Welcome once again to another instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown here on WNW. It's been another fun week in the world of WWE as we got to witness the amazing show that was NXT (R)Evolution. It was a solid show from top to bottom from what I have heard (I am yet to watch it but I will be watching after I finish up here) and the main event was a sight to behold. We saw a solid debut by Kevin Owens and I've seen people saying that this NXT show was better in terms of quality than Wrestlemania 30. Now that is a big and bold statement to make but given that previously NXT Takeover shows have previously been solid from top to bottom I have no doubt this is the case. If this wasn't a message to the main roster to say follow that then I don't know what is but it is exciting to see WWE producing some exciting shows with the future stars of their product.
I quickly also wanted to mention the news that CM Punk is officially going to compete in UFC in 2015. Am I surprised by this move? No not at all. I think it's a clever move by Punk and he is going to clearly sell Pay per Views for UFC by his name alone. Do I think he is going to be a success? I'm not sure until I see him in a few fights that I can give a definitive answer but I do not believe Punk would put himself in a position to fail if he didn't feel he had what it takes to compete in the octagon. I will be following his UFC career and I wish him nothing but the best of luck. I was just disappointed to see some people shooting down his ambitions before he has even had his fight and that some want him to fail. Whether you like the guy or not I feel it's a little harsh to spread your negativity before he even tries to prove himself. It will of course be those same people who are saying how amazing Punk is if he successfully proves them wrong.
With TLC this Sunday it's normally that time where I give my predictions for what I think is going to happen. I won't be giving too much away in this edition as I will be sending my full predictions for the show to Jesse Sherwood in the next hour or so for him to post online so please keep an eye out for those later today.
With that being said lets head on into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what I thought of this weeks show.
John Cena Segment - 4 Stars
Sunday sees a big match between Cena and Seth Rollins to determine the number one contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It's going to be an interesting match that I think will have a confusing outcome that people may or may not see coming. Seth came out within seconds of Cena speaking and it was good to see someone cut Cena off before one of those long over the top promo's Cena sometimes does. Seth did a good job of building up Cena before bringing him down and spoke about how he is going to win this Sunday. Cena did an equally good retort that built Seth up but equally made Cena look like the top dog he is. I'm kind of excited to see their match and this built it up that little bit more but it felt like it lacked that little bit of something special. I've no doubt these two will knock one out of the park on Sunday and I'm sure the match will be better than most think it will be.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd vs. The Usos - 4 Stars
I like the tag team combination of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. They are a special team with tremendous talent and I hope they can grab that imaginary brass ring of Vince McMahon's we hear so much about. On a side note before I talk about the match though; did Mizdow really have a replica Slammy award too? This guy is priceless and is so over right now it's ridiculous.
This was a solidly worked match between both tag teams that saw some great back and forth work from four of the most athletic workers in the WWE right now. I would have appreciated it had the commentary focused more on the match rather than the Miz as this really took away from some of the great action early on until he and Mizdow left to go backstage. After that the focus remained mostly on the match itself which saw some great action including that nice combination of the Cesaro Swing and Tyson Kidd's dropkick. The Usos picked up a vital win headed into their match Sunday against Miz and Mizdow, and I wasn't surprised to see the segment with Miz and Naomi at the end which was to get in the head of the Usos. Clearly it worked given the segment that followed with Naomi giving Jimmy a piece of her mind.
Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox - 4 Stars
AJ Lee joins the commentary desk again for another match. This is beginning to become a bit of a habit. Following AJ's speech on Raw, people have speculated she could be due to leave soon. I think people are reading far too much into what AJ said and what she meant and I can't see her going anywhere right now as she is one of the most successful Divas of all time. This match was pretty athletic and decent to watch considering I'm not really a fan of the work of Alicia Fox generally. This served as a nice demonstration for Nikki for what we can expect to see on Sunday and I hope she and AJ get chance to have a good quality match like we know they can.
Big E. vs. Goldust - 3 Stars
I'm still not sure about Big E. as part of the New Day faction. He just doesn't feel like he fits for me but hopefully in time he will settle in and look right. It will be good to see them in action against Goldust and Stardust in the pre show to TLC. The New Day could not have been given a better team to help establish them in their early run as both Goldust and Stardust are established in the ring. This looked like it was going to be an early finisher but Goldust and Big E. worked in some nice false finish spots early on. Big E. would pick up the win not long after the second false Big Ending attempt in a match I felt could have delivered a little more in terms of it's quality and felt more like a bit of a mismatch between two superstars.
Jack Swagger vs. Titus O'Neil - 3.5 Stars
Is Swagger finally going to be the man to end Rusev's undefeated streak at TLC and claim back the United States Championship for his country? Sorry to disappoint you America but I think Rusev isn't going to be losing just yet. Swagger looked fired up during this one and there is no questioning you can believe he is fired up headed into Sunday's match. Titus looked good in this rare outing but there was only ever going to be one winner at the end of this one and that was Swagger, who I thought did a good job of making Titus look good while coming out looking like he could at least have a chance against Rusev.
Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane, Big Show, and Luke Harper - 4 Stars
Sunday sees three big matches that will pit Ryback against Kane in a Chairs match, Rowan and Big Show in a Stairs match, and finally Dolph and Harper in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship. Of the three matches the only one that really has me excited is Harper and Ziggler. The other two matches will probably be alright but before going into this one I did not find myself wanting to go out of my way to watch them. I do hope however all six men give us some memorable moments in the last WWE Pay Per View of the year.
Dolph looked solid in the ring as usual and gave a good account of himself as always. I felt Rowan came in and did a good job of working too especially when he worked against Big Show and Kane during the match. This was a solid main event worked between a combination of established and up and coming talent that gave a very enjoyable main event. The work throughout was solid by all concerned and it left just enough of a taste in your mind for wanting to see more from all involved. Ziggler came out looking the star again for me with his never say die attitude on display and that crazy dive off the ladder at the end of the night into Show, Harper, and Kane. It was a surprise seeing Harper take the clean pin from Ryback, as that wasn't the outcome I expected to see. The melee at the end involving all the objects involved in the matches for Sunday was a nice touch and I was not surprised to see the baby faces come out on top. I am looking forward to seeing what happens across all three matches come this Sunday.
Overall Show Rating - 4 Stars
This was a pretty solid episode of Smackdown to watch headed into NXT. I thought the action from all involved was solid and I had a really enjoyable time watching the show. It's actually quite hard to pick my favourite segment from this show but I think I'm going to give it to the match between Tyson Kidd and Cesaro against The Usos. I thought all involved looked good and really proved why they should be deserving of a better spot of the card in WWE. I struggled to find fault with most of what we saw tonight and it was more just little things that would have made it better. I feel everyone stepped up their game this week and I hope this carries through into Sunday's TLC show.
That wraps up another week here for me on the Smackdown Breakdown. As always if you have anything to say about the show or my comments then please feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comments section. I will be once again back next week with another instalment of the Smackdown Breakdown, but if you don't want to watch TLC alone then be sure to join the talented writers here on WNW and WWENews.Net in the premium blog as they break down the action and discuss all things WWE. I would also encourage you to follow the live coverage provided here on WNW if you aren't a premium member as you can still leave your thoughts on the matches there.
I hope everyone enjoys TLC, thanks once again for reading the Smackdown Breakdown, and I will catch you back here next week for another edition.