The League of Nations def. The Lucha Dragons & Dolph Ziggler
A lot of things can be said about this match. For example, that Rusev is amazing at selling emotions. He made Kalisto’s kicks look painful, humanizing himself in the process; or that Kalisto and Del Rio might not have been given promo time (which is a shame) but they told a story in the ring.
However, the tone of the entire match was dominated by Kevin Owens on commentary. Every time a heel would execute a painful move, Owens would laugh out loud in a terribly infectious way. He also decided the outcome of the match with his interference. KO did an amazing job of hyping his feud with Ziggler before Sunday.
Sheamus was granted the victory although he got it through a distraction. It’s hard to believe that he was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion only a few weeks ago. The Celtic Warriro could definitely have had a longer and better run with the title.
Sasha Banks def. Tamina
Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, this rivalry put Tamina and Naomi on TV, which is a positive. Last night, Tamina looked like the dominant power house she should have been all along. Sasha did get her and made her tap out but overall Tamina owned the match.
The post-match fiasco of The Boss was counterbalanced by the backstage segment with Becky. We already knew that Sasha wasn’t going to turn face for Becky. All we have to do is wait for them to win and then implode at Fastlane.
Jericho def. The Miz
The Miz interrupted Jericho and got himself a match. It’s still hard to get used to the fact that Miz isn’t jobbing in 5’matches. Instead, he’s putting up a good fight. Too bad that he’s the third wheel in this feud.
The booking of this rivalry has been very strange. Facing the Miz, Jericho was a definite face. However, seconds later, he’s a heel against AJ Styles. It’s confusing for the crowd.
Dean Ambrose/ Roman Reigns/ Paul Heyman
This little backstage exchange showed us one more time how amazing Dean can be on the mic. He brought life to his interaction with Paul Heyman. I miss the pre WWE days when Moxley would film random crazy videos in odd locations and show them as promos. This is the closest we’ll get to that.
The New Day
The New Day keep the focus on music and provide a fool-proof distraction with their hysterical dance moves. However, the encounter with Edge and Christian at Fastlane might bring up something much more interesting. Namely – #1 Contenders for the Tag Team Titles. It could be the rumoured debut of Enzo and Cass but it could also be an interruption from the Social Outcasts. Either one would be awesome in its own way.
Charlotte def. Natalya
This feud could be awesome. Any day the WWE decides to pull the trigger on Charlotte vs. Natalys, it would be a great decision. The story is right there, in their heritage and the wrestling skills are evident.
Natty did well but there was no way she would have been booked to beat the Divas Champion the last show before the PPV. Charlotte needed the momentum.
Brie responded to Charlotte, mocking DB’s YES chant by attacking her. The time to ride Bryan’s popularity is now or never. Brie will win at Fastlane.
Ambrose & Reigns vs. The Dudley Boyz
Before I move on to the obvious Triple Threat situation that transpired in the end, I want to mention that Bubba is such an amazing heel. He knew precisely when to throw in a cheap shot at Reigns, or trash talk Ambrose to get a chant going. His experience showed through.
Now, the elephant in the room – Brock Lesnar. The Beast’s appearance just confirmed what we already knew – Ambrose and Reigns will try to team up against Brock, only to fail miserably and there is nothing but a misunderstanding that will stand between them. There will be no betrayal on Sunday, maximum a justifiable reaction to a miscalculation.
What are your impressions from Smackdown? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!