If you had nothing to do on Thursday night, Smackdown was a great way to kill 2 hours. Nothing significant took place, but they delivered considering it was a filler episode. Most main feuds were covered, and slightly progressed. This wasn’t as strong as previous Smackdowns, but for the most part, it was decent.
I’ve noticed that they’ve stopped playing the opening song, for both Raw and Smackdown. The WWE should begin playing it, because it’s what gets me excited for the show. I’m glad Seth got straight to the point. He doesn’t normally do this, but it sounded better. Usually Rollins can be repetitive in his promos, but he abolished that notion in this segment. The promo skills were great from both Rollins and Heymam, but I wasn’t a fan of the car. Brock didn’t destroy the CTS to the extent they showed, so why didn’t they just bring out the way it looked on Monday? Later on they showed that the car was compressed, but that should have been showed before this segment .I found that insulting to my intelligence as a fan. Other than this I felt Rollins and Heyman had an awesome back and forth. We’ve seen it before, and these two continue to have great chemistry on the mic.
Dean Ambrose vs Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas’ promo was well done, and it was smart of him to base it off Ambrose. I’m starting to like the use of “Ambrose Asylum”, I believe it has a good ring to it. Unlike the match on Raw, this one was worked much better. A squash was okay for Raw, but thankfully they didn’t repeat that last night. By not having Dallas job out within a minute makes him look much stronger. The spot of this match was the belly to belly suplex done by Bo. He looked more agile than normal and it was a pleasant surprise. In fact, Dallas was the stand out, as he executed most of the offense. Obviously Dean won, but I still thought it was a decent opening match.
Rusev vs Fandango
I didn’t care who Rusev was wrestling, I was just excited to see him back in the ring. While destroying Fandango, it didn’t seem like he missed a beat. I was amped to see the brute back in the ring, but I also enjoyed seeing Fandango. He might be a jobber, but I think he should used more often. This was definitely a squash match, but it was effective for Rusev’s character.
Roman Reigns vs Big Show
At first glance I’m sure most fans weren’t excited for this match. The two had quite the mediocre series of contests back in January, but the last time they squared off we were given an amazing last man standing match in April. Due to the solid performance of their previous encounter, I was pumped for this one. By the way, Big Show’s new ring attire looks terrible. Was he insure with his singlet? His new look just felt odd. The two wrestled an entertaining style and it worked well with Bray Wyatt’s inference. The timing was well thought out in this match, and it properly furthered the feud between Reigns and Wyatt. Also we didn’t have to sit through a long Big Show match, and we got to see the more talented stars get the spotlight.
Titus O’Neil vs Big E
As much as I enjoy the New Day, their feud with the PTP is starting to feel stale. Mainly because we continuously see the two teams wrestle in different variations. This is a feud that would benefit from some sort of stipulation at Battleground. For two heavyweights, these two had great in ring chemistry. Every move looked like it hurt. I was expecting Big E to pick up a cheap win, but Titus needed it more. Now the PTP looks more legitimate heading into Battleground.
Randy Orton Promo
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Randy Orton, but his feud with Sheamus hasn’t done wonders for him. In fact his interaction with the Ascension was more entertaining than his current feud. This actually turned out to be a very fun segment, much better than I expected. If I were booking, I’d just insert Orton into a match with the Ascension at Battleground, and let him go on a RKO frenzy.
Brie Bella & Alicia Fox vs Naomi & Tamina
After watching Tamina on Saturday, I wasn’t excited to see her last night, although she delivered in a small way. She simply didn’t botch anything, and her in ring work looked much better. I wish Naomi had more time in this match as she is actually a solid wrestler. Overall, this could have occurred earlier in the show because there wasn’t much that happened.
Ryback vs Seth Rollins
I felt this was a stable main event. It made both champions feel important and credible. The vertical suplex hold isn’t the easiest position, but Rollins made it look easy. There were many matches that these two have worked in past which I wasn’t excited for, but it finally looks like they’ve created some chemistry. Their styles just mesh well and because of this their match can look much more realistic than it actually is. With Rollins being a cowardly heel, it made the big guy look intimidating. This was evident in when Seth tried to walk out of the match and eventually did. With no spots of the match, this contest made up for it in terms of storytelling. I’ve expressed not caring for Big Show, but his appearance in the post match beat down was well booked. If anything, Roman’s entrance was quite random. Overall, enjoyable match, and the post match antics were great for pushing the IC title feud.
In all honesty, I had fun time watching this show, but in the end it wasn’t anything more than filler. I expect next week’s edition to be more entertaining. They only showcased 2.5 feuds during the show, and the rest didn’t really matter. This also doesn’t mean the rest was boring. For the most part, I actually enjoyed how they managed to incorporate the IC program into the main event. The low point of the show was the divas match, while the high point was the last match and the Reigns-Show match. Overall, I give this edition of Smackdown a 7.3/10.