Start well and end well. The last few months have not been kind to WWE at the moment and things don’t seem to be getting much better. The creative direction of the company has been all over the place, but the wrestling itself has been going fairly well. That makes something like a dark match a little easier to watch, which is where WWE might be able to have some success.

According to, there were two dark matches at this week’s SmackDown Live taping with one taking place before the show and another taking place after 205 Live went off the air. Before the show, Ali defeated Buddy Murphy in Murphy’s first match at a SmackDown taping since being moved up to the show from 205 Live. After the show was over, Bayley successfully defended the SmackDown Women’s Title against Charlotte. Bayley had already defeated Lacey Evans earlier in the night.

She worked hard tonight. Check out Bayley’s first match from SmackDown Live:

Opinion: It’s interesting that things are being changed around a bit with these dark matches. The World Title is rarely defended after the show anymore, which either says a lot about the women’s division or very little about the World Title situation. On the other hand, I’m still not sure what the point was in bringing Murphy up if they won’t just put him on television already. WWE has a bad tendency with this and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Which of these matches interest you more? When will Murphy debut? Let us know in the comments below.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.

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