Hello once again and welcome to another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. What a week it's been in the world of WWE, with Payback taking place on Sunday, which I felt was a decent show in it's own right but it was totally blown apart on Wednesday night by the NXT Takeover: Unstoppable special on the WWE Network. The whole card from start to finish was simply faultless and saw some amazing in ring action, one of the best Divas matches you will ever see between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, Finn Balor earning the right to become number one contender to the NXT Championship, oh and not forgetting the incredible debut of Samoa Joe! The final segment between Joe and Kevin Owens was intense and amazing to watch and it's testament to both men that the best part of the show was a segment with no physicality just an intense stare down.
In just over a weeks time we get another WWE Pay Per View as Elimination Chamber makes it's return to the WWE Network. I hope the show can deliver us something special but my biggest concern at this point with the show is it may come over once again as a little rushed given the limited time and build the show has and can receive. Then 2 weeks after that we have the Money ion the Bank Pay Per View taking place. So many events from WWE in such a short space of time is likely to be causing issues for the talent, the creative team, and for fans as I think the product is being over exposed doing so much in such a short time. Hopefully I can be proved wrong and we get two very strong shows over the next fortnight but I personally fear the shows will suffer from a lack of build.
Let's head on into the Smackdown Breakdown, and see what I thought of this weeks edition of WWE Smackdown.
Roman Reigns Opening Segment - 3.5 Stars
I really enjoyed the Fatal Four Way match at Payback, as I felt all four men involved really stood up and gave a great performance. The teased and brief reunion of The Shield was a cool moment and who knows maybe it could still go ahead over the summer. Everyone now wonders what is next for Reigns, and this segment should have been a telling point for that. What's great to see and hear now is people no longer booing Reigns, and instead seemingly getting behind him again as a fan favorite. Reigns signalled his intent going forward by entering himself into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match in just over a weeks time. I have a feeling Reigns has to be a strong favorite going into this one and it will be interesting if Dean Ambrose can come out on top against Seth Rollins when the two face off for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Kane coming out wasn't a huge surprise and it appears Kane and Reigns are going to have something going forward with him removing Reigns from a match he just put himself into. There were some good verbal exchanges between Kane and Ambrose, and I liked Reigns on the mic here too. You just know Reigns will be involved later in the show and this was an exciting way to open the show.
The Ascension vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. Sin Cara and Kalisto vs. Los Matadores - 4 Stars
Forget the match! I was loving seeing Jerry Lawler doing the millions of dollars dance with the Prime Time Players! Looking ahead to Elimination Chamber, and I cannot wait to see what the six team Tag Team Championship match is like as I have a feeling we really are going to see something special take place. Expect some high risk an jaw dropping offence in this one and make sure you don't blink and miss anything! It's a shame the focus seemed at times to be more on what was happening at the commentary table and outside the ring between Natalya and El Torito at times than the action in the ring, but that sometimes seems to be a case because there seem to be too many people trying to get a word in. That being said the action in the ring was exciting to watch and I think all four teams did their part in making this a fun watch. The way the match was booked toward the end was well executed and hats off to Cesaro and Tyson Kidd too for some solid work throughout. I really enjoyed this one and cannot wait to see what happens at the Elimination Chamber.
King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler - 4 Stars
These two men will form part of the six man match at Elimination Chamber to decide the new WWE Intercontinental Champion. Both men are great former Intercontinental Champions in their own right and I look forward to seeing what they can do. Of course Dolph has the big problem of an angry Rusev gunning for him after his smooch with Lana on Monday, which I must admit I didn't see coming but I thought the break up of Rusev and Lana was very well executed. You can always rely on Dolph and Barrett to have a good match and this one was no exception with both men giving a really strong performance and they managed to make the match different to every other time they have faced off. We saw a good mix of fast paced action, hard hitting action, and some great counters. Ziggler picked up a big win headed into next Sunday, and I hope Dolph can come out on top as the new Intercontinental Champion next weekend.
Paige And Naomi In Ring Segment - 3.5 Stars
Paige made her return to WWE this week as she came to the aid of Nikki Bella, following an attack from Naomi and Tamina Snuka, before she took out Nikki, holding the Divas Championship above her head. It's so good to see Paige back in a WWE ring and I may be a biased Brit but she has been missed. She always seems to steal the show and has stole my heart too! Last time we saw Paige was in the UK, before she was attacked and taken out by Naomi. Paige did what many of us have always known she can do and cut a solid promo in the ring. She was entertaining and displayed some great passion that has been bursting to be displayed since Paige's debut in WWE. Naomi came out and cut a strong response back to Paige, and I think these two are going to have some good matches down the line. I'd like to see them face off over the Divas Championship during the summer. It didn't take long for things to break down as Tamina and Naomi attacked Paige, before Nikki Bella came out to make the save by tripping Tamina and Naomi outside the ring, before Nikki extracted some revenge on Paige to send a message to the British born Diva. This feud is getting interesting and I'm sure in the next 2 weeks we will see a meeting between Naomi, Paige, and Nikki over that Divas Championship they all so badly desire.
R Truth vs. Stardust - 3.5 Stars
Another meeting of these two in a match that seems to be for two stars who really seem to be going nowhere right now. Both will be involved in the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match but I can't see either of these two walking out of that one the winner. The crowd felt a little flat during this one and I thought the match was alright but it felt like it was lacking a little something for me somewhere. The finish itself to the match was creative and probably the most enjoyable part of the match but other than that a very standard match between these two.
The Mega Powers vs. Adam Rose and Heath Slater - 3.5 Stars
I loved seeing Mandow and Axel in the pre-show match for Payback. I think Curtis Axel has finally found some personality and a gimmick that with Macho Mandow can take him to a whole new level. It's also pretty scary how these two actually look like Hogan and Savage too! I like how Mandow and Axel are also trying to work in similar styles to the two legends they are paying tribute to here. The team of Adam Rose and Heath Slater wasn't one that would set the world alight but I think they did ok in the circumstances with it being evident we would see a Mega Powers victory. A nice little entertaining match to get the crowd ready for the main event. I hope we see more of the Mega Powers over the coming weeks.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt - 4.5 Stars
In a rematch between these two from Monday night there was always a feeling something would occur before the end of the match with Reigns, J and J Security, and Seth Rollins getting involved. Ambrose and Wyatt have had some great matches with one another since their arrival the main roster and this one was no exception either with both men giving it all in this one. The match was a pretty physical battle with both men taking and dishing out their fair share of punishment on each other. We saw some great counters and some great action both inside and outside the ring. This was always going to be a close call when it came to finding a winner with the finish certainly seeing it's fair share of drama. Ambrose picked up a more than deserved win in the end thanks to an assist from Roman Reigns, and it's good to at least see Ambrose has some back up now in Reigns to potentially level things up when he challenges Seth for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A good match that was fully deserving of main event billing.
Overall Show Rating - 3.75 Stars
Another week and another good edition of Smackdown. I thought this was a really enjoyable episode with some great segments and in ring action. My pick for segment of the week probably goes to the main event match between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. I think these two worked a great match as always and I thought that from bell to bell the whole segment was exciting to watch with a great finish to boot. I'm looking forward to seeing Ambrose in action against Seth Rollins in the near future as he challenges for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Until then I wouldn't be against seeing Wyatt and Ambrose square off one more time.
Thanks as always for reading this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown. I will be back again next week with another installment of my thoughts on the show. Until then thanks for reading, feel free to leave your thoughts below, and don't forget to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
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