By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Kevin Owens def. Cesaro
For the second straight week, WWE didn't deliver what was advertised in advance. I was glad The Miz said on commentary 'Miz TV' was "cancelled" because the fans didn't deserve it, but advertising matches and segments in advance only to change plans and not offer an explanation is a tired troupe of WWE's from before they moved to USA Network earlier this year. I really hope that doesn't start to become a weekly occurrence again. On the bright side, this was much better than 'Miz TV' would have been, and although we've seen it countless times in the past, Owens and Cesaro never cease to have enjoyable in-ring encounters together. The interference protected Cesaro in defeat, Owens built momentum and Miz was the last man standing in the ring. I'd say Zayn was overshadowed but even he did well on commentary. That Fatal 4-Way match at Extreme Rules should be nothing short of stellar.
Dana Brooke def. Paige
I maintain the same train of thought I had during Monday's Raw that Brooke is not yet ready for prime time on her own, but to her credit, she has adjusted the best she could. She struggled here similar to how she did in her previous two matches against Becky Lynch, but Paige at least attempted to carry her to a competent contest. It was another solid win for Brooke and I'm not arguing she should have won, but it's strange Paige went from beating the WWE Women's Champion last week (albeit after a distraction) to losing to a newcomer a week later.
Dolph Ziggler def. Sheamus
Remember when these two were feuding going into last year's Extreme Rules event? I would say "oh how the mighty have fallen," but were Ziggler and Sheamus really that much more relevant a year ago than they are today? One thing that hasn't changed, however, is their excellent chemistry inside the ring. It was difficult to care about either guy winning because they mean so little at the moment, but it was a key victory for Ziggler as he heads into his No Disqualification rubber match with Baron Corbin at the pay-per-view. Speaking of whom, he cut a short and sweet promo following the bout and it was refreshing to see a Kickoff show match receive a little extra hype for once.
Dean Ambrose Attacked Chris Jericho
I'm not sure whether I'm in the minority here, but I've thoroughly enjoyed this program since it started. As silly as the Asylum match sounds, I have faith Ambrose and Jericho can make it work. Jericho continues to shine in the heel role and he cut another excellent promo here hyping up the match, even if it was along the same lines of what we heard on Monday night. Ambrose's attack on Jericho was brief and effective, making fans want to see Jericho get his comeuppance come Sunday.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day and Big Cass def. The Vaudevillians and The Dudley Boyz
This was the one week where I was actually fine with New Day and Big Cass not cutting a promo before the bout and we instead received just the match. Of course, they're tremendous talkers, but they tend to repeat the same shtick when they're overexposed on the mic. Besides, they didn't have any new material to work with. They worked a rather formulaic eight-man tag team match, though the ending did not come off well. I don't what went wrong, but Big Cass performing his finisher on Bubba Ray Dudley looked botched as hell.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns def. Luke Gallows by Disqualification (Non-title)
When this match was advertised for last week's SmackDown, it didn't happen and was never acknowledged. However, when it happened on this week's show, it wasn't advertised in advance on Raw. How asinine. Anyway, they contested a good match, but it was hard to buy into the possibility of Gallows beating the world champ given how horribly handled he (along with Karl Anderson) has been lately. I grew tired of the non-finishes a while ago, but I'll take a disqualification over Gallows getting pinned again. The chaos that ensued afterward between the six Superstars has essentially been the recurring theme throughout the past few weeks and their two matches on Sunday should be no different.
Following a less-than-stellar edition of Raw on Monday night, I'd argue this show did much more to get me excited about Extreme Rules. Granted, I'm going to be amped for the event regardless because I'll be there in attendance, but there were far less low points on this edition of SmackDown than Raw. It wasn't overly exciting and nothing was exactly must-see, but it was a solid show on the whole that built up several matches for the upcoming card. Since I'll be at the pay-per-view, my review should be up sometime Monday as opposed to that night. Enjoy Extreme Rules!
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