Welcome once again fellow WNW readers to another exciting edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. WWE took it's flagship shows to the UK this week on it's first of two European tours this year. Raw once again saw John Cena again mention that London deserves to host a Wrestlemania one day, something I really would love to see and would be totally attending if it happened but is something that still seems like such a distant pipe dream. Cena mentioned this previously when WWE were over in the UK, and hopefully his words will carry more weight than anything to maybe get some plans in motion. With the WWE Network now being the focal point of the way WWE distributes it's live Pay Per Views the potential for this to happen has at least increased given WWE's reliance on actual Pay Per View buys has declined. Whether or not it happens remains to be seen but I hope we see a Wrestlemania live from London before Wrestlemania 40 rolls around
The big news emerging from WWE's European tour this week is without doubt the announcement that Daniel Bryan was sent home from the tour due to concerns around his health. This is a subject I covered on Wednesday for WWENews.Net, which you can read here, and I hope that the statement WWE released to Wrestling News World about Bryan being sent back as a precaution is true and there isn't something more sinister to it such as his previous injury getting worse. I'm not 100% confident as it is that Bryan had recovered from the injury before he was cleared to return to action at the Royal Rumble, and I'm sure over the coming days we will find out more information about what exactly is going on with Bryan, his health, and his future.
While I wasn't able to attend any of the live shows this time I still took the opportunity to attend a signing and meet Dolph Ziggler at Toys R Us in Nottingham, near where I work. It was a great experience that saw Ziggler take his time with every fan he interacted with, showing that he really is one of the nice guys in WWE. What was great about the experience as well is the photo myself and my family had with Dolph was one of 14 shots from that day that made it onto wwe.com. You can check out the picture here. WWE returns to the UK and Europe in November, but I won't be attending any of those shows either but I do plan to attend the 2016 shows the company puts on in April or May after Wrestlemania. Fingers crossed WWE decide to record editions of Raw and Smackdown in Sheffield again like they did a few years ago as a trip to London from where I live isn't as close as Michael Cole thinks it is (That was in reference to his comments on Raw about Preston being just up the road from London, and Newcastle being a 3 hour drive).
With all that being said lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown, and see what I thought about this weeks show.
Opening Segment - 4 Stars
It doesn't matter where he goes be it across America, into Europe, or anywhere in the world as John Cena always receives one of the most mixed reactions of any WWE Superstar in memory. He successfully defeated Bad News Barrett on Monday at Raw with another Stunner off the ropes, which didn't hugely endear him to the home crowd, but Cena is without doubt one of WWE's most polarizing characters which is what makes him so unique. I'm looking forward to the Russian Chain match at Extreme Rules, as I want to just see what kind of match Cena and Rusev can put on to follow Wrestlemania. This week saw Tyson Kidd and Cesaro come out to work Cena on the mic, with them giving some pretty entertaining comments about the chants toward Cena during the tour. Daniel Bryan then came out after Cena challenged Kidd or Cesaro to accept his challenge to a thunderous ovation and helped set up a match latter in the night between Cena and Bryan, and Kidd and Cesaro. I quite like the sound of this one and can't wait to see what a match they put on. An enjoyable and entertaining opening segment.
R Truth vs. Bray Wyatt - 4 Stars
So last week I stated I believe Bray Wyatt has been lost in the shuffle ever since the split of the Wyatt Family. One of our fellow readers disagreed with me and said Bray still had some big matches, which I cannot doubt, but the record of Wyatt during 2014 suggests to me a superstar with no momentum, and more importantly a character WWE were not hugely bothered about. Since his Wrestlemania loss though Wyatt has looked impressive with a renewed vigour which he again demonstrated in the match with R Truth, who barely had a chance against the crazy bearded superstar. I thought this was a good match and goes further toward re-establishing the strength and fear the Bray Wyatt character brings to the table.
The Miz vs. Bad News Barrett - 3.5 Stars
Miz and Mizdow had an interesting exchange on Monday, which also involved Summer Rae, who now seems to have turned face after aligning herself with Mizdow. I'm enjoying their work together and look forward to seeing where their feud continues to go. Bad News Barrett played the crowd well with his pre-match promo as he first received a pop when he interrupted Miz, but that reaction soon changed when Barrett claimed he would crush the Yes Movement at Extreme Rules, which could end up with a match that doesn't even taken place after Bryan being sent home over his health. This match didn't really last long as Barrett hit a Bull Hammer Elbow on Miz once Miz turned around from taking off his glasses to get the three count. A pretty straight forward match that made up for the fact Barrett had to lose to John Cena on Raw.
