WWE SmackDown Live Results: Analysing and grading each segment (January 3rd):
Dolph Ziggler finally turned heel!
While Raw remained stagnant in its first episode of 2017, Smackdown Live continued to prosper. Producing another stellar episode, the blue brand once again outshined the ‘flagship’ show, Raw.
Although there were some weak segments, such as Natalya and Nikki Bella’s promos and Becky Lynch’s brief bout with La Luchadora, the majority of the two hours were used effectively.
The Miz opened the show, mocking Dean Ambrose and Renee Young alongside Maryse heading into his Intercontinental Title defence later on.
Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler clashed in a splendid encounter, with Ziggler finally turning heel after another loss by hitting Kalisto with a superkick post-match.
AJ Styles and John Cena engaged in a war of words, with both men cutting excellent promos in their contract-signing for their upcoming WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble.
American Alpha picked up a quick win over Breezango but soon realised they had the Wyatts to worry about for next week’s show. Nikki Bella and Natalya got into a heated exchange over their issues, with a match between the two set for next week.
Dean Ambrose and the Miz faced off in a stellar IC Title match to close the show, with Ambrose capturing the gold to a huge ovation.
Overall, the blue brand once again proved this week why they are the A show. So, which segments stole the show? Let’s find out, as I analyse and grade each segment from the January 3rd edition of Smackdown Live.
The Miz Opens the Show:
This was a strong segment to open the show, with the Miz/Ambrose feud taking centre stage before their match later on. Miz’s heel work here, as always, was brilliant. He is a master on the mic, with his promo stirring fans to get behind Ambrose and Renee Young.
Miz demanding an apology was great, and rightfully led to an angry Ambrose coming out. Ambrose as the revenge-seeking face is perfect, as it meshes incredibly well with Miz’s cowardly antics. Maryse slapping Ambrose continued the involvement of Maryse and Young in the story, and it added some more fire to the match between Miz and Ambrose later.
Ambrose’s comment on Maryse hitting harder than Miz was great as well, with this feud developing nicely. Overall, a solid way to start proceedings, with Miz and Ambrose adding some more personal animosity before their title match later on.