Hi there, SmackDown fans. Well, it’s been less than a week since the last PPV, but only, what, like, two weeks until the next one? In which they try to cram as many Elimination Chambers into an event as possible, I’m guessing.
We recap RAW including Ambrose holding Rollins hostage. I swear, WWE would make Batman into a cringing wuss if they turned him heel. On the other hand, I do love me some Ambrose vs. Rollins. Oh, and why in God’s name did they ban the Curb Stomp? Because not enough people have the superkick as their finishing move?
Bleh, onto some SmackDown.
We’re kicking things off with Roman Reigns approaching the ring. When his t-shirt creases, it looks like the words on the back read ‘BELIEVE TWAT’, which gives me a bit of a giggle. Also, apparently this is Roman Reigns’ ‘return to SmackDown‘, despite being on this show last week: I know, because I reviewed the damn thing.
So, we’re here to discuss ‘what’s next’ for Roman Reigns. I don’t know, maybe a feud with Lesnar where he doesn’t come out of it looking like traffic accident. Reigns tells us that he didn’t win at Payback. Gawrsh, Roman, is that right? Is that why you’re not wearing the fucking belt or nothing? But Reigns loved doing what he did at Payback, which is what’s important, right? Better than being champ or making your family proud, really. He says that, with Rollins, it’ll never ever be a fair fight. So…he’s entering the Money In The Bank ladder match. Oh dear Christ, no.
Ambrose comes out, hopefully to talk Reigns out of his ridiculous scheme. I mean, the guy clearly needs help. Dean talks crazy for a little, then says he won’t have to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match, because he’ll be the champ by then. Reigns compliments Ambrose on his sneaky scheme this Monday, but then tries to convince him that he needs an exit strategy.
Before anyone can say anything else, Kane comes out, and mocks Ambrose for getting his ass kicked on Monday, saying that the Authority always wins. Reigns says that Kane can’t know that, because he’s always unconscious. Kane gets a little riled, telling Roman that he ain’t in the motherfucking ladder match, because he’s a loser who loses at every single PPV, like ever. Dude, he’s the prettier Ryback. If Reigns wants to be in that match, he’s got to earn it. Ambrose insults Kane because, come on, it’s Kane, and that leads to him getting a match against the New Face of Fear, Bray Wyatt. And, as a punishment for being a smartass, Reigns gets a night off. Wow, seems like this is pretty sweet operation if you’re a smartass. Roman’s apparently chill with having a night off, but makes some sort of threat involving him keeping tabs on how the show’s going. So…he’s going to be Roger Ebert?
Like Eurovision Up In This Bitch
Apparently, Titus O’Neil is the 2015 Celebrity Dad of the Year. I don’t know why that’s a thing: it probably shouldn’t be. But at the next PPV, we’ll be seeing a Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match. I’m going to go ahead and say that this will be at best hilarious and at worst an absolute clusterfuck (so, hilarious in a different manner).
And this is your Four Corners Tag Team match, because someone up there loves me. Kidd and Sin Cara start off together, exchanging some holds with chain wrestling. Warning: I’m not be going to be able to call a fucking thing about most of this, so let’s both do our best, shall we? Viktor tags in, clubbing Tyson to the floor, and then Fernando tags himself in, only to immediately get caught in the Sharpshooter. Natalya assaults El Torito on what I assume is a general principle. Torito manages to hurricanrana out of it, allowing Fernando to gain the upper hand. Konnor comes in to add to the damage, standing tall as we go to the break.
Back from the commercial break, Tyson’s gamely still getting the crap kicked out of him, but is able to slide away from Konnor, allowing Sin Cara to come in and start knocking Konnor all over the shop. Handspring elbow puts the Ascension member down, but his attempt at a Lionsault brings him down onto a pair of knees. Viktor tags in, and the Ascension begin laying a beating down on the masked man. I’m really sort of hoping that the Ascension can look less like jokes due to this, but my hopes aren’t high.
Diego tags himself in, which angers Viktor, and he pulls the Matador off his pinning attempt on Sin Cara. A stare-down is imminent and we’ve got a stare-down! And now it’s a shove-off and now it’s a brawl! Everyone’s smacking the hell out of everyone; Sin Cara gets tagged out by Cesaro and Viktor takes a train to Uppercut City! As Tyson and Cesaro hit their finishing move, Diego tags himself in, but Cesaro stops him from stealing the win. Cesaro eats a boot from Konnor, but gets hurricanrana’d by Diego! Calisto tags himself in, taking Diego down with a splash from the top rope!
