Hey there, wrestling fans. We’re counting down the days until SmackDown becomes it’s very own show, which means that people will either start watching it, or it’ll wither and die like the testicle of someone with a horrifying disease.
So, as we await that fateful result, SmackDown.
Is it just me, or did Money in the Bank come around seriously quick? Ranallo says it’s just over a week away, and I’m not confident enough to refute that. Meanwhile, AJ and the Club have just shown up, after suffering the first of many John Cena ring-clearings. Welcome to the WWE, bitches. Styles gets on the microphone, and plugs Money in the Bank, along with what’s apparently a ‘dream match’ between him and Cena. He also talks about the brand extension, and this is what you have an advertising department for, WWE.
Styles says it’s time for a change, and this is the New Era of the WWE. I feel like AJ’s face is a little too…weathered for him to be talking about heading up a ‘new era’. He says that the Club has transcended countries and continents, which is the kind of thing that terrorist organisations always say. Because, make no mistake, the Club are terrorists: they’re fighting against John Cena who, after all, represents America itself. WWE are financing terrorism in their home nation, and that’s just terrible.
Suddenly, Enzo and Cass show up on the ramp. Enzo does their promo, and Cass then takes issue with Anderson and Gallows, saying that they’re going to be the new WWE Tag Team Champions. Anderson says that the Club is the absolute best thing in the world, ever, and that Enzo and Cass have got jack shit on them. Enzo rips on the Club a little, and then Gallows tries to send a promo back, and it’s like watching a dog try to walk on its hind legs. Except the dog hasn’t got hind legs, and also it has cancer. Enzo clears things up with another bit of smack talk, and he and Cass approach the ring.
Somewhere, the Usos are crying
When we come back, it’s the Club taking on Enzo and Cass, with the New Day on commentary. Anderson and Enzo start off, with Anderson applying a headlock and getting shot off the ropes, taking Amore down twice. He beats him down a little in the corner, before Enzo catches him with a headscissors and a crossbody. Gallows had caught a blind tag, and clubs Enzo into the ground.
Enzo’s trapped in the heel corner as Anderson tags in. Backbreaker out of the corner gets two. Byron is also feeding Big E grapes, which is actually worth a cutaway, and Gallows is back now, hitting a bodyslam. Enzo is in a bad way, getting pounded in the corner. Anderson is back now, continuing the beatdown. Another bodyslam catches Enzo, and now Amore is hung up in the Tree of Woe, taking a baseball slide to the chest. He falls to the outside, trying to gather himself. He gets back on the apron, and hangs Anderson up on the ropes! He dodges a boot on the outside by Gallows, dives into the ring and heads for Cass, but Anderon blocks him with a pair of knees out of nowhere, knocking him out of the ring! As we head to a commercial break, the Vaudevillains show up on the entrance ramp.
When we come back, Enzo is still your face in peril, taking a suplex from Gallows. Sleeper hold’s applied, right in the centre of the ring. The New Day has also completely taken over commentary and have apparently recruited Byron as their slave. Amore slides out of a bodyslam, desperately trying to reach Cass, but Gallows places him on the top turnbuckle…only to eat a tornado DDT! Enzo and Gallows make the tag, and hear comes Cass!
Cass runs right over Anderson before hurling him across the ring with a fallaway slam. Big boot, then then Empire Elbow, with Gallows breaking up the pin! Cass boots Gallows out of the ring, and gets dumped out by Anderson! The Vaudevillains approach the ring, and the New Day cut them off, and the brawl’s on! Every team is fighting in the ring, and that’s the DQ!
Decent match, and it’s something I’ve wanted to see since these teams got here. A lot of focus on Enzo getting beaten up, with barely any Cass payoff, but the boot to Gallows was sweet. 2.5 Stars.
Gallows and Anderson are thrown out by the New Day, and Enzo saves Cass from both Vaudevillains. Cass ejects the pair of them, and Enzo and Cass stand tall.
Renee Young is backstage with Lana and Rusev. Are they going to ask her to be their threesome partner, because Rusev has a type and Lana’s a little vain? Ah, no: it’s just talk about the US Title. Renee asks if he’s scared of Titus, and Rusev could have called out Renee on her blatantly racist suggestion that he judges people based on skin colour, but instead he doubles down and says that he’s better than Muhammad Ali. I mean…I never saw Muhammad Ali putting anyone in the Accolade.
Titus shows up, and starts using all of Ali’s catchphrases. Stay classy, WWE: Stay. Fucking. Classy.
Just this tag match over and over, please
Here is Cesaro, who rips off his suit to reveal a t-shirt underneath it. I mean…that’s just another bizarre element to his entrance, which is plenty bizarre as it is. His partner is Sami Zayn, and the pair of them will be facing Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio. Alright, Del Rio is either stuffing his shorts, or I just worked out what Paige sees in him. I mean…that thing is actually stealing focus.
