Welcome to the first edition of the Smackdown Breakdown for 2015. WWE certainly ended 2014 with a bang with that amazing final episode of Raw to close out the year. It was great seeing the return of Daniel Bryan, and while it would have been great to see him as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble this will actually give fans a big reason to want to see the show given the prospect is he could now win it. We also saw a fantastic closing segment where Seth Rollins used Edge as a pawn to get John Cena to bring back the Authority. Rollins was excellent on the microphone during this segment as he berated Cena and further proved why he really is the future of WWE, as he displayed some great heel characteristics and just oozed confidence. Imagine how good Rollins is going to be in just a few short years.
Next week sees the last Smackdown broadcast on a Friday night and will instead see the show return to it's regular Thursday night time slot that it originally had when the show first started out back in August of 1999. The show has been in a Friday night slot since 2005 so for the first time in almost ten years the show goes back to the night it was originally intended for. I'm looking forward to see if this does anything to the ratings and whether or not it will help WWE. They won't have TNA to compete with, who will now be moving to a Friday night time slow so if anything I hope we see the audience numbers rise but of course the product will have to be worth watching for the audience to see the figures increase. WWE is going the right way about improving the last few weeks so I have every faith the move to Thursdays is a good move for the product.
Now lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what I thought of the various segments for this weeks show.
Edge and Christian Segment - 3.5 Stars
It was awesome to see both Edge and Christian back in a WWE ring to end 2014 on Raw and Main Event. It was a nostalgic moment and boy does WWE miss this totally awesome duo. The whole suing the WWE and Authority for breach of contract is a bit of a weird scenario but I guess it just adds to the power trip of the Authority on screen. J and J Security being appointed as spies for the Authority to get one back on Edge and Christian was quite an interesting twist but it was inevitable that J and J Security would get screwed over in some form. The panic on their faces at the thought of facing Ryback was priceless and I felt disappointed we wouldn't get to see J and J Security get their butts kicked. Never the less I felt Edge and Christian made this segment fun and entertaining to watch but it was a typical way to open the show.
Bray Wyatt vs. Erick Rowan - 4 Stars
Bray and Ambrose going one on one in an Ambulance match is going to be one hell of an interesting encounter that I can't wait to see. It was obvious this match was going to be used as a way to build up Wyatt, and what a way to do it than by having him go up against one of the monsters he helped nurture upon his main roster rival in Rowan. I felt desperation in Bray as he tried to command Rowan early on by screaming at him to lay down but it made no difference. It was a good battle of two monsters that I would certainly enjoy seeing again down the line as I think Bray could help bring something more out in Rowan. It was a great way to end the match seeing Rowan show what looked like compassion toward Bray, before he nailed him with the Sister Abigail. Something tells me these two have something more in the tank down the line and I would love to see it.
Wyatt's post match promo toward Ambrose was top quality as always and if you are not hyped to see what Ambrose and Bray are going to do in that Ambulance match on Monday then I don't know what else would get you excited for the war we are going to see.
Adam Rose, Goldust and Stardust vs. R Truth and The Usos - 3.5 Stars
Wow I did not see The Usos beating Miz and Mizdow for the tag titles on Raw, but what an amazing moment it was for Jimmy and Jey. The feud between the Usos and Miz and Mizdow was a fun watch and I look forward to seeing what happens with Miz and Mizdown going forward. I don't really have much to say about Adam Rose and R Truth in this one as their feud seems more a spur of the moment thing until Rose has to probably face The Bunny or something. The match was entertaining and fun to watch especially when the pace picked up but I don't feel like anyone did anything that I wasn't expecting until the end when the Rosebuds tried to take it to The Usos and got super kicked for their troubles. I can simply define this as a decent match but it was nothing special.
