Hey there, SmackDown fans. It’s been a pretty exciting week, and our political system here in Great Britain has been like Game of Thrones, except with way less time between betrayals and far less nudity. Although, given the average attractiveness of our politicians is somewhere between Luke Gallows and Braun Strowman, I can be thankful for that. We’re also about to
elect have elected for us either the bastard lovechild of Margaret Thatcher and Big Brother or possibly the dumbest, reality-divorced psycho that we could find.
So, yeah: things are going just fantastically right now. You know where you can find more sanity than is currently on display in the UK?
We get shown a whole load of ‘earlier today’ stuff, which is just a bunch of guys separately doing not all that much in particular. Oh, and Seth Rollins managed to walk right into a match against Jey Uso. I feel like Jey really should know better by now.
Here’s Dean Ambrose, and…goddammit. Jerry Lawler’s back, and life just got a teensy bit worse. I mean, my country is circling the drain, and seeing King back managed to make me unhappy: that‘s how much I hate his commentary. And Dean Ambrose wants to do some ring announcing, and I guess this is what happens when you want to get as much mileage out of a title reign as you can.
It’s like Jey is only as good as or worse than Roman Reigns
Dean’s announces Jey Uso and Seth Rollins, taking a few shots at Seth as he does so. Which, I don’t know, probably doesn’t hurt as much as putting him through a table on RAW, but every little helps. Both Jey and Seth are set to get underway, and Dean makes his way out of the ring. They lock up, with Seth applying a headlock. He’s shot off the ropes and takes Jey down with a shoulder, taking an armdrag when he runs the ropes again. Another armdrag to Rollins, who manages to take back control and beat Uso down in the corner.
Rollins whips Jey into a corner, but runs into an uppercut. Back suplex to Rollins, but he manages to boot Jey in the face, hitting a backbreaker for two. Ambrose gets on the microphone to start doing advertising. Rollins is distracted, because WWE only hires wrestlers with ADHD. Seth kicks out of a pin, but still goes after Ambrose, leading to him getting clotheslined out of the ring and dived on by Jey Uso. Ambrose calls for a commercial break and, like magic, we go to one.
When we come back, Jey chops Seth into a corner. He catches a boot from Rollins, but is thrown face-first into a corner, and a high knee knocks him out of the ring. Jey eats another knee from the ring apron, and now Seth’s in control. Running forearm to Uso in the corner, and then a rear chinlock’s applied in the centre of the ring. Jey tries to regain his feet, and takes a neckbreaker for his troubles.
Seth heads up to the second rope, but Ambrose gets on the microphone to announce that someone’s parked in the fire lane. Rollins, again getting distracted, jumps into an uppercut. Jey hits him with some clotheslines, then another uppercut. Seth slides out of a Samoan Drop, hitting an enzuigiri but running into a Samoan Drop this time! Jey measures Seth for the Samoan Wrecking Ball, almost takes a Pedigree, kicks out of a roll-up, avoids a superkick and hits one of his own! Jey heads up to the top, soaring for the Samoan Splash, but Rollins gets the knees up at the last second. Pedigree one two three.
Not a bad opener. Ambrose’s thing was kind of amusing, but I feel like Rollins was an idiot for getting so distracted. I mean…come on, man. 2.5 Stars.
Seth insists that Dean announce him as the winner, and their relationship seems to go between trying to maim each other and just acting like they have some sort of sitcom rivalry. Dean comedically insults Seth for a bit, then chases him out of the ring, literally proving my point.
WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
Here’s Zack Ryder, and he managed to win the main event of RAW this week which, as per the Zack Ryder booking algorithm, probably means he’s going to be injected with super AIDS after the break. Shit has to balance out.
Oh, and it’s worse than super AIDS: it’s Sheamus! The Irishman immediately starts beating the absolute shit out of Ryder, because fuck this young man’s hopes and dreams with a cactus. Ten Beats of the Cultural Appropriation, but Ryder manages to get three punches and low-bridge Sheamus…before getting bodyslammed on the apron. I mean, say what you like about super AIDS…
In the ring, Ryder kicks Sheamus in the face, and suffers for it. Sheamus takes him up to the top rope, and Ryder fights back, knocking Sheamus off the ropes. Elbro Drop…GETS THREE!! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!
