The Smackdown Breakdown – The Night Of The Champions

Whats up everybody and welcome to another exciting addition of the Smackdown Breakdown. This week has seen us as wrestling fans go on one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I can remember in all my years as a wrestling fan. Sunday at Wrestlemania saw us experience shock and disbelief as Brock Lesnar ended the Undertakers undefeated streak, before we experienced joy and excitement (and in the words of Matt Kunka on the WWE News Legends of Podcasting, a flare up of my ‘allergies’) at Daniel Bryan finally defeating the odds and becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. We experienced nostalgia and happiness as three men we never thought would make it to the Hall of Fame in Jake Rorts, Scot Hall, and the Ultimate Warrior were inducted in the 2014 class before we all experienced sadness and mourned the loss of the Ultimate Warrior just 24 hours after he appeared on WWE Raw. Life in the world of wrestling is never dull that’s for sure and I’m pleased to see WWE started the show with a little tribute to Warrior. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us with regards to his passing and celebrating his memory on Monday. With that said lets go right ahead and get into this weeks Smackdown Breakdown and see what WWE has in store for us this week.

Show Starts

John Cena Segment – 4.5 stars

This wasn’t your typical John Cena promo, this was much more what I would like to see from him. The promo wasn’t cheesy, it was simple and to the point. He summed up Wrestlemania perfectly and it was cool to hear him embrace the NXT stars who made their debuts on Monday. The point of the promo was simple, to prove that Cena is still ‘the guy’ if you want to get to the top. The Wyatt Family’s interruption was nicely timed and as always Bray stepped up to the plate and smashed a home run! If you have to go through John Cena to get to the top then based on his Wrestlemania performance Bray is stood on the mountain peak looking down. It’s clear WWE are playing up the fact Wyatt wants to bring out the monster in Cena sooner rather than later.  A great segment to start the show.

The Big Show vs. Cesaro – 4 stars

So this gave us our first glimpse of Cesaro as a Paul Heyman Guy. It seems the fans went back to quickly booing Cesaro for switching over to Heyman’s side after the reaction he garnered on Raw. However it was good to see Cesaro and Big Show shake hands before the start of the match, albeit out of character for a heel but it was to signify the respect between both men following Cesaro’s amazing feat of strength at Wrestlemania 30. This was a good match and I like the fact that Big Show spent the majority of the match dominating Cesaro due to their size and weight difference. It kept things realistic but I was happy to see Cesaro pick up the win in the end here to really sell what he can do against a bigger opponent and keep up his momentum from Wrestlemania. It was a shame about the finish with Swagger coming in the interfere as I really wanted to see Cesaro try and swing Big Show but I will more than take seeing him hit the Neutralizer. A great first match to kick off this weeks Smackdown.

Los Matadores vs. Rybaxel – 3.5 stars

Michael Cole trying to play up the Torito and Hornswoggle spot at the Hall of Fame just got right under my skin at the start of this match. It was a pointless segment so I’m not going to laugh about it Cole! Anyway onto the match and right now it seems neither team are really going anywhere fast. I’m not a Rybxel fan and don’t see the benefit of the team for either man other than to keep them relevant and on TV. Los Matadores right now are struggling and I’m not sure Carlito’s comments at the Hall of Fame did them any favors either. The match itself was ok, nothing amazing but it felt the crowd came more alive when Los Matadores hit their high spots. Axel’s finisher was pretty sweet and I’m afraid it was a case of chalk up another loss for Los Matadores.

Rob Van Dam Backstage Segment – 3 stars

Mr. Friday Night has come home, Rob Van Dam is back in WWE and on Smackdown. The promo was short, sweet and to the point and like any RVD promo made me want to watch his match. It wasn’t anything special though so I can only go middle of the park in my rating.

Rob Van Dam vs. Damien Sandow – 4 stars

I really enjoyed this match and it looks like Van Dam has not missed a beat since his departure last year. Both men put up a really great effort in this match which was a back and forth affair. I’m just gutted for Damien Sandow because ever since his loss to John Cena after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase he has gone on a huge losing streak that make me worry about his future. I hope WWE turn him around because Sandow is a great wrestler and deserves another shot in the main event. Van Dam hit all his usual spots in this match and picked up a win through the Five Star Frog Splash. This was a thoroughly entertaining match.

