WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: One Upmanship and Personal Measures (March, 14th 2017)

Well things are surely eventful for the blue brands women’s division only a small number of weeks before WrestleMania. A Firstly critiqued match is added to the card featuring two of the biggest couples in WWE, we get an addition to WrestleManias Smackdown Women’s Title Match and Mickie James getting a shot at Alexa Bliss slightly early might we say?

Ok so that was nearly in chronological order but we are starting with the first of two women’s singles bouts as Becky Lynch gets a one on one match with Natalya as the two fight for momentum heading into the multi women’s challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania. Plus we cant forget Natalya walked out on Lynch as they faced the eventually parting duo of Mickie James and Alexa Bliss last week (we’ll get to that separate rivalry later). Out first is Becky, with the recap of Natalya turning (again) on Becky highlighted mid entrance. Becky looks ready for a fight as secondly the Queen of Harts enters, and once the bell rings upon Nattie completing her entrance, they lock up aggressively, with plenty heated history behind them. Becky breaks off from Natalya, dropkicking her then sending her back to the mat via a takedown, firing some forearms at Nattie who scrambles over to the ropes. Natalya soon forces herself up, returning to the inside of the ring and hitting Becky with a kick to the midsection. Becky turns the tables quickly by reversing a whip, executing a back kick to Natalya in a corner, though Natalya intentionally dangles between the ropes to avoid a possible springboard sidekick. Natalya demands a time out, then eventually returning to action again, trying to coax Becky into a handshake, instead probably receiving the most vicious slap ever from Becky instead.

Becky pummels Natalya in the opposite corner with a forearm, also executing her springboard sidekick after not getting to earlier. As Becky has momentum on her side, again Natalya is looking to simmer things and avoid conflict with the use of the ropes. Natalya then returns and appears to be setting up a german suplex, only for Becky to perform a reversal into an unexpected STF, though Natalya reaches the ropes within moments to break off the submission. Natalya rolls back outside, to the chagrin of Becky, for yet another time out as we go to the one commercial break during this match.

And when we return, Natalya hasn’t managed to overturn things as she would try to, instead having to escape a pin attempt from Becky at two. Natalya has again rolled to the outside, but Becky is done waiting, looking to blast Natalya on the outside, though the altercation between the two ends in Nattie’s favor as she drops Becky right against the floor via a Michinoku Driver. Taking advantage of the big move, Nattie takes Becky back to the ring, choking her against the middle rope. Nattie then snapmares her away from the ropes, delivering a basement dropkick into the back before her own pin attempt, which ends in a two count. Natalya follows up by sinking in a headlock, Becky aims fists but is tossed by her hair back to the mat by the vicious Queen of Harts, who enjoys viciously whipping her into a corner turnbuckle. Natalya tries to attack her against the same corner, but ends up meeting the turnbuckle face first when Becky scarpers. Becky overtakes in a battle of back and forth forearms, ended by Natalya lodging her knee into the midsection of the Lasskicker. Natalya hits Becky with a slap in revenge for earlier, before watching her own momentum be overturned as Becky comes back with fiery clotheslines and lariats. Becky connects with an exploder suplex that sends Natalya close to the corner, going for a running forearm after only to be elevated onto the turnbuckles by a Smart Natalya. Becky uses this, however, to roll into the familiar armbar position, capturing Natalya back on the mat in the Disarmer. Natalya soon submits and Becky wins the match.

Unfortunately Becks is no stranger to taking attacks, as moments into celebrating the victory over Nattie, she ends up the target of a superkick from an appearing Carmella. Carmella even delivers one for good measure to Natalya, leaving her old enemy laying also before heading to the back with her Hoodlum, James Ellsworth. She even gets to explain her attack in the backstage area to Dasha, reminding her that Daniel Bryan laid out the rule that any Woman on the Smackdown Roster is able to challenge Bliss at WrestleMania. With That being said, she affirms her spot, announcing herself as the next Smackdown Womens Champion.

