Hello everyone. Yes, despite our country being plunged into the most dramatic set of circumstances since World War Two, and even though the sheer amount of lies, falsehoods and deception have made the words: ‘my good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour’ seem practically honest, I am still here and still writing wrestling reviews. Because if I’m going to throw myself into the whole bread and circuses thing, whilst Gove, May and Crabbe engage in a series of sly, backstabbing political manoeuvres which, in about thirty years, will be brought back to life with a television series simply entitled CUNTS, I may as well enjoy myself.
So hey: SmackDown!
Crews, Cesaro, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio will be competing in a Fatal Four-Way match to determine the number one contender for the United States Championship. We see vignettes from all four muscular gentlemen, and God bless Apollo Crews for looking so damn optimistic, the poor bastard. It really does seem that the only viable winner is Cesaro, which is actually a shame: I’d actually be interested in seeing Sheamus and Rusev knock the absolute shite out of each other in a hardcore match, or have Del Rio have to face him in a submission match.
Nobody really wants to wrestle Rusev
The match is apparently starting right now, and we’re up to our second episode without Jerry Lawler! They must really want SmackDown to succeed. Or Vince wants my olive-toned, athletic body and is trying to seduce me from afar. And if that’s it, to be perfectly frank, it’s starting to work a little bit. Possibly the idea of Britain’s economy tanking has me looking for a billionaire sugar daddy.
As the competitors make their way to the ring, we see the happenings from Monday, where Del Rio resisted the League of Nations ever becoming a thing ever, ever again, and Sheamus lost to Apollo Crews and Cesaro. Bell rings, and everyone hammers away at each other before Sheamus tumbles himself and Crews to the outside. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Del Rio by Cesaro, and then he sentons off the apron to take Sheamus out on the outside. Alberto jumps Cesaro, hurling him into the barricade and off the ring post, and then seems to come to an uneasy alliance with Sheamus against Cesaro.
Back in the ring, Cesaro takes some punishment from both former League members, who hit him with fists and suplexes. Crews makes the save, taking both men out with a crossbody. Sheamus elevates him out of the ring, but eats an uppercut from Cesaro. Del Rio kicks Cesaro in the stomach; Cesaro heads out onto the apron, boots Alberto in the mush and is then knocked onto the announce table by Sheamus, who eats a backstabber from Del Rio! Fast and furious action as we go to a break.
When we come back, Crews is in the Tree of Woe with Alberto above him, but he hurls the Mexican off him, and Cesaro hits Del Rio with a crossbody! Cesaro wants to go Swinging, but Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse backbreaker, locking in the Cloverleaf; Del Rio superkicks Sheamus off Cesaro, and locks in the Cross Armbreaker! Crews breaks it up with a standing moonsault, almost getting the pin! Cesaro dropkicks Crews, and now all three men are in corners…it’s a MOTHERFUCKING UPPERCUT PARTY!! Sheamus finally catches Cesaro with a slam for two, putting an end to it.
Sheamus goes after Crews, who fires some punches back at him before getting hoisted onto Sheamus’ shoulders. Crews slides out, and crossbodies himself and Sheamus out of the ring! Cesaro eats a step-up enzuigiri from Del Rio, but he reverses a Cross Armbreaker into the Swing! Sharpshooter’s locked in, and Del Rio taps out!
Obvious result or not, that was a great starter for tonight. Crews was kept out of things a fair bit, but he did what he did very well. The pace of this thing was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. 3.5 Stars.
Del Rio jumps Cesaro after the match, stomping him off the apron. Which would have looked way better if it didn’t require Cesaro to hold himself in place for it. And a bad night keeps getting worse for the Swiss Superman, because here’s Rusev right now.
Rusev gets a microphone and congratulates Cesaro for winning the greatest honour ever: risking paralysis and injury by fighting Rusev. But he doesn’t want to wait until later: he wants to fight now and have a way easier time of it. Cesaro goes to do the, you know, really smart thing, but Rusev calls him a coward. Oh God, Cesaro turns back. This is some Back to the Future shit. In which this exact trait was a major character flaw. Well, I guess we’re doing this now. Christ.
