Since Raw wasn’t very eventful, I didn’t have my expectations set high for this episode of Smackdown. I assumed there would be some filler matches, with a few mentions to the main feuds going on. Well, I was completely wrong. Smackdown made up for everything that wasn’t on Raw, and it was presented in a great way.
Similar to last week, we were given small pre-intro clips telling us about the matches for this show. I love this concept because it provides context for the matches and the fans don’t just blindly walk into this show.
Jey Uso vs Seth Rollins
Dean Ambrose’s introduction for Seth was rather cheesy, but it still made me laugh. It helped that Rollins had an angry look on his face when he made his way out.
If the Usos have shown us anything within the past it’s that they can both wrestle a decent one on one match. Jimmy had a great contest again AJ last week, and I thought Jey was just as good in this match. Also, I like how Uso was used to represent his cousin, Roman, in this match. Essentially, he was respecting his honour.
I’m actually glad they used Dean Ambrose as a distraction for Rollins. It gave the match some personality, and allowed for Seth and Dean to interact on this show. Nothing bad came from it as Seth still went over clean.
Zack Ryder vs Sheamus
I must admit, I liked the remixed version of Ryder’s theme. Simply because of the new theme, they had no choice but to put him over.
The match quality was decent, but what surprised was the length of it. The contest was roughly 3 minutes long, which may have been the fastest Sheamus has ever been pinned. If Ryder is heading for Rusev and his US title, it only makes sense that he looks as strong as he did on this show. I can honestly say I’m invested in this new version of Zack.
Becky Lynch vs ?
Why does Mauro Ranallo have to call them “former best friends”? They were tag partners, and maybe just “friends” at best. Regardless of that, I’m enjoying how this secondary women’s feud is being built. It continues to get TV time on each show, and it only makes sense.
Enzo Amore vs AJ Styles
This might have been the first time I found the opposing party to Enzo funnier. That doesn’t mean Amore didn’t hit all of his notes, it’s just a testament to how good the Club has been lately.
It was wise to keep this match around five minutes. It wouldn’t be believable if it went any longer. In terms of kayfabe, Styles is in the top tier of the company, while Enzo is a main roster rookie, so it only made sense that AJ won decisively. Enzo didn’t look weak, but this simply told the story of new comer vs veteran.
Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho Backstage Segment
The chemistry between Owens and Jericho is simply brilliant. Their heel-heel dynamic fits extremely well, and the dialogue between them sounds natural. Before Y2J retires, he needs to have a feud with KO. It could easily be one of his best and funniest programs. Also, why did Owens have so much change in his pockets?
The Miz vs Kalisto
Miz and Kalisto would actually make for an entertaining program. The match was short, but I was highly entertained with how fluid every move was. I don’t ever recall Miz working well with high flyers. The finish could have been done better as they missed a chance to set up the Miz’s next program. Maryse could have easily gotten involved (the match was based on her dress being ruined), and that would force Kalisto to demand a rematch.
Chris Jericho vs Sami Zayn
Two weeks ago, Sami and Kevin both super kicked Jericho during the Highlight Reel, and it only made sense that Jericho would want some kind of revenge. I’m glad they used that clip to promote the match earlier in the show.
I knew the the two would put forth a good main event, and they did just that. They kept it simple, and had a great heel vs babyface dynamic. Jericho in particular was the stand out, not because of his work rate, but his trash talk throughout the match. He constantly shouted “ole” in Sami’s face, which was absolutely hilarious. While all this great action was happening in the ring, KO was delivering some amazing lines on commentary. His witty comments and rudeness towards Byron never get old. We should consider ourselves lucky whenever the WWE allows for him to sit with the announce team.
After Zayn threw Jericho into Owens, I was convinced this match would end in a DQ. To my surprise Zayn managed to win with a clean roll up. That was probably the best decision based on how the show ended. Sami got to look strong, and so did KO through his post match beat down. Overall, I thought it was a smart way to keep their feud hot.
Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam Opponent
It wasn’t announced on the Canadian feed (which airs Wednesdays), but we found out on the American feed that Brock will be facing Randy Orton. This is one of the dream matches fans have been begging for since Lesnar’s return to WWE. All I can say is that it was a smart decision. It’s fresh, and the build should be fun to watch.
This show had just about everything I would want in an episode of Smackdown. There was great in ring action, continuity from Raw, and plot development. I don’t think there was a moment where I got bored or overly upset with anything. The low point of the show was them missing out on creating a Kalisto-Miz feud (which could still happen), while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode a 9/10.