Ryback vs. Big Show - 4 Stars
So it appears following Raw on Monday that it's all systems go with Rusev and Ryback. I kind of enjoyed Ryback's story on Raw but it doesn't make me care much more about his character than I did before I saw it. This match gives Ryback the opportunity though to show that if he can beat the biggest athlete in WWE then he can beat Rusev. Seeing him take Big Show down was just another way of confirming this was a way to further legitimise him as a threat to Rusev, and it did the job. Ryback didn't dominate and had to work hard in this one but right now I really am seeing him being the guy that hands Rusev that first defeat that has been so long in coming. I felt both men in this match told a good story, especially with the distraction provided by Rusev to cause Ryback to lose and it was another impressive outing for Ryback. Ryback had the last laugh too by taking out Rusev after he looked to lock in the Accolade, and they just made this feud that bit more interesting especially with Rusev in action later against Roman Reigns.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. Los Matadores - 4 Stars
Have I mentioned how much I Love the team of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro? It's a master stroke of a pairing and I hope that both men can help one another grab one of those brass rings of Vince's, and Maybe Cesaro will finally find 'it'. The uppercut he hit on the outside of the ring on Fernando certainly helped him look good and from there it was mostly all Kidd and Cesaro in control. That Cesaro Swing into the drop kick looks awesome too and all I cannot sing the praises of this team enough. I'd like to see them get a good run together and I believe they could put on some great matches with the Usos for the tag titles if given the chance. This was a fun match to watch and further established Kidd and Cesaro as a team to watch for 2015.
Dean Ambrose vs. Curtis Axel -3.5 Stars
It feels like a new years treat getting to see a rare outing from Curtis Axel. There's something about him that I just feel WWE has yet to tap into and he will hopefully get the chance to discover that during the year. This one was an all out brawl from the off but sadly didn't last long. Ambrose did his part by further building up the match for Raw by telling us what he's going to do to Bray. If he does half the things he said in his promo I'm sure we will probably never see another Ambulance match on Raw, but it would certainly make for an interesting watch. I'm more hyped for this match than I was before and wish Monday would hurry up and get here.
The Ascension vs. Rhett Titus and Lance Anoai - 3.5 Stars
So the general consensus following the debut of the Ascension on Raw was it didn't quite live up to expectation but not all debuts will live up to the hype we as fans give them because sometimes I think we expect too much. I liked the pre match video where Ascension named both Legion of Doom and Demolition as tag teams especially given comments that people believe they are a modern day cross of both teams. The Ascension looked powerful and totally dominated in this one as we would expect and showed they are not a team to be messed with. I'm looking forward to seeing what these two can bring as a tag team to WWE in 2015. It was great to see the son of WWE legend Samu Anoai, Lance Anoai, get a shot in a WWE ring and I think he showed he could be one to watch in the future especially after the way he made that Fall of Man look brutal.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev - 4 Stars
This match had the potential to be a great main event to kick off 2015 with and I expected big things from both given 2015 could be big years for both. What happens with Roman Reigns push now given the return of Daniel Bryan remains to be seen but there's no doubt Reigns is a future WWE main event star that will win plenty of titles during his career. This was a good mix of mat wrestling, power, pace, and just all out brawling. They had a great back and forth match to watch and you felt there was a chance Reigns might well defeat Rusev by pin fall, but it wasn't to be as Big Show came out to provide a distraction and would inevitably cost Reigns the chance to pin the Russian. I enjoyed this match overall and thought both men really worked a hard fought and solid match. The post match brawl between Show and Reigns was a sight to behold and the only thing I was disappointed about was that we didn't see Show put through a table. These two are not quite done yet and expect this feud to continue for another few weeks into the Royal Rumble.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
Another enjoyable episode of Smackdown came to an end with Roman Reigns avenging the Big Show for his actions during Raw this week. While Smackdown didn't live up to the same level as this weeks Raw I do think we saw some glimpses of quality and promise that things will only continue to get better. My favourite segment this week has to go to the match between Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan. There is just something about those two potentially feuding that I like the thought of and I thought their chemistry in the ring was strong. They were able to tell a story and you could feel emotion coming from them both in the ring. I'm looking forward of course to the Ambrose and Wyatt match on Raw this Monday, but after that I hope WWE will move Wyatt on to a program with Rowan.
That wraps it up for another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. As always please leave any of your thoughts about the show, what I have written, or anything I may have missed in the comments section below as I love to get everyone else's opinion on the show. I will be back next week with my final Saturday edition of the Breakdown before it moves to Friday's the following week. Until next week thanks for reading the Smackdown Breakdown.