Welcome once again everybody to this weeks installment of the Smackdown Breakdown. It’s been somewhat of a weird week for me as I have very much been out of the wrestling loop the last few days with moving house and only being able to access the internet through my iPhone which doesn’t always get the best connection. I’m also having serious withdrawal symptoms from not being able to watch the WWE Network and fully intend to make up for this when I finally get my broadband on next week. This has to be the first time I’ve written this segment on an iPhone, and it’s not something I plan on doing ever again as it was far too fiddly to do.
I wanted to touch quickly on the news on CM Punk and his issues with WWE not paying him royalties for the use of his likeness. Now I’m one of the biggest CM Punk fans you could know but I really have to question his motives here. Is this to protect the interests of CM Punk? Or is this just another nail in his WWE coffin? When you consider the political issues this could lead to his wife AJ Lee facing in WWE then I have to assume that Punk obviously has no care about retuning to WWE and burning bridges. It’s not impossible that one day he comes back as he wouldn’t be the first to take legal action against the company and come back but right now his future with the company in the short term has taken another big hit.
This week also saw another horrific episode of WWE Raw in what I can only assume was written by a bunch of monkeys. It’s clear there were obviously last minute rewrites on the show and I think it’s things like this that are really hurting the product right now. If WWE has a plan then they need to steer the course with their plans or face the possibility of fans turning off in their droves. It’s evident to me that the company is in one of it’s lulls in popularity right now but as always I believe fully in WWE to bounce back and produce some compelling story lines going into the end of the year.
And with that out of my system it’s now time to head on down into this weeks instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown.
John Cena Segment - 4 Stars
At Night of Champions I believe John Cena needs to go to a dark place when he faces Brock Lesnar. I’m talking about the same dark place he said he would have to go to against Bray Wyatt, but never got there. If he goes to that place against Brock Lesnar, it makes it look like a much closer match than their Summerslam effort. If Cena goes there he doesn’t have to go heel but it gives his character some serious progression that he needs and I hope if he goes darker that he doesn’t come back because Cena with an edge is such a joy to think about watching.
Cena cut a great promo that didn’t go over the top. It told the story it needed to and it didn’t go on too long. It’s something Cena seems to be getting better at as of late and I’m glad to see it. The fact Cena isn’t even bothered about beating Lesnar for the title and just wants to inflict damage on the beast is great. Kane and Rollins interruption just seemed to fire Cena up more and it was inevitable Cena would end up in a match later that night. Roman Reigns soon joined the party and continued to look the part of a main event talent and cut a good promo piece.
Things started to feel a bit crowded when we had the Wyatt Family, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Big Show, and Triple H soon follow out. Triple H’s imitation of Teddy Long making a huge tag team match was quite funny but he can’t sell a tag match like Teddy. The 10 man tag match being set up was inevitable but could be a promising match to end the night.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler - 4 Stars
Sheamus was out on commentary during this one to keep his eye on Cesaro and do some scouting in preparation for Night of Champions, and also seemingly make some jokes which were kind of entertaining. I don’t really see Cesaro beating Sheamus as it seems he’s being booked into a run of nothing right now. Ziggler on the other hand stands every chance of retaining his Intercontinental Championship against the Miz, although I would expect Damien Mizdow to have some involvement.
I expected this one to be a little more of a fast paced affair but it seemed to me more like a wrestling match, which I have to say was a pleasure and treat to see. Cesaro continued to show his brute strength throughout this match and spent more of the match with the advantage. Ziggler picked his spots wisely and teased a comeback on more than one occasions. The DDT that Dolph hit on Cesaro was beautifully executed and the dramatic last second kick out was perfect. Dolph stole a win really out of nothing but all in all I thought this was an enjoyable match. Cesaro beat down on Ziggler after the match which allowed Sheamus to come into the ring and deliver a Brogue Kick to his challenger in 2 weeks time.
Jimmy Uso vs. Heath Slater - 3 Stars
I’m really loving the feud right now with the Usos and the Rhodes Brothers. I like the change seen in both Goldust and Stardust and I really think these two teams can tear the house down at Night of Champions. Jey Uso having the knee injury makes the match seem questionable and of course makes the Usos look like they may struggle but I fully expect them to retain at Night of Champions.
The team of Slater Gator seems like it’s suddenly hit the skids following their pairing. I’m not really a fan of the team so I’m not fussed but I do think Titus has a bright future ahead of him if he can find the right gimmick. Jimmy Uso picked up the win in this one with a sweet looking super kick that Slater actually sold well and followed up with the big splash off the top for the win. This match was just enough in terms of effort and I felt Jimmy carried it more than anything.
