We start off with Vickie Guerrero, who has yet to decide whether she’s a force for good or evil: maybe she should face Bray Wyatt and find out. The Authority is apparently having a night off, because pretending that it’s the early 2000s really takes it out of Triple H. She tells the Shield that they’re facing all eleven members of the ‘Heels With Jack Shit To Do’ club. She then announces the ‘Great Debate’. Holy shit, it’s Paul Heyman vs. Zeb Coulter. I can only see this ending with Heyman playing the race card.
Coulter tells Cesaro that ten months ago, nobody knew his name (and he’s only got one now). He says he went to Zeb for help and he believed in Cesaro and the Real Americans brought him in. Can’t Zeb just say ‘I know it was you, Cesaro. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.’ Vickie cuts him off and gives the floor to Heyman. Of course, he brings up the Streak, because Heyman will probably say that on his deathbed. Coulter says he doesn’t care about Brock Lesnar; he says that Heyman is a bad bad man who owes people money, and asks Paul why he stole Cesaro. Heyman asks when the last time a Zeb Coulter Guy won anything, because when Cesaro won the Giant-Ass Statue Tournament, he was already a Paul Heyman Guy. I can only hope they go the Rocky V route with this, which means Zeb Coulter beats Cesaro in a street fight. Zeb says he knew this would be a sham; he knew he wouldn’t get his answers. He knocks over the podium, and I think that shit is about to get real. Heyman and Coulter tussle and are pulled apart. Fuck you, ref; let ‘em go.
‘Sue Me For What?’
We come back to Swagger vs. Cesaro in the ring, and Swagger hits a running knee to knock Cesaro down. It’s hard to believe in Swagger when Cesaro’s been turning in big performances these last week or two and Jack…hasn’t. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Swagger shuts down his momentum, then it’s uppercuts into the corners. Clothesline to Swagger, but Jack recovers and tosses Cesaro out of the ring. Cesaro tries to get back in the ring, but Swagger knocks him back down. He winds up for a clothesline on the outside, but gets caught with an uppercut and is thrown into the barricade. Uppercut and a big boot have Swags reeling as he’s thrown back in the ring, then it’s a headlock until Jack powers out. He ducks a clothesline and takes out Cesaro at the knee before a belly-to-belly. JBL says that this is like watching ‘Iran vs. North Korea’, which in my world would cost him the ability to vote. Swagger hits forearms to Cesaro, holding his arms back. Cesaro ducks a clothesline, springboards off the ropes and hits an uppercut!
Gutwrench suplex to Swagger, then it’s punches in the corner. Swagger slides out of a bodyslam and hits a backdrop and the Swagger Bomb for two. Cesaro manages to return some punches, gradually overpowering Jack, hitting him with a boot and clotheslining both of them out of the ring. Back from the break, Swagger has Cesaro up for a suplex, but a punch puts Swagger down and Cesaro hits a flying uppercut for a near-fall. Swagger manages to block and uppercut and hit a big boot. A Swagger Bomb is attempted, but Cesaro gets the boot up, only for Swagger to apply the Patriot Lock! Cesaro manages to roll out, gets planted by a ‘Background In High School Wrestling’ move but manages to come back again with a double-underhook suplex. The Swiss Superman rises to his feet, and oh, is it CESARO FUCKING SWING TIME? Swagger goes for the ride and then tastes the Neutraliser for the decisive defeat.
Good match between these two: enough to make me hope that there’s something Swagger can do other than fade like the snows of yesteryear. 2.5 Stars.
Cesaro celebrates, but then…Sierra Hotel India Echo Lima Delta. Michael asks ‘where are they?’ and probably in the crowd, Michael. The Shield emerge as Cesaro and Heyman get out of there, and it looks like Swagger’s about to find out what happens if you get drunk on Iguana Street. Superman Punch puts Jack into racist dreamland, and a Triple Powerbomb follows it up: the Shield’s way of reminding Swagger that he’s the Jannetty in his little feud. The Shield mock Swagger for failing to adapt in what was, probably, Charles Darwin’s wet dream.
We discuss Daniel Bryan’s rough Monday, and Michael rolls out a lot of medical words which roughly translate into ‘his Dad died’.
