September 19th, 2014
Commentators: Michael Cole, Todd Phillips, and JBL
Smackdown kicks off with the Uso’s making their signature entrance to much fanfare. We get a recap of the entire Uso/Dust Brothers feud to tie into this match as well as preview the WWE Tag Team Championship match this Sunday at Night of Champions.
Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso vs. Stardust w/ Goldust: This was a very short match, but it really got over Stardust’s new super villainy vicious side. Cody Rhodes is doing such a freaking good job in this role I just wish people would give him the credit he deserves. During the match the commentary team was telling the story of this feud and said it started when there was a tag team title match between the two teams on Raw and the Uso’s won via count out. NO THEY DIDN’T! They lost the match via count out! Why does the WWE insist on telling us that when a champion loses a title match via count out or DQ that it is a win? Ugh… pet peeve.
Anyhow, Jimmy Uso goes for the superkick twice and Stardust reverses it both times until Jimmy finally knocks Stardust out on the third time’s a charm superkick for the win. *1/2
Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler w/ R-Ziggler vs. The Miz and Cesaro w/ Damien Mizdow: This match starts off with Ziggler and Cesaro. Cesaro is in control of the match even to the point that he mocks Ziggler by shaking his hips at him all the while Cole and JBL are giggling and laughing about some stupid reference JBL made. Ugh. JBL is the absolute dirt worst. I’ll listen to Jerry Lawler do commentary for the rest of my life if it means they fire JBL from the commentary team today. I mean it.
The Miz does the heel thing and tags into the match once his rival is incapacitated. The Miz and Ziggler have some nice exchanges here to preview their upcoming match at NoC, but without giving too much away. Cesaro then comes in and mixes it up with Ziggler, by countering Ziggler’s fast paced out of control offense with some back breakers. A Ziggler vs. Cesaro Best of 7 Series to unify the United States and Intercontinental Championship is something that should happen after NoC.
This match turns into a four way battle until the legal men Sheamus and Miz are isolated in the ring. Sheamus sets Miz up for the Brogue Kick while Mizdow jumps on the apron to distract Sheamus. R-Ziggler runs around and takes out Mizdow. D-Ziggler then superkicks Miz followed up by the Brogue kick from Sheamus for the win. **1/2
Adam Rose w/ The Rosebuds vs. Heath Slater w/ Titus O’Neil: We get a recap of Slater Gator’s feud with the Bunny before this match and it appears as if Slater Gator is sticking together despite O’Neil’s presence on NXT. Adam Rose comes out wearing a new neon fur coat and sunglasses that he must have pulled out of the Dynamic Dudes memorabilia. I can really get behind Adam Rose as a lower card act. He is like a Koko B. Ware. The kids love him, but he never belongs higher on the card than that. However, Sami Zayn does not need to debut at the Bunny. Zayn definitely has the talent to rise above and succeed beyond being debuted as the Bunny; I just don’t want to see it.
The bunny here hits Titus O’Neil on the outside with a springboard body splash and this distract Slater enough to get hit with a Party Foul by Rose for the win. *
We then get a recap of the Rusev/Henry scruff from this past Monday on Raw. It was great seeing Rusev struggle to put the Accolade on Henry’s huge frame. It really tells a great story going into their match on Sunday. Rusev has defeated every single one of his opponents by using the devastating finisher, but if he can’t put it on Henry, then how can he defeat Henry? It reminds me of Bret Hart going into WrestleMania IX to take on Yokozuna and it was in question of whether or not Bret could put the Sharpshooter on Yoko. The WWE has been doing some great storytelling with Rusev’s character in the last few months. They keep on this track and they’ll have another main event star on their hands.
The Big Show and Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) w/ El Torito vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper): The Big Show takes El Torito’s spot in Los Matadores’ entrance, but is shortly followed by Torito. Los Matadores need to get back on track and start competing for the WWE tag titles. They have a great gimmick and are capable of some great in-ring matches especially against the likes of The Dust Brothers and The Uso’s. And if you’ve read my “My WWE Soapbox” column on Mondays then you know my plan to turn Bray Wyatt into a babyface and to feud with Harper taking over the Wyatt family. What a way to turn Harper into a star as well, huh?
