Hey there, ladies and gentlemen. Again, I must apologise for this being uploaded later than usual; this time it was because I spent my Friday night running from zombies. And yes, I know that sounds like a really awful attempt at a lie, but actually…
I felt like I needed to provide evidence. You’ll notice from my cheery demeanour and non-blood-splattered face that I survived the experience, which felt like a bigger accomplishment than it should.
Right, that’s my tardiness explained: let’s get to wrestling.
God, I still hate this music for the SmackDown! intro. Oh, and a recap of us being forced to watch a stretcher match involving both Kane and Cena. Safe to say the best moment of that was Ambrose and Rollins getting their hands on each other. And why the hell doesn’t Cena use his instant-concussion-stair-toss to open the match?
And tonight, Cesaro, Orton, Wyatt and Del Rio will face Cena, Reigns and Sheamus in a four-on-three handicap match. Whether this is because the Authority was somehow involved or because whoever made this match saw Orton and Del Rio as a detriment to their team is not yet clear. And are we going to open up the fact that Roman Reigns is walking around with the ingredients and moral compass to effectively and rapidly poison women? Because I feel like they have arguable video evidence to have him put in jail. Or is this going to be a running gag with every week Steph getting really happy, then the week after philosophical, then unconscious, then joining Adam Rose’s Posse?
Here comes John Cena. Is he here to denounce Roman making drink-spiking a face action? And I heard the words ‘fifteen time world champion’ referring to John Cena and went cold. JBL acts like beating Kane in stipulation match is something you can pretend is an accomplishment. Cena is currently in comedy mode, so I begin the ‘until he mentions poop’ countdown. He recaps the belt situation kinda succinctly, actually, then he gets serious and says he’s going to put every one of the MITB participants in a line and punching them, making them a symbolic representation of every Cena opponent since 2005.
I’m happy that Cena is now interrupted, but did it have to be Del Rio? Insert bland heel speech of blandness here. He says he doesn’t think Cena remembers how dangerous he is, and this is the guy with the arm-submission hold who lost to the man with the injured arm talking. And here’s Sheamus, so it’s gradual escalation of importance here. He mentions the fact that if he won he’d have three belts, and here’s Cesaro with Heyman. Oh God, we could actually have Heyman and Wyatt in the same place. Heyman talks for Cesaro like a domineering husband. Obligatory Streak Reference, and I’m toying with the idea of putting ‘my client, Brock Lesnar, conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania‘ on my CV (I’ve started the full-time job hunt now that my Master’s is over; please provide references for me in the comment section of this article). Oh, Roman Reigns has showed up, so beermats over your drinks, ladies. Roman says he doesn’t trust people, and I don’t see why anyone should trust him. He gives Cena a stare-down, and I vote he kills him.
Orton shows up to kill the mood. Man, his thighs are shiny. Orton says the company was at an all-time high whilst he was champ; when he lost the belts, WWE lost its stock. Roman immediately goes for Orton on the outside, and no! No! Give us Bray! The guys in the ring decide that if those two are fighting, they will too. Cena’s left standing in the ring with Sheamus.
Seth Rollins, Rocking Quite The Upper Body
Well, looks like Seth Rollins has got some new duds. Not quite a BDSM costume, not quite superhero: I guess there’s a grey area. And he and Ambrose are still doing their slap-slap-maybe kiss thing, with Ambrose facing Kane tonight (because Kane is, I guess, involved in this). Oh, and with Rollins removing the shirt portion of his costume, I’ve now seen all former members of the Shield topless. He’s facing Kofi Kingston, who wants to be in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. I agree, because I assume there are still some crazy ideas in that dreadlocked head.
These two men lock up, exchanging holds until Kofi hits a splash to Rollins, who backs him into a corner, only to get thrown into it himself, but he manages to pull Kofi face-first into it, going to work with the boots. Snapmare and a sleeper to Kofi, who manages to elbow his way free, rolls out of a back suplex and catches Rollins with chops and dropkicks until Seth manages to put a stop to that, tossing him into a corner and splashes straight into Kofi’s foot and eats a splash.
Seth manages to hit a kick to Kofi’s midsection, takes a hurricanrana and dodges Trouble in Paradise as Kofi collides with the ropes. Rollins really lays the punches down on Kingston, powerbombs him into the corner; Curbstomp gets the three.
