Welcome everybody to the Smackdown Breakdown coming to you this week on the road from Birmingham, England. I'm away for the weekend but I made sure that I have Wi-Fi access so I am still able to watch Smackdown and bring you the breakdown. I don't want to start this off with too many observations about the show but it did seem to feel like there was a difference in the crowd at the O2 Arena compared to the previous nights crowd for Raw. Whether that was down to editing afterwards or not it's hard to say, but it did come across to me like they were a lot flatter in terms of noise. However it's still always great to see WWE bring Raw and Smackdown over to the UK twice a year as the crowd is generally always one of the liveliest WWE gets at their shows. With that being said lets head on into this weeks Smackdown Breakdown.
Jimmy Hart & Hulk Hogan Opening Segment - 4 Stars
What a way to kick off the show, by bringing out the Immortal Hulk Hogan. This is the first time that Hogan has graced a WWE ring in the UK in over twenty years. Strangely enough I was actually at one of the shows in August of 1993 in Sheffield when Hogan faced the WWE Champion Yokozuna so I feel proud that I was a part of that piece of history. Jimmy Hart introduced Hogan to a great reception and Hogan talked about Jimmy being in Legends House during the promo. It struck me as odd when he asked what the UK Hulkamaniacs are gonna do when the Legends House, WWE Network, and Hulkamania run wild on them, seen as most of the fans in the UK don't have WWE Network, but I guess it was to build up to the eventual release at the end of this year or early 2015. This was a nice, feel good segment to start the show.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista - 4 Stars
Following their encounter last week it was only fitting this week saw them face off in a no disqualification match. Ziggler started out this match with a very aggressive attack on Batista before the Animal took control. This one featured some pretty good spots, one of which was Ziggler performing a baseball slide on Batista, who was outside the ring and ended up flying across the announcers table, and another spot I enjoyed was when both men ended up in the time keepers area. When weapons were introduced the aggression of both men continued to show itself. I felt Ziggler was really impressive throughout the match and maybe that was one of his ways of showing WWE he is ready to step up for them and be counted. It was kind of ironic after last weeks match ended with a low blow that Ziggler could legally get on in during this match. Batista ended up picking up the victory in a hard fought contest between both men and ended up adding insult to injury by hitting a Batista Bomb to seal his point. The match at Payback between Evolution and The Shield as a no disqualification match is going to be a great watch.
Nikki Bella & Eva Marie vs. The Funkadactyles - 3.5 Stars
I thought it was a bit random Summer Rae was added as the special guest referee in this one, but I soon remembered why it made a difference when I thought about the problems between Eva and Summer on Total Divas. I thought that Nikki and Naomi worked a really solid little portion of this match together. The Total Divas issues soon spilled over into the match when Summer Rae refused to count for Eva Marie, before Summer fast counted Eva Marie when she was rolled up by Cameron for a Funkadactyles victory. Not sure I am really keen on Summer Rae getting a featured Divas spot but guess this is her opportunity to show us what she can do.
Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara - 3.5 Stars
So Bo Dallas has finally made his main roster WWE televison return, even though it was announced as his debut but we are meant to forget about his first run I guess. Before the match he cut a nice little promo on how dreams can come true and all you have to do is Bo-lieve. Bo certainly achieved something; I found him just as annoying on the main roster as I did when he was in NXT. I was actually impressed with Bo's in ring work though, and I think the fact he has been working house shows while in Europe has helped brush him up a little more. I particularly liked the knee drops he was doing as they looked solid. Bo picked up the win and just garnered more heat for himself by doing a victory lap after the match around the ring. All this "don't stop Bo-lieving" stuff randomly reminded me of DDP when he used to do his optimistic character gimmick, and that's not a bad thing...that's a good thing.
