WWE SmackDown Review (3/28): Who Won This Week's MVP?, John Cena, The Miz, Naomi Returns, AJ Styles

Standout Moments

1) Sign On The Dotted Line A contract signing kicked off the show where both AJ and Shane spit some truth (ego vs. this is a traditional match, no gimmicks will save you) about each other. Overall, I found the segment to be fairly tame with both guys facing off before Bryan separated them. Think I'm good with not see any kind of contract signings for at least a couple months. The most interesting thing to come out of this segment was the shades of grey used for each individual. Honestly felt Shane was leaning more heel (even JBL was telling AJ not to "trust" Shane as he went to sign the contract) as things progressed. WWE is basically forced to swing AJ more to the good side with how crowds are cheering him on, no matter what he does. Let's be clear, Shane is (or was) very popular among fans and even he is getting some boos when working with Styles.

2) So Good! I'll talk more about Miz and Maryse below, so let's just start with Cena and Nikki making their way out to the ring where Cena went incredibly hard at both Miz and Maryse. Sure, there were some weird comments in there, but overall this is how you get fans excited for a match. I mean Cena called Miz a "p----!" Would love to know if that was actually in his lines or if that was adlibbed, either way, he put an exclamation point on the hype for this feud. I know this opinion is in the minority, but if they put this on as the main event of WrestleMania, I wouldn't complain. I would gladly take this over Goldberg and Brock Lesnar any day of the week. It's had a much more interesting story, the match will go longer, and will almost assuredly be better.

3) The Third Wheel I'm happy to see Luke Harper get a main event match against the WWE Champion, he unfortunately has fallen by the wayside in this whole triangle with Bray and Randy. The match was short, but solid and Harper was dispatched fairly easily by Bray. We then got some strange promo by Randy at Abigail's grave (how many times are these guys going to go to this location?) where he ended her- uh, I don't know, this was stupid, not quite Lesnar/Goldberg stupid, but pretty close. Their story overall has still been really fun to follow and the match on Sunday should be top notch, so we'll just ignore that weirdness last night. Getting back to Luke, he isn't advertised for the Andre Battle Royal, so it's possible he'll show up somehow in the championship match, really hope WWE doesn't forget about him.

Trending Up

Women's Title Match Can't say this segment did much for me, the match was pretty much ignored, Mickie and Alexa's banter was weak, and it all led to a generic brawl turned tag match. So, why is it in the "Trending up" section? Naomi's back!

Okay, maybe that won't excite everyone, but the title match was in need of something and Naomi returning (along with maybe a surprise entrant or two?) suddenly makes things a lot more interesting. Crowd gave Naomi a great pop too, that injury may have been a blessing in disguise for her short-term popularity. I still wouldn't mind if Alexa retains at this spot, then has a one-on-one match against Naomi, where she finally wins back the title.

Luke Harper I still enjoy when he talks. "I tried to tell you Bray, once a snake, always a snake and you were blinded by your ego. You threw me out like a piece of trash, and now Bray, I have seen the truth and I don't need you. I am free Bray. I am free. If I were you, I would run." Well, Harper ended up losing, but he did his part and looks to be in great shape at the moment. Nice to see he invested some of his earnings into a new shirt. In reality, he's probably not "Trending up," but let's put out some good vibes anyways for one of the more underrated talents on the roster.

Trending Down

Tag Division It's most likely going to turn into a storyline after the PPV, but the fact this division doesn't have any kind of match at WrestleMania just shows the poor state its currently in. Everyone is headed to the Andre Battle Royal, which is basically a bottomless pit for those who couldn't get a match otherwise. Focusing on this show, it was a 10-man tag, which is a great way to let fans to stare off into the distance for about ten minutes. I'm glad The Usos are champions, but something just needs to be figured out with the division, how about a round robin tournament? It's an easy way to make their individual matches mean more, without having to put together a bunch of different stories.

This Week's MVP

The Miz and Maryse Two weeks in a row, deal with it. Although, I'm pretty sure no one will be complaining after Miz's impressions of Cena (in that slightly oversized suit jacket) and Daniel Bryan. Miz turned the SmackDown General Manager into a whiny little person, and it was pure gold. The comedy quickly turned serious though as both Miz and Maryse kicked off their costumes to cut so very deep into both Nikki and John. "The world will see your entire world is bulls---." Yeah, then Cena came out and cut one heck of a promo, nearly taking this section. Miz is still "awesome," and he better be WWE Champion within the next year, he's been so good for so long, the guy deserves a run.

Overall Thoughts

Mauro was missing for a third straight week and WWE didn't even mention his absence this time around. Curious if he'll be around to call any of the action at WrestleMania. Also, were Ambrose and Corbin on this show, or did I blink too long? The show itself didn't have a lot of great wrestling, as WWE let their wrestlers rest up before the PPV. Instead, we received a lot of talking/hype and for the most part, it was solid enough. For a go-home show, this one smoked Raw overall, both had terrible endings though. This show pretty much mirrored last week, so the grade will remain the same. It's nearly time for WrestleMania, someone else can sit in the front of the roller coaster, I'll be in the back, where it's safe.

Grade (out of 10): 6.5 (Last Week: 6.5)


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