All of that was fun to watch; my usual complaint raises its head here: it wasn’t long enough. The back and forth of this was nicely done, and Seth still looked dominant throughout the match. 2.5 Stars.
Rollins grabs the mic post-match and states that he’s the first entrant into the Money in the Bank contract match, but then Ambrose shows up on the titantron and tells him not to talk. Love the Danny Zuko wardrobe he’s rocking. Rollins challenges Ambrose to come down there, but Dean tells him not to bother; after he beats Kane, he’s coming for Rollins. Imagine if it turned out Ambrose was Rollins’ Tyler Durden.
Wait, What The Hell?
We use Dolph Ziggler’s entrance music to introduce the Special Olympics 2014. Michael Cole’s ‘sincere’ voice is a bit jarring after so long. Ziggler’s opponent is Wade Barrett. Love his music, by the way. Cole calls him a ‘great champion’, which freaks me out, because did he just praise a heel? Barrett’s BAD NEWS is comparing anyone else in the MITB ladder match to the USA in the World Cup. Let’s all appreciate the irony that England has been eliminated from the World Cup at this time of viewing, and the USA is still in it. I’m delighted, because now everyone in this country will hopefully shut up about football.
Ziggler ducks some clotheslines to start, then hits a dropkick and misses a splash, taking a kick to the stomach from Barrett, knocking him out of the ring. Back from the break, Ziggler fights out of a sleeper, tries avoid a charge from Barrett, but eats a kick. Apparently Stephanie is still ‘recovering’, which makes me wonder what the hell it was that Roman spiked her with. And if they were going to bring out this part of his character, could we not at least have had Ambrose and Reigns doing some Fear and Loathing skits together before now? Cole actually says that there’s no evidence for Reigns doing anything, and of course there is: Roman Reigns definitely had the motive, and the opportunity (which we caught on tape). What the hell kind of journalist is Michael Cole? Ziggler gets a knee to the face and is knocked out of the ring, and Michael Cole says ‘if the glove doesn’t fit’. Good God, the O.J. Simpson Defence.
Ziggler’s thrown right into the timekeeper’s area, then tossed back in the ring for a two-count. Abdominal stretch to a seated Ziggler, who works his way up and hits a stunner. Barrett charges right into an elbow, gets hit with a crossbody, but then counters with Winds of Change for two. He winds up the Bull Hammer, but it misses; Dolph hits a splash to the corner, almost gets powerbombed, but rolls up Barrett for three!
Wow, unexpected. I mean, seriously, right? Nice to see Ziggler get a good win, and Barrett’s a high-profile opponent for him. Match wasn’t too bad, just nothing extraordinary. 2 Stars.
Ziggler hops off the turnbuckle from his celebration…and gets hit in the face with the Bull Hammer, which we then get to see replayed multiple times. That’s more like it.
We Were Somewhere Around SmackDown!, On The Entrance Ramp, When The Drugs Began To Take Hold
It’s Titus O’Neil vs Adam Rose, so it’s nice to know that Titus is really about to pull himself out of this slump he’s been having. He shoves Rose into the corner, slapping him around. Rose dodges out of Titus’ way, and rolls him up for the win.
Ha…haha…ooh. 1 Star.
Titus gets on the mic and talks smack. Adam Rose, always up for some smack, gets back in the ring, and smacks Titus. See what I just did there? Rose rolls Titus up for the win.
Rollins Is Actually An Ambrose Magnet
Seth’s out on commentary, in his bitchin’ black suit. Kane emerges to the ring, and apparently Ambrose is using the entrance ramp now, I see. And doing the jeans and vest look: way to defy the dress code, Dean.
Ambrose starts off psychotic, punching the hell out of Kane until he gets dropped by a big boot. Uppercut and a sidewalk slam to Ambrose, getting punched around the ring until he gets the boots up and slams them into Kane’s face. Ambrose comes off the top rope with another pair of boots, and then starts landing some bombs on Kane, until the Big Red Machine shoves him into the ropes, only for Dean to come back with a big clothesline. Running dropkick to Kane, and he reigns punches down. Kane goozles Ambrose, who slides out and plants Kane with a tornado DDT from the second rope. I’ve just realised that Seth reminds me of Ryan from The Office, once he got the corporate position. That is exactly who he is. Rollins tries to distract Ambrose, only for Dean to low-bridge Kane, dive out on top of him, and then go right to Rollins, because Ambrose has a one-track mind, and that track is called ‘Kill Rollins Road’. Ambrose leaps off the table at Kane, who floors him with an uppercut. Kane shoves Ambrose into the ring and chokeslams him for the win.
