Hey folks, it’s David Spain here with the blue show, on a week which unfortunately saw us lose one of the WWE family, and one of the most influential women to lace up a pair of boots: the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna.
This Monday, the Tag Team Championship Tournament advanced to the finals, and it will be the Vaudevillains vs. Enzo and Cass, because sometimes good things do happen in wrestling. They also added a layer of intrigue to the Styles/Roman match, likely to counter the ‘everyone hates Roman and loves Styles’ angle that they just can’t shift right now.
So hey: SmackDown!
Pyro! Ballyhoo! Union Flags! We’re in the O2 arena in London, and we’re getting things started with a special edition of Miz TV. Holy shit, guys: you won your independence; what more can you possibly want? Oh, but Miz’s guest is AJ Styles?…well played, colonies.
Miz references New Japan and the Bullet Club, demanding AJ tells everyone whether or not he gave the orders to Gallows and Anderson. Styles denies it, but Miz keeps going after him. Wow: this is almost investigative journalism/legal prosecution from the Miz. Styles responds, saying that he doesn’t need anyone’s help to beat Roman Reigns, and he’ll prove that at Payback.
Miz tries a different tact, saying that Styles needs Anderson and Gallows to beat Reigns. So, Miz just defended Roman Reigns, which is about as official a heel turn as you can possibly get. It’s like a heel turn by proxy, really. AJ’s getting riled now, but Miz is having way too much fun trying to get to the bottom of this story. Where was he when the Panama Papers were being exposed?
Miz and Maryse have a moment, and then a make-out session, apparently totally forgetting about Styles. AJ doesn’t take kindly to it, so beats the shit out of the Miz and then leaves. Maryse seems incredibly unsurprised by the physical assault which took place against her boyfriend: I guess she knew what she was getting into from the start.
Ryback is terrifyingly broad
Here’s Kalisto, ready to take on Ryback. Apparently the Big Guy said that what happened at WrestleMania was a fluke. Thing is, it was on the pre-show, so Godzilla could have materialised and eaten Ryback, and I’d not know about it. This a non-title rematch, to allow Ryback another opportunity to prove that he can beat someone a fraction of his size and strength. I swear, this had better not be so we can set up a rematch at Payback.
The bell rings, and Ryback bum-rushes Kalisto, barging him into the corner and then starting to beat on him. Bodyslam puts Kalisto down, and I’d totally be on board for a squash if that’s what we’re doing here. Ryback tosses Kalisto across the ring, then shoulder-tackles him. Another shoulder-tackle, and Ryback’s looking confident as he shoves and throws the champ some more.
Kalisto comes back with some kicks, but gets pressed and dropped by Ryback before getting thrown shoulder-first into the steel post as we go to a commercial break. Okay, but you realise that this makes Ryback look like an incompetent for not being able to do this earlier, right? Right?
When we come back, Ryback’s got Kalisto up top, and tries for a superplex, hitting a delayed superplex from the second rope. Kalisto kicks out, and gets put in the Tree of Woe, with Ryback stomping the shit out of him. He charges, and Kalisto pulls himself up, leaving Ryback to blast the ring post with his shoulder, falling out of the ring. He crawls back in, and eats a guillotine leg drop from Kalisto! Roundhouses and a dropkick to Kalisto, then a springboard flying corkscrew! More kicks to Ryback, and an enzuigiri, and and then a spike-a-rana for two!
Ryback is still down, and Kalisto wants the Salida Del Sol, but is pushed off the ropes and bounces right into a Meathook. Shellshocked gets Kalisto up…but he turns it into a massive DDT, getting two! Kalisto flies off the second rope, gets caught, slides out of Ryback’s bodyslam attempt, kicks him in the face, goes for Salida Del Sol, gets caught by Shellshocked and that’s the match!
Not bad, actually. I mean, it means we’ll be doing this a little more, but that was a decent match. 2.5 Stars.
So, Total Bellas is going to be a thing. I’ve got nothing more to add to that that isn’t hysterical laughter, so we’ll leave it there.
So, does Corbin just not get paid for tonight?
Dolph Ziggler is here to show the world, but Baron Corbin is here to jump bitches and physically assault those same bitches before the match even starts.
Some interviewer shows up on the ramp to ask Corbin what the Dickens, and Corbin just says ‘because I can’. Yeah, I’d keep an eye on someone who employs that kind of logic.
Corbin should just jump every single competitor tonight
Here’s the Miz and Maryse, ready for a revenge match against AJ Styles. Styles seems pretty amped up, because it’s not every day you get to smack someone as annoying as the Miz around and get paid for it.
