For most of this year, Smackdown has been able to deliver as the go home show, but they couldn’t do it last night. Survivor Series is in need of attention, but the WWE doesn’t seem to care. I hope this show isn’t an indication of what we’re given on Sunday.
I didn’t think Smackdown would open with Miz TV, but I can’t say I was disappointed. This segment was something that could open Raw, and I’m glad they used it for this show. These four competitors didn’t have much story to work with heading into Survivor Series, but I felt this accomplished it. Initially I wasn’t thrilled to see Owens and Del Rio interact, but surprisingly the two had a solid back and forth. Why was Roman smiling while walking to the ring? It simply didn’t suit his character. The four men had some great chemistry, but R-Truth stole the segment. Even though he was one screen for all of two minutes, his mistake was hilarious, and it had me laughing until this was done. This segment had all the ingredients to get a fan hooked, as it displayed humor and intensity.
Cesaro vs The Miz
For all of those that are upset about Cesaro’s treatment, you should be feeling good after this match. He essentially squashed the Miz, which I didn’t expect. For a moment I thought they were teasing a Stardust-Cesaro feud, but they were just moving on to the next match.
Neville & The Dudley Boyz vs The Cosmic Wasteland
I had read some reports that Smackdown had a hard time selling tickets for this show, and they had blocked off a few areas. I guess that’s why they didn’t show one side of the crowd. Considering neither of these men had anything to do with Survivor Series, it was tough to get invested. At this point, the WWE has conditioned me to care about the main feuds, meaning this six man tag felt insignificant. Neville knows how to hook an audience, but he didn’t get me in this match. Also, if they plan on keeping the Dudleys together, they’re in serious need of a story, because it’s hard to care about them in this type of match.
Tyler Breeze vs Zack Ryder
Like I said in prior weeks, I’m glad they kept Breeze’s character the same as he was in NXT. He and Summer Rae were absolute gold on the mic before the match started. I was excited to see Breeze squash Ryder, but even more excited to see Ziggler get some kind of revenge. The only thing missing was a setup for a potential match at Survivor Series.
Bray Wyatt Promo
The druids were a beautiful touch to this promo. I thought they suited his gimmick very well; it would be a shame to not include them in his future. I absolutely enjoyed this segment from the start to the end. Even though the Brothers of Destruction made their appearance on the tron, I thought they made they made the most of their words. I think I love the idea of escaping reality when watching these two teams feud.
Brie Bella vs Charlotte
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Brie, but her presence was refreshing. I know they’re building the newer women in the division, but I know I’ll pop once the Bellas make their return to the top. Say what you want about Charlotte, but nobody can take away her in ring skill. Also her promos may be awful, but she makes up for it in her ability to perform between the ropes. We all knew the outcome to this contest, but the two did a great job at making me wonder how they’d get there. I just wish Brie sold her tap out a lot better than she did. Bella was gracefully tapping the canvas, and that didn’t do much to sell the figure 8. Other than that, I highly enjoyed this match.
Big E vs Kalisto
The promo cut from the New Day on this show was ions better than what they gave us on Raw. Big E especially sounded great. I can’t be the only one that thought this match would go on longer. Considering the two different styles that were being showcased, I thought both men meshed well together. Based on the end of this match, it looks like Ryback is feuding with the New Day, which makes no sense.
Kevin Owens & Alberto Del Rio vs Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose
Honestly, this main event saved this show. If it wasn’t so star studded, I don’t think I’d be able to make it through the episode. This was a go home show, and it didn’t feel like it, other than this contest. The announcers themselves didn’t bring up the importance of the PPV until this match. However, I did enjoy watching Del Rio wrestle against Reigns and Ambrose, simply because it was refreshing. After Reigns beats Alberto at Survivor Series, I hope the two don’t interact for a while, because it can equate to a fresh feud down the road. Same can be said for Owens, but he already has a mini rivalry with Reigns. In fact, Owens and Reigns showcased why they’d make a great program in this match, and that’s because of their brilliant chemistry. The only thing that bothered me in this contest was how Del Rio lacked any type of build from the announcers. Yes, they spoke of how strong he was, but never once did they sell him as a favorite to win.
Had this been a random episode of Smackdown, I would have had a great time watching this show. Since it was the go home show for a PPV, I wasn’t very impressed. Other than the tournament story, the rest of the show felt completely useless. I thought this would be the year they would rebuild the Survivor Series brand, but I guess not. The low point of the show was the six man tag, while the high point was the opening promo. Overall, this show deserves a 5/10.