I apologize to my readers for missing Raw this week, I had some personal matters to attend to.
This was go home show for Backlash, and this was Smackdown’s last chance to make an impression. Of course I’m excited for the PPV, as I am with most, but this episode of Smackdown was mediocre at best.
It was interesting to see Smackdown counter Raw’s strong opening segment with a “women’s forum”. I considered this to be an uphill battle, because this segment felt quite crowded. Daniel Bryan’s plug of Total Bellas wasn’t very natural, and neither was the bickering between the competitors.
The Miz vs Apollo Crews
I actually liked that Ziggler was at the announce table during this match. There’s not much context in Miz vs Crews, but Ziggler was a great addition for added drama. Honestly, this match was incredibly boring. On the flip side, the post match antics were extremely well done. Having Maryse go back into the ring to grab the IC Title was a great touch on the Miz’s “cowardly” character.
Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, & Naomi vs Alexa Bliss, Natalya, & Carmella
Was it me, or did this crowd sound completely dead? Even during the very start of this match, it sounded quiet in that arena. Along with that, there wasn’t a strong pace to the action. Everything about the work rate felt too slow. This lacked intensity, so I didn’t have much of a reason to care about what was happening. One thing I did enjoy about this match was how well the Carmella-Nikki feud was showcased. Basing the finish of the contest off that program made everything a tad bit more entertaining. It was for Carmella to tap out Nikki and stand tall, because it gives her character much more credibility.
American Alpha vs the Usos
I blinked and I completely missed the finish. Initially, I was somewhat disappointed, but the heel turn from the Usos justified the finish to the actual match. The beat down on American Alpha was a thing of beauty, and it’s great to see this the Usos with this new attitude.
Randy Orton Promo
This was a brilliant promo from Randy. I absolutely loved the slow and deep tone to his voice.
We haven’t seen Fandango cut a promo in quite sometime, so this felt like breath of fresh air. He was extremely funny and entertaining. Also, this was a great way to get Kane on the show.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs The Hype Bros
There wasn’t anything special about this match, and it was extremely predictable. I did get a solid laugh out of seeing Heath’s many kids at ringside; that was a great way of showing continuity from last week’s tour of his house.
I believe they booked the right team to win this match. Considering how American Alpha won’t be able to compete in the finals, it’ll be interesting to see who goes over. I’m just glad there’ll be two matches for the tag tournament, because it’ll help flesh out the Backlash card and give it more intensity.
AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose Promo
The promo started off a little odd, but it turned out to be great. They had a brilliant transition from being funny and taking each other seriously. I’m glad they took this time to stop making jokes and giving the fans a reason to care about their match at Backlash. Ambrose especially was the highlight of this promo, because he sounded pretty smooth.
For a go home show, this episode of Smackdown was quite odd. The first half of the episode actually felt empty, as it was full of commercials. The second half was far more meaningful, and there was some memorable moments. The low point of the show was the six women tag, while the high point was the Ambrose/Styles promo. Overall, I give this show a 5.8/10.