Miz and Styles lock up, with Miz backing AJ into a corner. Styles ducks a punch and hammers Miz, but gets locked in a headlock. Miz is shot off the ropes and takes Styles down with a shoulder block. Bodyslam by the Miz, but he takes a headscissors from the floor, then a knee drop. Styles applies the Indian Death Lock, and then turns it into a Muta Lock! Miz escapes, and bails to the outside; Styles follows him and throws him back inside. Miz jumps AJ, stomping away at him, before running into a dropkick.
I really wish King would stop making fun of the names of Japanese wrestling moves. Without even going near the ‘you sound like a dumb fucking asshole’ side of it, it sort of makes it seem like he’s really bad at his job. Which, you know, he is. Chops from Styles to the Miz, before AJ runs into a knee. Miz mounts and punches Styles, then locks in a sleeper hold.
Styles is taken up for a back suplex, but rolls out and kicks Miz in the head. Miz heads to the outside again, and then uses Maryse as a human shield in order to jump Styles, tossing him into the barricades before we head to a commercial break.
When we come back, Miz is stomping away at Styles in the corner. He hits his corner clothesline, then heads up to the top, taking AJ down with a double axe-handle for two before punching the crap out of him. Styles manages to get a jackknife cover, but eats a boot to the face for a two count. Miz takes him up to the second rope, but gets headbutted back down from Styles; Styles tries to mount some offence, but the Miz catches and crotches him. Miz goes for a superplex; Styles drops down and both men come off the ropes and hit each other with crossbodies!
AJ hits a clothesline, then a snapmare with a forearm. Corner clothesline, then a pumphandle gutbuster! He wants the Styles Clash; Miz pushes him into the corner and hits him with a bunch of kicks. Miz wants the Figure Four, but gets rolled up, only to hit a DDT for two! Yeah, right now it looks like Styles absolutely needs help to beat Roman Reigns. AJ counters the Skull-Crushing Finale, hitting the ushigoroshi for two!
Miz catches AJ with a chop-block; Styles comes off the second rope into an atomic drop and Miz locks in the Figure Four Leglock! Styles can’t reach the ropes, and so turns the move over, forcing Miz to break the hold. Miz charges AJ, and gets locked in the Calf-Crusher! Miz reaches the ropes, and now it’s AJ who has to break the hold. Miz goes for a Skull-Crushing Finale, but AJ victory rolls him for two.
Pele Kick to the Miz, who falls into the corner. Styles chops him, heads to the outside for his Springboard Forearm, but the Miz ducks to the outside, and starts leaving….until he sees Gallows and Anderson blocking his way. Miz turns back, into a Springboard Forearm outside the ring, and then takes another one back inside for the Styles victory!
I’m impressed. This could have been your usual run-of-the-mill thing, but they took it to the next level. Gallows and Anderson added another level of intrigue. 3 Stars.
We take a look back at Shane McMahon on the Ambrose Asylum, plus the two matches which followed. Rich Brennan is backstage with Zayn and Ambrose, asking them about their match tonight against Y2JKO. Ambrose is steamed about Jericho trying to attack him on Monday, but Sami Zayn is more concerned about their lack of a cool tag team name: the real issues, people. Aw man: “Sambrose”? Classic name.
We have a look back at the unexpected arrival of Gallows and Anderson. Honestly, if Miz spends the next few weeks following up this story, that’d be pretty cool. We see Gallows and Anderson backstage, and somehow Rich managed to track them down and ask them what their dastardly scheme is. They claim that they’re not up to anything, which is absolutely the kind of thing I need Miz to look into.
I didn’t feel old until I realised that I’m over a year older than Paige
Naomi and Tamina are already in the ring, ready to face Natalya and the hometown gal: Paige. Good reception for Paige, who’s been out of the spotlight for a while: hopefully that’ll change soon.
Nat and Tamina kick things off, with Natalya getting a headlock. Tamina powers out, cynching an arm-wringer. Nat flips out of it, but Tamina slams the back of her head right back against the mat. Tag to Naomi, who smacks Natalya in the face. Nat reverses the Irish whip, but Naomi catches her with her feet, slamming her into the turnbuckle. Nat recovers, tagging Paige in, and the pair of them wrench Naomi’s legs apart. Jesus: the pelvis does not work that way.
Boot to the face by Paige, who then tags Natalya back in. Naomi’s new hair is awesome: just needed to mention that before it goes unrecorded. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter, but Naomi escapes to the apron, kicking Natalya in the head before she hits a leg drop. Tamina tags in, hitting a big-time clothesline before cheap-shotting Paige.
