By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H Addressed Roman Reigns
Was it just me or did this sound almost identical to a Triple H promo from 2002? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I found it interesting. If that's the case, why not have him come out in his jacket and jeans with "The Game" music and not as Authority Triple H? The small things make the biggest differences. That aside, his response to Reigns from this past week regarding his "broken nose" was well done. Usually, I dislike it when talking segments start SmackDown, but Triple H is a big enough name that it was a good get for the show, similar to Brock Lesnar last week. I'm in the minority that's actually excited about HHH vs. Reigns at WrestleMania. We'll see if WWE does anything to try to change the minds of those that aren't as amped about in the weeks to come.
League of Nations def. Neville, Dolph Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons
These multi-man matches pitting Neville, Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons against League of Nations in recent weeks have been fun, but I'm still scratching my head as far as what purpose they are supposed to serve. They've been trading wins back and forth, so it's not like League of Nations are building strong momentum. I remain indifferent toward them and an apparent program with The New Day doesn't do anything for me, personally. On a side note, I was happy to see Barrett back in action after a two month layoff due to injury. He got fairly physical in this contest, so it wasn't as if he was protected by his partners.
D-Von Dudley def. Jimmy Uso
There really isn't much I can say about this match because, well, it wasn't much of a match. It was over in under two minutes. That might not necessarily have been a bad thing, however, as I'm typically not interested in Usos' singles matches. They're far better off in tag team matches and I think the same can be said for The Dudley Boyz, or at least D-Von. When he won this match with a roll-up, I was questioning whether he had a finisher at all! I honestly can't remember. Anyway, I hope we hear from The Usos at some point soon because so far Bubba has been doing all the talking. That's great, but The Usos should want to respond, right?
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens def. Big Show by Count-out (Non-title)
On one hand, Owens vs. Show is a fresh match, so I didn't mind that they faced off on this show and it was a passable contest. On the other hand, I'm really hoping this isn't leading to a WrestleMania meeting between them. If that happens, I just might cry because Owens deserves so much better. By the way, why wasn't Big Show angry about Ryback's actions from Raw? You would think he would want to get revenge, but he didn't even bother addressing it.
Natalya def. Becky Lynch by Disqualification
Seeing as how I was excited for this match on paper, I was disappointed it lasted all of a minute or two. Needless to say, they are capable of so much more and it's irritating that it was thrown on TV as just another match. This might have marked the first time they have gone one-on-one, so it sucks it was wasted the way it was. At any rate, the important thing is that Lynch vs. Sasha Banks for the No. 1 contendership is set for Monday's Raw and I'm anxiously anticipating that matchup.
R-Truth def. Heath Slater
I thought we got our fill of this garbage for one week at WWE Fastlane, but apparently WWE felt it wasn't enough. I've said before how I get a kick out of The Social Outcasts, but this throwaway feud with Truth and Goldust is just dumb. More than anything else, it boggles my mind that this trash with Truth and Goldust is getting more TV time than people on the roster who could actually use it.
AJ Styles, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry def. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day
Mark Henry? Really? I realize he has history with New Day, but they couldn't have found anyone better? He didn't destroy my interest in the match by being involved, but the match wasn't too noteworthy anyway because it didn't receive much time. The entrances were unnecessarily long, so that might have been a factor. The final few minutes were especially enjoyable, but the real nugget was Jericho saving Styles from taking a Trouble in Paradise. I'm intrigued to see where that goes and what else is in store for "Y2AJ" going forward.
This was significantly better than any edition of SmackDown from last year, but when compared to what we have gotten since the show moved to the USA Network, it was merely average. I liked the main event for what it was, but it wasn't must-see whatsoever. The rest of the show was relatively solid, though mostly filler before next Monday's stacked episode of Raw featuring the return of The Undertaker, Banks vs. Lynch, and the fallout from Shane McMahon coming back.
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