Post Backlash Thoughts: AJ Styles wins WWE title, Orton/Wyatt & more

Happy Monday everybody and we’ve got the first Smackdown PPV come and gone. I wanted to stop by today and discuss some of the biggest points from the show and where the Smackdown brand can go from here.

Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

I have zero complaints on the end result of this match, in fact last month in my post SummerSlam report i thought that Styles should be headed for the WWE title after beating John Cena. Heel AJ has been great television for quite a while and i am thrilled that now he has the championship to go along with that. Since leaving TNA in 2014 he has been on a roll by traveling the world and being at the top of his game and being one of if not the best talent in the entire wrestling landscape. He made his WWE debut in January and has been easily the best act on the entire main roster. I am glad to see they are seemingly going all in with him. As for Ambrose he was a fine champion and if they decide to do a rematch at No Mercy it should be very good. The match here was entertaining from start to finish and i was very surprised to hear the crowd booing Ambrose in some spots. I wonder if WWE will play up on that at all.

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton

I was bummed to hear that Orton wasn’t cleared to compete. I was actually interested in seeing him feud with Wyatt and it seems like they will still go that way and are just waiting on Orton to be cleared. I didn’t particularly care for Kane being the replacement and beating Wyatt even if it was caused by Orton. Bray continues to be that guy who says interesting things but never seems to pick up a meaningful win. I hope they change direction with him at some point. I get the argument some have that he is a special character and can afford to lose without hurting him a ton, but at some point he’s gotta get some wins.

The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship

This match i found very entertaining but a little ruined by the finish. I’m not necessarily against heels doing heel things like hairspray in the eye, but it was what came before it that got me. There was a segment between Bryan and Miz where Miz wants his contract re-negotiated which is fine but in on a show where the GM and commissioner are all over the shows, i found it odd where there was no follow up segment with Bryan calling out Miz for these heel tactics especially when he’s demanding more money in the storyline. You don’t necessarily have to change the finish, but i would have personally gone with the classic Miz gets disqualified and Ziggler wins but the announcer does that typical announcement where they say that the Miz is still the Intercontinental champion. I’ll say this, if Tuesday rolls around and Bryan at least mentions the heel tactics from this show then i’m fine with it. I just think that the babyface management team on this show should be calling these things out.

Smackdown Women’s Championship 6 Pack Challenge

I thought this was a great opener to the show at around 15 mins. Everyone got a chance to shine and there were a lot of fun moves throughout the match. I thought this was a great showcase in particular for Becky Lynch. Seeing as how her old NXT buddies (Charlotte & Sasha) have won championships on the main roster it was nice to see Becky finally get her big win. She is a crucial piece to the women’s division on Smackdown and i think going forward i’d like to see her have some good feuds with Natalya and Alexa Bliss. I am also equally enjoying the Carmella/Nikki Bella feud. I like their back and forth ahead of this show and i like some their interactions on this show. Good stuff.

The Usos vs Heath Slater & Rhyno

Heath Slater has been one of my favorite parts of Smackdown in recent weeks since not being drafted to either brand. I normally don’t find a lot of the “Vince McMahon” type humor funny but i feel that Heath has taken it and made it entertaining thus far. I thought it was the right move to make these guys the champions and i can only imagine we’re gonna get some more comedy gold with these 2 going forward. I really also liked the new look for the Usos in a darker look. They are going to make a great heel team and they had good matches with Slater/Rhyno as well as the Hype Bros from earlier in the night.

All in all i’d give the show a solid 7 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone to check out on the network. Easy show to watch and good action throughout. I think the Smackdown brand is on the right track right now.

Gary Cantrell
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