While I don’t usually watch Smackdown on Thursday nights, I made an exception this week. Smackdown was taped in my hometown of Providence, RI, so obviously the Average Nobodies attended and as always, the WWE put on a great live show. The usual script for Raw reviews is 5 stars, but since Smackdown is only 2 hours, I decided to limit it to 3 stars. Smackdown featured a couple solid tag team matches, and I sat close enough to Roman Reigns to brush his soaking wet hair.
Neville has been extremely impressive since joining the main roster, and anyone who had concerns that he wouldn’t be utilized correctly should be breathing a sigh of relief so far. This was the first time I’ve seen him live, and holy hell is he quick. Neville is that rare superstar who can flip and jump with the best of them, but also understands the psychology of wrestling as well. He knows how to wrestle the bigger guys like Sheamus and he knows how to wrestle guys his size like Rollins and Ziggler. I love that he pinned Barrett, too, and I mentioned in my Extreme Rules preview that if Daniel Bryan can’t compete, I’d love to see Neville and Barrett take place and Neville secure another victory. If Neville can beat the #1 contender for the IC belt twice in the same week, he’d definitely be in the discussion for challengers to the title once Bryan returns. The highlight of the entire show was seeing Neville hit the Red Arrow live. If WWE is coming to a city near you and Neville is advertised, you owe it to yourself to go see him.
2. Prime Time Players
I’d be ok if the PTP never wrestled another match again, as long as I could get a Titus ‘OORAH’ once in awhile and as long as they keep doing these backstage promos every week. The tag team division is filled with entertaining and exciting teams, who are normally given about 2-3 minutes to have a match and tell a story. While the WWE is doing their best to elevate the US and IC belts, they’ve continually let the tag team division fall by the wayside. My suggestion would be to have the writing team ignore them, but give them at least 15-20 minutes per Raw to get themselves over. You’re telling me guys like Titus, Darren Young, Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, New Day and Lucha Dragons can’t have solid matches and entertaining promos on their own if given enough time? The tag team division should be a lot more exciting, especially considering the teams that are in it. While I’ll never condone anyone making fun of Cesaro, Titus’s satchel and paper boy hat were a nice touch. Hopefully the PTP challenge for the tag titles soon, and hopefully the WWE realizes the diamonds they have in the tag division just waiting for their time to shine.
3. The Main Event
The main event of Smackdown was a tag team match featuring Ambrose and Reigns vs. Harper and Rollins, and it was fantastic. Ambrose and especially Reigns were incredibly over with the Providence crowd, and all four guys worked their tail off to close out the show. While you’d want to keep the champion getting pinned in non title matches to a minimum, I did like Reigns getting the clean pin here. He deserves much better than a Last Man Standing match with Big show at Extreme Rules, so hopefully after Sunday he’s back closer to the main event. I think Harper and Ambrose are going to have the best match Sunday, so I’m glad they got to give us a little preview of what to expect. The Authority continues to tease tension with it’s champion, and that was escalated last night with Kane throwing Rollins back in the ring just in time to eat a spear from Reigns. All in all it was a fun show with a really good main event to send the crowd home happy.