After the type of show and main event Raw had given us, the bar was set high for Smackdown. They may not have been able to keep up with Monday’s show, but we were still provided with some decent moments.
How funny would it be if they decided to open the show with pyro, and the Miz still proceeded to walk out earlier than he should have?
After a full week of speculation and excitement, the Miz was finally able to follow up on his pseudo-shoot promo he cut last week. Instead of dialling it back to a calm demeanour, he did an excellent job at maintaing the intensity from Talking Smack. Along with that, Ziggler was perfect as a catalyst for this promo. While the Miz didn’t accept Dolph’s challenge, he maintained a mean look, and never once flashed his typical heel smile and that sold the seriousness of the situation.
The Hype Bros vs The Vaudevillians
Have the Vaudevillians had a normal tag team match since the brand split? I know they were in the 12 man tag two weeks ago, but I seriously can’t recall seeing them before that. The same could be said for the Hype Bros, but I guess they’re not as forgettable.
As a match, this wasn’t anything spectacular, but the convincing win for Rawley and Ryder made them look like a contender for the titles. Also, both JBL and Mauro were great at selling them as a powerhouse team.
AJ Styles vs Apollo Crews
I love how Styles continues to use Cena’s catch phrases, because it shows the audience how big of a victory that was for him. Hopefully he drops the headband for his match against Ambrose, as it might look foolish during big matches.
One thing Smackdown continues to excel on is keeping the roster well intertwined. AJ didn’t just come out and have a match with Crews, and Crews didn’t just interrupt him for no reason. Instead, they interacted with each other once before the promo, which gave the match and promo a ton of context. While Apollo may not have much of a personality, there’s no denying his work rate, and that was apparent in this contest with AJ. The two had great chemistry, and each of them left looking good.
Heath Slater/Rhyno Video Package
Everything about this promo was perfect for Heath Slater, and he pulled it off. It wasn’t just Heath that was excellent, but Rhyno also hit a home run with his role in the promo. Him not choosing to speak and eating the crackers was hilarious. These two could easily have there own sitcom on the WWE Network.
Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton Promo
There’s never a Bray Wyatt promo that upsets me, and this one wasn’t any different. He provided strong reasoning for choosing Randy as his next target. Orton himself knew exactly how to counter Wyatt’s promo, and I’m glad he didn’t try anything fancy. My main gripe with this promo was them cutting away after Randy slid into the ring. I’m assuming we’re supposed to think that Bray vanished after the lights were cut, but why not show Randy standing in the ring by himself?
Natalya & Alexa Bliss vs Naomi & Becky Lynch
Alexa Bliss simply knows how to react to everything she’s involved in. For those of you that didn’t notice, she covered her ears during Becky’s entrance while making a sour face.
Considering how we got a pair of women’s singles matches last week, a tag wasn’t a bad idea for this show. It allowed for all competitors to receive attention, and that includes Nikki and Carmella with their ringside brawl. The standouts in this match were Becky, Bliss, and Carmella. Lynch made sure she played to the crowd, while Alexa was brilliant at using heel tactics. Carmella looks more comfortable as a heel, and seemed to have more confidence in her walk after she beat down Bella.
The biggest flaw in this tag match was actually the commentary from Nikki. For someone that was ambushed twice in one show, she seemed awful calm about her feelings towards Carmella. I hope she can improve in that department, because intensity can make or break a feud.
The Headbangers vs Rhyno & Heath Slater
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the Headbangers returning. Does anybody know if their appearance was just a one time thing? Regardless of that, it was fun to watch Rhyno and Heath Slater move on.
Kane vs Local Competitor (milk man?)
For a moment, I thought this local competitor was a fan that managed to grab a live mic, but then I quickly realized they wouldn’t keep it going for so long if that was the case. I found this to be quite funny, and a neat way to remind fans that Kane is on Smackdown.
Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
I’ve loved what Smackdown has been putting forth so far, however, this main event felt like an anticlimactic way to end the show. Baron Corbin came into this contest cold as ice, so it was tough to view him as the monster they want us to. Also, the flow of the match wasn’t anything worthy of a main event. Essentially, Corbin just beat down Ambrose, until the last few minutes. The interaction between Dean and AJ was terrible, and I expected more considering their title match is only a week and a half away.
Since both Raw and Smackdown are competing brands, I think it’s fair to compare their main events as well. Given the finish to the main event on Raw, I didn’t think Smackdown even had a chance this week.
For the most part, this turned out to be a decent episode of Smackdown. However, going into next week they’ll need to step it up and give the audience even more, because Backlash isn’t too far away. The low point of the show was the main event, while the high point was the opening segment. Overall, I give this show a 6/10.