It’s time for some SmackDown, albeit somewhat late in the week due to internet issues. Let’s get right to it.
It seems like ‘it’ involves the Wyatt Family. I’ve finally come to a conclusion about the appearance of Braun Stroman, and it follows thusly: he looks like what you’d get if you shaved off your pubic hair and glued it to the face of a baby which you’d been feeding steroids to for its entire life. And let that be definitive.
Harper, Wyatt and Stroman talk, and I don’t know what’s supposed to be so compelling about these guys just spouting random bullshit. Wyatt says that Roman doesn’t give a damn about the WWE Universe, or what they think about him. Well, no: didn’t this whole thing start because Bray wanted to snatch Roman’s daughter? If Reigns becomes champ, he wins the adulation of the audience, which Bray seems to just not want. He tries to make it about the Shield vs. the Wyatts, but that metaphor falls apart when you realise that Rollins is still weeping for his lost statue and has forgotten who Bray even is. Wyatt namedrops Orton and then Uso, who will be teaming with the Shield Buddies tonight: I guess either one could potentially be the partner.
It’s Like The Bandages Don’t Protect You At All
Cesaro makes his way to the ring and, after the break, The Miz follows him. On Monday, the Big Show decked Cesaro for no other reason than him being in the way, so it looks like that might be a feud we’re gearing towards. The Miz starts off by targeting the ribs of Cesaro, but gets hip-tossed and takes a stomp right to the chest. Cesaro runs into an elbow, but dropkicks Miz off the second rope, right to the outside of the ring. Cesaro chases Miz back into the ring, clotheslining him to the ground.
Miz begs off, hitting a cheap shot when Cesaro is distracted by the referee. He continues to work on the midsection, hanging Cesaro up on the ropes for a two count before resuming the punishment, vining his legs around the waist of the Swiss Superman. Cesaro uses his strength to get to his feet, turning the hold into a vertical suplex! Cesaro goes for the Swing, but Miz goes after the ribs once again before going for the Figure Four Leg Lock; Cesaro almost gets a roll-up, but Miz kicks out and takes Cesaro down once again. A misstep winds up with Miz locked up in the Sharpshooter, and the Miz taps!
Good opener, with Miz playing a smart heel to keep going after the ribs. 2.5 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with Dean Ambrose, asking them about teaming with Jimmy Uso. Roman doesn’t want Bray trying to steal any more of his family, but Jimmy is definitely psyched. Roman looks weirded out by his cousin’s crazy energy, but then I guess you would.
Was That Actually A Cat-Fight?
Here’s Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch, ready for the Brit Chick’s match against Sasha Banks, as she’ll try to get a win back after several weeks of losses. Sasha and the rest of Team BAD show up, and all teammates get ejected after some pre-match shenanigans. The bell rings, and Paige dives on Sasha, almost getting several quick pins. Sasha responds in kind, until she eats a knee to the face and rolls out of the ring.
Paige doesn’t give her a chance to recover, hitting a senton from the apron. She takes a little too much time getting back into the ring, however, with Banks kicking her back out to the floor.
Back from the break, Sasha is in control of Paige, slamming her back-first off the floor and choking her on the ropes. A stomp to the stomach, Cesaro-style, almost puts Paige out, but she fights her way clear of a chinlock before getting slammed off the floor. Sasha remains fully in control, wrapping Paige’s arms around her own neck in a submission. She tosses her into the corner, but Paige dodges her charge before hitting a big knee and a big boot!
Paige suddenly explodes out of the corner in a spear, and both women roll to the outside, with them both flinging each other into the barricade and continuing to brawl. Another ref shows up to help and, what, the match is over because it got too badass? Team BAD and Team PCB arrive for a DQ and a continuation of their brawl.
This was a really hard-hitting match, and the lack of interference was a definite plus. 3 Stars.
We recap more or less the whole six man tag match and statue-crushing from RAW, because SmackDown has no original content, I guess.
