Friday, July 24, 2015

Smackdown 7/23/15 Review

This week's Smackdown is important for me to see since it's Sasha Banks' in-ring debut on the show. However, we actually begin with the arrival of Dean Ambrose. He comes out, followed by Sheamus, who cuts a short promo saying that Ambrose isn't courageous, but reckless. Ambrose says that Sheamus looks stupid and the match starts. I enjoyed this, even more than their King of the Ring match from earlier this year. Thanks to a distraction from Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper, Sheamus defeats Ambrose with the Brogue Kick. Hey, Mr. Money in the Bank actually got a win! We cut backstage, where Jojo interviews Neville, who says that Stardust is unlike anyone he's encountered. He calls him a coward and leaves before Stardust appears on the screen behind him in typical weird fashion.

Speaking of Neville, he's out to take on Adam Rose like this is 2014 NXT or something. This ends exactly the way you'd expect, as Neville picks up the win in about three minutes. Stardust appears on screen, mocking Neville and says that the sharpest arrows, no matter the color, come crashing down. He even throws in a Dusty Rhodes line for good measure. Possible build for Stardust vs. Green Arrow it seems. They run a great Sasha Banks video package. I hope Charlotte and Becky Lynch get these as well. Next, King Barrett comes out to cut a promo and try to salvage his career. He talks about how he beat three "top" Superstars in 24 hours to become King and he took care of R-Truth too. This was standard stuff but I can honestly no longer take Barrett seriously. Moving on, Kevin Owens shows up to cut a promo. He says that he tapped out at Battleground because he didn't want to risk injury while he has a family to feed. I liked this reasoning and it should have been shown on Raw to more viewers. He takes on Rusev and they have a pretty good hard hitting match but Kevin Owens continues his string of walking out on matches, resulting in him taking a countout loss. The prize fighter needs to start finishing matches if he's ever going to earn another shot at a prize. He then cuts off a Cesaro backstage interview and gets in his face. Cesaro tells him to "walk Owens walk."

The Divas were in action next, as Sasha Banks made her Smackdown debut, teaming with Naomi to face the Bella Twins. This was given about twelve minutes and they worked through a commercial break. It was really cool seeing Sasha work with Nikki Bella, as I think there is a good match in the future between them. All four girls brought their working boots. The Bellas continue to show improvement and Naomi seems to have stepped her game up now that the NXT girls are here, showing good chemistry with Sasha. Sasha was her usual great self, giving us a good match. Nikki dropped Naomi with the Rack Attack, giving Team Bella their first win since the "Divas Revolution" began.

In our main event, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins faced off with Cesaro. As anyone who knows these two would expect, this was a fourth good match of the evening. Both guys are incredibly talented in the ring and Cesaro continues to have entertaining matches now that he's been given the chance. After a few close calls, Cesaro ultimately falls short after getting poked in the eyes and eating the Pedigree. Kevin Owens appears post match and hits a popup powerbomb on Cesaro. Overall, this was a really enjoyable episode of Smackdown. The opening match, Rusev/Owens, the women's tag and the main event were all good matches, the fluff was kept to a minimum and we got the fun Stardust promo. This episode gets an 8/10.