Welcome once again to the Smackdown Breakdown, exclusive to Wrestling News World. This Sundays sees WWE present the Payback pay per view. There hasn't been much of a build to this event which I felt has perhaps caused it to suffer a little but I am more looking forward to seeing the event after seeing last nights edition of Smackdown. There are plenty of mouth watering matches on offer for us on Sunday, and tomorrow will see the reveal of the WNW writers predictions for Payback, which I am sure you won't want to miss.
WWE also announced this week the Elimination Chamber pay per view is set to take place at the end of May. That now makes three events in five weeks, which I feel have all suffered from being rushed and will receive a serious lack of build. I hope this doesn't hurt the shows too much but I can't say as I want WWE to keep building so many events in short periods of time again. After Elimination Chamber, we will see the Money in the Bank pay per view take place two weeks later. There are a lot of events coming up in such a short space that the product may suffer during the next few weeks but I hope this won't be the case.
Lets head on down into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown, and see what I thought of this weeks show.
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Kane Segment - 3 Stars
So Ambrose is heading into Sunday at Payback with plenty of momentum on his side after he left his three opponents on Sunday left laid out on Monday night at the end of Raw. I believe Ambrose has a good chance of walking out champion on Sunday night but I'm not convinced WWE are going to pull the trigger on that one. Headed into Sunday we know it's going to be every man for himself and I liked how there was a tease of tension between Roman and Ambrose, with both making it clear Sunday their friendship is put to one side. Kane came out to make a match between Sheamus and Ambrose, which took place right then and there. A simple opening segment that didn't set the world alight but was pretty standard.
Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose - 4 Stars
A mixture of speed and size in this one made for an interesting watch. Sheamus used his size and strength to his advantage as you would expect, but Ambrose was able to use his speed and quick thinking to stay in this one. The feud between this two has been fun to watch develop and I hope we will see them involved in the match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber in two weeks time especially given the fact Ambrose could literally do anything in there in his crazy style. Sheamus made Ambrose pay when things ended up outside the ring briefly and this allowed the Irish man to take control before the match would come to it's conclusion. A fun match between these two and it was good to see Ambrose pick up the win headed into Sunday. Not sure I'd agree with the crowd chants of this is awesome but still a good match.
Rusev and Lana Segment - 3.5 Stars
Sunday should see the final meeting between United States Champion John Cena, and Rusev, who both need to move on to bigger and better things. I'm enjoying Cena's open challenge each week as it gives different guys a chance to be in the spotlight that may not be quite ready yet but can work well enough to establish and test themselves. I also expect Sunday to perhaps be the end of the on screen relationship of Rusev and Lana, especially after Lana was made to publicly apologize for her Fandangoing on Raw last week. Rusev went on to hype his match up with Cena on Sunday, a match I fully expect Cena to win awhile at least making Rusev come out of the match remaining strong. I liked the I Quit montage of Cena, but lets be honest I don't ever expect to hear those two words leave the mouth of John Cena. A good segment that nicely builds up a big match on Sunday.
Pre-Match Segment For Ryback vs. Seth Rollins - 4 Stars
Seth Rollins heads into Payback with an advantage of having Kane as his corporate saviour which I believe will be a factor in him retaining on Sunday, as I just can't see Rollins dropping the belt or Kane being fired at this point. Seth reminded us on Monday that he was destroyed by his three opponents on Sunday, as Kane stood looking on outside the ring and gave us a guarantee that won't happen this Sunday. Seth really has come on leaps and bounds in confidence since winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and while he has his fair share of critics I feel Rollins has shown some great promise as a strong champion for the future. Sadly for Ryback he never quite made it to the ring as he suffered a sneak attack from his opponent on Sunday, Bray Wyatt. Rollins looked the typically smug heel by the end knowing he wouldn't have to compete against the monster and this makes Sunday's match between Ryback and Wyatt all that more interesting. A nice little segment where Rollins showed his great skills on the mic and Ryback did a great job of selling his injuries at the end.
