By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Dudley Boyz Interrupted WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day; The Dudley Boyz def. Prime Time Players
It was a refreshing change of pace to kick off the show with a promo from someone not involved with The Authority. How often do you see the tag team division showcased like this? You know it would never happen on Raw, so SmackDown is the perfect platform for it. They had an enjoyable exchange with The New Day on the mic and their feud should be a blast. I didn't mind the match between the Dudleys and the Prime Time Players, but it was mostly overshadowed by The New Day's hilarious commentary. We could have a fun Triple Threat tag team title match on our hands come Night of Champions.
Stardust and The Ascension Attacked Neville
With Stephen Amell now out of the picture, I wasn't sure where they were going to go with the Neville vs. Stardust feud post-SummerSlam, but this was a nice unexpected twist. I can see the argument that The Ascension are beyond dead and will only bring Stardust down, but I like the pairing and I think it can only benefit both parties. It also freshens up the feud and adds an extra layer to Stardust's act.
Sheamus def. Cesaro
These two have never ceased to contest excellent matches together and this was no exception. It would have meant more had there been some storyline support, but I appreciated the effort by having them interact in a backstage segment before the bout. They have awesome in-ring chemistry together so the match was unsurprisngly solid and I actually liked the result. Cesaro is over enough to rebound from the loss whereas Sheamus desperately needs credibility as Mr. Money in the Bank. Additionally, he managed to gain some heat by utilizing underhanded tactics to win and by cutting a promo on the fans mid-match.
The Miz Hosted 'Miz TV' with Summer Rae, Dolph Ziggler and Lana
I'm sorry but this angle is absolutely awful. I've been saying it since it started and I'll continue to say it until it ends. The acting is atrocious and I'm not even sure why viewers are supposed to care about it because nothing is on the line and Lana has given Summer her comeuppance on various occasions. If nothing else, acknowledging the prior history between Ziggler and Summer from last year was a nice touch.
Bo Dallas def. R-Truth
Well, this was a pointless match. Maybe they mixed up the SmackDown and Superstars tapings by accident? In all seriousness, it was fine for what it was, but it was hard to care because it was random and a glorified waste of time. However, I must say I was glad to see Dallas score a win for once and show more aggression than usual. Could it be a sign he might be receiving character development soon? I won't hold my breath.
Charlotte def. Tamina
I can't believe Tamina is involved in the "Diva Revolution" when better wrestlers such as Emma and Natalya are sitting on the sidelines. Perhaps WWE will want to punish her as a result of Jimmy Snuka going to prison this past week. Hey, I can dream, right? The match was passable and at least Tamina was able to hold her own with Charlotte carrying most of the match. The biggest highlight of the segment was Charlotte announcing that she might get her title opportunity before Night of Champions, which would make much more sense given there's a chance of Nikki's reign being at risk of ending before she can break the record of AJ Lee.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose def. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day by Disqualification (Non-title)
While most of the match was focused on Reigns and Ambrose, The New Day had a strong performance and put together a fun match. It wasn't anything too special, but it was cool to see the tag team division take center stage on SmackDown this week in the main event. Neither team should have lost, so the non-finish was acceptable in this case. Bray Wyatt's post-match promo was an intriguing tease for Night of Champions and it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, ends up joining the babyface trio to take on The Wyatt Family.
I figured last week's better-than-expected show would merely be a one-off, but this edition of SmackDown was equally delightful. Cesaro vs. Sheamus as well as the main event were well-wrestled while seeing The Dudley Boyz in action again was a treat. Kevin Owens' tease of going after Ryback, Charlotte announcing her petition to have her Divas title match held earlier and the acknowledgement of a previous storyline in the Ziggler-Lana-Summer love triangle were all notable as well, making this an above-average episode in my opinion.