SmackDown is in San Diego this week and I’ve been on a show review kick. (Check out this week’s NXT, Lucha Underground, and TNA Impact when you have some spare time.) This is the same crowd that got to see the awesome Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler match on Main Event, which was great. Here are my thoughts on all of the fun stuff that went down…
MizTV With Maryse
I’m quite fine with Miz and Maryse being the current “It Couple” in WWE. They’re hilariously full of themselves and fawned all over each other during this segment until they were interrupted by the former Intercontinental Champion, Zack Ryder. Ryder almost got a rematch against Miz but instead found out he’d be facing off against Baron Corbin instead. I hope Ryder remains a presence in the IC division. He doesn’t have to regain the title or anything but it would be nice if his WrestleMania win doesn’t get treated like a total fluke.
Baron Corbin def. Zack Ryder (End of Days, Pinfall)
Well, maybe Ryder is getting the fluke treatment after all. This was a fairly quick match that saw Ryder taking the loss clean after eating Corbin’s finisher. I like Big Banter and hope he gets treated like a threat, I’m just poo-pooing the fact that Ryder can’t stay relevant.
Corbin keeps beating on Ryder after the match and gets saved by Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler will probably lose to him in a singles match at Payback because Dolph’s good for stuff like that. He’ll make Corbin look like a million bucks.
Kevin Owens was backstage being interviewed by Renee Young. Owens hinted that he was going to get involved with Sami Zayn’s match in the main event.
Emma def. Paige (Top Rope Trip-up, Pinfall)
Nothing too special here, but it’s interesting to see where these girls are. Emma seemed like a dead in the water character several months ago while Paige seemed like a cornerstone to the formerly Divas division. Emma’s defeat of Paige is odd, but good for Emma.
There was a recap of the Anderson/Gallows debut on Raw and Mauro used the phrase “Number one with a bullet.” Get it, bullet? GET IT?!
Enzo Amore & Big Cass def. The Ascension (Rocket Launcher, Pinfall)
Enzo used his fantastic zero dimes and gave Konnor & Viktor the sickest burn ever. He called them The Ascension.
The match was formulaic, but nobody was expecting The Ascension to get any significant offense here. Enzo & Cass are getting great responses with the live crowds. They’ve also appeared on Steve Austin’s podcasts twice last week, which are worth a listen.
Alberto Del Rio interrupted a backstage promo with AJ Styles to set up their match. ADR tells AJ that he’s way out of his league. I’m excited about this first time ever matchup.
AJ Styles def. Alberto Del Rio (Rollup)
The .gif of Alberto Del Rio’s scary inverted Superplex against Styles was something that made the rounds online long before I witnessed this match and it was just as scary as the first time I saw it. I’m not sure where the mistake lied but it was still dangerous.
Styles and Del Rio delivered with a solid match. It wasn’t the best thing ever, though. I’d put the weakest of the Styles/Jericho matches ahead of this one, but it was the best match of this night. I wish I could say that this left me wanting more but it doesn’t.
Apparently Goldust still doesn’t want to be R-Truth’s partner. Fandango, who still exists on WWE’s roster, showed up to inform us that he will be teaming with Goldust. These humor segments have been more miss than hit but I didn’t mind this one. It got a little chuckle out of me.
The Vaudevillians def. Goldango (Whirling Dervish, Pinfall)
I’m not sure how the team of Goldust & Fandango is supposed to be spelled. It doesn’t matter, I guess. This loss most likely signals the end of their run together.
Simon Gotch & Aiden English face The Usos in the next round of the Tag Team Tournament. The other match remaining is between Enzo & Cass and The Dudley Boyz. I’m rooting for Enzo & Cass to win this but I’m not sure how Anderson & Gallows play into it all. After taking out The Usos on Monday night I assume that they’ll keep targeting them – or other tag teams. Either way, tag teams should be scared.
Zayn def. Jericho (KO Interference, DQ)
As if this matchup needed spicing up, we were treated to both Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens on commentary. It was great. Inadvertently, it was also a negative for this match because I was paying way more attention to the voices then to the action in-ring.
The final few minutes of this showed that Jericho vs. Zayn could be an amazing singles match if given proper time and build. Instead of that happening on this night, the guys in the ring targeted the guys on commentary. Jericho attacked Ambrose and Zayn back body dropped Jericho onto Owens. KO made his way into the ring a few moments later to attack Sami and officially end this match. I love every combination that these four guys can wrestler in and expect them to have a couple of stellar singles matches (Zayn vs. Owens and Ambrose vs. Jericho) at Payback.
Not a bad SmackDown on paper. AJ Styles vs. Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn are a couple of pairings that had me excited prior to this show. They didn’t end up being four star matches but were still good. I like the Miz/Maryse stuff in the beginning and the promo time for Enzo & Cass before their match. Plus, Owens and Ambrose on commentary together are gold. The bickering back and forth was highly entertaining.
Overall, this was a slightly above average show.
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