Hey there, gang. This is the Spain SmackDown Report, checking in with the final show before Money in the Bank. I am your host, David Spain: lover, fighter, wrestling show reviewer.
So, hey: SmackDown!
We kick things off with an episode of the Highlight Reel, hosted by Chris Jericho. He begins by aggressively telling the audience to be quiet, and then rubbing in our faces how rich he is, and how much of that cash he wastes on his talk show set. Like, why is he even paying for that? Jericho says that he’s going to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match this Sunday, and finally brings up that he was the one who came up with the idea for it. He then introduces Dean Ambrose.
Dean rocks up, carrying a coffee that I am literally certain is going to end up on the carpet. Ambrose, amongst other things, recently hit Roman Reigns with Dirty Deeds, because this whole issue with Reigns and Rollins wasn’t morally conflicted enough. Dean already teases the coffee-on-the-carpet thing, and I’d love to say that I’m psychic but no: wrestling is just sort of predictable. Jericho says that Ambrose has lost his Jeritron Privileges, and I suppose it’s official: the Jeritron 6500 is not a right.
Chris gets on Dean’s case about the whole ‘sixty-nine’ thumbtacks thing, saying he had to pick them out one by one. So…do the doctors hate Jericho, or does Jericho not trust medical professionals? He says that he’s already been World Champion, unlike Dean, a total of six times, and that he’s going to do it again. Kevin Owens’ music plays, interrupting Y2J’s spiel, and he comes out to say that the contract is his: that’s a fact. And once he gets the briefcase, he’s not dumb enough to tell anyone when he’s going to cash in, making him smarter than John Cena and Rob Van Dam. Del Rio shows up, and gets about two sentences out before Cesaro appears. Zayn’s entrance cuts him off before Cesaro can even speak, and we’re at PEAK LEVELS OF INTERRUPTION, PEOPLE.
Everyone is pissed off with each other, which is just lucky as hell seeing as they all have a big match later tonight. Jericho talks some trash until Ambrose pours his coffee all over the carpet, and that manages to turn into a brawl. The faces clear the ring and stand tall as we head to a commercial break.
Really points out the Jannettys of the teams
When we come back, it’s Luke Gallows, Aiden English, Kofi Kingston and Big Cass in a Fatal Four-Way match. Just in case you were wondering who’s going to get the singles run.
The bell rings, and we’re away. Enzo and Woods are on commentary, which I doubt I’ll be able to do justice to with the written word. Gallows/Kofi and Cass/English face off, with Gallows blocking a hurricanrana before getting kicked in the face by Kingston. Big right hand to Kingston from Gallows, and then he and English send Cass off the ropes. Cass clotheslines Luke and sends English out of the ring, before Gallows knocks Cass out of the ring, with him and English sending the big man into the barricade before a commercial break.
When we come back, English and Gallows are working Kofi over between them. Bodyslam from Gallows, with English breaking up the pin and asking him: ‘what are you doing?’ Literally offended by a guy trying to win a match: a gentleman would have given the victory away. English then tries to get the pin, with Gallows yelling at him for it, and then they work out their frustrations on Kofi. Gallows gets Kingston up on his shoulders, and it looks like this could be a Doomsday Device! But then Cass gets into the ring and boots Gallows in the face, because fuck me for marking out.
Cass catches English off the top rope, and keeps knocking him down before splashing him in the corner. He sends English into a kick by Kofi, but Gotch rushes the ring to provide a distraction. Gallows and Anderson drag Cass out to the outside, and Kofi leaps out on all three of them! Gotch tries to interfere again, and is taken the fuck out by Big E. English brings Kingston back into the ring, eats Trouble in Paradise, and that’s the match.
It was a decent concept, but it seemed a little slow-paced. Maybe they didn’t want to give too much away for Sunday. Still a fine match. 2.5 Stars.
Renee is backstage with Becky and Natalya. Nat will be taking on Charlotte, prior to the tag team match at Money in the Bank. They start running down Charlotte, before the champ and Dana show up to be assholes. There’s almost a brawl, but no-one spills coffee so sanity survives.
I don’t give a fuck how many people make RAW and SmackDown, WWE. Stop trying to make me care about you.
Huey Lewis and the News are pretty good too
Dolph is on commentary, Zack Ryder is in the ring and Baron Corbin is also here: I dislike literally every part of that sentence. WWE also plays a trailer for Tarzan during Corbin’s entrance, which is fucking beautiful. Also, unless Phil Collins is providing the music for that movie, no matter how awesome the rest of it is, it’s not going to be as good as the previous Tarzan film. You know what? I’m actually going to play the soundtrack from that movie during this match to make it somehow…better.