Somewhere, Titus O’Neil is clutching his ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ award and sobbing
Cesaro enters the ring, immediately ducking a charge from Rusev and uppercutting him in the corner whilst the commentators question whether he might be an idiot. Rusev comes back on the offence, starting to pound and stomp him. After that last match, Rusev’s usual pace seems slower than ever. Suddenly, Cesaro reverses a suplex, suplexing Rusev in return for a one count. Rusev drives Cesaro into a corner, thrusting his shoulder into the Swiss Superman’s gut. Lana’s also at ringside, so I guess she just kind of wandered out there.
Rusev drags Cesaro out of the corner, then sends him off the ropes into a bear hug. There actually are bears in Bulgaria, so that makes sense. Cesaro tries to elbow his way out, because fuck Rusev’s pride in his national wildlife. Springboard uppercut takes Rusev down, but Cesaro looks rough as hell. He tries to suplex the big Bulgarian back into the ring from the apron, but Rusev can’t be having with that, and beats him away. Rusev heads up to the top, but is caught by an uppercut, and then a dropkick sends him out to the floor! Running senton off the apron to Rusev, and now Cesaro’s heading up to the top himself. He throws himself at Rusev in a crossbody…but Rusev catches him, slamming him to the ground! Running senton to Cesaro’s ribs gets two, and the Swiss Superman can’t have much left.
Cesaro catches a boot, throwing uppercuts and a big clothesline to take Rusev off his feet. He wants the Neutraliser, but Rusev throws him up and catches him with a knee to the gut, somewhat reminiscent of Cesaro himself. Rusev wants to put this whole thing to bed, looking for the Accolade, but Cesaro flips him onto his back, and tries to lock in the Sharpshooter. Rusev grasps Cesaro’s leg, though, not allowing the European to turn him over. He goes right back to the Accolade; Cesaro rolls him up for a pin and he nearly gets it! Rusev leaps up, hitting a roundhouse kick right to the side of Cesaro’s skull, and he is pissed now. Accolade’s locked in, and Cesaro really has no choice but to tap.
Another very good match. Slower tempo, sure, but Cesaro looked like a hero and Rusev looked intimidating. 3 Stars.
Rusev and Lana are walking around backstage, and Renee Young shows up to…hype July 4th, I guess. Well, any opportunity for few drinks, I guess. And Rusev will be facing Titus O’Neil on that day, because what’s more American than not letting a black man succeed?
WWE have been helping support the Special Olympics athletes, which is a hell of a good thing to do. Maybe after the 2016 Olympic Games, they can provide counselling for all the athletes who make it back from Rio.
Dana Brooke learned to wrestle from old Nintendo fighting games
Here’s Dana Brooke, who has been reduced to nought but a pawn in the rise of Sasha Banks. She’s facing someone called Billie Kay, and I do not believe that I’ve had the pleasure.
Brooke shoves Kay to the ground and yells that this is her ring. Calm down, NXT. She backs Billie into a corner, then throws her out of it. Kay manages to hit a back elbow, then flip Brooke over onto her back. She tries to go for a monkey flip, but gets dropped onto the ropes, before almost botching the flapjack she takes afterwards. Dana continues the beatdown, with lots of hair-pulling because, you know, girls. She does choke Kay with her foot whilst doing a handstand, though, and follows it up with a nice flipping splash for two.
Front facelock applied by Brooke, but Kay comes back with some right hands, actually looking surprised that she’s managing to hit Dana: even Rocky had more self-confidence than that. Headscissors takeover, then a big boot by Kay gets two! Brooke rocks her with a jawbreaker, and she hits a Samoan Driver to end things.
Not bad, really. Brooke is definitely getting more of a chance to show what she can do, which seems to be a fair bit. Kay definitely needs some more practice, though. 2 Stars.
Backstage, Sasha Banks says that everyone knows that she’s legit. Oh, and do you know why I want wrestlers to go back to writing their own promos? Because then we wouldn’t get this absurd level of advertising we do now, with lines like: ‘we could probably have our own episode of Rivalries on the WWE Network someday’. I mean…who the fuck thinks that is something an actual person would say? Fuck you, whoever you are, you stupid stack of talentless nothing.
Oh, speaking of talentless nothings, here’s Summer Rae. Oh, and she hypes the Draft, right before Sasha hypes SmackDown going live. If I’d written something as clunky and expositional as that, I think I’d hang myself out of both shame and a sense of awful responsibility.
