Welcome back to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown, my final edition for the show in it's Friday night slot as next week sees the show move to Thursday nights, meaning my thoughts now get brought to you on a Friday instead. I'm looking forward to seeing what challenges the show being moved to Thursday's will bring but the most important thing is if the ratings will grow, stay the same, or in the worst case scenario they could decline. I'm thinking the move is a positive one on the WWE's part and it will be good to compare the show's ratings after a few weeks.
This week also saw the announcement of the shuffle round of the Raw and Smackdown announce teams. It's a shame to see Jerry Lawler removed from Raw to be replaced by Booker T, but if I'm honest, I think Lawler had been stale as of late on Raw, so the opportunity to go to a show with less pressure in Smackdown and post production offers Lawler the chance to further enhance himself. It's good to see Lawler retain his spot on the Pay Per View announce team and I think if anything it's probably the right move for all parties involved.
My spelling and use of words is an issue that was bought up in the last edition of the Breakdown, and is something that has been mentioned plenty of times in the past with certain words so I wanted to take a moment to address this. I assure you I am fully competent in my spelling of words and wanted to kind of touch on the fact that due to me being English and not American, we not only have different spellings of some words but also certain words mean different things here. I totally accept last week I did make an error, which I hold my hands up and apologise for not spotting, however you may find spelling of words in the Breakdown that look wrong to you, and I assure you a lot of it is just a cultural difference. I run all my stuff through a spell checker before it gets published, and I accept that sometimes things get missed, but if there is something you notice I don't mind people bringing it to my attention. However, there is a way of doing that and all I ask is for it to be politely and respectfully pointed out. As soon as I see it, I will immediately correct any error or explain why I haven't if it's a spelling difference. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.
And with that elephant in the room out of the way, lets head on into this week's edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what I thought of this weeks show:
Seth Rollins Segment - 3.5 Stars
Seth seemed in a jubilant mood after Raw this week, and while most of this weeks Raw was perhaps a snooze fest we did see Rollins get inserted into the Royal Rumble main event, a spot he deserves and will surely take full advantage of with getting to work with Brock Lesnar and John Cena. The outcome of that match will be interested with Lesnar still not signing an extension with WWE. Seth is magic on the mic and really did a good job of playing up the crowd and I thought the ten bell salute idea was magic. Roman Reigns arrival soon changed the dynamic of things and was a welcomed interruption. I'd like to see these two in a Wrestlemania match, whether or not it's for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is another question as I want Bryan to get that spot at this point. Reigns still needs work on his mic skills, but he kept the crowd engaged and cleared the ring to look tall at the end of the segment.
It set up a match between Reigns and a partner of his choice against Rollins Big Show later, which further added to the Authorities abuse of power when Kane said if anyone teamed with him they would be risking the wrath of the Authority. The problem I have with this Authority stuff is it's the same old stuff we've seen time and time again and it just seems to lack originality now. Give me something different and I think fans will buy more into the story more.
Adam Rose vs.. Big E - 3.5 Stars
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro getting involved in the Rose and Big E match and attacking the New Day on Raw was one of the few good surprising moments on Raw this past week. I have high hopes for Kidd and Cesaro as a tag team and I just want to see them get the spotlight they deserve. Rose was really aggressive in this one from the off and I really like the direction of his character. To make Rose a believable heel though I think he has to drop the Rosebuds though, as it's hard to take him as a serious heel. Big E struggled to find any real offence in the match much to my surprise, but he managed to pick up the win with a great counter into the Big Ending. More offence from Big E would have made this match better, but overall I did enjoy it.
The Ascension vs.. Two Local Workers - 3.5 Stars
The Ascension barely drew a reaction on Raw, and their promo practically running down a legendary team like Legion of Doom just didn't help their case at all. It's horrible how a team can go from NXT, being so dominant and popular to be drawing no reaction from a crowd on Raw, and I wouldn't be surprised if this week's reaction on Smackdown was piped in crowd noise or added on in post production. The fact they cut another promo before their match this week mentioning Legion of Doom and the Powers of Pain shows clearly WWE learnt nothing from that mistake. I guess maybe they were capitalising on the uproar from Social Media this week, but it was not the best move. The Ascension simply dominated here and showed why they are not to be messed with but they didn't show me anything different to what they did on NXT, and I worry their transition to the main roster is going to be a failure in the eyes of the higher ups in WWE management.
Alicia Fox vs.. Naomi - 3.5 Stars
Fox attacking Naomi on Raw was quite brutal on Fox's part, especially throwing Naomi toward a mirror. Naomi is a great talent in the ring and I like the blend in with her real life marriage to Jimmy Uso. Naomi was brutal and showed some aggression I can't recall seeing from her before. She totally owned Alicia Fox throughout this match, but somehow Alicia gets booked with the sneaky win by cheating and using the ropes. That certainly means there is more to come from these two and I hope we see more from Alicia in the next meeting as she simply didn't do much in this match and when she did it didn't look great to me.