Corbin kicks Ryder in the guts, and keeps kicking him on the ground. He chokes Zack on the ropes, staring at Ziggler, and this is the most inspirational beatdown I have ever seen. Ryder boots Corbin in the face, and dropkicks him out on the floor! Back in the ring, he pounds on Baron and hits the Broski Boot! Corbin catches Ryder with an uppercut, but runs into a pair of knees. A missile dropkick misses, and the End of Days finishes it.
Let the record show that Ryder lasted up until the bridge of Son of Man, which was the first song I played. Overall, that was a glorious experience, and I’m giving it 4 Stars due to the match’s incredible use of Phil Collins.
Baron approaches Dolph, who gets in his face before Corbin backs off. Apparently they have a match on Sunday, and that match is going to need some serious Phil Collins for me to care.
I think I’m just making up reasons to dislike Rusev
Lana is in the ring, asking us to rise in order to receive Rusev. At the risk of sounding jingoistic, it’ll be a cold day in hell before an Italian-Brit stands up for goddamn Bulgarian. I have no idea if there’s any international conflict between our peoples, but sometimes I just like to stir shit up.
Fuck Austria-Hungary too, while I’m at it; I don’t care if it doesn’t even exist anymore.
He’s facing Kalisto, who I don’t have a problem with, because Mexico wasn’t a member of the Central or Axis Powers during the early-to-mid-1900s. He leaps over the ropes, and right into Rusev’s belly-to-belly. Big kick to the back of Kalisto’s head, and the Accolade is locked in. Match hadn’t even started, which is what you get when you face someone from a country who once conquered Serbia.
Sin Cara tries to make the save, but Rusev beats the shit out of him too. Suddenly, Titus O’Neil hits the ring and takes the fight to Rusev, knocking him all around the ring. Wow: the American was late to an international conflict. Again.
We watch the contract signing from Monday, as I try to get a handle on my George VI-era jingoism. I tried playing some more Phil Collins, but it just makes the hate seem somehow exhilarating.
Renee is backstage with the Club, and asks AJ how confident he feels. He says that Cena can’t beat him, and that Cena tried to embarrass him on Monday, but he’s going to prove that he’s better in the biggest Money in the Bank of all time.
The New Day crashes the party, insulting Styles’ hairstyle. Instead of, you know, his homophobia. Styles challenges Xavier Woods to a match with no-one at ringside. Xavier seems up for it, and says that they can do it right now.
What did Xavier expect?
When we come back, it looks like that match was set up, because here are AJ Styles and Xavier Woods. Both men are without their comrades, and look keen to get things underway. Styles throw Xavier off a tie-up, then grasps the arm, taking Woods down to his knees. Woods pushes AJ onto the ropes, but eats a big right hand. Woods is sent off the ropes, ducks Styles, and hits a right hand, hitting a bunch of chops in the corner. He vaults over AJ, but gets taken out at the knee. He looks like he’s really hurt it, and AJ gets backed off by the ref.
Styles hits a bunch of shots to the knee; Woods kicks and punches him away, but eats a Pele Kick to the face. Xavier is hugely on the defensive, eating a corner clothesline for two. Woods rolls out of a back suplex, rolls AJ up, and then eats a backbreaker as we got to a break.
When we come back, Styles has put Xavier up on the top turnbuckle. Woods headbutts him away, and then comes off the ropes with a crossbody! Clotheslines to Styles, a kick to the gut, and then a dropkick to the back of the head! Woods hits an inverted suplex, but runs into a kick from Styles. Woods manages to hit an elbow, sending Styles to the outside, and then catches him with a Swanton Bomb from the outside! Back in the ring, it’s a springboard elbow from Woods which almost gets three!
Woods takes Styles up to the top, looking for a superplex. Styles blocks it, pulling Woods’ leg out to send him to the floor. AJ wants the Phenomenal Forearm, and he hits it, but then finishes it with the Calf Crusher: Xavier taps.
Good match, with an excellent showing from Woods. Impressive stuff. 3.5 Stars.
Post-match, Styles gets on the microphone, and says that that was just a taste of what he was going to give to John Cena: Cena’s time is up, and Styles’ time is now.
Bob Backlund needs to be put in a home. Like…ten years ago.
