Saturday, October 16, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (December 6th, 2016): The Alexa Bliss Era

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]alexa-bliss-dismisses-becky-lynch-smackdown-live-12-06-2016[/media-credit]

After an explosive TLC, SmackDown Live’s women’s division had a lot to live up to. From the mystery of the unknown attacker to the rise of the Wicked, the women of SmackDown have a lot of their plate… So let’s see what they got up to:

After announcing that it was Natalya that had attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series, Carmella was scheduled for a match against the Queen of Harts. Before the match can start, the Princess of Staten Island takes ahold of the microphone and gives her opponent a piece of her mind. She tells the audience that Natalya is the liar in this scenario and that she pulled off a “Tonya Harding” on Nikki. Carmella then equates Natalya’s actions to the simple fact that Nikki is “stealing Natalya’s spotlight” – sound familiar? She states that Natalya is jealous because she is not as “glamorous,” “curvacious,” and as “beautiful” as Nikki Bella (and Carmella). The Princess of Staten Island goes on to call Natalya a “deceiving con artist” and, before we know it, Natalya storms to the ring for a beat-down of Carmella. The trash talker then dashes backstage and once we catch up with them, she is no longer in sight. But what does is happen is that Natalya bumps into Nikki, and though she tries to explain herself, Bella walks away in disgust.

We soon catch up with Nikki as she is met by online sensation Sophia Grace. The pair discuss Grace’s upcoming music video and we see the yungin’ attempt to cheer up Bella with her inspiring song lyrics. So cute!

Later on in the night Alexa Bliss takes to the ring to address the WWE Universe and Becky Lynch. Following a firework celebration and “ding dong, the witch is champ,” Bliss attempts to boasts about her title win. However, chants for Becky force the conversation to move on to the former SmackDown Women’s champion. Lynch soon storms to the ring but is told by Alexa that the invitation said “no losers allowed.” Becky responds by saying that whilst it may be one thing to get to the top, it’s a whole other thing to remain there.

Alexa continues her speech by saying that unlike Becky she doesn’t care for the WWE Universe’s opinion. She also enforces the idea that we’re no longer in the “new era,” we’re in Alexa’s era. And regardless of what names Becky’s “broken heart desires” to call her, Bliss says that she will call her “champion” above all – though Lynch prefers the word she used last week.

The topic of a rematch is then swiftly brought up and Becky states that Alexa’s reign will begin and end with it. And in fact, she intends to have the said rematch right now. Alexa, who takes off her jacket and places her belt and microphone on the ground, appears willing to take up the offer. But in typical WWE fashion, she leaves the ring, keeping the match postponed to another time.

Thoughts: It’s hard to be pleased by this episode. If you watched TLC and missed this, you wouldn’t need to go back and look at highlights to be fully caught up with the story. All that happened for the women was that a rematch was spoken about (something that is always guaranteed after a title change) and Carmella, Nikki and Natalya went over what happened on Sunday. We really didn’t see any story progression here, and it’s a shame as Alexa could really do with some great time and writing to be put over.

The Alexa and Becky feud could really become something worthwhile. And after the fantastic tables match they had two nights ago, it’s a shame that they’re left with almost nothing in the fallout. Both women are really talented, and this segment could have been really useful had it been used correctly. Alexa should have spent way more time bragging and discussing her future as this would have given the fans more time to react to her and see what she has to offer as a champion. And the ending could have gone any other way, rather than the same way any random title challenge ends. We could have had a stare down, a verbal decline of the match, or a brawl. But it took the most predictable and least useful of the lot.

The other segment wasn’t exactly great either. Whilst Carmella and Natalya were convincing, there wasn’t much going on that had me invested. The speech was going well and then after it was over, the entire thing practically fell flat soon after. Much like the other segment we could’ve seen a lot more here. Nikki was hardly involved, and Carmella was seen praising her biggest enemy…? Instead we could have seen an exchange between all three women, and then the brawl between Natalya and Carmella could have happened. I’m also not sure how many more times SmackDown are going to cancel their women’s matches before they realise nobody wants to see that.

Overall, this was a bad week for Team Blue. We saw absolutely no wrestling minus the mini brawl and at this point, that’s pretty ridiculous. It gets even more ridiculous when you realize that Dean Ambrose, somebody that lost their title match, got more screen time than the new SmackDown Women’s champion – he had three segments with mic/wrestling time, as well as an entrance for each appearance. And on top of that, there were three tag team division matches, whilst the women received none at all. We can pretend to chalk this down to the “two hour” issue, but if we have time for three tag team division matches and to see the same guy three different times, there’s obviously enough space for decent women’s wrestling.

What did you think of tonight’s show? Are you pleased with how it went down? What are you predictions for the future of the division? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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