Now onto a sure bombshell of a MizTV episode (because Miz has surely been dropping verbal bombs as of late). The Special Guests of the show are indeed the central highlight, the hosts themselves Maryse and The Miz. The Two Promise to expose the “Frauds” in reference to John Cena and Nikki Bella, but before they can delve into their rivals, there’s a “kind” reminder from Miz of what himself and Maryse did to the pairing last week. On Top, Miz loves to look back at his own expose of Cena from last weeks Talking Smack Post Show, which included Maryse’s comments towards Nikki Bella also. After that recap, Miz asks for Maryse to enlighten the WWE Universe on her issues with Nikki Bella. Maryse begins explaining on the aired Total Divas incident by revealing herself and Nikki were friends at one time, right up until she and Kelly Kelly were offered a spot on the then debuting Total Divas show alongside the Twins. Shes assured that Nikki had urged the corporates not to sign her to the contract, and she was contacted by WWE to learn she had no deal on the show. She Claims Nikki had continued the contract negotiations, being able to get a way through because of her power, and that was the last time she heard from the Twins up until Nikki (despite it being alleged as Brie on the actual show) texted her that she would be returning to RAW as part of Total Divas, to which she hoped Maryse wouldn’t mind. Uh Oh….

Glancing at the Camera, Maryse calls out Nikki, accusing her of taking money, opportunities and three and a half years of her life away from her. Maryse says that could have been time with her husband, and she felt cheated, therefore she plans to make Nikki suffer as much as she has. She Plans to expose Nikki as a “Lying, Backstabbing Bitch” and cue the arrival of the targeted Bella and John Cena. The Heels dart up to the stage, to no surprise from John and Nikki, and Nikki demands that she talks instead of John. She calls it crazy how Maryse can accuse her of blocking contracts, only to be on a WWE Stage now. Nikki makes it clear they were never best friends, per Maryse making things up the moment Nikki and Brie got opportunities. If that wasn’t enough, she says Maryse cant accuse Nikki of taking away money when Maryse does it each night, having people pay to just watch her hook the arm of a “Poor Excuse” of a Man. Nikki urges Maryse to step into the ring but Miz sees no chance in the opportunity. In Fact, Miz and Maryse are about to bail when one of Miz’s ongoing foes steps out from the back, Daniel Bryan. Sick of Miz infuriating him every week, he instead leaves it to Cena, and since Nikki wants to do the same to Maryse, he books for Maryse and The Miz to face Nikki and John Cena at WrestleMania.

And Lastly, Mickie James gets to go toe to toe with Alexa Bliss considering their partnership had blown completely last week on the same night that Natalya had again left Becky Lynch behind. While it cant be confirmed, Mickie may have reverted to face as she enters the ring to face Bliss, as one of her challengers at this years WrestleMania. Entering secondly is Alexa Bliss, partner-less but not Title-less. The Entrance of the Champion also comes with an updated Mania Graphic which now has the addition of Carmella per her earlier assault on Becky and Natalya. When the bell rings, the fury is clearly there, as Bliss shoves at Mickie only to be shoved back by Mickie, whose very much questioning Bliss taking back her “promised” opportunity. They eventually get into a scrappy lock up, eventually broken up amid referee intervention. Alexa gets the first shot at Mickie post tie up breakage with a kick to Mickie’s midsection, then taking her head and smashing it against a turnbuckle before kicking her against the same corner. Mickie reverses and fires her own kicks at Alexa, but Alexa’s viciousness hasn’t simmered and she manages to take Mickie into another turnbuckle. Alexa chokes Mickie against the second rope, also connecting with running double knees to both shoulders. Alexa and Mickie take the action to the outside, leading to Alexa swinging Mickie off the apron onto the floor.

