Saturday, July 12, 2014

Smackdown Recap & News

Unlike when it first started and especially during the early days of the brand split, Smackdown is no longer really considered must-see television. It has good matches, but a lot of the time it features too much of a Raw recap and not enough storyline development. I still watch it though and will recap it on Saturdays.

Smackdown surprisingly opened with Rusev and Lana. The whole "Gold Star" thing is pretty lame to me. Lana continues to be the best part of the Rusev character, though the Putin stuff is off-putin. See what I did there? Anyway, Roman Reigns interrupted and gave Shield fist bumps to fans, so I guess they're his brothers now too. Reigns has a very cocky, in a good way, character on the microphone. It's badass. 

The Divas Champion was out next and AJ Lee is still something that makes me happy whenever she's on my TV. This angle with her and Paige is definitely intriguing. I hope it leads to a psycho Paige who just goes all "NXT Anti-Diva" on the Divas roster. Those who watch NXT on a regular basis know what I mean. She made rather quick work of Cameron, who, despite being pretty bad in the ring, plays her new role quite well. Announcing Paige and AJ Lee for Battleground is big, but I would've preferred something else and saving Paige/AJ for SummerSlam. Oh well. I'll be watching for sure.

I appreciate the fact that there are four different rivalries going on between the Divas. We have AJ/Paige, Cameron/Naomi, Summer/Layla and the Bellas/Stephanie. That's pretty sweet for fans of women's wrestling. The Summer/Layla saga added a new chapter when Fandango met Adam Rose with both girls at ringside. Adam Rose wins and despite what Kevin Dunn may think, he's over. Maybe it's just the theme song but it's something. Later in the show, Layla and Summer have a Money in the Bank rematch with Fandango as the referee. They decide to be done with Fandango and choose each other over him. At least, I think that's what happened. Or it's what I hope.

In 2013, the tag team division was one of the best parts of the show every week. The Shield, The Usos, Cody Rhodes & Goldust, The Real Americans and more made it the best its been in years. Fast forward less than a year later and it's dwindled. The Usos are still on top, Rybaxel is entertaining but hasn't been booked strong, Stsardust and Goldust are still good and Harper and Rowan are legit. But it's not the same. That was clear as the Usos wrestled Titus O'Neil and Heath Slater. I won't lie, O'Neil in a new 3MB would be interesting. They announce The Usos vs. Harper & Rowan in a 2 out of 3 Falls match at Battleground. If it's anything like their MITB match, then it will be great.

Randy Orton and Chris Jericho met, as Orton called himself the Legend Killer before the match. I miss that moniker. I also miss when he was the Viper and not a neutered wimp in the Authority. Seriously, he looked weak as hell as Champion in late 2013-WrestleMania. Anyway, Jericho is totally a legend, I mean, Big E bought a Jericho action figure from the late 90's recently. That's when you know you're a legend. This was a really good as Jericho is known to have until Bray Wyatt's signature appeared and Orton struck with the RKO to win.

Goldust went one on one with Curtis Axel is a solid little match. Axel had a good match with Tyson Kidd on Superstars also. Ryback tried to attack Goldust after the match but Stardust blew stars into his face and forced him to scurry. Not much to discuss here except that Cody Rhodes continues to make the very best of any character that is given to him, including this one.

Bo Dallas was someone I didn't really like as a face on NXT, but he has nailed this character. Running over El Torito on Raw was excellent, and his Vine directed at Miami Heat fans was funny. I actually tweeted it to ESPN's Michelle Beadle because she mentioned that she was a BOliever on SportsNation and she retweeted it, which was cool. Bo calls his Bolievers his tag team partners, making this a handicap match the other wat. A "We Bolieve" chant breaks out as Bo Dallas defeats El Torito and Fernando. Or Diego. I'm not sure.

Lastly, Roman Reigns and Rusev had a solid main event. Probably the longest match in Rusev's career, though his match with Big E at Money in the Bank was good. Of course, because this has potential as a future money match, there was no clean finish. Reigns hit the Superman punch and was going for the Spear until Randy Orton interfered. Reigns gets taken out by Rusev and then RKO'ed to close the show.

The biggest news to break this morning is that the WWE has officially signed Japanese star KENTA to a contract. This is awesome. I've seen KENTA wrestle live and he's something special. Some people worry that he could be a Sin Cara like bust, but sending him to NXT should prevent that. Sin Cara wasn't given the chance to learn the WWE style and botched nearly everything in his career. I'm excited to see what he does on NXT and in the WWE and I cannot wait.

Smackdown was pretty good and entertaining throughout while the KENTA signing is pretty damn big. Expect another Smackdown recap next week as well as predictions for Battleground, which is shaping up pretty nicely now. Until next time, same Stone Cold time, same Stone Cold channel.