This Week in WWE – SmackDown (1/10/2017)

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This week in SmackDown (1/10/2017), Baron Corbin takes on John Cena while American Alpha and The Wyatts have a rematch for the tag titles!

The Wyatt Family

There’s certainly some dissension afoot in The Wyatt Family after the events on SmackDown. Luke Harper ended up costing The Wyatts their chance at reclaiming the SmackDown Tag Team Championships by distracting Orton and the referee long enough to give Gable a quick pinfall. After the match, Harper accidentally super-kicked Wyatt and everyone left the ring at different times.

I really don’t know how things are going to go for these 3 men. Orton just never seemed like an actual part of the group. Harper hasn’t been given the opportunity to make a huge impact enough. Wyatt seems to have been stalled after looking like he was going to be the next Undertaker. I just feel like the original incarnation of the group was the best one. With Erick Rowan probably returning at some point soon, it would be a great time to put those 3 guys back together and bring this thing full circle. 

I really don’t think SmackDown has been fully invested in The Wyatt Family, so it wouldn’t surprise me for it to just quietly die after Wrestlemania season.

Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler made his first appearance after his big heel turn last week in a rematch against Kalisto. Kalisto pulled off the win with a quick reversal into a Crucifix pin. Dolph reacted to this by beating down Kalisto during his celebration. Dolph then got a chair and hit Kalisto with it. Apollo Crews came out to aid Kalisto, but Ziggler quickly left him laying with chair shots as well. 

Ziggler has instantly become a much more interesting character since turning heel. I think he had been a face so long that it almost felt like he had done everything he could in that role. This is opening up new opportunities for Dolph to be a bit more menacing and to react differently to things than he normally does. I really hope this gives him a new lease on life in WWE because Ziggler is one of the most talented people on the roster. 

I think the biggest question in all of this is whether or not Dolph is going to get another opportunity to be a top star or just remain saddled at the mid-card level. If he doesn’t get a bigger opportunity, the heel turn was all for nothing.

James Ellsworth/Carmella

James Ellsworth continued to help Carmella get a victory over CJ Lunde. On a side note, the announcers were pretty horrible to CJ for not looking like a traditional female Superstar. I just think with all the anti-bullying stuff that they do that they wouldn’t do stuff like that, but here we are. The same goes for making fun of how James Ellsworth looks. I just don’t think they need to do that. It sends the wrong message to the many young fans that watch WWE every week.

Ellsworth keeping Lunde out on the floor long enough for Carmella to apply the Code of Silence for the submission victory. I think that’s my favourite name for a finisher in all of WWE. Carmella has been on a role with James and it looks like this is only the beginning. Next week, Carmella is taking James clothes shopping. I can only imagine how this is going to turn out.

I think this is a fun storyline and a good use of James Ellsworth. It keeps him on TV but it allows him to take a bit of a backseat to other stars which is probably how it should be. James has been pretty valuable and has proven that anyone can be a star with hard work and dedication to the story.

Baron Corbin

Baron Corbin is really starting to carve his own path through SmackDown and a battle with John Cena was just the thing to give him a real shot in the arm. Corbin had a good showing against Cena even though he ultimately lost. I think that’s been the best thing about John in recent years. He makes his opponent look amazing even when he wins. That’s not to take anything away from Corbin who is hitting another gear right now.

I don’t know what it is about Corbin, but I truly believe that he’s going to be one of the biggest stars in WWE in a year’s time. He’s paid his dues in NXT and rose through the ranks to become a legitimate star. Now he’s finally getting the opportunity to show what he’s made of. The thing I like is that he acts like a monster heel while being much more athletic and interesting than people in that position usually are. He’s a unique star and not one that comes through WWE every day.

Quick Notes

Natalya beat down Nikki Bella tonight and that was pretty much all we heard from them. I think this angle fell apart before it even got going. 

The Miz getting a taste of his own participation award was nice. Ambrose never ceases to entertain.

Daniel Bryan mentioned that la Luchadora might be Eva Marie. I guess that rules Eva Marie out. Next week, Becky Lynch will challenge Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship inside a Steel Cage. It’s about time SmackDown got in on stipulation matches for the women.

Conclusion

It was another decent week of SmackDown. Having John Cena back definitely gives the show a boost. I also like how Talking Smack is utilized to address storylines that didn’t get a lot of time on the show. Becky and Alexa had a little debate on there. I wish Raw had a regular Raw Talk show after Raw too. I think it would help that show immensely. I’m definitely looking forward to the Women’s Championship Match next week. I think Alexa and Becky could really steal the show and I have a hunch we might finally get a clue as to who La Luchadora is.

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