Back from the break, Vickie is on the phone to Triple H. She says that she’d called the Shield into her office, but they haven’t arrived yet. Please oh please turn this into The Breakfast Club, starring Vickie and the Shield. Hunter seems to mention Brad Maddox, and Vickie protests that he’s the General Manager of RAW. I’m amazed we’re continuing with that farce, quite frankly. Vickie agrees to take the night off, and there goes my Breakfast Club dream. Maddox says that he will make demands of the Shield, and that they will respond to ‘real authority’. Oh Brad. You just walked onto Iguana Street.
In other news, the WWE came to Saudi Arabia, who seemed to be a little on the weird side of ‘happy to see them’.
We roll out a video package of Paige, and some of Tamina. The more I see of Paige, the surer I am that someone like Tamina is an excellent opponent for her first title defence.
Get Ready For This, Paige. Get Ready For An Opponent You Can Beat On For 3/4 Of The Match With No Issue
Speaking of Tamina, she’s in the ring opposite Natalya. The bell rings, and Natalya takes Tamina down at the legs, slapping on a front facelock, only for Tamina to throw her off. JBL says that there are some guys in the locker room who should be concerned about Tamina, and damn it, John, those medical files were private. Natalya rolls through, working the legs, but Tamina gets her in a headlock, but then Natalya takes her down with a clothesline, then takes her over with a headlock of her own as we are reminded whose daughter Tamina is. Natalya shoves Tamina down, then hits a dropkick to the stomach to knock her out of the ring.
Tamina pulls Natalya out of the ring, and then hits the JACKET TOSS. Back in the ring, Tamina cinches in a chinlock and Natalya works her way up to her feet before getting slammed back down. Natalya comes off the ropes, right into a Samoan Drop. Superfly Splash is evaded before it can hit; Natalya nearly gets it with a small package, then nearly applies a Sharpshooter and then scores with a big clothesline for a near-fall. Tamina reverses a roll-up; Natalya kips up and runs right into a superkick. Tamina gets the three.
This seemed a little messy. It also seems like the wrong person got the majority of the offence. Sure, Natalya’s going to be a great milestone for Paige down the line, but let’s remember who she’s facing in a couple of weeks. 2 Stars.
We replay the confrontation between the Shield and Evolution. The Shield have never been in any of the movies that Evolution have been in, so they actually won this feud years before they even debuted. They also didn’t get a dishonourable discharge from the Marines.
3MB is backstage…also known as IGUANA STREET.
‘This Team Is A Team That Will Pierce The Heavens!’
We’re back with one of the ever-interchangeable Usos and the ever-forgettable Curtis Axel, and these two are shoving each other back and forth with such macho abandon I can only assume they’re about to make out. They start flinging fists as Michael Cole informs me that this is in fact Jey Uso in action. Jey knocks Axel down as Jimmy and Ryback are on the outside. Chinlock to Axel, but he drives Uso into two corners and scores with a back suplex. He hits his vaulting elbow attack to Jey, but in the ring the Uso comes back with a flurry, only to run right into a boot to the stomach, followed up by a hard knee to the face. Axel asks Jey if he ‘wants to play games’, and if this leads into another ‘hilarious’ WWE toy segment, I will start cutting right now.
Backbreaker to Jey as JBL and Cole discuss the suitability of Rybaxel as number one contenders, being the only team who aren’t doing something better and aren’t Los Matadores. Axel misses a stinger splash and eats clotheslines and kick, followed up with an uppercut. More kicks and uppercuts abound for Axel, then Jey heads up top. Ryback protests at this attempt at winning and Jimmy warns him off, but the distraction’s enough for Axel to catch Jey, rocking his head off the turnbuckle and slamming him to the ground. Ryback yells ‘Finish it, Ax!’, and he has never sounded more like a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers villain (now there’s a fuckin’ crossover). Axel hits what I only ever think of as his ‘Non-Committal Neckbreaker’ and gets the win.
I continue to be as underwhelmed by Curtis Axel as I was at his debut. Jey’s offence could have made the match interesting, but there was precious little of that. Surprisingly easy victory against the tag-team champs, even with shenanigans. Maybe Batista and Orton damaged their confidence. 2 Stars.
Bo Dallas promo, and is he really using a video of a pre-teen boy asking a girl on a date for that?
