Welcome once again ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages to another instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown. It's been a bit of a turbulent week this week for me away from the wrestling world so it meant a delay to my promised piece about my current frustrations with WWE, but that piece is coming later this weekend and I will not be holding back in my assessment of the current state of the product. Raw this week saw some bright moments, one of which saw a surprise return to WWE for The Rock, but other than the work of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins there was not much else to shout about for yet another week. For more thoughts on Raw I encourage you to check out this weeks Raw Is Blogged as this offers some great insight into the minds of my fellow WNW writers.
Lets not waste any more time and head on down into the deep, murky world that is this weeks Smackdown Breakdown, which of course covers the shows fifteenth anniversary. There were very few announcements made about this show before hand so there was very little hype going into it apart from the promo vignettes WWE have been playing during Raw, Smackdown, and on the Network the last few weeks. It's a shame for me that really the genuine highlights of the Smackdown program all stem back to it's early years and it has had very little quality in more recent years. It's almost like the WWE stopped caring about the show after the brand extension, and you could even argue that they stopped caring before that.
I haven't seen any spoilers going into the show so the following comments I have written are literally fresh as I watch the show.
Opening Segment - 3.5 Stars
It's a real sad state of affairs when one of the top heels in the company is someone who isn't even a full time in ring competitor. Steph knows how to draw heat and she doesn't even have to try but she can draw the people in at the same time. The return of John Laurinaitis, Teddy Long, was fun but I can't help but feel the segment ended up feeling more like a promo for the Network than anything. JBL's dance toward Teddy Long was priceless and it was good to see him back but I was waiting for the obligatory six man tag match to be made and Teddy didn't disappoint me. The amount of one upping each other with tag matches got kind of boring quickly and the tag match became garbage when it's clear that Vickie Guerrero was the best Smackdown General Manager.
Adam Rose and the exotic express were meant to add some light entertainment to the segment but the only thing that could have saved that segment would have been The Rock. Stephanie should have maybe let her hair down a bit but instead she killed the party by making a match between Rose and Kane. Even the bunny looked like he lost the will to live watching the end of the segment. This could have really been so much more than it was but the returns were a fun watch.
Adam Rose vs. Kane - 2.5 Stars
One of Kane's best lines ever has to be "I'm not a cheeseburger. I'm not a lemon". Well done for stating the obvious. Kane has been with WWE since Smackdown first began and is one of the few remaining stars in WWE to span the programs fifteen year run. This match was a brief affair and didn't do much for Adam Rose. Kane and the Bunny could have made for interesting watching but instead he hopped off before Kane could get his hands on him. It just wasn't a great segment at all.
AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox - 3 Stars
Paige was more of a focus in this one for me than Alicia Fox. Alicia was just a way of at least keeping WWE from having to book AJ and Paige repeatedly and make things a little fresher. I love how Paige calls the title her baby and seems to have gone out of her way to have made herself seem more crazy than AJ. The match was short but served it's purpose with AJ picking up the win and then getting her title back after getting some revenge on Paige and Fox. Sadly this wasn't anything to write home about and was what it was, a quick five minutes for the Divas to get some TV time.
Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston - 4 Stars
Noble and Mercury are a nice little touch as the new generation version of the stooges. You can actually almost believe they could become as fun to watch as Patterson and Briscoe were. Seth showed some serious aggression during this one and that's a side to Rollins I want to see more and more each passing week. Kofi was really more there to just be a reason for Rollins to show what he can do and to be fair Kofi took a damn good beating. I can't wait to see what Rollins can do in a Hell in a Cell match. I just hope WWE let his opponent be Ambrose as I would prefer to see that than the probably inevitable Cena versus Rollins match. A solid performance all round and a well executed match.
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler - 3.5 Stars
So it seems being Intercontinental Champion doesn't matter as Rusev just decimated Dolph in this one. Yes Rusev is obviously annoyed following his humiliation on Raw at the hands of The Rock, but this would have been a better suited match to someone like Zack Ryder, who Rusev could just simply dominate and it wouldn't hurt anyone elses momentum. Dolph had his moments in this one but I don't think anyone truly believed he would be ending Rusev's undefeated streak. Rusev looks better and better in terms of his work in the ring each week and he is going to be one to watch for the future for sure.
