Hey there, SmackDown watchers. Well, it’s been a busy week for me, what with having to write FUCK STANNIS on the side of my house, dealing with my neighbours who have a problem with this show of political interest and psyching myself up for a third PPV in…what, a month? I mean, is Money In The Bank one of the main ones? Was Elimination Chamber kind of meant to slip through there? What does that make Payback?
Anyway, my internal wrestling calender has lost the plot, because I can’t handle this volume of go-home shows in such a short span of time. That being said, let’s review this motherfucker.
Things start off with Dean Ambrose’s music, and the sort-of champ makes his entrance from the crowd, with the belt still on his shoulder and those beads still around his neck. He grabs a microphone and praises New Orleans for its boobs-for-beads exchange rate. Dean says that he’s having a great time being champion, and shows off some snapshots from his drunken, crazy spree this Monday. He recaps J and J Security beating Rollins due to Ambrose exploiting Rollins’ magpie-like obsession with the championship belt. Dean hopes that Rollins remembers his whole world falling apart but, if he doesn’t, he’ll just repeat the whole thing this Sunday.
Rollins comes out, demanding that he stop being treated like Wade Barrett. He tells Ambrose that he’s no different to any other challenger for the title: not in Rollins’ league. This Sunday, he’ll be taking the belt back, but he wants Ambrose to give it back to him now. Dean tells him to chill out, and says he can have the belt. He dumps the belt on the ring and steps out of the ring…and then admits that that’s actually not the title belt; it’s a replica of the title belt.
Rollins gets really pissed, and Dean then admits that he actually lost the title. That would be so in-character for him. He promises that he’ll find it before Sunday and bring it back, and then leaves to do just that. Seth wants to follow him, and I sort of hope that I’m about to see a massive, passive-aggressive scavenger hunt featuring these two having to work together to track down the championship belt, but Kane shows up and kills that dream.
Kane laughs at Rollins for losing to a former tag team champ and a former cruiserweight champ in a 2-on-1 handicap match, which is a bit severe. He then puts him in a match against Dolph Ziggler, with no Authority around to help him. Rollins pouts and bitches, which is his standard reaction to most stimuli.
T-Minus Three Days Until Big Show vs. Ryback
Oh Jesus, a Miz match. Why, lord, why? He’s facing Ryback, and I guess the Big Guy has been racing through his matches recently, so this might be quite painless. We replay the altercation between the Miz, the Big Show and Ryback on Monday, including that damned impressive Shell Shocked on Show: that was crazy.
Miz bails immediately, then comes back in to almost roll Ryback up. Ryback slams his head off the mat a couple times, then suplexes Miz after a long delay. Miz bails again, and when Ryback follows him to the outside, he pulls the Big Guy face-first into the table.
Once we’re back from the break, Miz has Ryback in a sleeper hold, because that’s never not going to happen when we come back from a commercial. Ryback powers his way out, then hits Miz with a shoulder tackle, then a powerslam for a two count. He wants a powerbomb, but Miz chops the knee and applies the Figure Four leg lock. God, remember Ric Flair? What’s he even doing now?
Ryback manages to force himself out of the hold, then tries a second powerbomb, but Miz slithers out of it, hitting his DDT for a near-fall. Miz stalks Ryback, but the Skull-Crushing Finale gets turned into a spinebuster. Miz flees the Meathook, only to get caught and flung back into the ring. Shell Shocked is countered as Miz grabs the ropes, and…Skull-Crushing Finale? Whoa, honestly thought they were going to let Miz win for a second, but Ryback gets the shoulder up.
Miz, realising that he’s run out of moves, resorts to trying to deliver the Meathook, and Ryback just takes his head off. Shell Shocked, and that’s over.
Considering it was the Miz and Ryback…yeah, I was expecting my face to melt or my head to explode or something else out of an Indiana Jones movie. But this was relatively inoffensive. I’m sure the match against the Big Show this Sunday will be…pffft…of comparable quality. 2 Stars.
