Once again it's Smackdown Breakdown time folks. Before I get into the show from this week I just want to take a minute to ask a question; just how good was NXT Takeover? For me it was amazing from the first minute right until the last. The matches on the card were excellent quality and if this show is anything to go by then the future of WWE is in safe hands for years to come. We have Payback coming up this Sunday and I hope that it can follow the high standard set by the NXT crew, and the main roster will have a lot to live up to there. Whilst this is a rehash of matches from Extreme Rules in a sense with Evolution facing The Shield and John Cena facing Bray Wyatt, we also have something different in the under card with Sheamus taking on Cesaro, and Bad News Barrett taking on Rob Van Dam. Add to that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship situation and we have the makings for a pretty good Pay Per View. With that being said though lets see what the go home edition of Smackdown delivered to us.
The Shield Promo - 4 Stars
What a way to kick off the show. We saw a recap of Monday's brutal contract signing that ended with Evolution standing tall above the Shield. This Sunday sees a no holds bared elimination match taking place which could easily result in some interesting situations such as 3 on 2 or 3 on 1 odds. Seth Rollins started off the promo by saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", and then we had Ambrose ask Evolution just how crazy are they willing to get in this match? If the match at Extreme Rules is anything to go by then I look forward to seeing how they top that with this encounter as that was an awesome match. The promo itself was intense throughout, and I look forward to this Sundays encounter to see where they take this feud. For me it's going to result in a Shield victory.
Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro - 3.5 Stars
Going into his match on Sunday against Sheamus, we saw a a reminder of the attack from Ceasro on Sheamus that took place on Monday. This match was a quick but decent watch. We saw some awesome strength from Cesaro when he blocked a deep Kofi arm drag and ended up hitting a back breaker. Kofi had a brief come back into the match but it was very much all about Cesaro in this match as he nailed Kofi with a European Uppercut following an attempt to execute a top rope move. Just to add further insult to injury Cesaro nailed a Neutralizer on Kofi after the match was over. Right now I'd say Cesaro has some great momentum going into his match with Sheamus and I'm going with Cesaro to beat the Irish man.
Bad News Barrett Promo - 4 Stars
This was a nice little promo from Barrett who really has come on so much with the Bad News gimmick. That catchphrase "I'm afraid I've got some bad news" isn't going anywhere any time soon and he will probably struggle to ever shake that off, but that's not a bad thing, that's a good thing. Barrett played up to continued feud between the English and the Irish, and also noted how the US title just covers one country whereas the Intercontinental title covers the whole world, meaning it has more value. Barrett also talked about Rob Van Dam going into his match on Sunday and how Van Dam lives off his past.
Paige vs. Tamina - 3 Stars
Poor Paige has had an incredibly rough run as Divas champion. She seems to be over with the audience but there are rumblings that the higher ups are concerned she doesn't connect with the audience. Alicia Fox on the other hand is going through an all systems go style push, and I like the crazy side of her character even if I'm not a fan of hers overall. Paige suffered in this match with being distracted by Alicia taking the Divas title and parading around the ring with it. This fired Paige up big style and she became much more aggressive, picking up the win with the submission now known as the PTO, which looks more and more brutal ever time I see it. The match was ok but I know these two Divas are capable of better.
Sheamus Promo - 3.5 Stars
Sheamus talks up his issues with Cesaro during this promo, which was brief but enjoyable. I did like his line that what Cesaro did attacking him from behind was like throwing water on a Gremlin and a vegan after midnight. He then responded to Barrett's earlier comments about the Intercontinental title being more prestigious than the US title by simply saying he may not know a lot about geography but he knows something about physics and that he could simply rearrange Barrett's teeth with a Brogue Kick and knock them down his throat, and that's not bad news, that's good news.
Xavier Woods vs. Bo Dallas - 3.5 Stars
So, are any of you Bo-lievers? I continue not to be but that's nothing against Bo, it's just I don't like the character. He cut another irritating promo before the start of this match, and took the time to remind us that he is 2-0 since his television debut. The way he is so over the top in everything he does makes him so annoying but I like that and he really has improved since he had his first main roster run back in 2013. I have to also say Xavier Woods was great with what he was able to do in this match. I have been a fan of him since he was in TNA as Consequences Creed and was not surprised when he signed with WWE as he is an exceptional young talent. Bo Dallas picked up a win in this brief match and ended up going to 3-0. The bad news for Bo is Brock Lesnar is shaping up to end his streak in the next few weeks....Well I can hope! I love watching Bo trying to console his opponents after the match as it just makes me want to punch all that bit more.
El Torito vs. Jinder Mahal - 3 Stars
Someone needs to call the local law enforcement in as I'm pretty sure El Torito stole Brutus Beefcake's sheers! However given the fact he lost his tail on Monday and wrestled this match with a stump on I suppose we can let that go. Torito sold the pain whenever he hit his backside on the floor anywhere and despite the fact he had very little offence he picked up the win over Jinder. 3MB tried to surround Torito again after the match but Los Matadores quickly took care of them and instead they tried to surround Hornswoggle. Sunday's Payback pre-show will see El Torito face Hornswoggle in a hair versus mask match, and if their last match is anything to go by this promises to be an entertaining affair. I'm expecting another El Torito victory this Sunday and to see Hornswoggle lose his hair to those Beefcake sheers.
Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett - 4 Stars
This match was exactly what I expected it to be; a rough, tough, hard hitting contest where neither man pulled any punches. We got to hear the tones of Paul Heyman on commentary again as his client Cesaro, who was the winner of the inaugural Andre The Giant memorial battle royal, faces Sheamus on Sunday. The match was physical throughout and was a true back and forth affair. Barrett took advantage of the issues Sheamus was having with his head following Cesaro's attack on Monday and focused his attacks there, however Sheamus picked up a very hard fought victory in this one. I don't know about you but when he does the ten beats of the bodhran it looks painful and I wouldn't fancy taking that night after night. Sheamus tried to extract some revenge for Monday by going after Heyman, who sold the cowardly side of himself as excellently as always by shouting out "I'm just an advocate". I've already picked Cesaro to go over Sheamus, and I have to say I'm picking Bad News Barrett over Rob Van Dam in their encounter on Sunday.
The Uso's Promo - 3.5 Stars
This was a pretty quick promo cut by the Uso's before Jimmy's match later in the night. They talked about their main event tag team match from Tuesday's episode of Main Event against Harper and Rowan and how they won that encounter. The promo itself was intense and I actually like hearing the Uso's talk on the mic. It's a shame they haven't had this kind of time in the past as they really can cut an entertaining promo.
Titus O'Neil vs. Big E. - 3 Stars
It was around four weeks ago these two had a match that ended in a disqualification following Titus continuing to assault Big E following the referee's attempt to pull him away. It was announced before the match that Big. E will face Rusev at Payback, which I'm not sure I'm a fan of personally as if Rusev wins I don't care, and if Big E. wins then that just ruins Rusev. Lana came out before this match got started, in heels which I seriously wonder how she walks in, and as usual runs down America verbally and talks up the power of Russia. Rusev then came out and said something that no one could understand or probably cared about, and the match finally got underway when Titus blind sided Big E. Unfortunately for Titus his dominance didn't last long and Big E was soon picking up the victory with a Big Ending. This match was what is was; short and sweet.
Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger - 3.5 Stars
This match was another quick affair but it was entertaining at least. We had Zeb Coulter on commentary for this one, which saw Michael Cole quote the line "are you hunting wabbit?" in his best Elmer Fudd voice. We saw a flashback to Monday night on Raw before the match started when Swagger and Zeb kidnapped Roses's Lemon, which is something I never thought I would be typing regarding a wrestling show. Whenever Adam Rose comes out I find myself more and more wanting to be a part of the party on the Exotic Express. If WWE ever auctions off that as an experience day I want to win it! We were also provided with a great line from JBL when he asked "what kind of man brings a lollipop to a fight?". I loved that and I loved the match with Rose just not taking it seriously, which was something that seemed to really get under Swagger's skin. Adam Rose picked up the victory in this one with what can only be described as an inventive pin.
Jimmy Uso vs. Bray Wyatt - 4 Stars
This match was a Last Man Standing match and was designed as a preview for what we can expect on Sunday. They showed a replay of how Bray went after Jerry Lawler on Monday to get at John Cena, which was a segment that seriously had me worried for Lawler's safety. I don't know what it is but since the heart attack any time I see someone go to get physical with him I worry about something happening to Jerry. Bray Wyatt got off to a strong start early on in this one but Jimmy soon came back into the match and started flying high. No sooner had we gone to a break though than we came back and found Bray in control again. Jimmy managed to fight back and hit a Samoan Drop and a sweet looking super kick to Bray outside the ring. Jimmy looked like he might pick up the win after he hit a big splash off the top rope but Bray still managed to answer the ten count somehow. Jimmy seemed like he would go to any lengths to win, even hitting Bray with a running hip attack against the barricade. However when he tried this against the steel steps he missed and ended up being hit with the Sister Abigail leading to a Wyatt victory and the end of the show. My one problem with this match was the timing; Why not give them at least 25 to 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes. It just felt rushed for me but I know Sunday with Cena and Bray it will get more time. I fully expect another Wyatt victory at Payback and would like to see some strange twist at the end of the match similar to the last one.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
This was a pretty standard edition of Smackdown with very little happening in terms of events going into this Sundays Payback pay per view. I guess this is what WWE was going for going into the event but as a fan other than the Daniel Bryan situation, the Wyatt and Cena match, and the Shield and Evolution match, as a fan I am not exactly sold on this event. Hopefully WWE will prove my lack of faith wrong but I can't see this following the stellar quality of Extreme Rules or NXT Takeover. My segment of the night for this show goes to the match between Bad News Barrett and Sheamus. It was such a rough and physical affair from the get go and is something I want to see more of from guys like Barrett, Cesaro, Sheamus, even Big E.
I hope as always you enjoyed this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and you will be back again for next week's installment. Until then I hope you all enjoy Payback this Sunday, and as always thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback below as I love interacting with all our readers and really want to hear your opinions about the show. As always to end, in the words of the legendary Gorilla Monsoon "so long everybody".