After an interesting Raw, I wasn’t expecting too much from Smackdown. I’m starting to feel that they might be pushing the undercard feuds on this show for Wrestlemania, and that’s not a bad idea. Of course the first week of build in undercard feuds won’t be the most entertaining, but it’ll begin to pick up.
Daniel Bryan Promo
Bryan was very over with this Atlanta crowd. Am I the only person that finds many of Bryan’s promos redundant? He really plays on his whole Cinderella story from last year and how he was injured. Personally I think he could have went without bringing up the past. Once Bad News Barrett came out, he spoke the truth and exactly what I was thinking. I was personally annoyed by looking at Ambrose, because he shouldn’t have been carrying the title for this long. The lunatic fringe talks about all the greats that have held the title, but he’s doing nothing but showing disrespect .This segment was an absolute mess, why did Bryan attack Barrett after Ambrose attacked him? Are they both heels now? I hate when 2 babyfaces beat up on a heel, it doesn’t do much for their characters. Besides this character mess up, I did like how they put some importance on the Intercontinental title by having it’s program open the show. Normally we see the Intercontinental program inserted half through the show with no importance.
The Miz vs Dean Ambrose
The commentators didn’t care for the start of this match, as they failed to call anything for 3 minutes. If you were to watch this match on mute, it actually wasn’t that bad. When Barrett came in, I was glad the bearer of bad news took his title back, but I would be setting myself up for disappointment for later on in the show. If Ambrose does come out of this program champion, I’d like to see a feud with the Miz, because I think they would work well together.
Natalya vs Naomi
The pace of this match started slow, but it was still very entertaining. I found that these two women were very fluid in terms of how they moved in the ring. They were both maneuvering well, and continued to show their new found dislike for each other. Naomi pulled off an amazing head scissor lock, but Natalya showed amazing strength by getting out of it .I felt they could have gone without having the Usos get into an altercation with Kidd & Cesaro, it took away from a decent match. Naomi really should have won this match, at least that way she can pick up some momentum and look credible.
Rusev and Lana know how to attract heat, and it was great to hear them work the crowd. This promo could have gone without any mention of Cena, because Rusev turned him down on Monday, he should have no reason to continue this feud by that understanding. I think this program should be based on Cena forcing Rusev to give him the rematch, but it just looks like Rusev is getting himself pumped up for another match. Jack Swagger made a huge impact and really got the best of Rusev at the start of the altercation, which I thought was terrible booking. Had Swagger played it smarter, he would have a good chance of trumping Rusev in this brawl. I think the US champion should have destroyed Swagger right away, to make an example.
Bad News Barrett vs Daniel Bryan
This match felt fresh to me, and then I realized the two feuded back in 2011. The two have grown and changed so much it feels like they’re wrestling for the first time. R-Truth made another appearance on commentary, and he was absolute gold. Some of the jokes he was making had me bursting out into laughter, especially the one about Barrett’s accent. Truth’s commentary was so funny, I had a tough time focusing on the match. Barrett and Bryan had great chemistry in the ring, and the complimented each other’s style. I liked how Barrett was able to get the rope when he was in the Yes Lock, it made him look much better than he did in previous weeks. BNB would still come out looking weak because he went on to lose the match. If any match could have used a DQ it was this one. At this point, I genuinely felt bad for Barrett, and I’m sure other fans also did. Truth didn’t need to steal his title, because I think that entire “stealing title” gimmick will become stale.
Roman Reigns Interview
As of late I’ve been enjoying Reigns’ promos, but I can’t say I was a big fan of this interview. In the recent weeks Roman looks to have delivering his promos in his own way, but this felt scripted because it was easy to tell he was reciting lines. Towards the latter half of this interview, Roman looked more comfortable, so it wasn’t too bad. Some different content would have helped though, this sounds material we’ve heard in the past.
Fandango vs Curtis Axel
Axel completely botched his promo, but he kept his composue by not correcting himself. While the match didn’t last long, Fandango got some great air on his leg drop, it was very impressing. I think Fandango has gone 3-0 in his last three Smackdowns, not so bad for a wrestler at his status.
It makes sense they’d use acting as a catalyst in their upcoming feud, and its working well for the both of them. Miz was a perfect heel in this segment, because I’m sure there isn’t a fan that didn’t want Mizdow to attack his mentor.
Adam Rose vs Goldust
Going into this match I really received a “strong competitor” vibe from Goldust, and possibly the first time I’ve taken him serious as a single competitor. This was a great use of building Goldust’s credibility as a single competitor, and also a good use of furthering his feud with Stardust. I’ll admit I was caught off guard when Stardust attacked his brother while dressed as a rosebud.
Dolph Ziggler, Eric Rowan, & Ryback vs Seth Rollisn, Kane, & Big Show
Rowan looked rather strong early on in the match, maybe it’s just Big Show that’s his kryptonite. There was another use of that turnbuckle camera, and it continues to be effective. Once the match reached the halfway point I realized that I just wasn’t invested. This match has occurred in so many variations within the past few months, that this was just the final straw. Other than Ziggler’s botch on the famouser, the wrestling was okay, but it just felt stale. For some odd reason, Ryback was the only one that kept me entertained during this match. It was probably because the crowd was hot on him. The big guy deserved to get the pin because’s been so over this past week. As much as I bored during this match, I did enjoy the ending sequence with Ziggler’s super kick on Rollins which lead to a shell shock. Hopefully we won’t see these wrestlers anywhere near each other for the weeks to come.
Other than the Intercontinental program, this showed felt stale, and boring. I’m all for them using Smackdown as more of a wrestling show, but this week they had no more than 1-2 decent matches. By next week I’d imagine them having more material because a few more feuds will come in place. Overall I give this show a 6/10 or a C-.