Smackdown rides the coattails of the recent PPV Payback this week, with new storylines and continued ones from the week before. The main event this week is Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson facing The Usos, but as you read on you will notice it takes a turn for the unexpected, or as some critics like me believe, the expected. Smackdown this week is also packed with lots of other action to discuss so let’s start with the first segment of the night, Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel.
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel with Sami Zayn
The show kicks off with the first episode of the returning talk show: Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. For the uninformed, Chris Jericho got his talk show back after Stephanie McMahon cancelled Dean Ambrose’s show “The Ambrose Asylum”, and brought back the Highlight Reel. The first guest to be on the returning Highlight Reel? Sami Zayn. Sami Zayn gets questioned for a small amount of time, until The Miz comes out to confront Sami. Chris Jericho gets get fed up because people keep on making fun of him, so he leaves making it just Sami and The Miz in the ring. Sami tries to attack Miz, and after the break they get a match.
Sami Zayn vs The Miz w/ Maryse
After the first commercial break, The Miz and Sami Zayn get in the ring and after lots of smack talk. Unlike the past two weeks, Smackdown’s opening segment led to what happened right after the break, which is great. If you make it clear what happens after the first commercial break it makes viewers stay. Nice to see that Smackdown’s intro isn’t the EXACT same formula every week. After not long, Kevin Owens shows up ringside and eventually interferes in the match. The match gets called off, and turns into a brawl. Cesaro then runs in to even the odds, but hits everyone with uppercuts. It was very confusing what they were trying to say with Cesaro hitting Zayn with a uppercut, but maybe that was just a mistake. This match did not get much time and had a bit of a confusing ending, with the only point of the ending to show that everyone wants the Intercontinental title. But when the match was happening, Sami seemed to be carrying all of it. He hit many high spots in the match, and all that Miz did was take the bumps. At the same time, a lot of this match was not shown because of 2 commercial breaks within 15 minutes.
The Vaudevillians vs Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel
Moving on in the show, The Vaudevillians promote their upcoming match against New Day at Extreme Rules by facing 2/4 of the Social Outcasts, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. The Vaudevillians get a extremely quick match finish using their finishing move, but after the match, we get a confrontation between The Vaudevillians and Big Cass. Big Cass cleans house and gives a happy ending to this. The match was good because it put the main tag team story on the show and didn’t waste any time. But, since Big Cass isn’t in the tag team title picture, I don’t have a clue why he is on the show so much. I assume it’s so that he stay relevant while Enzo is gone which I am fine with.
Becky Lynch and Natalya vs Charlotte and Emma
Smackdown moves into the next hour of the show, and with that, we get a match from the “Women’s Division”. I have not heard them refer to Women’s matches as that, but I don’t mind at all. This match was given quite the amount of time, and was a okay match, but took up a lot of time. This match was able to promote the rivalry between Natalya and Charlotte, and the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Emma. This was a very good way to talk about both rivalries, and this means that Emma and Becky Lynch might rematch at Extreme Rules.
Rusev vs Zack Ryder
Before the next match we get a vignette about how they will repackage Darren Young, with Bob Backlund being his life coach. This seems promising, but could easily go down the wrong road if it is treated way too wacky. The next match of the night is Zack Ryder vs Rusev. Zack Ryder got a jobber entrance, and of course lost by “The Accolade” to end the match very quickly. It is unfortunate that Zack Ryder has been in such a slump since Wrestlemania, even though he has the charisma to become a bigger name than he is right now. Let’s hope that he can have a better experience in the upcoming months. After the match, Kalisto runs in and attacks Rusev then runs away.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns and The Usos
The main event earlier was just The Usos versus Luke and Karl, and that main event happened. But after that match happened for a while, it ended in interference and a big brawl. AJ Styles says that he needs to finish what he started, and a 6 man tag match starts. This is something they have done before, and I don’t like it because WWE wouldn’t actually book the main event WITHOUT people like Roman and AJ in any of the show yet. The match ends with a spear by Roman, while AJ got held back by one of The Usos. This match was okay, but I found it very boring. It helped promote the main event for Extreme Rules, but seemed very formulated at the same time.
This Smackdown was a decent Smackdown, but could have stepped it’s game up as a show right after a PPV. I enjoyed some of the matches on this show, but the second hour seemed to try to drag itself out and be boring.