Bray Wyatt Promo - 3.5 Stars
I kind of felt a little disappointed with the Ambrose and Wyatt match on Raw. I'm not saying it was bad or anything as I actually enjoyed it, but it just didn't have that same feel as their other matches. Not every match between two stars will produce such a reaction so I guess this was just one of those. I loved the fact that Bray won the match and he now seems to have turned his attention to the Royal Rumble match. I enjoyed his promo and believe he has as good a chance of winning the match as anyone but if I know one thing, it's likely we will see a Dean Ambrose return at the Rumble to eliminate Bray and extend that feud a little longer.
The Usos vs.. Goldust and Stardust vs.. The Miz and Damien Mizdow - 4 Stars
Three of the WWE's premier tag teams in a match for the Tag Team Championship had all the promise of being a great match. I hope the Ascension were backstage taking notes on what great tag teams do in WWE as these three teams showed what it takes to connect with the audience. Mizdow continued to be the standout of the match without having much real physical involvement in the match. It takes talent to connect with the WWE Universe and Mizdow has certainly proved he has what it takes to still take him up to the next level. The Usos put on a great showing of themselves again as did Goldust and Stardust, showing all three of these teams are more than deserving of their spots on the card.
I actually cannot believe how Stardust has overtaken the craziness and weirdness of his brother, something I did not think was actually possible. I'm seeing Miz and Mizdow finally break up just after Royal Rumble, but I've no doubt we will see Miz eliminated and Mizdow hilariously eliminating himself during the match. There was never any doubt for me that The Usos would retain their titles in this match and I somehow expect we could see a triple threat, or even a fatal four way match for the tag titles at the Rumble. The finish was typical and saw a flurry if signature moves before the Usos picked up the win. A very entertaining match and I can't wait to hopefully see more from all three teams together in the future.
Bad News Barrett vs.. Sin Cara - 3.5 Stars
Can I just say on behalf of all Brits, it is good news to see Bad News Barrett win the Intercontinental Championship again. It sucks it was at the expense of Dolph Ziggler, but Barrett has been just as unlucky in the past as Ziggler in terms of injury and not quite getting his chance, but I hope now he can get the opportunity to work himself into the main event scene as he more than deserves the chance. I like how Barrett wanted to give Dolph his rematch right there and then knowing that he couldn't answer the challenge. I'm expecting Barrett to do big things in the Royal Rumble match and I would love to see him in the final five to win the match.
Sin Cara was the poor unfortunate to come up against Barrett and I'm sure Barrett beat him that bad he's wishing he could be Hunico again. Barrett displayed great aggression as well as giving Sin Cara the chance to at least look like he had a chance in this one and I have to admit I was surprised and disappointed to see Barrett beaten cleanly by Sin Cara in this one. Barrett had the last laugh with an assault after the match on Sin Cara, but you have to question the booking of WWE creative there for Barrett so soon after his return and Intercontinental title win.
The Big Show and Seth Rollins vs.. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose - 4 Stars
I was trying to figure out who would answer the challenge and step up against the Authority all show. I couldn't think of anyone and must admit after being taken away in the Ambulance match on Raw, the last person I expected to see was Dean Ambrose. However, it makes logical sense for Ambrose to come out and join his former Shield brethren in Reigns to stand up to the Authority as there would still be a part of Ambrose wanting to extract revenge on Seth for his turning on the Shield after Summerslam. The crowd popped big style for Ambrose and it just made the match all that more exciting for me.
Reigns and Ambrose showed great work as a tag team, while Seth gave another fantastic account of himself with a great in ring display. The team of Big Show and Rollins had great chemistry too, and while Big Show would normally be the odd one out in this situation, I feel it's always a good idea to have a veteran in the match to give it a different flavour. J and J Security getting involved wasn't totally unexpected and it did plant that seed of doubt that Reigns and Ambrose wouldn't quite manage to overcome the odds. However, it was inevitable that in the end it would be Ambrose and Reigns, who stood victorious at the end of the night and I really liked how the finish was executed from Ambrose jumping from the top out the ring to take out the members of the Authority, to it looking like Rollins would hit a Curb Stomp, to Reigns avoiding the move and hitting the Spear for the three count.
It will be interesting to see what happens to Ambrose this coming week on Raw for getting involved in this match. I just hope they don't try and fire him too, as it's fairly predictable that Rowan, Ryback, and Ziggler will have some involvement in the Rumble match. I enjoyed this main event and it was another great way to end the show.
Overall Show Rating - 3.5 Stars
In the final edition of Smackdown on a Friday I felt the show was a little slow to start, but by the end things had stepped up a gear. It's tough to pick my favourite segment of the show, but I'd probably give it to the triple threat tag team match as I thought all three teams gave a great account of themselves. The main event tag match came in a close second though, as it had the excitement and drama that made it a captivating watch.
Next week will see the return of Daniel Bryan to the ring for the first time since April 2014. It's good to see Bryan back and this is no doubt a way to encourage the ratings to increase following the move to Thursday, but I cannot wait to see Bryan back as he has certainly been a huge miss to WWE these last nine months.
That brings another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown to an end. As always I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show and/or your thoughts on my breakdown of the action, then please leave your comments in the comments section below. I will be back on Friday with my thoughts on the first Thursday edition of the show. Until then, thanks for reading the Smackdown Breakdown.