Smackdown opens with a match and not an Authority promo, meaning I have no idea what to do with that. It's so rare. Daniel Bryan takes on The Miz here and I appreciate that they showed pictures of NXT season one, as Miz tried to take credit for Bryan's success. My only issue with this was Michael Cole taking Bryan's side, when during that whole run, he wouldn't shut up about Miz. After kicking Damien Mizdow to the back, Miz lost to Bryan in just three minutes. It took Roman Reigns nearly ten to beat Miz a few weeks back, yet he's the bigger threat to Brock Lesnar? Sure. We aren't playing games tonight as we go right into the next match. Ryback goes one on one with Kane. This sucked at TLC and it wasn't very good here either. At least this is rather short too, going just about four minutes before Ryback Shellshocks Kane and picks up the win. So Roman couldn't get a clean pin on Kane on Raw, but Ryback can? Who is booking this?
Dean Ambrose is out next for commentary. He runs down Bad News Barrett for not being a fighting Champion as BNB wrestles R-Truth in a non-title match. I don't understand the TV time that Truth has been randomly getting. Maybe Vince thinks his new "Womp, there it is" line is topical. Of course a distraction here allows Truth to beat BNB. Seriously, who is booking this week? Ambrose killed on commentary at least. We move into the recap of the John Cena/Rusev stuff from Raw because Cena doesn't work Smackdowns. After three quick matches, it's time to continue the string of promos as Bray Wyatt cuts another odd one on the Undertaker. Again, he's doing well here but it won't really stand out until they actually do something together.
It's kind of cringevworthy to watch the New Day come out to no reaction. They meet the Ascension, who cut a pre-recorded promo on Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair for appearing on Raw. Since they aren't here now, New Day gets it instead. Again, this is kept rather short, as the Ascension win in about three minutes. Luke Harper is in the ring as we return, for a match against Roman Reigns. Anyone else think the product would be slightly better if Harper and maybe BNB were in Kane and Big Show's position in the Authority? I enjoyed this match and wish that Harper had more to do. He is too damn good to be stuck in midcard hell. His Intercontinental Title reign is pretty forgotten already. Of course he loses here, after eating a Spear. Again, I have to question things. I'm totally okay with Reigns pinning Harper but he should pin Kane too. Why are we protecting Kane instead of a Harper? Moving right along, we get a rundown of the Triple H/Ric Flair segment from Raw. Triple H is pulling a Cena tonight and not working Thursdays.
It's a night for TLC rematches as Erick Rowan meets Big Show. It's like they wanted to take the two worst matches from that show and randomly shove them into tonight's show. I guess Show wasn't in the mood to do this again and he attacks Rowan during his entrance. This leads to a Chokeslam win in less than two minutes.The Bella Twins appear for commentary during the match pitting Cameron against Paige. Cameron didn't give Paige clothes to wear on Monday after the Bellas stole her attire. Hey, some continuity! That combined with the Bryan/Miz stuff earlier is cool. Again, Nikki Bella is fine on commentary but Brie is BEYOND awful. She should stick to in-ring work. We get a recap of Stardust turning on Goldust before Renee Young interviews him. It seems like we're getting Stardust vs. Goldust at Fast Lane. Stardust interrupts on the screen and cuts another damn good promo. Cody Rhodes never fails to deliver.
After a quick pre-recorded promo from Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, we get a match between Kidd and Jimmy Uso. Tyson says that teaming with Cesaro was the best decision of his life and Natalya's reaction is golden. Less than a minute into the match, Rusev appears. He takes out both Usos and Tyson. The heels wisely leave but the beatdown continues on the Usos. John Cena once again proves to be the worst friend in history as he doesn't help a team that has helped him a million times. He then rambles on about Cena. Main event time, and it's an odd choice. Not because Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler isn't main event material, I just assumed it would be either Reigns or Bryan. For some reason, J&J Security is barred from ringside. Isn't the Authority in power? Really good ten or so minute mach that Rollins wins. Ryback, Erick Rowan, J&J, Big Show and Kane all get involved, leading to a brawl between everyone. The Authority stands tall, and I believe a six man tag was announced for the PPV. Not sure though.
All in all, this was a pretty fun episode of Smackdown. None of the matches, except for the main event, was really long but it flowed well and moved along rather nicely. It did a decent job of building towards Fast Lane on Sunday, though the Bryan/Reigns match didn't get much shine. They did have a lot on Raw so that's fine. An enjoyable two hours here. 6.5/10.