Happy New Year fellow wrestling fans! It was tough to type out this week’s Black and Blue, but I still wanted my review of Smackdown to be done. Thankfully, the show was quite entertaining.
Opening Segment/The New Day vs Kalisto & The Dudley Boyz
The New Day usually cuts amazing promos, but this one fell flat. I understand this was a throwaway episode for the WWE, but they should still allow promos with substance. The segment picked up until the very end, when Kalisto introduced his surprise tag team partners. Xavier’s reaction to the Dudleys was priceless, and was easily the best moment of this promo/match.
A few months ago, the New Day wrestling the Dudleys was a common occurrence, but after some time apart, the matchup became fresh. The performers looked like they were having a blast, and it translated into awesome crowd reactions. I thought the match was a perfect length, because had they went any longer, it would have dragged. I must applaud the announcers for the way they called this; their added excitement made everything worth watching.
Goldust vs Tyler Breeze
At one point this looked to be a prominent mid card feud, but it just got lost in the shuffle. I’m sure all fans of Tyler Breeze breathed a sigh of relief, because he finally picked up a much needed win. The combo of Breeze and Rae has always been odd, but I didn’t expect them to break up, especially on a throwaway episode of Smackdown. This surely leaves many questions for both competitors heading into the new year.
The Usos vs The Wyatt Family
This feud seems to be the direction for the next few weeks, and I think it works. There’s not enough for it to be resolved at a PPV, but it’s good enough as a TV program before the Royal Rumble. The feud allows for the Wyatts to look strong, while the Usos can maintain their underdog persona. They also showcased great chemistry, as their styles blend well together.
Hateful 8 Video Package
As someone who has seen Hateful 8, I loved how they promoted it by making a list of top heels in the company. Personally, I’d love to see all of them in a parody of the movie.
Dolph Ziggler vs Bo Dallas
If this match just happened without any context, I would have probably zoned out, but it helped that they had a backstage segment earlier in the night. Simple devices such as that can make an average episode of Raw/Smackdown better. There wasn’t anything special about the mach, but it made both wrestlers look good.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs Sheamus & Kevin Owens
I’m sure we’ll see this match at least once more before the Royal Rumble, but since it was first time, I was excited. Considering it was the last television match, these four gave the fans a show. The pace was high pace, and work rate was solid. Also, the feuds presented in this match were showcased well, especially between Ambrose and Owens. At the same time, neither program was exposed too much, but instead they were teased. This truly felt like a house show match, in the sense that it was a treat for the fans.
This episode of Smackdown didn’t exactly further any story lines, but I wasn’t expecting it to. For the most part, this felt like a house show, but at least it was fun to watch. The low point was opening segment, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 7.9/10.