We are about 12 days away from WWE’s December Pay-Per-View, TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.
This week's Smackdown Live did an excellent job of furthering along each story they have going on right now. From a fantastic contract signing at the top of the show to a top-notch main event, Tuesday’s show was great from top to bottom.
Tuesday’s Smackdown Live started with General Manager Paige in the ring for the SD Live Women’s Championship contract signing. Asuka made her entrance, then Charlotte Flair followed after her. Finally, “The Man” Becky Lynch made her way to the ring. She was not holding her championship though as it was hanging above the ring, as it will be for their TLC match at the PPV in 12 days. There was a little back and forth between the three, then Becky signed the contract first and walked out. That left Asuka and Charlotte to banter before Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville interrupted the two women, leading to a tag team match between the four women.
This first segment is just another example of the greatness the SD Live women are putting out week in and week out.
Charlotte is trying to put on her best Becky Lynch impression, while Asuka is bringing back the fire she used to show back in NXT. As for “The Man,” she continues to be the star of the entire WWE. Her carefree attitude towards her opponents, knowing she will do anything necessary to win, just adds to her aura as a pure badass. The end of the segment with Rose and Deville was a nice addition. They are both improving exponentially on the mic and are sure to be staples in the women’s division for a long time.
The tag team match that followed was not the best but was a solid opening contest.
Rose and Deville started to dominate Asuka before Asuka got the hot tag to Charlotte. Charlotte started to clean house before Rose got involved. Rose got on the apron to attack Charlotte. Asuka pulled Rose off the apron and jumps up onto the apron where Rose was. After that, Charlotte blindly blasts Asuka with a big boot, thinking it was Rose. This led to Deville rolling up Charlotte, who reversed it into a roll-up of her own. Out of nowhere, Asuka hits a running knee on Charlotte to retaliate for the boot that she gave to her. Deville then pinned Charlotte for the win.
The angle of the two opponents teaming up has been overused, but this was a way to visualize it that I haven’t seen. The story here, however, is Rose and Deville picking up the big win. Even though it came from an assist from Asuka, the image of Sonya Deville pinning Charlotte is a powerful image. Big things could be heading her way.
The next match was a triple threat match between Cesaro, Xavier Woods, and Jey Uso.
With the tag titles on the line at TLC between the champions, The Bar (Shamus and Cesaro) defending against The Uso’s and the New Day. This was a fast paced match that saw each competitor get their big spot. Cesaro did an impressive Big Swing on Jey Uso while carrying Xavier Woods on his back for an Airplane Swing. Jey Uso ended up winning after landing a Superkick onto Cesaro for the win.
The triple threat tag team match at TLC has the opportunity to steal the show. This triple threat preview match, however, did not. It was rushed, and you could tell. If these guys are given the time, they can tell a great story in the ring. Xavier Woods is my favorite member of New Day, but he seemed to disappear in my mind at times. Even though I wouldn't say I liked this match, I am 100% sure they will put on a much better match at TLC.
The next segment was MizTv featuring The Miz’s guest, WWE Champion, “The New” Daniel Bryan. Before Miz could get started, R-Truth and Carmella interrupted for a quick dance break. After that, Miz introduced his guest, Daniel Bryan. The entire time, Miz was trying to get Daniel to admit that he listened to The Miz. Daniel dances around answering, spouting that he isn’t the bad guy, but everyone else is the villain towards the earth. The segment ended with AJ Styles running down to attack Daniel Bryan. AJ got a few hits on Bryan and Miz, but while Bryan escaped up the ramp, AJ was staring him down then Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Styles.
This was the segment of the night.
Daniel Bryan citing humans lack of respect for the planet as his reason for turning his back on the fans was brilliant. I didn’t think it was going to work at first, but Bryan’s incredible mic skills sold me almost instantly. This was also a great way to implement The Miz and, in my opinion, sow the seeds for another Daniel Bryan vs. Miz program but this time with Miz as the babyface and Bryan as the heel.
The next match took place between Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. This was a physical match and showed great chemistry between the two veterans. Randy Orton got the win after Samoa Joe distracted Hardy on the Titantron. Orton took advantage and hit an RKO to pick up the victory.
As I said, these two have great chemistry. Even though this match has happened multiple times, I never seem to get bored by it. Samoa Joe on the Titantron in a bar and giving an alcohol service announcement was great. He continues to take advantage of Hardy’s past alcoholism and use it to get under Hardy’s skin. There was only a brief mention of Orton’s rivalry with Mysterio, so that was a little disappointing.
The main event was a match that was made earlier in the night; The Miz vs. AJ Styles. There was great back and forth between the two. The match ended with Styles submitting The Miz with the Calf Crusher. After the match, Daniel Bryan attacked Styles after and targeted the leg of Styles. The brutal attack finally ended with Bryan standing tall over Styles.
I don’t think The Miz and AJ Styles can put on a bad match together. They both have great chemistry and can tell a compelling story in the ring. The best thing about the match though was Daniel Bryan on commentary. He came off as such an environmentalist douche, and it was perfect. His run as this heel champion has gotten off to a great start.
SD Live once again puts out another great episode and continues to assert its dominance as the superior brand. So many good segments and matches, and they have the perfect superstar as their champion. I honestly cannot wait for next weeks go-home show.