NICE JOB, NATALYA
Here’s Natalya, accompanied by Becky Lynch, ready to face Charlotte, who’s got Dana Brooke with her. Charlotte starts off with a shove, but eats a chop in return. Natalya catches a kick, taking Charlotte down to the mat face-first. She locks in the inverted surfboard, holding Charlotte up before running over her back and hitting a dropkick to the face. Dana drags Charlotte out of the ring, but Natalya strikes with a baseball slide to take her out. Charlotte is sent back into the ring, but rolls out before nailing Natalya in the face with a kick when she tries to pursue.
Natalya is tossed into the room, with Charlotte getting a two count from that kick. Chops to Natalya, who fires back up with a Russian leg sweep. German release suplex gets two. Nat runs into an elbow, and then gets straight-up dropped by a knife-edge chop. Charlotte wants a moonsault, but Natalya catches her in the corner to hit the Batista Bomb!
Dana tries to distract Charlotte but Becky dives on her, with the brawl spilling over into the ring. Charlotte grabs the belt and uses it to distract the ref, which apparently distracts Natalya, which allows Charlotte to hit a chop block and apply the Figure Eight, which makes Natalya tap. Byron says that was cheap, but it comes down to Natalya being a total dumbass: King and I are in agreement, and you know how rarely that happens.
Not a bad match, with a game Natalya. Charlotte has obviously never seen an Eddie Guerrero match. 2 Stars.
Can’t derail the Uppercut Train
It’s main event time, and our six-man tag match. The Money in the Bank Ladder Match participants make their way to the ring, and the match is underway. A brawl immediately kicks off, spreading to the outside, and Cesaro and Del Rio seem to be starting things off. Del Rio misses a step-up enzuigiri, and eats a barrage of uppercuts. Del Rio tries to a backslide, but Cesaro counters it, and the armbreaker attempt, sending Alberto out of the ring and hitting a senton! Uppercut to Owens; uppercut to Jericho, and uppercut to Del Rio!
Back in the ring, Cesaro hits a flying crossbody to Del Rio for two, and then he takes Alberto for the Cesaro Swing! Owens interferes, and he eats the Swing, and then Jericho gets the same treatment! Sharpshooter to Jericho, but Del Rio interrupts with a superkick as we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Jericho hits a dropkick to Cesaro before tagging in Owens. Owens stomps Cesaro, then hits some more boots in the corner. Tag to Jericho, who stomps away at him, and then Del Rio tags himself in for some beat-down action. Step-up enzuigiri hits this time, getting two. Cesaro suddenly catches him, putting Del Rio up on the top rope and dropkicking him to the floor! Del Rio tags in Jericho; Cesaro tags in Zayn!
Sami takes Jericho down with a clothesline and a calf kick. He’s sent into a corner, hits a back elbow, and then hits a flying crossbody for two. Jericho counters a suplex, and sends Zayn into a right hand from Owens for two. Chops and punches to Zayn in the corner, Zayn runs into a boot, but manages to hit the Blue Thunder Bomb, laying Jericho out! Sami crawls over to the corner, and Del Rio and Ambrose are legal!
Dean catches Alberto with clotheslines, then a crossbody. Forearm to the corner, and then a running bulldog. He knocks Owens off the apron, and dives out onto him, before avoiding an enzuigiri from Del Rio, allowing the Mexican to fall right out of the ring! Dean dives through the ropes, taking Alberto down on the outside! Back in the ring, Ambrose heads up to the top, and runs right into a kick before tasting the backstabber for two!
Del Rio wants the Cross Armbreaker, but Ambrose counters with a Dirty Deeds attempt, before hitting the Lunatic Lariat! Jericho interferes, prompting Cesaro to lay everyone out with uppercuts, including Dean Ambrose! Owens dispatches Cesaro, before Zayn jumps on Owens, sending him out of the ring and accidentally sentoning Cesaro! Owens throws Zayn into the barricade, and gets tagged in by Del Rio, who we superkicks off the apron! He superkicks Jericho too, before Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds for the win!
Great match, particularly with the ‘falling apart’ ending. Really looking forward to these guys’ contribution on Sunday. 3.5 Stars.
Tags: AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, byron saxton, Cesaro, charlotte, Chris Jericho, Dana Brooke, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Enzo and Cass, Jerry Lawler, John Cena, Kevin Owens, Mauro Ranallo, money in the bank, natalya neidhart, Phil Collins, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, sami zayn, seth rollins, smackdown, Spain SmackDown Report, The Club, The Highlight Reel, The New Day, The Vaudevillains, zack ryder