Hulk Hogan and Daniel Bryan Segment – 5 stars

As always Hulk Hogan is met with another fantastic reaction. I must admit that over the years he was with TNA I became very disengaged with Hogan and annoyed at some of the things he did but since he left and seems to be back under control I am starting to enjoy seeing him again. The crowd were all over him as always and it was clear that he was loving the Hogan chants. He put Daniel Bryan over in a big way before he introduced him and seeing Hogan doing the Yes chant with the crowd was great. Bryan doing the Hogan impression cracked me up but then it was back to business. Bryan really put over Hogan in his promo and it’s clear to see Bryan hasn’t let his rise to the top change him in any way. The guy is so down to earth and humble it’s unreal. Despite being the new face of WWE (in my eyes at least) he really has taken all this in his stride. Seeing him and Bryan doing Hogan’s poses was priceless. A pretty cool segment seeing one of the icons of professional wrestling in the ring with WWE’s newest face.

Kofi Kingston vs. Bad News Barrett – 4 stars

Well Kofi Kingston, I’m afraid I’ve got some Bad News. You came up against Bad News Barrett and lost. What amazed me in this one is Barrett started off being booed like a typical heel but the crowd slowly started to cheer for him again as the match went on. By the end though I think he was safely back to being booed. I enjoyed the start of the match with Barrett nailing Kofi and telling him he has some Bad News. Barrett seriously has not missed a step in the ring and he showed it with a solid performance. It’s just a shame this match didn’t get a little longer in terms of it’s TV time. Both men performed well despite the time given and I enjoyed seeing my fellow Brit pick up the victory in this one.

Santino vs. Fandango – 3 stars

Wow I didn’t expect to see Layla come out with Fandango and it certainly was a pleasant surprise. The good thing is at least Layla can dance. This match was ok to watch, nothing special but it was entertaining at least. The finish was a bit questionable with Layla stealing Santino’s Cobra but it served it’s purpose in helping get Fandango over and back to winning ways. Hopefully this can be the start of something big for Fandango and he can go on a nice little run for a while.

Kane, Batista and Randy Orton Backstage Segment – 3.5 stars

This was a nice build up to the match that was coming up next. There was the tease of dissension between all three men but a recognition that they needed to be on the same page. It was another pretty short and sharp promo which got the point over that they needed to be united but you still felt with the comments of Orton and Batista that there wasn’t complete trust there.

The Usos and Daniel Bryan vs. Kane, Batista, and Randy Orton – 4 stars

What a way to end the show. This match was really great to watch from start to finish. Everyone really seemed to give it their all in terms of performance and seemed to be still feeding off the energy from Wrestlemania. I thought Randy Orton really seemed to be a standout performer for his team tonight, and after that bump he took at Wrestlemania on the announcers table it’s amazing he was even able to compete this week. However the standout performer was Daniel Bryan once again. He has taken so many crazy bumps the last few weeks it’s amazing he’s still able to do all those crazy high flying spots he does. It’s a shame this one ended in a no contest but the purpose was to give Kane, Batista and Orton the upper hand so that The Shield could come and make the save and continue to tease a feud there. The show ended with the Shield and Daniel Bryan standing tall and it was a great way to end this weeks show.

Overall Show Rating – 4 Stars

I felt this was a pretty solid show overall. WWE kept up it’s momentum hot off the heels of Wrestlemania and I hope the company keeps this up going into Extreme Rules next month. There were so many positive moments to take away from this weeks show that it made it tough to pick out my favorite moment from this weeks show. However I think I will have to give the nod to the Hulk Hogan and Daniel Bryan segment. There was just something about it that was so entertaining and I found it a really enjoyable moment to celebrate the new face of WWE, Daniel Bryan. That’s all for this week guys and girls. In the words of the Ultimate Warrior “load up the spaceship with the rocket fuel!” And as always, thanks for reading and tune in next week for another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown.

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