Welcome once again everyone to the Smackdown Breakdown. This week saw what was being billed as a highly anticipated, anything goes, Stone Cold podcast with Vince McMahon. As an overall presentation I thought it was great as Vince seemed to answer anything and everything he was asked and it was a revealing look into the mind of the Chairman of the board. Did Austin ask the hard hitting questions that we were promised though? While some of the questions were a surprise such as the Punk stuff, I don't feel Austin really pushed McMahon hard but I understand why as Steve wants to work with WWE in the future and by pushing the wrong buttons in Vince he would be shooting himself in the foot.
Vince also said that WWE is in Sports Entertainment business not the wrestling business, and while I get what he means it felt a little like he was devaluing the product of wrestling to me and almost like he was a little ashamed of it. Newsflash to Vince; the square thing with ropes in the middle of your product that those men 'sports entertain' in is called a wrestling ring and your company name is World WRESTLING Entertainment, so as much as you try to distance yourself from being just a wrestling company for the outsiders and investors you seem so keen on pleasing more than your fan base you can't take away what the core of your product really is. Or am I getting this wrong an is the company going to be known as World Sports Entertainment going forward?
In other bits of news I thought were f interest this week it appears that Kurt Angle has officially resigned with TNA. While this isn't a shock I'm disappointed we didn't get to see Kurt come back for one last WWE run. We also saw Ryback continue to shoot his mouth at probably the worst time he could. While I understand he has every right to respond to CM Punk's comments about him there is a way to do it that won't make you look like a moron and I think Ryback needs to consider his comments and timing, or just not respond at all via Social Media and do it in a constructive way through interviews.
I also noticed during this weeks Smackdown that WWE have now added Stairs to the name of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs show, which means now the show for short it TLCS, which quite honestly is just a little bit like overkill for me. Nothing wrong with the concept of the Stairs match but it would have been a better fit for a show like Extreme Rules. It would have been acceptable on any show other than TLC, or probably Money in the Bank, being as that is a gimmick show too. Unfortunately I'm not buying into calling the show anything but TLC on this occasion and I hope the stairs bit gets dropped after this one off.
With that being said lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and look at the highs and lows of Fridays show.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper - 4 Stars
I'm really enjoying the push Dolph is getting right now. I just hope he doesn't fade away when all is said and done and he doesn't get lost in the shuffle because Dolph really is proving to be one of the best things in WWE right now. This was a good match of speed versus power that saw some tremendous back and fourth entertainment. Harper did a great job of helping Dolph look like he could steal the victory while Ziggler returned the favour by making Harper look a beast when he was in control. A little disappointing to see this end on a disqualification after a low blow kick but it showed the desperation of Harper to win at any cost and nicely went toward setting up the ladder match these two will now face off in at TLC. The ladder spot was nice and just teased the match enough for you to want more and I'm pleased that's what we will get.
The Authority Segment - 3.5 Stars
Seth is without doubt one of the top heels in WWE now. He get's such a reaction from the crowd now without really having to try it's clear to see why he is one of the top guys in the industry let alone the company. His tables match at TLC against John Cena could really be a chance to elevate Seth even further in the company. I have a feeling that match isn't going to have a clear winner headed into the Royal Rumble, but we will see where that one heads.
We then moved onto Big Show talking up his Stairs match with Rowan at TLC. While I'm interested to see how this one plays out I can't help but feel this is a little overkill on the gimmick matches for a show that is meant to be about Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. If the match ends up looking as violent as what Big Show made out then fans may grow to love it in the end but I just hope WWE doesn't book any more gimmick matches than what we now have.
And then that brings us on to the chairs match between Kane and Ryback. This could be again an interesting match if it is booked right but generally I don't have too much enthusiasm for this one. Santino came out to save the rest of the segment tanking and made a tag match main event that nicely teases the fans into the TLC show. I felt this segment started strong and then kind of floundered toward the end before Santino made the match at the end. The problem is with talking and cutting a promo that is always going to be an issue.
The New Day vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd - 3.5 Stars
The New Day are looking good for me but it's quite worrying to hear Vince is already losing interest in the group. I swear that man doesn't give anything time any more! But their outings so far have shown what a great bunch of talents the New Day are as a group. They faced off against two men who have great in ring talent in Tyson Kidd, and the man Vince McMahon claims is missing 'it' in Cesaro. If someone could let us know what 'it' is and perhaps let WWE book Cesaro appropriately instead of going hot and cold on him then maybe he might display what you are looking for.
The New Day were explosive when Kofi came into the ring and it seemed that he is going to be the energy of the team. Xavier Woods did a good job of selling his beating from Cesaro and Kidd early on. The double foot stomp finisher to Kidd from the top rope while Kofi had him in a back breaker looked awesome. Goldust and Stardust look like they are going to be the first big challenge for The New Day, and I think they will be a really good team to work with to help establish the stable in it's infancy. The New Day cut the first in ring promo for the group and did a good job of responding to the Rhodes brothers and seemed to get the crowd excited. I'm not totally convinced by Big E on the mic yet as he doesn't seem comfortable but I'm sure in time he will get better.
Dean Ambrose, Rusev, and Bray Wyatt Segment - 4 Stars
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is real excited for the match at TLC between Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. The two had another great encounter on Raw this Monday, and seeing Bray's face as Ambrose took to the rocking chair made this much more personal. I wanted a good match between these two at Survivor Series, and while I was disappointed by the outcome of the match I'm glad we get to see them do battle in a TLC match. It will just be interesting to see if there is anything on the line they have to retrieve from the ladder or whether or not they have to win via pin fall or submission.
Ambrose was billed to face Rusev originally which I questioned when I saw it had been announced as both men have great momentum right now and the only outcome could have been a double count out or disqualification as neither man would want to be taking the pin or submit. Lana did a good job of playing the heel Russian as always and even Rusev did a good job of working up the crowd. It's amazing how easy it is to do that by just talking about Russia. Whoever beats Rusev for that Championship is going to get one heck of a rub.
Just when it looked like Ambrose was going to confront the big Russian he got attacked from behind by Bray Waytt, and we saw the men get into a brawl outside the ring that would see Bray take revenge on Ambrose for destroying 'her chair' on Raw by slamming him throat first with a steel chair into the steel steps. When Bray seemed to be getting lost in the shuffle earlier in the year I was worried he may not recover but right now these two have the most compelling and interesting feud on WWE television. These two men really are the future of WWE.
The Miz vs. Jey Uso - 3.5 Stars
I loved the match on Tuesday's episode of Main Event between Jimmy Uso and Miz. It was seriously personal and I felt that Jimmy was fired up. I have never seen that aggressive side of Uso before and I liked it. I liked the fact WWE are using some real life situations in their feuds to at least give it that real feel. Jimmy stormed out with Jey and looked like he was going to kill Miz and it was great to see the aggression coming out of him. Miz plays the heel so well and while I know a lot of people will hate this comment I think he can still be one of the top heels in the company if he was given the chance to main event again.
Jimmy's emotions got the better of him and that saw him ejected from ringside which would leave Jey in a practical 2 on 1 situation. Mizdow caused the distraction off the back of this and picked up the win. Miz did a great job of gloating about the victory. I was expecting Jimmy to charge out and look to get revenge on Miz, but it didn't happen. These two teams could have a good match at TLC if that's where his one heads and I look forward to seeing what they can offer.
Naomi vs. Brie Bella - 3 Stars
AJ Lee out on commentary for this one just added to the build for the rematch between Nikki and AJ for the Divas Championship at TLC, and that seemed to be more of the focus than the match itself we were watching. I'm still not sure whether or not I'm supposed to like or hate Brie now given the fans know her relationship with Daniel Bryan, but I'm sure that will clear up over time. It's a shame the focus of commentary was more on AJ and Nikki that what was in the ring because Brie and Naomi can put on a good match between them. Sadly without commentary focusing on what is going on in the ring your attention is taken away from the hard work both Divas are putting on in the ring. Naomi stole the win but sadly all the attention was on AJ and Nikki by the end which took away from what was a good match so purely for the commentary ruining it this match loses part of it's star rating.
Ryback and Erick Rowan vs. Seth Rollins and Big Show - 4 Stars
Can I call Rollins, Kane, and Big Show The Authority any more? It wasn't something that really dawned on me until Big Show said about it during the segment prior to this match. I'm keeping with the name until they come up with another name of some sorts. Rowan looked like an absolute monster early on as he took it to Seth Rollins early on. Ryback gave a good account of himself and continued to show how he has improved in the ring, he just needs to sort himself outside of the ring now to really prove he is a changed man.
Back from the break and Big Show and Seth were in control and we got to see a little early preview of Big Show and Rowan facing off before their match a week from Sunday. It was fun to see two giants face off and I think their match at TLC could be better than I anticipate at the moment. The crowd came alive when the hot tag was made to Ryback, who came in and had some great back and forth work with Seth. By all accounts this wasn't a mind blowing main event but I enjoyed what we saw and thought if anything good came out of it the right team picked up the win at the end as Harper and Ryback need the momentum going into TLC right now to help establish them.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
Once again I felt like this show was very much an up and down affair that saw some quality moments mixed with some things that were done that just didn't work. Not every show can be perfect and I think if a show was perfect from beginning to end then we would be expecting too much every week. I understand writing TV on a weekly basis must be a hard job but I do wonder how some of the things get through the writing process and onto our screens. My favourite segment of the show was the Ambrose, Rusev, and Wyatt segment as this helped perfectly build up the match between Wyatt and Ambrose more for TLC, which I expect is going to be an absolute show stealer. There wasn't really a great deal other than that to say I totally enjoyed about this weeks show as most of it was little bits like the aggression of Jimmy Uso, the great opening match between Luke Harper and Dolph Ziggler, and the work of The New Day during their match with Cesaro and Tyson Kidd.
That just about wraps it up for another week here on the Smackdown Breakdown. I have an article next week looking at the controversial figure that is Triple H following the comments made by CM Punk about him and how Hunter is no stranger to controversy throughout his career. I also plan to watch another random event at some point in the week and post a piece about it on WWENews.Net, so keep an eye out for those in the next week or so. As always if you have anything to say about this weeks show or my comments then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Until next week thanks for reading the Smackdown Breakdown and I will catch you here again next week.