The Not-So-Rookie's Guide to SmackDown #9: Sad Trombone
Continuing along to my third week on SmackDown, I'm getting to the point where I want to see something out of the ordinary happen more now than I had at any point in my recent fandom. Perhaps I was spoiled by the great run that NXT had over the last year, but I just feel like the main roster has simply dumbed itself down far too much to be very entertaining to anyone who isn't a casual fan. My issues with the WWE product aside, I have a show to review here, so lets get this rolling and hope that SmackDown can at least be a tiny bit more interesting than it has been the last couple of weeks.
Match 1: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Primetime Players
This match really doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, why would Titus O'Neil and Darren Young start something with the Dudleys? All four men are babyfaces, and I get that the Primetime Players are in line for a title shot after their loss to New Day at SummerSlam, but why interfere? why challenge Buh-Buh Ray and D-Von? Well, I'm not here to try and understand the logic of WWE's booking, especially when it comes to SmackDown.
Well, the match begins and we see a fairly hard hitting and even match, but ultimately the Dudleys were able to go over and get the win. The match wasn't much to talk about, but the highlight of this segment was the New Day on commentary. These three guys are incredibly entertaining, and its great to see that WWE has learned how to handlethem and finally get them over. I am really torn here though, I was excited when PTP won the title, and I was hoping their reign would be the end of the Tag Titles rotating on a monthly basis, but I see that hasn't happened, so now we have to wait two more weeks to see if the title changes hands yet again.
Result – The Dudley Boys win via pinfall
Match 2: Stardust vs. Neville
I had mixed feelings about this match when I initially saw that it was happening. However, I was curious about the direction of the feud. This initially started as something between Steven Amell and Stardust, but eventually brought in Neville to give Stardust an actual opponent for him to face. We all knew how that turned out, with Amell and Neville getting the win over Stardust and Bad News Barrett at SummerSlam. Now, I'm not sure why Stardust is still gunning for Neville, since the whole point of this was to show that Steven Amell was actually the Green Arrow, Oliver Queen.
Stardust's crusade against Amell may have ended in favor, but after putting his own partner out of commission on Raw, it makes sense that he would find someone else to join his crusade. The strange things here is that he found not only someone, but two someones to join up with him, as The Ascension attacked Neville on his way to the ring and we found that the duo had joined with Stardust to form “The Cosmic Wasteland”. The trio would continue to beat down Neville, and no match would end up taking place because of this.
Thankfully, even though a match didn't take place, this segment of the show didn't end up being a total waste. We were able to progress this ongoing story, and I expect Neville to find a couple of friends during the four remaining shows before Night of Champions to give us a six man tag match to help fill out that card.
Result – No Contest
Match 3: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
I am not typically a Sheamus fan. I don't think that he's all that entertaining to watch, and I agree with the WWE Universe that he looks stupid, really stupid. On the flip side of that is Cesaro. I love Cesaro, and I have really enjoyed watching him ever since I got back into wrestling when the WWE Network launched last year. Cesaro is a fantastic performer, and one of the best guys that WWE has on their roster today. I would love to see him get a real opportunity.
On the the actual match, we got a fantastic performance out of these two competitors. Sheamus showed some fantastic power moves, and Cesaro was able to work off of that to really show just how athletic a man of his size can be. There were some fantastic spots, including Cesaro reversing the Irish Curse Backbreaker, but the match was brought to a close with Sheamus giving Cesaro a Brogue Kick while he was being pulled off of Sheamus by the ref. It seems odd to have Cesaro going on a cold streak like this, but perhaps WWE has some great plan for him. Perhaps he is going to be poised as a new underdog and go for one of the titles, or maybe WWE just isn't sure what to do with Cesaro. They've shown in the past that they aren't the most keen on making new stars, especially from the NXT crop. Only time will tell exactly what the future holds for The Swiss Superman, but for today, those of us in the Cesaro section can only hope for the best.