In a hardly-coincidental juxtaposition, the Wyatts are here, and make their way out to the ring. Michael reminds us that last week, the future of John Cena was in our hands, and we screwed him the hell over. But even three heels can’t defeat Cena clean, so he still almost won and then got the DQ victory. Why are we bored of this guy again?
The Wyatts stand in the steel cage, and demands that we sing. And love. Well, this got weird. I hope he tells us to Bo-lieve. He does say that if Cena could get the WWE Universe to love him, they’d do anything for him, and how does it feel to know we want to watch him suffer. I’m sure he knows after…what, seven years? Bray waxes fucking crazy for a while, calling his words razor blades that cut deep. Rotunda must be goddamn hysterical on acid. Either that or extremely boring. He leads the crowd in a rousing verse of ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’, which makes me want to see Wyatt host Songs of Praise.
After A Year Of Getting Along, It’s Time For Them To Hate Each Other Again
The Rhodes Brothers are facing the Wyatt Family, and Harper starts off against Cody. This will serve to further the Brotherhood Breakdown storyline, which is the kind of thing that makes Rybaxel your number one contenders and the kind of timing which gave us a 14-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania instead. Harper throws Cody into the corner, but charges into Rhodes’ knees. Missile dropkick to the knees, followed up by Cody’s catch-up clothesline. Harper tags out to Rowan as does Cody to Goldust. Goldust ducks a clothesline, catching Rowan with a bulldog and tagging in Cody. Rhodes Uppercut to Erick, who slams Cody down. Bray grabs the mic, asking us ARE WE NOT ENTERTAINED? Or something.
Harper in now, continuing to beat down on Cody, hitting a slingshot right into the bottom rope. Rowan comes in, clawing and twisting at Cody’s face. He catches a crossbody, tagging in Harper. Gator Roll to Rhodes, then a headlock, before Harper bashes Goldust off the apron. Cody escapes and looks for the tag, but Goldust is on the floor. He yells for his brother to ‘GET UP!!’, but Goldust is just too slow at recovering from a physical assault (selfish prick). Harper tries to back-suplex Cody, who rolls out, hitting the Disaster Kick. Cody gets the tag to Goldust, who has apparently had enough time to get on the apron (wasn’t so hard, was it, pussy?). Dust hits clotheslines to Harper, then the Rhodes Uppercut and a pair of inverted atomic drops to both Wyatts, then a crossbody from the top rope to the two of them! Rowan’s low-bridged out of the ring; Goldust rolls out of a schoolboy and hits the powerslam. Erick breaks up the pin and gets a missile dropkick from Cody, who sets up for the moonsault. Harper throws Goldust into Cody, knocking him off the apron (Jesus Christ, Goldust), then hits That Clothesline for the win.
Pretty decent match. Interesting ways of teasing the dissent between the Rhodes Brothers here, and the Wyatts looked dominant as ever. 2.5 Stars.
Brad Maddox is on his cell phone…in IGUANA STREET. And JBL and Michael don’t seem to understand that Maddox isn’t one of the eleven guys on the heel team.
Hey, What Was That Thing I Said About Cutting Myself?
Oh, for the love of all that is retarded. Yep, it’s a mixed-tag match between Santino, Emma, LAYLA and Fandango in this godawful feud that…
Hey, is that the Shield? Looks like Fandango’s going to IGUANA STREET. Do it, Shield! Kill it! Kill the feud! Fandango gets powerbombed off the stage! This match cannot continue! Let no man say that the Shield are not faces! Now RIP SANTINO’S LUNGS OUT.
We get a promo for Adam Rose. If you read my thoughts in the comment section of this article, you’ll see the random ideas I had for Adam Rose, and I am now incredible excited for his debut, in case even one of these Adam Rose-reated things are true. I am also beginning to find his voice and speech patterns more amusing than hideously annoying. Yes, I am looking forward to seeing Adam Rose. No, I cannot stop saying ‘Adam Rose’.
We relive Kane wanting a hug from Bryan but being too shy to ask, so tombstoning him instead. I mean…that’s what I saw out there.
