WWE Smackdown
September 12th, 2014
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL, and Tom Phillips

This latest edition of WWE Smackdown starts off with a recap of the Orton/Reigns match from this past week’s Monday Night Raw. The Authority vs Roman Reigns is a good upper card feud for Reigns to take place in while the Brock Lesnar dominating the WWE storyline goes on simultaneously.

Big Show makes his way down to the ring to kick off the show and Mark Henry follows him in a separate entrance. Wonder how it long it will take for these two to some tag team entrance music that splices their two individual themes together.

Mark Henry & The Big Show & The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Goldust & Stardust & The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) : The story going into this match is Jey Uso is wrestling his first match since injuring his knee a month ago in a match against Gold and Stardust. In the middle of this match Harper back body drops Jimmy Uso over the top rope thus hurting Jimmy’s knee. This means the Uso’s have 4 knees, but two bad ones. Hard to tell if this was a legit knee injury by Jimmy or if the WWE truly is going to have both Uso’s walk into their Night of Champions match against Gold and Stardust whilst both being injured.

The Big Show’s recent surge in speed in his matches mixed with caring more about the quality of his match has been both refreshing and strange. Show’s matches have gone from channel changers to decent. The Big Show knocks Stardust out with the WMB and then Jey Uso hits the Superfly splash. So, long as one of the Uso’s has their bandaged I’ll finally be able to tell them apart. With that said, both Uso’s walked out of this match with knee injuries. They must plan on using Twin Magic in their tag team championship match at Night of Champions. **

Cole and Phillips plug two later segments for later in the show. One has three babbling idiots in a snore fest of a segment and the other one has Jerry Springer and the Bella Twins. Just kidding. Both segments will be snore fests. (Henry vs Rusev in an arm wrestling match.)

We get a recap of the Cena vs Heyman promo segment from Raw. This sealed the deal for me. Paul Heyman is no longer the greatest wrestling manager since Bobby Heenan. Paul Heyman is the greatest pro wrestling manager ever. EVER. EVER!

Kane, Orton, and Rollins are in the back laughing and celebrating about the way they handled Roman Reigns this past Monday. Rollins continues to impress me in his character delivery. Rollins appears so comfortable and confident in his role.

Bo Dallas vs. Justin Gabriel: Gabriel appears to have lost the motocross tights and the fins on the sides of his boots. The bell rings and then Bo cuts a promo about how everyone can become America’s Sweetheart. Bo tells everyone to please rise and place their hands over their hearts…..Zeb Colter (who is ringside with Swagger) and tells Bo that if Bo is America’s sweetheart then he is Ariana freakin’ Grande, and he doesn’t even know who that is! Zeb then tells Bo that he doesn’t belong in the ring; Bo belongs on a late night infomercial selling snake oils. Zeb then has the audience rise and chant “WE THE PEOPLE!”

Bo then viciously attacks Gabriel until Gabriel gains the advantage. Gabriel goes for a springboard moonsault off of the top rope only to belly flop on the mat and Bo hits the Bo-Dog on Gabriel. Swagger runs into the ring to try an engage in a battle with Bo Dallas. Dallas retreats appearing to be startled and scared. *1/2

Paige vs. Summer Rae w/ Layla: AJ Lee is on commentary for this match to continue the bizarre relationship/feud with Paige. AJ talks about how the Divas title is her “baby”, and Paige makes quick work of Summer Rae before defeating Summer Rae with AJ Lee’s Black Widow. AJ comes into the ring and hits Layla with the Paige Turner. Paige starts to confront AJ about how that wasn’t cool and AJ just skips a circle around Paige and leaves the ring causing Paige to become frustrated with the mind games AJ is playing.

The Subway Slam of the Night is a recap of the Rusev/Henry feud to preview this upcoming:

USA vs Russia Arm Wrestling Match – Mark Henry vs Rusev w/ Lana: The only thing lamer than the overdone “contract signing” in WWE are the overdone and always the same “arm wrestling match”. Prediction: The heel starts off winning the contest, the face then gains the advantage in a dramatic comeback and right before the face wins the heel tips the table over and it starts a brawl between both competitors.

Before the contest begins Lana gets on the mic and tells the crowd to “SHUT TUP!” Mark Henry then talks about he was sad to have to withdraw from the Olympics due to injury, but now he is proud to be able to represent USA again here. Are we really supposed to equate this bogus arm wrestling contest to competing in the Olympic Games?

The referee is explaining the rules to Henry and Rusev and seriously says “Okay, now! Hand on the thing.” He said “the thing!” what a way to make this feel more unofficial then it already is.

