By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Roman Reigns def. Bo Dallas
Dallas is a "jobber to the star" nowadays, so it wasn't surprising to see him go down to Reigns as quickly as he did. This wasn't much more than a glorified squash match, which was what Reigns needed coming off his less-than-stellar match against Braun Strowman on Raw. Also, whose bright idea was it to give Reigns a live mic again? They made that mistake for the first time on Raw in Chicago, yet they ignored the negative reception he got and did it again on SmackDown. The crowd wasn't as harsh toward him on this show, but it was a questionable decision, nevertheless.
Sheamus and King Barrett def. Cesaro and Neville
Similar to their encounter on Raw, it was a well-wrestled tag team match and I enjoyed the in-ring action, but at the same time, I didn't care who won. Sheamus and Barrett made for a cool duo, but it remains to be seen whether it will be permanent going forward. I would doubt it considering Sheamus is the current Mr. Money in the Bank. Cesaro and Neville were once again a bunch of losers, but hey, at least it was Cesaro getting pinned this time and not Neville, right? Ugh.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens def. Zack Ryder (Non-title)
It's weird how the Intercontinental Championship has had a reverse effect on Owens than it has on past title holders: he went from losing on TV every week to winning every week. Yes, I realize that's the way it should be and I'm happy it's happening to Owens, but it's worth noting that's not always the way it worked in the past. It was a basic showcase for Owens as Ryback looked on from ringside, so it was a fine furthering of their feud going into Hell in a Cell.
Dolph Ziggler def. Rusev (Summer Rae Served as Special Guest Referee)
Noooooo! I could have sworn that we had seen the last of Ziggler vs. Rusev at Night of Champions, but alas, I was wrong. Instead of completely blowing off the storyline in the stupid fashion they did on Raw, they decided to follow up on it on SmackDown. Usually, I'm all for that kind of thing, but I just want this asinine angle to end as soon as possible. Summer Rae costing Rusev the win could have been seen coming from a mile away. I expect Ziggler and Summer to join up at some point, but I lost interest in that potential pairing a while ago.
The Wyatt Family def. The Prime Time Players
As soon as the Players dropped the WWE Tag Team Championship, they went back to being directionless, so that's a shame. Of course, the ending outcome was never in doubt, and it was effective in establishing the dominance of Braun Strowman and Luke Harper as they prepare to face off against Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose at Hell in a Cell. The only thing I found weird about the match was how Titus O'Neil fended off Harper at the end, yet did nothing to save Darren Young. Strange.
Divas Champion Charlotte def. Alicia Fox (Non-title)
I guess this was done to give Charlotte her win back after her embarrassing loss to Brie Bella on Monday night. I appreciate that to an extent, but all eyes are on Raw, so it didn't do much to get her back on track. The match was fine for what it was, but the post-match garbage with Paige "reuniting" with Charlotte and Becky Lynch was beyond dumb. The "Divas Revolution" was already a lost cause, but they're shooting themselves in the foot by turning Paige only to have her play good girl the next week. What a waste.
Dean Ambrose and The Dudley Boyz def. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day by Disqualification
Ambrose and The Dudley Boyz had fun chemistry together as a team and it made for an entertaining main event. The Cincinnati crowd went wild for their hometown hero and the special occasion shirt that Ambrose was sporting (and was apparently being sold at the show) was very cool. This would have been the perfect time to give the babyfaces a feel-good win, but sadly not. It's hard to complain because it made The New Day look strong, but The Dudley Boyz had been decimated by the faction several times in a row already. It might mean they're setting up a title change at the pay-per-view, but it would be nice if they got one over on The New Day every now and again. Moreover, not giving Ambrose his time to shine in his hometown was disappointing. He just kind of disappeared at the end of the match after falling off the top rope and never resurfaced.
I didn't set my hopes too high for this show after seeing the spoiler-free match card and I'm glad I didn't in retrospect. Three of the seven matches were total squashes, the Divas match was competent yet forgettable, the tag team match was a repeat from Raw, and Ziggler vs. Rusev was a weak way of (seemingly) ending their storyline. Only the main event was slightly above average, but even that had a letdown of a conclusion, so don't feel the need to check out SmackDown this week.
©2010 - 2017 Next Era Wrestling, Inc. All Rights Reserved.