We kick off Smackdown right away with the best entrance music in the WWE today; Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter come out. This is easily Swagger’s hottest run in career so far. It actually worries me, because the best move is to have Rusev plow him over on his way to the top, but I really want Swagger to continue this hot babyface run. Although, will the fans be this behind him if he isn’t wrestling a foreigner?
Cesaro then makes his way out to start the battle of former teammates.
Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter vs. Cesaro: This is a big time HOSS Division match up and these two definitely took it to each other. Cesaro is coming off his four star match this past Monday against John Cena and Swagger has been known to have a good match with the right opponent every once in a while. These two tell a really good story of being familiar with each other having been former teammates.
Cesaro hits Swagger with a beautiful double underhook power bomb for a two count. Cesaro then goes for a big boot in which Swagger counters with a Patriot Lock forcing Cesaro to tap out. ***1/2
After the match as Swagger and Zeb are in the middle of the ring holding the American flag with their hands over their hearts, Rusev and Lana come out to challenge Swagger to a Flag Match at Summerslam. Zeb responds to Lana saying “You know Lana, two things that Real Americans never run from. A party or a chance to defend the 50 stars and 13 bars of the American flag.”
I can dig a good ol’ flag match as long as it makes sense and goes along with the story.
We get a preview of the Jericho vs Erick Rowan match later tonight which carries the stipulation that if Jericho wins then Rowan will be banned from ringside at Summerslam. Remember back in the day when to stand at ringside you had to have a “manager’s license”? I want to go back to those days. Imagine the backstage comedy skits you could have with Rowan applying for and attempting to earn his manager’s license just so he could stand ringside during all of Wyatt’s matches.
Randy Orton comes out to cut a promo the only way he can. Cookie cutter with plenty of piped in booing. Orton’s promos are so terrible, I am pretty sure the worst actors of my freshman year Drama Class could cut more convincing promos than this guy. I am also pretty sure that the reason they didn’t have Randy Orton portray the Marine in The Marine III was because his acting skills are horrendous, and it probably had more to do with that than the fact that he was dishonorably discharged from the Marines. Randy Orton’s promos are so bad that he makes Brie Bella look like Robert DeNiro. Randy Orton’s promos are so bad that soon he isn’t going have any heat during them because the WWE is going to have to fire the guy who hits the “piped in booing” button from the production truck because the WWE Network is sucking so much money out of their bank account. Randy Orton’s promos are so bad that……. Okay. I’ll stop. Anyways. Orton talked about getting revenge on Roman Reigns for being the reason that Orton is not the #1 contender. Blah blah blah.
Bo Dallas vs R-Truth: Bo Dallas is so go away heat for me that earlier today I saw a meme online where someone photo shopped R-truth’s head on a picture of Brock Lesnar wearing the shirt that said “EAT SLEEP BREAK THE STREAK” and I didn’t understand it. Obviously it was in reference to Truth breaking Bo Dallas’ streak, but I couldn’t remember that because I try to forget anytime I have to watch Bo Dallas on TV. Bo Dallas gets disqualified for punching R-Truth repeatedly in the corner and refusing to break the referee’s 5 count. Bo showed a good mean streak here until he grabbed a microphone and killed any bit of that mean streak by cutting a promo about Believing in him in his stupid high pitched goofy voice. This guy is terrible. I don’t who’s promo I would rather watch Bo Dallas or Randy Orton.
AJ Lee vs Rosa Mendes: This match lasted approximately 10 seconds. It starts off with Rosa screaming at AJ Lee that she wants a title shot and then AJ proceeds to give Rosa a swift kick to the stomach and slaps on the Black Widow forcing Rosa to immediately tap out.
AJ then skips up the ramp and holds the title up at the top of the ramp. Paige then comes out and shoves AJ off the stage. Paige is BRILLIANT here. Paige sits on the stage and says “She’s fine!” and then as the officials and EMT’s come out to check on AJ Paige is screaming at them “Oh! You guys are overreacting! She’s fine.” And then when the EMT’s are sitting down checking on AJ, Paige is screaming “HEY! Be careful with my best friend!” Paige then stands up as she is being showered with boo’s and screams “SHE’S MY BEST FRIEND!” and then skips to the back mocking AJ. Paige is still the greatest WWE Divas ever and she is finally able to show that she is better as a character when she is a heel. Just awesome stuff here.
Dean Ambrose is in an undisclosed location cutting a promo about why he is in a handicap match tonight against Kane and Seth Rollins. He talks about what he is going to do to Seth Rollins’ face once he gets through Kane. Typically good Ambrose promo for a stupid match.
2 on 1 Handicap Match – Kane and Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose: I get not wanting to give Ambrose vs Rollins away on free TV, (heck they didn’t want to give it to us for paying for the WWE Network last month), but why couldn’t you just say “Dean, it’s you and a partner of your choice vs. Kane and Rollins” ? Then you could toy around with the “Is Dean, the lunatic fringe, going to be able to find a partner?” Heck! You could have thrown Roman Reigns in there as his partner in a short-lived Shield Reunion since the WWE likes to book Reigns against Kane so much anyways.
