Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show taped last week in Albany, NY. We are on the road to WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 8th.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick things off this week with the steel cage match between Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn. This was a pretty fun cage match. Zayn did a couple of rough-looking impressive bumps and sold them well. McIntyre picked up the obvious win to end this feud. Let’s hope Zayn gets something good to work on next.
Next, we punish the fans with an episode of Happy Talk with Happy Corbin. Corbin did not answer the most hard-hitting question on everyone’s minds, why is this still a thing? Corbin was going to smash Madcap Moss’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy but got smashed by Moss instead. At least this was a taped show and fake crowd noise could be easily added since nobody cared in the arena.
Ricochet defended the Intercontinental Championship against Shanky next. Shanky beat on Ricochet for about three minutes before getting beat with one move. Well, at least we weren’t expecting any realism here. Shanky walked away from Jinder Mahal after the match and let’s hope he’s NXT bound for more training. Shanky will not work as a solo act.
Raquel Rodriguez makes her Smackdown debut with the Apollo Crews-style smiling gimmick. She smiles. All. The. Time. Crews couldn’t get over with it so I’m sure she’ll fail as well. She beat up Cat Cardoza like it matters. This will probably go on for a few weeks then she’ll Cingona Bomb somebody of importance.
Oh goodie, another contract signing. This one is for the Tag Team Title Unification match at WrestleMania Backlash. Let’s hope this goes better than last week’s contract signing. RK-Bro comes out first then The Usos. Adam Pearce is in the ring to make things official. The teams fight instead of signing the contract. RK-Bro gets the upper hand and Roman Reigns casually wanders down to the ring. The Usos regain the Advantage with the numbers game so Drew McIntyre comes out to give him a reason to fight Reigns for the titles. McIntyre wipes out The Usos before disposing of Reigns to close the segment. No contract signing this week.
After the break, Paul Heyman proposes a six-man tag for WrestleMania Backlash instead of a tag title unification match. Well, there’s a logic hole you can throw a 747 through sideways that’ll need some explaining. I’m guessing either ticket sales were lagging or Roman realized that The Usos were the jobbers of the title match. It’s too soon to start the McIntyre/Reigns program with the stadium shows coming later this summer.
We are going to play a really bad game of Where’s Waldo called Where’s Butch. Hopefully he’s getting a better gimmick. This leads us to our scheduled match of Ridge Holland taking on Xavier Woods. Woods is still trying to revive the King Woods gimmick. The match was pretty solid but nothing really special. We are really trying to put Backwoods over as a serious finisher, I see. Woods picked up the win here.
After the match, Sheamus is upset he’s surrounded himself with jobbers and challenges Kofi Kingston to a match. Yep, Kingston was on the wrong side of the 50/50 booking this week. Holland and Sheamus attack The New Day afterward and we have a tables match for next week. Will 50/50 still be strong in this feud? It sure isn’t really going anywhere.
Promo Time with Lacey Evans is next with Part Four of her backstory. This has been a good build for her. Let’s hope she can keep her momentum going. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Main event time with the Beat the Clock I Quit Challenge is next. Ronda Rousey gets Shotzi while Charlotte Flair gets Aliyah. Rousey goes first and Shotzi quits in 1:41. Quick work as expected. Flair doodled around with Aliyah and time expired as she was putting the Figure Eight on Aliyah. Nice move by Aliyah to tap out after the match was over. Flair lost the challenge and beat up Drew Gulak who was at ringside to close out the show. This was not an interesting ending to the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Steel Cage match was easily the match of the night. As we would find out later, that was the blow-off match to their feud. Zayn is always a great bit player, but I think he needs a slightly better gimmick going forward.
Is Flair that big of a prima-donna that the other women won’t work with her so Gulak has to get beat up instead every week? I have a feeling that they are going to beat this Gulak thing into the ground in the next couple of weeks. It’s great that he’s getting TV time, but this isn’t doing him any favors. He should go back to the 24/7 Title Job Squad.
You can reach me on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any feedback or discussion.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.