Oh, speaking of morally-required suicide, it’s the Miz. He’s presenting Miz TV, and at least him hyping the product makes sense, given his ‘talk show host’ persona. Dean Ambrose’s music interrupts him, and the man himself comes out to the ring. He’s eating a sandwich, because of course he is, and Miz honestly just took pride in being in a move called Marine V. I think I’m actually happier not having been in any movies than I would be having my name attached to that project.
Dean defends his sandwich eating habits; apparently some things called ‘Cubans’ are a big deal or whatever. He says he was interested in seeing how Miz did his talk show, and gets pissed off when Miz insults his potted plant. Miz gets all uppity about Ambrose comparing the Asylum to Miz TV. Dean asks people if they’d rather see Miz TV or the Ambrose Asylum, and they overwhelmingly pick the latter.
Miz gets more and more annoyed with Dean, who really doesn’t seem to give a damn. He tells Dean that he’s not even on his level, which is technically true, and Ambrose seems to resign himself to beating the shit out of him, but not before wiping his mouth on Miz’s jacket. Maryse is beyond horrified, and throws the jacket over Dean’s head before Miz boots him in the face. And that, apparently, is enough to lay out the WWE Champion, because…no, actually, what the fuck is this? Why is Miz not a corpse right now?
Oh, the Wyatts are back on SmackDown. It’s been a while. And I still love Bray’s music, which is just perfect for his theme, but they really do need to make these guys more sinister. Oh, and as I write that, I see Strowman and Rowan are going to be beating up a pair of jobbers. Yeah, this is clearly going to terrify everyone.
Pumphandle slam by Rowan, who tags in Strowman. Braun brings in the second jobber, and splashes one on top of the other, and that’s the pin. If this was real, then whoever allowed those two jobbers to be in this match is far more evil than Bray Wyatt could ever hope to be.
Wow, they had two guys they could do anything to, and they hit three moves total. Holy shit, they should have made this match go about five minutes: make it seriously uncomfortable to watch; drag it out and make it plain sadistic. How do they still not know how to book these guys? 1 Star.
Suddenly, a fake Wyatts promo goes off, and suddenly Kofi is on the titantron, wearing a black mask with a unicorn horn on it. Langston and Xavier are there as well, with Woods still doing his ‘I’m worried that these guys are with the Klan’ anxiety. Bray actually laughs, and then asks why Woods is, to be quite honest, being a fucking pussy. I mean, Xavier Woods literally has a belt given to him in recognition of his ability to beat people into unconsciousness. Actually, why would any WWE employee be scared of Bray Wyatt?
Should have never left Fandango
Summer Rae gets the jobber entrance, which is still somehow more than she deserves based on her ability. And it has been too damn long since I’ve seen Sasha Banks, after months of wondering where the hell she was.
Sasha sends Summer off the ropes and is taken down. Summer goes for Sasha’s legs, and Banks pulls her into an elbow, chopping her before hitting an arm-drag from the top rope. She tosses Summer around the ring for the while, before Rae manages to throw her through the ropes. Banks comes back, dumping Summer and reigning punches on her. Summer tries to flee out to the apron, and there’s a tussle on the edge of the ring before Summer boots Banks down to the floor and into a commercial.
When we come back, Summer Rae is working over Sasha’s back on the ropes. Snap suplex has Sasha writhing in pain, and Summer follows that up with some kicks to the back. She goes for another suplex, but Sasha rolls her up once, twice, then almost scores the win with a backslide. Banks is sent into the corner and is able to hit an elbow to the face. Snapmare, then a bunch of clotheslines, then a kick to the face.
Sasha misses a double knee, almost loses the match there, and there’s another near fall from a spinning kick from Summer. Sasha slides out of a bodyslam, smashes Summer’s head off the turnbuckle and sets her up for a variation on whatever the fuck Alberto Del Rio’s finishing move is supposed to be called. Summer slides out of it, holding no truck with gimmick infringement, and roundhouse kicks Sasha across the face. Summer comes back into the ring, hitting a DDT for a near fall.
