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The Smackdown Breakdown - The Shield Adapts

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Hello once again everybody and welcome to this weeks installment of the Smackdown Breakdown. We are now only just over a week away from Extreme Rules and this show is building up to be a great follow on from Wrestlemania 30. We are going to see some great matches in John Cena taking on Bray Wyatt, The Shield facing Evolution, and Daniel Bryan facing Kane, a feud that has my attention following Kane's brutal assault on Bryan on Raw. I have to give major props to Daniel Bryan for even being on Raw following the death of his father as he really didn't have to do that, but he showed his dedication to the company and the business by allowing himself to be written off TV and the show. With that being said I'm sure this left a hole in WWE's plans for Smackdown this week, so it was interesting to see how they filled this out, and they seemed to do another good job. So lets go right on ahead and get into this weeks Smackdown Breakdown.

Vickie Guerrero Opening Segment - 3 stars

It's amazing how easily Vickie Guerrero can draw heat by simply just saying the words "Excuse Me". The crowd don't care what else she's going to say because once they hear that the aim is to drown her ear piercing shrieks out. Vickie was simply there to announce the fact that The Authority had the night off and that she would be in charge. As punishment for their actions on Raw Vickie put The Shield in another 11 on 3 handicap match. If they hadn't already done this the night before I would have taken this news better but I was interested to see how The Shield would respond to this throughout the night.

The Great Debate - Zeb Colter & Paul Heyman - 4 stars

I split this off from the opening segment because it was very much a separate piece for me. I think Paul Heyman came off at the start of this getting the better crowd reaction, but that's probably due to him having Cesaro in his corner as much as anything. Both men are excellent on the microphone and I can listen to them talk for hours. What worried me most about this segment, and really before this, was the fact Heyman is using more of his time to talk up Brock Lesnar breaking the Undertaker's streak than he is to promote Cesaro. It's almost like he is taking a back seat to Lesnar but I suppose while the crowd reaction is still there it's something WWE will milk. Luckily we did have Heyman big up Cesaro and insult Colter by asking when a Zeb Colter guy lat won a match? I love the response that it wasn't Wrestlemania 30 because Cesaro had already become a Paul Heyman guy by this point. This led to Zeb pushing his podium over and he and Heyman trading insults, something I found fun to watch. It wouldn't surprise me if someone books Heyman and Zeb to face off in a match of some kind, something I would not be a fan of seeing.

Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger - 4 stars

This was a great little back and forth match between these two men. Cesaro continued to show what a solid performer he is and even Jack Swagger gave a good account of himself, something I don't feel he has done for a while. One thing that really amazed me is just how amazing Cesaro's uppercut's look when he hits them. Not only that but he has strength that is unlike that of anyone in WWE history. You could argue Mark Henry and John Cena are strong but I think Cesaro could give them a good run for their money. The Cesaro Swing is a clear favorite move among the fans and they showed it tonight by going wild for it. Cesaro picked up a win in this one before we saw The Shield make their first move of the night and come out to deliver a triple power bomb to Jack Swagger, making a statement of their intent to adapt for tonight.

Tamina vs. Natalya - 4 stars

It's good to finally see Tamina getting a push and a chance to show the world what she can do. Some argue she is still somewhat rough around the edges but this is an opportunity to show us she knows what she is doing and is another great talent to watch. What was great to see is both Divas wrestled another really solid match here. I'm truly impressed with just how much the Divas division has come on and having a champion like Paige, who is a great wrestler will only help further make that division better. This was an enjoyable match to watch and what I really liked about it was I believed that Natalya had every chance of winning it at one point. Normally you get a rough feeling on who's going to win but I thought the way they worked this one it made me second guess my gut feeling for a moment.

3MB and The Shield/Vickie Guerrero Backstage Segments - 3.5 stars

I bought these two segments together because I thought it worked better given they followed one another. It was good to see The Shield enter and surround 3MB one by one and then just destroy them. You just got the feeling The Shield were adapting and ready to take out everyone they could be facing later that night. We then moved onto seeing Vickie in the General Managers office on the phone to a very unhappy Triple H who felt Vickie had lost control of the show due to The Shield actions, meaning that he wanted Vickie to take the rest of the night off and be replaced by Brad Maddox. Vickie's scowl at Maddox really sold how unhappy she was and I enjoyed both these brief segments.

Jey Uso vs. Curtis Axel - 3.5 stars

We've really seen Rybaxel on a roll recently and have seen them pick up wins lately over The Uso's. It's almost like they have stepped up a gear and I have to say I'm actually enjoying their work right now. Curtis Axel proved what a great in-ring talent he is and he controlled the majority of this match, We saw him pick up another win in this one by knocking off Jey after having pinned Jimmy on Raw Monday. I would have probably liked to have seen more offense from Jey Uso in this one but lets not take away from the performance in this one by Axel. It's unlikely we will see them win the Tag Team Championships but Rybaxel are being booked very strong right now.

