After a slow Raw, the WWE decided to give us an even slower Smackdown. Usually I enjoy Smackdown because it gives more time for in ring action, but this week was filled with too many recaps and commercials. Certain segments added to their respective feuds, but the show was went too slow to get me interested.
Unlike Raw, Smackdown kept the pyro and opening song. Daniel Bryan made sure to let the audience know that he will not be competing in the main event picture anytime soon. As disheartening as this may sound to his loyal followers, it’s great to hear what his program will look like for the next month or so. I liked his reasoning for chasing the Intercontinental championship, it was very logical and sound. The other competitors cut rather generic promos in this segment, but Dean Ambrose and Stardust stole the promo with their mic skills. Once the brawl ensued, this segment became cluttered. When Barrett was walking towards R-Truth to get his title, why did Ziggler and Bryan attack him? Are they now heels? This entire opening could have concluded in a much cleaner way.
The Usos and New Day vs Los Matadores and Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
I wasn’t aware that the Los Matadores were on the dark side. There wasn’t much going on until Jimmy Uso made his way into the ring and got the crowd going. Many of us smarks may enjoy the work of Kidd & Cesaro, but I don’t think they can work a live crowd the way the Usos can. Half way through this match, it became a lot more entertaining. Out of everything in this contest, I enjoyed the Uso-Woods spot outside the ring. While it’s obvious these teams will be wrestling each other at Mania, I’m happy to know they can put on a great match.
The Miz vs Ryback
Normally the Miz is showered with negative reactions, but this crowd didn’t react at all. It’s been quite some time since Miz has come to the ring by himself, I thought it was refreshing. Also, I’m happy this match wasn’t a straight up squash match. There weren’t any special spots from either of these men, so the match itself was quite bland.
Roman Reigns Promo
It wasn’t until the start of this segment that I noticed Smackdown was filled with tons of commercials. At this point there were only 2 matches and 1 segment. They could have either made the matches longer or added an extra segment. Roman’s short promo was rather over, and I thought he held his own. I wasn’t expecting Mark Henry to return, but it was a pleasant surprise. Henry’s words added a lot to Roman’s character development. I liked how Roman proceeded to lay a beat down on Henry, and I thought it was a great way to send a message to his doubters. This could have easily been the best promo for Reigns in his program with Brock.
Paige & AJ vs Cameron & Summer Rae
The Bellas on commentary is always a good time, they truly bring out their characters while speaking from this position. Cameron and Summer oddly had control over AJ, but I guess they couldn’t let AJ gain all the momentum throughout the match. Paige seemed to be the muscle of this newly formed team, because she took out both of her opponents with ease. They finally got the ending right, and had the Bellas involved with their Mania opponents.
Randy Orton Promo
I was excited for Orton to make his Smackdown return, and I thought maybe he’d be involved in a match or cut an awesome promo. Instead we were given a terrible pre-taped promo, which offered us nothing new from what he said on Raw. As a fan, I felt insulted with how they advertised this as his return to a Smackdown ring.
Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, & Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett, Stardust, & Luke Harper
At this point in the show there was only 30 minutes left, meaning they had decided to dedicate all the match time towards this portion of the show. I liked the babyface team, and when I saw them together I could have pictured a triple threat match between them at Mania for the Intercontinental title. The chemistry between Bryan and Stardust was great, and they worked very well off one another. Barrett’s aggression against Bryan made me smile, it felt good to know he got some kind of revenge from being ambushed earlier on in the night. Ambrose was the true star of this match, he had most of the momentum on his side, and he executed his moves with ease. Not only did Ambrose steal the show, he was the most over with this Detroit crowd. It wasn’t until the last few minutes that I noticed something was missing from this match, and that was R-Truth on commentary. I didn’t agree with the decision to have Bryan pick up the pin, I think it would have been better for Ambrose to get it considering how he was exceptional in this match. Ziggler and Ambrose were comedic gold after they roasted Bryan with that big insult. We haven’t seen Bryan insulted like this in quite some time, but it was much needed if he plans on competing with men like Ziggler and Ambrose.
This edition of Smackdown was filled with too many commercials, and not enough matches. There was a point in time where I was starting to zone out of the show. I realize many fans enjoy picking on Smackdown, but this show felt slower than normal. Hopefully next week they can add more to the show and fix the flow. Overall I give this episode a 6.7/10.