Promo Time With The Wyatts
Smackdown kicked off with the Wyatt Family in the ring to discuss a manner of subjects with the WWE Universe, instead of the normal situation of Bray Wyatt doing the talking whilst his brothers stand and watch, every member had something to say which was a nice way of changing things slightly.
Luke Harper kicked things off setting up the main event (Wyatts - The Usos) before his fellow brothers simply let fans know how dominant they were and how great Bray was, all very simple stuff.
Wyatt's message was also fairly simple, whilst he accepted that the Brothers of Destruction had once again risen he claimed he still owned parts of their souls (so why did they get beaten so easily on RAW?) and challenged them to a match at Survivor Series.
The match would be a tag team with the Brothers of Destruction taking on two members of the Wyatt Family and Bray gave The Undertaker until the end of the night to respond to him.
Whilst promo's have become the typical way a WWE show kicks off nowadays, this one made sense and was effective, not only in setting up the match at Survivor Series, but also the main event of Smackdown.
The Wyatt Family are creepy and have a certain eeriness about them, but whilst it was different to hear from them all, it would surely make more sense for Braun Strowman to stay a silent monster for now and let his actions do the talking.
Braun Strowman def. Fandango
Speaking of Strowman letting his actions speak louder than words, that's exactly what happened in the first match up of the night, as Fandango was fed to the Black Sheep in a simple squash match.
The match was over within minutes as Strowman made simple work of the dancer, interestingly Fandango got a fantastic reaction from the UK crowd, a place where the gimmick has always been popular.
Unfortunately for Fandango it seems that the UK is the only place that the gimmick is popular, and given that the company tapes live from the UK around once or twice a year he drastically needs a change up or his WWE career might not continue too much longer.
Neville def. King Barrett
In the first of the WWE Championship tournament matches the two Englishmen would take to the ring to a fantastic reception from their home fans, who remained fully invested throughout the match.
The pair put on the match of the night in this author's opinion, with both men showcasing how much it meant to them to continue in the competition, with Barrett dominating in the early stages, grounding the high flier by sending him flying into the barricade and the announcers table.
Chants for footballer, Wayne Rooney took place throughout the match as the crowd taunted Barrett for the slap he received on RAW earlier this week, and after early domination the former NXT champion would battle back with a series of moves including a standing shooting star press.
With Neville taking control the pace of the match really picked up and the pair would go on to hit several of their key moves with Neville eventually getting the victory following his Red Arrow, to progress to the quarter finals where he will face Kevin Owens.
The quarter final match between the two former NXT superstars has the potential to be something special if they're granted the time, which is what they were given in this match, and the duo made the most of their minutes.
Kalisto def. Ryback
Another WWE Championship tournament match took place on Smackdown with the Lucha Dragons member, Kalisto taking on the Big Guy, Ryback in what was a strange match to see on the brackets.
Kalisto isn't exactly a superstar most thought would even be involved in the brackets, but with so many of the company's top talents out injured and the high flier having such great in ring ability, it made sense to put him in.
The match kicked off with a show of respect between the pair as they shook hands before the bell rang, with both men being face characters this made perfect sense to start the match.
It was a story of whether or not Ryback could keep Kalisto grounded with his power, and the answer was no as Kalisto would go on to provide the upset and shock result of the first round by beating Ryback after another solid match.
It's good to see Kalisto be given a push, even if it's a small one with him having had several singles match's lately with his battles with Owens not so long ago, perhaps the WWE are considering a single run for the masked man?
Alberto Del Rio def. Stardust
The final tournament match for the night, and the final First Round match in the entire bracket was a very strange pairing that just didn't work, not for the live crowd or for the viewers watching at home.
What took place inside the ring was fine and good quality, whenever you put two superstars of their caliber in the ring together you're going to get a good match, but the fact that they're both heels is what made this misfire.
The crowd didn't know who they were supposed to be cheering for and because of that this match just fell flat, and that seems to have been a major issue with Del Rio's return in general, the fans still don't know if he's a face or a heel.
Coming in and beating John Cena for the title instantly made fans get behind him, but then he attacks the crowd verbally to start the match and goes on to do the wrist slapping "Si, Si, Si" during the match, wanting the crowd to chant along with him as if he's a face.
It doesn't add up and he needs more direction other than the whole MexAmerica gimmick which isn't getting over with the fans, as for Stardust he is stuck in a major rut and is currently being wasted.
A superstar of that much talent should be doing much more than simply jobbing to upper mid card talent, the whole Stardust gimmick seems to have run it's course and a return to the Cody Rhodes character seems like the best idea at this stage.
The Uso's def Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
This is a match that we have seen many times before, but felt very fresh given that it's been a while since it last took place due to the injuries sustained to Jey Uso and both the Wyatt's over the past year.
Before the bell could even ring the four started an all out brawl to begin the show, beating eachother up both inside and outside the ring to give the match a big fight feel and remind audiences that they hate eachother.
It was great to see the match start in that way as it really set the tone, and credit to Jey and Rowan for taking the risk given that they have both just returned from injury, whilst it as only a small one it was still worth while.
The match that was put on was worthy of the main event status and really pushed Barrett and Neville for match of the night, with the Uso's high flying quick paced style being matched by the Wyatt's hard hitting ability making the match flow perfectly.
Both teams know each other so well and all the big spots were hit to perfection, the teams work brilliantly together also with frequent tags and all four mean getting the chance to shine within the match.
However with the Uso's in control the entire Wyatt family would beat down the brothers to gain a disqualification, and whilst the former tag team champions would get the victory the Wyatt Family were left standing tall.
As the Wyatt's picked at the broken bodies of the Uso's, they would only be saved from a further beat down by the sound of The Undertaker's voice on the sound system accepting Bray's challenge to the match at Survivor Series to close the show.
Overall it was a solid edition of Smackdown and you could tell that the WWE were pulling out all the stops to impress the UK crowd who kept the atmosphere all night long. With a major match being set up for Survivor Series and the continuation of the WWE Championship tournament, the show had a must not miss feel about it, which made a refreshing change for the blue brand.