Calisto hits his face-first hurricanrana, only for the pin to get broken up by Konnor! Everyone’s getting thrown out of the ring, and then Sin Cara splashes down on them! Calisto and Diego are left in the ring; Calisto manages to roll Diego up and they’ve got the win!
Great match: the action was fast and furious. Not sure how the hell they’re going to do this in a Chamber, especially with no tagging in and out, but I look forward to their attempt. 3.5 Stars.
We replay Ziggler getting a smooch from Lana which, let me just say, came right out of Bumfuck Nowhere. I mean, if it gets Ziggs into a feud with Rusev, bitchin’. I just think there was fuck-all build to that. And apparently WWE sent some interviewer to show the footage to Rusev again, which means that they’ve started dabbling in human sacrifice.
Renee is backstage with Dolph, asking for his reaction on Lana wanting to make a baby with him. He seems to regard this as a typical week for him, which makes it sound like Dolph’s got a pretty awesome life. Tonight, he’s got a match against King Barrett, and then Lana comes out to wish him good luck. Her nervous grin is hilariously awkward. Wait…is Ziggler telling Lana about why she needs feminism?
All Hail King Barrett
Barrett makes his way down to the ring, ready to face Dolph Ziggler. And Ziggler makes his way to the ring, persisting on dressing like a gay Nebraskan trucker despite being billed from Hollywood. Yep.
The men get themselves ready, and we got a match. Ziggler picks the leg of Barrett, then gets a facelock. They roll themselves around with some chain wrestling, then Wade sends Ziggler reeling with an elbow. Beatdown in a corner for a moment, and Barrett’s got the advantage early. I type too soon, though, because Ziggler hits a jawbreaker, then dodges a charge from Wade into the corner. Dropkick, Stinger Splash, neckbreaker, elbow: Ziggler could be looking to end this early, but Barrett shuts down his momentum, hitting a suplex.
Back from the break, Barrett has Ziggler in a sleeper. Dolph fights out, finally knocking Barrett into a corner, but a missed Stinger Splash leaves him stumbling into Waste Land. As Wade argues with the ref about the count, despite the fact that Waste Land hasn’t pinned anyone for years, Ziggler rolls out of the ring. There’s no place to run and no place to hide, however, and Dolph gets the shit kicked out of him on the outside before Wade flings him back into the ring.
Wade knocks Dolph the fuck out with a superkick, because God knows we need more people using that, and it gets two. Now the Brit’s calling for the Bullhammer, but he runs into a superkick from Dolph! He avoids the DDT, but eats the Zig-Zag!
Solid match, and a nice promise for the Elimination Chamber. Looks like it could be a great contest. 2.5 Stars.
Lana is on the entrance ramp, applauding Ziggler and giving him the old bedroom eyes. I assume, anyway: never known what that expression meant.
We replay Nikki’s beatdown and Paige’s return, and did we just see some competent writing for the Divas Division? Terrifying.
Here’s Paige in the ring, fresh from shooting a movie. She calls England her ‘home town’, which is just how you Americans think of us, isn’t it? She condemns Naomi for doing the exact same thing that she would have done, because nobody ever remembers the sick shit they did as a heel, but then congratulates her for getting what she wants. She also calls Tamina a dude, which is kind of insulting. This is her division, her championship, her house.
Naomi and Tamina show up, and apparently Naomi went to the Rollins’ School of Entitlement, but the Reigns School of Promo Delivery. She blames the WWE Universe, when she should probably blame WWE Creative. Naomi makes it a point of pride that she’s been around for a long time without being relevant, rather than having a so-far short and illustrious career which is continuously growing.
Paige goes back on the offensive, and can we just get back to smacking each other around? Jesus, you’re wrestlers. Finally, Tamina and Naomi rush the ring and kick the crap out of Paige. Nikki makes the save, and is able to catch a fleeing Naomi and Tamina whilst tripping over. She flings Naomi back in the ring and deals with Tamina, but as Paige is about to deliver the Rampaige, she takes her down, hitting the Rack Attack to stand tall. I’ve seen worse Divas storylines.
Here’s Bray Wyatt, standing next to a smoke machine, as you do. He bemoans how lunatics are treated, and I can see where he’s coming from: Bray’s not been handled well by Creative. Blah blah: he’s going to beat Ambrose and then do nothing for a while. He says that Dean’s in his way, and his way to what? What exactly is Wyatt going to do?
Oh Christ almighty, it’s R-Truth. There’s no way that this ends well. I mean, for any of us. Oh, and he’s facing Stardust. Goody.
