By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Club Interrupted WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day
As I noted in my Raw review, New Day feuding with The Club is definitely going to be a different dynamic than what we're used to from both tandems, but if New Day can develop a more aggressive edge, it can work. This was an enjoyable encounter for what it was, but New Day is going to need to tone down the humor more. I was waiting for them to fire back at The Club, but all they did was invite them down to the ring. At any rate, this was a solid segment that set up the main event matchup nicely.
Becky Lynch def. WWE Women's Champion Charlotte by Disqualification (Non-title)
Charlotte and Lynch contested a strong series of matches earlier on in the year, and while this was a good match, it was a far cry from what we all know they're capable of together. The feud hasn't so much been between them as it has been between Lynch and Dana Brooke, so that might have been what hindered the quality of the contest. It just never seemed to get out of first gear before the weak finish. I assume a tag team match pitting Lynch and Natalya against Charlotte and Brooke is the next step, but is that really worthy of taking place at a pay-per-view?
The Dudley Boyz def. The Golden Truth
This felt like a match straight out of the Attitude Era. It wasn't a bad bout by any means, but as you could probably infer, I couldn't have cared less about it. This whole angle involving Golden Truth and Breezango has been a bust from the beginning and I'm anxiously anticipating it reaching its end. Hopefully they get their third tag team match over on the Money in the Bank Kickoff show and we can move on at long last. In a perfect world, I'd love if Truth turned heel on Goldust, but I don't foresee that happening. If nothing else, The Dudley Boyz were able to get a win out of this.
Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio
It's safe to say we'll be seeing plenty of different combinations of this match involving the six combatants in the Money in the Bank Ladder match in the next few weeks, which I'm looking forward to. Even Del Rio, who I know is the least exciting competitor in the match, is an excellent wrestler, so he gels well with his opponents. Similar to Raw, this was another entertaining affair from these four. Was it only me or did Cesaro holding that briefcase on top of the ladder while wearing the suit just look right?
United States Champion Rusev def. Jack Swagger (Non-title)
Rusev vs. Swagger is the feud without an end as it feels like we've seen nothing short of a million matches between them over the past two years, but on the bright side, they always work well together and this was no exception. I thought it would merely be a short-lived squash match, but it turned into a competitive contest with Rusev going over strong. Meanwhile, the Rusev vs. Titus O'Neil program isn't clicking for me. WWE needs to give viewers a reason to invest in O'Neil because to most people, he has done nothing to deserve a shot at the United States Championship.
AJ Styles def. WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston
For two people who haven't wrestled too much against each other, Styles and Kingston had awesome chemistry here and produced a very fun match. The Club and The New Day actually added to the bout with their presence at ringside instead of taking away from it, and all the chaos toward the conclusion of the contest made for a fantastic final few minutes. I'm obviously amped for Styles vs. John Cena, but I'd hold off on doing that another month so we can get New Day vs. The Club at Money in the Bank instead.
SmackDown continues to satisfy me with above-average episodes more often than not and this was the latest example. It wasn't a stellar show all around, but it was much better on the whole than the holiday episode of Raw and the main event was especially a treat. If you're looking for a wrestling alternative to Raw, SmackDown is the show to watch, and that should become even more evident once the Brand Extension kicks in this summer.
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