When we return, Alexa has Mickie caught in the middle of the ring, additionally screeching at the WWE Universe. Mickie reverses momentum by taking down Alexa and hooking her in an ankle lock. Unfortunately for Mickie, Alexa seizes the nearby rope and shes forced to break. Mickie executes a clothesline and snapmare, and a running boot to follow gets her a two count/near fall on Alexa. A Fishermans Suplex by Mickie only ends the same way, with her getting a near fall on the champ. Alexa gets to her feet, as does Mickie, and Alexa reverts to the Standing STO after shouting in Mickie’s face and grabbing her by the throat, reminiscent of NXT days. Alexa takes the opportunity to toss Mickie around the ring, and continuously as well. She then charges towards Mickie in a corner, only to eat a back elbow. Mickie nails a hurricanrana off the ropes to the mat, following with a spinning back kick and high kick. Mickie charges into Alexa’s corner next, only for Alexa to haul herself up the turnbuckles and sunset flip Mickie into another pin attempt, with another near fall result.

A Furious Alexa goes for her signature DDT but Mickie usefully makes use of the nearby ropes, clinging onto them and not taking the move. Mickie now fires back with kicks, eventually going for the Mickie DDT only for Alexa to counter into a roll up, with a handful of tights, though only enough again to get a near fall. The Same is said for Mickie as she quickly reverses her roll up into her own, with a mirrored result. Alexa knocks out Mickie with a huge fist to stop the continual switch in momentum, standing over her in disgust, plotting the next move in the form of Insult to Injury which doesnt entirely connect. A Sudden Mick Kick allows for Mickie to flatten Alexa, and in turn Mickie pins the champ. Mickie Wins the Match.

(Natalya vs Becky Lynch feat Carmella and James Ellsworth)

(MizTV with Maryse, The Miz, John Cena, Nikki Bella and Daniel Bryan)

(Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James)

Thoughts On:
Becky/Natalya: I Loved How Natalya was playing up the cowardly heel to gain heat throughout this match since she might lose some by not engaging in a personal feud where she can draw attention outside of taunts with personal jabs. Becky was more vengeful than ever also, playing up the story of her wanting to get her hands on Natalya in what is reminiscent to Natalya turning on her before. Overall it could have ended in DQ via Carmella’s attack but if they don’t have Becky booked to win anymore matches before WM then at least this gives her some. Glad to see Carmella flung into the title picture after worrying about her lack of momentum and importance after numerous losses, and now im just hoping we can see more of the viciousness we’ve seen from Carmella in past angles, though she would need to do much more to be considered a legit threat even if shes a possible dark horse in this upcoming match.

MizTV: While I Can Agree this was Maryse’s best promo to date, as both her and Miz can act intensely easily, i can see WWE easily changing/feeding lines without research or consistency as to alter the allegation of Brie texting Maryse to rub it in about having the Total Divas spot over Maryse to Nikki. Maybe this was altered by WWE or a botch on Maryse’s side by her not referring to the Twins accidentally, but regardless of that one minute detail, this feud has been solid from start to now and it makes me excited to see what the heels do every week. They’re easily outdoing the faces in promos right now, at least Nikki, but regardless will the last SD before WM give a hint as to whose winning or will WWE go down the route of unpredictability? A Little while off but still?

Alexa/Mickie: It was slow in parts, but Alexa and Mickie appeared to be acting as intense as they could despite a weak and died down crowd, which is saddening because even some of WWEs best matches have been fed to a barely reacting crowd. I Would say Alexa vs Mickie was a scenario given too early that should be left to PPV, but with WM being a multi women’s match it was obviously not to be. Mickie’s win gives her the momentum now heading into WM alongside various others, and the bragging rights of being able to dethrone her old friend turned adversary. While i do worry this may lead to Mickie being booked to win at the event due to the backstory and because shes won matches at times others should have before, i expect more engagements between the two, and furthermore, where do Tamina and Eva Marie come in if even at all?

– Catherine

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