The WWE Pay-Per-View event Payback is right around the corner, and the go-h0me show for it, Smackdown this week will try it’s best to get the last little bit of buyers for the PPV. Will this show actually persuade people to buy the show? Or will it fall flat on it’s face? Let’s find out!
Smackdown starts off this week with Roman Reigns coming out to the ring, and calling out AJ Styles, the current #1 contender for the gold he has. Instead, he gets The Miz and Maryse. The Miz heels it up as usual, and continues the praise of his S/O, Maryse. This continues until Roman Reigns strikes him in the head, we get some upcoming match announcements from the commentators, and that’s the opening segment. Wait. That’s it? Does it promote anything happening later tonight? No. Does it set anything up for now? No. Does it even push any storylines? Barely. The only part that pushes a storyline is the 2 minutes that Roman talks about AJ and their upcoming match. After the commercial break we hear that Roman Reigns will face The Miz later. That sounds so familiar. Wait, this EXACT scenario happened last week with The Miz and AJ Styles to kick off the show. This was a extremely lousy start to the show, but luckily we have some good matches being announced by Mauro and the crew on commentary. Let’s see if these matches hold up, starting with the first match of the night, The League of Nations versus 3 other unannounced wrestlers.
Match 1: The League of Nations vs Kalisto, Sami Zayn and Cesaro
The first match of the night is a 6-man tag match, with the League of Nations challenging any team of 3. Kalisto, Sami Zayn and Cesaro decide to step up to the challenge. At the start of the match there was quite the disconnect between all of the LoN members, not being able to decide who gets in the ring first. As the match continues on, the team becomes more and more frustrated. Near the end of the match, Alberto Del Rio gets mad a leaves. It’s just down to Sheamus and Rusev, and Sheamus by accident nails Rusev in the head with a strike. Out of anger, Rusev leaves. Sheamus was getting finished off by Cesaro, until he leaves. It would be a nice match finish if they would let the team get a clean win, especially because this is the first match of the night. I was disappointed since this match was given quite the amount of time (around 15 minutes) yet it ended without a satisfying clean finish. After the break, we get one of the quickest and wimpiest backstage brawls between the League of Nations, finally ending the group. And when I say a wimpy fight, Rusev hit a door at 10 miles per hour, and stayed down because of it.
Match 2: Baron Corbin vs Damien Sandow
Continuing on in the show, Damien Sandow, a man who has not appeared on TV in a while faces Baron Corbin. As you would expect, Baron Corbin gets a quick and easy win against Sandow to promote his match against Ziggler on sunday. Not much to say about this match, just boring but luckily quick.
Dean Ambrose’s “Ambrose Asylum” with Charlotte, Ric Flair and Natalya
The newly crowned host for the Ambrose Asylum talk show, Dean Ambrose hosts Charlotte, with her manager Ric Flair and her opponent this sunday, Natalya. Nothing really special happens, but Charlotte and Natalya get some words in and thats it. One thing that WASN’T put in this segment that happened, was that Ric Flair told Natalya to kill herself. This was obviously edited out of the TV version, but there is footage of it happening at the taping online. I haven’t been that “wowed” so far in the show, but that is typically how go-home Smackdown’s are. I have heard some criticism about how Dean Ambrose doesn’t do a good job on the Ambrose Asylum, or that talk shows need to say a heel thing, but I think that Dean Ambrose does a great job at talking, and does a great job at keeping the crowd focused on what’s going on inside the ring, mostly because he has a good way with words, and has a bit of a booming voice.
Match 3: Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel vs Enzo & Cass
Up next we got Enzo and Cass facing Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel of the Social Outcasts to promote their match against The Vaudevillians at Payback. New Day are ringside for this match, in fact they kick the commentary team off of commentary and do their own commentary for this match. Not only was it hilarious with the New Day on commentary, they knew what they were doing 99% of the time. The Vaudevillians watch the match from the ramp near the end of the match, and act impressed once they get the quick victory. Not a bad segment, mostly because the constant shouting of New Day kept me awake.
Match 4: Apollo Crews vs Stardust
Apollo Crews continues to showcase himself to the mainstream WWE fanbase this week, facing Stardust on Smackdown. Of course, Crews gets a easy win against Stardust. Like the Baron Corbin match, there isn’t much to say about it. Apollo Crews is a good wrestler, and I think it is about time that they give him a rivalry.
Match 5: The Miz vs Roman Reigns
It is now time for the main event! The main event of the night, as announced earlier, The Miz will face Roman Reigns. Ringside for this match is AJ Styles, but he is not on commentary like New Day was. This match gets around 10 minutes, with Roman Reigns getting the clean victory, after The Miz tried to do a dirty match finish. At the end of the match, AJ Styles gets into the ring, and then Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows make their way down to the ring. Styles watches as Doc and Karl fight Reigns, until The Usos come out to save Roman. The Usos include AJ in the fight, everyone starts fighting, and at the end AJ shows restraint of letting Doc and Karl fighting Roman and The Usos. This main event wasn’t great, but overall this show was very disappointing.
The show lacked entertainment, with the only thing that mattered in this show was the disbanding of the League of Nations. Even that, was done in a bad way. You always have to expect less from a go-home Smackdown, and I would say that I am pretty positive person when it comes to reviews. But this week was terrible even for go-home Smackdown’s. Let’s hope that Payback can perform well. It has lots of great matches on the show, but I don’t see this episode of Smackdown getting any extra viewers on the PPV. So, here’s to hoping.
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