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The Smackdown Breakdown - The Reign Of Roman Begins

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Welcome once again ladies and gentlemen to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. It's been a busy week in the world of WWE, with TLC taking place this past weekend, Raw the following night, the NXT tour of the UK and of course TakeOver: London airing live on the WWE Network on Wednesday. I have to say I really enjoyed TLC and thought the Tag Team Championship match was the best of the night by far. It was also good to see Roman Reigns finally accepted by the fans after his brutal assault of Triple H after his loss to Sheamus that night. Reigns was originally pushed at the wrong time for most fans to accept and get behind him but thankfully now he has managed to gain acceptance. It just took a literal brutality from his character to get there.

Raw on Monday was probably one of the best we have seen as fans in some time. From the opening segment right through to seeing Roman Reigns finally achieve his dream in the main event and gain acceptance from the same crowd that earlier this year refused to accept him as the next top guy. I hope this weeks Raw is a sign of things to come in WWE and that as we head toward Wrestlemania season we see the content we have been looking for from the company. NXT TakeOver: London was awesome to watch too and it was great to see the British fans being an awesome crowd and part of the show. The atmosphere from the London crowd was so intense and they really helped make the show a real pleasure to watch and showed British wrestling fans are amongst the best fans in the world. The NXT Live shows I attended this week in Sheffield and Nottingham were awesome experiences too. The crowds at both shows were really into the action and I feel so privileged to have finally been able to witness the NXT brand live and in person.

Quick plug for my podcast too as I released a new episode where I talk with my work colleague and good friend, Peter Kimber, which is an episode we recorded back in November. We talked about the Raw taping and VIP party we were due to attend on that day, the injury issues within WWE, our thoughts on who could become WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time, how Pete first got into wrestling, Wrestlemania memories, Dusty Rhodes, Mae Young, WWE on Channel 4, Hulk Hogan, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, the issues around the WWE booking philosophy, Kay Lee Ray being on WWE NXT, the rise of British Wrestling, who could be the next big thing in WWE, botching wrestling moves, the idea of an offseason in wrestling, Chris Benoit, working through injuries, the age old sports entertainment or wrestling debate, NXT, the Divas Revolution, the future ownership of WWE and more!

You can check out the podcast, as well as other episodes including conversations with WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, former WWE star Dan Spivey, the father of WWE Diva Paige, Ricky Knight, my homies Kevin Gill and Rude Boy, JR Kratos, Jeff Cobb, Stevie Boy and a host of other great wrestling talent from around the world by clicking here.

Now let's head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what went down this week.

Roman Reigns And Sheamus Opening Segment - 4 Stars

After over 4 years without a major title change on Raw, Roman Reigns did the impossible this week and became a two time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Not only did he win the title but he did it against the crowd that turned on him after he won the Royal Rumble earlier this year. That's one heck of an achievement and it's great for Roman that it was in that same city that he won the big one. Reigns received a heroes welcome from the fans on his way down to the ring and cut a very heartfelt promo about winning the title on his daughter's birthday but he feels his days will be numbered after his actions. Sheamus came out and didn't look too happy, but then I suppose neither would you after being speared like that. Sheamus gave a sure and confident promo to say he will take back that title from Reigns. He revealed the Authority have launched an investigation into his actions this past Monday, meaning Roman can't be in action or in the building. Sheamus looked like he was loving having to get security to remove Roman from the building and backed down from Roman's challenge to remove him. Reigns wasn't going quietly though and took out the entire security team. It was only after that he decided to leave the building, but not before celebrating with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A good start to this weeks edition of Smackdown.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Ryback - 3.5 Stars

Alberto Del Rio and Ryback had an altercation on Raw during a tag team match to set this match up for tonight's Smackdown. It looks like these two may be going into a program going forward but we'll see as Ryback may still have unfinished business with Rusev after his loss to the Bulgarian on Sunday. Del Rio looks in awesome shape since his return to WWE, and continued to look good in this one. I like that cross arm breaker he does using the ropes as that thing looks like it would legit hurt. Del Rio controlled the majority of this one over Ryback but the Big Guy had some good moments during this one too. It looked like Ryback might have the match win but instead the League of Nations provided a distraction, allowing Del Rio to lock in the Cross Arm Breaker for the win. Up until the point where Ryback tapped out I was enjoying the match, but the one thing bugging me is Ryback tapped out to the cross arm breaker, but passed out to Rusev's Accolade on Sunday. After the match the League of Nations beat down on Ryback, standing tall over his fallen body. A good match with a ending that made Ryback look weak for me.

