Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve decided to try to pull three things from each Smackdown that I liked (challenge!) and also discuss three things I didn’t care for all that much. I’m doing a maximum of three of each and may not end up talking about the main event, like in this episode, if it doesn’t move me much in either direction.
SmackDown 9/3/15, wherein we learn just how bad commentary can be.
3 Things I Liked About SmackDown 9/3/15
1. The Cosmic Wasteland
Hey, The Ascension finally have a point on the main roster other than “jobber team for squash match” or “wait, we need another team for this to be a four-way match – have The Ascension go out there”. Stardust is supposed to have a match with Neville, when Neville gets jumped from behind by The Ascension and receives a “Fall of Man” for his trouble. Not sure where this is going or if it will really go anywhere, but teaming them with Stardust is better than anything they’ve really given to The Ascension since calling them up from NXT. They at least fit the aesthetic of Stardust better than the shoehorned “Cosmic King” Barrett did. Between finally getting something to do on Smackdown and not looking completely terrible on this week’s NXT episode, not a bad week for The Ascension.
2. Brock Lesnar “Changed” Bo Dallas
Two weeks after getting completely destroyed by Brock Lesnar, we get the return of Bo Dallas in what would typically be a throw-away match with R. Truth. Instead, Bo now has a weird edge about him, wins the match, and then attacks Truth after the bell. It seems they’re going with an angle of Bo being “changed” by the beating he took from Lesnar and hopefully this will translate into a character more like the NXT version of Bo Dallas. While he was still mostly a joke character in NXT, he also was no slouch in the ring, and held the NXT Championship for a considerable run. This “SmackDown Fallout” clip seems to hint they’re going to take his character more in that direction.
3. Kevin Owens Going After The IC Title
We get a brief interview with Kevin Owens, conducted by Renee Young, where he implies that he’s going after the Intercontinental Championship by throwing out Ryback’s “Feed Me More” catch phrase. I’m all for that, beyond the IC Title jinx of winning the title leading to injury and bad booking. Maybe they can do the run with Owens that they had hoped to do with Daniel Bryan after WrestleMania. Whatever they do, it has to be better than the Ryback / Big Show / Miz IC title triangle we’ve been looking at the past few months.
3 Things I Didn’t Like About Smackdown 9/3/15
1. New Day On Commentary
Smackdown kicks off with New Day doing their #SaveTheTables spiel again. The Dudley Boyz come out to challenge them. Then the Prime Time Players come out for an impromptu match with the Dudleys. The match is incredibly hard to follow because New Day get on commentary and overpower the regular announce team for the entire match. Having wrestlers guest on commentary can run the gamut from great to pointless, but this was just painful. I completely lost interest in the match because they were so distracting. I get that their whole gimmick is to be annoying but this was over the top.
2. Cesaro Loses Again
We get Cesaro vs. Sheamus because of the random Smackdown booking machine spitting out that match up. Cesaro at least sells the rib injury from his match with Kevin Owens on RAW. The match itself was okay, with Cesaro clearly hampered by the injury. I don’t get having Sheamus go over clean though. They’ve put Cesaro on a losing streak lately, now with the added bonus of him working an injury angle. He’s still incredibly hot with the fans so hopefully they don’t kill his momentum (again) and give him a win sometime soon.
3. Lana / Ziggler / Summer Soap Opera
Miz TV digs deep into the Lana / Dolph Ziggler / Summer Rae thing I didn’t like back on Monday. Summer comes out first and claims she and Dolph have been an item for a while. That brings out Lana and Dolph to confront her. We are then treated to footage from over a year ago from when Summer interfered in a Ziggler / Fandango match and kissed Dolph. For the first time in a while WWE decides to actually reference something from the past as canon and they choose that. Wow. Again, I honestly don’t care how this whole thing plays out. The only person involved in this “feud” that I even remotely care about is Rusev, besides Dog Ziggler of course, and they mercifully spared both from this horrid segment. I’m beginning to fear they’ve done irreparable damage to Lana’s character where there is “no going back” to the dynamic she had with Rusev that worked really well on TV. Sigh.