Smackdown has been getting quite the amount of coverage recently with the news of it moving to Tuesdays live on the USA Network, but until then we still have lots of Smackdown to go around every Thursday. This week is pretty stacked, with two title matches and the return of Seth Rollins. Does this week keep it’s title of “stacked”? Or does it fall flat? Let’s see as I review another week of WWE Thursday Night Smackdown
Opening Segment w/ Ambrose, Zayn, Owens and Del Rio
The show kicks off this week with Michael Cole interviewing Dean Ambrose about his upcoming Money In The Bank ladder match. He fits a few words in until Kevin Owens walks out and interrupts him. Kevin Owens makes Michael Cole scurry out of the ring, and shortly after that Sami Zayn comes out. Del Rio, who is not even in the MITB match comes out, and says that he will win his match against Zack Ryder, next. This was a smooth transition to that match, and it would keep the average viewer still tuned in, but this was one of these segments that seems to be the same formula that was used for the Wrestlemania ladder match talking segments, or any feud including more than 2 people. It is extremely formulaic and boring. We get one of the most boring brawl scenes between everyone except Del Rio, and unless we see them face each-other later in the night, that was a very weird segment that sacrificed 3 people just to talk about 1 persons match.
Alberto Del Rio vs Zack Ryder (MITB Match Qualifier)
Moving on the the first match of the night, currently seen Del Rio faces Zack Ryder to see who can land a spot in the annual Money In The Bank match. As you would expect, Del Rio moved onto the MiTB match. We won the match with a cross-armbreaker, his specialty. This was a great match, because it had tons of moments, and the cross-armbreaker came out of completely nowhere. I am completely happy with Del Rio moving on, and the ladder match has a completely great mix of heels and babyfaces currently. I am very happy that Del Rio is sticking with his old gimmick now that he is out of the League of Nations, because the theme that he used reminds me of his golden days.
Dudley Boyz and Enzo & Cass Segment
We next get a quick segment between The Dudleys and the Enzo and Cass duo. This segment announces that the two teams will face each-other on Monday Night RAW next week. This segment was short but sweet, with the crowd being hyped up by the words of Amore and Cassidy. I am excited to see this match, especially because this means that they will give Enzo and Cass more time to build up momentum before giving them another title shot. This would be good because you can’t just give a team a title shot right after they were on the injured list (one of them but they couldn’t compete as a team obviously). Plus, the tag team division isn’t really a division unless there is competition outside of the championship.
United States Championship
Kalisto vs Rusev
Just a few days after Kalisto lost his US Championship, he cashes in his rematch clause against Rusev to try to get back the title. This match topped the one we saw before for sure, with Rusev of course coming up on top in the end. Kalisto and Rusev work very well together and I think that they should have more matches in the future. Kalisto can flip around the ring and Rusev adapts to that style and counters the moves so perfectly. Rusev retained the title, but as Rusev took out one opponent, a new one, Titus O’Neil came out and said he wanted the title. Putting this match aside, do I think that Titus O’Neil should have a belt run? No. Why? Because he has no gimmick at all right now. Titus O’Neil is current just a guy that people used to know. He is known as that guy that WAS in a tag team. But what is he now? He needs to build that before he runs for a title.
Natalya vs Dana Brooke w/ Charlotte
The next match of the night, and the first women’s match of the night was pretty short lived. Natalya faced Dana Brooke and ended within 5 minutes due to Charlotte interfering. This shows that Natalya might go for the title at another PPV, but I think it’s time that they honestly pick someone else. If you include Roadblock, Natalya has faced Charlotte for the title 3 times now and it is time that they give someone else a shot, why not give Emma a push? She has been invisible since she has came back onto the main roster.
R-Truth and Goldust vs Tyler Breeze and Fandango
Now to my least favourite part of the show currently, the R-Truth and Goldust team facing Tyler Breeze and Fandango. I would hardly even call this a match. It was the fastest match so far, and it was absolutely pointless. Tyler Breeze and Fandango won, and meanwhile I still don’t care. On a different note, I wonder if Goldust will leave WWE too because his brother (Cody Rhodes), and his wife (Eden Stiles) left the company on a not so nice note.
Seth Rollins Returns To Smackdown
Seth Rollins made his return to Smackdown tonight, with him going on the mic for a while. He says a very small amount of words, he disses the crowd and walks out laughing. It was a very weak segment and did not put him over as a heel, it just seemed like a “why did that happen” moment. It was very letting down.
Cesaro vs The Miz w/ Maryse
Now the main event of the night, is another championship match! We have the current IC Champion The Miz face Cesaro, one of the 2 other challengers for the title on Sunday last week. This match was a great main event, but of course ended with the Miz retaining the title. It was a great match because at some points you could have been easily tricked into thinking that Cesaro was going to get the title, but it all ended for him with the Skull Curshing Finale. The match was a good way to wrap up the show, but it should have had some bigger names to wrap up the show. Did we see any real big names? Not really. We saw midcarders ending off the show. But nonetheless, the main event did not lack and ended very well.
This ends the Smackdown after Extreme Rules, and in general this show was very good, but the tag match near the end was awful and the show lacked big name talent. Overall, I would say I enjoyed this episode. Make sure to come back next week for more Smackdown next week!