Titus O’Neil vs. Tyler Breeze - 3.5 Stars

What was with Goldust hiding behind the curtain as Tyler Breeze and Summer Rae were getting ready for this match? Seemed a bit weird but I guess there will be something to it over the coming weeks. Breeze went right after Titus from the opening bell, very rarely allowing the former Tag Team Champion any offence against him. During the match Goldust made his way down to ringside, entering the VIP area and sitting next to a rather disgruntled Summer Rae, even attempting to take a selfie. This proved enough of a distraction for Titus to take advantage of Breeze and pick up a big win after Goldust tried to take another selfie, this time with Breeze. A good match that appears to have maybe started a new feud for Tyler Breeze.

The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons - 4.5 Stars

How amazing was the triple threat ladder match on Sunday night at TLC? It was match of the night for me and was never going to be easy to top for the rest of the roster. Monday's segment with New Day, Lucha Dragons and The Uso's was also entertaining to watch and after New Day's actions on Monday, the Lucha Dragons were out for revenge. I can't help but love watching New Day more and more each time I see them, and when they came out to the ring and cutting their promo I couldn't help but laugh at their antics. This match was always going to be a fun watch with the four fast paced participants in the ring. I thought the Lucha Dragons once again stepped it up a gear, despite the fact they must be hurting after Sunday. New Day also worked excellently as always and provided some entertaining action and moments, showing why they deserved to remain the Tag Champions after Sunday. However the Lucha Dragons had the last laugh with an awesome finish seeing Sin Cara launch himself outside by taking out Xavier Woods and Big E, before Kalisto power bombed Kofi for the win. A great win for the Lucha Dragons and a great match to watch.

Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella - 3.5 Stars

The story between Becky Lynch and Charlotte continues to develop, with Becky wanting to win with honour while Charlotte appears to be channelling her inner Flair more each week. Team B.A.D. were sat at ringside and seem to be taking on that female New Day kind of role. Their presence at ringside took away from the match a little though because there were some audible "we want Sasha" chants toward the start. There was some focus on Becky and Brie, but it was brief as Charlotte's music hit, providing a distraction for Becky to take control of Brie. Brie managed to gain a little offence following this but Becky took control again and would lock in the Dis-arm-her, even after witnessing Charlotte trip Brie prior to locking in the move for the win. Lynch wasn't too happy backstage after the match and it seems like after this altercation it's only a matter of time before these two end up battling over that Divas Championship.

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler - 4.5 Stars

After costing Dolph his match on Monday against the new Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler was looking for revenge on his opponent tonight in Kevin Owens. Owens was intent on taking it to Dolph from the opening bell, and it was clear from the get go Dolph would be playing the role of the underdog in this one. Dolph hit a pretty sick looking Zig Zag into the guard rail, but Owens hit a second rope DDT with some devastation to match the big move feel. Owens and Ziggler had a really good match, as you would expect. It was an all out brawl at times and was a well worthy match of being the main event. The multiple reversals toward the end before Dolph hit the super kick was an awesome sequence of the match and was well worked. The match ended after the referee stopped the match due to a further aggravation to the neck injury of Ziggler and awarded Dolph the disqualification victory. Owens really took it to Dolph in this one and delivered on his promise of damaging Dolph to the point that he would send him to the hospital. Luckily before he could follow through on his promise Dean Ambrose came out to make the save, before Owens would retreat to the back, although not before super kicking Ziggler one more time for good measure. Ziggler then hit a super kick on Ambrose to end the show, leaving us wondering if the kick was intentional and what's going to happen following this moment. A great main event to end this weeks show.

Overall Show Rating - 3.75 Stars

This weeks edition of Smackdown was a strong and entertaining episode. It followed on from the strong effort WWE produced on Raw and the show ended in the way any good show should end, with more questions than answers. It's hard to decided whether or not the New Day and Lucha Dragons match or the Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler match was my favourite but if I'm pushed I think I'd give it to the main event as the way it ended was very strong and I thought the way we were left with more questions than answers by the end was the right way for the show to end.

That wraps it up for another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. Please come back again next week for another edition. If you have any comments about this weeks Breakdown or Smackdown itself then please leave your comments in the discussion area below. Thanks for reading and I will catch you back here again next week.

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