Zack Ryder just pinned a multi-time former World Champion, and if it wasn’t for the fact that it was Sheamus, I’d be sickened. 2 Stars.
Ryder is asked by some interviewer what’s next for him, and he says that he’s going to regain the United States Championship from Rusev. Holy fuck: we’re going to see a man die.
We see a promo for Baron Corbin which makes him seem like the Antichrist rather than…well, Baron Corbin.
Backstage, Rusev is how he feels about the rules of WWE, booking and reality itself being rewritten to allow Zack Ryder two good moments not separated by heartrending tragedy. He says that it’s an affront to God and nature, and is a sign of the end times. Rusev promises the interviewer that he, Rusev, will be the hero that we deserve and murder Ryder in order to save us from the apocalypse.
Does not count as a Women’s Division match
Here’s Becky Lynch, and Natalya attacks her from behind, because WWE are just going to fuck over Irish red-heads tonight. Becky gets her ass kicked on the outside, and it’s nice to actually see an ass-kicking in the Women’s Division. Two refs try to make Natalya stop putting Becky in the Sharpshooter without even touching her. What, would HR have wanted a word?
We take a look back to RAW, when Bray Wyatt threatened the New Day and Xavier Woods is a giant bitch. I mean, yeah, I get it: Bray and his friends look like the kind of guys who abduct and eat kids, but Xavier Woods is a man who is literally paid to beat people into unconsciousness, so this sort of behaviour is total bullshit.
Xavier Woods did an interview saying why he doesn’t think they should go to the Wyatt compound on RAW. I mean…surely if they have a fight with the Wyatts at the Wyatts’ house, it’s legally breaking and entering plus assault, and the cops would absolutely arrest the black guys: that’s why you don’t go to the compound.
Here’s Enzo Amore and Big Cass, who’ve allied themselves to John Cena. And let’s hope that they actually manage to elevate Cena popularity-wise, rather than Cena dragging him down like the Usos and Zack Ryder. At Battleground, Cena, Enzo and Cass will face the Club in a six-man tag match which will solve literally nothing.
Cass says that they got involved with this to stop the Club getting the idea that they run the place. Before he can expand further, the Club themselves show up on the entrance ramp. See, they know they have the numbers advantage, because John Cena’s not on SmackDown. AJ says that they need to find something to do, and Anderson says that they should beat up Enzo and Cass.
Cass says that they should come down to the ring and try it. But AJ wants none of that: he wants to go up against Enzo. Enzo asks if Styles is talking to him, and says that he’s not afraid of him. He tells AJ to fucking bring it, in his own particular style, and Cass lets them know that they’re SAWFT.
Enzo should not be allowed to exit the ring
When we come back, Styles and Enzo are in the ring and ready to go. Styles goes behind Enzo, snapmaring and mocking him. Enzo returns with a roll-up, and mocks AJ right back. Styles is sent to the outside, and Enzo tries to dive out onto him and the Club, but his foot catches the top rope and he crashes and burns: he does not have any luck going out of the ring. Styles sends Amore back inside, and starts to work him over.
Backbreaker to Enzo, who at least looks like he’s okay. AJ sends him out through the ropes, and what, do you want to kill him? Enzo comes back into the ring, and gets a knocked around a little before laying Styles out with a standing dropkick. AJ is slumped in the corner, but pulls Amore head-first into the turnbuckle. Snap suplex to Enzo, and a rear chinlock to the Smacktalker Skywalker. He’s thrown into a corner, but misses a forearm, hitting a few shots to Styles.
Enzo heads up to the second rope, but AJ blocks the tornado DDT, suplexing Enzo right into the corner. Now it’s Styles’ turn to take Enzo up, and he’s looking for a superplex, but Amore drops him face-first to the mat. Gallows and Anderson try to interfere, getting laid out courtesy of Cass, but Styles knocks Enzo off-balance on the top, hitting the Styles Clash to end it.
Not bad, if a bit messy in places. Felt like it didn’t really get going. 2 Stars.
Jericho is backstage, looking for his scarf. It turns out that Kevin Owens is wearing it and starts bickering with Chris. Owens managed to mess up the scarf with popcorn, and Chris demands money, so Owens just drops a bunch of change, a button (which he takes back) and a Jolly Rancher into Jericho’s hand. They should just have a show which is Jericho, Owens, Rollins and CM Punk talking to each.