They circle each other, and Stardust goes on the attack, but gets hip-tossed by Truth. Stardust hangs Truth up on the apron and hits a springboard dropkick before choking him. Stomp to R-Truth’s head, then a big clothesline sending him to the mat, and then back to choking. R-Truth clubs his way out, but his suplex attempt his countered, and Stardust hits Dark Matter for two. Stardust rips off his gloves, but then they get used to distract him for Truth to score the win.
Can’t decide whether that’s dumb or smart, but considering it’s Truth, I’m sticking with dumb. 1.5 Stars.
Renee’s got another interview, this time with Ryback. She asks him about the Elimination Chamber, and he says that whilst he doesn’t know what he should expect, he’s looking forward to it. And he has a message for the other five men in that Chamber: Feed Him More.
We replay Kevin Owens making a good portion of the IWC need to take a cold shower this past Monday. I’ll admit to watching the replay again, for the erectional value. They’ll be fighting at Elimination Chamber, which is intriguing to me. And it’s not for the title, which immediately makes it a far better match.
You Know What? I Don’t Need This
Oh dear, Sandow’s still doing his Randy Savage tribute. And here’s Axelmania as well. Starting to regret finding amusement at this. They are facing Adam Rose and Heath Slater, which is a whole new, lower rung on the ladder. I feel like I shouldn’t have to review this match, because it’s more comedy than wrestling and not really comedy at that. Suffice to say, the Mega Powers won after an uninspiring match.
I might start a trend of not reviewing comedy matches. For giving me the idea to do this, this match gets 1 Star.
Renee’s still doing interviews, and this one’s with the terminally smiling Bo Dallas. She asks him about beating the crap out of Neville. Have to admit, I was so relieved that the injury is either an angle or isn’t serious enough to sideline Neville. Also, a feud for Dallas? Awesome.
Does This Make Ambrose/Wyatt A ‘Storied Rivalry’?
Bray and Ambrose both make their way to the ring, and the match is on. They lock up aggressively, with Dean getting the headlock; he runs off the ropes and right into Wyatt, only to then take him down at the leg and wrench the limb. He attacks the leg on the ropes before running into an uppercut from Wyatt. Ambrose manages to regain control once again, sending Wyatt out of the ring, but then gets hurled into the steel steps by Bray. Ambrose is down as we go to break.
As we come back, Wyatt is on top of Ambrose, wrenching his head back. Dean tries to get out of it but takes a bodyslam for his trouble. Wyatt misses the back splash, but Ambrose just runs right into him, falling to the mat. Bray wants to suplex Ambrose off the apron onto the outside, but Dean manages to counter, turning it into a tornado DDT on the outside! The ref’s counting as Dean throws Bray and himself back into the ring, and Ambrose is looking serious right now.
Ambrose’s bulldog is reversed, but Dean comes right back with a clothesline. Dean takes a bunch of shots at Bray, and he’s in firm control right now. Bray’s on the outside, and Ambrose tries to dive out on top of him, but he leaps right into Sister Abigail against the barricade…but Ambrose reverses it, clubbing his way out of the situation! Bray tries to throw Dean back into the ring, but eats the big clothesline instead!
Back in the ring, Dean climbs back up to the top; he jumps into an Uranage attempt, reverses it. There’s an exchange of reverses and counters, but the Uranage finally gets delivered. Ambrose comes back with a low dropkick, climbing up to the top, but J and J Security are out there, distracting Ambrose. Nevertheless, Dean almost manages to roll Bray up; Wyatt hits an uppercut, and Dean takes the two of them down with a clothesline!
Rollins’ music hits, and he comes out, but then Roman comes out as well, cutting Rollins off at the pass. He takes down both Noble and Mercury, then Superman Punches Bray, allowing Ambrose to hit Dirty Deeds for the win!
This was pretty good, but I’d have preferred a match sans interference. I guess that’s not on the cards for Ambrose matches, now that he’ll be facing Rollins. Still pretty good. 2.5 Stars.
This SmackDown worked out pretty well. I think another PPV so close is an absurd idea, particularly as Payback wasn’t really anything that special. Maybe instead of hurling content at us, they need to really plan what’s going on here. Take a month and think about things. Seven.
Tags: Adam Rose, Bray Wyatt, byron saxton, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, Jamie Noble, Jerry Lawler, joey mercury, Kane, Kevin Owens, Lana, Lucha Dragons, naomi, Paige, Prime Time Players, R-Truth, Roman Reigns, rusev, seth rollins, smackdown, Stardust, Tamina Snuka, The Ascension, The New Day, Tom Philips, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett