It’s only when the WWE goes on international tours that I realize how thin the roster truly is. With half of the wrestlers being in India, the show suffered quite a bit.
Even though most of this segment was done through an in ring promo, having Rene open the show waiting for Dean was a nice touch. It was a small detail, but I thought it made everything feel much more different and important. Sheamus’ use in this promo was unnecessary, and they could have just done with just Owens accepting the challenge. I’m aware it was done to set up the tag team match, but that could have easily been done another way.
The Dudley Boyz vs The Wyatt Family
If I were there in person, this match would be a ton of fun to watch. As a viewer at home, I don’t want to see these teams wrestle anymore. It’s been some time since they’ve gone head to head, but it’s still a tired idea. Also, the match ended in a anticlimactic way, which made everything feel much more dull.
The Social Outcasts vs Zack Ryder, Damien Sandow, & Jack Swagger
When was the last time Sandow was on television? I’m sure it’s been a couple of months, because it was refreshing to see him on the show. On Raw, the outcasts were booked as babyfaces, so why were they heels on this show? There’s no need for that type of inconsistency. This was a decent match, but more importantly it gave the outcasts some credibility heading into the future.
Kalisto vs Alberto Del Rio
Giving important matches some build has been a trend on Smackdown, and it was effectively done for this one. From start to finish, these two topped the performance they delivered on Raw. With Kalisto holding the title, both men were able to tell a different story from their previous match. The spot of the match was easily Del Rio attempting to take off the mask. It’s not a high impact spot, but it adds to Alberto’s heel persona. The announcing also made a huge difference on how this contest felt, because Ranallo and King did a superb job at making the competitors feel important. I accidentally stumbled upon some spoilers for this show earlier this week, and initially I was upset with the result. After seeing how it played out, I actually enjoyed it because there was substance to the story being told. If this leads to a culminating match at the Rumble, I’m all on board.
Brie Bella vs Becky Lynch
I’m glad to see that Becky Lynch is extremely over with the crowd, because I was worried she’d get shadowed by Charlotte and Sasha Banks. Is their any other divas for Charlotte and Becky to wrestle? It seems to me that Brie has become a jobber to those two. The match was forgettable, but the finishing sequence by Becky was visually appealing.
Neville & Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens & Sheamus
Due to the feud that was tied to this main event, it had to be the last one on the show. However, I couldn’t get emotionally invested. They did a mediocre job at getting Neville and Sheamus involved, so their presence didn’t feel too important. If anything, the booking staff could have switched this with the US title match. I was shocked that they couldn’t even find a way to further the Ambrose-Owens feud in this match. I didn’t particularly find the finish to be interesting, but it got the babyfaces over with the crowd.
The difference in quality between this episode and last week’s episode is huge. It was due to the fact that half of the roster was on the India tour, and the holes were evident. This show felt more like a throwaway. Essentially, the quality of this show was carried by one match. The low point of the show was the tables match, while the high point was Del Rio vs Kalisto. Overall, this show deserves a 4/10.