Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 5/19/16: Combustible Elements
By 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.
– A rare kudos to the opening video that actually highlighted the four-way feud for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Champion The Miz, Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. While the Shane McMahon/Stephanie McMahon duo were briefly in the package and we thought that it’d go in a different direction and showcase their “different creative directions,” it went back on course to arguably Extreme Rules’ best feud.
– While you could say that they’ve stretched this four-way feud as much as possible to the point where they have the guys switch roles from week-to-week (commentary or in-ring matches), it works because all four guys have equally been elevated. Miz remains the overconfident heel Champion with his “celebrity” wife Maryse at his side in a rejuvenated role. Zayn has developed into a popular underdog babyface with decent promo ability. Cesaro’s also in the same boat with momentum from a recent return. Owens has been best booked as the loudmouth heel who has problems with everybody, notably with Zayn and Miz. Add all the elements together (and Owens’ witty trash talk one-liners) and there’s gold. This time, what was initially hyped to be a Miz TV segment turned into a Owens-Cesaro bout with Miz/Zayn on commentary. This was good too. Also liked Miz’s justification that he canceled the show because his three opponents “disrespected his wife, Title and himself.” Zayn was okay on commentary, but the bulk was carried by Miz, who was great. To their credit, Owens/Cesaro lit it up in the ring and utilized their strengths (For Owens, his trash-talking and for Cesaro, his offense… anybody see that falling avalanche gut-wrench superplex?) for a good match. We nearly died of laughter in how Owens mocked Miz’s “sunglasses pose.” Also a nice moment where the competitors attacked their rivals at the table separately, which bled into the finish. Cesaro attacked Zayn as he targeted Owens to prevent the match from getting thrown out, but it inadvertently allowed Owens to take advantage and get the pin. It also fit Owens’ character to stand and laugh as his three other opponents brawled in the ring.
– The Paige-Dana Brooke match with Becky Lynch on commentary did several things simultaneously. It allowed Lynch to speak out and defend herself in the wake of what Brooke had done to her physically and mentally, while Brooke got more in-ring credibility in that she decisively beat a former WWE Divas Champion. The Lynch/Brooke feud hasn’t left the infancy stages, but the more it develops, it can be fun for everybody. Keep in mind that Brooke and Apollo Crews have the same exact finisher. Let that one sit with you for a glimpse of Brooke’s power.
– There has been a decent effort to build Rusev back up as the “Bulgarian Brute” with Lana by his side in the midst of his feud with WWE United States Champion Kalisto. Their backstage promo justified how “extreme” Rusev could get and that Kalisto was in for more punishment when they’d fight at Extreme Rules. It was all very “Rusev.”
– With Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin set to square on the pre-show kick-off No Disqualification bout at Extreme Rules, their feud had been mainly consistent with Corbin’s constant End Of Days on Ziggler before the “Show-Off” could garner any constant momentum. That said, it was smart to at least pair Ziggler up with Sheamus, a guy who has similar build to Corbin. The match wasn’t spectacular, but it served its purpose to build Ziggler up and wasn’t lengthy. Maybe they’ll have plans for Sheamus out of this? Corbin’s post-match promo was somewhat disappointing, but we liked that they went with words rather than actions for once here.
– The in-ring segment with Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose was hyped throughout the show as “Jericho enters the Ambrose Asylum” and we got that to an extent, but they didn’t do all that much to sell the bout as something different. It’s a steel cage with weapons on top. That’s basically it. Thankfully, Jericho’s heel mic work gave this meh angle some life, as he bragged about how he had the advantage despite the match being Dean’s brainchild. Ambrose’s disguised attack on Jericho while in his “Gift Of Jericho” pose was good, but we liked that Jericho squirmed away before further damage, which drove the point that there’d be no escape come that Sunday.
– We’re not sure where these “Life Lessons With Coach Backlund” vignettes will go, but based off the first three, we have fears. It’s basically Bob Backlund in disagreement with modern life and how he takes it out on Darren Young. It could have some potential in person, but again, we’re skeptical.
– We suppose the goal of the Eight-Man tag between WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day/Big Cass and The Vaudevillains/The Dudley Boyz was to put a spotlight on the New Day-Vaudevillains feud while also give a stage for Cass to get further over in the ring. Some aspects of it worked within the match, like how the Dudleyz constantly bickered with their partners out of possible anger/jealousy over not having that top spot. However, they failed to make New Day/Vaudevillains any better of a feud after the great attack angle from Raw. Also, Cass had a rough botch towards his finish sequence and didn’t get all of the East River Crossing on Bubba Ray. Sure, they protected New Day/VV with the finish, but like we said, it didn’t help like it seemed to be intended to.
– The Luke Gallows-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns main event did another great job of showcasing those oh-so “combustible elements” once more. Gallows actually appeared on the same level as Reigns and that allowed them to have the “big man match” as we hoped. Sure, it ended up as time-filler to get the match thrown out as everybody brawled to end the show, but it sold the idea that chaos would go down on Sunday between Styles/Reigns as well as the newly announced tornado tag between Usos-Gallows/Anderson.
- Kevin Owens def. Cesaro via pinfall
- Dana Brooke def. Paige via pinfall
- Dolph Ziggler def. Sheamus via pinfall
- Eight-Man Tag – The New Day/Big Cass def. The Vaudevillains/The Dudley Boyz via pinfall
- Luke Gallows (w/Karl Anderson, AJ Styles) and Roman Reigns (w/The Usos) to a no-contest
Posted on May 30, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Big Cass, Bob Backlund, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Dana Brooke, Darren Young, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Extreme Rules, Jerry Lawler, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Lana, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Paige, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Sheamus, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The New Day, The Usos, The Vaudevillains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.