Thursday, September 23, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (October 4th, 2016): No mercy for losers

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]alexa-bliss-twisted-bliss-becky-lynch[/media-credit]

This Sunday, the ladies of the blue brand will meet again. Between the Women’s championship contest and the anticipated Bella vs Mella bout, No Mercy is gearing up to be an impressive night. But before the big night, the women of SmackDown still had some work to do. And whilst some came out on top, we had to see the downfall of others.

During the first hour of the show, Alexa Bliss faces off against Nikki Bella, with Carmella on commentary. As the match goes on, the two ladies find themselves outside the ring. A cocky Carmella quickly stands up and calls out Bella, but unfortunately for the Princess of Staten Island, Nikki throws Alexa into her, leaving both women on the ground (followed by an attempted moonwalk which, Nikki really needs to stop by the way). The match then rolls on into the ring but Carmella puts a stop to it by attacking Nikki. Bliss and ‘Mella then team up on Nikki until Becky Lynch storms into the ring, leaving the villains retreating to the outside.

When we return from a break however, we’re treated to a tag match in which Bella and Lynch take on Carmella and Bliss.  The bout goes on for a little while and we see impressive work from each corner. Becky gets her hands on Alexa, Nikki gets her hands on Carmella and vice versa. As Becky is about to put an end to the match, Carmella kicks her in the face, leaving her stunned. Though to Carmella’s dismay, Nikki chases her out of the ring. However, Bliss takes ahold of the opportunity and performs the Twisted Bliss on a knocked out Lynch, allowing Carmella and Alexa to take home the win.

Later on in the night we hear an announcement that Nikki Bella will take on Carmella this Sunday at No Mercy. Carmella then spoke to Charly Caruso about the match. She emphasised how the “thirsty Kardashian wannabe” should be more worried about walking red carpets than the Princess of Staten Island. She also makes sure to note that she will end Nikki this Sunday.

On the post show, Talking Smack, Daniel Bryan discussed the upcoming pay-per-view. Though he wanted to make Nikki and Carmella’s bout a No Disqualification match, he believed that as the two didn’t even have a Singles contest yet that it wouldn’t work. He also mentioned that Carmella’s issue is that she seems more focused on beating up Nikki, rather than beating her – something she needs to get herself in the title picture.

On the topic of the Women’s title match, Bryan stated that Alexa may go home with the win. He believes that Alexa is thirsty enough for the title, whereas Becky is more used to going after the title that she doesn’t have the capabilities to hold onto it whilst she has it.

Thoughts: As the go-home show before No Mercy, this was a pretty big disappointment. The women got the shorter end of the stick this week as the focus was placed way more on the likes of the WWE and Intercontinental title pictures. It’s understandable as those matches are definitely the highlights, but there should surely be more attention on the very first Women’s championship defence on the blue brand. Becky’s first title defence isn’t just a milestone for her, but it’s one for the entire division. This match can set the tone for the coming months and if it’s treated as a filler match – which is exactly what it feels like.

Even in the designated segment of the night, the focus is placed more on Carmella and Nikki. We see Carmella do all the speaking, whilst the most memorable spots involve her and Nikki. And though Alexa does end up pinning Becky, Nikki chasing Carmella out of the ring appears as the more noted part of the ending.

This women’s title match, though it will undoubtedly be a good bout, doesn’t have as much hype as it deserves. We’re all aware that Lynch won’t be losing to Bliss this Sunday, but if this is the attitude SmackDown will have in regards to the inevitably predictable title matches, then the championship itself will suffer as a consequence. We need to see each title defence treated as though it will be the champion’s last, and going into No Mercy, it’s more than clear than Lynch will win – even if Bryan wants to be pretend otherwise on Talking Smack.

SmackDown needs to make their title matter, and having a feud that feels lazy is a horrendous way to start. Both women are great talents and are most definitely worth so much more. Their chemistry and in-ring abilities combined has proven to be worth watching, but it seems that creative aren’t cashing in on that opportunity.

Nikki and Carmella’s feud could also be a little better also. Whilst they are treated better than Lynch and Bliss, there is still some room for improvement. Carmella and Nikki have been at each other’s throats, but if WWE wanted us to truly take this story seriously, the end result from tonight could’ve felt a little more brutal. We should’ve seen an attack backstage, a brawl that ends in security, or anything that wasn’t so weak. Much like Lynch and Bliss, Carmella and Nikki have proven their ability to have an interesting feud, SmackDown just needs to believe in them.

If this Sunday allows the ladies to have a good amount of time, then we will undoubtedly have another two examples of why SmackDown’s women’s division is the one to watch. But if they will be treated like fillers – as they were this week – then we may have to reevaluate our trust in the blue brand…

What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you excited for No Mercy this Sunday? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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