Big Show comes out, talking smack about how he’s a big dude, which means he can do whatever he wants and Ryback can’t stop him. Pretty sure Ryback could punch a fucking hole through Big Show’s chest and take his heart if he wanted to. I mean…at this point, Big Show’s kind of an old fat dude.
Ryback makes some cheap pop remark, and then challenges Big Show to get his ass into the ring. Big Show teases this really dull confrontation, but then backs off: that coy bitch.
At This Point, R-Truth May As Well Just Be Repackaged As A Klepto
R-Truth is on commentary, which is usually the most amusing thing about the sort of matches he’s usually commentating on. In the ring, Wade Barrett is fighting Jack Swagger, who I was under the impression had been dead for six months now.
Wade and Jack tussle, and clearly this is going to be a match for the ages. Barrett beats Swagger down in the corner, but the big Oklahoman comes out fighting. Wade takes him down with a back elbow. R-Truth spots Wade’s renaissance faire pimp get-up, and starts trying it on, leading Barrett to almost get rolled up. He staggers Swagger with a kick, but then gets distracted again by Truth’s obsession with stealing everything he owns.
Barrett heads out after Truth, who acts like he’s going to give the stuff back, but then sprints off. Wade chases him, then runs into a clothesline from Swagger. Back in the ring, there’s a Swagger Bomb for a near-fall. Swagger wants a Patriot Lock; Barrett creates some separation, and BOOM. Bull Hammer city, and Barrett manages to prevail over shenanigans which would usually slay a heel like him.
I laughed more than I rolled my eyes, and I will take that. 2 Stars.
Jesus, Tough Enough. I was feeling amazing about how I looked, and then you rubbed those incredible bodies in my face. It’s almost enough for me not to eat that massive pizza I’ve been saving for tomorrow. I mean…I’m still going to eat it, but for fuck’s sakes.
We replay Paige hating the Bellas for not being able to decide whether they’re heels or faces. That girl has the most odd voice for promo delivery, and I can’t believe I’m just noticing this now.
Paige is backstage, and runs into Alicia Fox, who is sort of pissed that Paige spoke for her. To be fair, black people do tend to get spoken for by white people a lot.
This just in: Lana should not be allowed to wear heels if she’s going to walk off a fucking entrance ramp whilst wearing them. She also talked to Michael Cole about how she needs a man in her life, because this world cannot handle a woman not being attached to a man who can both control her and diminish her individuality. Rusev busted into the interview with his Tiny Tim crutches and his rapist grin (and that image is going to make my next reading of A Christmas Carol a surreal fucking experience). When Lana left, I was terrified that Michael Cole was about to get Heidenreiched again.
Anybody Else Remember The Spirit Squad?
After that Dolph Ziggler shows up, not really giving a damn about any of that, because he’s about to fight Seth Rollins. Rollins shows up, looking sulky, and we’ve got ourselves a match.
Seth starts things off with a waistlock, taking Dolph to the mat. Headlock to Ziggler, who turns it into an arm lock. Rollins reaches the ropes, and they separate. Headlock takeover from Rollins, and he keeps Dolph down on the canvas. Ziggler climbs back up, drives Seth off the ropes and then takes a tackle. He turns the tables with a hip toss, and almost superkicks Rollins, who jumps out of the ring to avoid it.
Rollins comes back, and now Ziggler has a waistlock. Rollins back him into a corner, breaking the hold. Seth immediately goes on the attack, choking Dolph on the ropes. Ziggler’s shot off the ropes, but manages to hit a neckbreaker. He takes Rollins into a corner, but Seth manages to hit an electric chair drop to create some breathing space. Rollins takes advantage of this, hitting stomps and a big clothesline before applying a sleeper to Ziggler. Dolph gets to his feet, but takes a big suplex for a two count and gets put back into the sleeper. Again, Ziggler fights back, and this times slides out of the suplex and clotheslines Seth out of the ring. Ziggler rocks Rollins’ head off the barricade, but then gets catapulted into the timekeeper’s area, and we get a commercial.