Summer’s wasting time on frustration rather than putting Sasha away. Sasha capitalises, smashing Summer’s head off the turnbuckle and setting her up in the corner, this time hitting a pair of knees to smash her down to the mat. Banks Statement is applied and that is all she wrote.
Good match, and a nice reminder of Sasha’s general badassness. 2.5 Stars.
We take a look back at RAW, with Ambrose, Seth, Styles and Cena. It was a nice tease, and I wouldn’t have hated the addition of either Cena or AJ.
Champion vs. Champion
Here’s Dean Ambrose, ready to make himself a Miz-skin rug. And here comes Miz, ready to go through something slightly less painful than being the star of The Marine V. Miz tries to beg off to start, but eats a clothesline and gets worked over in the corner. Back elbow to the A-Lister off the ropes, followed by a snap suplex and another elbow for a one count. Miz reverses a clothesline, hitting a knee to the gut of Ambrose. It’s Miz’s turn to hit some kicks to the corner, but Ambrose comes back with a clothesline to hit some right hands. Miz hits a kick to the face, but is clotheslined right out of the ring for his trouble. Ambrose wants a dive, but Maryse pulls her lover out of the way to save him.
Ambrose chases Miz, sending him back in the ring and hitting a few bodyslams. He heads up to the top rope, misses his standing elbow, counters the Skull-Crushing Finale, goes for Dirty Deeds, is sent out of the the ring, avoids a dropkick and lays Miz out again! He manages to avoid getting distracted too much by Maryse, but still ends up getting sent into the barricade as we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Miz is working over the Champ’s leg, even wrapping it around the steel ring post. He drags Ambrose back into the centre of the ring and then works on the leg, twisting it all the way around. Ambrose fires up a little, elevating Miz over the top, but gets hung up on the ropes by the Intercontinental Champ. Dean almost manages to clinch a superplex, but Miz fights his way out with headbutts, knocking Dean down to the mat and laying him out with an axe-handle from the top rope!
Skull-Crushing Finale’s countered into a roll-up, and Ambrose follows up the pin attempt with a neckbreaker. He stays on the offence with chops and punches, knocking the Miz to the ground. Dean hits a clothesline off the ropes, an elbow to the corner and a bulldog, almost rolling Miz up again! Miz manages to send Dean into the corner, hanging up his knee and giving it a good kicking. The Figure-Four is almost locked in; Ambrose pushes him away, tries for a dropkick from the second rope, but Miz counters into the Figure-Four this time!
Ambrose is in the centre of the ring, with the hold locked in. Dean struggles, and is finally able to reach the bottom rope. He’s hurt, though, and Miz wants the Figure-Four again, but Ambrose rolls him up for a small package! Miz kicks out, and is sent out of the ring, and Dean dives out onto him! Back in the ring, Ambrose misses a dive from the top, landing on his feet but further damaging his leg. Miz looks to capitalise, trying the Skull-Crushing Finale for a third time. Ambrose shoves him off the ropes, almost catching him with another roll-up; Miz reverses into a pin of his own, almost catching Dean.
Ambrose eats a punch to the face, staggering back off the ropes with a Lunatic Lariat…but Miz counters into the Skull-Crushing Finale, and he hits it! The ref makes the count, and Dean kicks out at the very last second! Miz can’t believe it! Ambrose is practically wiped out, and Miz goes for a boot to the face; Ambrose rolls him up, but Miz kicks out and hits his corner clothesline. He wants an axe-handle from the top, but Dean catches him with a kick to the gut, and then Dirty Deeds hits to finish the match!
As much as I rip the Miz a new one and advise him to commit suicide occasionally, he is fantastic in this role. He’s so obnoxious that he can have a mini-feud with anyone, and he always delivers in the match. I’m waiting to see Ambrose have a match when he’s not depicted as the ‘survivor’ Champion, but we’ll see. Good match. 3 Stars.
Some high quality stuff tonight, which seems to have been the trend of late. Loving the enthusiasm by this show recently, and can’t wait until it switches to live. 9/10 for tonight.
Tags: Alberto Del Rio, apollo crews, Billie Kay, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, byron saxton, Cesaro, Dana Brooke, David Otunga, dean ambrose, Erick Rowan, Lana, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Renee Young, rusev, sasha banks, Sheamus, smackdown, Summer Rae, The Miz, The New Day