Cesaro kicks off Smackdown with Paul Heyman and Cesaro is talking in a foreign language delivering news that Heyman is spouting off in English.
^Cesaro truly is the “next big thing” and I expect this to be a HUGE summer for his career.
The Usos take on Ryback and Curtis Axel in our first match of the night. Jimmy pins Curtis Axel after a big splash for the win.
^I feel like we’ve seen this match quite a few times now, but it was still a decent start to the show. I love that the Usos are on nearly every WWE show and that they get to show off their tag team wrestling ability. It really shows how much hard work can pay off when you consider the amount of time this team spent in the lower card of the main roster.
We see a flashback to Raw where Rollins turned on the Shield. Reigns had some great promo work that night as well.
Seth Rollins comes to the ring with Triple H. Lots of “you sold out” chants. Hunter says the fans want to know why he did what he did Monday night. Rollins says the only person he owes anything to is himself and he is the only one who needs to know why he did what he did.
They’re interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. First he jokes about Hunter pushing him further down the totem pole. Ziggler says Rollins did the worst thing he could do and that is sell out. Hunter says Rollins will sell out arenas night after night and that’s something Ziggler will never do. Hunter says Ziggler will definitely catch a beating for this right now against Seth Rollins in a one on one match.
^Rollins is solid on the mic, and these two together could give us one excellent match. I like that they mystery is going to continue as to why Rollins turned his back on Amrose and Reigns. Good segment and now hopefully we’ll get a good match from it.
Rollins goes one on one with Dolph Ziggler. Hunter is at ringside for the match. Hunter says to JBL during the match that Rollins’ ability to adapt to anything is what makes him so good. Rollins wins the match with a buckle bomb followed by a curb stomp for the three count. The match goes eleven and a half minutes and Hunter raises the arm of Rollins while he’s celebrating.
^Solid 3 and 3/4 stars(almost four stars) for this eleven minute match. Just straight up awesome wrestling from two talented performers. Could you imagine a match like this headlining a pay per view?
Renee Young interviews Bad News Barrett about the triple threat IC Title match tonight against Rob Van Dam and Cesaro. Barrett says this match isn’t fair but then says neither man is in his league. BNB says he’s going to be the winner tonight. Average promo from Mr. Barrett.
Rollins and Hunter run into Orton backstage(Orton welcomes him to the dark side and Rollins says he never left). Big Show approaches them and says Rollins is a piece of trash. Hunter puts Show in a match with Randy Orton tonight. Should be a fun match(It’s not like we were just put to sleep by it at Survivor Series or anything).
Raw Rewind of Goldust and Sin Cara taking on RybAxel. Yup, because apparently we need that repeated for us.
Rusev w/Lana crushes Xavier Woods in a super short squash match.
^The Umaga booking is in full effect, and I hope that means some explosive feuds with top stars that allow us to see a bit more of what Rusev can do in the ring.
Paul Heyman cuts a promo before the triple threat match. It’s IC Title time with Barrett defending against Cesaro and RVD. After a ten minute battle, RVD nails the five star frog splash on Cesaro only to be knocked out by Barrett’s bullhammer elbow. Heyman does commentary during the match and is angry when Barrett wins.
^That was a great match. Very comparable to what we saw from Rollins and Ziggler in terms of physicality. Solid wrestling thus far across the board.
Bray Wyatt pops up on the tron. He felt the cold hand of the reaper pulling him down when he was trapped in the box. In death, you will find rest and in rebirth, he will grow much stronger. He goes on and on but basically says he’s better than ever. Love his promo work, but I want to see him wrestle.
We see highlights from NXT Take Over last week. Please check out the show if you haven’t already. It’s one of the top five wrestling shows of the year for me thus far(in the mix with WrestleMania and ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds). Simply incredible.
Natalya takes on Alicia Fox. Natalya counters a backbreaker into a pinfall for the three count after four minutes. Alicia flips out after the match…again. She gets in the face of Lilian Garcia and wants to know who rang the bell.
^Reminds me of the old Christian crybaby gimmick from a dozen years ago. Solid bit of wrestling from the ladies for those four minutes of action. I love the seriousness(of the actual WRESTLING) being put into the matches at a slow pace. Hopefully we see more action like this in the near future.
We see another Raw replay of Stephanie McMahon. Thanks for that.
Santino comes to the ring with Emma. He’s taking on Bo Dallas. Bo does the usual promo first. He wins the match with the running Bo-dog in roughly two minutes. Bo says to Emma not to think Santino is a loser because he did his best, and if you do your best in life, all you have to do is Bo-lieve.
^Comical antics from Santino made this watchable, and it workever overall. I hope WWE starts to see the error of their ways in originality when they look at the same stuff they book for guys like Adam Rose, Bo Dallas and Rusev over and over. Try being creative, no? No pun intended for the writers.
Big Show is interviewed by Renee Young. Show says there is a time when bullies need to be taken care of and then tells a story about when he was a kid. He says tonight with Orton he’s going to ball up his fist and let it fly. Great promo work from the veteran(who happens to be looking fairly lean these days).
Triple H is in Randy Orton’s corner for his match against the Big Show. The match ends at the five and a half minute mark when Show has it won. Show goes for the KO punch but Hunter gets on the apron and Show chokes both Orton and Hunter. Seth Rollins dives into the scene and takes Show down. Orton nails an RKO on Big Show; Hunter brings a chair into the ring and gives it to Rollins so he can do the dirty work. Rollins with a curb stomp onto the steel chair and he repeats it. Orton and Hunter stand tall with Rollins to end the show.
^Some good back and forth wrestling between Show and Orton before the segment portion of the finish to tonight’s broadcast. I like the booking of Rollins here; it brings a new dynamic to his character as the guy who turned but no one can say for sure why he did it. Good ending to a good show.
This is a 7 out of 10 Smackdown for me. Two of the matches were standout and everything else was very entertaining. Big thumbs up for whoever scripted this one.
Thanks for reading!