Action’s back in the ring when we return, and Seth’s in full control, stomping on Ziggler. Dolph suddenly powers up with a flurry, but Rollins drops him to shut that down. Some real dominance from Seth here, possibly because he knows he can’t coast and just utilise the Authority’s goons now? Another sleeper’s locked in on Dolph, who hits a desperation jawbreaker, and then elevates Rollins out of the ring. Both men are down when Rollins crawls back inside, and the ref is just not interested in doing a count.
Ziggler hits some clotheslines, then a stinger splash in the corner. A neckbreaker from Dolph is reversed into a back suplex from Rollins, which Ziggler rolls out of and hits a DDT! Seth kicks out of the attempted pin, and both men are down again. Fameasser is turned into a powerbomb, but Ziggler rolls through for a roll-up and a near-fall! Several pinning combinations attempted by Dolph before he hits a Fameasser, and that almost ends the match there and then. Ziggler almost hits a DDT; Seth dumps him onto the apron, but gets hung up on the top rope. Ziggler climbs to the top and hits a crossbody; Seth rolls through into a pin, gripping the tights and he gets the win.
Good match, and a nice show of Seth’s actual capabilities. I hope to hell they can develop this side of him more, as one of the biggest problems I’ve had with his character for the last few months has been him being overshadowed to show what a bunch of assholes the Authority is. With them gone, he’s got to do things for himself. Some of the counters and combinations in this match were great. 3 Stars.
Just fast-forwarding through these Tough Enough promos now. You’re not guilting me out of this fucking pizza.
Alicia Actually Can Turn Off The Crazy
Alicia Fox is in the ring, ready to take on Paige. The number one contender arrives, and the match is underway. They lock up, with Alicia getting a waistlock. Paige slams Alicia back into the corner, then throws some elbows and hits a knee and some boots right into her face. Fox comes off the ropes, looking for a vicious-looking boot, but Paige grabs the foot and takes Alicia down to the mat hard.
Paige locks in some kind of Ambrose-esque submission move, raking back on the face. Freaking dominant Paige so far, but Alicia reaches the bottom rope and hits a kick to Paige’s face. She then throws the Brit’s head back against the turnbuckle and manages to get the boot to the face she was looking for.
Sleeper hold locked in on Paige, before Fox slams her head back off the mat and then reapplies it. She does it again, this time going for a boot to the face, but Paige ducks, only to run right into another boot and a clothesline. Some hard shots in this match. Alicia heads up to the top rope, but Paige catches her, hanging her up hard on the top rope and sending her out to the floor.
Paige hits a running senton from the apron onto Fox. Back in the ring, she wants to apply the PTO, but Alicia rolls out of that. She misses a Scissors Kick, but takes a superkick to the face, and the PTO is locked in. Fox submits quickly, and Paige has some momentum on the way to Money In The Bank.
I’m always pleasantly surprised at how hard-hitting Paige’s matches can be. Nice to see Alicia Fox back too, although this is one of the first matches I’ve seen her in where there’s been no Northern Lights suplex. 2.5 Stars.
We recap Kevin Owens never being able to shut up about his son and John Cena never being able to take a loss seriously. That is literally this feud, and I still really quite enjoy it.
Renee Young’s backstage with the Prime Time Players. Wow, she’s slacking on the interviews tonight: usually she’d be shoving a microphone into the popcorn vendor’s face by now. The Prime Time Players seem psyched up for Sunday, and I’m looking forward to this match, but I really wish they’d stop with the forced gay references. WE GET IT, GUYS, AND WE AREN’T SHOCKED BY IT AND WE DON’T HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH IT. Jesus.
Can’t Stop Staring At Neville’s Ears
Main event time already, huh? Seems like it’s been a quick SmackDown tonight. The competitors make their way to the ring, and it’s sort of sad that thing I like most about Sheamus is his entrance. And it’s an awesome entrance, so that’s not even that negative.
