Based on the slow episode of Raw we received this Monday, my expectations were low for Smackdown. Thankfully, this show was still somewhat entertaining. Considering that there’s still a few weeks until MITB, I wasn’t expecting a lot of advancement in the story line.
The dynamic between the New Day and the Club is quite interesting. One group is more serious, while the other doesn’t take matters as seriously. Since the two are that different, I enjoyed their interaction in this opening promo. While I think a match between Kofi and AJ would be better off announced on Raw, I still liked how it lead to something.
Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
It was smart that neither of these women were pinned at all. Becky has taken quite a few losses to put over Emma and Dana Brooke, but in a feud such as this, she needs to come across much stronger. The two worked a decent match, and I believe Dana came in at the right time. I feel as if Natalya should have been at ring side. That would have been much more logical than having her run down to save Becky. Instead of booking any of these women in matches for next week, I suggest they stick to promos, as it’ll help build some excitement for their inevitable tag team match at MITB.
The Dudley Boyz vs The Golden Truth
This match helped both teams. The Dudleys needed a win (more than anything) and the Golden Truth needed to lose another match. Also, I loved the interference from Breezango, as it shows some solid consistency for a lower card feud. Now that this has happened, I wouldn’t mind seeing the two lower card teams compete at MITB, and I don’t mean on the pre show. While this is a comedy angle, it’s been the one that has shown the most continuity.
Dean Ambrose & Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens & Alberto Del Rio
When I first saw that this was a scheduled match, I groaned. After that main event from Raw, I didn’t want to see either of these men in tag team action for a while. Sometimes, I react too soon though, because I actually enjoyed this match. They were smart to not put this as the main event. It didn’t feel as dragged out, and there was actually a purpose to it. The match was solid, and the final visual was even better. Having Owens climb the ladder and grab the briefcase was an awesome reminder on why these men have been feuding.
Rusev vs Jack Swagger
Had this match been scheduled a year ago, I would have been quite annoyed. Since the two haven’t met each other in the ring for a while, I didn’t mind seeing them square off. At the same time, I can’t say I was overly excited. Along with that, I thought the pace of the match was rather boring, and I found myself on my phone for most of the time. Of course Rusev was going to come out victorious, and it only helps him going into next week. I thought Titus running into the ring to confront Rusev fell completely flat.
AJ Styles vs Kofi Kingston
In a sense, this was kind of a dream match for those that have followed both competitors careers. When I say dream match I refer to the status, and wrestling styles of each man. Kofi has been a lifer at WWE, while Styles stuck with TNA and traveled the world after that. It’s not like Kofi has been completely irrelevent, in fact I’d go as far as saying he’s been on of the many faces in the WWE for the past six to eight years. Simply based on wrestling technique, I knew these two would be a perfect match. Both can compete as high flyers while still being able to wrestle at a technical pace. I thought this match lived up to it’s expectations. For the most part, I didn’t expect them to wrestle a technical masterpiece, because there is a story line involved that needed to be progressed.That’s why I wasn’t so surprised when the New Day and the Club were brawling outside of the ring while the match was going on. I’m glad Styles won, it was an excellent way to conclude the show. The Club was left standing strong, and that’s exactly what they needed.
Apart from the two main event angles, I didn’t feel as if their was a lot of story progression on this show. At the same time, it was quite enjoyable. I thought it moved at a decent pace, and concluded with the right program. The low point of the show was Rusev vs Swagger, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.