Result – Sheamus wins via pinfall
Match 4: R-Truth vs. Bo Dallas
Coming off of the ass kicking he received at the hands of Brock Lesnar on Raw last week, Bo Dallas is in action and we've seen a whole new Bo Dallas Thirsday night. After the replay of what happened to Bo at the hands of Lesnar, and when he saw that Truth was laughing at him, he changed. He exploded right out of the gate and made quick work of Truth, even debuting a new finisher.
I was happy to see Dallas get this push, and I hope this isn't a one shot deal, this is easily the best that he's looked since he came to the main roster, and I really hope to see him make the jump from a jobber up to the midcard at the very least.
Result – Bo Dallas wins via pinfall
Match 5: Tamina vs. Charlotte
My feeling on the Diva's Revolution should be well known at this point, so I'll avoid going on another rant this week. The thing that stuck out in my mind this week is how happy WWE must be that they dropped “Snuka” from Tamina's name, especially with his recent legal troubles, but I can't help but wonder how this could be affecting Tamina going forward. I know this SmackDown was recorded a few days ago, but this has to be something that is weighing heavily on her mind.
Even putting the drama of the Snuka family aside, we have the shadow of Nikki's title reign looming over the women's division as well. As we saw on Monday, Nikki now has a countdown clock letting us know exactly when she'll become the longest reigning Diva's Champion. This whole situation feels like its just a slap in the face to AJ Lee, who left the company after Wrestlemania earlier this year. AJ's husband, CM Punk, has been at odds with WWE since his departure from the company last year, and this seems like one last way that WWE can get back at the both of them at once.
I suppose we have to cover what's actually going on in WWE and not things that have to do with what's going on outside of the confines of this feud. Charlotte has petitioned the Authority to give her a Diva's Title match before Night of Champions in order to keep Nikki from becoming the longest reigning Diva's Champion, much to the chagrin of Nikki, but tonight Charlotte has to deal with Tamina. Honestly, this match didn't have anything that was really stand out in it. It was a pretty by the books bout, and really thinking about it, what's going on outside of this match is far more interesting then what happened in the ring, or anything that will happen in the build up to Night of Champions, because WWE won't do anything to break their predictable match making.
Result – Charlotte wins via pinfall
Main Event: Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. The New Day
My initial reaction to this match was me being entirely dumbstruck. Why in the world was this a match that we were seeing? There was absolutely no reason for this to happen, neither of these teams have anything to do with one another, or the other's feuds, so it just doesn't make sense. This is just another example of a match that seems like a good idea on paper, but you can look at it and just know that it won't end clean. There's nothing wrong with a face vs. heel match up between two groups that haven't worked together, but in a situation like this I just can't get over the fact that it isn't going to end clean, and that bothers me.
The match itself just saw Roman and Ambrose hitting all of there signatures. The New Day put on a hell of a performance in this match. These guys showed that they have the talent to be at the top of the card, and WWE is right to have given them this recent push. Xavier Woods was the standout of this match though. His yelling and standing outside of the ring playing a trombone made this match much more entertaining than it had any right to be. It bothers me when I'm saying that something from outside of the ring was the best part, but with Ambrose and Reigns' being insanely predictable, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. The match ended when Woods jumped into the ring and attacked Reigns, causing a disqualification. Reigns and Ambrose make quick work of Woods, while Kofi and Big E leave him to the hounds. Ambrose then grabs a mic and calls out the Wyatts. The Wyatt Family appears on the screen, and Bray challenges them to a match at Night of Champions, and we end SmackDown with Braun Strowman removing his mask and saying “run”. Which felt like a great way to cap off this episode while building toward their match at Night of Champions.
Result – Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose win via disqualification
We bring another Smackdown to a close, and I have to say that, despite some lackluster matches, this show was better than last week overall. This shows that a couple of good matches and a little bit of story progression can give us a better show. If WWE just put a little more effort into SmackDown they could actually have a good product, and the show wouldn't feel like torture to watch some weeks. WWE, please work on this show, I want to say that I don't hate SmackDown, despite my lower ratings the last few weeks, and I want it to be better. I want it to be what it was during the brand split. SmackDown deserves better, and it shouldn't be treated like a “B” show or just another extension of the WWE brand.
Rating – 2 Trombones out of 5