Byron Saxton is backstage with Rollins, and he lets him know that this is a safe space and Seth is okay to say what he feels. Rollins is understandably pissed about losing a statue of himself that, I guarantee you, he was going to masturbate to/onto at least once. But he’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins, so it’s all going to be fine and dandy.
Rollins then gets distracted, looking off-screen, and for a moment I’m freaked out because at the exact moment he did that, in that exact direction, my oven timer went off, and I’m not ready to be interacting with WWE in this personal a fashion. But it turns out to just be Sheamus, who is here to make his usual vague threats about forcing us to watch a Sheamus match at Night of Champions, that bearded bastard.
Jimmy Uso Is A Dead Man Walking
Looks like it’s time for some six-man tag action, with the New Day making their way to the ring. They shall be facing Reigns, Ambrose and Jimmy Uso, who show up as well. I love how Roman is worried about his cousin getting hurt by the Wyatts when his cousin has A) had a lot more success against the Wyatts than he has himself and B) has won more championships than he has.
Xavier Woods starts things off against Roman Reigns, and tries to outwrestle him early. This doesn’t exactly work for him, as he eventually just gets laid out with an uppercut. Ambrose tags in for a double suplex, and stomps away on Xavier before attacking him in the corner and clotheslining him for a two count. Woods tags out to Langston, who takes Dean down with a big clothesline. Kofi comes in to capitalise, tripping Dean up for him to land face-first and then hitting an axe-handle off the top rope.
Dean manages to tag out, and Jimmy Uso explodes over New Day to a good reception from the crowd, finally hitting a Samoan Drop to Kofi, then following it up with the Samoan Wrecking Ball and hitting a Dragon Whip to Xavier, who Ambrose clotheslines out of the ring and dives onto. Kofi gets tossed out too and Jimmy dives onto both New Day members!
Back in the ring, Jimmy wants to put Kofi down, but Langston hip-tosses Uso over the top rope to the outside! Jimmy is down and more or less fucked as we go to a commercial break. When we come back, the New Day is working the Uso over in the corner with their boring yet practical stomps. I mean, eventually you’re going to kill a guy by stomping on him. Woods even brings back the trombone, making me willing to die for him.
Kingston clotheslines Jimmy for a near-fall, then locks in a sleeper before slamming the Uso back off the mat. Woods comes in, and charges right into a superkick to lay him out. Jimmy manages to reach Roman, who looks like a fucking Terminator as he takes out the New Day, but a Terminator who can experience pure rage. He hits his apron dropkick to Woods, clotheslining Langston mid-way, and this is how you book Roman Reigns. Samoan Drop to Big E, but Woods manages to catch him on the ropes and hit a tornado DDT.
Dean Ambrose breaks up the pin and hits a Dirty Deeds to Kofi. Meanwhile, Reigns runs into a pair of boots from Woods, then just Superman Punches the guy mid-monkey flip. Roman tags out to Jimmy, who heads up to the top, but then the Wyatts weird interference kicks in and Jimmy is getting choked out by Braun Stroman as the other Wyatts look on. I’m going to go ahead and guess that that’s a DQ, but it’s not like the ref said or did a damn thing.
This was a really enjoyable one. Perfect booking for Reigns, and Jimmy Uso just reminded me of how damn much I’ve missed the guy. Ambrose and the New Day, of course, were spot on. 4 Stars.
The Wyatts vanish before Roman and Ambrose can get to them. This actually doesn’t seem to be going that badly, and if it means we see an absolutely furious Reigns at the PPV, I’m up for that.
Better Than An R-Truth Match
It’s the Lucha Dragons vs. The Ascension, who are apparently still hanging around with that Stardust fella. They’re also using the phrase ‘cosmic wasteland’, and to whoever reading this is standing anywhere close to a member of WWE Creative, I want you to reach out and smack them around the face for me: cheers.
