We now know what the options of a full roster can do for a show. It felt great knowing the WWE was able to properly showcase different stories because they had a full cast. Along with this, last night’s show felt as if it flew by, meaning they kept every match and promo simple. Overall, I was glad to see my favorite Thursday night show back on track.
It was great to see Rollins open Smackdown, because I really did miss him last week. The build up at the start of his promo was brilliant, and it was well projected. By using a calm voice, I thought he maximized the use of comparing himself to Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. He kept a calm demeanor for the entire segment which made this feel different from a traditional Rollins promo. Neville was the perfect choice to interrupt Seth, because it’s Smackdown and they can afford to experiment with different characters. WWE’s resident superhero worked well with champion. The rest of the segment was average, as I wished they announced the tag team match at that moment.
Charlotte vs Naomi
This was obviously done for these two to make up for their disaster match from last week. I was hoping they would be motivated to erase their last match from our memories. I’m not sure if was the camera angle, but Naomi’s enziguri was a thing of beauty. It was done so casually and looked fluid. Charlotte’s spear has been bothering me for quite sometime, because I feel as if it’s used as a normal move. Since that particular move is held in high regard, it should always be done before she locks in the figure 8. Overall though, this was a decent contest. It wasn’t anything great, but they definitely made up for last Thursday.
The fans haven’t heard from the big guy in quite sometime, and I thought it was pleasant he got to cut a promo. This segment was a testament to how much better Ryback has gotten with the microphone. With the Miz carrying the IC title feud, it was great to see someone else pick up the slack. I thought this was a solid hype promo and I can’t wait to see him interact with the others.
Luke Harper vs Roman Reigns
Ambrose and Harper almost put me to sleep on Monday, I was praying the Reigns and Harper wouldn’t do the same. The live audience didn’t care much for Harper’s promo, which made me realize they should keep him limited to the backstage promos. Early on Reigns was able generate a solid crowd reaction, and this is something he should be applauded on. Not many wrestlers can get an audience excited in the early moments of a match. The flow felt more natural, and wasn’t forced like Harper’s match on Monday. It also helped that the crowd was amped for Reigns. I’ll be the first to admit, I actually thought Luke had Roman done after that superkick .Chaos is what can make this program more flattering, and after watching it ensue, they should use it to the full extent at Summerslam. These 4 men are at their best when they can wrestle a chaotic style.
The New Day vs The Primetime Players
Last week we saw this exact same match, why couldn’t they just use one of the other tag teams to wrestle the New Day or PTP? I know Woods has to wrestle whenever he’s asked to, but I was really looking forward to him shouting at ringside, but I noticed he tried his best while wrestling. I wasn’t very invested in this match, simply because it’s been beat to death, so I was glad to see the other tag teams interfere. I particularly didn’t like how PTP was celebrating with their other Summerslam opponents. It took away whatever build they had.
Neville & Cesaro vs Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens
Maybe because they have a similar background, or maybe because they’re despicable heels, but Owens and Rollins go well together as a tag team. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, when used correctly the tag team match formula can look awesome. With Rollins and Owens being the types of heels they are, isolating a smaller man like Neville came across as a well thought out strategy, even though it’s used in every tag match. It was also perfect to have someone as Cesaro get the hot tag, because he can move fluidly while executing power house moves. Owens once again showcased his characters selfish traits as he let Rollins fall on the outside and take a suicide dive. The spot of this fun match was Cesaro’s ground reversal into a sharpshooter as it looked simple and unpredictable. I’m glad Seth was able to showcase his heel traits when he ditched Kevin in the ring after the match. In the end, I don’t care who took the pin, as long as the champ is able to properly use classic heel tactics to get over.
My claim for this year has been that Smackdown is more consistent than Raw, it showed to be true after last night’s episode. We were also shown that a full roster can make a huge difference in how the show plays out. The show allowed for all story lines to be showcased while mixing it up in the main event. The low point of the show was the New Day vs PTP, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a solid 7.5/10.