My prediction was wrong. The heel kept letting go of the face’s hand and walking away. Then once Rusev decides to actually compete Henry defeated Rusev clean. Michael Cole then got on the mic and announced Henry as the winner. Cole then entered the ring and told Henry that Rusev wanted a rematch using their left hands. Lana throws chalk powder in the eyes of Henry during this left handed bout and Rusev beats Henry down. The Russian flag drops from the rafters and Rusev shakes with victory.

Renee Young is in the back with Chris Jericho. Young asks Jericho about the Cage Match he had with Bray Wyatt and the beat down he received from Randy Orton. Chris then refers to his cage match with Bray Wyatt as one of the greatest cage matches in Raw history. Jericho then uses a lot of alliteration and snake references to talk about how he is going to defeat Randy Orton at Night of Champions.

The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. Dolph Ziggler and R-Ziggler: Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance and then introduces his stunt double, R-Ziggler. R-Truth actually looks pretty snazzy in real wrestling gear. It makes it easier to take a wrestler seriously when he isn’t wrestling in spray paint covered jeans.

This Miz/Ziggler feud has been really refreshing and has done an excellent job of elevating both Ziggler and The Miz. Mid card feuds like this is what the WWE needs more of, you can truly tell that Ziggler and The Miz are both hungry and striving to outshine the main eventers. THIS is what makes the WWE a complete and entertaining show, not boring even Steven /thrown together matches with any consequence.

Damien Mizdow and R-Ziggler both competed to see who could impersonate their partners the best. Once the Miz/Ziggler feud ends I could dig either of these pairs becoming a tag team. This was a very entertaining WWE tag team match from a storyline perspective. It also showed that the WWE can pull off subtle comedy if they let the superstars carry it through improve and don’t try to script cheesy segments.

We then get a recap of the Stephanie McMahon and Bella Twins’s story complete with an appearance of “Television Icon and Legend” (Really?) Jerry Springer. I refuse to comment on this segment and state that I watched Raw via Hulu on Tuesday morning due to suffering through my beloved New York Giants losing 14-35 to the Detroit Lions the night before. Raw on Hulu is a 90 minute shortened version and I was not able to watch one of my all-time fave five superstars Sami Zayn make his debut on Monday Night Raw, and I was instead subjected to this ridiculous segment. End rant.

Nikki Bella is back stage with Byron Saxton. Nikki states that on Monday the entire world recognized that her entire life she has been the victim. And now it is on Brie’s conscience that Jerry Springer was hurt on Monday. AJ then steps in as Nikki begins talking about her Diva’s Title match. AJ says Nikki wriggled her way into her Divas Title match and it pays to be Stephanie’s lap dog. Paige then steps in and says that Paige is going to win and then she and AJ can finally go back to being best friends. Paige then says “Bye, Brie.” to Nikki and Nikki says “uh. It’s Nikki.” And then as AJ and Paige walk away Nikki says to Byron “You know. This could be easy.” Nikki is so clueless.

Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and Seth Rollins: This tag team match is a preview to two one on one matches that will take place at Night of Champions. Jericho vs. Orton and Reigns vs. Rollins. From day one the WWE has handled the Shield perfectly. Let’s give credit where it is due. The Shield was handled perfectly every single show from their inception to their break up to today. They bought Ambrose time to film his movie and will more than likely be making his return during the Reigns vs. Rollins match to continue the long running blood feud between Ambrose and Rollins.

Early on in the match Randy Orton takes Reigns outside of the ring and “injures” Reigns by slamming his head into the commentary table. Orton and Rollins continue to beat Reigns down in the ring as Jericho and the audience clamors for a hot tag. Interesting dynamic here as Jericho and Reigns have a role reversal. Reigns is normally Mr. Hot Tag and Jericho is usually the vulnerable babyface that gets beat down. Jericho gets the hot tag and takes out Orton and immediately slaps the Walls of Jericho on Rollins. Orton punches Jericho in the face to break up the Lionsault and regain the advantage for the heels.

The match starts to pick up and Reigns hits the Basement Dropkick on Orton then takes Rollins over the guard rail and they fight in the crowd. Back in the ring Orton comes to and hits Jericho with a “vintage backbreaker” and then goes for the hanging DDT off the second rope and Jericho counters into a Schoolboy for the win.

Overall Thoughts:

This was a so-so episode of Smackdown. The stunt doubles match of the Zigglers vs. The Mizes was definitely the entertaining highlight. The main event was a decent WWE styled main event tag team match that added some heat to the Jericho/Orton feud. Remember that you can follow me on Twitter @LuchaNerd as well as use the hashtag #VOWSMBB to recommend a match for my other VoicesOfWrestling.com column Saturday Morning Breakfast Brawls!