Last night’s edition of Smackdown was mediocre at best. The past few Smackdown go home shows have been much more effective than its Monday night counterpart, but it wasn’t the case this week. Either way, the show still produced some decent in ring work, which Smackdown usually delivers on. Also, it gave the fans a reason to be excited for Reigns vs Wyatt at Battleground.
Roman received quite the reaction when his music hit. This is a good sign of how the WWE has rehabbed him since the start of the year. This feud wasn’t addressed as much on Monday, but I was glad it became the focus of Smackdown. I thought Reigns started with a strong promo and same with Bray Wyatt. The two men started this show off with a lot of energy. Reigns got the crowd excited, and Bray gave them wanting more from this program. They both received the right amount of babyface and heel reactions .It definitely set the tone, and gave us a solid segment.
Lucha Dragons vs The New Day
Having the New Day open the show is a smart way to keep the engaged. Hate or love them, the trio knows how to generate a reaction. For a moment I forgot that Titus was on commentary, but his smooth style reminded me that he was there. Titus can be distracting at times, but it was pleasant to hear him speaking about the talents of the Lucha Dragons. While he was trying to speak about the high flyers, I found it odd that the other commentators tried not to mention the Dragons. Kalisto was easily the stand out performer in this bout, as he looked great with all competitors. I thought this was a fun tag match, and it worked by furthering the tag team title feud.
King Barrett vs Jack Swagger
I realized what’s been making Barrett stale, and that’s his lack of promos. This man is a genius on the mic, and they’re not giving him the opportunity to cut any promos. If he had cut one before wrestling Swagger, it would have made this match much more interesting. As much as I dislike Barrett’s feud with Truth, at least they used this bout to promote it. The post match promo proved that Barrett consistently needs to be on the mic before and after his matches.
Rusev vs Cesaro
Based on their match from Raw, I had high hopes. Their pace early on had me guessing they’d live up to Monday’s match. From the very start, the chemistry between both men was evident. Cesaro’s vertical suplex was my favorite spot of this match. It looked great because he didn’t hold Rusev up too long and it still looked impressive. I’m not sure what’s gotten into Cesaro, but lately he’s been wrestling like a man possessed. Once again he proved to be the stand out of his respective match. For the most part, I felt both of them wrestled a simple pro wrestling match that included all the right spots. Rusev also looked impressive but still found a way to garner some heat. This is true sign of a solid heel. Once everything was said and done, this can go down as one of the most underrated matches on Smackdown. Everything was worked clean, and flawlessly. In fact, this should have been the main event.
Neville vs Stardust
I didn’t mind seeing a rematch between these two because I’m enjoying this whole comic book angle. It’s giving both characters something extra to work with. Also, both of their styles mesh well together. The quick pin was a neat way for Neville to get some revenge, but I believe the two should be given some more time in their next meeting. Since they have in ring chemistry, I think they can find a way to impress the crowd with more time. The backstage segment was extremely entertaining and it reminded me that Cody knows how to work with his Stardust character.
Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs Big Show & Sheamus
After seeing Ambrose and Sheamus wrestle, I felt they should be feuding. They have better chemistry than Orton and Sheamus. The first spot of the match was undoubtedly Roman’s double apron dropkick. It was the same as any other, but Big Show and Sheamus sold it well. Was it just me or was Jerry Lawler almost caught swearing? Either way, he corrected himself before letting anything out, but it made for a funny moment. One thing I learned from this match was that Big Show and Ambrose have no chemistry in the ring. I wouldn’t say it was Dean’s fault as many wrestlers have a tough time looking good in the ring with Show. For the most part, this match felt dull until Reigns received a hot tag. He properly lit this crowd up with excitement. The second and best spot of the match was Ambrose’s DDT counter on Big Show through the table. In all fairness, the second half of the match had me hooked. If it were up to me Bray would have left Smackdown standing tall after his ambush. Either way, the finish left me satisfied. Wyatt and Reigns know how to convey hateful emotions towards each other, and this is why I’m officially enthused for their encounter on Sunday.
This was a very simple Smackdown, that had a fair amount of promos and matches. Apart from the Rusev-Cesaro match and the main event, it was clear that the WWE used all of their week’s energy on Raw. By no means was this a bad show, but since the last few Smackdown go homes were better than Raw, I expected more. The low point of the show was Barrett vs Swagger, while the high point was Cesaro vs Rusev. Overall, I give this episode a 7/10.