Wyatt Family Segment - 4 Stars
I've been reading comments from people claiming to be getting bored of the Bray Wyatt character and that the gimmick is getting stale. I don't know what those people are watching but for me Bray is only getting more and more exciting. Once again Wyatt cut a strong little promo, talking about how Cena is a monster and has lied to their children. He then also refers to Cena's use of the Uso's as them being like pawns in his game. Probably the most surreal moment of the segment came when Bray started talking all sorts of random gibberish. While it was rather weird I found it kind of cool, and despite the surreal ending I found this to be another good promo to watch. Talking is totally one of Wyatt's strengths and he is only playing up on that more and more.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus - 3.5 Stars
This match for me was clearly all about one thing and that was to develop the feud between Sheamus and Cesaro. It was clear from the first moment when Cesaro was introduced on commentary with Paul Heyman that this was the case, and Cesaro seemed to be more of a feature throughout the match. He started out by distracting Sheamus as the bell rang but that didn't really help Del Rio much so it served little purpose other than to set the expectation something would happen. Cesaro tried to involve himself in the match and while he failed on the first attempt he was more successful on the second when he caused a disqualification. They ended with a nice little touch after Cesaro hit a Neutralizer on Sheamus outside the ring when he shook his hand as Sheamus was laid out. The feud between these two is just beginning to heat up and I think it promises to be a great watch.
Adam Rose & Vickie Guerrero Segment - 4 Stars
No matter where she goes Vickie can s easily draw heat on herself by uttering the words "excuse me". Her role was to introduce Adam Rose to the WWE UK Universe. Every time I see Adam Rose's party group I find myself wanting to be in that party getting stronger. Vickie's face was an absolute picture when Rose asked whether they thought she was a lemon or a rosebud, and it got even better for the segment with Vickie screaming "I am not a lemon" into the microphone....Now there's a phrase you don't hear someone scream every day. The segment was topped off when Vickie feel from the apron into the arms of Rose's party and was carried around the ring. Vickie was acting like she hated it and sold this so well. I found this to be a fairly entertaining segment, I just wish we would have seen Rose wrestle on the show but oh well.
The Uso's vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan - 4.5 Stars
Before this match the Uso's cut a pretty good promo before being joined by John Cena came in and actually added something good to the segment, even with his stealing of Hogan's catchphrase. He wasn't over the top which was great to see and I enjoyed that. Both John Cena and Bray Wyatt were ringside during the match. What amazed me before the match though was the sight of all the mobile phones lit up during the Wyatt's entrance. That was such a spectacular and cool sight to witness. Luke Harper just looked crazy at the start of this match and I swear he looks crazier every week. I think the Uso's and Harper & Rowan would have a great feud against each other, and as I have said before I would be in favor of the Wyatt's taking the tag titles from the Uso's to really add a fresh element to the story line. This match was back and forth throughout between both teams and was a really good match to watch. The spot when Harper whipped Jimmy Uso into the rope and his neck hit the middle rope looked pretty nasty at full speed. The end of the match saw Bray get involved and cause a disqualification. John Cena came in a gave Rowan an AA for his troubles, and it looked like Wyatt and Cena were going to get into a brawl as they stared off. However Wyatt backed off and left Cena standing in the middle of the ring to end the show. The match between Cena and Bray at Payback is going to be something special I think and I can't wait to see how this one plays out.
Overall Show Rating - 4 Stars
Despite my issues with the way the crowd came across on the show I thought this was a pretty solid show. There weren't any moments where I found myself thinking there was no purpose to it and everything found a way to advance a story in some way. I have to give my favorite moment of this weeks show to the tag match between the Uso's and Harper & Rowan as it was just a great match to watch from start to finish. I can't wait till WWE comes back to the UK in November, and we will certainly see what the crowd in Liverpool brings to the show when Raw and Smackdown are both taped there. With Payback coming up in just around one week it will be interesting to see how WWE book the shows headed into their next 'special event', or as we still get to call it in the UK, their next Pay Per View.
That's all for this week on the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed this edition and I hope as always you will be back next week for another exciting edition. Until next time so long everybody.