Merry September, everyone, and I hope we’re all ready for a great big helping of SmackDown. We’re heading towards Night of Champions now secure in the knowledge that all belts will actually be defended. On the bright side, we get two Rollins matches; on the downside, one of them will be against an old, old man. And that one’s the main event. And the result is pretty obvious. And there will be shenanigans (evil shenanigans).
We start things off with the New Day, and I don’t know exactly when they stopped becoming annoying-annoying and became fucking-hilarious-annoying, but they have hit that point for me. They’re carrying their signs, some of which have new slogans on them, which means that there is some serious care and fiendish attention going into this by WWE Creative standards.
Xavier Woods gets on the microphone and says: ‘a table is a terrible thing to waste’, and I am fucking won over all over again. The New Day are cutting a three-person promo about tables, and I am audibly laughing about it. The crowd are even joining in. Just what dark magic and blood sacrifice was behind this beautiful segment? Big E is way too into this whole thing, and manages to get the crowd chanting ‘save the tables’. They even have a table wrapped in fucking bubble wrap.
The Dudley Boyz arrive on the entrance ramp, and there’s a part of me which wishes they hadn’t, because I was enjoying the last three minutes far more than I thought was possible. D-Von says that they’ve forgotten the most important table moment in recent history, and they show their 3D on Xavier Woods. The Dudley Boyz advance on the ring and the New Day skedaddle to the outside, but then the Prime Time Players arrive. Ah, complexity.
Titus makes the not-totally-wrong point that they’re owed a rematch, and that means that the Dudleys go to the back of the line. D-Von tells Bubba to tell the Prime Time Players who they are, and he does. Titus and Darren get into the ring, and it looks like we’ve got ourselves a match!
You see this, Sting and Lesnar? You see these guys working on SmackDown?
Wow, I just spent half an hour with the wrestling paused, watching Goldberg clips on YouTube; I don’t even know how that happened. Anyway, Darren Young is kicking things off against D-Von Dudley, and a stipulation has not as such been mentioned, but you can assume that the winners are the guys who are going to be facing the New Day at the PPV. D-Von and Darren tie up and chain wrestle until D-Von takes Young down with a bodyslam, then runs into a hard forearm before knocking Young down with a spinning elbow. There’s a face-off between all members of the team as we go to a commercial break.
Back with the action, Darren and D-Von are still legal, with D-Von controlling the arm of Young before tagging in Bubba. The New Day have apparently taken over commentary, and fuck it: let’s just have them do it all night. There’s a lock-up between the two before Darren throws Bubba twice, pissing off the older man. Bubba tries to back Young into the corner, finally sending him reeling from a back elbow, and he and D-Von hit the reverse 3D, which Brennan calls a ‘German suplex into a neckbreaker’, like an idiot. Xavier instantly calls him out on it, and just when you think you couldn’t love a strange trio of quirky black guys more…
D-Von is in control of Young, applying a sleeper before Young escapes and runs into a clothesline. Bubba tags in, throwing some hands at Young before Darren hits an enzuigri, finally tagging in Titus. Titus cleans house, taking Bubba Ray down and squashing him in the corner before hitting a bodyslam. Bubba hits an elbow, and then the Dudleys hit the 3D out of nowhere to win the match.
Really sudden ending, and a seemingly-rushed match to start things off. Still, the New Day’s commentary was worth the watch, and earns this match 3 Stars.
Kingston slaps D-Von across the back of the head with a cheap shot, because he’s an absurdly cheerful dick.
The New Day are backstage, and Xavier is playing the trombone as Renee tries to interview them. They have a match against Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, and Xavier reacts by blowing a long, steadily deepening note. Oh stop, you…
Stardust is in the ring, awaiting the arrival of the Shrek-faced and way-too-ripped Neville. I guess we’re still doing this for some reason…or maybe not! The Ascension just jumped Neville! They beat him down on the outside, and toss him into the ring. So, Stardust and the Ascension are joining forces? Well, it’s something I never saw coming, and it has the potential to benefit everyone, and Neville just sold the fuck out of the Fall of Man right there. Hell, this could be fun.
JoJo is backstage with Cesaro, who is facing Sheamus tonight. Cesaro says that he’s going to face up to his loss against Owens by getting back into things with Sheamus. Sheamus shows up and says ‘it is what it is’: what does that mean?! He says that Cesaro’s really good: just not good enough. The boys get bitchy so that we’ll believe their desire to beat the shit out of each other.
