Hello, and welcome to the Fourth of July episode of Smackdown! Today the USA turns 238 and the WWE has an Irish born United States Champion defending his title and our country!
We start off with a recap of Triple H and Stephanie cutting their show opening promo on Monday Night Raw. Rich and Dylan Hales talks about the idiocy of the storyline that brought about this Battleground Fatal Four way match, and I feel they knocked it out of the park with how stupid it is that the Authority placed Roman Reigns into the match. I agree 100%. BUT! If we are stuck with this stupid match that makes no sense, it definitely helps Roman Reigns. It continues to place Reigns in a main event role, but in a role to where he can still be protected and not be expected to carry a match. The guy is improving week by week, but he isn’t quite where he needs to be in order to be THE GUY.
Seth Rollins comes out in his suit and briefcase ready for his big business meeting with the WWE Universe. Rollins grabs a microphone and begins the meeting talking about how at the end of Monday Night Raw he tried to cash his briefcase in on Cena. Ambrose playing spoiler to Rollins attempting to cash in the MitB briefcase adds a new dynamic to the “cash in” process that has been quite frankly, watered down and boring.
Rollins goes on to describe that his face is going to be the new face of the WWE. Dean Ambrose comes out on top of the stage. Dean calls Rollins delusional. Ambrose warns Rollins again that no matter what kind of plan his “sugar daddy” aka Triple H and him concoct that Ambrose will be there to spoil it. Ambrose tells Rollins that his briefcase is not a blessing, it’s a curse, because it all he needs to ruin Rollins life.
Rollins then retorts that Ambrose won’t be able to keep that up for a whole year and that he got lucky on Monday night. Ambrose says that of course he can and runs into the ring to attack Rollins. Orton runs in and helps Rollins until Reigns evens the odds. Man! If Teddy Long were still here he would make this a TAG TEAM MATCH!
Oh wait! It’s The Game, out here to play the role of Teddy Long, playa! Triple H comes out here to announce that Dean Ambrose will take on Randy Orton tonight and if Roman Reigns interferes then Reigns will be removed from the Fatal Four way match at Battleground.
SAY WHAT?! The match that is up next is Sheamus (the guy who I have pegged as having the best in ring year of any WWE superstar) taking on Alberto Del Rio (the guy I have pegged as the most underrated in ring wrestler in the WWE) for the United States Championship!!
Michael Cole and JBL announce that all of the Saturday Night’s Main Event shows will be on demand on the network starting this coming Monday! Woo! I have been waiting for those to be released.
United States Championship – Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio: This match was as awesome as I expected. These two men are both so good at utilizing all of their signature moves in new ways and new ways to counter them. Del Rio is slapping the cross arm breaker on in different ways every time I see the guy wrestle. If this match happened in Korakuen Hall in a NJPW ring with that referee in the red boots officiating then the Voices of Wrestling crowd would actually give this match credit. I may be biased, as I have been on the bandwagon for both of these guys for a while now, but this is a really good match, could have been great if given more time. These are the kinds of matches that Sheamus needs to be having weekly to help elevate that United States prop that he calls a championship. ***3/4
Stardust and Goldust are in the back cutting one of their whacked out promos. I finally pegged who Stardust reminds of me. If Frank Gorshin (The dude who played the Riddler in the 60’s Batman TV series) played Goldust then he would be Stardust.
Byron Saxton is in the back with Roman Reigns asking him about Triple H’s ultimatum that was given to him. Reigns says Triple H does what he needs to do, and Ambrose will carry his own tonight. This could be Reigns’ worst promo. Reigns has been on my list for a while now, as well, but the WWE cannot have him cutting long promos. Keep them short, sweet, and serious. They cannot expose him like this just yet. Eventually he is going to have to be able to cut these promos, and maybe the less watched Smackdown is the opportunity for him to work on this. I just think he needs a really solid singles feud to work through it until he finds his voice.
We get a recap of Daniel Bryan calling Bo Dallas a boner at the Money in the Bank preshow.
Bo Dallas comes out and calls Daniel Bryan a pretty special little fellow. Bo Dallas declares his entry into the Battleground Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal and dedicates it to “little Daniel”. More of the WWE pointing out Bryan’s size, and even worse. He is not here to defend himself.
Bo Dallas vs Diego w/ El Torito: Michael Cole says that if we are wondering where Fernando is that he is injured. Which is really unfortunate. Los Matadores are one of my favorite acts in the WWE. JBL screams “12 – BO! 12 – BO! 12 – BO!” as Bo Dallas hits Diego with the Bo-Dog for the win in another quick and uninspiring victory for Bo Dallas. This guy is going to be on the WWE chopping block 12 months from now. Mark my words. N/A
Post-match: Bo Dallas gets on the mic and looks at El Torito and says “I know you are a bovine, but if you want to get taller all you have to do is BO LIEVE!” El Torito gores Bo Dallas in the butt and Bo Dallas scoop slams El Torito.
We get a recap of Raw when The Miz and Jericho returned. I really dug The Miz’s return. I dig his new look and dig his delusional Hollywood persona. I hope that this continues to be something different for him. I realize that he is essentially the same guy/gimmick, but all of the best wrestlers find ways to evolve their characters when they all essentially keep the same core gimmick. And I will always welcome Jericho back. His matches are always good and he always puts the young talent over. Which should be the responsibility of the older/returning stars. I’m looking at you Rock.
