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The Bottom Rope Report - April 6, 2017: Part 2

Written by Jeff Moss on Thursday, April 06 2017 and posted in Features

The Bottom Rope Report - April 6, 2017: Part 2

Post-Wrestlemania Smackdown Live is in our crosshairs! Can it live up to the hype (sit down, Mojo)?


Source: WWE

Moving over the blue lane, could Smackdown live up to the bar that RAW set this week? This is the first Smackdown Live that isn't just a continuation of RAW after Wrestlemania, so it was pretty exciting to find out!

wwe smackdown live logo

I'll admit, when the show began with new WWE Champ Randy Orton cutting a promo, I got worried. HIs match with Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania had, for me, been the low point of the show. I was surprised that he got the win, and decided to give him a chance on the mic.

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All he did was remind everyone what happened leading up too Wrestlemania, but before it could go too long, Bray Wyatt appeared on the video screen and challenged Randy to a HOUSE OF HORRORS match!

Now, I have no idea what that is, and they didn't tell us what it is, but I'll be honest; it sounds AWESOME. Orton accepted and then BOOM! Bray teleported into the ring like Data on an Away Mission and he and Randy began to fight. This led to the return of Wyatt Family Sheep Enthusiast, Erick Rowan! Hs return brought out Luke Harper and the amount of beard in the ring was taken to a whole new level. A tag match with all 4 men was set as the main event for later in the show.

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1. Smackdown Women's Championship Match: Naomi (c) vs Alexa Bliss.

Much to the sadness of everyone in the world, Alexa Bliss lost the Women's Championship to a returning Naomi at Wrestlemania. I can't be too sad though, especially if it leads to the two having more solid matches like this one. It was a great match that ended when Alexa tapped out to the submission that she tapped out to at Wrestlemania, which makes sense. Naomi is the champion and wonder what the Superstar Shake Up will mean for her.

Next, the first of two mind-shattering debuts. After being with the company for 11 years and being an integral part of FCW, NXT and even WWECW, Tye Dillinger, reportedly one of the best dudes in wrestling made his debut on Smackdown!

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2. Tye Dillinger vs Curt Hawkins

Dillinger was answering the challenge of Curt Hawkins, a wresters who boils down to "has a cane for some reason. Tye made quick work of Hawkins and the crowd was nuts. They were with him the whole time. I know I was critical of the Raw crowd, but by the time Smackdown came along, they seemed to have settled into a good groove.

Backstage, Mojo Rawley was interviewed about his win at the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That's about it. It was short and sweet, but does give me a chance to talk about one of my least-favourite WWE tropes: the interviewer just staring off into space as a wrestler leaves. I don't know if it's done for editing purposes or not, but I can't count the number of times I've seen an interview segment end with 3-10 seconds of this:

lookaway

Is his butt that nice? Is she making sure he gets home ok? Did he sit on the Venus De Gummi? I don't know, but I wish they'd tighten that up or simply have the interviewer sign off to end the segment. Just a pet peeve that really didn't do much to derail the show, but caught my eye.

Anyway, back in the ring The Miz and Maryse were dressed up as John Cena and Nikki Bella to try and mock the genuinely sweet proposal at WrestleMania. Suddenly the lights went out and we assumed we were about to be lectured under the Rules of Cena, buuuut...

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Instead we got Shinske Nakamura's Smackdown debut!! It was insane, with a live violinist and a crowd that was 110% into it. Nakamura danced, post, shimmied and shaked into the ring as only he could do... and that was IT! Like Roman on RAW, Shinske had the crowd in the palm of his hands in one of the most memorable debuts in recent memory and he didn't have to do a thing but be himself. I don't know if this is setting up Miz Vs Nak or what, but I'm in. All the way in.

Next, in a match that should have been on the Wrestlemania card, Baron Corbin fought Dean Ambrose in a non-title street fight!

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3. Baron Corbin vs Dean Ambrose

This match was a throwback to the hardcore matches of old. Tables, chairs, a leather strap and more tables and chairs littered the ring and were destroyed as the two men went at it. Corbin eventually got the win after smashing a chair into Ambrose's head, before executing the End Of Days.

Up next, Shane McMahon came to the ring to remind people about the Superstar Shake Up and let any RAW wrestlers know they'd be welcome on Smackdown. That brought out AJ Styles, Shane's Wrestlemania opponent. It looked for a minute like the two would scrap, but in the end, AJ extended his and and the shook in a show of mutual respect.

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Then it was time for the Main Event!

4.Randy Orton & Luke Harper vs Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan

I'll be honest, a good episode of Smackdown ended on something of a flat note as this match was a straight-up, by the numbers Smackdown tag match. It was entertaining and competently wrestled but it lacked the excitement of the Main Event tag match on Raw. Granted, a returning Erick Rowan isn't the same as a returning Finn Balor, but they could have ramped it up a bit. In the end, Randy hit an RKO on Rowan for the win.

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Next week: SUPERSTAR SHAKE UP! Which will probably have less to do with putting all the wrestlers in a giant barrel and going to town Barrel of Monkeys style than I hope it will.





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About the Author - Jeff Moss


While most kids spend their days dreaming of being firemen or astronauts, Jeff Moss was firmly holed up in his room with a stack of comic books and wrestling magazines, shying away from natural light. Jeff works as an editor at Blind Ferret and manages the subscription box service, Comic Bento Jeff lives with his Transformers, girlfriend and daughter who both don't get wrestling. He attended Wrestlemania 18, just ask him. He'll tell you all about it.
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