Smackdown

Black and Blue – Swipe Left Edition (June 19)

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While this week’s edition of Raw was all over the place, we were given a more consistent show on Thursday night. This particular episode of Smackdown was story line heavy, along with giving every match some type of meaning. Not all the matches were technical masterpieces, they were entertaining.

Opening Segment

While I wasn’t a fan of Sheamus winning the MITB briefcase, I’ll admit that it’s made him more interesting. I actually cared to hear what he was going to say. After he brought up Orton’s name, I became disinterested. Don’t get me wrong, I like Orton, just not paired with Sheamus. It was neat to hear him mention the names of Rollins and Lesnar though. When Ambrose came out I had a sigh of relief, because I’m hoping these two carry on a program. Overall, I thought it was a clever way to start the show and announce the first match.

Kane & Sheamus vs Dean Ambrose

At first I wasn’t very interested in seeing a handicap match involving these 3, but I then realized they were using it as an opportunity to showcase Ambrose. Dean may be out of the main feud, but it’s clear the WWE wants to keep some sort of spotlight on him. The Casual Smart’s very own Aaron Flow was in attendance for this show, and as he told me, Reigns was quite over at this show. The pop Roman received made this opening much better because it gave the crowd a jolt of energy.

Brie Bella vs Paige

We got to hear Brie Mode! As you know by now, I enjoy hearing that theme once in a while. I wasn’t happy to see Brie wrestle though. Oddly enough, the commentators did a solid job at making this program look much better. The spot of this match was Paige’s knees in the corner. Luckily for us we got a good camera angle on this, because I’d hate to see Brie’s face no sell the move like she did on Raw. The finish of this match felt random. Was this a onetime thing for Alicia Fox? I’d prefer to see her find a way into this feud. Overall, it was a good way to push the story but a terrible match.

Dolph Ziggler vs Bo Dallas

This pairing looked rather interesting. I was expecting Dallas to cut a promo on Dolph, but it was funny to see him talk about Lana instead. The Tinder reference was pretty funny. I felt the match was going well and it didn’t need to end that quickly. I think it would have been much better if Ziggler had more offense, rather than him just getting beat down and landing his finisher.

Xavier Woods vs Neville

I felt bad for my beloved New Day, because I knew Woods would take the loss against Neville. Normally Neville can steal the show without relying on his opponent, but Xavier was the one that impressed me early on. The spot of the match didn’t even involve the two competitors, but it was Titus O’Neil and Kofi Kingston on the barricade. I enjoyed the finish to this match and liked how it added to the New Day’s bad luck. This will only make their road to redemption much more fulfilling.

Seth Rollins Promo

After seeing what happened in the closing segment for Raw, I was most excited to hear what Rollins had to say. At least Seth brought up Lesnar’s attack on Michael Cole, because apparently Cole himself forgot on Raw. When it looked like Rollins was humble about his opponent, he gave us a neat twist. His arrogance and cockiness added to this new program with Brock, because we haven’t seen it with any of Brock’s other foes. This promo was short, yet effective.

Kevin Owens vs Cesaro

The interaction between the two ended up being a neat one night feud. I wouldn’t expect this match to happen on Smackdown, but then I realized where Cesaro was placed on the totem pole. Other than Cena, this was probably Owens’ biggest physical challenge in the WWE. The outside action was amazingly done by the two. In fact I thought the spot of the match was Cesaro’s uppercut that sent Owens flying over the barricade .The commercial break should have been done before or after, because the two were wrestling at such an impactful pace. As the match went on, I thought Cesaro kept looking better. It was a reminder to us that he needs to be higher up on the card. The way both of them continued to wrestle, it made them look resilient as competitors. Overall, this was a well worked match by two ring veterans. I hope to see more of these two in the future.

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs Sheamus & Kane

All show long, Roman did a solid job at looking semi-spooked by Wyatt’s words. Obviously his character tried to shrug it off, but it showed that Bray can get in the mind of WWE’s toughest competitors. Since Amborse and Sheamus are a fresh pairing, I was interested in seeing them wrestle, especially after their match on Monday. In fact the two had some great in ring chemistry with each other.  My excitement for the match died every time Kane was tagged in, because I had no interest in watching him compete. The spot of the match was easily Roman’s hot tag, simply because he brought the crowd to life. Wyatt’s small video was perfectly placed and well done, just like Monday. I also liked the indirect showing of Sheamus stealing wins from Roman. Overall, it was a decent match but with a strong finish.

Conclusion

I enjoyed how this week’s edition of Smackdown showcased matches with meaning. That doesn’t mean every match was brilliant, it means that they all had some sort of story to them. Even Dallas and Ziggler found a reason to dislike each other before their contest. The low point of the show was the divas match and the high point was the Owens-Cesaro match. Overall, I give this show a 7.4/10

Be sure to check out the first ever edition of The Casual Smart Radio, along with the first ever Ring of Honor analysis by Aaron Flow.

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