After a solid episode of Raw, I had my hopes set high for Smackdown. I’m not sure if the WWE knew that, but they delivered. Everything in this show was story line related, and that’s always a recipe for great entertainment.
Opening Segment – Highlight Reel
Honestly, it was nice to see the Highlight Reel back. I love watching Y2J doing his thing, because he always delivers.
Based on what Zayn did on Raw, I thought Jericho did well with his promo. I just couldn’t help but laugh. The amount of attention the IC title is receiving is incredible. Just watching the replays had me excited for the inevitable fatal four way. Normally the Miz’s promos consist of talking trash, but instead he used his promo to boost the status of his IC title. I’m glad the promo stayed true to the title and nothing else. Overall, this segment was brilliant as it hit every spot needed to get the crowd excited.
The Miz vs Sami Zayn
Since there’s only two weeks left until Extreme Rules, I think having each man from the eventual fatal four way compete is a solid idea. Also, the Miz and Zayn are complete opposites in terms of personality, so that made their in ring chemistry a lot better. Once Owens joined the commentary team, I knew the two competitors in the ring had to try harder. Owens’ commentary is so good that it always takes away from the match. Luckily for them, it didn’t last too long after he joined
While the match didn’t last long, it was done well to progress this four way feud. This segment was kept short, yet it remained effective.
The Social Outcasts vs The Vaudevillians
I just noticed in this match that Curtis Axel was wearing cargo shorts. At least that’s what they looked like. I was hoping this match would end quickly. It would benefit the number one contenders, plus I didn’t care to see them wrestle longer than five minutes.
I absolutely love vengeful Cass. He had his work cut out for him once Enzo got injured, however he’s been brilliant. I’m happy that he still receives the same pop as if Enzo were with him.
Natalya & Becky Lynch vs Emma & Charlotte
One thing I loved more than anything else during this match was King’s Brady-Belichick analogy. In fact, just about all of King’s jokes were home runs.
I have yet to see Emma compete with Natty, and that’s what intrigued me the most about this match. Based on their short interaction, I’d love to see them involved in a secondary feud. Their chemistry felt very natural. While Becky and Charlotte haven’t feuded since Mania, it was great to see that their hatred was still there. Now that’s what I call continuity.
While Charlotte was the main focus of this match, Emma was definitely the MVP. The most exciting moments of the match occurred when she was in the ring. Towards the end of the contest, I was completely hooked. There was never a dull moment in this match and these women delivered. It’s safe to say they raised the bar for everybody else on this show.
Darren Young Promo
What? This definitely caught me off guard. I don’t even know what to think of it.
Rusev vs Zack Ryder
This was nothing more than an enhancement match for Rusev, but it still carried some context. After the way Rusev handled this match, I don’t foresee Ryder receiving a push of any time soon.
Why did Kalisto attack Rusev after the match? That seemed highly uncalled for from a babyface. Either way, at least that run in managed to kick off their feud for Extreme Rules.
Gorgeous Truth/Goldango Segment
I thought this was rather corny, but I liked how it set up a match for next week’s Smackdown. They definitely need more of that.
Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, & AJ Styles vs The Usos, & Roman Reings
I’m glad the initial tag match ended as early as it did, because I really wanted to see a rematch from Raw. The only thing I didn’t understand was why they didn’t book a six man tag from the start. It’s not like that wouldn’t make sense. It was completely acceptable that the Usos and Reigns would request a rematch, since they lost on Raw.
I’m sure one of the reasons why AJ is on top is because he has amazing chemistry with Reigns, and it showed in the early part of the six man tag. Even if they’re only wrestling for two minutes, they both work so well together. While Reigns is larger, him being taken down by Styles is done realistically, and that’s what I love. I considered Styles to be the stand out on Monday night, but for this show it was Reigns. He was excellent when showing his anger towards the three former Bullet Club members. I know how much the WWE likes to keep Roman strong, however it would have added another layer for his feud if he was pinned (not cleanly).
Kudos, WWE. You’ve put together a great week of television, and I for one appreciated it. There wasn’t one part of Smackdown that didn’t include story line progression. I can confidently say that I was invested for the full two hours. The low point of the show was the Social Outcasts vs the Vaudevillians, while the high point was Natalya & Lynch vs Emma & Charlotte. Overall, I give this episode an 8.5/10.