‘Then which way shall I find Revenge’s cave?’ IGUANA STREET
Here comes the Shield, who didn’t have enough time to viciously everyone in backstage segments, so will viciously destroy them in a scheduled match. We receive word that Curtis Axel was found backstage, having taken a wrong turn onto IGUANA STREET (I honestly did not expect to be saying that this much at the start of the night). And here come the heels, who are so obviously going to lose they come out to SmackDown‘s theme music. There’s now five of them, these five being the ones who hid in catering.
The bell rings, and it’s Ryback starting things off against Rollins. Ryback hits a headlock takeover, Seth shoots him off and gets knocked down, but Ryback runs into a dropkick. Tag to Roman Reigns, who works over the Big Guy in the corner, then a tag to Ambrose, who follows suit. Now Rollins is in, beating Ryback in the face, then launching himself in a crossbody, but gets caught and bodyslammed.
Ryback tags out to Titus O’Heel (pfffft…), but Seth fights him off with chops and tags in Ambrose, hitting knees to the face and tagging in Reigns. The Shield are doing their isolation/frequent tags schtick, but Titus manages to drive Ambrose into the corner and tag in Bad News Barrett. Ambrose manages to reach Rollins, and then two men double-suplex Barrett. The heels rush in and the Shield knocks them the hell out of their ring.
Back from the break, Barrett has Dean in a headlock. He’d better stay away from the other heels, lest their mediocrity rub off on him. He takes Ambrose down with a boot, then tags in Del Rio. Alberto hits a dropkick to the face, then sleepers Ambrose. I wish Michael would stop acting like his refusal to suck up to Triple H is so courageous that it entitles him to a blowjob (not necessarily from Triple H). Ambrose is whipped into a corner and eats the enzuigiri before Del Rio tosses him. Ryback tags in and hits a bodyslam. Cole says that Evolution won’t win because their egos are so huge they won’t get along. 1) Evolution’s big ego is more an argument for them beating the Shield and 2) better reasons for them losing are their age and history of debilitating injuries.
Ryback locks in yet another sleeper, as Rollins and Reigns look on, terrified that they might lose to someone like…Ryback. Ambrose throws Ryback into the turnbuckle, but eats a spinebuster. The Shield try to run in, but get beaten back. Ambrose ducks Ryback, crawling to Reigns. Alberto tries to interfere, but manages to miss and throws himself out of the ring (wah-wah-waaaaaaaaahhhhh…). Dean manages to make the tag, and here comes Roman Reigns! Barrett gets clotheslined, as does Titus; Ryback eats a Samoan Drop. Back-suplex to Damien Sandow and it all breaks down! Ryback and Titus are clotheslined out of the ring; Sandow eats the apron dropkick. Barrett and Del Rio want some, but the hint of ‘I’ll eat bits off you whilst you’re still alive’ in Reigns’ smile makes them decide that no…no, they don’t, actually. Rollins flips out onto Ryback, then both Ambrose and Rollins throw themselves out onto Titus and Sandow! Meanwhile, Reigns has followed Del Rio and Barrett, and Wade runs the hell away as Del Rio gets Superman-Punched on the ramp! The Shield throw Sandow back in the ring; he gets dropkicked by Ambrose, then speared by Reigns for the pin!
Okay, that was pretty awesome. Nothing that’ll be put on a Match of the Year list, but not every great match needs to be like that. I found it damn entertaining: 3.5 Stars.
Apparently the Shield haven’t yet filled up their quota for people invited for a drink in IGUANA STREET, so Titus gets speared after the match. As does Ryback. Then they Triple Powerbomb Ryback, because…damn it: IGUANA STREET!!
Well, that was a really fun SmackDown. Any time you have the entire locker room under the constant threat that the Shield is going to mug the crap out of you, that’s going to be a fun show. It got so the matches weren’t really in focus all that much, but with this it didn’t even matter. I’d go so far as to give that an Eight. See you next week, folks.
Tags: 3MB, Adam Rose, brad maddox, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Cody Rhodes, Curtis Axel, dean ambrose, Erick Rowan, Fandango, goldust, jack swagger, jbl, jey uso, jimmy uso, Layla, Luke Harper, Michael Cole, natalya neidhart, Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns, ryback, Rybaxel, seth rollins, Smackdown, Tamina Snuka, The Shield, the usos, titus o'neill, triple h, Vickie Guerrero, WWE, wyatt family, Zeb Coulter