What I enjoyed about this week’s edition of Smackdown was that they decided to showcase many mid card wrestlers, and they were all used well. Since they were in London, again, they needed to make a great impression in order to keep the product hot in that market. I believe this week’s Smackdown was used well to keep the audience entertained, while pushing different wrestlers.
Since they held Smackdown at the O2 Arena, the crowd was still not in favor of John Cena. After Cena began to speak, he again found a way to turn the crowd into his favor, which goes to show he truly knows how to work a live audience better than most wrestlers. After hearing his explanation of the “Russian Chain Match” it made much more sense than what I thought it would be. I loved how the tag champs have been interacting with main event stars, I think it has helped elevate those titles. Their interaction with Cena was quite entertaining, and they did a decent job at building their “fact” gimmick. Bryan came out and cut a solid promo, along with finding a way to get in some humorous crowd interaction. Overall I found this segment well balanced, and it used the right superstars to make it feel impactful. This can easily be one of the better Smackdown openings we’ve seen this year.
R-Truth vs Bray Wyatt
Truth didn’t stand a chance against the new face of fear. While the match was going to be a glorified squash match, the two found a way to make their short time together feel intense. Truth’s facial expressions were effective, and he made Wyatt look like a serious threat. The match wasn’t anything special, but an efficient way to make Bray look strong heading into Raw.
Miz vs Bad News Barrett
There was no hiding the fact that the WWE was using BNB as a babyface figure during this European tour. There’s a good chance they’re experimenting with this, just in case Daniel Bryan can’t perform at Extreme Rules. To be honest, I expected this match to last much longer. The finish for this contest only added to the fact that they were using BNB as a babyface.
Mizdow/Miz Backstage Segment
I wasn’t going to write about this, but once Mizdow starting his stunt double gimmick to bother the Miz, I almost spit out my drink. This type of humor is what makes a feud like this fun to watch. I’m glad they chose to show this segment and have it acted out this way.
Sheamus vs Neville
Sheamus actually has a pretty cool theme song, I’m enjoying it more and more every week he uses it. There was no way Sheamus was going to lose this match, but neither was Neville. The Celtic Warrior did an amazing job at degrading the country of England, and he had the crowd exactly where he wanted them. For a larger wrestler, Sheamus was able to keep up with Neville’s quick move set, which not something you’d see with a man his size. The contest started to move slowly throughout the middle, but the two found a way to make it seem intense even when they weren’t moving around quickly. My favorite spot of this match was the toss on the table from Sheamus, but I didn’t realize this was a DQ. Why couldn’t he just hit him with a chair? The only thing this finish did was tell me how inconsistent the booking can be at times. This could have been the match of the night, but they decided to throw it away with a terrible finish. Things only got worse when Sheamus announced his willingness to open up his own version of the “Kiss my Ass Club”, which was pretty cringe worthy. Luckily for us, Ziggler recognized how terrible it sounded, and managed to end the segment on a decent note.
Los Matadores vs The New Day
Ever since the New Day has modified their entrance, and embraced a more heel role, they’ve become much more enjoyable. I was honestly rooting for the New Day to pull out the win from this contest. Normally I hate the use of El Torito, but watching him get carried around by Xavier Woods was funny. Having the New Day win was the right decision to end this match, and with this new found momentum, I hope they can start a meaningful feud.
Big Show Promo
This wasn’t a bad promo, I think Big Show managed to convey the right message based on what is currently happening in this Reigns-Show feud. He managed to tell us why he wasn’t fond of Roman, and explained why he ambushed him on Monday. Many of us get annoyed by Show, but I think he did a solid job here. He even made some jokes about the English crowd. Show announced he’d have a last man standing match with Roman, which didn’t feel special. Normally those types of matches are best used for a feud that’s become extremely intense. Also, I do believe they could have gone on without the many recaps throughout this segment.
Natalya vs Alicia Fox vs Cameron
This bout started off very sloppy, and it left me thinking they could have just gone with a one on one. After Fox and Natty got a chance to work one on one, my previous statement was proven right. That’s not a knock on Cameron, because she also did a great job against Alicia. I didn’t expect the three way suplex-powerbomb from these competitors, I was pretty impressed. I was happy that they chose Cameron to pick up the win, because it was a neat way to push someone else. This match wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough to make the divas look decent.
Fandango vs Adam Rose
It looks like we have the old Fandango back, which isn’t such a bad thing. After Rosa came out, I feared for Fandango’s new found momentum, but I was wrong. It was a smart decision to have him pick up the win against Rose, because I think it’ll be interesting to see how he works as a babyface.
Daniel Bryan & John Cena vs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
While I was pumped up for the open challenge, I didn’t mind this matchup, because as I mentioned earlier, it was a good way to push the tag champs. Cena opened the match, and I must say, he had great chemistry with both of his opponents. He sold the beat down well, and kept the crowd excited for the possible Bryan tag. Most of the early part was slow, but they still knew how to keep it entertaining. Once Daniel was tagged in, he did what he does best, which was making the hot tag look amazing .The spot of this tag team match was actually watching Bryan back flip off the turnbuckle and being able to watch it from the turnbuckle camera. It’s not the most impressive in terms of looking devastating, but it’s something simple that makes a procedure move look different than normal. After watching Tyson accidentally hit his own wife off the apron, I think they should build on that come Raw. This contest was simply booked, they had a decent match, and I think it was a solid way of showcasing the tag champs along with the company’s top two babyfaces.
This edition of Smackdown was used well, and it gave us some great entertainment. There weren’t any A+ matches, but the show managed to give us more character development, which is rarely seen in Smackdown shows. They made sure midcard talent was used well, along with giving us enough main event talent. Overall I give this show a 7.8/10.