We had to hear from Lana and Rusev post match to talk about the Rock and I look forward to seeing how Rusev is going to make The Rock pay for his actions. Big Show and Rusev was also set up out of this for Monday on Raw which will be an interesting watch but I expect the outcome to be a Rusev victory. Can anyone stop Rusev? I'm sure they will eventually but I expect it's going to be Cena or Reigns that do it.
Rock and Triple H Segment - 5 Stars
It would have been great to maybe see Rock come out live on the show seen as this is Smackdown, The Rocks show, but we had to settle for a pre-recorded segment with Rock and Triple H after the Rusev match. I would love to see Rock versus Triple H one more time but it probably won't happen. These two made for an truly entertaining segment and proved that they are still two of the top talents the company has. You could feel the tension as if it was 1999 all over again. I really enjoyed watching them entertain us like only Rock and Triple H know how. This match NEEDS to go down to show the majority of todays talent how you put on a great match.
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny - 3.5 Stars
Before we look at this match how great was it to see the former five time, five time, five time, five time, FIVE TIME, WCW Champion Booker T back on WWE TV. I miss hearing Booker on commentary and seeing him on WWE TV and really wish WWE would bring him back in a capacity greater than just doing the Raw pre-show and pre-shows to Pay Per Views. Booker has great insight and analysis to offer and WWE could really benefit from him having a more prominent role in the company.
I'm going to come out right away and say that at least one third of the competitors in this match should not have been anywhere near the ring and I'm referring to Slater Gator and Los Matadores. The only reason they were there was for the gator and El Torito and they should not even have been in the match either. There were not many highlights to this match and I think there were far too many competitors in this one to make it easy to follow. At least the Usos and the Rhodes brothers helped make it somewhat bearable but aside from that I could not have shown any less interest in this one. Mizdow got a good pop from the crowd when he came in and he really is a talent WWE should be doing more with than what they are right now. The aerial moves were fun to watch but it was obvious the ending was going to become a bit of a mess like it did. And no matter the outcome of this one I still believe Vicky Guerrero was the best Smackdown GM ever.
Miz TV With Dean Ambrose And John Cena - 4.5 Stars
I'm really enjoying the work of Dean Ambrose right now. He and Rollins together are making for such a compelling feud and adding John Cena to the mix gives it something of a fresh twist. I'm not sure Ambrose can defeat Cena if I'm honest but I really do hope he does as I would much rather see Ambrose get his revenge on Rollins than Cena. Ambrose and Rollins need to at least have one match for the briefcase but I can't see WWE are going to let it happen for some reason. It was cool to see Cena doing his part for a Make A Wish child too on TV. Fans may hate on Cena but you cannot deny the man is a legend for the work he does outside of WWE in his own time. If you can't respect Cena for that then you need to have a good long look at yourself as a person.
Ambrose was intense on the mic and did not hold back and really pushed Cena to up his game. He gave a good retort back to Ambrose, but he wasn't going to come anywhere near Ambrose tonight as he bought his A game to the table and Cena didn't bring anything different to make him stand out. Ambrose really can be the next big star in WWE and I hope that WWE keep giving Ambrose the opportunity to prove he belongs in the main event for years to come. Ambrose oozed confidence and he even began to change my opinion on him not being able to beat Cena. It was only inevitable that the segment ended with Miz taking a finisher from one of the men. Sadly for Ambrose he had to taste an Attitude Adjustment from Cena after he nailed Miz with a DDT, a decision the crowd may not have liked but it was a good way for Cena to get revenge for Ambrose sneak attack to end Raw, and if anything should be viewed as Ambrose making a simple rookie mistake.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
The overall rating of the show was bumped up by a few decent segments but to say this was meant to be a fifteenth anniversary celebration I think the show lacked any real star power to make it feel like something special. The little video's of the highlights of Smackdown shown every so often were a nice touch but that was really it. It would have been nice to see The Rock actually come out on the show but I guess no one thought to get a deal worked out for that. However lets not take away from the fact that Rock did make an appearance on the show and had a great segment with Triple H. I really enjoyed their interaction and it goes down as my favourite part of the show. I just hope that if Smackdown is still around in five years time WWE make a much bigger deal out of the twentieth anniversary of the show.
That wraps up another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown here on WNW. As always if you have anything to say about the show or my comments then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I'm now going for a break from writing before I start my WWENews.Net piece about my frustrations with WWE. I need to feel the mood to write that one and I feel like it isn't far off happening. Until next week thanks for reading and I hope to catch you back here next week on the Smackdown Breakdown.