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Opinion

Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments:WWE SmackDown 7/16/21

The Go Home to Money in the Bank had some solid action, and a live crowd in attendance! Let’s see what stuck out to Bodeen!

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SmackDown came to us with live crowds for the first time in over a year as fans were treated to a great 2 hours of wrestling with a loud and pumped crowd that truly made the night special as we saw a great fatal-4-way match between Big E, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and Seth Rollins, as well as Edge and Roman, Reigns coming face to face one last time before there Universal Championship match at Money In The Bank this Sunday. So as we get ready for Money In The Bank and start to enjoy having live crowds back let’s look at the top 5 moments from this truly special edition of SmackDown

5. Live crowds return to SmackDown for the first time in over a year  

While this wasn’t a specific moment, the return of live crowds to WWE programming was truly an amazing sight to see. Even though it was great to see live crowds return at WrestleMania 37 earlier in the year it did not quite feel the same mainly because it was a one-time thing. However, now that WWE has returned to the road once again, things are hopefully back to being as relatively normal as they could possibly be.

The excitement of fans was truly great to see with the crowd hanging off every move during some amazing matches and making huge pops from the start of the show, where Vince McMahon made a short but brief appearance asking the crowd “Where the hell have you been” with Vince getting a great pop as the crowd remained pumped throughout the night never faltering for a second, giving SmackDown a truly special atmosphere this week and almost giving it the feel of a big Pay-Per-View.

Hopefully, the live crowd at Money In The Bank has this same energy, because it could be a very special night if we see some great in-ring action to match the energy of the crowd. Of course, as things get back to normal and we get used to seeing live crowds again the novelty will wear off and live crowds will become more silent as fans get used to attending shows again there is no denying it is still great to see live crowds again.

4. Carmella takes on Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Woman’s Championship  

This match exceeded a lot of expectations, while a lot of people were not happy about Carmella being named to take on Bianca Belair after Bayley, unfortunately, got injured a week ago while training, Carmella and Bianca put on a great match that made both women look strong with Binaca being over with the crowd. Belair would get the upper hand early in the match, using her power and strength against Carmella, however, the crafty Carmella would quickly get the upper hand over the SmackDown Woman’s Champion, working over Bianca and sending her into the barricade outside the ring as boo reigned over.

Despite Belair getting some offence in during the match, Carmella would dominate the match and would seem to have the match in hand as she locked a Guillotine on the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but Bianca would power through and hit a big vertical suplex for a close 2 count. Outside the ring Belair would try to whip Carmella with her air only for Carmella to dodge it and hit a superkick on Belair, rolling the Champion in for a close 2 count to Carmella’s shock. A furious Carmella grabbed the hair on Belair and tried to superkick the Champion once again, only for Belair to dodge it and pick Carmella up, hitting her with the Kiss Of Death to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a great match that defined expectations.

There is no understating how much Bianca Belair was over with the live crowd. With the SmackDown’s women’s division suffering due to Bayley’s injury there does not seem to be any major threats for Bianca Belair’s Championship. Hopefully, WWE can push stars such as Liv Morgan quickly or have names such as Charlotte go to SmackDown or even have Sasha Banks return for a rematch because defeating poorly booked mid-card talent will do nothing for Belair’s title reign and she can easily end up getting overlooked with Asuka’s reign as RAW Women’s Champion in 2020 being a major example of this.

3. Finn Balor returns to SmackDown and takes out Sami Zayn 

Just like AEW, WWE would capitalize on the return of crowds and would create a great moment when Finn Balor returned to take out Sami Zayn. Things would start with Sami Zayn, cutting a promo in front of the live crowd, talking about the conspiracy that was against him. Sami tried appealing to the crowd, begging them for their support and asking for a “Justice for Sami” chant only to be met with nothing. This would then cause Sami to berate the Texas crowd before asking for the Money In The Bank briefcase to be automatically lowered to him causing Finn Balor’s music to hit for a great pop.

Finn Balor would then make his entrance in front of a live crowd with the crowd finally being able to join in on Balor’s interactive entrance in a great little moment. Balor then wasted no time in making a big impact on his return, hitting Sami Zayn with a dropkick sending Sami into the corner with Balor following it up with a Coup De Grace with Balor posing afterwards and never saying a word.

Hopefully, Balor’s attitude from his recent run in NXT is carried to SmackDown. While Balor is an amazing talent and has put on some great matches in his time in WWE, there was only so much he could do in his time on the main roster where it felt at times he had no character whatsoever.

2. Edge and Rey and Dominik Mysterio take on Jey and Jimmy Uso and Roman Reigns  

After having Vince McMahon come out and address the return of the live crowds to WWE, WWE would waste no time in delivering to fans, having Edge and Rey and Dominik Mysterio take on Roman Reigns and Jey and Jimmy Uso in an exciting 6-person tag team match that was a great way to open SmackDown. The Usos would try to get the upper hand over Edge to start the match by having Jimmy pretend to start the match only for Jey to attack Edge from behind, but the Rated-R-Superstar would prove to be one step ahead taking down Jey Uso whilst staring at Reigns.

Both teams would go back and forth in a fantastic match that was assisted by the electric crowd as they hung off every move both teams did. Late in the match, Rey Mysterio put Jey in position for a 619 and tried to hit it only for Roman Reigns to intercept Rey outside the ring but Edge would quickly make the save hitting Roman with a huge spear. Rey and Jey would then trade roll-ups inside the ring but Jey would be victorious after Jimmy Uso hit Rey with a forearm from outside the ring, allowing Jey to roll up Rey for the win.

All 6 men would then brawl after the match with Edge getting the upper hand. Edge would then lock in the crossface with the chair leg on Roman for a huge pop, with Edge sending one last message by holding the Universal Title for a huge pop in a great match to open SmackDown in front of a live crowd.

1. Shinsuke Nakamura, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big E main event SmackDown 

After Edge, Roman Reigns, The Usos and the Mysterios did a great job in opening the show, it was time for Shinsuke Nakamura, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big E to close the show as all four men fought for momentum ahead of the Money In The Bank match this Sunday. The match would start in complete chaos as Seth Rollins tried to leave the ring only for Big E to hit his suicide dive spear on Rollins, Owens would then hit a suicide dive outside the ring on Big E, with Shinsuke finishing things off by hitting the running knee on Owens.

All four men would go back and forth in a fun chaotic match that was fun to watch and was a great way to finish SmackDown. Late in the match, Owens would dive off a ladder sending himself and Shinsuke Nakamura through the commentary table. This would allow Rollins to pin Big E by hitting a stomp on Big E on a ladder for the win in a great main event.

While it could be hopeful thinking I would not be surprised if this is a sign of Big E winning the Money In The Bank match this Sunday. Even though on paper Big E is getting buried, this could easily be a case of reverse booking in making someone look weak, while actually having a long term plan for them down the line.

These were my top 5 moments from the go-home edition of SmackDown. What were your top 5 moments from the blue brand this week and how much did you enjoy having crowds back on WWE programming. Let us know your thoughts and comments and the comment section down below.


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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