Pruett’s Pause: WWE SmackDown Live – Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch in a Steel Cage main events with a major surprise return, AJ Styles and Shane McMahon chat, and more!

By Will Pruett

I’ll admit that I have not been super tuned in to the wrestling news world for a few months. While I love getting news and scoops, life seems to have kept me from having the time for news and scoops. Sure, I remember the major things and tend to hear about them quickly, but I don’t keep tabs on everything. Because of this, the reveal of Mickie James as La Luchadora was a major surprise to me!

I will often write about the value of experiencing wrestling with sincerity. I try my best not to become a bitter or jaded stereotype of a wrestling writer. Sometimes its a challenge. One of my favorite podcasts is the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast that dares to ask “When was the last time you treated something you love as if it were sacred?” This question seems both resonant and will likely be explored by me at another time.

For now, I’ll talk about the very fun tale Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss were able to tell in the ring. I’ve enjoyed this feud more than I imagined I would when it began. Alexa struck me as a challenger of the month, not a long term lead heel. I was wrong.

Becky Lynch has been one of the best babyfaces in WWE for the last year. She’s been almost quiet about it. She hasn’t been the headline player in the “revolution” story WWE has been telling, but she has been the most well-defined character. Lynch is the reason Charlotte found herself a year ago. Lynch helped bring the WrestleMania triple threat together. Lynch has been the anchor of the Smackdown women’s division.

The addition of Mickie James to this mix is fantastic. Smackdown features almost every woman on their roster every week. They also feature quality wrestling. It will be nice to see James get a run in the new era of women’s wrestling. She deserves it.

And now for some random thoughts:

– While the main event of Smackdown was good, this was not a barn-burner of an episode, which is what we’ve seen a lot of lately. I wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about this entire show. Smackdown still isn’t offering enough character development to their tag team champions, American Alpha. The Wyatt Family story with Randy Orton is still tough for me to pin down. Nikki Bella and Natalya’s feud still isn’t clicking the way it should.

– I found the segment with Jerry Lawler and Dolph Ziggler to be supremely awkward. Ziggler’s new evil speech pattern feels unnatural. Bringing up Lawler’s heart attack feels cheap. It’s all a little too awkward for me.

– I have a new dream match I hope to see at WrestleMania. It’s AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon. I didn’t realize how badly I needed this match in my life until I watched the opening segment on this show. Styles vs. Shane is the new true dream match.

– The Elimination Chamber returning should be fun. Having it happen before WrestleMania isn’t my ideal creative scenario, but I’ll take it. The Elimination Chamber remains the only regular WWE gimmick match I haven’t seem live.

– Dean Ambrose and Shane McMahon have awkward onscreen chemistry.

– This wasn’t a great week for The Miz and Dean Ambrose’s ongoing feud.

– This also wasn’t a great week for featuring Baron Corbin, who could use some love as he bounces back from a loss with John Cena.

Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? Hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @wilpruett, leave a comment, or email me at


Readers Comments (2)

  1. But when was the last time it was a “good week” for any dean ambrose feud since the shield broke up. From Bray Wyatt and the miz to Jericho, Lesnar and Cena, dean Ambrose feuds are consistently weak. Poor/awkward chemistry combined with ho-hum matches, even with all the gimmicks.
    I notice it every episode and think “am I crazy?” Because crowds seem to love him. But it looks like I may not be alone.

  2. Mickie got NO reaction. And she should get used to that.

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