Rusev Responds To Mark Henry - 3.5 Stars
Rusev and Mark Henry has all the potential to be a big power match but I’m just not personally buying into the feud. We’ve seen Swagger try to defend America and fail and while I get Henry needs a reason to go after Rusev, it’s not like I’ve really seen him all patriotic before. Lana drew heat well again by putting down America and the Russian flag going on display but I have noticed there has been some scaling back on the Putin comments as of late. Lana accepted Henry’s challenge to a match between Rusev and Henry, which is fine but why on earth is it at Night of Champions? Neither man is currently a champion and I’m sure that’s the whole point of the Pay Per View. Lana and Henry showed some good work on the mic and made this watchable but it wasn’t the greatest segment.
Brie Bella vs. Paige - 4 Stars
I need to get this out of my system before I talk about this match - Why the hell is Jerry Springer getting involved in the Nikki and Brie story line? I know fans are not buying the feud due to the horrific acting by the Bella’s, who to be fair to them are not trained actors so I think it’s unfair for us to critique them on that ability but Jerry Springer just makes this into a bigger joke than it is already to most. The feud is personal because they are sisters and they can do so much more with this because of that in working stiff and saying things to one another that maybe others couldn’t.
Nikki Bella and AJ Lee were out on commentary during this one to scout their respective opponent in Paige at Night of Champions. I think it’s inevitable Brie may be added to the Triple Threat match at Night of Champions. I thought Brie really gave a good account of herself during this one and Paige continued to show what a great talent she really is. I’m glad to see these two actually got some real TV time to have a good match too as the Divas deserve the time as it will only help them get better and not struggle due to rushing. Nikki and AJ got into a scuffle which I think Nikki should have probably thought about the style of dress she wore as that could have made for interesting viewing. This distracted Brie enough for Paige to pick up the inevitable win in what was actually a good Divas match.
Bo Dallas vs. Zack Ryder - 3 Stars
Wow Zack Ryder gets some more TV time. Say what you want about him but I am a fan of the kid and think he really has a talent. Sadly Zack didn’t really get to show much of what he could do as Bo Dallas picked up the very quick victory with a Bo Dog. Bo then cut a post match promo about how clearly the people living in Nebraska had something terrible happen to them in their lives. I liked how he mocked Swagger and the “We the People” mantra and this saw Swagger come out to take down the inspirational one.These two could have a pretty good match at some point down the road and it’s a feud I look forward to seeing. Strangely I think the Swagger and Bo work actually saved this segment as I would have been much harsher had Swagger not gotten involved.
Seth Rollins, Kane, and The Wyatt Family vs. Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, The Big Show, Roman Reigns, and John Cena - 3.5 Stars
This is a pretty big match with a lot of stars looking to get involved so it was inevitable that early on we would see frequent tags on both sides. When Bray got tagged in to face off against Big Show I loved his facial expression until he got tossed across the ring. I think my jaw hit the floor when I saw Big Show do a sunset flip on Rowan not too long after this. In fact I actually had to wind the match back and watch it again to make sure I wasn’t going crazy.
If there was one real criticism I had of this match its that maybe having ten men in it was too much. I thought when the match was made it would be a good watch but I was only really impressed with the work of Rollins, Reigns, Cena, Jericho, and Big Show for that sunset flip. I think a six man tag would have maybe been enough but it seemed to me WWE wanted to find a spot for all the men and not have another tag match on the card.
When Reigns and Cena came in it was pretty much a case of them coming in and cleaning house. Reigns looked like he was going to destroy everyone in sight at first but that soon stopped being the case as there’s only one superman in the WWE, and his name is John Cena. Once Cena eventually got into the match it was only a matter of time before the match ended but I wasn’t expecting the disqualification finish. What was good about the match is it was a physical affair but as I said previously I just feel there were too many men involved in this one and probably would have been better had the main event been a six man or a standard tag match. The show ended with an all out brawl between the ten men which saw Cena, Show, Henry, Jericho and Reigns standing tall by the end.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
The show this week had more good moments than bad and I think in all honesty it’s probably fair to say that this week Smackdown was a much better watch than Raw, despite what I felt was a disappointing main event. I have to say my favourite part of this weeks show was the Divas match between Paige and Brie Bella. I am so pleased to see the Divas actually get some TV time and that two of the better wrestlers on the Divas roster got a chance to show us what they can do. I really hope the company give the Divas more time on TV in the future and will allow them to showcase their talents and in turn improve and put on better quality matches.
That wraps it up for another week for me here on the Smackdown Breakdown. As always if you have anything to say about the show or what I’ve written then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I will be back again next week, hopefully a bit earlier than this week with more of my thoughts about Smackdown and some of the happenings in the world of WWE. Until next week, thanks for reading and I hope I will catch you back here again next week.