Every now and then, the WWE has a bad weak, but they always have Thursday night to end their programming on a strong note. This Smackdown was a great example of this. I thought Raw and NXT slightly floundered, but they recovered last night. I felt this particular edition is the reason more fans should tune in and watch how they progress story lines.
I found it refreshing to see Rollins without J&J security, hopefully this becomes a trend heading into the future. Seeing Seth hold the steel chair was great symbolism for his one year anniversary of “selling out”. The entire promo was delivered differently than his traditional ones. His calm but frustrated speech was something different and he sounded great. What truly helped was the lighting, because it made the segment feel more intimate. Rollins was then able to flawlessly transition from being calm to enraged. I think this segment would have been better off without Ambrose, not because his promo was bad, but to let Seth have the last word. In fact, Ambrose had some powerful words, I just felt he disrupted a strong promo from the champ. Overall, I loved the segment.
Primetime Players vs The Ascension vs The Lucha Dragons
As of late the tag team division has been delivering solid matches on Smackdown and it was great to see them continue the trend. In a kayfabe sense, The Ascension had all the right to be competing in this contest but I wasn’t excited to see them. Kalisto actually made them look more interesting than they are. Titus himself stole the show and he’s been doing that lately. His hot tags are impressive and carry a lot of excitement. I’m glad he’s been booked this way. While the Primetime Players didn’t do much in this match, they found a way to entertain when they were involved. It would have been nice to see the Lucha Dragons become the number one contenders, but I guess they’ll have to wait. Overall, decent and entertaining match.
Ryback vs Stardust
What happened to Stardust? This man is such a great talent and now he doesn’t even have an entrance. At least he was able to properly wrestle Ryback and not get jobbed out in less than a minute. I loved how Ryback countered Stardust’s top rope attempt into a vicious spinebuster. Overall I wish this match went slightly longer, because they could have done so much more. They still did the most they could with their allotted time.
I don’t understand how Paige can even make excuses for her loss on Monday, because she still got pinned clean. She wasn’t distracted, and she wasn’t hit with a cheap shot, so she should feel dumb for how she lost. I’m glad she kept this promo vague and I hope there’s more to follow.
Kevin Owens vs Zack Ryder
This segment alone was good enough reason to tune into last night’s Smackdown. The beauty of this feud is that Owens and Cena have been gracefully carrying it without a flaw, but last night Owens did perfectly fine job carrying it on his own. His promo delivered once again and he did nothing short of impressing me. When Zack Ryder came out, I couldn’t think of a better way to let Owens look amazing. Before the bell even rang, I knew the Long Island Broski didn’t stand a chance. I was surprised Ryder even landed a punch on the NXT champ. I looked at this match as if Owens ended it when he wanted to, which makes his character look that much more dangerous.
Neville vs Kofi Kingston
Like Byron Saxton said, the clapping is contagious, and I was certainly clapping in my living room when the New Day came out. This contest was undoubtedly going to be fun to watch. Never once did either of them slow down and they found a way to keep the flow strong. Does Kofi just attract DDTs? This was the second one he’s taken this week and sold flawlessly. I highly enjoyed this matchup and enjoyed the finish. It’s always entertaining to see the New Day cost themselves from a win.
Miz TV Featuring Lana and Rusev
Where does Miz find these sweaters? I would love to get one for myself. Watching Rusev’s interview again made me feel bad for him. In a sense he’s almost babyfaced himself with that promo. Once Miz began speaking I couldn’t stop laughing. He reminded me why he’s one of the most effective heels in the company. When Rusev made his way I realized, Lana’s character is only interesting as long as Rusev is involved. I had no idea how she was going to carry herself in this promo without having Rusev there to work with. For a moment I thought Lana was acting more heelish than Rusev, but the brute’s outburst reminded me why he’s the evil one out of the two. His outburst, while insulting, was hilarious.
Roman Reigns vs Sheamus
For all the slack people give Reigns, he did a good job at selling his fatigue and soreness from his marathon on Monday. In fact, his selling of his hurt ribs made this match interesting .I wasn’t expecting anything mind blowing from these two men, but they found a way to keep me hooked. It was a good idea for them to have some hard hitting action outside of the ring, as it was a way of engaging the viewer at home. The flow had to slow down but I’m glad they worked around Reigns’ injury when they did. I was looking forward to this match ending in a clean win, but the Authority made sure I didn’t have my wish. Kane entering himself into the Money in the Bank ladder match wasn’t very captivating and they need to find a way to sell him as a factor before the PPV. Hopefully we’ll see the “demon” instead of the suit. Overall, the match was fun, I just wasn’t big on the finish.
This edition of Smackdown was extremely entertaining. A lot of story lines moved forward and we were given some solid in ring competition. I’ll even as far to say that Smackdown was the highest point of WWE television this week. Everything about this show flowed very well. The low point was Paige’s reasoning in her promo and the high point was Rollins’ promo. Overall, very solid show, and I give it a 7.7/10.