Zayn starts off against Owens, with Owens starting off on the offensive. He runs the ropes and takes Zayn down with a shoulder. Armdrags take Owens down in turn, and he tags in Del Rio, who kicks Zayn down to the mat. Zayn puts Del Rio down with an armdrag, however, and tags in Cesaro. Cesaro locks the arm of Alberto, rolling him up before backing him into the corner. Del Rio hits a kick to the gut, and pounds down punches to Cesaro in the corner, only for Cesaro to return the favour. He wants a tag, but then Owens just up and walks out. Zayn chases him, leaving Del Rio and Cesaro in the ring. Alberto hits a DDT, but misses a shot to Cesaro on the ropes, taking a senton off the apron from Cesaro!
We come back from a commercial break with Del Rio in control. He boots Cesaro in the face before hitting the backstabber. He comes off the top, hitting a clothesline to Cesaro for two. Cesaro blocks a suplex from Del Rio, and then just fucking deadlifts the Mexican into a suplex of his own. Owens and Zayn come back, still brawling, and Del Rio gets pissy with Owens for acting like an absentee Canadian father figure. And now Del Rio leaves, or tries to: Owens blocks him, and starts yelling at him before Zayn leaps out of the ring and takes Owens out! Del Rio jumps Sami, but eats an uppercut from Cesaro! Suplex on the outside, and then a crossbody to Del Rio back inside the ring for the nearest of near falls!
Cesaro takes a moment to gather himself, and that moment was enough for Del Rio to hit an armbar takedown. He wants the Cross Armbreaker; Cesaro counters into the Cesaro Swing, and Kevin Owens lays the Swiss Superman out with a superkick! Dragon Suplex to Owens from Zayn, and another superkick: this time from Del Rio to Sami, and Alberto runs right into a pop-up European uppercut! Everyone’s down, with Del Rio working his way back up to his feet in the corner. Cesaro beats him to it, and hits a bunch of uppercuts!
Del Rio finally dodges, and knocks Zayn off the corner before Del Rio takes him for a swing. The Sharpshooter is applied, but Cesaro has to break it to take out Kevin Owens. He puts Del Rio up on the turnbuckle, and then hits a standing dropkick to the man’s face! He wants a superplex, and Owens rocks the rope! Cesaro’s tied up in the Tree of Woe, and eats the double-stomp! Owens suddenly drags Del Rio out of the ring, and puts him down, getting the pin himself!
The challenge with putting these teams against each other so much is that you need to keep things interesting, and they somehow manage it consistently. Exciting match. 3 Stars.
Is Becky’s hair like a Super Saiyan thing?
Here’s Becky Lynch, accompanied by Natalya. I really hate the new hair colour or wig or whatever that is, but considering that’s my biggest complaint about her, it’s hardly a withering indictment. She’ll be facing Dana Brooke, who comes to the ring with Charlotte.
Dana starts by avoiding Becky, wrapping herself up in the ropes. Becky catches a kick, whipping the leg and then hitting some arm drags to send Dana out of the ring. Lynch waits on her as she makes her way back inside, and now Brooke takes advantage with a shot to the gut. Charlotte gets in a shot behind the ref’s back, before Dana gets back to putting the boots to Becky.
Nat plays cheerleader on the outside as Becky rolls Dana up, firing up now as she comes up hitting lariats. Running forearm to the corner, and Becky hits a back kick to Dana. Charlotte runs interference before Dana hangs Becky up on the ropes, and then Brooke throws a punch at Nat on the outside. Natalya is extremely unamused, and begins to pursue Dana, who leads her right into a spear from Charlotte! Becky saves Natalya, and Charlotte and Nat are both ejected from ringside.
Dana rolls back into the ring, almost getting a surprise pin. Suddenly, Becky has the DisArmer locked in, and Dana taps out!
Impressed that Becky got a win against Dana, who was looking extremely strong. They’re keeping multiple women relevant right now, which I hope they’re able to do more post-draft. 2.5 Stars.
Bob Backlund hates Darren Young’s ‘Millions of Dollars’ dance. He tells Young to save his money and not blow it: that is actually a genuinely good piece of advice, as JBL will tell you.
Someone named ‘Baron’ should at least ride a horse to the ring
Baron Corbin is back, despite promising that he would never perform for an audience who don’t deserve him. I, personally, feel betrayed. He’s facing Kalisto, who I guess has had his fifteen minutes of fame.
Corbin takes some kicks, with Kalisto hitting and moving. Kalisto’s elevated out onto the apron, but takes Corbin out to the floor and keeps up the kicks. Corbin finally catches Kalisto, and hurls him into the barricade. He looks like he’s going to start something with Ziggler, but never does.
