SmackDown – June 23rd

You can always tell a show is going to be good when it is opened by Seth Rollins. The two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion was on fine form and really set the standard for the night.

The momentum was kept up with a fantastic match between Alberto Del Rio and Cesaro. The two seem to have some hatred towards each other following the event of Money in the Bank, and that materialized in fine fashion in the opening bout. Del Rio has proved recently why he shouldn’t have been put in a stable with no real push (not to mention the terrible MexAmerica idea), and I’m glad he is being pushed towards the top of the card. Similarly, Cesaro is riding a wave of huge fan appreciation and must surely be in line for another title shot once The Miz returns. Cesaro took the win in this one, hitting a Neutralizer out of nowhere, but I think this feud has legs.

The second match was arguably better than the first! In a rematch from Money in the Bank, Sheamus faced Apollo Crews with a score to settle. I’m glad Apollo is finally having a proper rivalry which could really help develop his skills both on the mat and on the mic, and Sheamus is shaping up to be a good opponent. A full scale brawl of a fight ended with Crews being counted out meaning we will be seeing more of these two – maybe next time will end in a double count out or some sort of DQ.

I don’t know what was in the water, but the matches just kept getting better, with AJ Styles taking on Jimmy Uso next. Jimmy, the better of the two Usos, fought amiably against a much better wrestler. Styles proved once again that he is a wonderful talent to watch, and can boost the credibility of anyone he faces. He did, technically, win the bout without the help of The Club, although they did make themselves a problem for Jey Uso at ringside. One Phenomenal Forearm later and it was all over for Jimmy. The current heel work of the former Bullet Club members is wonderfully entertaining to watch, and they are certainly gathering momentum.

First down point of the night now, and it takes the form of Tag team action. The New Day dispatched The Vaudevillans with absolute ease, knocking over Gotch and English in double-quick time. Although the purpose of this match was to add to the feud with the Wyatt Family, it also took some credibility from the former NXT Tag Champions. Maybe the Gentleman Wrestlers will get a new push with the brand split, but if Vince doesn’t like them then I can’t see it happening…

Another fairly poor match (which promoted a rivalry with someone who wasn’t even involved) was the one-on-one encounter between Dana Brooke and Becky Lynch. I don’t know why it is, but Becky seems to lose an awful lot considering she has been top of the Women’s card for months now. On this occasion it wasn’t even a roll-up but a regular pin which has to be considered as a major botch. At least we got a face-to-face between Charlotte and Sasha Banks following the match, and the fans just can’t wait too see them go toe-to-toe.

Thankfully, the night ended on a high note with the match of the night between Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn. The two put on an absolute exhibition! If you have the chance, go and watch this because it is one of the finest bit of storytelling I have seen on either RAW or SmackDown in a long time. Zayn really looked like he belonged in the ring with the former champion, and Rollins worked with him really well. Something they both bring to the table is fast-paced, exciting wrestling which makes for good watching. In the end, it came down to a single Pedigree to put Seth over clean, and that’s the only real grievance I have. I look forward to seeing Rollins vs Zayn for the WWE Title in the future!

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