As SmackDown turned the calendar from 2016 to 2017, the top programs on the show seemed to feature AJ Styles and John Cena, Wyatt Family drama, Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch, and The Miz and Dean Ambrose. Things with the Wyatts will only intensify now that Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble, but the remainder of SmackDown’s main feuds appear to be headed in different directions.
Alexa has moved on and will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Naomi with Becky concentrating on Mickie James. Cena, of course, defeated AJ Styles to become the new WWE Champion, and after the big multi-man match this Sunday, they will probably go their separate ways. Ambrose and Miz feuded for the better part of two months but did not and likely will not square off in a singles match on pay-per-view any time soon.
After a lot of back and forth between WWE officials, the decision was made to have Ambrose beat The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship on the first episode of SmackDown in 2017. The two had a rematch on SmackDown‘s Royal Rumble go-home show, where Ambrose retained in a Lumberjack match which appeared to be the culmination of the feud. Miz, Ambrose, and the four other participants in the Elimination Chamber main event quickly turned their attention to this Sunday’s show.
As noted, Ambrose and The Miz engaged in a rivalry that spanned two months. And a big part of their feud revolved around the women in their respective lives. Maryse is the valet for The Miz and his real-life wife. Renee Young has strictly been a backstage interviewer and host of the popular Talking Smack (SmackDown’s wrap-up show), but she is also the real-life girlfriend of Ambrose.
Renee was inserted into the program on December 20 when she interviewed The Miz following his SmackDown victory over Apollo Crews. If you recall, Young slapped Miz after he made an inappropriate comment about her relationship with Ambrose. That set the wheels in motion for both women to be prominently featured during the course of the feud as Maryse would slap Renee backstage, Ambrose in the ring, and inadvertently, her husband as well.
Suddenly, however, the angle was dropped. There was no definitive explanation for the SmackDown creative staff abandoning it, and it appears as if we shouldn’t expect one. At the time of Renee’s slap to The Miz, there were conflicting reports about whether WWE officials wanted to exploit her real-life relationship with Ambrose, but they certainly had to follow-up on it and couldn’t drop it immediately.
Renee has said before that she’d prefer not to be involved in the storylines, but she would train to wrestle if it absolutely made sense to do so. In this case, it would have made sense for a mixed tag match to close out the rivalry, but if it was ever on the table, it got pulled off pretty quickly.
Miz and Maryse do appear on the road to a marquee mixed tag match, however. It’s fairly set in stone that SmackDown’s It Couple will be taking on John Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania this coming April. Many scoffed at the idea for Cena, considering his drawing power and recent classic match against AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble. However, Cena and Nikki will be doing a ton of mainstream promotion for the match with big plans potentially in store at its completion.
It’s not uncommon for the WWE to drop storylines, but usually, it’s because they’re not working. This program between Dean Ambrose & Renee Young and The Miz & Maryse certainly showed potential on SmackDown, but WWE officials (or perhaps Renee herself) had other ideas and went in a different direction. Now, they just have to decide what Ambrose will be doing for WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]