guys attack Orton until Luke Harper comes down to save the day. This was a good opening segment. This storyline with Orton and The Wyatt’s has been fantastic. It’s one of the best storylines I’ve seen in a while.

Next up, we get a Smackdown Women’s Title Match. Alexis Bliss gets her rematch against Naomi. I thought this was a pretty good match. I like Alexa working the bad knee of Naomi and her selling it well throughout the match. Alexa goes for the pin holding the ropes. The ref catches her. Naomi counters into her new submission finisher and wins to retain her title. It’s nice to finally see the extremely athletic Naomi finally get the recognition she deserves. Alexa Bliss is coming along nicely herself. She really seems to be in tune with her character since being called up from NXT.

We see Mojo Rawley get interviewed backstage talking about his Andre The Giant Battle Royal win and having Gronk be a part of that moment for him. He says this is only the beginning for him. It was nice to see Mojo get the win. Plus he represents Maryland so it’s always cool to see local guys get there shine.

Next up is Curt Hawkins in the ring issuing out an open challenge to anyone in the back. He is giving them “10” seconds to come out. Low and be hold – who shows up? It’s none other than the ‘Perfect 10’ himself, Tye Dillinger. The crowd went nuts. If you’re a fan of NXT you know how over this guy is. Tye picks up his first win on the main roster with the Tye Breaker to Hawkins. I’m so happy for him. I hope he gets a decent push. Maybe a IC title run is in the cards for Tye.

Then we get by far the moment of the night. Miz and Maryse say they will go out to the ring to call out Cena and Nikki. Cena’s music hits and I swear I thought that was him and Nikki but it was Miz and Maryse continuing to impersonate them. They have been doing such a great job with those skits and impressions; they even have their movements down perfectly. They say are leaving WWE for good for Hollywood. The crowd breaks out into a huge ‘Yes’ chant. All of a sudden we see violinst Lee England Jr on the stage. Last time we saw him was at Brooklyn Takeover II last year. And there he was. The King of Strong Style ‘Shinsuke Nakamura’. I literally screamed. Total mark out moment – not gonna lie. The pop was huge. He didn’t say a word yet said so much at the same time. Making his entrance only how Nakamura can. It was exciting, the crowd was singing along to his theme. It was pure magic and I loved every second of it.

Our next match was Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin in a Street Fight for the IC title. This was a good match. I feel it fits both guys style well. We got chairs and tables. Corbin slams Ambrose thru the table in the corner. Ambrose hits and elbow drop thru the table on the outside to Corbin. Corbin recovers. Throws a chair at Ambrose which makes him fall of the top rope. Hits him with the End of Days for the win. Corbin wins his first title in WWE. I was not a huge Corbin fan when he was down in NXT. Thought he was a one trick Pony with a cool finisher. I can honestly say I see improvement in him. Hope he continues to improve and make that IC title mean something like it use to back in the day.

Shane McMahon comes to the ring to talk about the up coming brand shake up/draft or whatever you wanna call it. AJ Styles interrupts him. Says he doesn’t wanna go anywhere. Smackdown is the house he built and he wants to stay. Tells Shane he owes him something. Shakes his hand for a job well done at Mania. That was a pretty cool moment. I knew they would have a good match. AJ is one of the best and Shane knows how to put on a match for a guy who’s not an everyday wrestler.

We get out Main Event: The Wyatt’s, Bray and Rowan, versus Randy Orton and Luke Harper.  I was very impressed with the athleticism of Bray, Rowan and Harper in this match; it was on full display. Even JBL brought it up. They all move well for their size. Orton looks like he is gonna get the win on Bray with the RKO. Lights go Out. Bray is on the outside the ring up the ramp. Rowan grabs him from behind. Orton with the Counter. Harper hits the super kick to Rowan who then walks into and RKO. Harper and Randy with the win.

I really enjoyed this Smackdown. The crowd was hype all night. Just like the Monday crowd was for RAW. We got two NXT call ups with Nakamura and Tye. A new IC Champion in Corbin. Miz and Maryse continue to be on point with the feud with Cena and Nikki. Can’t wait to see what happens next week with this roster shake up. What new stars will we see on Smackdown? Who will be leaving Smackdown? Should make for good tv. In closing, get well soon to Mauro Ranallo. Your commentary is missed. Can’t wait to see you back doing what you do best.

this article comes to you via @MoneyMakerChris

image credit – WWE

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