Jericho comes out for the first time in a year. Jericho is cutting a promo like he is on the stage of OzzFest screaming out to the crowd “HOW ARE YOU DOING TONIGHT, (insert city here)?!”
Jericho talks about how great is it to be back and how great his return was on Monday until “along came a spider”. Y2J then says that when the Wyatt family came out it wasn’t good. Jericho then thanks the Wyatt family for reminding him that the WWE isn’t only about lighted jackets or music. That the WWE is about danger. Jericho then warns Bray Wyatt that he can be crazy too. That he can be nuts too.
Bray appears from the back. Bray cuts a typically good promo and then disappears. Jericho then asks Bray why doesn’t he come to the ring instead of hiding out in the dark. The Miz then comes out in his new Hollywood movie star get up. The Miz asks Jericho how does it feel to be interrupted. The Miz then tells Jericho that this past Monday Jericho almost cost the WWE a lot of money by trying to hurt their “money maker” in reference to his face. Right as Miz steps into the ring Jericho hits Miz with a Code Breaker.
I like that the WWE has given Jericho two feuds right off the bat from his return. If the WWE would actually give their mid cards some good quality feuds to sink their teeth into, then they could definitely benefit from the returning Miz.
Big E vs Cesaro w/ Paul Heyman: Big E cuts a promo via PIP and continues to speak like Martin Luther King Jr. Heyman comes out and cuts a rather short promo about how Cesaro is the next reigning and defending Intercontinental Champion. Cesaro comes out and immediately starts brawling with Big E. Cesaro is continuing to show how out of control his is by throwing Big E over the barricade, throwing chairs at Big E, throwing Big E over the announce table. Big E counters out of the assault and gives Cesaro a belly to back suplex and referees come out and break up the fight. This fight was really, really good and it left the fans wanting to see more between these two. Both men left the brawl looking better than they did going in. This match never got started.
AJ Lee vs Eva Marie: We start off with a recap of AJ Lee returning this past Monday to regain her Divas Championship from Paige. If the WWE books AJ Lee vs. Paige for the Divas title at Battleground and gives them 20 minutes then these two have a legit chance of having the match of the show on a WWE PPV and would be the first Divas to do so.
This might be Eva Marie’s singles debut on WWE TV. And it looks like it. My 2 year old nephew Freddy could have clotheslined me harder than Eva Marie did to AJ. AJ Lee makes Eva Marie tap out to the Black Widow. N/A This was hardly a match and more or less fodder for Paige to come out and applaud AJ Lee mockingly.
Damien Sandow comes out dressed as Bruce Springsteen. He gets on the mic for approx… 30 seconds and attempts to sound like Bruce Springsteen, but fails miserably. This has been an argument on the internet lately. Is Sandow being buried or is being on TV enough for him to stay relevant? I vote for the former. Sandow was really hitting his stride as a vicious heel. I would even go as far to say that he reminded me of a young Triple H. And now the guy is a joke. Literally. Rusev comes out and dismantles Sandow. Lana gets on the mic and cuts a promo about how Putin is so much better than the USA and how American’s waste their time and money shooting off fireworks today to forget their pathetic lives. Lana is not getting any heat anymore. This was a taped show and the crowd is dead. They aren’t even piping in heat for her.
Zeb Colter and Swagger come out Zeb taunts Lana about how America is better than Russia because Americans invented the Internet, put a man on the moon, and invented the automobile. All Russia has invented in Vodka. Lana tells Colter to shut up and Colter gets in the ring telling her to not tell him to shut up. Colter challenges Rusev for Swagger. Colter and Swagger are super over and are garnering heat for Rusev and Lana. I agree with Joe Lanza that Rusev has a future and is talented, but Lana is doing nothing for him.
Rusev and Lana back down and don’t accept the challenge.
Dean Ambrose vs Randy Orton: I can no longer refer to Ambrose as the “Ryan Atwood” of the WWE, because @the_mosayat (Tarek) answered my challenge of commenting talking about the OC.
Seth Rollins is on commentary for this one.
Ambrose is wrestling circles around Randy Orton. Ambrose is the best the WWE has when it comes to facial expressions and adding the bits and pieces to a match that take a good match to being great. Randy Orton might be the worst in the very same category.
Ambrose is selling his injured shoulder like no one else. Ambrose at one point dove to the outside on Randy Orton and then dove over the announce table to attack Rollins. Ambrose gets in the ring and gives Orton the McGuinness Lariat. He does all of this with one arm. Ambrose goes for another dive to the outside and Rollins hits Ambrose’ injured shoulder with the briefcase to cause a DQ. **3/4
Post-match Rollins and Orton attack Ambrose until Reigns comes out and Superman Punches Randy Orton and sets up for a Spear until Orton and Rollins retreat to the back.
This was a middle of the road show for Smackdown. It had a really superb match between ADR and Sheamus and prominently showcased the hottest feud the WWE has going for them between Ambrose and Rollins. Smackdown continues to be the white cream filling in the gaps of the chocolate cookie storylines you see on Raw, to use an Oreo analogy.