Welcome once again fellow WNW readers to this weeks instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown. I am slowly but surely getting back into the swing of the wrestling world and my regular articles will be starting up again from next week on WWENews.Net, so please keep any eye out for those. With my move complete and now having broadband again I have been able to get back to watching the WWE Network, which meant I was able to catch Thursday nights NXT Takeover 2: Fatal Four Way. If you have not seen this show yet then you are totally missing out as from start to finish it was another great show. It wasn't perhaps as good as the first NXT Takeover was but NXT as a brand continues to set the standard of being the best production WWE has going right now in terms of the shows it produces. If you have the chance please watch NXT Takeover, you won't be disappointed if you do.
Moving on to some news this week and I thought this weeks episode of Raw made for better viewing than the last few weeks have. While the show wasn't without some faults I thought it was an improvement from the writing team and the fact there were not as many last minute rewrites really helped the show a lot. One of the shows biggest talking points was John Cena mentioning the Undertaker in what many perceived as Cena taking a shot at the Dead Man. What I like about it is I think this is WWE's way of maybe teasing something between the two later down the line. What does that mean for Sting? Well it possibly means the match he wants with Taker probably doesn't happen. That's not to say Cena and Taker is set in stone of course but I don't think there was anything to it and too many people read too much into it.
With that out the way lets head on into this weeks instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown and check out what I thought of this weeks show.
The Big Show, Mark Henry, and The Usos vs. Goldust, Stardust, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan - 3.5 Stars
I think that the match between The Usos and Gold and Stardust is looking like it could be a real promising match. I thought throughout this one it was these two teams who showed more aggression throughout and I liked how the Usos seemed to show good chemistry with Henry and Show, whereas the Wyatts and Gold and Stardust seemed to show tension as a team. I'm pretty disappointed on the way the Wyatts are being booked and are coming across right now. They just seem to have hit the skids and it's quite worrying considering how hot as a team they were last year. This match was pretty average at best and I was expecting to see more from the Wyatts and Big Show and Mark Henry.
Bo Dallas vs. Justin Gabriel - 3.5 Stars
I'm so disappointed to see Justin Gabriel having seemingly gone nowhere since he was part of the Nexus as this guy has so much talent. We had Bo Dallas in the ring prior to the match trying to claim he wanted to be America's sweetheart but that will never happen. I was surprised Swagger and Zeb arrived out of nowhere to seemingly no reaction but they were there to scout Bo. Gabriel showed some great work in this one and Bo showed some great aggression when he began to beat down on Gabriel. I especially liked the way he stared at Swagger as he put the boots to Gabriel. Both men put in a good effort but ultimately it was Bo who picked up the win. I like how it was teased that Swagger might get his hands on Bo, but he was able to scarper before anything physical could happen.
Summer Rae vs. Paige - 3.5 Stars
We saw AJ Lee out on commentary again for this one, something that AJ seems to be doing a lot as of late. The work between AJ and Paige this week on Raw was top notch again and I loved how both kissed the Divas Championship. Their feud is fast becoming one of my favourites to watch and is one of the most intriguing Divas feuds I have seen in some time. Summer controlled this one early on but Paige then quickly took back control and displayed that aggressive side I love seeing from her as it just makes her so unique. Paige one upped AJ by beating Summer using the Black Widow, but not to be outdone AJ came in and used a Paige Turner to get into the head of the Divas Champion.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev - 2.5 Stars
So this is was an arm wrestling match. While I like the feud between these two men I have no interest in seeing this kind of contest. If anything it just cheapens the feud for me. Maybe I'm just a traditionalist but I prefer to see wrestling in my feuds. What I did like was as Rusev got into the ring there was an intense stare down between the two men with neither wanting to look away. I'm expecting their match at Night of Champions to be a good match. Mark Henry picked up the win in the initial match and just as it looked like he was going to win the second match Lana threw chalk in his eyes which allowed Rusev to attack. Aside from this attack at the end I felt the segment was pretty flat and it really did nothing for me.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. Dolph Ziggler and R-Ziggler - 3.5 Stars
Yes WWE really booked two guys into this feud as stunt doubles that just look as far away from the main men involved as possible. I love the fact it was bought up on commentary that there was a blatant difference between Miz and Mizdow with the facial hair but no one dared to even mention the obvious difference between Dolph Ziggler and R-Ziggler, which was clearly of course their hair style!
I liked the switcharoo that Ziggler and R-Ziggler pulled during the match that the referee just blatantly ignored as if it never happened. Dolph showed some great intensity throughout this match. I also really liked the way that Ziggler and Miz were largely kept apart during this one in preparation for their Night of Champions encounter. This match was a pretty entertaining effort from all involved and I look forward to seeing what Ziggler and Miz can produce a week on Sunday.
Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and Seth Rollins - 4 Stars
Before I get into this match I would be crazy not to mention the segments of these men on Raw. Seth Rollins was a very lucky boy not to get spiked by the steel cage as it lowered during the final segment. While Rollins should perhaps have been more careful when he was trying to re-enter the ring I think WWE has a responsibility to protect it's performers when spots like this happen as getting in the ring when the cage is being lowered is not a good idea. Chris Jericho had a great match with Bray Wyatt, and that leap off the top of the cage was completely insane to watch but I loved it. Reigns and Orton's match wasn't the greatest compared to their Summerslam effort as they didn't really do much different but it was still a good watch.
Onto the match tonight and I was impressed how Reigns started the match off from the first bell with such aggression like he had something to prove. While Randy Orton tried to show us his venomous side after the break during the match I felt he didn't show us anything new which is his problem right now and making him stale. Jericho was a house of fire during this one when he came in and he showed why he is such a unique talent. There are very few guys who can come and go from WWE for periods of time yet come back and look like they never missed a beat and he is one of them. I felt these men stepped up and showed why they are deserving of a main event spot. There has been concern as of late that Roman Reigns isn't considered over enough with the fans and WWE officials are panicking about this but I think given the reaction he gets on every show, not to mention how he was booked at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble, proves there's nothing major to worry about in my eyes. Jericho wrapped up a win in this one for him and Reigns with a great counter to Orton's second rope DDT attempt.
Overall Show Rating - 3 Stars
Another week and another average episode of Smackdown. I don't know if it's just me but sometimes I feel like half the effort goes into Smackdown than it does Raw. It could also have something to do with the fact that Smackdown is taped and has more of an edited feel to it. It just seems that Smackdown is really lacking something right now to make it jump out and be amazing. I'm not saying Raw is better as right now it hasn't set the world on fire either but it always feels like WWE cares more about Raw than it does Smackdown. Not to take away from the show this week I really enjoyed the main event as I felt the men involved showed why they were at least worthy of being considered main eventers. The Stare down between Henry and Rusev was great to watch and I also enjoyed the AJ and Paige interactions again this week. There are glimmers of quality in the show but I just want to see more from Smackdown.
That wraps it up here for another week on the Smackdown Breakdown. As ever if you have anything to say about my thoughts on the show, or the show itself then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. As always I look forward to bringing you another edition next week of the Breakdown, which will include my thoughts headed into Night of Champions next Sunday. Until then thanks for reading and I hope to catch you here again next week.