Back in the ring, the beatdown to Kalisto continues. The Mexican finally fires back, using strikes to keep Corbin at bay. Springboard corkscrew leads into a hurricana-facebuster. Corbin counters the Salida Del Sol and hits the End of Days for the win.
So, it really seems like that’s it for Kalisto. Also, it’s hard to be invested in Baron Corbin when the guy has showcased a grand total of one actual wrestling moves ever. 1.5 Stars.
Sheamus is backstage with a group of people he dragged from catering, and he’s made them watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle advertising. I feel like a Brogue Kick would actually be less painful. Zack Ryder laughs at him because, you know, he’s in a fucking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but Sheamus is way too happy with himself to be pissed, which is kind of sweet.
Then Apollo Crews shows up, and Sheamus asks him if he’ll get him coffee and carry his bags. And I guess Apollo didn’t know about the whole ‘movie role’ thing and just figures that Sheamus is a fucking racist, because he lays him out. And everyone laughs at Sheamus, because literally every WWE employee is a sociopath.
Sixty-nine thumbtacks. And that’s terrible.
Speaking of psychiatric disorders, here’s Dean Ambrose, ready to face Chris Jericho. We get our competitors in the ring, and away we go. Tie-up to start, with Jericho breaking it to slap Ambrose. Dean looks fucking furious, and chases Jericho around the ring: Chris has got to stop slapping people who can kick his ass. Back in the ring, Jericho eats a crossbody, gets beat down in the corner and gets stomped in the gut by Ambrose.
Dean pushes Jericho into the corner again, before Jericho gains enough of a reprieve to clothesline him in the back of the head. He keeps yelling ‘sixty-nine thumbtacks!’ which makes this seem like it’s an anime, and Jericho has a move called ‘Sixty-Nine Thumbtacks’. Which he fucking should. Ambrose catches Chris with a lariat, and another one sends Jericho out of the ring. Dean waits on him, letting him get up, and then dives right through the ropes and onto him. Ambrose hauls Chris up onto the announce table, looking for Dirty Deeds, but Jericho flips him over and then catapults him out onto the floor as he go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Jericho delivers a snap suplex to Ambrose for one. He chokes Dean in the corner with his foot. Ambrose fights back, but comes off the ropes into a dropkick for a two count. Dean manages to grab a roll-up for a near fall, but Jericho quickly clotheslines him back down before choking him on the ropes. This time, it’s Jericho who runs into the clothesline, getting put down hard. He eats a series of punches from Ambrose, then some running forearms. Jericho staggers into a corner, and shoves his way out of Dean’s bulldog attempt. Ambrose elevates him onto the apron; Y2J punches him in the face and heads up to the top rope. Chris comes off the top, right into a knee to the gut! He counters Dirty Deeds, comes off the ropes, and catches Dean in the Walls! Dean flips over to roll Chris up, and then catapults Jericho into the corner, but Jericho lands on the second rope! He jumps at Ambrose, who manages to smash him in the face with a forearm, getting two!
Ambrose climbs up to the top rope, waiting for Jericho to get up. Chris ducks; Ambrose rolls to his feet, but eats an enzuigiri from from the top rope for two! Jericho yells at Ambrose to stay down, and then puts him on top of the turnbuckle, looking for a superplex. Ambrose dumps Jericho on his face, rolling him up for a near fall! Dean charges at Chris, with both men hitting forearms to knock each other down. They reach their feet, and Ambrose is on the attack, lighting up Y2J. Jericho kicks him in the face; Ambrose returns for a Lunatic Lariat; Jericho tries to counter with a Codebreaker, but Dean catches him, looking for Dirty Deeds! Chrish shoves Ambrose into the ref, and then scores with the Codebreaker! That’s the match!
Started off well, and then got better. The sequences in this match were fantastic. 4 Stars.
After the match, Jericho heads out to the ramp, snagging himself a ladder before returning to the ring. He sets the ladder up on the turnbuckle, and then tries to send Ambrose into it, but Dean reverses the Irish whip and sends Chris face-first into the ladder! Ambrose drops the ladder on top of Chris. He’s about to leave, but then sets up and climbs the ladder before nailing Jericho with a standing elbow.
This was a good show: decent quality matches and a logical build to the PPV. Hopefully this is making a strong case for equality between the shows as we approach the brand extension. 8/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, apollo crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, byron saxton, Cesaro, charlotte, Chris Jericho, Dana Brooke, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Enzo and Cass, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Lana, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Renee Young, rusev, sami zayn, Sheamus, smackdown, The Club, The New Day, The Vaudevillains, titus o'neil