With two days left until Fastlane, Smackdown gave fans a chance to get even more excited. This show mainly built on the Reigns-Bryan and Authority-Ziggler/Rowan/Ryback feuds. For this week, Smackdown had a heavy focus on matches, which is always a great after we see more promo heavy Raws.
Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
This crowd was absolutely crazy for Daniel Bryan, the YES chants were very strong. While Bryan did get a massive pop, it might have come second to Mizdow’s pop. They haven’t brought up the relation between Miz and Bryan in quite some time, but the mention of this was a nice touch. Was this foreshadowing Sandow’s future? Part of me wished Miz would get a chance to insult Bryan. This match didn’t gain much momentum, and I felt that it could have gone longer. These two men have so much history, why not let them tell that story? With that being said, this was a refreshing match for Bryan as we didn’t have to watch him face Kane.
Ryback vs Kane
I was even happy to see Kane in match with someone other than Daniel Bryan. Lately, Ryback has gotten much better in the ring, in every aspect. I enjoy the way the big guy moves and sells. Once Kane gainied momentum, Ryback did a great job at making his moves look devastating. It’s worth pointing out that the referee was very vocal. It was exciting for Ryback to pick up the win against Kane, he was due one for a while. He looked impressive in this bout, and I wish he had more heading into the PPV.
R-Truth vs Bad News Barrett
After Truth’s massive crowd reaction last week, he deserved another match. Ambrose was golden on commentary, and it was showing only seconds in the match. He did a great way at putting over the Intercontinental title, and making it seem important. While Barrett and Ambrose were trading insults and glances, R-Truth was getting amazing crowd reactions, but we shouldn’t be surprised. The only thing I took from this match is that Ambrose and BNB are truly a great pairing. Their interactions were very humorous, and they can both make it feel serious. Truth got the much deserved win, and overall this was an entertaining match.
Bray Wyatt Promo
Reaper? Who else can he be calling? Short but sweet promo, enough to remind us Wyatt will be doing something of importance at either Fastlane or Raw next Monday.
New Day vs The Ascension
With all these recent wins against Gold and Stardust, it was time the New Day get a crack at a competitive tag team. This match had some great tag team work from the Ascension. The action didn’t pick up pace until Big E got a chance to shine. I really wish Big E would get more chances to wrestle on his own, he truly is one of the more unique talents. It saddened me even more he had to take the pin. Overall, this wasn’t a bad tag match.
Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper
We were finally given another fresh match. It was awesome to see Roman in the ring with someone other than Big Show. The two started with some effective and hard hitting spots outside, which is fitting for wrestlers such as these two. This match made me realize that Reigns may be the true master of the clothesline. While Bryan’s short and one sided match was used to build momentum for him, this match made Roman work a lot harder. I wonder if this was sublte story telling on Bryan being more experienced the Reigns. Maybe I’m just looking too much into the match.
Big Show vs Eric Rowan
The first match between these two was completely awful. I absolutely hated this match, probably more than their stairs match at TLC. What’s the point of Show burying Rowan? It’s not like Show needs the rub, and so he shouldn’t be destroying others. Rowan is someone the fans are supposed to see as credible, and how can we acknowledge that if he can’t even apply a single move. I wish this match was replaced with Fandango vs Adam Rose match.
Cameron vs Paige
Say what you will about Cameron, I was happier to see her than Big Show. Anyways, this was some great continuity, because Cameron wouldn’t lend Paige her ring gear on Monday. We were blessed to have the Bellas back on commentary, I was very excited. Michael Cole couldn’t have asked Nikki a more nonsensical question by asking her “So do you always carry that title with you?” Cameron didn’t look bad, even though she didn’t do much, I can tell her in ring ability has improved since her days of the botched pin attempt. Paige of course was the star of this match, but I fear she’s gaining so much momentum that she won’t be successful at Fastlane.
Jimmy Uso vs Tyson Kidd/ Rusev
King started the match with some great wife jokes on commentary. Before would could enjoy the comedic stylings of King, Rusev proceeded to murder the competitors in the ring. At this point I was content with the video package they showed earlier on and didn’t think we’d see Rusev. While he did strike these men completely out of nowhere, I felt it was quite effective. Rusev needed something to pick himself back up, and nothing was better than destroying the lowly tag team division.
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
Rollins obviously didn’t need J&J Security, but you could tell he deeply missed their company. The match started off at great pace, it was slow but began to pick up quickly. Both of these competitors are master sellers in the ring, and sometimes it feels like they’re trying to one up each other. What made no sense to me was how Big Show and Kane came to ringside for Rollins. I thought the entire point of this match was to let Ziggler and Rollins go one on one. It makes sense to have Ryback in Ziggler’s corner, but why would he want Rowan? He’s only good for getting destroyed by Big Show. Whoever booked this must have forgotten the initial stipulation. I was very impressed by Ziggler counter on the powerbomb. Not an easy position to counter from and Dolph made it look easy. While there was a semi distraction from Kane, it was smart to have this match end in pinfall. Another DQ ending would not have done this feud any justice. This wouldn’t be a complete ending with some post match antics, and they really drilled in the fact that the Authority reigns strong over the WWE. I popped for Ryback when it looked like he made a comeback, but it was too good to be true. Overall, it was a good choice to end Smackdown with this match.
Last night wasn’t a bad show. There a few blunders, which mainly accumulated in the Big Show vs Rowan match. With that being said, I enjoyed the two hours, but there was nothing special. This show was a step up from last week. Overall I give this edition of Smackdown a 7/10 or B-.