Cleat Geeks

Smack Talk on Smack Down!

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This week’s Smack Down was the first in our post-Jerry Lawler era, stemming from his arrest last week.  David Otunga replaced Lawler on commentary & based on his contribution to the broadcast, hopefully WWE will try other replacements for Lawler.  We are just a week removed from Money In The Bank & the fallout from Sunday’s event is still ongoing.  This episode featured New Day vs Vaudevillians, Dana Brooke vs Becky Lynch, Cesaro vs Alberto Del Rio, & Sheamus vs Apollo Crews.  All of these performers competed against their Smack Down opponent at Money In The Bank.  Although, we were treated to a few fresh matches. A.J. Styles faced Jimmy Uso, which resulted in a familiar scene as “The Club” would interfere by jumping Jey Uso.  The distraction enabled Styles to get the win on Jimmy Uso.  However, the other fresh match would pit Sami Zayn against Seth Rollins.  Many fans were excited for this main event & the build for it pretty much dominated the entire episode.

 

Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn

Seth Rollins appeared to kick off Smack Down, addressing the events on Raw that would lead to the creation of a triple threat match at Battleground for the WWE Championship.  All 3 former members of The Shield will compete in that main event: Roman Reigns (former champion of the last 3 months), Seth Rollins (former champion whose last title reign lasted 2 minutes), and the current WWE champion Dean Ambrose.  Rollins would cover all of this in a funny, but very strong promo.  Seth then issued an open challenge to any wrestler in order to prove that he was still the top guy.  This “open challenge” was very reminiscent of the infamous open challenges that John Cena used to issue.  Well as I previously stated, Sami Zayn would oblige Seth’s challenge.  Once Zayn entered the ring, Rollins began condescending Zayn & that’s when Dean Ambrose showed up.  What followed next is better visually than I could ever describe:

I was genuinely laughing my butt off during this segment.  The chemistry that Ambrose & Rollins have is SO good that this should be a fantastic build toward Battleground.  This on-screen chemistry would also be evident in a backstage encounter later in the episode.  Rollins sees Dean, just before the match begins, to learn that Ambrose would be sitting ringside.  As Dean began to walk behind Seth, Rollins scampered away from him.

Sami Zayn also had an on-camera moment backstage in the form of an interview.  Sami said that the reason he accepted Seth’s open challenge was because he wanted to move forward with his career & this was the kind of opportunity to put the rivalry with Kevin Owens behind him.  Sami said that the rivalry was holding his career back.  Ironic, since all of his fans just want to see him face Owens at any possible time.  Eventually, we would get to the main event & as expected, these 2 performers would not disappoint.  The crowd inside the arena was completely split as chants for “Let’s Go Rollins!” were immediately retorted by chants of “Sami Zayn!”  Quite a few near falls in the match for Zayn, but ultimately Rollins would hit his Pedigree for a clean win as seen here:

Great way to end Smack Down, but as I said earlier this buildup pretty much dominated Smack Down…..which did not leave me a whole lot else to cover this week.

 

Dana Brooke v Becky Lynch

 

Oh, wait a second.  There was a very big name that returned this past week, Sasha Banks!  She made her initial return on Raw, but also appeared on Smack Down, in the same scenario…..with enough swagger to share.  The match between Dana Brooke & Becky Lynch only lasted a few minutes, hence the reason I’m barely mentioning it.  You can see why & also see “The Boss” arrive on Smack Down here:

Charlotte was visually shaken both times upon the appearance of Sasha Banks, as a possible sign that the Women’s Champion might be nearing the end of her long reign at the top of the division.

 

Cesaro v Alberto Del Rio

Personally, I feel that both of these wrestlers should be vying for Miz’s Intercontinental title right now.  They are two of the best in-ring performers that WWE has on the roster & the Intercontinental title was once commonly referred to as “The Working Man’s Title”.  (Meaning that it was bestowed on the guys that worked the hardest in the ring, but maybe didn’t have management’s ultimate push or were just not yet ready for the WWE title.)  Well if that doesn’t sum up these 2 incredible performers, I don’t know what does.  Their charisma often comes through their actions, not verbally.  In fact, that could be the reason Miz still holds the title.  Anyways, here’s some evidence of the great in-ring work by both competitors from their match this past week on Smack Down:

 

Lastly, we were also reminded of the approaching brand split for Raw & Smack Down with 2 separate podiums, near the entrance area, that each program’s General Manager will use for the upcoming draft on July 19.  The debut episode of Smack Down’s move to Tuesday nights & live airings.   I can not wait for that!!

 

As always, thank you reading!

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