Because how dare we cheer for Cesaro without being told to
Looks like that match is right now. Sheamus and Cesaro make their way into the ring, and the commentators remind us of Cesaro’s big bump against the table, and point out that his ribs are all bandaged up. The bell rings, and Sheamus immediately grabs a mic to shout down the crowd with their ‘You Look Stupid’ chants. Cesaro follows him, chasing him into the ring and hitting a boot. Sheamus attacks the ribs, but Cesaro powers through, hitting a big clothesline and then a suplex. Sheamus manages to elevate Cesaro out onto the apron, and Cesaro wants a suplex to the outside now, but Sheamus fights out of it, flinging Cesaro ribs-first into the top turnbuckle.
Back from the break, Sheamus is in control, applying a chinlock to Cesaro, who breaks out of it with a back suplex. Sheamus is still holding the advantage, hitting some uppercuts. Apparently this provokes Cesaro, who hits some uppercuts of his own, then tries for a superplex. Sheamus fights out of that, but does eat a dropkick which sends him toppling to the outside, and a running uppercut when he gets there.
Back in the ring, Cesaro almost gets the win off a flying cross-body, then keeps Sheamus reeling with strikes. Sheamus finally hits a shoulder tackle to the ribs in the corner, then applies a Texas Cloverleaf. Cesaro rolls through into a pin for the two, reverses the Irish Curse backbreaker and applies the crossface! Sheamus manages to break the hold by attacking the midsection, and Cesaro keeps it together long enough to hit a double stomp, continuing to attack Sheamus in the corner.
The ref drags Cesaro away after he’s in danger of breaking the count, and Sheamus takes advantage with a Brogue Kick for the win.
Good match, with some really smart offence and story-telling. Both men came out of this looking good, and I wonder if this latest victory is a step towards a cash-in by Sheamus. 3 Stars.
Miz shows up for his Miz TV segment, and we relive Summer Rae sneaking into Ziggler’s locker room last week to get a look at his Zig-Zag. And I think the most ridiculous part of all of this is that we’re expected to believe that Dolph Ziggler has his own locker room.
Miz calls Summer Rae the ‘real victim’, and that’s an insightful comment on how WWE Creative treats women, Mr Mizanin. He wants her to tell the Universe what happened. She claims that Dolph invited her into his locker room – she thought – to bury the hatchet. But she instead makes an accusation of sexual assault, so either Ziggler’s a rapist or Lana is trying to ruin a man’s career and life: there is no good way out of this. This is Kurt Angle wanting that…kind of…bestiality sex all over again.
Ziggler and Lana come out, because being called a rapist is the kind of thing you really ought to respond to promptly. Lana apparently doesn’t really trust Dolph, because Summer Rae and Miz are the most believable and non-dickish people in the world ever. Summer Rae has more evidence…and it’s a clip from RAW broadcast June 2014. I’d call that a lot of things, but never ‘exhibit A’. Basically, it’s back when Summer ran away from Fandango’s abusive bullshit and the amazing Layla got in on the scene, but during that time, Ziggler and Summer made out. Also worthy of note is that, during this time, Lana would have been commanding Rusev to cripple jobbers and midcarders, but semantics.
Lana starts beating the shit out of Summer, but apparently wants nothing to do with Dolph either. She leaves as Dolph tails her and Summer yells after her about how she ‘can’t handle the truth’. Sounds familiar, for some reason.
Dallas still hasn’t forgotten who ended his streak
Oh, speaking of the Truth…he’s unfortunately here and rapping. And he’s facing Bo Dallas, fresh from having the crap beaten out of him two weeks ago. The crowd chants ‘Suplex City’, and this seems to piss Bo off; he beats R-Truth down in the corner, takes some blows himself and then hits a back suplex. Bo seems really annoyed tonight, and he’s taking it to Truth. Another back suplex gets two, and then a sleeper hold is applied.
Truth works his way out of the hold, clotheslining Bo before missing a scissors kick, but hitting a calf kick. A random audience member yells: ‘Just join the Wyatt Family already!’: well done, unknown gentleman. Bo hangs Truth up by his ankles on the ropes, and then hits some sort of twist to finish things.
Well, interesting second chance for Dallas, and a nice new finisher. I shall watch out for more. 2 Stars.
There’s a Nikki Bella promo for her longest-reigning Divas championship…reign. It makes sense that you’d want a long-running employee to have the record, especially considering the added prestige for these women who’ll try to dethrone her.
Renee is backstage with Team PCB, and they seem okay about Charlotte winning the Beat the Clock contest, which is fine. Even if I do want these three to turn on each other and have amazing matches to work out their issues. With Sasha, Naomi and Alicia joining in for the hell of it. The Bellas show up, and talk about the Bellatron (I knew Jericho should have taken the Jeritron away with him), but Charlotte says that she’s made sure their match is before the record mark. And if Nikki somehow goes for an hour for the purpose of beating the record, I’d almost be okay with that, because it would make so much sense.
