by: Mitch Nickelson
Live from Pittsburgh! I don’t normally review Smackdown, but I have time and thought about giving it a go. Maybe this could be a permanent thing? I’ll try it and see if I like it. I’m only hitting the highlights, so I’ll write about the matches and any promos that I deem significant. No play-by-play either, just a quick summary and my thoughts. Let’s go.
Triple H, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins Promo
So Triple H hypes up Money In The Bank. He says that Randy Orton will win the championship ladder match and Seth Rollins will win the contract ladder match. Rollins and Orton start to pick at each other, but Triple H calms that squabble down. I’m looking forward to the event this Sunday. Triple H sets up the first match of the night between BNB and Dean Ambrose.
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
I think Dean Ambrose is benefiting the most since The Shield broke up. (Reigns is the biggest star, but he’s not necessarily being elevated because of The Shield breakup.) Dean’s loose cannon personality is really shining and he has such a great buzz around him. He’s my pick to win the contract ladder match on Sunday. Him and BNB both have great chemistry together. Barrett is another guy who is really hot right now. His Bad News gimmick is great. Dean gets a big win over Barrett via Dirty Deeds.
Winner via pinfall: Dean Ambrose
The big story of this match happens afterward. Jack Swagger comes out to fight and he legit injures Barrett. He went to throw Barrett into the barricade and it caused real harm to him. It didn’t look like Swagger did anything wrong, Barrett just hit the barricade funny. But will Barrett compete Sunday? That’s the big question.
Paige vs. Cameron
This was a short match. Paige seems to be an actually good wrestler. The post match nonsense with Naomi and Cameron getting feisty seems to overshadow the actual in-ring action. Paige won via PTO. Please give her a solid ten minute match this Sunday.
Winner via pinfall: Paige
Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt
Sheamus is a tough guy and Bray is really creepy. His minions Luke and Rowan stayed on the side, making Sheamus outnumbered. During the commercial break, the Usos came out to even the odds as the match went on.
There was a big melee at the end. Sheamus and Bray furthered their feud. Also, the Usos and Harper and Rowan got to scuffle.
Winner by DQ: Sheamus
RVD and Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro and Alberto Del Rio
So the summary of this match is Del Rio and Cesaro, the heels, beat up on Ziggler for a while. Ziggler sells like a champ, like always. He gets a hot tag to RVD which wasn’t all that hot because Rob’s kind of stale in his old age. There’s back and forth that involves all the participants. RVD goes for the 5 Star Frog Splash that Del Rio counters into his arm hold, which RVD taps out to.
Winner by submission: Del Rio (and Cesaro)
Post match, Cesaro turns on Del Rio and takes him out. The point is that it’ll be every man for himself this Sunday.
Heyman was on commentary during this match, which I always find hilarious. Good match and segment here.
Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sin Cara
During the Lana promo, some guy in the audience held up a sign that said “Obama Fears Putin.” Haha, truth. This match was quick. Rusev used the Accolade to win.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Big E came out after the match and did his best attempt to sound patriotic. He’s got a black preacher vibe going on, but he’s not that good at it. I liked the good hoss stare down in the ring. Rusev tried to charge Big E, but got knocked out of the ring. If Rusev didn’t already beat Big E in four minutes at last month’s pay-per-view, I might be excited about their match this Sunday.
Kane vs. Roman Reigns
This was a decent match between two big dudes. They battled out of the ring and teased putting each other through the table, but they didn’t. Roman got the blessing of an amazing camera angle on his Superman Punch as it looked stellar. Randy Orton interfered at that point, causing the match to get stopped short.
Winner by DQ: Roman Reigns
Roman eventually got himself chokeslammed and knocked out by Kane. Kane went to get a ladder and set it up in the middle of the ring. Instead of climbing it, he stepped back and allowed Randy Orton to climb it. I guess Kane has Orton’s back on Sunday.
After a long lull, Orton and Kane clear the ladder out of the ring. Orton charges at Reigns, who’s getting to his feet, and gets met with a spear. As Kane goes after him, he also receives a spear. The show closes with Reigns holding up the belts like he thinks he’s going to win on Sunday. Poor Roman, he must have forgotten that John Cena is in his match.
Mitch’s Final Thoughts:
The show was kind of bland. It’s the last show before Money In The Bank and it feels like everything is just on autopilot. But Money In The Bank still has me excited. Even though the build for most of it is kind of weak, the ladder matches are a spectacle that sell the event just for being there. It’s like the Royal Rumble in terms of excitement.
I’m not going to give awards like I do on Raw because I don’t feel like much stood out to me on this show. The tag match with Ziggler was decent, but not the greatest thing ever. Heyman was funny on commentary, but I’m not sure it counts as a promo. If you miss this show, you’re not really missing out. I could’ve written that at the beginning of my article, but I don’t want people to not read me or anything. That’d be bad for business.
Lastly, check out my article at my local paper, The Herald Dispatch. I write a book review on a Bobby Heenan autobiography. Bobby “The Brain” is the man, so you know you want to. Also, the talented Al N. Jaxson and the lovely Rosie Piper joined me this week to preview this Sunday’s Money In The Bank. Read our preview and see who we picked to win. Until next time, take a bath.