Smackdown! Live Reaction and Grades

​Smackdown! Live has been on a roll recently, beating RAW in the ratings several times over the past few weeks. In this weeks addition, the show kicked off with John Cena addressing the WWE universe following his historic 16th World Championship victory. He was interrupted by Bray Wyatt and Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton, who looked to ambush Cena, while send a message to the rest of the roster. Luke Harper emerged and came to Cena’s aid, setting up a tag match with Cena and Harper taking on The Wyatt Family. Throughout the entire match, Luke Harper struggled to fight against his mentor Wyatt, even going as far as tagging out of the match whenever Bray entered the ring. Cena looked to be gaining some momentum near the end of the match, but Randy Orton struck with an RKO, pinning the WWE Champion. This match set up a Cena vs Orton match for next weeks edition of the blue show, so we will see if Cena is able to get some momentum back. It was also announced by Smackdown Live commissioner Shane McMahon that Cena will be defending the WWE Championship inside the elimination chamber in 2 weeks against AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt, so look for Cena to get back on the right track next week. Grade: B+​The next match was a squash match featuring Carmella against Delilah Dawson. With James Ellsworth at ringside, fans new that this would be a disadvantage for Dawson, and sure enough, Ellsworth interjected himself into the match, while Carmella distracted the referee. Carmella then summited Dawson, ending the match in quick fashion. Grade: D

​Fans then saw the new, more aggressive Dolph Ziggler take on his new rival Kalisto in singles competition. Ziggler has been a changed man recently, attacking Apollo Crews, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Kalisto over the past several weeks. Kalisto looked to grain a bit of revenge from previous altercations with Ziggler, while also establishing himself as a legit talent for Smackdown Live. The match was back and froth throughout, until Ziggler got the upper hand by racking the eyes of Kalisto while the referee was trying to restrain Ziggler. A super kick followed, and Ziggler picked up the win, but he wasn’t finished. Dolph then attempted to removed Kalisto’s mask, only to have Apollo Crews make the save. This situation has a Ziggler vs Crews match brewing, and we are hoping that it happens at Wrestlemania and not Fastlane. Grade: C+

​We move to the Women’s Division, as we saw Becky Lynch team up with Naomi to take on Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. After picking up the victory on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, we had reason to believe that Naomi and Lynch were destined to lose this contest. Much to our surprise, Naomi picked up the win, pinning the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Naomi is picking up a lot of momentum over the last 3 days, and it seems she is up for a major push with a possible title match in her future. Grade: B

​The Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions American Alpha took to the ring, issuing an open challenge to any tag team in the locker room. The Usos emerged and it seemed we would have a title match, but then The Ascension made their way down to the ring, as did The Vaude Villains, Slater and Rhyno and Breezago. A brawl ensued, with all teams trying to prove they were the best team on the roster. The brawl ended with American Alpha and Slater and Rhyno the only two teams in the ring. Nothing was really accomplished here, so it damages the credibility of all teams involved. Grade: D

​The main event of the show featured two former WWE Champions, as we saw AJ Styles take on Dean Ambrose, with The Miz on commentary. These two have had incredible matches over the past few months, so it was no surprise that fans were heavily invested in this match. At about the midpoint of the match, Baron Corbin made his way down to ringside and joined the commentary team. Styles and Ambrose both showed off their move sets, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. Corbin and Miz eventually got into it at ringside, which distracted the ref and lead to Styles hitting the Styles clash and picking up the win. The show ended with Corbin laying out both Miz and Ambrose with the End of Days, than staring down Styles as he retreated up the entrance ramp. Considering this main events main goal was to make Corbin look strong, creative did a incredible job in doing so. Grade: A+

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