Viktor and Sin Cara kick it off, with Viktor hitting an uppercut before taking a springboard crossbody. Kalisto tags in with another, but runs into Konnor before sliding out of a hold from Viktor, who gets sent out of the ring, then Kalisto hits a handspring roundhouse to Konnor.
Sin Cara gets dropped face-first on the apron by the Ascension and, after a distraction from Stardust, the Ascension hits the Fall of Man to Kalisto for the pin.
See, the Ascension just won a match for the first time in months, but I have less respect for them because they’re allied with Stardust. 1.5 Stars.
Neville breaks up the post-match beatdown, so I guess this is a feud we’re doing now. It could work.
Renee is backstage with Nikki Bella, and asks her about the upcoming match on RAW. Nikki is all ‘Charlotte is jealous and I’m awesome and blah blah blah’. Charlotte interrupts and refutes the above claims, sending some trash back Nikki’s way and ‘WOOOO-ing’.
Big Show Really Makes Them Earn The Title Of ‘Lumberjacks’
The Lumberjobbers make their way out to the ring in advance of Ryback and Rollins. We recap the whole statue thing from Monday for the umpteenth time, and then we get down to business.
Ryback and Rollins lock up, with Seth applying a headlock. Rollins is shot off the ropes and runs into a shoulder tackle from Ryback. Ryback wrenches the arm of Rollins, and uses the limb to slam him to the mat. Seth elbows his way out of an arm hold, but is the victim of a big arm drag and nearly gets knocked out to the outside. Ryback brings him back in; Rollins tries to escape and gets thrown back into the ring.
Seth slides out of a vertical suplex, hits a jawbreaker and sends Ryback out of the ring. Ryback smacks the shit out of Bo Dallas and leaps on Rollins again, missing a charge to blast the ringpost with his shoulder. The Lumberjacks leap on him, half of them wanting to rip him limb from limb, the other half wanting to defend him with their lives as we go to break.
Rollins hits Ryback with a leaping clothesline as we come back, then locks in a sleeper hold. Neckbreaker gets a two count and Rollins continues the attack, leaping from the second rope…right into a fallaway slam! Seth manages to get to his feet first, hitting a forearm to Ryback in the corner, then misses his own charge and gets pounded by the Big Guy. He’s sent into the corner with authority, and now Ryback’s hitting him from all directions, culminating in a sit-out bodyslam for two.
Ryback wants the Meathook, but Big Show drags Ryback out of the ring for some reason, like remembering a feud or whatever. Mark Henry wants to set things right, so Big Show KO Punches him. The face Lumberjacks are outraged by Big Show being a total douche, and back him off. Meanwhile, the heel Lumberjacks surround Ryback, who throws them off like this is The Matrix Reloaded.
Rollins tries to baseball slide Ryback, but instead winds up on the end of a spinebuster instead. Ryback tries for a Meathook, runs into a superkick to the gut, but still manages to elevate Seth right over the top rope onto the Lumberjacks! The Lumberjack Hierarchy and Order System totally breaks down, and everyone attacks each other. Stardust hits his finisher to Ryback, but then the other Lumberjacks run him off. Neville moonsaults onto every single Lumberjack, because anarchy is now king.
Meanwhile, Rollins wants a Pedigree, but takes a clothesline and almost eats Shell Shocked, but Kevin Owens grabs Ryback’s leg, and a Pedigree ends it!
That was a great match: managed to fit in a lot of stories and still make things make sense and come up with the ring result. I’m impressed. 3.5 Stars.
Fun SmackDown all round this week: a tight, smart show which furthered most storylines. 9/10.
Tags: Big Show, Braun Stroman, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, dean ambrose, jimmy uso, Kevin Owens, Lucha Dragons, Luke Harper, Neville, Paige, Roman Reigns, ryback, sasha banks, seth rollins, smackdown, Stardust, The Ascension, The Miz, The New Day