With Raw not leaving the fans with the most compelling story lines, it was up to Smackdown to keep the fans somewhat hooked. They were successful for the first half, but didn’t exactly deliver in the second half. In all fairness though, the first two segments were well done.
Say what you want about Corporate Kane, he does an awesome job at playing a white collar corporate worker. Somehow he just knows how to flip that switch, and I can see him fitting in any office environment within the US. That wasn’t the best part about this segment, it was the fact that Rollins came out and cut his promo on his Kane dilemma. Normally we see alternative stories occur on Smackdown, but this was the first time in a while where the main feud opened Smackdown. Their back and forth was absolutely perfect, and I burst into laughter with Seth’s many frustrations.
Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper
If that opening promo wasn’t good enough, they gave us quite the hard hitting opening match. Both men move quite fast, and that’s a recipe for hooking a crowd right away. Since they only went five minutes, it didn’t seem like they took a break. The highlight of this contest didn’t occur in the ring, but outside of it when a fan yelled to Harper “that beard isn’t even real!”, it had me in tears from laughing so hard. Even though Roman Reigns won, I thought both men looked pretty strong here, as both of them were allowed to use most of their signature moves. This turned out to be the perfect follow up to the opening promo.
The New Dayv s Neville & The Lucha Dragons
Neville’s story with Stardust and the Ascension has become slightly stale, but I thought this was a great way to keep them apart. The New Day has squared off against the Lucha Dragons in the past, but since there’s been some time between now and their last match, this felt fresh. It’s always fun watching Xavier Woods yell at teams other than the Dudleys or Primetime Players. Neville and Kalisto are always stand outs, but I thought Sin Cara was just as good in this match. It seemed to me he was trying to make up from his blunder on Raw. I’m glad not the New Day picked up the win, not because it kept them looking strong, but because their celebration dance was priceless.
Cesaro vs Bo Dallas
After the terrible week that Cesaro’s had, he needed this match against Bo Dallas. It was important that the Swiss Superman was given a match to remind fans he can still pick up wins. What surprised me about this contest was how long it went. I just saw this as the WWE doing their best to showcase Cesaro, at the same time they made Dallas look quite strong. It was kind of tough watch, mainly because I was expecting it to end at any moment, like a squash match. Also, I really like how Cesaro’s included his roll up pin in his signature move set.
Just an observation, but I love what Becky has done with her hair within the past few weeks. Not only is it orange, but it’s styled so well that it has a character of its own.
Paige started exactly where she left off on Monday. Her mic work as a heel in the past was decent, but I feel she’s blossomed into her own version of a believable villain. Natty did a great job as well, but I can’t believe she claimed that Paige and Charlotte were fighting over something “stupid”. I figured she meant that their inner politics were “stupid”, but it initially sounded like she was referring to the title.
Kevin Owens & Rusev vs Ryback & Dolph Ziggler
I was a little sad that Rusev didn’t get a chance to team with his new found friends, the New Day. Their twitter exchange earlier in the week was hilarious, and it translates in real life. Even without the New Day, the Bulgarian Brute found his opportunity to make fans laugh, as he was talking trash of his own to Ziggler. In fact, it was the only thing interesting about the two wrestling for the 50th time this month. It was also unfortunate that Ziggler and Rusev were wrestling the majority of this tag team contest. I’m starting to think they should at least give these two a week off, or at least keep them apart on Smackdown. Ryback’s hot tag wasn’t anything great, but I was just happy to see Dolph out of the ring. By the end, I just didn’t care for this match.
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins
Considering these two had the hottest feud of 2014, I’m not a fan of the two consistently wrestling on Smackdown or Raw. They usually put on a good show, but even then I feel it would be best to just save it. What actually made it worse was how the announce team brought up their past multiple times. For some reason, these two kept the contest at a very slow pace, even after Rollins top rope knee. It actually wasn’t until ambrose got his chops in the corner that I was invested. I noticed Booker T ( a heel commentator) was still putting over Dean, which I thought was quite affective. The heel announcer doesn’t always need to be completely bias, and it worked well here. While I’m not a fan of the champ being pinned for the 3rd time in one week, I liked how this one played out. It completely tied back to Monday’s finish, and it added to the feud.
For an episode that started off strong, I felt this show slightly fell off. The last two matches were worked well, but rehashes can lead to a lack of investment. Sometimes Smackdown receives a bad reputation for being a Raw repeat, and this particular episode lived up to that moniker. The low point of the show was the tag team match, while the high point was the opening segment. Overall, I give this show a 6/10.