Sheamus vs. Neville - 4 Stars
So for the second week in a row we saw Neville lose on Raw, this time in a great match against Dolph Ziggler. Hopefully WWE will book Neville better in the coming months because he is an outstanding talent and deserves every opportunity to get to the top of WWE. This match came off the back of an attack on Neville and Ziggler by Sheamus on Raw, and saw England face off against Ireland. I like how Sheamus played up the real life tension that still exists today between England Ireland, which only added more fuel to the fire for this match. Being biased I wanted Neville to beat Sheamus, but I wasn't surprised to see the decision wasn't by pinfall. Neville looked great again though and showed what a tremendous talent he is. Sheamus helped with that too and this was a well worked match from both men. As a character I like the way Neville is being booked to be strong and determined, and it looked like he had Sheamus close to defeat at several points. An enjoyable match and I hope to see these two work more together over the next few weeks. Dolph Ziggler came to make the save for Neville and cause Sheamus to retreat which saw them announce a Kiss Me Arse match at Extreme Rules between Sheamus and Ziggler. I really hope Dolph wins that one to hopefully sort that braided bearded warrior out.
Los Matadores vs. New Day - 3.5 Stars
This turning of the New Day by the fans is slowly but surely working and they just couldn't endear themselves to the crowd once again. The intensity of New Day in the ring as a team has only increased and that is something I like about this team, despite joining in with the New Day Sucks chants. Los Matadores put on a good display too in this one and both teams made this an enjoyable match to watch. New Day continue their streak of wins and look set to become one of WWE's next big heel stables. They are drawing heat well without much effort and that shows they have potential to make a success of this gimmick.
Big Show Segment - 3.5 Stars
Big Show and Roman Reigns definitely look set to face off going forward after Show destroyed Reigns on Raw. It seems the UK audience were quite please to see Reigns destroyed with a chokeslam onto the top of a taxi and also saw him throw the Samoan into the side of the taxi with the same one being left on stage from Monday night. Shows attack on Reigns was brutal to watch and seeing the replays of it made it even more impact-full. Show has never been one of the best on the microphone but he did a good job here of helping sell the destruction he caused to Reigns. Big Show announced he will face Reigns in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules, and I hope that the intensity shown by Reigns against Brock Lesnar, and by Big Show during his destruction of Reigns on Raw is channelled into this match as it could be a real intense affair.
Natalya vs. Alicia Fox vs. Cameron - 3.5 Stars
I wasn't really looking forward to seeing this one when it was announced this match was next up. Nothing against Natalya, as she is a Diva I enjoy watching but Alicia and Cameron can be very much a hit and miss pairing. To her credit I thought Alicia did well during this one, but Cameron leaves me remaining unconvinced by her in-ring ability. That Tower of Doom didn't look too nice in terms of the landing for Fox and Cameron, with both probably grabbing at their necks for legitimate reasons as well as to sell the impact. Natalya looked like she had the match won but it was Cameron who walked out the victor at the end. An ok Divas match to watch but it didn't seem to set the world on fire for me.
Fandango vs. Adam Rose - 3.5 Stars
Yes! Fandango is back and he has brought back the Fandangoing! I enjoyed seeing that on Raw, and the crowd really bought into the segment with one of the loudest pops of Monday night. I was glad to see Fandango ditch Rosa and that tango gimmick as I felt it was a step backward for Fandango. Seeing Rosa come out and try to cost Fandango the match wasn't a surprise but I was pleased to see Fandango pick up the well deserved win. However I was more bothered about seeing him Fandango at the end of the match than anything else as the match wasn't much to write home about although it didn't really need to be anything special as it served it's purpose.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan and John Cena - 4 Stars
This was Daniel Bryan's final match on the European tour, and I'm sure like me you were all looking for possible signs of Bryan struggling during the match with his neck, shoulder, or just looking like there wasn't something right with him. I had been looking forward to this match throughout the whole show and these four delivered the type of match I expected to see. Kidd and Cesaro showed why they are without doubt one of WWE's top tag teams right now with some great team work and individual efforts while Cena seemed to shoulder the majority of the work for him and Bryan, which given Bryan's health situation now doesn't seem so strange. Bryan managed to work a whole two minutes of the match, but didn't really show too many signs of struggling so I hope this is just WWE taking precautions with him but I do believe Bryan is going to have to tone down his style if he wants to continue in the ring for as long as he can. A great main event to end this weeks show that delivered what was expected, but would have been better with more Bryan at his healthiest.
Overall Show Rating - 3.75 Stars
I enjoyed this weeks edition of WWE Smackdown, with a mix of great in-ring action and fun segments. The UK crowd always brings something different to the table when it comes to Raw and Smackdown being broadcast from our shores and the atmosphere certainly added more to the show. I'm going to give the main event match this week my vote for my favorite segment as it contained some great work from all four participants and would have come off even better with more involvement from a more healthy Bryan.
As always please feel free to leave your comments about the show or my thoughts on the show then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I will be back next week with another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. Until then thanks for reading and I will catch you next week.