Well, Kalisto’s not getting a title shot
Here’s the Miz, and he’s facing Kalisto due to some fall-out over the whole foodfight incident from RAW. Well, I suppose someone once stole Bret Hart’s jacket, so why not have a match over this? Miz starts off by locking Kalisto’s arm; Kalisto flips off the ropes and arm-drags him. Headscissors to Miz, who gets run over in the corner by Kalisto, then eats an armdrag to send him out of the ring. Kalisto wants dive, but Maryse gets in the way, and Miz is able to drive Kalisto into the steel steps.
When we come back from a break, Miz has Kalisto’s arms locked behind his back. He’s sent off the ropes and eats a backbreaker. Load of knees to the back of Kalisto in the corner, followed by a bunch of forearms to it. Miz runs into a pair of boots, then takes a tornado DDT. Kalisto hits some kicks to the knee, but has his hurricanrana countered into a powerbomb for two. Kalisto ducks a kick, hitting one of his own and then the spikerana for a near-fall. Miz counters Salida Del Sol, kicks out of one roll-up, then another, then dodges a corkscrew moonsault, hits the Skull-Crushing Finale and wins.
Ending sort of came out of nowhere, but the match was pretty decent. 2.5 Stars.
Bob Backlund gave Darren Young his finishing move in what was actually a pretty heartwarming moment. I started off mocking this whole idea, but I’m actually sort of into it now. Fair play, WWE.
Really can’t get bored of Kevin Owens
Time for our main event, and it is Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho, with Kevin Owens at ringside. Jericho and Zayn circle each other before locking up, with Jericho going behind. Zayn counters, locking Chris’s wrist and jerking it. Jericho counters, grappling the wrist himself. Sami rolls through, eats a kick to the gut and some chops to the chest, then is sent off the ropes. He leapfrogs over Chris and hits a bunch of armdrags. Jericho elevates him out onto the apron and then hits a dropkick, knocking Zayn out to the floor.
Jericho follows Zayn, continuing to chop him on the outside. He tries to throw Zayn into the barricade, but Sami hops on top of it and moonsaults onto Jericho! Back in the ring, Y2J seeks cover in the corner, then laying Zayn out with a cheapshot as we go to a commercial break.
After the break, Jericho chokes Zayn on the ropes for two, then starts hammering and stomping him the corner. Foot choke against the turnbuckle, and Zayn is sent off the ropes into the back elbow. Lionsault connects, getting a near-fall. Sleeper hold is applied to Sami Zayn in the middle of the ring, with Jericho mocking him and the crowd. Zayn punches his way free, but gets knocked back down by Y2J.
Chris comes off the ropes and runs into a clothesline, then gets beaten down until he ducks out of the ring. Zayn nails him with another clothesline on the outside, and sends Jericho back into the ring. Sami heads up to the top, and then hits a diving crossbody for two. Jericho hits a kick to the face of Zayn, then follows that up with a jumping enzuigiri for a two count of his own.
Jericho eats a kick to the face, then a tornado DDT out of the corner! Chris rolls out of the ring, and takes a senton bomb on the outside from Zayn! Kevin Owens takes exception to Sami hitting the announce table, and throws his drink at him. Zayn decides to one-up him by throwing his Jericho at him. Back in the ring, Chris takes advantage, but gets sent out onto the apron. He comes off the top, but leaps into an Exploder Suplex! Owens gets on the apron and takes the Helluva Kick! Jericho tries to roll up Zayn and almost gets him, and then tries to apply the Walls; Zayn rolls through and gets the three!
Rare victory for Sami Zayn in the match of the night. Great ending to a solid contest, with far better interference than in the Rollins/Uso contest. 3 Stars.
Jericho lays Zayn out with the Codebreaker post-match, allowing Owens to beat the shit out of him after the match, finally laying him out with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Show ends with Owens standing tall.
Felt like a bit of a comedown from the past few weeks’ brilliance. Hopefully it’s a little better next time. Still, not bad. 7/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Battleground, Becky Lynch, Brand Extension, byron saxton, Chris Jericho, David Otunga, dean ambrose, Enzo and Cass, Gallows and Anderson, Jerry Lawler, jey uso, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Lana, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, rusev, sami zayn, seth rollins, Sheamus, smackdown, The Club, The Miz, WWE, zack ryder