Reviews

The John Report: WWE Smackdown (Abbreviated) Review 05/05/16

This abbreviated Smackdown review is going up on a Monday morning because I was out of town on Friday morning and didn’t get back until Sunday afternoon. Then Sunday night was spent with family for Mother’s Day because my mom is great. I was at the House of Hardcore wrestling show in Niagara Falls, Ontario run by Tommy Dreamer over the weekend. I plan on writing about that show soon. Even when I get away I try to keep wrestling in my life. That’s how I roll. Because of that, I just got around to watching Smackdown over breakfast and I admit to fast forwarding through a few parts. I don’t think there’s much of a point in writing about this show four days after it aired with Raw coming up today.

What I’ll do for this abbreviated Smackdown review is just let you know what the matches were, who won and then any analysis I have about it. I’ll still have a score for the show, the star ratings and the three stars. Let’s get to it.

The show started with the Highlight Reel where Chris Jericho hosted Sami Zayn. The Miz came out, Zayn had an issue with him and of course it led to a match. Zayn was pretty entertaining during this whole thing, so that was a positive out of it. I don’t think they can write Smackdown without leading to match either directly or later in the show.

Sami Zayn d. The Miz by disqualification

The match ended in a DQ after about nine minutes when Kevin Owens attacked Zayn to end the match after about ten minutes. Then Cesaro showed up, he ended up clearing the ring and held up the IC Title. For the match rating, call it ** out of five.

Analysis: It was similar to Raw in terms of who was holding up the IC Title except in this case it was Cesaro instead of Zayn. They’re obviously building to the four way IC Title match at Payback with Miz defending against Owens, Cesaro and Zayn.

The Vaudevillains d. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel

A two minute win to put over The Vaudevillains. Call it 1/2* out of five.

After the match, Big Cass came out and sent everybody packing including the Vaudevillains and Dallas/Axel.

Analysis: An easy win to put over the number one contenders for the tag team titles. Nothing more to it than that. As for the Big Cass attack, it’s just a way to keep him around while Enzo recovers from his concussion. Since he looked strong on both Raw and Smackdown last week, I assume he’ll get beat up a bit this week at some point.

Natalya & Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte & Emma

A lengthy divas tag match in the middle of the show? Yes! That doesn’t happen too often. I’m glad they were given time because these are four of the better in-ring performers among the women in WWE right now, so they were very capable in terms of telling an interesting story. It was also encouraging that they were given 14 minutes to work (with a commercial break) because it gave them time and built up to the finish well. The finish saw Natalya make Emma tap out via the Sharpshooter while Lynch prevented Charlotte and daddy Ric Flair from getting involved at the finish. It was *** out of five.

Analysis: Natalya winning via Sharpshooter makes the most sense since he’s facing Charlotte for the Women’s Title at Extreme Rules in a Submission match. They have already had Charlotte tap out a couple of times, so need to do it again. Making Emma lose after she beat Lynch is kinda disappointing, but it was the best option here. It sucks that some of the other women are being kept off TV during this storyline (like Sasha Banks and Paige for example), but that’s just the way WWE does things.

The announced main event was Gallows/Anderson vs. The Usos, so Roman Reigns and AJ Styles had a backstage segment where they both said they would be out there at ringside.

They aired a “Make Darren Young Great Again” video with Young introducing WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund as his life coach although Bob says he’s a wrestling coach that claims wrestling is life. Here’s that clip. I think Backlund’s hilarious as a crazy old guy and Young has a lot of talent in the ring. Donald Trump uses “Make America Great Again” as his campaign slogan, so they are playing off that. I’m intrigued by this.

 

Rusev d. Zack Ryder

A short match that Rusev won via Accolade submission in under two minutes. Let’s call it 1/2* out of five.

Analysis: Rusev is getting a US Title shot against Kalisto, so they are building him back up. I think he’ll win the title.

A backstage segment was done to set up Goldango (Goldust & Fandango) against The Gorgeous Truth (R-Truth & Tyler Breeze) next week on Smackdown. I feel like WWE is trolling us by doing these Goldust/Truth vignettes for five months now.

Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. The Usos ended in a disqualification

About two minutes into the “main event” that started well before the end of hour two, Anderson shoved Reigns at ringside, which led to Reigns going after him, then Styles got involved and it led to the obvious six man tag. Call this * out of five for the two minutes of work.

They went to break and returned with a six man tag main event.

AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows defeated Roman Reigns & The Usos

This was a rematch of the Raw main event although that match was about 12 minutes while this one was shorter at 7 minutes. They probably should have just announced the rematch for Smackdown instead of doing the obvious setup for it. I give them credit for having a very fast paced match with a lot of action in the allotted time. In the end, Reigns hit a Spear on Anderson while The Usos grabbed Styles to prevent him from making the save, which led to Reigns getting the win for his team. It was **3/4 out of five.

Analysis: The Raw match saw Styles’ team win, so 50/50 WWE booking meant that Reigns’ team got the win here. They were smart to protect Reigns on Raw and smart to protect Styles here by not having him get pinned. I like the way the finish was set up with the teamwork by Reigns and The Usos being a big reason why they won. That’s the whole point of being in a tag match right? Good teamwork should prevail. I think the booking is fine because it sets up an even playing field for the Reigs/Styles match at Extreme Rules. They should continue to build up the rematch as an even contest in the weeks ahead.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Sami Zayn
  2. Natalya
  3. Becky Lynch

 

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 4.5

2016 Average: 5.71

Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 6, 6, 5.5, 5

2016 High: 7.5 (March 3)

2016 Low: 4 (January 21)

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 5 out of 10 from me.

A very average show. I thought the women’s tag match and the main event were the best parts. The IC Title feud tease in the opening was pretty solid although similar to Raw as well. The rest of it was largely forgettable.

Sorry for the abbreviated review. I’ll try not to make it happen regularly, but sometimes a dude needs to get away on a weekend.

That’s all for this week. Go Raptors.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

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