This match worked how a handicap match should work. Instead of the disadvantaged wrestler dominating the match like we see in WWE all the time, Kane and Rollins beat Ambrose down the majority of the match. Seth Rollins’ is in total heel mode trash talking Ambrose as he beats him down. Ambrose finally gets Rollins 1 on 1 after he tosses Kane into the steel steps. Kane recovers and throws Ambrose into the time keeper’s area. Ambrose then brings a steel chair into the ring and hits Kane with it once and hits Rollins with it a few times. Kane gives Ambrose the big boot and Ambrose counters with a DDT on the chair as Rollins runs away. Ambrose takes his anger out by repeatedly hitting Kane with the chair. This was a properly done handicap match at least, and it further extends the hottest feud in the WWE today. **
Renee Young is in the back with Jericho. They recap to what happened two weeks ago “exclusively on the WWE App”. Everyone has their own pet peeves about WWE dialogue. Jason Mann recently tweeted that his was how they are always wrong with anniversaries, calling WrestleMania XXX the 30th anniversary. Rich Kraetsch’s is when the WWE has a Fatal Fourway Match for instance and says that every man has a 25% chance of winning. Well, mine is probably when the WWE says something is “exclusively” on the WWE app, but then shows it on TV thus making it no longer “exclusive”. If it was “exclusive to the WWE APP” then the only way we would be able to watch it would be on the WWE APP.
Moving on, Jericho says that Battleground was one of the best nights of his career. PFT! Talk about hyperbole! Call Tony Schivone and bring him in for this hyperbole filled interview! Moving on, Jericho says that tonight he has a great opportunity to eliminate Erick Rowan from ringside during Jericho’s rematch vs. Bray Wyatt.
Stardust and Goldust are in their starry location again talking about riddle and cosmic keys. And this isn’t me making fun of them. I am one of the few that really dig this duo and especially Stardust. Cody Rhodes hits the Frank Gorshin as the Riddler act perfectly.
Fandango vs Diego w/ Summer Rae, Layla El, and El Torito: I am glad to see Diego and Torito are still on TV despite Fernando’s injury. I love Los Matadores and their gimmick definitely has a place on my TV.
This as you can imagine was a comedy match to further the feud between Fandango and Summer/Layla. Mid match Summer and Layla dance with Torito to Fandango’s music and Fandango is distracted as Diego hits Fandango with a Back Stabber for the win.
We then get a recap of John Cena and Paul Heyman’s exchange from this past Monday. This was one of the best promo exchanges ever. You will be able to read my rant more about this in my weekly WWE Soapbox column this coming Monday.
Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler: The Miz is on commentary and shakes both Michael Cole’s and JBL’s hands and immediately puts hand sanitizer on afterward. It’s the little things like this. The Miz is really getting into this Hollywood gimmick.
Ziggler and Del Rio wrestle a decent match and the Miz stands on the commentator table to thank some more people for his IC title victory. The Miz is dressing like Scott Disick would. You don’t know who Scott Disick is? He is obviously Kourtney Kardashian’s boyfriend, duh. Listen, I am married and my wife likes Keeping up with the Kardashians. Shoot me. Anyhow. Miz distracts Ziggler. Ziggler jumps out of the ring to attack Miz. Miz gets away. Ziggler jumps back in the ring. Del Rio slaps the Cross Arm Breaker on Ziggler for the win. Miz comes back and walks to the back looking as snazzy and cocky as ever. *1/2
Cole and JBL give an update on AJ Lee who was stretchered out earlier after Paige attacked her. They say that AJ is going to be kept overnight for observation.
We get a recap of WWE trying to fit the word “bitch” into a segment a record number of times. Aka the Stephanie and Brie Bella segment this past Monday on Raw. Stephanie was as good as she has been all year and Brie was better than she normally is.
Bray and the Wyatt family come out and Bray sits in his rocking chair asking Jericho why he keeps coming back. Bray cuts his typical promo about Sister Abigail telling him things about Chris Jericho “saving us” blah blah blah
Chris Jericho vs Erick Rowan w/ Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper: Say what you want about the Jericho/Bray feud, but Jericho is obviously immersed into this feud and he is passionate about it. Meaning, we are going to get Jericho at his best for this feud. Jericho has talked on his podcast about how much he likes the Bray Wyatt character. This is different than last year when he was feuding with Fandango.
To start the match Rowan throws Jericho out of the ring in front of Bray and Luke Harper. Jericho quickly rolls away from Harper and Bray and goes to the other side of the ring as if Harper and Bray are going to get involved in the match. This puts over how much outside interference can affect the match and given the stipulation of this match is that if Jericho wins then Rowan is banned from ringside for the Jericho/Bray match at Summerslam it tells that story. It’s the little things.
Harper trips Jericho and Mike Chioda kicks Harper out and sends him to the back. Erick Rowan wrestles one of his best singles matches and Jericho wins with the Code breaker. **
This was a pretty decent episode of Smackdown. It had two important segments if WWE were smart they would recap both of them on Raw. Those being Paige attacking AJ Lee and Jericho eliminating Rowan from ringside during the Bray/Jericho match. The Cesaro/Swagger match was worth watching if you want a good WWE TV match to watch.
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My WWE Soapbox – Every Monday
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