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Levin’s SmackDown Live Review

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Ahead of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, WWE took a solid approach toward building up matches that will tell plenty of stories on Sunday night.

First off, I’d love to give a huge shoutout to Renee Young who will now be on Monday Night Raw full-time as the third chair at the announce table. Young is spectacular and a much-needed boost of adrenaline to a flat lined program. Young is breaking barriers in a business that has been male-dominated for too long.

Jeff Hardy opens the show. I am not crazy about the former United States Champion’s promos. The match with Randy Orton should be one of the best of the night.

“I have prepared my life for this,” Hardy told the crowd. But there is something missing in his delivery. It was better that he opened the show in a match with Shinsuke Nakamura, who still does not have a true place in the Hell in a Cell show. I’m curious to see how the current U.S. Champion will figure in the result of the Hell in a Cell match between Hardy and Orton.

Hardy’s aggression is a welcomed addition to his persona, but it still seems a bit forced. The brutality between Hardy, Nakamura, and Orton is a welcomed sight.

Oh, and by the way, I hate the split screen with commercials.

One thing I have to say is I like the idea of WWE making matches the focal point of television viewing. Vignettes and promos are shorter. It takes me back to the days when wrestling was on the marquee. It’s a work in progress.

Of course, Orton interferes and Hardy wins via disqualification and both stars abuse each other after the match.

The Miz and Maryse Promo

Just another part of a continuing storyline between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. Next!

A.J. Styles Speaks about the match with Samoa Joe

The vignette was another attempt to give Styles an “edge” as the match builds with Joe for the WWE Title. Joe’s promo work is better. The personal angle is all about the Samoan. I like that Styles has retaliated in his family’s defense, but at some point, it must end.

If there was ever a time Styles should drop the title, it’s at Hell in a Cell.

Samoa Joe’s poem was a much better lead-in for Sunday.

Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville

I would do anything to see a double switch of roles in the SmackDown Women’s Title match between Flair and Becky Lynch, but I also know it isn’t happening. The fans are clearly behind Lynch as the lone wolf heel.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying she is like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but she has the ability to corral the fan base like he did. Flair used the match with Deville as “competition because she thrives on it.

Of course, she attacks Flair to the cheers of the fans.

This just in, The New Day, even for their shenanigans are still funny from time to time.

Rusev Day vs. The Bar

This was one of the better matches of the night. WWE did the right thing by putting Rusev and Aiden English over so they will face The New Day for the tag titles. For everything that is good about The Bar, the company needs to get away from the usual suspects and find new champions.

This was a good start.

Andrade “Cien” Almas beats R-Truth

I hate, hate, hate the Truth-Carmella angle. Even more so, I hate that Almas is toiling in no-man’s land. He deserves better than he is getting. I would love to see him and Styles or Samoa Joe for the WWE Title.

Make it happen, creative team!

Brie Bella vs. Maryse

This is why I am so against this angle. It’s not a real women’s match. Bryan and The Miz get involved. It’s as unstable as a thin cable cord holding a high wire act. We all know this will be a solid match on Sunday, but the match tonight could have been better,

 


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