Another nice display of Ambrose’s skills; I was actually expecting him to get the win here, but it’s nice to be surprised. 2.5 Stars.
Seth heads to the ring post-match, and he had his shirt sleeves rolled up under that jacket? Sheesh. Curb Stomp to Ambrose as Rollins looks all pissy.
We recap the start of SmackDown, because I guess RAW was busy this week.
American vs American Whilst Russia Does Its Own Thing
Here’s Zeb Coulter, in the ring with Jack Swagger. He says that last week, Big E took advantage of a distraction to beat Swagger, accusing him of being in cahoots with Lana. Apparently Langston does not take kindly to people implying that he associates with an attractive blonde woman, and interrupts Coulter.
Swagger takes Big E out at the leg, then slams knees into Langston in the corner before clotheslining out of the ring. Swagger really has been intense recently. Big E dodges a charge and slams into Swagger, ending it with a Big Ending.
Well, I was hoping for a compelling feud between this new, fired-up Swagger and Rusev, both of them using their managers to do the talking. But hey, sure, this is just as good as that fun thing I just said. 1.5 Stars.
Fandango is backstage, knocking at a door whilst waiting for LAYLA. Oh, and there’s Summer Rae. She says she wants to apologise, but I think it’s a trick. Because when has WWE ever written a woman who wasn’t manipulative? Oh, and she kisses Fandango, who kisses her back, just in time for Layla to catch them. Fandango, have you ever watched professional wrestling?
We get a promo for the Special Olympics, and is that Doctor Cox? Oh my God, it is. Nice to see the WWE being involved with a worthy cause, although I bet there’ll be at least one badly-judged remark or angle in the following weeks regarding this exact thing.
I Can’t Be BO-thered To Think Of More Witty Titles
Here’s the freakishly young-looking Bo Dallas, and he’ll be facing supreme dumbass and cheater, Fandango. I can’t tell which Diva is supposed to be the face in this feud, but the fact that they’re trying to be in a relationship with Fandango is a point against both of them. Bo just seems kind of amused by this whole thing: he’s so amiable. Layla jumps Summer Rae and Fandango tries to break up the brawl. Bo just backs away from all of this, and I love it when the wrestlers have an in-character reaction to random stuff. Layla manages to rock Fandango’s head with a kick, whilst aiming for Summer Rae, and Bo just looks really shocked by all of this: clearly Bray and the Wyatts didn’t tell Bo about women or relationships.
Summer Rae runs off, pursued by Layla, and in the ring Bo actually helps Fandango to his feet, all concerned…and then Bo-Dogs him. You could actually see the light dawning in his eyes as he looked at the turnbuckle, which is just hilarious to me.
Honestly, if we were treating that whole thing as the match, that gets 2.5 Stars. Bo’s expressions are so perfectly down, and it’s hysterical to watch him work.
Bo then gets on the mic and tells Fandango that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, and he’ll eventually catch one. Please can we get Bo to give relationship advice as well?
The Wyatt Static happens, and my eyes go wide with hope, but this isn’t connected to Bo. YET. Bray calls us all mice and himself a snake. He gives an awesome and psychotic promo, and when he says ‘all I have to do is’, I would have given him a metric fucktonne of money to say ‘Bolieve’.
Roman Reigns Rohypnoled The Entire Heel Team
It’s our main event, and the participants make their way out to the ring one by one. We get told that Roman is going to answer for, you know, spiking his employer’s drink. Honestly, they’re incredibly kind for not getting the cops involved. Which, you know, would probably force Reigns not to compete in the Belts On The Shoulders Ladder Match. Bray teleports to the ring, like the fucking show-off he is. I like how Cesaro, Orton and Del Rio seem very accepting of Bray Wyatt; I’ve always said, the heels tend to trust each other more than the faces do in these situations, which is an interesting statement the WWE makes.
Bell rings, and it’s Cesaro and Sheamus. They lock up, jockeying for position in the corner. They exchange strikes, with Cesaro taking Sheamus over with a waistlock and then tagging in Bray. Bray hammers Sheamus, who reverses and Irish whip to the corner, hitting a shoulder thrust and a high knee. Cesaro tries to interfere, and Bray takes Sheamus down off the distraction; Cesaro tags himself in and Bray gets in his face as we get our first Amazing Feud Tease of the evening. Apparently being freakishly strong means that Cesaro is going to take no shit from Bray, and there is no incident. Right hands to Sheamus, who wants more. Is that how he gets off? The slugfest actually devolves into a slap-fight, and it had to happen eventually, until Sheamus hits a bodyslam.
