WrestleMania 33 was one for the ages and the Raw after WrestleMania was outstanding as well. The SmackDown after Mania was upon us and the Amway Center was packed once more for another night of WWE action.
The new WWE Champion’s music hits and Randy Orton walked out with his title in tow. This is the 13th time we’ve seen Randy Orton with a major title and he still looks good with an important championship. Orton grabbed the mic and soaked in the WWE Universe’s adoration for a bit.
He was very over with the crowd and referenced his really cool line, “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em, and then screw ’em.'” and says he left out the most important part: “if you face them for the title at Mania you better win it.”
Bray got on the screen and said he wanted his rematch to be in a different kind of match. He hyped what kind of match it will be and said it will change Randy. Bray Wyatt is so good. He said he wanted to face Randy Orton in a “House Of Horrors Match.” Randy said he didn’t know what that match was, but he accepted the match anyway.
Randy challenged Bray to come down and face him. The lights went to that awesome Wyatt cut-shot and Wyatt was suddenly behind Randy. Randy hit an RKO on Bray but Eric Rowan wearing a sheep mask inspired by Slipknot came out of the crowd and jumped him. They beat Orton down until Luke Harper ran down to rescue The Viper.
The Wyatt Family were run off as the former members of the Wyatt Family stood in the ring staring them down. Looks like we might be finally getting that Erick Rowan/Luke Harper feud we’ve always wanted.
The Miz and Maryse are interviewed. They’re still mad at Cena and Nikki. They talk some trash about the proposal at Mania, and said after they’re done with the newly engaged couple we won’t see Nikki or Cena in a very long, long time.
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Naomi comes out and does her entrance that makes us feel like we’re watching a live rave party. Naomi really had fun with the title in her hometown. Alexa Bliss came out and she looks pissed, but then again she always looks pissed. Guess it’s probably something that comes with being short.
They made the ring introductions seem like a big match. It might have just been a chance to get a big pop when they announced Naomi’s hometown, but Alexa got a pretty good pop too.
Naomi drove Alexa’s head into the top turnbuckle and followed it up outside with a jumping high kick (that’s what I’m gonna call it). Alexa took the match back over and downed her by focusing on her knee injury. Bliss pulled and tried to hyperextend her knee as Naomi finally made it to the ropes.
Bliss wrapped The Glow’s knee around a rope and twisted even more at her knee. Bliss knows how to focus on a body part. Naomi fought back and took Bliss down with some right hands and took Bliss down. Naomi got Bliss up in a fire-woman’s carry and threw her down to kick her in the head. 1-2-kick out.
Bliss hit Naomi with a stiff DDT and it was awesome. She wrenched at Naomi’s neck and sent her down to the mat with a massive slam. Nami got Bliss with a Rear View outta nowhere and got a two-count on Alexa Bliss.
Naomi jumped to the top and kicked Bliss in the head. The Glow tried another top rope move, but Bliss got in the way. Bliss tried a roll up pin and grabbed the ropes right in front of the ref and he wouldn’t count. Naomi slipped Bliss into her submission move and Alexa Bliss tapped.
Naomi danced in front of her hometown crowd as victor and champion while still selling her knee injury.
Curt Hawkins Open Challenge
Curt Hawkins was out there and talked crap about the superstar shake-up and how everyone should be taking about him. He issued an open challenge which is now code for “something from NXT is probably coming up” and Hawkins started counting from the count of “10” — boom — 10. Tye Dillinger’s music hit and everyone in the arena marked out hard as everyone threw up their hands and chanted “10” for the Perfect 10.
Dillinger ran a greatest hits on Curt Hawkins and the crowd was fully behind him. Tye looked great and Hawkins sold brilliantly. Dillinger hit the Tye Breaker and got the win.
Mojo is being interviewed backstage. He’s in a suit and standing next to the Andre Trophy. He seems very dialed down and says him and Gronk partied hard. Then he said they wondered what it would have been like if Andre The Giant could go out and party with them. He brought up how much Andre could drink. He says the bar has been raised and he’s going to top it. They’re making him seem a little bit more human and a little less like “I’m on a handful of Adderall.”
John Cena And The Miz Segment
Miz and Maryse came out dressed like John and Nikki. The crowd ate it up. Miz did his spot-on impression of John Cena and it was better than anything John could say. “John” told “Nikki” he loved her and got what he wanted. A segment that made him seem like a more relatable human being. “Yes” chants broke out.
Maryse’s impression of Nikki is hilarious. “John” said Nikki and himself are leaving WWE and the crowd popped hard. He said they’re going to be gone for a very long time and the crowd cheered and started “no more Cena” chants.
As they turned to walk up the ring the lights went out and a spotlight his a single violin player on the ramp. He played a great little piece and suddenly Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit. It was epic. Nakamura came out in all red looking like a Michael Jackson Japanese Jesus. He bowed to the violin player and eyeballed Miz in the ring. The Miz wasn’t in a very good place at that moment.
The crowd ate up every moment of it and yelled the melody of Nakamura’s theme song at the top of their lungs. Nakamura came out and did every move of his iconic entrance. They didn’t change a think. We just wonder if he’s going to have that violin player travel with him now.
