I always say, keep it simple. By not overcomplicating stories and production, we’re always bound to get a solid show. Smackdown by no means blew me away, but it was a satisfying episode. They managed to produce an extremely structured show along with putting on some good matches. Raw always has a few good matches, but I find Smackdown is much stronger show in terms of in ring work .If I wasn’t reviewing this show, I’d say it was a fun way to spend my Thursday night.
Dean Ambrose vs Sheamus
These two have wrestled quite a bit lately, but haven’t formed a feud, so why continue to pair them together? They have good chemistry, in the ring and on the mic. When having a match open the show, it’s essential the competitors work a fast pace to get the crowd energized. I applaud the two on working a simple yet effective style. There weren’t any moves of finesse, but instead they were using basic wrestling to get over in this contest. The spot of the match was Ambrose pulling the ropes down and having Sheamus fall out while attempting a brogue kick. Nothing fancy about this spot, but the Celtic Warrior made it look smooth. I liked the finish, I really thought it was a neat way to insert Ambrose’s program into the show. Overall, this match got me hooked because of how enjoyable it was.
Adam Rose vs Neville
I absolutely loved the Neville-Stardust video package. It was such a smart use of their characters and making them look relevant. The commentators said that Rose is no longer that “party guy”, when did this happen? To me it’s still a large part of his gimmick. Other than dropping the rosebuds, I thought he was the same character. The spot of the match was Neville’s springboard moonsault. Rose did an excellent job on his placement, and so did Neville. Overall, decent match but it was just a way to get Neville on television and let the audience know that Rose isn’t a “party guy” anymore. Also, I was extremely impressed with Stardust’s post match promo.
King Barrett Promo
Did anybody else pop when Barrett asked for some “decorum”? He also referred to himself as King Bad News. I don’t want to become over excited, but I’m hoping this is the return for that character. This was his first promo in a while that didn’t end with comedy, so this could be a good sign for him.
Kevin Owens vs Rusev
I always enjoy KO on the mic, and I’m glad we got to see him work his magic on back-to-back nights. I’m not sure if he writes his own promos, but they never feel stale or repetitive. He always finds a way to explain his actions without sounding like a typical heel. The match started off with an explosion, and that’s because these men wrestle that kind of style. We’ve seen them wrestle each other in a triple threat, but their chemistry was evident in a one-on-one. There wasn’t really a moment where their characters weren’t trying to hurt each other. One of the beauties of watching pro wrestling is believing that two competitors don’t like each other, and these two knew how to display that in the ring. Also, Summer Rae should be given some credit on her ability to play the Lana clone. It would have been amazing to see her yell “Rusev, crush!”. I enjoyed everything about this match until the finish. When Owens first came around, he wouldn’t walk out, but now it’s becoming a regular occurrence. This isn’t exactly the best way to push a monster heel.
The backstage segment between Owens and Cesaro was absolute gold. I liked how they made every insult personal, and it’s clear these two will be feuding into Summerslam. Cesaro always did an amazing job at playing an intimidating heel, but as a babyface he’s quite likeable.
Naomi & Sasha Banks vs The Bellas
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, these new divas have made the older divas compete harder. It’s been evident in both Bellas and Naomi. Last night I really noticed some better tag team work by the twins. Their double team moves were impressive and in sync. My favorite spot in this contest was Naomi’s leg drop onto Brie Bella. She caught a ton of air before landing, which made a simple move more effective. The standout was easily Sasha Banks, but mainly for her ability to sell. I was confused when Nikki was begging for the hot tag, because it made me question who the heels in this match were. Not too long after, I noticed the crowd was getting behind Brie, which clearly meant she and Nikki were the babyfaces. There were a few botched spots in the end, but not enough for me to be sour towards this match. It was a good call to have Nikki stand tall and remind us that she is the most dominant diva on the roster.
Seth Rollins vs Cesaro
When they announced this as the main event, I was amped. I always enjoy fun promo endings, but I enjoy a solid one-on-one just as much. Rollins was paired with someone that he can make look good and vise-versa. Their styles work together in a way where Cesaro’s power moves look better than normal because of Rollins’ excellent selling. It was great to know they didn’t overcomplicate most of the match, and they just wrestled. Usually it’s fun watching Rollins weasel his way out of situations, but it was pleasing to see this break. It shows the audience that his character is still fond of performing in the ring. The spot of this match was definitely Rollins flip over the ropes and transitioning into the turnbuckle powerbomb. Usually a move like that isn’t executed as smoothly, but he made it look easy. I thought the finish beautifully done, because Rollins simply resorted to some classic heel tactics to pick up the win. It was more satisfying to see him win like that than having J&J and Kane constantly interfering. With his entourage out of the picture, hopefully we’ll see Seth wrestle this simple heel style more often. The Owens run in at the end was bound to happen, and I was glad to see him close out the show standing tall.
Last night’s episode of Smackdown wasn’t as eventful as Raw, but it was structured. I loved how the night was built around 3 key matches, and many of the segments were built around these matches. Also, the show still found a way to give some of the other wrestlers direction for Summerslam. The low point of the show was Owens walking out on his match while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode a 7.4/10.