Smackdown 13/2/18 Review : Five’s a crowd.

So Smackdown then… begins with… DOLPH ZIGGLER… yay… Zzzzzzzz…

Corbin out next for their match it seems. (I should mention that per Shane McMahon this match is now the winner will be in the WWE Championship Match at Fastlane… hmm…)… so we think Corbin is on his way out next but instead we cut to him getting beat up backstage by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They then come out to do the same to Dolph, Corbin makes his way to the ring and gets beat up some more. Seems no match between these two then (#ThankYouKami for that lbh). This was a nice opening to the show. Good change from a long promo to begin Smackdown as we usually get.

I predicted it’ll be made a 5 way when the announcement was first made but lets see how they work it out. (FYI a while ago a leaked tv advert came out claiming that the arena hosting Fastlane were promoting a 5 way main event for the title; Aj vs Owens vs Zayn vs Orton vs Nakamura. This advert was leaked some time ago and now it’s clear to me for various reasons a 5 way will be where we are going. But obviously no Nakamura as he won the rumble and Orton now seems to be in the US title scene. Corbin and Ziggler in place of Shinsuke and Orton? … Jesus christ… then again we had a 5 way on Raw this week and it was alright, Corbin and Ziggler bore the shit out of me though and a 3 way between Aj and Kami made SOOOO much sense! But hey we know the mania match anyway so…

Riott squad out next, Sarah Logan vs Charlotte Flair to come. Logan is really good at wrestling in her own right so lets see how she compares with The QUEEN. Becky Lynch and Naomi follow out Charlotte to counter any possible interference from the 2 other Riott squad members.

Logan starts off really well and on top, unsurprising to me as I’ve heard Charlotte claim to be a fan of Logan on a podcast before so letting her get plenty of offence in isn’t a surprise to me, Logan gives Charlotte FLAIR a CHOP which is returned with interest! Flair then kicks out of 4 quick nearfalls as Sarah Logan continues to be in charge of the match. This was a very physically aggressive match, Flair eventually getting the expected win via Natural Selection.

Charlotte and friends celebrate in ring afterwards, decent match. Good showing from Flair as usual and really useful outing for Sarah Logan despite eating the pin. When they eventually split the Riott squad Ruby will be fine, Morgan I’m not too sure but as long as they give Sarah Logan good creative to match her wrestling ability I feel she could be fine solo too.

Dbryan backstage next on his phone, Shane comes in and says his usual stuff about KO & Sami… Shane then announces Owens vs Corbin and Zayn vs Ziggler for tonight with Corbin and Ziggler, if they can win, earning a spot in the WWE Championship match. Right so we are doing the 5 way after all presumably? … I fear this may be too may people for it to be a good match… and I don’t care at all at this stage about Ziggler or Corbin. Aj vs Zayn vs Owens would’ve been a perfect match to send Aj to mania and Shinsuke and to continue wherever we are going with Owens and Zayn. This just seems like they are cramming Ziggler and Corbin in here for no apparent reason. It’s TOO MUCH!

Kevin Owens on the way to the ring now with Corbin selling his earlier attack on his way to the ring. A hard hitting match with a lot of striking, Owens playing the weasel heel well throughout whilst targeting the mid section of The Lone Wolf still hurting from the attack that begun the show. He still got his stuff in mind, including a decapitating clothesline to Owens which got a 2 count. Corbin got the win after an End of Days. And BARON CORBIN is going to Fastlane! Hmm… not sure about this…

Smackdown top 10 recap now (see my review of last weeks Smackdown for my thoughts). There was NO Smackdown Top 10 this week. Lets move on…

Up next is Bobby Roode’s US Championship open challenge… he cuts a decent face promo saying he, like John Cena before, wants to be a fighting US Champion and take on all comers. His challenger appears to be Randy Orton… he then is interrupted by the arrival of Jinder Mahal (oh the joys). Jinder cuts a promo on Orton based on him only being 9th in the SD top 10 list last week … I zoned out at this point, this list thing is ridiculous and now they are using it in an angle??? WOW…

In short Roode showed respect to Orton, Jinder tried to stur things up between the two, Orton then RKO’s the remaining Singh brother (the other is out injured) , the 3 men brawl with Jinder ending it on top. So triple threat for the US title on the way then. Ok then… providing Roode goes over I’ll be pleased, unless Roode is going after the WWE Championship I see no reason to take the US title from him. Randy doesn’t need to be a grand slam champion, he can do that any time and as for Jinder… he was a lacklustre WWE Champion so he’d have to do an awful lot to have a successful reign as US Champion. Intrigued to see who they have win that one.

New Day out next. They’re in the ring with a load of pancakes, they set up a gimmick with Big E attempting to eat them all, Benjamin and Gable come out to end the fun, it leads to the match between the 2 teams. Decent match with New Day winning so guess that’s it for whatever kind of push Benjamin and Gable were getting. Really good wrestlers, absolutely zero character to them (Benjamin and Gable that is) so no suprise the crowd was dead during this one. New Day have that in abundance so they will always be fine whatever they do. I worry for Benjamin and Gable going forward.

Backstage interview with Renee Young speaking with Dolph Ziggler; he bigs himself up, calls Owens and Zayn cowards, says he wants to main event Wrestlemania etc… this was ok but there have been so many false dawns with Dolph Ziggler in the past I’m so past caring at all about him at this point he’d have to actually win the Championship for me to even remotely care about him as a character at this stage. He’s a babyface now then is he? The new Big Show…

Usos backstage promo; set in a dark, eery setting f/t more awful words/graphics on screen, the Bludgeon Brothers then smash a screen the promo it was being shown on… yeah… this was just… there tbh. Not too much to say…

Following this was Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in gorilla; Owens telling his tag partner not to let him down, Zayn gives an edgy reponse and says that it will be ‘every man for himself’ in the championship match. So we are set for 2 very good wrestlers; one who is having the run of his WWE career, one who is for some reason still plying his trade with the company so lets see what happens…

Zayn (like KO before him) plays the whining heel really well in a decent enough match. I know that these 2 have so much more in their locker than they both showed here, and given it was the main event I found the match a tad underwhelming. Ziggler would hit a zig-zag only to get a 2 count. Both men sold really well in this match though, as eas the case in the finishing sequence that saw Ziggler dodge a Helluva kick from Sami, who then turned round into a great looking superkick from Ziggler. 1,2,3 and DOLPH ZIGGLER is now too in the title match at Fastlane. We all saw this a mile off but it is what it is.

And that was Smackdown. An ok enough show but…: no AJ, no Nakamura, no Rusev and English, no Tye Dillinger (who was in the oh-so-sacred Smackdown top 10 list last week btw…………), no (Ms. Money in the Bank) Carmella even! I get you have to take turns and its only a 2 hour show, but apart from the main angle of making the WWE Championship match a 5 way you really wouldn’t be missing a great deal if you didn’t watch this show.

Key points to take home:

– 5 men in a WWE title match is way too many. Would need 5 SUPERstars to pull it off well, we have just 3 in this one.

– The Riott Squad should split up.

– Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are really good at their jobs.

– Bobby Roode needs to be United States champion for a very long time

– Smackdown needs a roster shake up

Conclusion:

Lots of people missing from this Smackdown. But it has always been the show were different people get spotlights so I’ll accept it. But you shouldn’t be leaving your Wrestlemania world title match off of ANY show! This show severely lacked from none of the 3 main crowd favourites, the lacklustre crowd was simply given few reasons to get excited during this show. Hopefully next week is more thrilling… I’m gonna be a pretty sad wrestling blogger if it’s like this weeks…

Josh.

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