The Smackdown Breakdown – The Shield Falls As The Wyatt Family Continue To Rise

Hello and welcome back to the Smackdown Breakdown my friends. What a week it’s been in WWE. We came hot off the heels of a very interesting Extreme Rules that served up some great matches, a creepy ending to a match, and saw us continue the momentum into Raw the following night. Smackdown as always was going to see it’s fair share of some great action, and it was announced earlier in the week that Dean Ambrose would be using his re-match clause against Sheamus for the United States Championship. How did I feel Ambrose got on? What do I think about other story lines that we saw advance on this weeks show? As always there’s only one way to find out and that is to get into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown.

Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose – 4 stars

Lets kick off this weeks show in the right way and get the match WWE were building up straight out the way. This was a good opening match that saw Sheamus walk out the victor. I’m not really sure myself what putting the United States Championship on Sheamus really does for him but I’m hopeful that he will at least be defending it more than Ambrose and giving the title some relevance back again. I understand the logic of Dean Ambrose dropping the title being another way to advance the Evolution and Shield story line and I’m actually glad Ambrose dropped it so that we can all stop complaining about the lack of defenses of the title. I detected some booing throughout the match for Sheamus and I felt he worked the match a little bit like a heel and I think given his comments on Twitter this week it’s only a matter of time before this happens. This was a good way to kick of the show for me and one of the more enjoyable moments of the show.

Rob Van Dam & Big E. vs. Bad News Barrett & Cesaro – 3.5 stars

First things first, that was one heck of a black eye RVD was sporting following his match Monday night with Cesaro. We were treated during this match to the genius of Paul Heyman, who’s client the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar, broke the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania (I just had to say it once) and as always he was entertaining to listen to. All four of the competitors in this one put on a solid display. I would say Barrett was the standout performer of the four and I hope he finally now gets his big break to the top as he is so talented. The finish to this one looked a little sloppy but it was a decent little match that saw Barrett and Cesaro pick up the victory.

Kofi Kingston vs. Rusev – 3 stars

Whats with WWE dropping first names recently of superstars? It seems like they seem to be doing it more and more now and I’m not sure why. Lana came out before Rusev as usual and she managed to draw more heat once again than Rusev has ever managed. Nothing beats a good patriotism angle, and as much as we all moan about WWE using Russia to draw heat from the crowd no one ever moaned when Hulk Hogan went up against an Iraqi sympathizing Sgt. Slaughter cause everyone loved that. Back to the match and it was just simply another way for Rusev to dominate an opponent and display his power. At least Kofi managed to get some offence in unlike some of Rusev’s past opponents but it was never going to change the outcome. I feel bad for Kofi because he’s a talented wrestler but he really is going nowhere fast right now. WWE are sadly continuing to push Rusev in an attempt to get him to draw a reaction from the crowd but it just isn’t working. This is something that WWE need to fix and fast or Rusev will be destined for failure and will become irrelevant very quickly.

The Wyatt Family Backstage Segment – 3.5 stars

Bray Wyatt’s promo’s literally speak for themselves and he doesn’t need me to tell you how talented he is in the department. He talked about the fact that Cena is right to fear him and that tonight they will be heading to a place where nobody ever comes back from. The promo was short, sweet and to the point. It wasn’t one of his usual top quality pieces but given it wasn’t a long one that has to be expected. Incidentally this was the only backstage segment of the whole show too.

Fandango & Layla vs. Santino Marella & Emma – 3.5 stars

Slight off-topic note but WWE begin their usual tour of Europe this coming week and I am looking forward to attending my first show in around four years, whilst taking my children to their first ever wrestling show as well. Why does this fit in here? Well for those of you who follow me on Facebook & Twitter I will be taking my kids to meet Fandango & Layla. I will be writing about my experience after next Saturdays show in Nottingham for WWENews.Net so keep an eye out for that the following week.

Anyway back to the match at hand and what surprised me initially is that Layla was going to be wrestling this one in a dress, which seemed like an odd choice but to her credit she pulled it off. I actually thought that Emma and Layla worked really well together, and I actually felt they both outworked Fandango and Santino. Not that I’m knocking Fandango or Santino though as they both performed well with the limited time they had in this match. Emma however really does need to break away from Santino and quickly because she will turn into a big joke if she’s not careful. Her character worked well in NXT but I don’t see her as a joke talent. Seriously, just watch her match with Paige at NXT: ArRIVAL and you will see she is an extraordinary talent. This match was ok to watch but it was over rather quickly.

Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry – 3.5 stars

Did I miss something somewhere as I’m sure the last time we saw Mark Henry he was being cheered by the crowd, yet now he appears to be working heel again. I felt that Roman Reigns really sold his injuries sustained from the attack by Evolution on Raw really well in this one. Mark Henry dominated the match throughout the early stages of the match, before Reigns showed signs of a come back before Henry resumed brief control himself. The Samoan Drop that Reigns hit on Henry out of the corner was really cool and set him up to hit Henry with a spear to get the win. This was a match between two power houses that I expected a little more from overall but it was a good watch.

