The Smackdown Breakdown - Triumph And Turmoil

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Welcome once again to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. It's been a rather interesting week again in the WWE, not least with the Seth Rollins incident that reared it's ugly head on Monday, seeing nude photo's of one of the NXT Divas appearing on his Twitter account, before his fiancée posted naked photo's of Rollins. The incident was certainly embarrassing for WWE and Rollins, especially given Triple H's comments the previous week on Steve Austin's podcast about him worrying about his daughters Googling Chyna, and seeing some of the post-WWE activities she has partaken in. It's clear that Seth has issues to sort out in his personal life, and while it is unlikely this will cost him his spot at the top of the card, he will need to keep his head down and continue to work on being the top heel in WWE.

This week also saw the broadcast of the NXT Rival special on the WWE Network, and what an amazing show it was once again from top to bottom. It's hard to believe that NXT is a part of the WWE, because their is such a gulf in quality between the products. NXT shows Triple H has his head screwed on and he knows what the fans want, while it also shows that the WWE product over the long haul is in safe hands. It's concerning when the men seen as the 'rookies' are putting on more consistent and entertaining matches than the 'superstars', but equally with the talented names down in NXT such as Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Adrian Neville, and Hideo Itami, it's no wonder that NXT right now is the shining star in the crown jewel of WWE. The whole event was great from start to finish, and I would encourage anyone who hasn't seen it yet to go out of your way to make sure you watch it.

Now, lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown, and see hat I thought of this weeks show.

Opening Segment - 4 Stars

Hats off to WWE for actually starting the show with a different feel this week. The Authority sticking it to Reigns and Bryan once again isn't a huge surprise. I thought it was pretty entertaining with El Torito and the comment about grabbing the bull by the horns. Kane and Big Show did a good job of making the concept seem exciting, all the while maintaining the heel personas we are so accustomed to seeing from them. Could it have been better? Of course, but it wasn't your typical and predictable show opening, and it had a different feel to just seeing guys in the ring as per the normal build to that nights main event.

Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth - 3.5 Stars

So it looks all but set for Bray Wyatt to face off against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31. Unless WWE throw a curveball and he ends up facing someone else, which I wouldn't be a fan of, then this is a great way to further establish Bray Wyatt. Could we see Undertaker fall to a second defeat in a row at Wrestlemania? Anything is possible, and I think it would only make Bray a more credible character going forward.

R-Truth tried his best, but there was no stopping Bray Wyatt. He simply dominated the match, making R-Truth look like a rag doll at times. Bray seems to be taking his character to a much more vicious and darker lace than he has before, and while the change is only a subtle one, I think it is good for his character. There was always that inevitable feeling of Wyatt winning the match, which was something I found hard to ignore, which took away from the match a little for me. While Bray looked like a monster by the end, I would have liked to have seen more from him in this match and seen more aggression come from him. Hopefully we will see that going over the next few weeks headed into Wrestlemania.

Paige vs. Summer Rae - 3.5 Stars

Great to see Paige in action as always, despite a difficult week for her after the man who recommended her to WWE for a try out, Drew McDonald, a legendary Scottish wrestler lost his battle with cancer last week. The Bella's were out on commentary during the match, and while they normally steal the spotlight they struggled to take attention away from Paige, who really gave a good account of herself in the ring. It seemed to show for me during this one that Paige was controlling the match and carrying Summer Rae, which perhaps didn't help the match as it felt too obvious. A great win for Paige headed into Fast Lane, I just hope in two weeks she can become a three time Divas Champion, as she is surely the best Diva in WWE right now. Good effort from Paige, shame about Summer Rae's lack of actual involvement in this one.

