Hello once again fellow readers of WNW and welcome to another exciting edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. It’s a few hours later than normal because I just got back in from the WWE Live event in Nottingham, England and it really was a great show (Quick results have been sent to Richard already) and it is something I will be writing about in my next WWENews.Net article on Wednesday so be sure to head on over and check that out. This weeks episode of Smackdown was the last one before the Superstars and Divas flew over to Europe (Some were in England tonight whilst others were in Austria) and I thought it came across as a pretty decent show. There were some squashes in there but nothing unexpected. There were some good mataches and some not so good matches to talk about so lets head on in to this weeks Smackdown Breakdown.
John Cena Segment – 4.5 Stars
We kick off the show seeing John Cena come out to respond to the recent comments of Bray Wyatt. Cena kicked off the promo with a message to Daniel Bryan (Who hadn’t had his surgery when the show was filmed) by wishing him well and a speedy recovery. Cena then talked about Bray’s promo where he seemed to be challenging Cena to a Last Man Standing match at Payback. Cena cut a really entertaining and intense response back to Bray and really hyped up the Last Man Standing match before he accepted the challenge. He then laid out an open challenge to any of the Wyatt’s to face him tonight and gave Bray the option to choose which of them it would be. Bray then came on screen and cut a great response back at Cena. I loved the line “thank you for helping me find the cure to your plague” and I’m interested to see what Wyatt has in store for Cena this time. Clearly it will be child based again and I look forward to seeing exactly what it is this time is used as Cena’s kryptonite.
The Usos’ vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust – 4 Stars
This match was another enjoyable Tag Team encounter which started out with a great fast pace. The Uso’s right now for me are by far the best Tag Team in WWE and they really have gotten better since they won the Tag Team Championship. The match was back and forth throughout, and even saw Cody Rhodes using some dirty and desperate tactics to try and gain the advantage. Are we seeing the start of a Cody Rhodes heel turn? Time will certainly tell. This was an enjoyable match which saw The Uso’s pick up the victory. After the match we saw frustration get the better of Cody who shouted something at JBL (I couldn’t quite pick up what) and walk off and leave Goldust ringside.
Heath Slater vs. El Torito – 3.5 Stars
Torito is suddenly working more than Los Matadores I think right now. This was a pretty quick match that I don’t feel we really needed to see but was good for entertainment purposes only. Heath was thrown a bull cape by Los Matadores to start which resulted in Torito charging at Slater. For a small guy El Torito really works well and I like seeing him do his thing. Hornswoggle also got involved but ended up being the cause of Heath’s loss after he tried to charge at Torito but ended up running head first into Heath.
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya with Special Referee Eva Marie – 3.5 Stars
This is a re-match from Raw that was actually pretty decent on both occasions. Natalya looks fired up more and more every time I see her and I think that’s a great thing for her character. Both Divas worked really hard throughout this one and the only let down was a bit of a sloppy looking finish, but other otherwise this was a really well worked match between two of WWE’s best Divas right now.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista – 4 Stars
Dolph Ziggler’s pre-match interview was pretty good and straight to the point. He talked about how Batista has pretty much been a flop since his return and was the only member of Evolution not to evolve. Those comments right there pretty much set this one up to be a white wash for Ziggler. He tried to use his speed early on to gain an advantage over Batista but that didn’t really happen and instead we saw Batista take control and display his power by throwing Dolph into the ring apron, the steel stairs and even the barricade. Batista dominated this match, and while Dolph had the odd flurry of offence this match was more about Batista coming out and looking like an animal. The DQ finish was fine for me in this one which saw Batista give Dolph a low blow as it got more heat on him easily. Just to prove his dominance afterward Batista gave Ziggler a Batista Bomb onto the barricade outside the ring.
Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neil – 3.5 Stars
If you blinked you pretty much would have missed this one. A very quick match that saw Titus cut a promo on Sheamus before the start of the match, saying to Sheamus “you didn’t pin nobody to win that title”. Titus also used the line “Sheamus is tough but so are the Divas”. At this point I had a feeling it would be over swiftly, and I wasn’t wrong. No sooner had the bell rang Titus turned around into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus who got the 1-2-3 for the win.
Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella – 3 Stars
While it wasn’t quite a blink and you’ve missed it moment this was pretty much another silly squash match. Sandow had issued an open challenge to anyone in the back to come and face him, a challenge duly accepted by Santino. Having had to do the Magnito gimmick recently I feel Sandow is looking like a bit of a joke right now and by having him face Santino just further cements that feeling. Santino picked up a very quick win in this one. Sandow tried to cut another promo after the match but saw his mic cut off again. I’m not sure where WWE are going with Sandow but I hope they do something good with him going forward as he hasn’t been the same since he won the Money in the Bank briefcase.
R-Truth vs. Cesaro – 3.5 Stars
Before this one got started we got to hear another Paul Heyman promo about the fact his client Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak and how his client Cesaro won the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. People may call it annoying but I love the fact Heyman really plays up on all this stuff. I have to say I love the fact WWE is letting Cesaro use the old King of the Ring logo on the back of his jacket, it looks really cool. Cesaro picked up a fairly quick win in this one and saw him hitting that really sweet looking European Uppercut he does. Cesaro is on a roll right now and I hope by Wrestlemania 31 he is working toward, if not on the top of the card.
John Cena vs. Erick Rowan – 4 Stars
This match was a good opportunity for Erick Rowan to show us all what he can do as I really feel he is the weak link of the Wyatt Family, and after the stable ends one day I fear he may struggle alone. All three members of the Wyatt’s came out together and Bray used some good psychology doing this and surrounding the ring with Harper and Rowan. The numbers were quickly evened up for Cena though as Jimmy and Jey Uso came out to save Cena from an almost certain pummeling by all three Wyatt Family members. Rowan actually impressed me in this match and showed a lot of his strength and power which Cena struggled to combat. Cena had the odd flurry of offence in this one but Rowan spent the majority of the match in charge. The way Cena struggled to get any momentum going really sold Rowan as a monster, and while Cena had his come back moments before winning it wasn’t typical Super Cena style like we are used to seeing. The match ended with Cena picking up a win following an attempt by Luke Harper to get involved in the match but he was countered by Jimmy and Jey Uso. This was a hard fought win for John Cena and a good match overall.
Overall Show Rating – 3.5 Stars
This was a decent episode of Smackdown which saw some great matches but also saw some moments I don’t think anyone will really have cared too much about. I think to be honest the company was in wind down mode a little knowing they had the long haul to Europe and wanted to move certain stories along but not worry too much about the rest of the show. This week my outstanding moment goes to the John Cena and Erick Rowan match, mainly because of Erick Rowan proving to me that he can work well and may be able to salvage something for himself for life after the Wyatt Family. As always, it’s been a pleasure writing the Smackdown Breakdown for you all, I hope you have enjoyed reading it, and I hope you will be back next week when not only does Bo Dallas debut on Smackdown (I saw his entrance tonight, I wasn’t impressed) but the show is of course coming to you from London, England and features the return of Hulk Hogan to the company for the night. What will happen next week? The only way to find out is watch Smackdown on Friday and then head on back to WNW on Saturday to check out my thoughts. As always, thanks for reading the Smackdown Breakdown and I hope to see you again next week. So long everybody.