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   August 21, 2014



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Smackdown in the ATL: Good, but not PPV worthy
By MATTHEW ASHER - SLAM! Wrestling


With less than a week before Survivor Series, the WWE invaded Hotlanta for the final taping of Smackdown before the PPV. Overall, it was a good show, but nothing that would make me want to order the PPV.

Since this episode of Smackdown has yet to air, I will do my best to avoid any potential spoilers. The night begins at 7pm with Drew McIntyre going 1 on 1 against Xavier Woods. After that match has concluded (you know who won that one) WWE Main Event starts as the Miz and Josh Matthews finally come down to do commentary.

Not much to mention here other than the finalizing of a few of the Survivor Series matches. We have Naomi accompanied by the rest of the Total Divas against Tamina Snuka and her group of the Roster Divas. Of course, all 14 girls get involved in a scrum but there is a clear winner in this one. The other two matches are ADR vs. Santino and Kofi vs. Fandango.

Finally Smackdown begins. Again, without getting into the plot of the show, there are a few subtle changes I’ve started to notice. Now, the phrase “best for business” no longer simply means what the Authority wants. It appears to have morphed to mean “torture for any wrestler” regardless of their heel or face status. You’ll understand when you see the episode.

Of the matches definitely worth seeing, the opening contest between the Rhodes Boys and the Real American for the Tag Team Titles was a great way to start off the show. Swagger and Cesaro did a great job of using double team moves throughout the match and I counted a total of 21 spins during the obligatory Cesaro Swing move.

The other match may seem odd, but it was great because it was hilarious. The Prime Time Players take on 3MB. Since this takes place in Georgia, 3MB tonight is known as “The Fabulous 3Birds” with all three members dressing up like the original Freebirds including fake wigs and chest hair. The guys sitting next to me actually fell out of his chair laughing at Heath Slater’s perfect impression of Michael “PS” Hayes. It’s certainly a sight to behold.

The final match of the night was Daniel Bryan against Luke Harper. If that match was trying to sell me on the PPV, it didn’t work. However, once Smackdown went off the air, everyone was treated to a decent World Heavyweight title match between John Cena and ADR. The two men spent about 15 minutes with a bunch of near falls. Of course, Cena won the match, but it was a good way to send the fans home happy since the Smackdown ending was sort of a “Meh…” way to end the night.

No word on the next time the WWE returns to Atlanta, but as always, I await hearing the news with baited breath.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. He wonders when we're going to see the epic Shield/Wyatt Family clash and would be willing to wait as long as next Survivor Series to see this match settled.