Tag made to Cena, who throws hands at Cesaro before catching him with a bulldog and a big boot. The heels elect Del Rio as their sacrificial lamb, and they lock up. Del Rio gets a headlock, is shot off the ropes and eats a hip toss. Tag to Sheamus, and I’ve realised just how many of these guys Sheamus has feuded with. Kick to Sheamus’ midsection, and Cesaro comes in off the tag, smacking him around. Suplex to Sheamus, who is whipped into the corner but catches Cesaro for the Irish Curse backbreaker. Cesaro is thrown onto the outside, and it’s the clubbing blows to the chest. Bray is laughing hysterically at this, which is not the reaction you really want from your tag team partner. Cesaro gets punched off the apron as Cena applauds and Reigns nods in grudging approval.
Back from a commercial break, Del Rio’s got Sheamus in a headlock. Del Rio hits a kick to Sheamus, but the Irishman catches him with a rolling senton. Tag to Orton, tag to Cena, and John gets Orton with the shoulder blocks and a spin-out powerbomb. Attitude Adjustment attempt is blocked and Orton’s dumped over the ropes. There’s a stand-off between Team Face and Team Dick over the prone body of Orton: seems highly symbolic to me, and then everyone starts smacking their opposite number around. In the ring, Orton hits the Vintage DDT to Cena and stares down Reigns. Stomps to Cena in the corner and Del Rio throws some hands himself. Tag to Bray Wyatt, who takes Cena down with punches and bulldozes him in the corner. He tries it again, Cena gets the boots up, but runs right into a ura-nage. Alberto comes in to the match, smacking Cena around, but misses a jump onto Cena and slides out of the ring. Cesaro throws Del Rio back in, Orton gets the tag and powerslams Cena.
Cesaro in now, hitting kicks and uppercuts to Cena in the corner. Delayed vertical suplex gets two, then a big stomp to the chest of John Cena. Cesaro holds him in a headlock, taunting Reigns, but Cena hits a back suplex and both men are down. Cena runs for the corner, but Cesaro catches him with a Very European Uppercut. Cesaro keeps Cena down with punches, tagging in Del Rio so he can screw it up for everyone. Bray actually asks Cesaro ‘why?’, and he knows what’s going to happen. Corner enzuigiri to Cena, and could Del Rio do that up a ladder? Because that would be insane. Del Rio comes off the top rope, right into a dropkick from Cena: Bray and I both called that.
Del Rio actually stops Cena’s tag, taking him out at the knee and hitting the superkick. Cesaro tags himself in now, because if you want to slip up, you’ve got to do it yourself. He boots Sheamus off the apron and then turns around to get backdropped by Cena. Tag to Roman, and even the referee was into that: when I paused the match he looked like he was at a rock concert. Clotheslines to Del Rio; he ducks a clothesline from Alberto and hits his leaping clothesline. Uppercut knocks Del Rio down on the ropes; Reigns goes on the outside; Bray blocks his way; Reigns is all like ‘fuck you, dude’ and uppercuts him and hits the dropkick to Del Rio. Cesaro tries to take Reigns down, but Sheamus gets to him, knocking him to the ground with a clothesline. Roman gears up for the Superman Punch, but gets distracted by Orton and shoved into a right hand from Bray Wyatt…who Reigns just Superman Punches right back. Orton tries and RKO and gets shoved out of the ring; Del Rio hits a superkick to Roman’s stomach and tries the cross-armbreaker, but he gets shoved off the ropes and speared for the win!
Holy hell, what a match. Great flurry at the end and some of the interactions were priceless. Definitely sold the PPV for me, which was exactly the point of this. 3.5 Stars.
Fun SmackDown! again. Everyone really seems to be picking up the pace right now, and it shows. I’ll give this show an Eight.
Tags: Adam Rose, alberto del rio, big e langston, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, jack swagger, john cena, kane, Kofi Kingston, Layla, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Roman Reigns, seth rollins, sheamus, Smackdown, Summer Rae, titus o'neil, Wade Barrett, WWE, Zeb Coulter