Cleat Geeks

Smack Talk Review of Smack Down

The first post-Payback Smack Down told the fans that most story line feuds would be continuing toward Extreme Rules. Roman Reigns will face A.J. Styles in a rematch for the WWE Championship.  Miz & Cesaro’s feud now has Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens involved, with Chris Jericho as a not-so-silent observer. Charlotte & Natalya’s feud continues as well, while some fresh feuds lie ahead.  The Vaudevillians are now the number one contenders for the tag team titles, but had to deal with Big Colin Cassidy this past week. Cassidy is very upset with the injury to Enzo Amore, caused by the Vaudevillians at Payback. We also now know that Rusev is the number one contender for the United States Championship, after winning a 20 man Battle Royale on Raw. All in all, there is a great mix of angles in the continuing feuds with intrigue to the fresh future title matches.

 

Highlight Reel featuring Sami Zayn & Miz

HighlightReelZaynI came away very impressed by how well done this entire segment started, ended, started again, & ultimately finished. My personal favorite part of this episode. Y2J begins the segment by reminding everyone how he cancelled the Ambrose Asylum. A video replay from Raw shows Y2J breaking Dean Ambrose’s potted plant, Mitch, over Ambrose’s skull. Ouch, R.I.P. Mitch. Y2J then introduces Sami Zayn as his guest. As Y2J begins to ask Zayn about holding up Miz’s Intercontinental title on Raw, they are then interrupted by both Miz & Maryse. Maybe I missed this in previous weeks but a red carpet was rolled out for them, near the entrance stage. A nice added touch to the persona of this power couple. What followed was a very strong segment by Miz & Zayn, with Y2J eventually leaving the ring.  Zayn continually provoked Miz by poking at the Intercontinental Title.  This led to a brief altercation, with Miz escaping the ring. Immediately after the traditional commercial break, we actually had a match ensue between both wrestlers. And a very good match, too. Miz showed very sound, traditional wrestling moves while Zayn provided the acrobatic, high flying moves that fan’s love.  Immediately following a moonsault by Zayn off the outer barricade, Kevin Owens appeared. Owens joined the commentary team for the duration of the match & as always, didn’t disappoint. He took shots at Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, Miz, & of course Sami Zayn.  But it was something else Owens did afterwards that defines his heel persona best. While outside of the ring, Zayn confronts Owens & Kevin appears to back down. All Owens did was wait until Zayn got back in the ring with his back turned to him.  Owens told the announce team “Gotta run” & attacked Zayn from behind to get him disqualified. Classic heel move & it led to Cesaro also getting involved.  Cesaro cleared house with a flurry of European uppercuts to both Owens & Miz, even one to Zayn. Cesaro attempted to put the Cesaro Swing to Miz & even dragged Maryse into the ring, as she attempted to rescue her husband. The segment ended with Cesaro raising the Intercontinental title in the ring, as Zayn did on Raw. Very, very well done. This whole feud around the Intercontinental title is very entertaining & will keep all the fans entertained in the weeks leading to Extreme Rules.

 

Natalya & Becky Lynch v Charlotte & Emma

SmackdownWomansMatchAnother great segment was this constructed women’s tag match.  We didn’t need a whole lot of set up for this match, instead the fans were treated to additional length of time in the match.  The women, as always, didn’t disappoint.  If you have not seen this match from last Thursday, do yourself a favor & go watch it now.  I’ll wait…….

 

See? Told you it was worth it!  Everyone worked very well together in the match, with many quick tags & tandem offense by both teams. I can’t emphasize enough how happy it makes me as a fan that WWE is finally treating their women’s division with the care & respect that it deserves. They’re not a sideshow, they ARE the show. And not Divas. The match ends with Emma tapping out in Natalya’s sharpshooter, as Natalya stares daggers at Charlotte.

 

6 man tag match

smackdown3smackdown2Last but certainly not least, the most influential current storyline added a new chapter on Smack Down. Near the beginning of the episode, Styles meets with both Anderson & Gallows in the locker room. They tell A.J. that Roman Reigns was served up on a platter for him on Raw & back in the day, A.J. wouldn’t have thought twice about hitting Roman with a steel chair.  Also, they told Styles that Reigns didn’t seem to care about possibly injuring him, when he threw Styles from a powerbomb form through the Raw announce table.  They insist that A.J. needs to get crazy & go “extreme.”  (Kind of a corny insinuation to the match at Extreme Rules, but whatever.)  Later, another moment in time features Styles confronting Reigns & the Usos in their locker room.  This feud has become great for everyone involved. The Usos have become relevant again & it doesn’t feel completely forced. Gallows & Anderson have immediately made an impact by providing heel support to a babyface A.J. Styles, in the most important feud currently.  Styles’ alignment with Anderson & Gallows has blurred the lines between the definition of his initial character. The circumstances to which he appears to have crossed over those lines are very well laid out. On the flip side, Reigns has appeared very strong this past week, as a character also residing in that gray area of good & bad.  Maybe, just maybe, WWE has finally figured out how to portray their chosen “guy” moving forward.

Smackdown1The dichotomy between both the champion & challenger is interesting as it continues to evolve.  The initial match on Smack Down featured Gallows & Anderson vs The Usos, with both Styles & Reigns at ringside. You can probably guess that something was about happen. And it did. Anderson used an opportunity with Reigns near the apron, to push his boot into Reigns’ face.  I absolutely loved the way he did this because it just looked so disrespectful. Mayhem ensued afterwards, with all 6 wrestlers fighting. Referees were sent out to separate both parties & the match ended in a disqualification.  Styles grabbed a microphone & emphatically said, “I thought this was a new era?  Or is that just for Raw?  This is Smack Down!”  Boom!  That’s a hell of a line by him & I loved it.  The result was a 6 man tag match that started immediately.  As I stated in both of my earlier recaps, this match did not disappoint. It went back & forth, but in the end, Reigns speared Anderson to get the win. Styles tried to enter the ring from outside, but the Usos held his leg to keep him outside.  Great way to end the match with a clean finish & continue onto the next chapter.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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