Just like Raw and Main Event, Smackdown kicks off with an appearance by Edge and Christian, who are our hosts before the Authority take over again on Raw. Edge chose to support Cesaro on his shirt here, which, along with his Sami Zayn shirt from Monday, just makes me love Edge a little more. They apologize for what happened on Raw, but have an amazing show planned tonight. A limo arrives like this is WCW Nitro in 1996 as J&J Security arrive and then come to the ring to read an Authority issued official apology to Edge and Christian. They will be monitoring Edge and Christian's performance tonight, so E&C make J&J vs. Ryback tonight. They're just kidding and instead make Ryback vs. Big Show and Rusev vs. Roman Reigns. J&J are like school teachers, saying this will go on E&C's permanent records, but Edge points out, "I don't work here anymore." Decent opening segment.
The first match of the night pits Bray Wyatt against Erick Rowan. Here is where my issues with creative come into play again. For over a year, Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan were side by side as Bray was father of sorts. Just like when Rowan faced Luke Harper on Raw a few weeks back, there is no reason that this should be a throwaway match on TV. This could be a legit story with some actual build due to their past. The Wyatts should never have split but if they had to, couldn't they avoid each other or at least not face each other in matches? It kind of kills everything that they built over that year. Bray wins in about four minutes before grabbing a microphone. He claims that if he can do this to someone he once loved, imagine what he will do to Dean Ambrose this Monday in the Ambulance match. Despite the lack of build, they at least did a good job of having Bray and Erick play up their past. As much as I've enjoyed the matches between Bray and Dean, I hope their rivalry ends after Monday.
Backstage, Edge and Christian mess with J&J Security. They say they're going to do the five second poses backstage, leading J&J to say they're doing everything tonight. They perform the most serious five second pose ever. Time for the most random fucking six man tag, possibly in history. The new WWE Tag Team Champions, the Usos, teamed with R-Truth, who never wrestles anymore against The Dust Brothers and Adam Rose. So are R-Truth and Adam Rose feuding? Is R-Truth secretly the Bunny? I mean, I know that losing to Truth led to Rose destroying the Bunny, but still. This was your standard six man tag affair. Everyone got a chance to strut their stuff and the faces won in just under eight minutes. The rosebuds tried to attack after the match, but ate some superkicks for their troubles. Because we all love Raw recaps, we are shown video of Daniel Bryan's emotional announcement that he will return as part of the 2015 Royal Rumble match. Ryback's strange life story promo from Raw is also seen before we get our hour one main event. Ryback and Big Show faced off in a match that was better than I expected. After Ryback and Kane absolutely stunk up Cleveland at TLC, I had low hopes for another match between Ryback and an older big opponent, but they impressed. As Ryback set up for the Meat Hook Clothesline, the Russain Flag came down to distract him. Rusev and Lana appeared, allowing Big Show to hit the WMD and send Ryback outside. He is counted out but isn't fully knocked out. Commentary tries to play it up like this is unheard of, even though Sheamus kicked out of the WMD in 2012. Rusev enters the ring to attack, but Ryback fights him off.
One of my favorite things to seek weekly is the team of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. They are
great together, although it's weird to go right back to this after Cesaro's promo on Monday. Cesaro is pushing #DontConnectDeliver on social media which is cool. His shirt said PROFESSIONAL while Tyson Kidd's of course said FACT. They met Los Matadores once again, after having two very good matches with them on Main Event and Superstars recently. In a pre-recorded interview, they are happy that the Authority is back and they want the Tag Team Titles. Natalya tried to get a high five but Kidd and Cesaro ignore her. The match itself was once again fun, but too short to really gain any traction as a powerbomb/blockbuster combination earns Kidd and Cesaro the win in just over three minutes. As they celebrate, Natalya is once again ignored. Tyson Kidd is phenomenal in his new douchebag persona. He is nailing that one thousand percent.
Dean Ambrose is seen walking towards the arena because he has a match up next. When we return, it is Curtis Axel in the ring. I guess he needs one more Smackdown match before he meets Hideo Itami next week on NXT. Well, he doesn't get that match. Dean attacks before the bell and beats the shit out of Curtis on the outside for a while. The match never officially starts, but at least I got to her Axel's theme for a few seconds. He does grab a microphone after the beatdown and says that there is an ambulance in the arena. He will run over Bray Wyatt on Monday, so there's attempted vehicular homicide for Raw. The ambulance comes out and Ambrose promotes the upcoming match pretty well. The crowd is totally into what Dean is saying as they loved this promo of him explaining what he's going to do to Bray Wyatt.
In a pre-taped promo, the Ascension literally say, "first there was Hawk and Animal. Then Ax and Smash. Now, Konnor and Viktor." Well, there goes the "where do people get the LOD comparisons from" questions. Like, if it wasn't bad enough that they looked similar but to blatantly point it out is tough. After a Raw recap of the Authority being brought back, we get our Ascension squash. They literally face jobbers. Not a tag team that anyone has ever heard of. It has a legit old school feel to it. I will admit that I am happy they got to keep their theme song. One of the jobbers was former Ring of Honor wrestler Rhett TItus. i saw him live a few times. The Ascension win quickly.
Edge and Christian, in their final shenanigan of the night, draw on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's Muscle and Fitness magazine. Main event time as Roman Reigns faces United States Champion Rusev in a non-title match. I would prefer if Roman ended Rusev's streak and won the US Title at WrestleMania. It will give him more time to develop before he gets the monster push that we all know is coming. However, we all know that won't be the case. This was a pretty solid main event. Nothing special, but both guys worked hard. As expected in a Smackdown main event, and more so, a match featuring two guys that don't lose, this ended in a disqualification when Big Show gets involved. Show plans on putting Reigns through the announce table, but Reigns turns the tables. Literally. He turns the table over on Big Show like Show did to him previously.
For the first Smackdown of 2015, this was pretty basic. We got a disqualification finish to the main event and some solid tag team matches. Ryback/Big Show impressed me more than I expected and I enjoyed the stuff from both Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. I do wish that the focal point of Smackdown would become the Intercontinental Championship. If John Cena won't appear, why not make Dolph THE top face of the show and have him kill it there weekly. Let it become the Ziggler show. Back to the topic at hand, tonight gets a 6/10.