This wasn’t a bad episode, but I can’t say there was anything note worthy that happened. Keep in mind that they’re in a strange spot with Smackdown moving to Tuesdays and the brand split being in two weeks.
Why wasn’t the fatal four way announced on Raw? I thought they did a brilliant job at promoting the match before the show started. I considered it to be a big deal, and I thought it deserved some more hype.
Cesaro vs Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus vs Apollo Crews
When this match was announced, I assumed it would be the main event. In fact, if this contest was the main event match, I believe it would’ve given the US Title more credibility. To my surprise this match didn’t last as long as I thought it would. There was a ton of action, and the pace never slowed down.
Sheamus and Crews have had an ongoing feud, and the two did a great job at showing that. The two actually costed themselves the match, which was solid story telling. I didn’t expect Del Rio to tap out, and I didn’t agree with that. Moving forward with the brand split, Del Rio will be one of the top players and he needs to look better.
Cesaro vs Rusev
In theory, this wasn’t a bad idea, although they could have saved this for Raw or Battleground. I don’t mind seeing the two in feud, but there was too much back to back wrestling. I truly didn’t expect Rusev to win clean, and that could have been saved for a bigger event. Either way, it made the Bulgarian Brute look much stronger. Mauro was amazing at calling this match, because his exictment fuelded my viewing experience.
Dana Brooke vs Billie Kay
First off, I really need to point out the camera angle they used when coming back from commercial. It was different, but it worked for Dana’s entrance.
I had read about Bille Kay’s debut on Reddit and assumed she was called up. However, I realized this show was taped in Florida, so it only makes sense that they used talent from the Performance Center. Without being a wrestling masterpiece, Dana was amazing in this match. She used her strength properly, which was trash talk.
Sasha Banks/Summer Rae Backstage Promo
Sasha wasn’t in the match she was watching, but her promo was superb. She showed a ton of emotion, and it reminded fans of why she’s the number one contender. We haven’t seen Summer Rae in quite sometime, but she worked well as a heel to get Banks angry.
There wasn’t any significance to this promo, but Miz found ways to create some. He was essentially arguing with Dean about who’s talk show was better, and his argument perfectly gained heat. Their back and forth was pretty good, but Ambrose using the Miz’s blazer as a napkin was even better. This segment worked out great for setting up the main event.
Wyatt Family vs Local Talent
This was the most predictable squash match I’ve ever seen. It was a good way to keep the Wyatts looking strong.
I find my self getting used to the New Day, because I once again sighed when they made an appearance. As odd as their feud is, both parties are exchanging good promos that are fitting.
Summer Rae vs Sasha Banks
The one thing I love about Smackdown is that they use the show to build context for the matches. Even if they’re one off contests, the superstars still manage to interact before hand.
This match cut to commercial break at the wrong time. It appeared Summer was going to deliver a suplex off the apron, and I was in complete shock when I didn’t get to see it. I thought this went longer than expected, but both Summer and Sasha were excellent at keeping the fans hooked.
Raw Video Package
This video package was amazing! The music was perfect, and so were the choice of highlights. I don’t normally watch the Raw highlights (as I’ve already seen the show), but I found myself glued to this.
The Miz vs Dean Ambrose
These two played to their characters well. I know their roles are pretty obvious, but since the two are polar opposites their personalities were much more emphasized.
I can’t recall if these two have ever competed, but I thought they had great chemistry. Their in ring work was strong, and so was the overall psychology. It’s matches like this that remind me how strong of a worker the Miz is. Along with that, Mauro made this feel like a bigger deal. We’ve seen many “champion vs champion” matches, but Ranallo continued to mention that fact, and he made it feel special. While the Miz did inevitably lose, he put up a great fight.
After an eventful Raw, I thought this episode of Smackdown was mediocre at best. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the episode, but there was nothing of significance. The low point was their decision to not make more of the fatal four way, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode a 6/10.