WWE Friday Night Smackdown Review - July 25th, 2014
1) The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
The show kicks off with an exciting tag match here between Rybaxel and the tag champions, The Usos. These two teams have wrestled several times this year, but I think this was their best match together yet. Axel & Ryback continue to improve. Not only as a team, but individually as well. I become more fond of them each week. Ryback's impressed me by adding new moves to his repretoire while Axel's ring positioning is what really stood out to me here. Such as in this match, he got knocked near the corner so
Uso could do the "flying ass" to the face if you will. Instead of scooting right up to the corner like I've seen some people do. Axel sold the move he just took until the very last second then he fell into the corner and BAM - Uso hit the move. Most people don't notice little things like that, but I did so I had to mention it. None the less, this was a good tag match in which the action never slowed down. The Usos added some dimension to their characters by using some tricky antics to get the victory. Fun start to the show!
MizTV came on next and considering I'm not a big fan of The Miz lately, I didn't expect this to be enjoyable, but I ended up loving this segment. Miz got owned by his own mom who named Roman Reigns as her favorite superstar instead of him then after that Bo Dallas made his way to the ring. At that point, I knew this segment would be gold! Dallas was his usual hilarious self and then to make things even better, Dolph Ziggler's music hits! Ziggler says Miz & Dallas are both full of crap then swings at Miz only for Dallas to jump on him which leads to our next match. Great segment.
2) Dolph Ziggler vs. Bo Dallas
Nice little match here. Everything Dolph Ziggler touches turns to gold and that was the case with the last segment as well as this match. The crowd is just so into him and hangs on every move he does and that adds alot to his matches. The Miz on commentary was actually pretty fun as Ziggler went to superkick him and Miz basically fell out of his seat to avoid it. This leads to Miz distracting Ziggler which allows Dallas to get the win. Very enjoyable match.
3) Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose - No DQ Match
I had heard alot about this match so I was super excited because these are two of my favorites in WWE right now. I thought their match on Raw was good, but it turned out to just be a teaser of things to come. Cesaro and Ambrose stole the show here with this match. They took advantage of the No DQ stip by bringing chairs and kendo sticks into the match. They also used them in very innovative ways which we haven't seen before in WWE. Some notable awesome spots include a body slam onto to chairs standing up and Ambrose suplex Cesaro through a chair. The best one of all was the big suplex off the second rope that Cesaro hit on Ambrose into a pile of chairs! Just awesome stuff that we've never seen in WWE to my knowledge. Big kudos to these guys for being innovative with the No DQ stip and not just doing the usual kendo stick routine. Awesome match, one of the best TV bouts of the year.
4) Paige vs. Naomi
These two had a good series of matches a few months back so I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately it was just filler as WWE decided to bring Cameron into the picture. Paige defeats Naomi in under a minute because of the distraction. Such a waste of what could have been another great match on this show. If WWE really wanted to bring Cameron back into this match as a distraction, they could have atleast waited until the match had ran its course instead of not even letting the two women show what they could do. Especially considering they spent nearly 20 minutes of the second hour showing Raw replays. They should have given atleast 10 minutes of that time to this match. In conclusion, as you can probably already tell, I wasn't a fan of how this segment was executed. Although I did enjoy the Paige/AJ video package beforehand and how Paige mocked AJ's actions by skipping around the ring. That was gold.
5) Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth
Another filler match here used just to make Bray Wyatt look strong. It was enjoyable though because Bray's crazy antics and unorthodox offense made it fun to watch. On top of that, we got a promo from Wyatt afterwards. Squash match, but it served it's purpose and didn't bore me.
The next 15-20 minutes was spent replaying multiple things from Raw. It was really a waste of time in my opinion. They could have easily just put together a short clip saying "Stephanie returns to Raw this Monday after being arrested, what will she have to say?!" instead of replaying the whole thing.
6) Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
I was pretty uninterested going into this match. The waste of talent in the way the Divas match was booked and the replays nearly bored me to sleep. But I was soon awoken. These guys put on a very good match, that was much better than I ever expected it to be. Several nice moments here such as Reigns muscling out of Del Rio's submission across the ropes and Reigns doing his running dropkick onto Del Rio's head into the ring post. Some nice exchanges and counters here as well. All in all, it was a pretty good match. Definitely ended Smackdown on a high note for me, I really enjoyed it. I'd even venture to say that this is one of Reign's best singles matches so far in WWE. He worked very well with Del Rio here.
Overall thoughts: There's definitely some stuff worth seeing on this show. I'd honestly recommend checking out the whole first hour and then skipping to the main event between Reigns/Del Rio. You'll be thoroughly entertained by checking out those segments and matches. Ambrose/Cesaro is a must watch as it's one of the best TV matches of the year and features some innovative spots. Reigns/Del Rio was a pleasant surprise for me so I'd recommend checking it out as well. If WWE continues to put the focus on match quality for every Smackdown like this, I may tune in every week. (Normally I just read spoilers and if any matches stand out, I watch). Had they given Paige/Naomi more time and cut out some of the replays, this could have went down as one of the best Smackdown's of the year. Despite that minor complaint, this was a really good show. I'd recommend checking it out if you missed it.