Kofi Kingston starts off against Roman Reigns, because that worked out so well for him the last time. Kingston wrenches the arm, but gets his head slammed off the mat and dropkicked. That’s about right. He headbutts Kofi, then tags in Neville. Neville wrenches the arm; Kofi rolls through and decks him. Neville gets worked over in the turnbuckle, then backflips away and hits a crossbody. Kofi manages to drive him into the heel corner, and Sheamus comes in to wreck some shit.
Beatdown from Sheamus, but Neville escapes and tags in resident psychopath Randy Orton. Randy gets the upper hand with a clothesline, and Woods yells ‘Sheamus is in a dilemma!’ I fucking love you, Xavier. Orton winds up in the heel corner again, and runs into a bodyslam after a distraction from Kane and Kofi as we go to a break.
Sheamus has a sleeper hold as we come back from the break, and can one commercial break end literally as someone gets clocked with a superkick? That would be an interesting twist for me. Orton hits a back suplex, because sleeper holds are totally, like, his thing. He tags in Neville, who hits some kicks to Sheamus before knocking the heels off the apron. He heads up for the Red Arrow, but Kingston and Kane work together to crotch him on the rope.
Sheamus beats on Neville on the top rope before flinging him down to the floor. Kane gets tagged in and puts the boots to the Man Who Gravity Forgot (or, to put it in a more grammatically-correct fashion, the Man Whom Gravity Forgot, y’illiterate motherfuckers). Kofi comes in now, applying a bastardised sleeper to Neville. Neville rolls out of it, but gets a dropkick to the face for his trouble. Sheamus comes in the ring and gives Nevill a metric fucktonne of backbreakers. Aaaaand another sleeper. This is all just to taunt Orton, isn’t it?
Neville dodges a charge from Sheamus, and Sheamus blasts the ring post with his shoulder. Neville tags in Roman; Sheamus tags in Kofi, and we know that this won’t work. Roman annihilates Kofi, because fuck yo tag titles. Then he brings Big E and Woods into the ring and throws them out again because fuck yo tag titles even harder. Samoan Drop to Kofi, and he measures him for the Superman Punch, but Kane hits a surprise chokeslam! RKO to Kane! Brogue Kick to Orton! Missile dropkick to Sheamus! Trouble in Paradise to Neville! Kingston misses a splash to Roman, comes off the top for a crossbody, and takes a Superman Punch! New Day break up the pin, and it’s a DQ.
Ah, WWE, you know I’m a sucker for the old finisher-chain. And even that aside, this was a lot of fun, and brought in a lot of good will for that Money In The Bank match. 3 Stars.
Wow, I paused that at totally the wrong time: two guys in the crowd are holding up Roman Reigns head cut-outs, and I thought shit had just gotten considerably surreal for a second.
The New Day have decided that the insult to their titles will not stand, and they hit their whatever-it’s-called double team move on Roman. They bring a ladder into the ring, because worthless symbolism is worth putting a guy on a tall fucking ladder and inviting guys to throw him off it. To prove my point, Ziggler shows up and wipes out New Day with his ladder, throwing Kingston out of the ring and going out with him.
Back in the ring, Neville gets the ladder up to the ropes, and because everyone is somehow distracted due to punching each other, they fail to notice the guy putting up a freaking ladder and getting ready to dive out onto them. Anyhow, Neville dives onto them, then comes back into the ring and grabs the briefcase.
Ah, this was a fun episode, and hopefully the last go-home show that I’ll have to cover for a month or so. Seriously, guys, I’m not on board with this ‘fortnightly PPV’ thing you’re doing. And I’m watching this upcoming one after the Game of Thrones finale this Monday. See you all next week, and enjoy Money In The Bank.
Tags: alicia fox, Big Show, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, J and J Security, John Cena, Kane, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Michael Cole, money in the bank, Neville, Nikki Bella, Paige, Prime Time Players, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, seth rollins, Sheamus, smackdown, The Miz