Bray Wyatt In Ring Promo - 4.5 stars

WWE are clearly once again in panic mode over the fact that someone else's character is going to eclipse John Cena. They knew it would happen with Rock, they worried about it at Wrestlemania against Bray Wyatt, and here we are going into Extreme Rules with them continuing that concern because the majority of fans seem to be turning to being behind Bray Wyatt. The comments on commentary about Wyatt brainwashing the WWE Universe are clearly WWE trying to protect Cena but if anything I feel they are missing the fact they have a big star for me in Bray Wyatt. It was a cool touch to have Bray cutting his promo in the cage and having Harper and Rowan standing looking through the cage gave it an even eerier touch. Bray talked about how the fans love for Cena is being lost and how on Monday Cena was "thrown to the wolves" by the Universe. Cena's nightmares have become the dreams of Bray Wyatt and I loved the quote "my words are like razor blades that cut deep...And they are working" because it rings so true. Ending the promo by climbing to the top of the cage and signing was a cool way to end another classic Bray Wyatt promo.

Luke Harper & Erik Rowan vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust - 3.5 stars

WWE began teasing some problems in the Rhodes camp this week after Monday Night Raw on the WWE App, a decision that I feel needs to be questioned. The Rhodes brothers have been a great tag team but they are not on as hot a roll as they were several months ago. I'm not saying they can't still go there and draw from the feud but I just don't see it having the same momentum it would have had earlier in the year. On to the match here and we saw the Wyatt's once again show true domination over the Rhodes Brothers here. We even saw Bray get on the mic at one point during the match and walk around the ring, talking about how dominant the Wyatt's were being. The good thing in this match was that while the Rhodes Brothers haven't performed as great as they have in the past in recent matches I felt they stepped their game up again in this one. I think WWE will tease more problems down the line between the two men and I look forward to hopefully seeing them put on a decent showing. The Wyatt's picked up the win here following another sick looking Luke Harper clothesline. That thing can easily rival JBL's clothesline from hell and it gets better each time I see it.

Brad Maddox & Fandango Meet The Shield - 3.5 stars

I combined these two segments again because they were both so short. Brad Maddox did a good job taking a bump against the wall considering the sofa he had to try and avoid heading toward it. I then thought we were going to have to suffer a further degrading of the Emma character when Santino and her came out to face the team of Fandango and Layla. Luckily for my eyes The Shield interrupted Fandango during his entrance and gave him a nice triple power bomb off the stage through two tables. It was clear tonight that The Shield were taking no prisoners.

The Shield vs. Ryback, Bad News Barrett, Damien Sandow, Titus O'Neill, & Alberto Del Rio - 4 stars

This ended up falling from an eleven on three handicap match to a five on three handicap match. It could have been six on three but it was announced Curtis Axel had been decimated in the back by The Shield. I thought that The Shield really worked well as a team throughout the match and showed a lot of aggression throughout. We saw frequent tags from Shield and I felt like they showed real classic tag team work. The Shield held their own early on but by the time we came back from commercials the momentum had changed. However Shield very quickly control and showed why they are such a talented team. Bad News Barrett & Alberto Del Rio did the right thing by trying to walk away from the match after The Shield took out the rest of their team members, but Del Rio ended up taking a Super Man punch for his troubles when Reigns came flying out of nowhere at the top of the stage. Sandow ended up taking the pin to lose and we saw the show ending with Titus and Ryback taking spears before Ryback ended up being triple power bombed. I enjoyed this match and The Shield are looking incredibly strong headed into the week before Extreme Rules.

Overall Show Rating - 4 stars

This was another pretty decent episode of Smackdown for me. It had the right mix of wrestling and promo's throughout the show and no one particularly looked weak. The seeds were further sewn for the match between The Shield and Evolution and we saw Bray Wyatt really make himself stand out with his promo toward his match with John Cena. This marked the second week of Smackdown without Daniel Bryan but I don't feel the show suffered at all and there was really only one out break of Yes! chants during the night. I would put my favorite segment of the night to being Bray Wyatt's promo because it was simply once again brilliant. WWE truly has their next big star on their hands with this kid and they need to do everything in their power to help Bray succeed in his role. Of course the hard work is going to be down to Wyatt but judging by his run in this character I have every faith he will run with that ball and prove his true quality.

That's all for this week folks. Thank you as always for reading the Smackdown Breakdown and I hope you will join me again next week for another exciting edition. Don't forget to tell your friends about WrestlingNewsWorld.Com, WWENews.Net, and of course TNANews.Com. As always, in the words of the legendary Gorilla Monsoon, so long every body.

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