Hello once again everybody and welcome to this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. It's been a good week in WWE since my last edition, with the company putting on a very solid show in Japan with the Beast in the East show. From the amazing opening match between Neville and a returning Chris Jericho, to the fantastic match between Kevin Owens and the new NXT Champion Finn Balor. While the show was solid it was built around Brock Lesnar, who was making his return to Japan. If I was a member of the crowd I think I'd have felt a little disappointed in the fact Brock didn't exactly have a long match and that his placement on the card wasn't exactly that of a huge stars billing. Maybe that's why he threw that car door into a fan n Raw this past Monday. It's a shame Lesnar didn't go longer on Saturday and WWE burned one of his dates effectively, but I guess it was still a good thing for the Japanese fans to see Lesnar in action again.
I wanted to send a special shoutout to New Generation Wrestling star Nathan Cruz, who last Sundays became the brand new Undisputed NGW Heavyweight Champion, after he defeated Rampage Brown. Cruz is one of the top talents on the independent wrestling scene out here in the UK, and ever since his return to NGW at their Sixth Anniversary show last year this is the moment he has been building up to. Cruz worked a dark match last November for WWE, being on the losing team against the Usos. I believe Cruz has all the talent in the world to become a top name in the world of wrestling and WWE and hope his run as NGW Champion will help raise his profile around the world.
With that being said lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what I thought of this weeks show.
Seth Rollins And Paul Heyman Segment - 4 Stars
The good news for the fans in attendance tonight during this one was there was no fear of being hit by a car door thanks to Brock Lesnar. Rollins drew heat for acting like the big man after he provoked Lesnar on Monday, and did a good job of turning it around to say Brock proved he is a coward on Monday by destroying a car. Seth's cocky and cowardly heel character is working well for me and while there are those not enjoying it and think he looks weak, I think this is exactly what Rollins needs to be in terms of his positioning right now.
It took Seth a moment or two to realize that a truck was being driven into the arena with what was left of the car from Monday night, and I'm pretty sure it looked worse than it did on Monday. Out came Paul Heyman, to a huge reception and did what Heyman does best; sold the main event of Battleground like a pro. Seth didn't look impressed and I thought their verbal exchange toward the end of the segment was quite entertaining. Seth was talking like the big man in this segment, but we all know when he comes face to face with the beast at Battleground that it's going to be a different story, but equally I'm pretty confident from Seth's actions he has a plan of deception up his sleeve. An enjoyable watch for the opening segment.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bo Dallas - 4 Stars
So Dean Ambrose goes from main eventing shows to, and no offence intended here, facing Bo Dallas? Obviously with Brock Lesnar back in the picture the decision was to scale Ambrose back a little, and hopefully he will be back in the main event sooner rather than later. Bo showed an aggressive side to himself in this match, which was actually good to see as I think that's a side of Bo he needs to tap into more often. When Ambrose came back into the match he showed that streak of why he has been so impressive to watch for so long now. Bo gave it his best effort but there was only ever going to be one winner here and that was Dean Ambrose. An impressive victory and an enjoyable match between these two.
Rusev vs. Fandango - 3.5 Stars
So Rusev appears to have fully recovered now and is back in action. His kick to the throat of Dolph Ziggler on Raw was an awesome spot and I can't wait for these two men to face off in the near future. His unfortunate victim to crush tonight was Fandango, a former partner of Summer Rae. Fandango had his moments in this one but Rusev was always going to destroy him at some point in this one to pick up the win. I think we can expect to see Rusev go on an undefeated and dominating run until Dolph is back in action, and from then it's game on. A good match which helped toward re-establishing Rusev as a monster.
