If you didn’t get a chance to watch Smackdown this week, I highly recommend checking it out. This week the WWE used their B show to further story lines in every match that was presented. It makes a difference when they book every segment to be effective.
Bryan doesn’t have the best promos, but when he keeps them simple he knows how to get the message across. This came off as a great babyface promo, but the only thing he could have scaled back on was the recap of last week. As comical as Barrett has been lately, his few words were effective. His allegiance with Sheamus is something different, and it’s rather refreshing. Ziggler’s entrance got me excited, and he had the best mic work for this segment. I felt like they could have done without Big Show, he just doesn’t fit in well with this angle. This crowd was ecstatic for Reigns, it’s been a while since he’s gotten that type of reaction. While this whole segment was simple, I thought it was a good way to set the tone for the night.
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs The New Day
Big E came in very strong on the mic, and it made me wish he’d receive a proper singles run. They’re doing a good job at slowly turning the New Day heel; it also helps that the crowd reacts to them. Once the match began, the commentators did a solid job at putting over the tag champs. Cesaro & Kidd had some great tag team work, their time to together is resulting into even better chemistry. The stomp from Cesaro was impressive, it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen him move like that. While the crowd has been down of the New Day, I was looking forward to Big E’s hot tag, and Kofi followed up with a great sequence of events. There was no doubt that Cesaro & Kidd would pick up the win, and I thought it was a good match to start the show.
Curtis Axel vs Neville
So far the WWE is doing an awesome job at booking Neville. His entrance is epic, and his credibility has been well protected thus far. This wasn’t going to be more than a showcase of Neville agility. He did a great job at showing off his ability to move around the ring, and Axel did well by selling it properly. That red arrow never gets old, also it’s refreshing to see someone on the roster with a unique top rope finisher.
Natalya vs Alicia Fox (Cameron as referee)
Oddly, I thought Cameron had the most believable acting in their backstage interview. While Natty had some decent matches with Naomi, I did enjoy her working with someone else. I felt Natty did most of the work selling and carrying this match. I don’t usually have an issue with Fox’s wrestling skills, but she didn’t seem to look as composed during this contest. If you ever needed to know how loud Cameron can speak, you should watch this match. I can’t remember the last time a referee was this loud. I thought Natty executed a great sharpshooter, but it went to waste as Fox didn’t sell it that well.
Bray Wyatt vs Eric Rowan
I believed they could have hyped this match a tad bit more, but they did a great job with their video package for these two. They didn’t need Wyatt to speak, because his promo mimicked the video package they aired earlier in the show. Before the match started, I was hoping Rowan wouldn’t get squashed by his former mentor. The beginning of this bout was rather lack luster, as the two mainly exchanged strikes. I felt the spot of this contest was easily Wyatt’s drop kick which sent Rowan into the barricade. After that the match went back to being slow. Wyatt sold Rowan’s kick well, it looked as if he was knocked unconscious. This by no means was the best match of the show, but I was happy it wasn’t a complete squash match.
I wouldn’t have predicted Summer Rae to get involved in this story line, but it was a pleasant surprise. Seems to me as if they’re turning her face. After the Miz and Summer were finished bickering over the Marine 4, I felt this promo fell flat. Miz is a great mic worker and I think he can add some more depth to his promos, especially for his talk show segments. While the promo felt redundant, Miz continued to do a great job at delivering the lines he was given. Mizdow’s ambush was predictable, but his kiss to Summer was definitely not. I didn’t mind this segment, it was needed to keep this angle alive for the PPV.
Sheamus, Bad News Barrett, & Big Show vs Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, & Dolph Ziggler
I felt that they could have just stuck with a normal tag match. These 6 man matches are starting to become boring and stale. They obviously do it in order to fit everybody on the show. Ziggler began the match with a beat down, and it’s always fun to watch because of his selling ability. I was caught off guard on how well Show sold Ziggler’s low drop kick. After watching Dolph get destroyed by the heel team, the match picked up the pace once Bryan got the hot tag. Daniel does tend to stick to the same moves for these 6 person tag matches, but he knows how to make them look good every time. Barrett’s kick to Bryan while he was on the ropes looked simple and devastating. Towards the end of this match, this crowd went crazy for Roman, they couldn’t stop cheering his name. I think Dallas might be Reigns country. The juggernaut looked extra excited for this match, and I haven’t seen him look that intense in a tag match since his Shield days. Of course Roman picked up the win for his team. This outing was a great way for Reigns to rebuild his character, and naturally get over. Also, I think now that the pressure is off his shoulders, he looks much more natural. I enjoyed this contest, other than it being the 8th or so consecutive 6 man tag, it really delivered for a good main event.
To be honest, I enjoyed most of this show. This must have been one of the better Smackdown’s we’ve seen in a while. Every segment or match that was put on furthered some type of story line, and for the most part the matches were decent. I look forward to the WWE keeping this up with Smackdown, because it truly can help build the product. Overall I give this episode a 7.7/10.