Welcome to Marcey’s Friday Night Smackdown Review!
The show begins with highlights from Raw, with Daniel Bryan announcing his neck surgery (it went well, you can read more at WWE.com). Triple H also sat down with Michael Cole for some in character interviews, also at WWE.com so check those out here.
John Cena Responds To Bray Wyatt
John Cena comes out to a mixed reaction as Bray Wyatt’s Raw promo is replayed. Cena wishes Bryan a speedy recovery first off, very classy of him. Cena assumes Bray is challenging him to a Last Man Standing match at Payback, and he digs at Bray for his promos being nonsense. Cena does his talk, builds up the match type and how tough they are, pretty standard Cena stuff, nothing overly new and nothing we haven’t seen before (comedy angle saying Bray is missing his marbles). He accepts the challenge and the crowd are happy. Cena then says he wants a fight and to prove a point, so he makes an open challenge to any member of the Wyatt family. Bray is to decide who he faces.
The Wyatts are on screen, Bray talks as only he can, hypes up the Payback match that has now been set. The response from Bray was overall just great, one of the greatest talkers the company has right now. He really does have the whole wide world in his hands. I am digging the feud, it has been given a good amount of time and it is bringing out the best in everyone. Cena hasn’t felt this fresh and excited for a feud in a long time.
Bo Dallas is set to debut next week on Smackdown – BOlieve
The Usos vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
A lot of aggression in the match from the Rhodes brothers side, great back and forth action as usual from these four. Some good double team action from the Usos, which makes them such a great team to watch every week. The crowd actually had an Uceee O chant going during the match, it is clear how much everyone loves and supports these guys. No team had more of an upper hand for a good portion then the Rhodes had the upper hand, with Cody showing a more mean streak. I was surprised this match was given some time, with last weeks matches just so quick.
It looked like Cody may pick up a victory to follow on from his defeat of Sandow on Raw, but it wasn’t meant to be and the Usos picked up another very credible victory. After the match as expected Cody is very unhappy, and this continues to happen and we are left to wonder where this is all leading with Cody. Will the brothers split and feud? Make up your mind creative!
El Torito vs. Heath Slater
The feud that just keeps on going and it gives these guys tv time. Played for comedy of course, El Torito does some good shots to embarrass Heath, although Heath did the red cape to confuse El Torito. This wasn’t much of a match though, Heath Slater showed off a lot and it wasn’t exciting. El Torito however was rather entertaining and dare I say he’s a lot more talented than Heath. Oh I can’t forget that Hornswoggle showed up, accidentally goes head first into Heath’s gonads, and Heath’s embarrassment continues as he loses again to El Torito.
Highlights from Raw are shown of the continuation of The Shield vs. Evolution feud.
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya with Special Guest Referee Eve Marie
Aside from the reason why these two had their match on Raw and the other girls with score cards at ringside, I thought Nikki and Natalya had a solid match on Raw. Very surprised to see a rematch though, thankfully no score carders at ringside. I think creative can come up with better ways to show off the women with matches and promote Total Divas. This was a step up from Raw, it was kept simple with just having another cast member as the special guest referee.
A fairly good match was had, good back and forth action, with both women getting to showcase some of their moves. Nikki has improved a lot since she came back from her shin injury and Natalya is a goddess in the ring. I am sure these two enjoy working together, there is a bit of chemistry there. Nikki won again, and I am sure this will continue on, or at least they will have more input from other Total Divas girls. Eva Marie was a lot more confident, she still hesitates, but she needs to trust her instincts when given these opportunities. I want to see Natalya vs. Paige or tag teams including the women and get this division up even more. There is such a solid crop there and the support for them is growing.
Dolph Ziggler gets in a few words with Renee Young about Batista. Basically stating some truths to how we all feel.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista
As soon as the Evolution music hits the crowd is booing and all over Batista. The match gets taken to the outside pretty quickly with Batista taking control. The match is basically there for Batista to show his power over Dolph Ziggler for a good portion, the crowd though just digs into Batista with every move. Ziggler though was allowed to get in some decent offense, thankfully. The match finishes with a DQ as Batista decided to low blow Ziggler after said offense.
Post match Batista bomb and beat down of Ziggler, this match was short and didn’t serve too much of a purpose. The post match stuff though with the destruction of Ziggler was there for a storyline point for Batista to send The Shield a message. Seems weird to leave The Shield out, but a bunch of superstars did head out for their UK tour.
United States Champion Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neil (Non-Title Match)
Pre-match Titus O’Neil takes the microphone, takes a few digs at Sheamus. Match starts and Sheamus off the bat hits Titus with a brogue kick and the crowd eats it up. The match lasted 30 seconds and Sheamus wins. I am not a fan of 30 second matches … they seem to happen to Sheamus a lot too.
Byron Saxton shows up outside and finds Adam Rose and the Exotic Express. He fails at trying to get an interview at first, because every is having fun. Adam calls Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter lemons. Byron then becomes a Rose Bud. I really want to party of that bus!
Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella w/Emma
This started off as an open challenge from Sandow that was accepted by Santino. I kind of wish Emma had a match instead of being Santino’s sidekick here. Again this was hardly a match, a few moves delivered and Santino hit the cobra and got the victory. Post match Sandow hit the microphone and whatever they are building up with him continues. The burial of Sandow I know has a purpose but matches that barely last a minute or two really don’t.
R-Truth vs. Cesaro w/Paul Heyman
Ladies and gentlemen did you know Paul Heyman loves talking? He does! Yes Paul Heyman comes out to hype what he usually does (Brock def. The Streak), and mentions how great Paul Heyman guys are. He does hype Cesaro as only he can, and I love it. Cesaro begins the match with aggression and strength, R-Truth gets in offense and the two seem to click pretty well together. Cesaro takes control fairly easily after a solid upper cut. The match ended fairly quickly again, and I don’t understand why it wasn’t given time when these two clearly can work a good match.
Daniel Bryan neck surgery update segment, they recap the events of Raw again. They show photos of Bryan’s surgery, state it was successful and are hoping to have words from him on Raw and the state of his Championship will be addressed on Raw.
John Cena w/The Usos vs. Erik Rowan w/Bray and Luke
Cena comes out to much more positive reaction, feels strange though. The Wyatts come out to taunt Cena, and it becomes a 1 on 3 situation until the Usos come out to even things out. Bray picks Rowan to face Cena, and Rowan gets the upper hand right away. Rowan is a powerhouse and when he hits Cena it looks like it connects hard. The action spills to outside the ring with Rowan will dominating. The psychology is there with the Wyatts being in Cena’s head and he can’t concentrate, so Rowan easily gets the upper hand. The crowd chants for Cena to help him get in some moves, I am sure some of that was dubbed in.
Shocking this match has lasted more than a minute and has broken the quick match mold the show put on. Rowan is a very skilled guy and the showcase of what he can do against Cena is most impressive. Cena actually sells the power of Rowan, and its refreshing to see this from Cena. Usos take care of Luke getting into the ring, with Rowan almost pinning Cena too. But Cena pulls off the AA and gets the pin, although I would have liked to have seen Rowan win, Cena was actually he under dog here.
Overall Show Rating: C+
Having half a roster is not excuse for a show like this, it wasn’t terribly interesting as it went on and the short short matches felt like a slap to the face. Creative was just lazy here. Thankfully Cesaro and Paul Heyman picked things up just for being on, even though it wasn’t for long.