Roman Reigns vs. Big Show - 3.5 Stars
I totally loved that moment on Raw where Reigns attacked a Bray Wyatt doppelganger. It was a stroke of genius to have that happen and shows Bray really knows how to get in the head of Reigns. His big problem tonight came in the over 400 pound giant, the Big Show. Not sure quite what to make of Big Show's new choice of attire, but that didn't stop him brutalizing Reigns in this one. Not to be outdone though Reigns gave it his all and really took it to the giant, even managing to knock him off his feet at one point. As expected, just as Reigns went to hit the Superman Punch we heard the music of Bray Wyatt hit. Reigns wasn't so easily fooled this time and caught Wyatt stood behind him. Bray would cause a disqualification victory for Reigns, and he would kneel over Roman at the end of this one. A good match by Show and Reigns, with a somewhat expected and predictable ending.
Titus O'Neil vs. Big E - 3.5 Stars
New Day are just generating more heat each week as they got one of the loudest boo's of the night as they came to the ring. They were destroyed by Brock Lesnar at Saturday's Beast in the East event, which wasn't exactly a total shock but in one week from Sunday they get a rematch against the Prime Time Players for the Tag Team Championship. This match would effectively serve as a little preview of that meeting, with the two powerhouses of each team facing off. These two had a fun match to watch and I'm really looking forward to their Tag Team Championship match at Battleground. A good win for Titus O'Neil tonight, helping give his team the momentum in this battle.
Randy Orton And Ascension Segment - 3 Stars
Orton was fired up here and clearly showed he has issues with Sheamus. I had a feeling Sheamus might come out during this segment but he was nowhere to be seen, and I think a fired up Viper probably would have shoved the Money in the Bank briefcase up the white derriere of Sheamus. The Ascension randomly came out looking for a fight here and got more than they bargained for after being the unfortunate recipients of RKO's. Orton looks fired up and ready to make Sheamus look entertaining. Segment was alittle quick and didn't have much of a point to me other than to just get Orton over a little more.
Brie Bella and Alicia Fox vs. Naomi and Tamina - 3.5 Stars
Alicia Fox as the third wheel of the Bella Twins is actually turning out pretty good for her in my opinion. I've felt like this could be some of Fox's best work as a WWE Diva. In this one she teamed with Brie to face the much stronger team of Tamina and Naomi, who pretty much dominated the early stages of this match, but Fox was able to at least briefly turn the tide for her team, and with Nikki at ringside it helped the Bella's and Fox secure the win. This week the fans seemed to be cheering the Bella's and Fox, although it did sound like a piped reaction but I'm not sure how we're supposed to react to them as they keep flip flopping, especially when they go up against Paige, who the fans are fully behind.
Ryback vs. Seth Rollins - 4 Stars
Tonight's main event saw the 'Big Guy' Ryback face off against Seth Rollins. Rollins, spurred on by the damage done to the car he bought for J and J Security came to the ring like a man on a mission, but soon realized he was in for a fight against the powerhouse early on. Pairing Rollins with Ryback was actually quite sensible as this serves as a good practice for when Seth goes up against Brock Lesnar. Ryback showed some impressive strength as he held Seth in the air for a suplex for a good 30 seconds or more. Rollins soon took control of Ryback when we cam back from the final commercial, even finding time to mock Brock Lesnar as he got back into the ring at one point. Seth high tailed it out of the ringside area to give Ryback the countout victory, but was soon joined by his plan B, the Big Show who helped assault the 'Big Guy' until Roman Reigns made the save, cleaned house, and allowed Ryback to hit Shell Shocked to Seth to end the show. An enjoyable match between Ryback and Rollins, showing Seth still has work to do if he wants to defeat the beast at Battleground.
Overall Show Rating - 3.75 Stars
Another solid edition of Smackdown this week, with some enjoyable matches and segments once again. I think headed into Battleground in around a week we are gearing up for a solid show. This weeks favorite segment for me was probably the main event. It felt a bit of a struggle really to pick the top segment as while the show was good nothing hugely stood out to me, but I think the main event and the end of the show was well worked.
That just about wraps it up for this weeks Smackdown Breakdown. I'll be back again with another edition next week. For now, thanks for reading this weeks edition and please feel free to leave your thoughts on the show in the comments section below. Thanks again for reading and I will catch you again next week.
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