Payback is this Sunday but hold on, we still have a SmackDown to get through. Whether or not you have the two hours available to watch the whole show, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. These are the 5 best moments from the show, so this will at least get you up to speed with the really good stuff. Let’s kick things off with the ladies…
5. Natalya & Charlotte Promo
The big news earlier in the week was the Ric Flair told Natalya to kill herself during an Ambrose Asylum segment on SmackDown. By the time the show made it to broadcast, that sort-of-controversial remark was simply edited out. Even though the harshest comment from the exchange was missing, it should be noted that both of the ladies who will be competing this Sunday for the WWE Women’s Championship were solid in their verbal sparring. This very much felt like this was going to be an easy win for Charlotte a few weeks ago but now Natayla feels like a legitimate contender. I still don’t think she’ll defeat Charlotte, but after their great match at Roadblock they could have a repeat (well technically, three-peat) performance.
(On a side-note, Dean Ambrose revealed during this segment that his plant is named Mitch. That’s one solid plant name right there.)
4. They Couldn’t Mute ALL Of Sandow’s Cheers
It was heartbreaking on Raw that Damien Sandow’s match against Baron Corbin never even happened. It was clear that he was getting cheered, but when Dolph Ziggler attacked Big Banter, Damien was not seen again. Sandow would get another chance at an actual on-screen match on SmackDown and it was once again against Baron Corbin. Yes, it was a squash. Also yes, the crowd noise was obviously tampered with. But it didn’t take super-hero quality ears to hear that WWE couldn’t scrub out all of those pro-Sandow choruses. While the Intellectual Savior of the Masses was getting a whooping on the floor, I definitely heard some muted “Let’s Go Sandow” chants. Why do they hate the man so much? Let us love him!
3. R-Truth’s Selfie Stick
Okay, the never-ending tease of “will The Golden Truth finally unite” keeps chugging along after what seems like years and years, I’ll admit that. But these guys can be funny and I even find things to like about them in this blasé recreation of the Ross and Rachel chase from the first two season of Friends. (Right now, R-Truth is in his “Emily” phase with Tyler Breeze, I believe. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Friends, but I think there will be a marriage ceremony at some point and Truth will accidentally say “I take thee Goldust.”) The one really funny moment that I’ll give them props for tonight is Truth’s Selfie Stick that was LITERALLY A STICK. Like, he duct taped his phone to it. Very clever MacGyver-ing, Truth.
2. All Of That Tag Match
New Day were on commentary, which is a big plus. Enzo & Big Cass faced off against The Social Outcasts, which is another plus. Also, The Vaudevillians peered ominously at the top of the ramp to watch their opponents for the Number One Contender tag match at Payback on Sunday. The match was short and effective and the funny commentary was non-stop. I didn’t even take notes on all of the comments because I was just enjoying the charisma of everybody involved. Even Byron Saxton was amusing as he sat quietly on the floor, legs crossed and minding his business.
1. Post-Main Event Drama
Miz vs. Roman Reigns was the best match on the show, but it’s the stuff that happened after the match that really shined. AJ Styles still refuses to fully take the side of his old Bullet Club buddies and only came to blows when he was first attacked by an Uso. Roman even speared Gallows after he and AJ were arguing a little. This had the same feeling like on Raw, but it works for me because I’ve been digging the intrigue of who AJ’s pals might align with in the end. We’ll know for sure on Sunday.
Okay, the show wasn’t too great from an in-ring standpoint. The main event was the best match, and it was good, but nothing else was even on the three star level. Still, there was plenty to like. The promos were good and hey, Damien Sandow had a complete match. I’ll take that.
Being the last SmackDown before Payback, I guess the weak matches were to be expected. Lots of big stuff is teased for that show on Sunday and Vince could shake things up a little with his announcement regarding the status of who’s running what shows. I won’t hold my breath, but something resembling a brand split could be in the cards.
What did you think of this list? Where other good moments left off? Comment below and let me know what I should’ve included instead.
That’s all for me with this SmackDown article. If you’d like to read more of my work then head on over to my blog where you can read about the 10 Best Insights From Lucha Underground’s Catrina’s Reddit AMA. I’ve also teamed up with Wrestling Arcade to deliver 15 Great Wrestling Moments In 16-Bit. Also, follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Thanks for reading.