Ryback vs. Seth Rollins - 4 Stars
I must admit I was surprised to see this match now go ahead given Ryback sold the fact he didn't seem 100%. The key thing here though is it made the job look that much more easy and believable for Rollins to pick up the win. Ryback showed some courage by continuing the match when he could just as easily have settled for a count out loss but to his credit he gave as much as he could. However there was never going to be any other outcome than a Rollins win. Ryback still demonstrated his power at times during this one but Rollins was able to pick up the win with his speed and superior wrestling ability. The end of the match was well worked and I enjoyed the work of both men in this one.
Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd - 4 Stars
I'm looking forward to seeing New Day face off against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in a two out of three falls match this Sunday at Payback. I think this match has the potential to be a good pre-cursor into a possible Elimination Chamber tag team match. Kidd and Cesaro have become one of the most popular teams in WWE, and I Hope WWE decides to give them another tag title run. This match was always going to be quick paced with Kidd and Kofi, and they did not disappoint as they put on a very entertaining match. I would have loved to see these two get a little more time than they did tonight but I guess the big stuff is being saved for Sunday. The finish of the match was well executed and left me wanting to see more. I get more impressed each week with these teams and look forward to Sunday more after this.
Bo Dallas vs. Neville - 3.5 Stars
Is it me or does Bo Dallas seem to be starting to look more and more like his brother Bray Wyatt each time we seem him? With the tease of the two being aligned going forward that could be where things are headed and in all honesty I think a character change for Dallas would do him the world of good. Thankfully the high flying Neville came out to spare us from hearing any more of Bo's annoying voice, and the two faced off in a match where the only likely outcome was always going to be a Neville win. King Barrett was out scouting Neville for their next meeting on Sunday, and had to watch on as the man from Newcastle, England made fairly quick work of Dallas. Barrett stood on the announce table at the end and gave a speech about how he was going to retain on Sunday, talking about how ridiculous Neville looked in that costume of his (has he seen himself?). These two should have a strong match on Sunday, and I'm looking forward to what these two give us in the ring.
Kane vs. Roman Reigns - 4.5 Stars
Our main event of the show came with an added stipulation; there must be a winner by pin or submission. Now correct me if I'm wrong but aren't all matches contested under this stipulation? The only difference is I guess this match had no disqualifications but why not just bill it as a no DQ match? These two began ripping each other apart even before the bell rang with Kane taking the advantage as Reigns attempted to come over the barricade and assaulting Roman. This one was very much a hard hitting affair throughout with plenty of weapons being used including steel steps, a kendo stick, normal tables, and the announce table. Reigns looks like a genuine threat to Seth Rollins headed in Sunday, and Kane did somewhat of a good job to soften him up a little for the champ. This match was much better than I was honestly expecting it to be with plenty of hard hitting action, tension, and drama throughout. This was without doubt one of the best matches I've seen Kane involved in for a while and this only continued to serve to establish Roman Reigns as one of WWE's next top stars. I enjoyed the melee segment at the end that left Reigns and Ambrose standing together over the top of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and am looking forward to Payback this Sunday after seeing this. Was Ambrose handing Reigns the title a sign he is out to help Roman? Sunday will answer that question while most likely leaving us looking for more answers.
Overall Show Rating - 3.8 Stars
The show started out a little sluggishly for me this week but by the end I was left wanting to see more. The matches put on during the show only seemed to get better with each passing minute and by the end of the show things were building and brewing up very nicely into Sunday. My favorite segment this week was without doubt the main event between Roman Reigns and Kane. It was a well worked match that I kind of felt wasn't going to give us much but once these two got going I thought they put on a strong match.
Keep an eye out tomorrow for the WNW Payback predictions being made available and as always please feel free to leave your thoughts about this weeks Smackdown in the comments section below. Until next week thanks for reading.