Some in the crowd were chanting “holy sh–” while most were chanting “Nakamura.” Miz had previously very wisely vacated the ring to let Nakamura do his thing. But he didn’t say anything or lay down any Strong Style. Miz left completely and Nakamura’s music hit as soon as it stopped playing. Shinsuke stood in the ring as the crowd ate up the fact they were basking in his presence. They might be milking Nakamura all they can so when he finally does something physical, it’ll be that much more important.
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin (Street Fight)
Baron immediately picked Dean up and drove him into the corner. He took him down with some strikes to get down to business. Baron beat Dean down for a bit and finally retrieved a chair from under the ring. Dean hit him with two suicide dives back-to-back. The second one drove Corbin over the announce table.
Ambrose beat him all over the announce table and they took the fight inside the crowd for a bit. As the action continued the ring was full of chairs and a table was set up in the corner. Dean jumped off the top rope to hit Corbin with an elbow but he missed and Baron picked him up to drive him through the table.
The Lone Wolf rolled out of the ring and got a leather strap from under the ring. Baron gave a sadistic smile before spanking Dean Ambrose like his father never did. Corbin also hit Ambrose in the chest with the strap before he wedged a chair in-between the turnbuckles. He tried to throw Ambrose into the chair, but Dean reversed him and sent Corbin’s head through the chair.
The two stood toe-to-toe and hammered at each other before Dean got the upper hand and grabbed the leather strap. Ambrose went ape-crap on Baron with the strap before throwing him outside. Dean hit Corbin with a standing elbow drop off the top rope to the floor. Dean looked like he had plans and they didn’t sound good for Corbin.
He rolled Ambrose on a table and climbed the top rope again. Ambrose delivered another elbow drop onto Corbin smashing the table underneath them. Corbin got back in the ring and threw a chair at Ambrose as he was climbing the top rope again.
Baron Corbin hit Ambrose with the End Of Days and 1-2-3, The Lone Wolf wins. It was a very hard-fought spot-fest indeed. It’s just too bad for Corbin that it was a non-title match.
Shane McMahon Segment
The SmackDown Live Commissioner, Shane McMahon came down to an ovation of much respect. McMahon was down to talk about the upcoming WWE superstar shake-up but first acknowledged the crowd chanting his name.
He said any Raw superstar should be praying that they end up on SmackDown Live because they have created the land of opportunity. #MakeSmackDownGreatAgain — Then AJ Styles’ music hit and he came down looking tough with a big shiner on his eye the size of McMahon’s fist.
AJ said he doesn’t know what’s going with the superstar shake-up but he doesn’t want to go anywhere. He says SmackDown is the house AJ Styles built and there were plenty of “yes” chants after he said that.
Styles said he came out because after Mania he felt like he owed McMahon something. AJ offered Shane a handshake and they shook hands in the middle of the ring. They teased throwing hands, but AJ just did his pose as The Phenomenal One’s music hit. Great segment with a Phenomenal show of well-deserved respect.
Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan vs. Randy Orton and Luke Harper
It’s a Wyatt Family reunion and it’s about to get as crazy as an episode of The Jerry Springer show (without the fact everybody’s sleeping with each other). The fireflies were thick in the Amway Center as Bray and Erick walked to the ring. JBL sold the fact Rowan had been brainwashed for the past seven months since he’s been gone and not rehabbing an injury.
JBL said only 3 people have held a major more times than Orton: Triple H, John Cena, and Ric Flair. The fact Randy says he feels like he’s got ten years left might mean he’ll topple even the Nature Boy.
Erick Rowan didn’t seem to be impressed by The Viper because he took him out with a hard and high spin kick rat off the bat. The force of the blow sent Randy out of the ring and he had to collect himself.
Bray and Randy got a chance to mix it up until Harper got the tag and got to take out his former Wyatt Family leader. Luke hit Rowan down and threw Bray to the outside. He followed it up with a suicide dive on both of them.
Rowan ended up getting the better of Harper and punished his former brethren with some stiff shots. Rowan applied pressure by pressing his fists against the sides of Luke’s head to keep him down. Rowan hit Harper with a spinning powerslam and got the tag off the Bray.
Wyatt came in and continued the abuse to Luke Harper. Bray knocked Harper down with a hard shot and got a two-count before tagging Rowan back in. Erick set Harper’s face into the top turnbuckle and hammered on his chest. Harper took a lot of abuse including a splash and a dropkick. But he still kicked out.
Luke came back with a spinning slam to Bray as a desperation move as the crowd started to chant “RKO.” Randy and Erick got the tag a the same time and Orton took the fight to Bray. But just as he was about to hit the RKO, the lights went out and they did the whole weird Wyatt thing. When they came back Bray was on the ramp. Luke kicked Erick Roman and Randy Orton hit him with an RKO for the win.
Guess Bray is just playing coy at this point and trying to use some mind games. Even though Randy Orton doesn’t seem to be phased much by his psychological tactics. Luke Harper and Randy Orton posed as Randy’s music played to close out the show.