Cleat Geeks

Smack Talk; A Review of Smack Down

EnzoBigCasThe latest episode of Smack Down helped further distance us from WrestleMania fallout and onto WWE Payback. While we were introduced to Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson on Raw, most new talent have already made their presence felt. The re-emergence of Emma, Maryse, & Sami Zayn continued on this week’s episode of Smack Down. Meanwhile, former NXT stars Baron Corbin, Enzo Amore, Colin Cassidy, Aiden English, & Simon Gotch were also in action on Smack Down. In fact, this episode of Smack Down was the wrestling debut of Enzo & Cass on the main roster! With so many new & renewed characters on the main roster, one thing is constant in WWE….change is inevitable.
Fresh Faces & Familiar Places

EmmaNewLookAs I mentioned, the WWE roster has exploded with NXT talent. A significant portion of that is outside of the United States. Whether it’s a repackaged Emma (Australia) fighting Paige (United Kingdom) that were born overseas, or Sami Zayn feuding with Kevin Owens (Canada), one thing is clear…WWE wants the best wrestlers in the world. Not to mention the recent raid on New Japan Wrestling that looks to be paying off very nicely. Even bringing in Mauro Ranallo, has been a phenomenal addition. More international stars are on their way up from NXT also: Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka, & Samoa Joe (American, but well known internationally.) There’s a lot more stars that could be referenced, but ironically most are overseas on WWE’s United Kingdom tour & did not appear on Smack Down this week.

All of the recent NXT call ups looked strong this week. Enzo & Cass won their debut match on Smack Down to advance in the tag team tournament. They defeated the Ascension fairly easily & will now face the Dudley Boyz in the next round. The Vaudevillians continued their winning ways, as they defeated “Goldango” to advance also. We’re told they will face the Usos next, but I feel that Gallows & Anderson will be involved in some fashion. Baron Corbin looked strong against Zack Ryder & had a run in with Dolph Ziggler afterwards. Emma also got a clean pin to defeat Paige (what’s happened to her?!) All in all, every recent NXT call up won their match this week.

A.J. Styles vs Alberto Del Rio

Styles had a backstage interview that was interrupted by Del Rio. The former 4 time WWE champion explained to Styles that he didn’t belong in WWE. This was a fairly entertaining exchange between the two & that’s all it took to schedule a match between them this week. The match was excellent, as both wrestlers worked very well together. Two main event level talents, that had never battled before, stole the show. Styles & Del Rio used moves such as inverted superplex, Pele kick, & Ushi Garoshi. The best move might have been Del Rio’s back stabber to Styles. A.J. bounced very far in the air, off Del Rio’s knees. It was incredible to see. Styles & Del Rio countered moves many times throughout the match as well, with one counter move used in the pinfall. Styles countered Del Rio’s armbar attempt into an Oklahoma roll for the 3 count. Great, entertaining match by both competitors.

Y2J vs Sami Zayn

The lead in for this match also began backstage, with an interview by Jericho. Y2J has been so good as a heel recently. Kevin Owens, Miz, & Jericho are great at baiting fans & eliciting boos. Those qualities were showcased by all 3 on Smack Down this week. Jericho was snarky & self-centered in his interview. He also referred to the city of San Diego (which was where the episode took place) as a dump. Then reiterated it. Then confirmed it once again. All textbook heel traits that were performed magnificently. As the match between Sami and Chris began, both Kevin Owens & Dean Ambrose joined the broadcast team on commentary. Though hard to hear at times, their chemistry was extremely entertaining. Owens pandered to Jericho throughout the match & Jerry Lawler followed suit. Ambrose was fully behind Sami Zayn as expected. He even went as far to say that, if Sami won, he would be the first guest invited to Dean’s new show…the Ambrose Asylum. Well, technically Sami did win. Owens attacked Zayn in the ring & Zayn won by DQ. So we’ll see if Dean holds true to his word or not. The anticipation for Jericho vs Ambrose & Owens vs Zayn at Payback is growing every week now.

Thanks for reading!

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