Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 7/23/15: Live To Fight Another Day

WWE SmackdownBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 7/23/15)

Live To Fight Another Day 

– The Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns-Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper feud continued to boil on the stove, as Wyatt/Harper played into the finish of the Sheamus-Ambrose match. Liked the promo exchange between Sheamus and Ambrose prior to the match, as Sheamus accused Ambrose of being a ruthless coward while Ambrose played to the fans with a coy response on their behalf. The actual match was physical, as you’d expect and was woking on the cusp of a finish when the Wyatts came out to play. It’s awfully convenient that Wyatt can come out whenever he wants (even during a match) and get his full entrance treatment to turn the lights off and such. That said, it took two Brogue Kicks and outside interference to beat Ambrose, so guess you could say he was somewhat protected, but this was all about Wyatts grabbing the momentum.

– As far as the Neville-Stardust feud, it at least has a cool, comic-book-esque feel to it, which works with both characters and they mesh together well in the ring. You do get the feeling however that fans just don’t want Stardust to be Stardust and want something more from him, but the irony in that is that Stardust come off as focused as ever now because of it. Liked “the next step” with Neville’s backstage promo, calling Stardust a coward despite being a physical threat. Also liked the little touch of Stardust “hacking through” the backstage monitor.

– To feed this Marvel vs. DC feud, you need both guys on their game, and it was time for a glitzy Neville squash match, as Adam Rose played the victim this time. It was important to note here that Rose had no Rosa Mendes at his side, which could raise speculation that their little romance angle has been silently dropped. The only other intrigue of this match despite the predictable lopsided nature was the “throwback” effect of it with both guys coming from NXT, which understandably drew some enthusiastic chants. For those who love the Red Arrow (and how could you not?), they got their fix of it here. Stardust’s post-match promo was meant to cause lots of confusion and was played off that way by everybody. It has been regarded as somewhat of a modern-day “Hard Times” promo from the likes of Stardust’s late father, Dusty Rhodes, though there is no way to confirm that for sure. Will Neville “embrace the strange”? Let’s face it – probably not. We’re interested to see where it all leads though.

– WWE did themselves a big service with the so-branded “Divas Revolution,” but it’s the moments when they show individualized hype videos for the new Divas when fans can really buy into what they’re all about. The one for NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks did all this and more. Whether it was shots of her unique attire via her TitanTron video or of her in-ring dominance and bragging as Champion, you got what Banks was all about here. Also explained was why she sided with Naomi and Tamina, since she didn’t fit in with Paige and her team and didn’t like the Bella Twins either. They also struck common ground in being self-absorbed and out for themselves.

– A gloating King Barrett promo was probably expected, but that doesn’t mean it was still memorable by any means. Pure bragging of basic irrelevance. Yup, in the show where Undertaker made a return in the main event, everybody was focused on Barrett the whole time. Sure. Wink wink.

– Given their past verbal exchange and “partner problems” from Raw, it made sense for Kevin Owens and Rusev to clash again here to settle their dispute. While many worry about Owens with his recent “demotion,” we see no cause for concern. Owens is obviously a magnificent talent who can take what he’s given and make it work on any level. Just not crazy about his new “character shift” being the guy who “gives up to fight another day.” Sure, it worked in him defending why he tapped out to United States Champion John Cena, but it furthered on in the actual match, which can make him look like a weak coward, as opposed to a coward who can back it up. Owens kept it crude at least, as his verbal insult towards Rusev about “which Lana he wanted to take to second base” was witty. This was a better example of how to book a heel vs. heel match; give them full, back-and-forth action since fans were stuck on who to root for. The finish at least played into Owens’ earlier motto about “fighting another day” for continuity purposes and pissed off Rusev even further.

– It feels like Cesaro is being given the full throttle push at this point, which is encouraging. His backstage promo talked about all the hard work and sacrifice he gave for the business that he loves and how could you possibly root against that? Liked the interaction once Owens walked into the picture, as Cesaro claimed Owens abandoned everybody he works with while Owens had the claim to early success that Cesaro didn’t. It’s sort of a brilliant pairing for this time for a feud. Just worry that Owens is in another feud that he won’t win.

– The Naomi/Banks-Bella Twins tag match was another heel vs. heel match, back-to-back, which was sort of baffling and the action went on way longer than necessary, but Banks made it watchable at least. This flip-flopping with the Bellas needs to stop. They took the face role here apparently, as they encouraged the fans to clip and built to a hot tag, though the match picked up at that point. The Bellas’ role in the “Divas Revolution” storyline is that of the snobby girls who won’t give up their spot on top. It needs to stay that way to get the fans fully into it. At least the Bellas finally got a win here, as Nikki hit Naomi with the Rack Attack once things wound down on the outside.

– The Cesaro-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins match was a rare Smackdown marquee main event on paper and it started out that way, with Cesaro continuing to impress in the ring with more opportunities to work with bigger names on the card. The technical display was spot-on as well. Rollins ended up using dirty tricks to pull out the win, but it was another memorable display for Cesaro as he had the WWE Champion in moments of desperation. Also liked how Owens came down to the ring and attacked Cesaro and hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb for good measure, carrying off their earlier segment.






Quick Results

– Sheamus def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall

– Neville def. Adam Rose via pinfall

– Rusev (w/Summer Rae) def. Kevin Owens via countout 

– The Bella Twins (w/Alicia Fox) def. Naomi/Sasha Banks (w/Tamina) via pinfall

– Seth Rollins def. Cesaro via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on July 27, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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