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The Smackdown Breakdown - Swagger, Shoulders, And Spears

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Hello fellow WNW readers and welcome once again to another edition of the Smakdown Breakdown. It's been another interesting week in the WWE with the departure of Vickie Guerrero from the company to the injury suffered by Wade Barrett involving Jack Swagger at this weeks Smackdown taping which has led to Barrett's involvement in the traditional Money in the Bank match now being questionable. I'm going to talk more about the spot later in the Breakdown so I want to quickly mention the way Vickie Guerrero left WWE. I thought that this was a really well booked and handled departure by WWE. Everything from the way Vickie came out and left to her late husband Eddie Guerrero's music, to the way she seemingly left the company by having the last laugh over Stephanie McMahon by throwing her in the pool of chocolate pudding. Vickie has been a fantastic heel general manager and personality in the WWE over the years and she will be sorely missed on WWE programming. Now if you will "excuse me" I'm going to go ahead and get on into this weeks Smackdown Breakdown.

The Authority In-Ring Segment - 4 Stars

This was a kind of typical way for WWE to open the show but at least it wasn't as predicable as the opening to last weeks show. Triple H came out with Orton and Rollins and talked about the many era's WWE has gone through and how this will simply be known as the Authority era. I'm liking the new look of Seth Rollins in a suit, he seemingly fits well into the roll of being part of the Authority and I feel he is only getting better every week both int he ring and on the microphone. Triple H has guaranteed us history will be made at Money in the Bank when a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned. Can you imagine if Seth Rollins wins the Money in the Bank briefcase and Randy Orton wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? That makes for an interesting internal dynamic for the Authority and I thought WWE did a good job of playing up the tension between Orton and Rollins during this segment, especially when Seth claimed "there is always a plan b" and how he thinks Orton could mess things up and not win his match. With Triple H as the past, Randy Orton as the present, and Seth Rollins as the future it seems the Authority is looking pretty powerful right now and will remain a fixture of WWE story lines throughout the rest of this year at least. Triple H then announced that Dean AMbrose would be in action next against Bad News Barrett. One note to Triple H; you need to work on that impression of Bad News Barrett, you just can't say the catchphrase in the way Barrett can to get it over.

Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose - 4 Stars

Before I get onto the main talking point of this segment in the injury to Wade Barrett, I want to focus on the positives that we took from this great opening match. From the very first bell this was a rough looking and physical battle between two top talents. Barrett had the control early on in the match but ultimately he ended up losing to Ambrose after he hit Dirty Deeds out of nowhere to pick up a win. This was a great match between two physical brawlers who have very different styles in the ring. Dirt Deeds as a finisher is just as menacing a move as the Bull Hammer Elbow as whenever Ambrose hits it I feel like if I had to take that move it would hurt.

Moving on to the big talking point of the match we saw Jack Swagger come out with Zeb Colter and him attack Bad News Barrett outside the ring. Unfortunately for Barrett he suffered a separated shoulder when he was thrown into the barricade by Swagger which now leaves his status for Money in the Bank up in the air and questionable. I have written my thoughts on the incident in my latest WWENews.Net article which you can check out here but I wanted to quickly talk about it here. When the news came out about Barrett's injury I saw people immediately blame Swagger for the injury and call for him to be fired which I think is the most ridiculous thing they could have done as at the time the majority of fans hadn't even seen the spot. Now I've watched it back I do believe it was mostly Swagger who was to blame for the injury and I think it came when he threw Barrett into the barricade a second time, however to say Swagger should be fired for the incident is down right crazy. If you want to know more about what I thought of the injury and what WWE should do with Swagger going forward then please check out my article.

Cameron vs. Paige - 3.5 Stars

I kind of feel bad for Paige as she has great potential and could be an excellent Divas champion, but she hasn't come up against enough top quality opponents to showcase her talents as much as she could. Anyone who watched her NXT ArRIVAL match against Emma knows exactly the talent Paige possesses and I honestly believe that this Sunday in her match against Naomi Paige will finally have an opponent she can really show some more of that quality against.

Cameron and Paige both showed a great intensity against each other in the ring during this one with Naomi on commentary which I thought more showed more intent on WWE's behalf to further stir up the trouble between Cameron and Naomi. I feel something is going to go down with these two on Sunday but I don't wish to say too much as you will be able to read my thoughts later when the WNW Predicts for Money in the Bank are published as I had the great opportunity to do full picks this time around. Cameron put up a decent fight but she just wasn't able to overcome Paige in this one. After the match Cameron once again blindsided Paige as she stood on looking at Naomi. But it didn't end there. After Naomi managed to separate the pair Cameron pushed Naomi into Paige who had her back to both Funkadactyls, which nicely added some tension going into Sunday's match between Paige and Naomi for the Divas Championship, a match I think could be one of the best Divas matches we see this year.

Wyatt Family Promo - 4 Stars

While it wasn't a long diatribe from Harper or Bray I felt this was another top class promo by the Wyatts. Harper has clearly learnt a lot from Bray in the way he works his promo's as he came across confident and strong when he spoke about how he and Rowan are going to defeat the Usos this Sunday. Bray then came into the shot and talked about his chances of walking out of Money in the Bank as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and how this will be the beginning of the Wyatt Era. I feel sorry for Rowan as he doesn't get much opportunity to show what he can do on the mic and he is lost in the shuffle of the Wyatt Family but the good thing for him is he is still there and has a chance to make history on Sunday and have his first run as a WWE Tag Team Champion.

Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt - 4 Stars

Every time Bray Wyatt comes out and we see all the mobile/cell phones lit up in the crowd I become more and more amazed at just what a powerful image that actually is to see. It may sound daft but every time I see it I am literally in awe at what an amazing way to enter an arena it must be. This was a back and forth brawl between two very physical opponents who held nothing back. Bray was able to gain the advantage when Harper and Rowan provided a distraction outside the ring before the break. When we came back from the break the Usos had come out to ring side to protect Sheamus and even up the numbers. There really wasn't anything to choose between these two men during this match as both performed very well. Sheamus seems to get a rap from the majority of the IWC because he's a Triple H guy but I really do think he is a great talent with a bright future ahead of him. Sheamus picked up a win after Harper attacked him when he had a very nasty looking Cloverleaf locked in on Bray. The Usos then made their impact as they flew over the top ropes onto Harper and Rowan. Going into Sunday I see this tag match being a great spectacle to watch and I expect Sheamus and Bray to carry on their momentum into the Championship ladder match.

Goldust and Stardust Promo - 4 Stars

I absolutely love the enthusiasm Goldust showed in this promo and the one he cut on Monday night too about the Stardust character, especially when Goldust said how finally he is the normal one of the two brothers. Cody really has taken some of the traits of the Goldust character but managed to make the character of Stardust completely different and unique and I think it is great to see Cody showing another side to his character. Goldust shows just how amazing he thinks Stardust is here and this promo was used to set up the match between Rybaxel and Goldust and Stardust this Sunday at Money in the Bank.

Rob Van Dam and Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio and Cesaro - 3.5 Stars

This was a classic back and forth encounter between all four men who I feel all stepped up their games and performed well throughout this match. Cesaro and Del Rio worked incredibly well as a team and the addition of Paul Heyman on commentary was just another added bonus to this match. I really enjoyed the way Dolph Ziggler transitioned into putting a sleeper hold on Cesaro before he tagged in Van Dam. Cesaro soon had the last laugh over Dolph though when he hit a sweet looking Uppercut on a helpless Ziggler in the air. Del Rio picked up the win for his team after he locked in the Cross Arm Break on Van Dam after he suffered two knees to the gut when going for the Five Star Frog Splash. Cesaro came out on top though when he hit Del Rio with a Neutralizer post match to give him the momentum going into this Sundays Championship ladder match.

The Usos Interview Segment - 3.5 Stars

This was a strange promo in the fact that while it seemed the Usos had steeped up to an over the top style like John Cena has been known for in the past they somehow managed to keep the promo entertaining. This was just another way of them building up their Tag Team Championship match going into Sunday against Harper and Rowan and it looks like this match is going to be one you do not want to miss given how solid both teams have been working as of late.

Rusev vs. Sin Cara - 3.5 Stars

Before this match started we heard Lana cut another strong anti-USA promo and talk up the strength of Russia. While it's cheap heat it draws the reaction WWE wants, it's just a shame for Rusev that Lana generates more heat than he does. This time his opponent was the very unfortunate Sin Cara, a character which has seemingly slipped out of favor with WWE management despite the fact that I feel Hunico really did save the character from the dreadful job done by his predecessor. Rusev picked up another quick win in this one but the whole aim of all this was simply to set up a match between Rusev and Big E for this Sunday which WWE executed well when Big E came out and cut a pro-USA promo and talked up how the country had been transformed. Rusev tried to ambush Big E with a sneak attack in the ring but he ended up being thrown out of the ring instead. Hopefully their match on Sunday will be the first time we see someone at least push Rusev and make him have to work for a win instead of the squash matches we have now become accustomed to seeing.

Kane vs. Roman Reigns - 3.5 Stars

While Kane being in the Money in the Bank Championship ladder match sticks out like a sore thumb his past experience in the match shows that he is more than capable of performing in this type of match. This was a nice match between two physical big men that saw Kane in control for the majority of the match. Roman did begin to mount a come back before the match ended when Randy Orton got involved causing a disqualification victory for Reigns. Orton ended up receiving a Super Man Punch from Reigns as a result of the attack before Kane hit him with a Choke Slam. Kane then showed the reason he was given a spot in the match by Triple H when he went out of the ring to obtain a ladder for Orton, came back into the ring and set it up and held on to the ladder as Orton climbed up and retrieved the belts. Kane is clearly there as back up to ensure Orton walks out of the match as champion on Sunday. Just as it looked like Orton was then going to hit a punt kick on Reigns he was hit by a spear out of nowhere. Kane suffered the same fate and we saw the show end with Reigns standing tall holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belts.

Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars

Compared to what I felt was a lackluster effort from WWE last week I feel this weeks show was probably better overall in terms of originality and content and was a great way to go into this Sundays Money in the Bank Pay Per View. My favorite segment this week was probably the match between Sheamus and Bray Wyatt as it was another great performance from both men and they put on a real physical and intense match going into Sunday. I've been through many different scenario's for the outcome of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match over the last week, and while I don't want to reveal the outcome I have gone with as that will be in the WNW predictions later this week I will say this much; I don't see the finish to the match being clear cut in any way and I expect some sort of swerve to occur. I also expect that Bad News Barrett won't feature in the traditional Money in the Bank match and will most likely be replaced with someone like The Miz or Rey Mysterio who WWE can rely on to get through that kind of match and put on a strong performance.

As always that wraps up another exciting edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. If you want to continue the discussion about the show or any of my thoughts please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I will be back next week with another exciting installment of the Smackdown Breakdown. Until then I hope you enjoy Money on the Bank on Sunday and I will catch you all next week. So long everybody and thanks again for checking out the Smackdown Breakdown.

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