Countdown to a Paige heel-turn starting…
Holy moley, Tamina is actually wrestling; there’s a rarity. She’s facing Charlotte, who makes her way to the ring with Team PCB. Charlotte and Tamina lock up, and Tamina shoves Charlotte down to the mat and ‘whoo’s. Tamina goes for a test of strength, beating Charlotte out. A clothesline more or less takes Charlotte’s head off for a count of two, and a chop takes her down.
Tamina continues to dominate Charlotte in the corner, then snapmares her out before running into an elbow, and then a boot. Charlotte hits some chops, a neckbreaker, and then a spear. Natural Selection hits and Charlotte gets the win.
Well, half of the match was back, and the other was forth. 2 Stars.
The Bellas come out and show the Bellatron. This is just Rusev and the Russian flag all over again.
We recap Rollins shooting his mouth off about Triple H, because he literally has no idea when to shut up. And I love how both Stephanie McMahon and Sting are both massive Triple H fanboys: no transparency here whatsoever.
Renee Young is backstage with Kevin Owens, and she asks him what’s next after beating Cesaro for a second time. Owens crows over his victories, but he’s now moving onto the people who are picking on Kevin Owens for the way he looks. Because he’s overweight and unattractive. Wait, is he the heel in this storyline? Oh, and he drops the hint that he’s decided to feud with Ryback, making him very much the fucking heel.
How the hell do you not love a guy with a trombone?
It’s time for our main event, featuring the New Day and the two guys who have really had their asses handed to them recently. Ambrose starts off against Kofi, applying a headlock and knocking Kofi down with a shoulder tackle. Kingston wants a hip toss, but Ambrose slams him instead. Kofi manages to tag in Langston, who takes a kick to the face, and Ambrose tags in Roman to hit a double suplex.
Roman smacks Big E around, the stomps him in the corner. Langston manages to hit a belly-to-belly to kill the momentum, and then hits some stomps with Kofi, now with TROMBONE ACCOMPANIMENT. Langston and Kofi work well as a team, until Big E squashes Reigns in the corner. He charges at Roman again, and gets a flying clothesline that damn near decapitates him. Roman tags in Ambrose, who works Langston over before bulldogging him. Roman and Dean clear the ring, with Ambrose diving onto all of New Day as we go to a break.
Back in the match, Kofi is in control of Dean, applying a choke. Ambrose rolls through it, but turns right into a dropkick from Kingston. Big E comes in to hit a big splash, then applies an abdominal stretch. He charges at Ambrose in the corner, running into a pair of boots, but catches Dean on the turnbuckle, going for a belly-to-belly from the second rope. Ambrose fights him off, hitting a missile dropkick and tagging in Reigns!
Reigns demolishes Kofi, and calmly backhands the fuck out of Langston whenever he gets close. He almost gets rolled up off a distraction by Woods, but reverses the pin and powerbombs Kingston. Langston interferes and gets clotheslined and ejected by Ambrose, who dives out on top of him!
Roman runs into a kick by Kofi, but then catches him with the Superman Punch. Xavier Woods breaks up the pin for the DQ.
Decent match, and nice to see the boys get a little momentum back as we keep doing this whole Wyatt thing. 2.5 Stars.
The New Day gets destroyed after the match by Ambrose and Reigns, who stand tall to end the night. Dean grabs a microphone and says that felt pretty good, and he wants Stroman. Well, at least you can believe he’s a psychopath. Reigns calls out the Wyatts, sounding pretty intense. Instead, Bray shows up on the screen and challenges them to a match at Night of Champions. They show Stroman again, and that man has a baby’s face with a ridiculous beard attached to it.
Not a bad SmackDown, all in all. Good matches, sensible build and not overburdened with flashbacks to RAW. Keep it up. 8/10.
A quick note now: in light of some of the awful events that are happening in the world, I thought it might be useful to include some links to various websites and pages of groups dedicated to helping the people around the world who are are in danger through fleeing conflict. Here are some, and if anyone knows of any others that they’d like to add, then feel free to include them in the comments section.
http://www.moas.eu/ This charity runs independent rescue boats dedicated to preventing loss of life by those crossing the Mediterranean Sea
https://www.facebook.com/calaisaction This group has a list of needed clothing and items which can make life far easier for refugees in Calais.
http://about.justgiving.com/content/calais-migrant-crisis Another charity dedicated to helping the migrants in crisis in Calais.
https://secure.savethechildren.org.uk/donate/ Save The Children is a well-known charity, which is also offering aid.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/03/refugee-crisis-what-can-you-do-to-help This contains some other links to charities.
Tags: Bo Dallas, Cesaro, charlotte, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, dudley boyz, Jerry Lawler, jimmy uso, JoJo, Kevin Owens, Lana, Neville, Prime Time Players, R-Truth, Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Roman Reigns, Sheamus, smackdown, Stardust, Summer Rae, tamina, Team BAD, Team PCB, The Ascension, The Miz, The New Day