WWE Smackdown
September 5, 2014
University of Nebraska

Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL, and Tom Phillips

We kickoff the show with no recap videos, no match announcements, no hype, just John Cena hitting the ring. As a guy who watched Smackdown on a weekly basis this feels like something “special” to me, because Cena doesn’t appear on Smackdown too often. All the more reason for the WWE to have Cena only appear on the WWE Network.

Cena addresses a rowdy college town crowd who start chanting “Cornhuskers”. John says he has been here for 12 years and has had 1,000 matches but Triple H needs to stop looking at John Cena as if he is at the end of his rope. John Cena says he is a WWE superstar and he is here to fight. Cena says he is entering the match with the most destructive force that has ever been in the WWE. Cena says that at Night of Champions he gets his redemption. Cena then continues to cut a Cena promo with a little bit of silliness, but its subtle enough that it works, and a lot of passion. Cena has been putting on a clinic in the promo department in the last couple of months.

Kane and Rollins come out and compare Cena to a 50 year old man shopping for sports cars that is going through a crisis. Cena then says he isn’t going to take advice from a Hell raised demon whose brother is a dead guy (I’m sure there are a lot of people in the world with brothers that are “dead guys”, what an insensitive jerk. Just kidding, that was my poor attempt at taking a slight at wrestling fans that are overly sensitive.) and the poster child for Men’s Wearhouse.

Cena then says “Hey, Mr. Plan B, why don’t you kiss my Plan A and step aside. The grownups are talking.”

Kane then tells Cena to watch his tone or he will put in him a match that will absolutely test his limits. Roman Reigns music hits. Roman says this coming Monday Night he is going to finish his business with Randy Orton, but he isn’t here tonight so he is going to focus his attention on these two corporate suck ups. Cena and Reigns allude to facing Rollins and Kane in a tag team match.

Seth Rollins tells Cena that they are ten steps ahead of them. The Wyatt family appears out of nowhere. Then Jericho’s music hits and he comes out with Henry and Show. THEN Triple H comes out with to address all ten wrestlers. Triple H comes out and says “Let me tell you something playa! This is how it’s going to be. It’s going to be a ten man tag! That’s how it’s going to be, playa! Holla!” in his Teddy Long impersonation. That really happened. I wasn’t making a joke. And it was actually pretty funny. Good job, Hunter.
This segment was actually pretty awesome, mostly due to a really hot crowd. I remember during the Attitude Era, which ALWAYS had hot crowds; the WWE had their shows in college towns a lot. With the crowd as hot as it is tonight, I think the WWE should be appear in college towns more often.

VoicesofWrestling.com - WWE Smackdown September 5Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro: Sheamus is joining the commentary team for this one holding onto the United States strap. Let me tell you how excited I am for Cesaro vs Sheamus at Night of Champions. SUPER EXCITED. These two guys tear each other apart when they wrestle.

This match was really, really good. Cesaro, who has been lack luster in performance lately, was back to his “one of the Best in the World” form and Ziggler was on top of his game. This match was one of those matches that I am not going to be able to type much because I was so invested in it. Watch it. ****

After the match Sheamus comes into the ring and tosses the United States Championship at Cesaro and then gives him a Brogue Kick in Van Daminator style. Sheamus then puts his foot on Cesaro’s chest and poses like Sheamus poses and the crowd goes wild. This crowd is really awesome.

Gold and Stardust cut a promo in the back in their new super villain personas which is even better than what they were doing before. Cody Rhodes has obviously bought the entire series of 1960’s Batman that was recently (and finally) released on DVD, because he is the Frank Gorshin Riddler to a tee. If this was taking place in the 1960’s then wrestling fans would be as up in arms as the wrestling fans were when Sting became Joker Sting. He is that good. And for the record I think Stine did a great job playing the Heath Ledger Joker, I think it was just too soon after The Dark Knight was released for fans to take themselves out of the context of the movie to be able to separate the two. Also for the record, I am Gold and Stardust’s only fan and I am proud to say it. They need to take home the tag straps at Night of Champions.

Jimmy Uso vs. Heath Slater: Jey comes out hobbling with a crutch. At one point we see Titus get on the apron and Jey Uso tries to scare him off with his crutch until Jimmy Uso superkicks him off the apron in which Michael Cole screams “GATOR DOWN! GATOR DOWN!” and JBL delivers the classic line “GET SKINNER OUT HERE!” Jimmy Uso eventually wins with the Superfly Splash. *

We then get a recap of the cringe worthy – nails on a chalkboard – want to pry my eyes out and eat them – segment of Stephanie McMahon and the four Divas. This was one of those segments of wrestling that if someone walked in the room while I was watching it I would be extremely embarrassed.

We then segue to Stephanie sitting in what appears to be a WWE writer’s room in Stamford, CT. This room is also empty with the exception of Stephanie McMahon which is probably what happened in these segments were being written, because any writer worth their salt would also be embarrassed to have their name attached to this crap product.

Stephanie announces that at Night of Champions Paige will defend her Diva’s Championship in a Triple Threat match again AJ Lee and Nikki Bella.

Byron Saxton is in the back with Nikki Bella to hear her reaction to her Divas title match becoming a Triple Threat Match. Nikki is excited for her “real sister” Stephanie making this match. Nikki goes on about how Brie is a terrible sister, blah blah blah. BUT! Nikki doesn’t mention that her one on one Diva’s title match becoming a Triple Threat Match is now even more difficult for her. IN FACT! Based on WWE odds, this makes her 50% chance of becoming Diva’s champion and takes it to a lowly 33% chance in a Triple Threat Match. (That one was for Rich-K!)