Los Matadores & El Torito vs. 3MB (Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater) & Hornswoggle – 3.5 stars

Before I get into this match I just want to say that the WeeLC match at Extreme Rules between El Torito and Hornswoggle was awesome. I was even happier when I got to see the step ladder being bought out for a spot! This six man tag was just another way of furthering the feud between all involved and I actually felt 3MB gave another good account of themselves. I think Los Matadores were clearly going for the Tito Santana look when he was El Matador with the tights and boot covers they had on. We saw some more entertaining spots in this match from Hornswoggle and El Torito and unfortunately we saw 3MB sink to lower depths than they have previously when Heath Slater was pinned by El Torito. My view of this match was it was entertaining and had some good little comedy moments added into the mix.

Seth Rollins vs. Batista – 3.5 stars

It certainly was a testament to the talent of Seth Rollins for me that he was the last member of the Shield to go out and to go up against probably the toughest opponent any of the three members of the faction could face. Thinking about Batista and his return I actually have a different take on it to most. While most see it as a flop due to the fact he was meant to get over as a fan favorite and didn’t manage it I think you could class his return as a success because he draws more heat from the crowd than any other performer in WWE right now.

The pairing of Rollins and Batista in a match wasn’t one I would have expected to see but surprisingly it worked really well. I enjoyed this match as there were some really good spots in this one. I particularly liked when Batista countered Seth’s baseball slide by using the ring apron. Early on it seemed like Batista’s power was going to be too much for Rollins but the speed of Rollins later became too much for Batista to deal with. This match was a good mix of power versus speed that saw a disappointing ending with a count out after Seth tried a high risk move and missed. Despite the count out I see it was for the reason for it being not to ruin the momentum of Evolution and the Shield overall going forward. Batista took the upper hand for Evolution though when he gave Rollins a Batista Bomb following the match.

The Wyatt Family vs. John Cena & The Uso’s – 4 stars

Just heading back to Extreme Rules again, how creepy was the end to the John Cena and Bray Wyatt match? I Loved it and thought it was a great piece of booking. John Cena and Erik Rowan started off this match and we saw a very fired up and aggressive John Cena early on. Luke Harper then came into the match to face Cena and if there is one thing I really liked before the tag it was Harper’s facial expressions. Every time I see him he has some of the best facial expressions I’ve seen from a superstar and they really do make him look even creepier. Soon after this Cena tagged out and we saw the Uso’s tagging each other in and out which also resulted in the Wyatt’s taking control.

People think Bray Wyatt’s biggest achievement and moment came when he beat Cena at Extreme Rules, but for me he started to gain momentum when he faced Daniel Bryan at the 2014 Royal Rumble, and he had his jump to stardom in this match against Cena at Wrestlemania 30. Despite the fact he lost that match he came out looking like a true star for me. Back once again to the match on Smackdown and I felt the Wyatt’s dominated the match for long periods until the Uso’s did the hot tag spot. The match ended with Cena and Bray brawling outside the ring before they were jumped on along with Rowan by Jey Uso before Luke Harper nailed that sick clothesline on Jimmy Uso for the three count and the end of the show.

Overall Show Rating – 3.5 stars

A fairly reasonable episode of Smackdown this week for me that while it didn’t set the world on fire it didn’t exactly leave us with any cause for concern. As  noted earlier there was only one segment involving interviews or a promo this week which was good to see as sometimes we get too many on the show. I think my favorite match this week is a tie between Sheamus and Dean Ambrose and the match between the Wyatt’s and John Cena & the Uso’s. I’m looking forward to next week’s shows to see where WWE head with the Evolution and Shield story line as well as the Wyatt’s and Cena and the continuation of the Daniel Bryan and Kane story line.

That’s it for this week folks. As always I would like to thank you for taking the time to read the Smackdown Breakdown and I hope you found it enjoyable. If you have anything you want to say about the show or anything I have written then please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Until next week folks, so long and thanks for reading.

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  • Dave Barton

    Actually, I moaned quite a bit about All-American Hogan facing Iraqi-Sympathizer Slaughter when it happened. I thought it was a very cheap, unimaginative way to get the belt back on Hogan. And apparently I wasn’t the only one, seeing as they had to move WM7 from a 100,000 seat arena to a MUCH smaller venue.

    • Jamie

      Thanks for the comment Dave. I had a feeling there would be some out there who hated the Hogan/Slaughter angle but it feels to me like there is more negativity toward what Lana is doing. Maybe I’m wrong but I think maybe it’s because more people can vent via social media now than they had ways to do it back then.

      • Dave Barton

        I think it was the timing of the angle that I hated. Wrestling was already “out of the closet” and we all knew it was just a story, so for many of us we didn’t buy into the story. On the other hand, just 7 years earlier, kayfabe was still alive (and thriving) when All-American Hogan beat Anti-American Iron Sheik for the title, and we fans couldn’t have been happier because we believed what we were seeing.

    • mike

      Actually the story line got slaughter major heat, problem with it, oh the war was over!