By Graham "GSM" Matthews
AJ Styles Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns
Reigns' promo wasn't much different from what he said Monday night on Raw, but I love the "I'm not a bad guy, I'm not a good guy, I'm the guy!" line. It's so cocky and that's the type of character Reigns should be portraying since that's how fans perceive him, anyway. This crowd was probably plenty full of those who traveled for WrestleMania weekend, so it will be interesting to see how other audiences respond to him as champion in coming weeks. Likewise, Styles has never been the strongest mic worker, but he held his own very nicely here and cut a competent promo about wrestling all over the world and wanting the world title. Reigns' subtle pat on the back to Styles as he walked away was brilliant and I look forward to the dynamic they'll have when they eventually clash.
The Vaudevillians def. The Lucha Dragons
As noted, this was the leftovers of the post-WrestleMania crowd, so there were a handful of fans that were familiar with The Vaudevillians and clapped along with their entrance theme. Otherwise, they didn't stand out in any meaningful way during this match. They're decent wrestlers, but I fear the gimmick will flop harder than The Ascension did. I guess it depends on how they're booked, but I honestly can't see them succeeding though I hope I'm wrong. Also, why the hell is Kalisto back to teaming with Sin Cara and losing inconsequential matches?
Natalya def. Summer Rae
I fully expected this to be a squash match since Natalya will likely be contending for the WWE Women's Championship soon, so I was pleasantly surprised it was more of a competitive contest. Summer has more untapped potential than most fans give her credit for and she was able to showcase some of her skills in this match. Natalya has always been excellent, but will fans take her seriously as a threat to the title after losing to Charlotte many times before?
Intercontinental Champion The Miz def. Zack Ryder
As I mentioned in my Raw review, I absolutely love the pairing of Miz and Maryse on TV. They're married in real life, so of course they'll have fantastic chemistry together. She factored into the finish nicely to put heat on Miz, but even before that, Ryder and Miz worked a fairly entertaining match. Part of me was hoping for a disqualification or count-out of some sort to keep Ryder in chase mode a while longer, but perhaps this isn't the end of the rivalry after all.
Apollo Crews def. Curtis Axel
It's a shame The Social Outcasts' humor falls flat with most audiences because I find it funny. This was only Crews' second main roster appearance and he was equally impressive this time around against Axel. We have yet to hear from him in a backstage interview setting, but based off his stint in NXT, he could still use some work in that department. Other than that, he has the raw potential to be a big star down the line and casual crowds will enjoy the hell out of his offense.
Dean Ambrose def. Tyler Breeze
I was really hoping we would hear from Ambrose coming off his WrestleMania loss to Brock Lesnar since he wasn't featured on Raw this week, but no such luck. Instead, he pretty much squashed Breeze in the matter of a minute. Perhaps we'll hear from him on Monday. On the bright side, it looks like he's headed for a feud with Chris Jericho judging from their close encounter on the ramp. That's a match I initially wanted to see at 'Mania following what happened last year at Night of Champions, but plans changed obviously.
AJ Styles and Cesaro def. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens
If you thought the Fatal 4-Way main event from Raw was a spectacle, you'll love this match. It was simply surreal to me seeing four of the best wrestlers in the company today share the same ring. Amazing. It was every bit as excellent as you would expect with each of them getting their signature spots in and there never being a dull moment. Sami Zayn furthered his feud with Owens by coming out toward the end and Owens lost nothing from getting beat with a roll-up. Besides, Styles needed the victory more considering he is now the No. 1 contender to the title.
This edition of SmackDown was the perfect way to cap off a very fun week in wrestling. It would have been easy for WWE to phone this show in coming off WrestleMania weekend, but they didn't. Rather, they delivered. The Vaudevillians debuted, a title match was held, the main event was stacked, Crews made his premiere appearance on the blue brand, Reigns appeared, and Ambrose returned. Could you ask for anything more? An awesome episode from start to finish.
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