Smackdown Review, 5/15

OPENING SEGMENT

If the crowd were really chanting for Daniel Bryan, they’d let the interview go on. Instead, WE CAN’T STOP UNTIL THEY COMPLIMENT US! How do you get heat on someone? Put them in a feud with Daniel Bryan. This instantly gives Cass credibility as a singles heel. He’s terrific on the mic and makes this feud extremely personal, not only by telling Daniel he’s going to personally make sure DB never reaches his goals in WWE, but also bringing his wife and daughter into it. Bryan makes it personal right back and viciously attacks Cass’ previously injured knee. This segment just instantly kicked the feud into high gear, and also got the crowd fired up right away. Well done.

Segment Rating: Nine Gold Medals

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MITB QUALIFIER: THE BAR VS. NEW DAY (XAVIER WOODS & BIG E)

The winning teams gets one member into the money in the bank ladder match. Hard hitting by Big E and high flying by Xavier Woods leads their team to a victory, and I think Woods will be the one selected for the ladder match. The New Day gimmick can’t go on forever (or much longer for my tastes), and Woods has been showcased more in their tag matches lately, which could signify a planned singles run in the near future. This was a good match with some good brawling, and I’m looking forward to seeing Woods in the ladder match next month.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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Another freaky promo from the Bludgeon Brothers. Sometimes I believe if I get too happy they’re going to find me and bludgeon me with their hammers. They’re pretty convincing of that.

I wish they would have done the breakup of Absolution better, because it went from best friends to Paige saying “I’m GM now, Absolution is dead, and I’m going to try to screw you both over… because I’m a face.”

 

ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS VS. JAKE CONSTANTINO

Cien gets to quickly introduce himself to the mainstream against a local jobber. He hits a few strikes along with his hammerlock DDT finisher, which gives absolutely zero indication of the amazing array of skills he actually has in the ring. In time. Zelina Vega is one of the best talkers in the business and runs down the jobber and the locker room following Cien’s win. Get him on camera, a few minutes of ring time, a win, and have Zelina announce their intentions, establishing them as heels. Quick, simple, logical.

Match/Segment Rating: Six Gold Medals

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Lana announces a match next week vs. Billie Kay, and seems to be slipping in and out of a Russian accent. Weird.

 

ROYAL MELLABRATION

Mella is money on the mic and in the flash and flair department. Usually these types of segments are painfully terrible but Carmella’s ability to cut a heel promo makes it really good. Paige announces Asuka gets a title match at Money in the Bank, and I feel like Asuka’s streak would be rendered meaningless if she loses that match clean. It already took a massive hit with Carmella going over Charlotte at Backlash. A fun entrance, scathing promo, and huge title match announcement.

Segment Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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MITB QUALIFYING TRIPLE THREAT MATCH: BECKY LYNCH VS. MANDY ROSE VS. SONYA DEVILLE

Unfortunately they use the keep one person on the outside the whole time tactic in this one, which makes for a crappy match, especially when Sonya simply nudges Mandy off the apron to the outside. Awful. Followed by Sonya rolling HERSELF to the outside once Mandy and Becky started fighting after the electric chair dropkick spot. The ending was predictable from a mile away. Cluster fuck of a match. Still not as bad as Bobby, Jose, and Baron last night.

Match Rating: One Bronze Medal

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Samoa Joe just annoys me anymore. I can’t even tell if he’s supposed to be a face or a heel. Billie Kaye looks like she’s wearing a plastic mask.

 

SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. AJ STYLES

I love kicks, therefore I love this match. Every move both of these guys do is with 100% intensity and conviction, I can almost feel it myself. This can best be described as a chess match. Attacks setting up other attacks and met by counterattacks. TERRIFIC heel move by Nakamura to win the match. I absolutely love it. If he is going to continue to use tactics like it’ll bring his character to a whole new level as a heel. I have no idea what kind of stipulation he’ll choose for Money in the Bank.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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A great show through and through save for the triple threat match.

Overall show rating: Eight Gold Medals

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