After the WWE left us with a anticlimactic ending to Raw, they had another chance to pick up the pace with Smackdown. This particular show decided to take half of the night off as the one the latter half was much better. Usually I enjoy Smackdown for the matches, but even those felt rushed for most of this episode.
Seth Rollins Promo
This was the first full promo we got from Rollins since he became champ, so it meant a lot. He did a great job at keeping it simple. After getting a long look of Rollins with the title, I must say it looked quite natural. Orton came out and cut a decent babyface promo, and it was a good way to further this feud. My only issue here was how Randy was requesting a rematch from his title loss at Wrestlemania 30, because wouldn’t Roman Reigns be next in line for a match? After a while he viper’s promo became very PG-esque, but he pulled it off. The only thing that left me sour about this segment was how Big Show got setup in a match with Orton.
Randy Orton vs Big Show
There was no way this match could catch my interest. We’ve seen it too many times, and the result was too predictable. I’d have rather seen Orton square off with J&J security. I must admit though, Randy’s DDT looked very impressive. Before this match could gain any seam, Show was disqualified because of J&J security interfering. They would have been better off just having a post promo beat down. This was a horrible match/segment, but was somewhat saved by Ryback. The crowd went crazy for the big guy, and because of that, so did I.
Naomi vs Natalya
I was glad to see these two paired together, because like I’ve mentioned before, they have great chemistry. This match was moving very fast, and they were able to keep up with the pace. I loved Nikki Bella on commentary, but sometimes she gets too distracting. Naomi picked up the much deserved win, and I’m happy that she has a planned program with Nikki.
Roman Reigns Interview
When they said Roman was going to be on Smackdown, I thought they meant he’d be there in Fresno. Reigns did a solid job in this interview, and he felt more comfortable than normal. This segment was rather generic, but it was a good way to keep the big dog’s momentum strong. I found it odd that both Roman and Seth would have their first promos after Mania on Smackdown.
The Miz vs R-Truth
The only thing I took from this match was that R-Truth was officially out of the Intercontinental Title picture. I noticed at this point of the show that it was moving rather slowly, even though they presented a few segments before this match. This match didn’t last very long, and was meant for Mizdow to further the story line for his former employer.
John Cena Promo
Unlike the crowd on Raw, this one seemed very excited to see John Cena. I found it funny, because his promo style was the same, but all he needed was a different crowd to work with. It was actually the first time Cena addressed his Mania match, so that meant Smackdown was the show to express thoughts on the PPV. I can’t be the only one that noticed Lana’s accent fading as she was cutting her promo. During this segment, Rusev maintained his strong look, and it’s great see they have continued to book him well. Cena’s swerve on the flag spot was pretty amusing, it made me smile. Overall I enjoyed this segment, because it was intense along with humorous.
Dean Ambrose vs Luke Harper
Ambrose was immensely over with this audience, it would be a shame if they didn’t take advantage over this post Mania popularity. These two men have proven to have great chemistry with each other, and it’s probably because they can wrestle an unorthodox style. Ambrose’s counter spot on Harper’s finisher looked rather lazy on both participants, but I did my best to forget it. The spot of the match was definitely Dean’s powerbomb attempt. We knew he wouldn’t land it, but it was funny to watch him try. I didn’t think the match would end the way it did, I thought we’d get some sort of pinfall. From the looks of everything, we’ll be seeing these two compete at Extreme Rules, and most likely in some type of gimmick match.
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan
I felt this match was better off as a singles as opposed to a tag team. Sheamus should be given one opponent to help build his heel turn. His new theme was interesting, but much needed, and it suited him. The substance of his promo was great, and it had meaning. I enjoyed how he had this whole anti-internet darling agenda. Bad News Barrett should have stayed off commentary, not because he was bad, but because his great words can get distracting. The Celtic Warrior looked great in his comeback match, and he showed no ring rust. Bryan did a great job selling Sheamus’ beat down, which made this match much more effective. Surprisingly the most brutal looking spot must have been the uppercut to Bryan into the second turnbuckle. During this match I kept wondering how much hair gel Sheamus had to use for it to stay up during this kind of action. It didn’t look like Daniel bladed himself, and that blood looked quite gruesome. A count out was the best way to end this match, simply because they needed to keep both men looking strong. Sheamus needed the soft win so he can generate some momentum for his new character.
This show wasn’t didn’t become eventful until the halfway mark when Cena and Rusev cut their promo. The opening was rather lack luster, and if it wasn’t for the Divas I might have fallen asleep. If Randy was booked with a better opponent and R-Truth last longer, we would have had an all round solid Smackdown. Overall I give this show a 6/10.