Rusev comes out and Lana cuts a promo and the rowdy cornhusker fans chant USA! USA!
After Lana tells them the “SHUT TUP!” (no typo) Mark Henry comes out.

Mark Henry reminds Rusev that he made a challenge to him. Henry asks Rusev if he will accept the challenge or is he going to hide behind that woman that looks like an escort. (what a PG insult). Lana tells Henry that at Night of Champions they will defeat Henry. Henry says that at Night of Champions Rusev is going to receive a good ol’ fashioned red, white, and blue ass whuppin’. (When he says red, white, and blue is he referring to USA or Russian? Is this going to be a Hulk Hogan ass whuppin’ or an Ivan Koloff ass whuppin’?

Brie Bella vs. Paige: AJ Lee and Nikki Bella are on the commentating team for this match. Brie Bella debuts her new music since Nikki Bella is the only one who can use the traditional Bella Twins entrance music. This is Brie’s first match since Summerslam. We get a recap of Summerslam and a recap of Nikki Bella wishing Brie died in the womb.

Paige and Brie had a good little match. Inoffensive. AJ eventually took her headset off and confronted Nikki Bella until tackling her and beating the snot out of her. Brie left the ring and pulled AJ off of her sister and then went back into the ring and Paige delivered the RamPaige on Brie for the win. **

Harper and Rowan are in the back. Harper begins the promo and then Bray finishes it. Bray tells Jericho he has to pay for his sins.

CHEAP PLUG! I have been working on a column piece for this Monday’s “My WWE Soapbox” and it’s all about why the WWE should turn Bray Wyatt babyface. Look for it this Monday.

We get a recap of last Friday’s Smackdown when Bo Dallas cost Jack Swagger the Submission match against Rusev.

Zack Ryder vs. Bo Dallas: Ryder starts the match off by nailing Dallas with a surprising drop kick. Ryder then continues with a little bit of offense until Dallas hits Ryder with a Bo-Dog for the quick win. Proud of Ryder for “getting his shit in”. This dude needs to listen to Stone Cold’s podcast with Mick Foley on it when they both tell him to walk into Vince’s office and plead his case. I think he has talent; he just needs a gimmick refresher and someone to believe in him.

VoicesofWrestling.com - WWE Smackdown September 5Bo cuts a promo about Swagger being a loser and then Swagger’s music hits and he runs full speed down to the ring and beats the tar out of Dallas. The fans are getting behind Swagger for sure. This guy might organically become a top babyface if he keeps this run up. Colter then gets on the microphone and tells everyone to say “WE THE PEOPLE!” I love the Colter/Swagger duo.

10-man Tag Team Match – Seth Rollins, Kane, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan vs. John Cena, Big Show, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, and Roman Reigns: The Big Show has really made some strides lately. I don’t know what has got into him, it’s like he is nearing the end of his career and he is putting all of his effort into a final run. We see his newly signature sunset flip. And the way Big Show has been hitting the ropes lately is scary. Any wrestler seeing a 7 foot tall 500 pound man come off the ropes like that should be wearing depends.

The cornhusker fans are going nuts chanting Y2J! Y2J! so much that you would think this show took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Big Show spends the early part of the match getting beat down as the heels isolate him in their corner until Show makes the hot tag with Reigns and Reigns looks like a million bucks coming off the hot tag as per usual. Reigns needs to find some way to wrestle his singles matches with this kind of fire and get the crowd behind him as much in his singles matches as they do when he is wrestling in a tag team match.

Rollins and Reigns mix it up in the ring. Rollins takes advantage of his team already putting the beat down on Reigns and Rollins slaps him around trash talking him “I created you, Roman!”

Wrestlers have been catching a lot of flak in the HD era for being heard calling spots in the ring, but in the reverse I like when wrestlers take advantage of HD and trash talk in the ring. Seth Rollins and Paige both do this better than anyone.

Chris Jericho gets the hot tag from Reigns and the fans are going wild for him. The best Jericho has looked in this most recent return were this past Monday on Raw in the tag match and right here. Maybe next time Jericho returns he should be put in a tag team with a young up and comer that would fit with him that he could mentor/elevate by being paired with him. Maybe Devitt? Is that crazy? Jericho, could receive the beat down every match and then Devitt comes out with a world of fire and the crowd gets behind Devitt, thus making him into a star. I’m onto something here.

VoicesofWrestling.com - WWE Smackdown September 5Jericho gets beat down and makes the hot tag to Cena. Yes! These have ALL been “hot tags”. Cena comes in with a world of fire and beats down Rollins and then the whole match turns chaotic with all ten men trading signature moves and beat downs. The babyfaces stand tall in the middle of the ring to close the show. ***

This was better than most any multi-man WWE match you’ve seen this year.

Final Thoughts: 

This was a really pretty good episode of Smackdown. Especially compared to the last few episodes we have seen. It was heavily filled with in-ring work, but that is a good thing. The matches delivered and at least kept storylines going.

Look for my “WWE should turn Bray Wyatt babyface” piece on Monday in “My WWE Soapbox” column and follow me on Twitter @LuchaNerd. Currently, I’m tweeting my journey through every WCW PPV and Clash of the Champions — I just finished #Starrcade83 and will be moving onto #Starrcade84 next.