Naomi tags in, and the two of them hit a version of the Hart Attack! How did Ranallo not catch that? Headlock from Naomi, backing Natalya into the corner and tagging in Tamina. Natalya fights back, but gets taken down to the mat again. Nat crawls away, and gets the tag! Paige takes Naomi down, then Tamina, then hits a knee to the jaw of Naomi! Naomi stomps Paige’s foot, manages to slide out of Paige’s fallaway slam, but gets sent right into the turnbuckle before taking the Rampaige! Tamina and Natalya rush the ring, and we get a Sharpshooter and the PTO for the double-tap!
Smart ending: both the hometown heroine and the number one contender looked good. 2 Stars.
London Has Fallen
Oh my God, it’s R-Truth vs. Fandango with Goldust as the special guest referee. I can’t believe that I have to review this.
Except I DON’T HAVE TO. That’s right, folks: I’m using my once-a-year free pass to officially not review this particular match. And yes: I may regret it. Yes: they may do this exact same match next week. Yes: there could be non-stop garbage for half a year following this moment. Yes: Santino Marella could return and enter into a three month feud with the Great Khali and El Torito, but I, your reviewer, will take that risk.
So fuck this match.
And like an antidote to whatever the fuck I just managed to avoid watching, here’s Enzo and Cass. Heal us, NXT: heal us from our past abuse. We recap them and the Vaudevillains reaching the finals, and Enzo gets on the microphone to make the magic happen…and speaking of magic, the Vaudevillains show up. I love this entrance so much.
English and Gotch get on the microphone in order to condescend to Enzo and Cass, who give it right back to them. All of these guys are definitely a lot of fun to listen to.
Kevin Owens is the funniest villain there is
Main event time, and it’s Jericho and Owens vs. Zayn and Ambrose. Zayn and Owens look about to start things off, before KO tags in Jericho. Chris and Zayn lock up, with Jericho applying the headlock. Zayn counters with the arm, and Jericho punches his way out. Sami heads off the ropes, leapfrogs Jericho and hits three armdrags, locking the arm up. Ambrose tags in, chopping Chris before running into a back elbow. Jericho looks for the Walls, gets countered, manages to escape Dirty Deeds, and dashes out of the ring into a commercial break.
When we come back, Jericho hits a suplex for one, then tags in Owens. KO stomps Ambrose, then viciously slugs away on him in the corner before tagging in Jericho. More stomps from Y2J, who then hits some chops to Ambrose. He whips Ambrose into the corner, eats a back elbow, and Ambrose tags in Zayn. Calf kick from Sami Zayn, then a clothesline to Jericho and a shot to Owens. Zayn comes off the top with a crossbody to Jericho, then tosses Jericho onto the apron. Chris heads up to the corner, but is scouted by Zayn, who looks like he’s going to armdrag off the top rope, but instead dives out onto Owens!
Zayn takes it to Jericho back in the ring, but misses a blind tag from Owens, who grabs Zayn and puts the boots to him on the outside! Back in the ring, KO throws shots at Zayn, then tags Y2J in. Snapmare and a sleeper to Sami, who fights back before running into a back elbow, and then takes a Lionsault for a near-fall! Jericho mocks Zayn, slapping him across the face, but runs right into a Blue Thunder Bomb! Jericho’s down, as is Zayn, but Zayn crawls over to Ambrose and now it’s Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose!
Dean takes Owens down once, twice, three times! Forearm in the corner; Owens counters the bulldog but runs into a boot and gets low-bridged. Dean dives out of the ring, nailing Owens before Jericho jumps him. Y2J gets clotheslined, but Dean runs back into the ring and eats a superkick from Owens. KO wants to end it, sending Ambrose off the ropes; Dean holds on and elbows Owens. He wants the Lunatic Lariat; Owens has it scouted, but ends up taking Dirty Deeds instead! Jericho breaks up the pin, eating a kick from Zayn for his efforts! Dean heads up to the top rope, but Jericho crotches him, allowing Owens to get the win.
I don’t mind the result, but that was sudden: could have let Owens hit the Powerbomb following the crotch. Still, good match. 2.5 Stars.
All in all, that was a decent SmackDown. Not much to complain about, with the Miz/Styles match being the best one of the night. Take away what you want from that, though I’ll never say that Miz isn’t a solid guy to work with. Tonight gets 7/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, bullet club, byron saxton, Chris Jericho, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, naomi, Natalya, Paige, R-Truth, Roman Reigns, ryback, sami zayn, smackdown, Tamina Snuka, The Miz