Money in the Bank is only a few days, I was expecting much more from this show. Considering how the stacked the PPV card is, this episode of Smackdown was disappointing,
From the very start I knew how this segment would end. Based on the predictability, I was concerned on whether or not it would remain entertaining. Well I shouldn’t have doubted anything, because I thought this promo was solid on all ends. Jericho and Ambrose have had plenty of promos together, yet they still managed to make this feel fresh. I’ve come to the realization that Jericho can’t do any wrong in his current run. In the twilight of his career, Y2J still gets “it”. The brawl afterwards was a nice way to set up the six man tag for later.
Kofi Kingston vs Luke Gallows vs Aiden English vs Big Cass
With the way Cass has been booked lately, he was actually my favourite heading into this match. This fatal four way match was a perfect way to create any last minute hype. As usual, Woods and Big E were terrific on commentary, but to my surprise, Enzo was average at best. For some reason I thought he’d be full of more jokes, instead he was fairly generic. Why didn’t they get Karl Anderson on the announce team for this match? For those that don’t know, he’s quite the charismatic speaker.
Apart from the commentary, the action in this match was awesome. It was chaotic, and well timed. This was easily the best match of the show.
Baron Corbin vs Zack Ryder
I wasn’t expecting anything from this, and I was right to think that. Absolutely nothing of importance happened.
Rusev vs Kalisto
Kalisto went from having competitive matches with Rusev to just being used as a rag doll. They could have chosen any other lower-card performer and it probably would have had the same affect. Plus if it was going to lead to Titus running out, why lower the status of both Lucha Dragons?
The Club/New Day Backstage Promo
After two consecutive matches that were nothing but boring and nonsensical, this promo quickly changed my mood. With AJ mainly being tied to serious segments, it’s easy to forget how funny he can be.
AJ Styles vs Xavier Woods
I love how AJ challenged Woods to a “tune up” match, we don’t normally see that kind of initiative from heels in the WWE. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see a heel that’s just mean spirited, but always willing to compete.
Honestly, I was fully expecting this to be a short match. I couldn’t be further from the truth. Woods doesn’t get much credit on his wrestling ability, but in matches like this he reminds us why he belongs on the main roster. The spot of the match was definitely the tope con hilo from Xavier. Keep in mind, that was only a short burst of moves, because AJ still looked like a beast in this contest.
Charlotte vs Natalya
I wasn’t looking forward to this rematch whatsoever. Luckily for us, this was kept under seven minutes. It could have definitely been shorter, but the drama occurring outside of the ring made it go by quickly. So it wasn’t like we had to sit through Charlotte and Natty strictly wrestling. I loved that Charlotte used the classic Eddie Guerrero weapon spot. It was perfect for a heel such as herself, and it was a smooth way to conclude the match.
Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins Video Package
The WWE can be criticized on many things, but video packages is not one of them. If anybody knows how to make the perfect video packages, it’s the WWE. Fans have been critical on this feud not receiving enough on screen time (being in the ring together), but with these types of videos, I think they’ve done a solid job at giving this the “big match” feeling. Keeping the two apart only makes me want to see them even more at the PPV.
Did they get James Earl Jones to narrate this? It sure sounded a lot like him. Either way, it was a brilliant fit for the narrative that’s being told.
Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, & Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, & Cesaro
At this point, the WWE has exhausted almost every combination these six could make. I say almost because I thought they could have mixed the heels and babyfaces for this match. If the babyfaces can wrestle the other babyfaces in singles matches, why can’t they be forced to team with heels? That would actually make this match more interesting than it was.
We saw this exact match on Raw about two weeks ago, and it’s main flaw is that it doesn’t work as a long match. Well, that’s how it goes for most six man tag matches. Regardless of the chaos presented, I wasn’t drawn in until the finish.
With MITB only two days away, this was a lackluster episode of Smackdown. We were bombarded with rematches, and there little to no storyline progression. AJ Styles, the tag team program, and a video package were the saving grace to this show. While the opening segment was strong, it couldn’t translate into an entertaining main event. The low point of the show was Corbin vs Ryder, while the high point was the fatal four way. Overall, I give this episode a 5.5/10.