Whats up everybody? Welcome to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. After a week of heartache last week, things have slowly but surely begun to return back to a normal kind of status. WWE did a great job over the last couple of days in celebrating the life of the 'American Dream' Dusty Rhodes, and produced what I think was a fantastic tribute to the Dream. I wrote my thoughts on the piece for WWENews.Net, which you can check out here.
Money in the Bank took place last weekend, and I feel WWE put on a really solid show. Without a doubt the match of the night had to go to John Cena and Kevin Owens, who had an all out classic match that should easily be a candidate for the Match of the Year award at the next Slammy Awards. If you haven't seen the match yet then you need to check it out on the WWE Network, as the match was full of drama, entertainment, and everything you could hope for. Owens has proved he can hang in the main event scene, while Cena showed that contrary to popular belief he can wrestle a solid match. For more of my thoughts on Money in the Bank, please check out my WWENews.Net blog here.
Now without any further delay lets get straight on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown.
Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, and Kane Opening Segment - 3.5 Stars
Well, can't say as I saw Sheamus winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. I'm not against it, as I think this is another way for WWE to re-establish the revamped Sheamus character. Are WWE playing it safe going with an established option? You could argue they are but this briefcase should not be looked at as a guaranteed title win....Just ask John Cena. Sheamus cut a good promo where he covered his return and the "you look stupid" chants, and let's be honest while he may have it's those of us who wrote him off that look stupid. Sheamus had a good interaction with an interrupting Dean Ambrose, who reminded us that he doesn't speak "Irish Gibberish", and when Kane came out it was only more apparent a match was coming. A nice opening segment to start the show and set the tone for things to come.
Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Kane - 3.5 Stars
So this match came about off the back of the opening segment and pretty much left the odds stacked against Ambrose from the opening bell. I thought Ambrose actually did well to hold his own against two big men, but it was apparent the numbers game would eventually catch up with Ambrose. The match didn't last long after Roman Reigns came out to save his buddy, giving Kane and Sheamus a disqualification victory. This would be used to set up a tag team match later in the night. A good segment that served it's purpose to set up for later in the night.
Paige vs. Brie Bella - 3.5 Stars
The match between Nikki Bella and Paige at Money in the Bank certainly ended in controversy, with Paige picking up a win by rolling up Brie, following some failed 'Twin Magic'. But the referee reversed the decision when he realized his mistake, which would lead to Paige being beaten by Nikki. Paige suffered in a handicap match on Raw, so this one on one opportunity against Brie was a way for her to gather a measure of revenge. These two Divas are great in the ring and I enjoyed this match, with both Divas giving their all in this one to produce an entertaining match. Alicia Fox was this time the reason Paige was defeated, which to me potentially means an alliance for Alicia with the Bella's, which adds a new dynamic to this feud. A good match between these two Divas.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bo Dallas - 3.5 Stars
So it appears the team of Dolph and Lana is now official, and I think she adds something different and fresh to Dolph. I hope the news about Dolph being unhappy and considering his options when his contract comes up are not true, as losing Dolph would be a huge mistake but I guess only time will tell. This was a pretty quick match with Dolph picking up the win, as Rusev watched on from the back. Once Rusev is healthy again I look forward to these two locking up in the ring. In terms of this match it wasn't anything special but it did advance a story as it was meant to.
Xavier Woods vs. Neville - 4 Stars
Xavier Woods came right out of the blocks in this one with an aggressive attitude, clearly still smarting from the New Day's defeat at Money in the Bank for all three men and the loss of the Tag Team Championships to the Prime Time Players. Neville soon got into the match and his high flying style certainly gave him an edge once the pace picked up. The Prime Time Players soon came to ringside and evened up the numbers for Neville, who used this to his full advantage to pick up the win. A well worked match between these two high flyers, who I would love to see more action between.
Seth Rollins Segment - 4 Stars
Wow, Seth Rollins just realized things got real on Monday night, as Brock Lesnar returned to announce himself as the next challenger to Rollins WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Seth's back is now against the wall, and he did a beautiful job Monday of showing his fear about that challenge. Tonight he seemed more cocky than Monday when his tail was tucked between his legs and talked down to the crowd as only a true heel can. He talked himself up like he wasn't afraid and can give Brock a run for his money. Something tells me that he is in for one hell of a fight at Battleground. This was a well cut promo by Seth, and I look forward to seeing his reaction over the coming weeks as the match draws closer.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro - 4 Stars
Owens attacking Machine Gun Kelly on Raw was an interesting segment. It's just a shame that he didn't do it at the start of the 'performance' and that Machine Gun Kelly practically no sold it on Twitter the next day. Owens has proved again that he belongs on the main roster, so matching up with another former ROH star in Cesaro seemed like a good fit. Cesaro is very much on the road to nowhere at the minute since Tyson Kidd's injury, which is a shame because he is such a great worker. I winced a little at his landing when he did the suicide dive out the ring though. These two worked a very solid match, with some physical action and good wrestling throughout. Cesaro showed some insane strength and agility at times during this one, as did Owens, and I could have watched these two go at it in the ring all night. A very entertaining and solid match and s good win for Owens.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Kane and Sheamus - 4 Stars
So we end the night in the same way we started it, with Reigns, Ambrose, Kane, and Sheamus in the ring. This one was very much like I expected it to be in that it was a brutal match as these four gave it their all. It was a very physical match and enjoyable to watch. Ambrose and Sheamus had some well worked interactions, and when Roman entered the match he was like a freight train as he cleaned house, being worked up after Bray Wyatt got his attention Sunday and Monday night. Reigns looked to have this one won until Bray came on the tron, creepily singing "I'm A Little Teapot", allowing for Sheamus to hit a Brogue Kick for the win. A well worked main event with a well booked ending. The photo in the ring at the end added an extra element of creepy to the segment too and makes me excited to see more what Reigns and Bray can do next.
Overall Show Rating - 3.75 Stars
Another enjoyable episode of Smackdown this week. I felt the pace of the show was a little slow to start off with, but the longer the show went the better I felt things got. I have to say my favorite segment this week goes to the match between Kevin Owens and Cesaro, who worked a very solid match and are two men I would like to see face off again down the line. The ending of the main event was well worked, and I enjoyed the way the show ended with the picture of Roman and his daughter appearing in the ring next to him after Bray went off the screen. While many think the feud between Wyatt and Reigns is going to do nothing for either man I think there is certainly potential there for it to be a feud to remember this year.
That brings a close to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. if you want to have your say on this weeks show then please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. And don't forget to visit again next week for another installment of the Smackdown Breakdown.