WWE Smackdown Review
May 8, 2015
Review by: Randy Grubba
A Fun Night of Wild Wrestling
Last night was the type of show that you’d really enjoy if you’re one to simply sit back, relax and not have super-high expectations. Sure, it’s not the Raw after Wrestlemania, a PPV in Chicago, or an important go-home show. It was just a nice night of ‘rasslin.
Already it seems that Barrett is wearing the King of the Ring way better than he did the Intercontinental title. It fits him well, and the tension between he and Lawler to open the show was pretty good. For a moment, I thought ‘ol Jerry was going to eat a bull hammer, but perhaps his bumping days are over for good.
Barrett and Ziggler had a decent little back-and-forth thing going before Sheamus interrupted a pin attempt by Ziggler after a fameasser. I thought it was a little strange that the interference happened after a move that hasn’t put anyone away for a long time, but maybe we can just imagine that Sheamus didn’t care about saving the match for Barrett, as much as he just wanted to attack Dolph. By the way, there sure is a lot of foreign wrestling talent these days, am I right? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Neville came out to even the odds during the double team beatdown on Dolph. How far this man has come in a couple of months. I’ve really enjoyed watching him, the Lucha Dragons and Zayn come up to the big dance. I wish I could say the same for the Ascension, as I’m in the camp of, “why did they saddle them with this lame gimmick? They were great the way they were!” But, I digress.
Then, they did the thing where it became a tag match. Teddy Long would be proud. In what you could call the theme of the night, the action was fast and chaotic. Barrett took the pin, but at least he’s used to that.
I also enjoyed how all four competitors of the Fatal Four Way championship match at Payback each got to speak their piece with Renee Young. Renee is just fantastic at her job. It’s nice to see a woman in that type of position who’s actually good at her job, and not just eye candy. Of the four, I enjoyed Ambrose’s promo the most. It made great sense for his character, and him embracing chaotic matches was kinda a nod to the days of the Shield, and that’s one thing that they were all about.
Believe it or not, I was intrigued by the matchup between Luke Harper and Fandango. What a clash of styles. Wrestling styles and visual styles. Sadly, this is one of those matches I feel like the WWE would never let be good, if that makes any sense. It was rushed beyond belief. A tornado DDT happened about 1:30 into the match! And Luke Harper shook it off like it was nothing in order to counter Fandango’s top-rope leg drop finisher. It made me feel bad for both of them.
The Erick Rowan interaction after the match is …kinda interesting? I can’t decide. I feel like they shouldn’t have broken them up as fast as they did in the first place, so to tease them getting back together already seems to scream, “we made a mistake, let’s hit command Z!” We could always use another tag team, and Rowan needs something to do, so I don’t think it’ll be a bad thing, although it’s perhaps a bit of a step backward for Harper, who’s had some amazing single matches. His ladder match with Dolph awhile back comes immediately to mind.
Very interesting what’s going on with Lana and Rusev. I don’t know how this unfolds. And when you can’t call how something will unfold, that means there’s an air of unpredictability, which is rare in wrestling these days. What would Lana do without Rusev? I think they should let it play out a bit longer before making a decision on it. Right now, it’s a pretty good act.
Speaking of good acts, The New Day picked up another surprise victory. It’s especially surprising considering it went down in Tyson’s home country of Canada. How over The New Day has gotten is one of those happy accidents. It sorta reminds me of Rocky Maivia — the babyface so facey that people can’t stand it. And now they’re killing us with kindness/positivity. Pretty interesting. It was another good, fast-paced match, with some good aerial stuff and some good power stuff. But, the ending sucked for two reasons. There was a botched tornado DDT from Cesaro to Big E off the barricade on the outside, for one. And two, I happen to get annoyed with finishes where, “my enemy flashes something on the titantron so I got so distracted it cost me the match.” I get why they do it, but it’s a tough one for me to swallow sometimes. It wasn’t particularly well done this time around.
Naomi and Emma had a match. Poor jobber Emma. I do like the pairing of Naomi and Tamina. Together, they’re quite intimidating. The Naomi repackage was just what she needed. I could see them putting the butterfly strap on Naomi soon. The after match superkick was a nice heely touch, and a fairly brutal spot. Emma looked truly helpless against these bad chicks.
When the Lucha Dragons squared off with Los Matadores, I ended up just shaking my head and smiling in front of my keyboard. There’s just no way to keep up! Again, the theme of the night was fast action, left right, up, down, everywhere. I figured these two teams would put on a good show, and they didn’t disappoint. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a match featuring Los Matadores. And the shove they gave El Torito after their loss is noteworthy.
I’m not a big fan of contract signings as the main event, but this one was better than average. After a good amount of verbal sparring, including a dig at Roman Reigns’ inability to put together sentences, we had more crazy multi-person action. As I mentioned in my recap, Ambrose tried to put Mercury through the table, but it didn’t break. The show went off the air with that table still intact. Is wrestling not about improv AT ALL anymore? Why didn’t he just try again? The pop would have been great! I kept waiting for someone to put someone through that damn thing. Why just give up? Roll with something else! I know the final sequence needed to go down in just the right way, but there had to been a way to save face and put someone through that damn thing. It was a fail that they could have corrected, but didn’t.
All in all, this was an enjoyable show with good action that actually had a couple minor plot lines develop. (Wyatt reunion?/El Torito breakup?) They built toward Payback, but it didn’t feel too shoved down my throat. With the exception of a couple embarrassing botches, and a rushed match, everything was great! We had three good tag matches, but no great 1-1 action. If you missed the show, don’t feel too bad. If there’s anything to make sure you catch this week, it would be last Monday’s incredible Raw.
Thanks for reading!