Adam Rose vs. Fandango - 3.5 Stars

What is this, the third time in the last two weeks these two have met? It wouldn't be so bad if there was some kind of story to this one, as I think they could have an interesting feud, but so far Rose has failed to pick up a victory over Fandango. The match was wrestled well between the two men, with action that went back and forth toward the end. Rose could not beat Fandango once again, and that led to another frustrated beat down of the Rose Buds. A good match, just lacking a back story to it for me to majorly really care about it.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow - 4 Stars

WWE has told a good story so far with Reigns and Bryan, feeding the tension between the two on Raw headed into Fast Lane. It appears WWE are using Reigns lack of popularity from winning the Rumble to their advantage, as they clearly know the crowd is not going to be hugely split at Fast Lane, with Bryan being the clear favourite. Starting out with two teams that literally are in turmoil was a smart move, as you never quite knew which team at the beginning would run into problems first. Reigns and Bryan did a good job of teasing the tension between them, making it look like both were out to try and top each other. I found their work pretty entertaining, and they soon made short work of Miz and Mizdow.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. The Usos - 5 Stars

Now the team of Reign and Bryan really was going to be tested, coming up against the Tag Team champions. This was a different match compared to the match with Miz and Mizdow, in that the style was much different in terms of the pace, as it started off slow and picked up toward the end. Reigns worked with a much more powerful style, as opposed to Bryan and the Usos who wrestled a much more technical style, but all four men worked well together and made this a good watch, as all involved are fan favourites. Despite the match starting at a simmering pace, you could not help but look on and enjoy the match, and by the end when things reached boiling point, we knew we had seen a well worked match from all involved. Bryan and Reigns showed signs of even looking like a team toward the end, further developing their story in this match. That soon ended when tensions boiled over between the two, as Bryan showed his aggressive side by attacking The Usos outside the ring. These guys knocked one out of the park and made for a real entertaining match, seeing Bryan and Reigns pick up another win.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Los Matadores - 3.5 Stars

It was always going to be difficult to top that last match with The Usos, and Los Matadores were the ones who had to follow it. The pace of this one was a higher tempo from the get go, but that didn't stop Bryan and Reigns from winning the match, without Reigns even having to enter the ring, as Bryan would force a tap out. There wasn't much to say about this, other than it was not going to be easy to follow that last match.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Slater Gator - 3.5 Stars

And this was Reigns turn to show Bryan what he was made of, as he tagged himself into the match, and made very short work of Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil. The games of one upping each other were back on, and that was all the purpose of this one was. It served it's purpose, was quick and brief, while showing what Reigns is capable of.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. The Ascension - 4 Stars

This was going to be a different match entirely from any of the others, as The Ascension are yet to lose a match, and we knew this was going to be a display of their strength and power. This would probably be Reigns and Bryan's toughest test of the night, as this match would ultimately take the most out of them. The Ascension simply picked Reigns and Bryan apart from the get go, but their aggression ultimately caused them to be disqualified, meaning they could continue their successful run without being pinned. The Ascension did exactly what they needed to and dominated Reigns and Bryan, making it look like the odds were going to be well against both men.

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Kane and The Big Show - 4 Stars

And this is exactly the reason why the Ascension were sent out to decimate Reigns and Bryan, to set them up to face impossible odds against the Authority. Reigns and Bryan really looked like they had been in a fight during this one, and really made it seem like they had no chance, but this allowed them to tell a story that while they may not see eye to eye, they both respect one another after their ordeal tonight. Strangely though by the end of the match, it was Big Show and Kane who were having the problems, as Big Show turned on his partner, costing them the match. It was weird seeing Big Show over powered by Bryan on two occasions in this one, firstly with a DDT, and secondly into a Yes Lock before the end of the match. Reigns and Bryan picking up the win was a good way to end the night, and their new found respect for one another was clear for all to see. It will be interesting to see how long that respect stays in place before Fast Lane.

Overall Show Rating - 4 Stars

This week saw a pretty solid showing for Smackdown, with a strong show from start to finish. Like any time, things were hit and miss at times, but by the end of the night I felt a good story had been told, and it felt the show gained momentum as each segment wore on. Without doubt, this weeks favourite segment has to go to the match between The Usos and Reigns and Bryan. All four men involved wrestled a great match, that while it may have started slow, certainly ended with a bang. The story told with Reigns and Bryan gaining a mutual respect by the end of their ordeal was also fun to watch, and it will be interesting to see where WWE go with this one headed into Fast Lane.

This was an enjoyable episode of Smackdown, and I hope you enjoyed it too. As always, please leave your thoughts on the show, or my thoughts on it, in the comments section below. I will be back next week with another instalment of the show, and look forward to seeing where the final stop on the road to WWE Fast Lane takes us. Thanks for reading the Smackdown Breakdown, and I will catch you next week.

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