So I haven’t reviewed any Raw or Smackdown in a while, since I’ve been a little busy with other things. But this week is a special Smacdown Live, featuring Nakamura against John Cena for the first time ever. So of course I had to do one for this. Lets see how it goes.
Match 1 – US Title Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Smackdown actually opens with a match! and a very good one at that, although once again they have another weird finish which doesn’t go so well. So Owens goes to punch AJ but AJ ducks it and Owens is meant to hit the ref Mike Chioda in the face instead, but Owens barely grazes him and Mike still sells big it like he’s been blinded. Owens then goes for the pop-up powerbomb but it get reversed into a roll-up and Mike, whose vision is now impaired counts to three even though Owens shoulder was up. The execution was just a bit all over the place, but still wasn’t as bad as the PPV finish. Match itself was still very enjoyable with lots of fun action to digest and looks as though the feud will continue, but lets have a clean finish next time please.
Winner: Styles (via roll-up) ***1/2
-Backstage Shane O’Mac and Daniel Bryan talk to Mike Chioda about making a mistake and Kevin Owens barges in and makes a big fuss about being screwed over, says he wants things made right. Shane gives him a re-match at Summerslam but Owens also wants a ref who will do his job properly, So Daniel suggest Shane do it and Shane agrees. Owens complains but accepts it and storms off. So much for a clean finish next time.
-Uso’s come on to the stage a cut a rhyming promo about New Day and their attack on them last week, some of it is a little corny but it was an ok promo.
-They have a Fashion Peaks segment and it’s absolutely wonderful, especially speaking as a twin peaks fan. I love these Breezango segments anyway, but this one made me especially laugh. I don’t rate segments but ***** for that.
Match 2 – Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn
Well this was certainly short. They basically do a bit of tech, Sami hits some armdrags, gets English in a basic armlock and then English reverses it into a roll-up to get the 3 count. I mean it was fun while it lasted at least, but not much to it at al.
Winner: Aiden English (via Roll-up) NR
-Post-match Mike and Maria Kanellis come out, say that it’s a fact that they love each other and love that Sami Zayn lost…and that’s it?. This Power of Love shtick already feels tiresome…
Match 3 – Becky Lynch/Naomi vs. Natalya/Carmella
Decent little tag match, everyone did well and it had some fun action. At the end Natalya locks Naomi in the sharpshooter but she gets to the ropes and Carmella tags herself in which Natlya isn’t happy about. Carmella then tries to lock in her submission but Naomi reverses it into her own and Carmella taps outs. Becky looked like she tweaked her knee in the match so hopefully that’s nothing serious, she seemed to work fine just limped about a little.
Winner: Lynch/Naomi (via Glowmission) **3/4
-Jinder Mahal is asked if he has any preference for an opponent as Summerslam…Jinder says it doesn’t matter to him, cause he’ll still be the champion. He talks a little about Xenophobia and then says that no-one will end the reign of the Modern day Maharaja. Basic by the numbers promo, but it worked I guess.
Match 4 – Rusev vs. Chad Gable
Really liked this match, these two guys worked really well together and delivered some good stuff. Gable got a chance to show off his skills and the crowd really got behind him towards the end. He almost gets Rusev with the anklelock, but Rusev manages to escape and after a kick to the face locks Gable in the accolade to make him submit. Good match fairplay, would happily see these two go at it again.
Winner: Rusev (via the accolade) ***1/4
-Post-match Rusev gets on the mic, complains about there being no competition and that no-one can beat him. He wants an opponent at Summerslam but everyone is sacred to face him.
-Randy Orton comes out and says he’ll be Rusev’s Summerslam opponent. Rusev rants at him in Bulgarian but Orton just straight up RKO’s him. Orton up against the Evil Foreigner again it seems.
Main Event – WWE Title No. 1 Contenders match: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This was a great little main event. Just a straight up back and forth contest that kept a good pace and had a good atmosphere. I loved their little interactions in the beginning with the taunts and stuff and they delivered a very enjoyable first time match. I’m actually surprised that they would just chuck this on a Smackdown and would be more than happy to seem them go at it in a bigger match-up. Nakamura ends up getting the win, so him and Jinder at Summerslam should certainly be interesting to say the least, one of those matches that is hard to tell how it’ll go down.
Winner: Nakamura (via Boma-ye) ***3/4
This was a very good Smackdown. They filled with lots of action, had some good matches. Set-up some stuff for Summerslam and had the wonderful Fashion Peaks segment. Very enjoyable episode. ***1/2