Sometimes less is more, and that was the case for this week’s edition of Smackdown. There were certain moments of this show that felt odd, but for the most part their simple booking went a long way. I had found most segments and matches to be entertaining, while finding a way to keep storylines relevant. It’s fair to say that Smackdown was superior to Raw this week.
I was surprised to see Jimmy Uso on commentary, but it was a nice twist. After all, they need to use him in some way or another. I thought Rollins’ promo was a solid follow up to what happened on Raw. Addressing Noble’s injury as a selling point was a smart, it made Lesnar look like a monster. Rollins proceeded to say he spent the previous night with Noble, and I was wondering if this was a botch on him forgetting that Smackdown airs on Thursdays. Why would he spend a Wednesday night at the hospital? I was getting frustrated with the amount of replays they were showing. Ryback’s entrance into this angle was a wise way of using him for this show. I thought him and Seth had a decent back and forth, while keeping both of their storylines relevant. Overall, excluding the replays, this was a good opener.
Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus
I didn’t care much for this match, simply because I’ve lost interest in seeing Ziggler and Sheamus wrestle each other. The only selling point on Dolph is the hope of Rusev coming out and giving Lana a hard time. I enjoy seeing the Bulgarian brute being used as an on screen character, but his placement was odd in this contest. Why didn’t they wait to use him until the end? It didn’t make sense for Rusev to come out that early. Either way, the match itself actually delivered. With the short time allotment, Ziggler and Sheamus gave us the necessary spots for me to care .The spot of the match was definitely Sheamus’ brogue kick, just because of Dolph’s placement. It was also nice to see this end clean. Overall, solid match, but Rusev’s timing was off.
Alicia Fox vs Naomi
This was actually a fresh matchup, and I was excited to see the two wrestle. Naomi was looking quite fluid against Fox. I think commentary job also did a great job at selling the current program with the Bellas. The spot of the match was Tamina’s super kick to Brie, that definitely made up for their many botches in the past few weeks. The in ring work was short, but they found a way to insert some entertaining drama.
Kane vs Ryback
I was actually hyped up to see this match start, but then Big Show happened. They could have done this beat down after the match, it would have made more sense. The match continued to make no sense as Ryback actually put up a fight against Kane. It would have been better to see the big guy actually sell the beat down. Overall, an awkward match in terms of how it was booked. I was just annoyed after it ended.
Bo Dallas & The New Day vs The Primetime Players & The Lucha Dragons
Apart from Rollins vs Ambrose, this was easily the most attractive match on the card. We were given a gift by seeing Titus open this match, especially with Kofi. Also, the team of The New Day and Bo Dallas was well booked. I’m surprised they never thought of this before. Their interaction outside the ring was pretty humorous. The best part of the match was when Woods yelled to Jimmy Uso “How’s your brother doing?”. The New Day seems to have amazing in ring chemistry with the Lucha Dragons, I hope they book this as a feud sometime soon. Kalisto was definitely the stand out in this contest, simply because it’s been a while since we’ve seen him fly around the ring. Overall, this was an awesome match as it entertained me from start to finish.
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins
The previous match had set the bar pretty high for these two, but both men seemed to have known this. I noticed they started off quite hot, and held that pace for the most part. I was annoyed a few weeks ago when they continued to interact, but they found a way to keep this entertaining. The spot of this match was the simple superplex. Rollins facial expression after landing was priceless. The crowd truly was excited by this match, and both competitors played to this as they executed the right high impact moves. They also found the right time to incorporate near falls, and didn’t use them too early. I couldn’t believe we were given this match on a normal episode of Smackdown. The interferences were used perfectly, and it didn’t ruin the match. I loved the finish, and Rollins showed the audience how much of a threat he can be with his goons. Overall, this was one of the better televised matches we’ve seen in quite some time.
Smackdown once again is the better show of the week. While keeping many aspects simple, the booking of this show is quite entertaining. Also, they don’t over book any of the larger programs, but yet find a way to further storylines. The low point of the show was Ryback vs Kane, while the high point was Rollins vs Ambrose. Overall, I give this show a 7.4/10.