This match starts during a commercial break, which is always annoying. Especially for a show that is taped. The Big Show needs to be given props for the athleticism he has shown in his matches as of late. He has gone from being totally unwatchable to being good. Luke Harper wrestles bigger than his actual size by manhandling The Big Show with Gator Rolls and Drop kicks. Bray is tagged in and takes Big Show down with a headlock until Big Show works his way up to side suplexing his way out of it. Show hot-tags in Diego and Diego totally take care of Bray until Bray hits Diego with that head-butt/cross body/clothesline thing he does. Diego then runs off the ropes at Bray and Bray hits Diego with a Sister Abigail out of nowhere. Bray’s finisher is always best looking when he hits it out of nowhere. ***
We then get a recap of the Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins match from this past Monday as well as this coming Sunday. Except, now we know it won’t actually be happening at NoC, because Roman Reigns has gone to the hospital for a hernia.
Renee Young interviews Reigns in the back to preview his match later on against Rusev. Roman Reigns says that he doesn’t care if his opponent is American, Russian, or a Green Martian. He doesn’t discriminate and the result will be the same.
Paige vs. Nikki Bella: AJ Lee is on commentary for this one. Paige and Nikki are AJ’s opponents in the Triple Threat Diva’s Championship match this Sunday. Paige and Nikki start off in a classic ECW cat fight style skirmish. Nikki then begins to pull Paige’s hair. Who is the agent for these WWE Diva’s matches? Can we get whomever the agent is for the NXT Diva’s matches to move up to the main roster? I don’t understand why WWE Diva’s matches are so vastly different than NXT Diva’s matches. It can’t be just because the WWE version gets less time in the ring. There has to be more to it, and I think it begins with whoever is telling these ladies to have “cat fights” and “pull hair” and whatnot. You don’t see that crap in NXT. Ugh. Paige wins here with the Paige Turner. ½*
AJ jumps in the ring to congratulate Paige on her victory and hands Paige her Diva’s title, but continues the “mind games” by not letting go of the title. Paige and AJ play tug of war for a second until Nikki jumps in and rips the Diva’s title out of both of their hands and knocks AJ and Paige out with the Diva’s title.
Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter vs. Bo Dallas: Swagger starts off taking his frustrations out on the annoying Bo Dallas. The VoW guys (Joe and Rich) are right, the WWE needs to continue Swagger in this “Honma of NJPW” like role and get him over in these hard fought battles that he just perpetually comes up short in. The fans were really getting behind Swagger in this role; I just don’t think Bo Dallas is doing anything to help elevate Swagger. Dallas is a joke and needs to go away. Pure definition of “X-pac heat”. After running away and having Swagger chase him around the ring a few times Dallas hits Swagger with the Bo-Dog for the win. N/a
After the match Bo Dallas taunts Swagger on the mic some more by telling him to “Bolieve, because Jack has lost his Swagger.” Swagger quickly shuts Dallas up by knocking Bo silly.
We then get an extended preview to the epic Lesnar vs. Cena rematch. The buildup to this match has been fantastic. Heyman and Cena have been putting on a promo class every single week and one can only hope that any wrestler wanting to wrestle in the WWE has been watching and taking notes. These two clashing again at Night of Champions should get any true wrestling fan excited.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev w/ Lana: A couple of months ago when these two wrestled for the first time on Smackdown I made a fool of myself by declaring ahead of time that this could be Reigns break out singles match, because you see, I was all aboard the Roman Reigns bandwagon. Well, I have been sliding off of said bandwagon and this hernia issue that is going to keep Reigns out for a reported 4-12 weeks is only terrible news for Reigns. Reigns needs to be spending as much time in the ring in these one on one matches as he can to hone his craft and improve if Vince and Triple H truly think this guy is going to be the next flagship superstar.
These two start the match off at top speed with a collar and elbow tie up as both men are viciously fighting for the advantage and this leads to both men toppling out of the ring. Rusev quickly gains the advantage back inside the ring with some signature kicks and clubbing blows. Rusev tries to slow the man down with a bear hug until Reigns elbows and fights his way out of it. Rusev regains the advantage with a spinning heel kick. Commercial break. This match started off hot with a very fast sprint-like pace. It already is better than their first match. Back from commercial Rusev has Reigns in the bear hug again, but not for long. Rusev tries to splash Reigns in the corner, Reigns moves, Reigns tries to hit Rusev with the Superman punch and Rusev moves, but Reigns quickly turns bout face and hits Rusev with a clothesline.
Reigns hits Rusev with the Basement Dropkick and sets up for the Superman Punch. Rollins runs out and distract Reigns as Rusev nails Reigns with a superkick. Rusev goes for the Accolade and Reigns counters out of it before Rusev can synch it in. Rollins jumps off the top rope with the MitB briefcase and Reigns pulls Rusev into the way. Rusev gets knocked silly, but stays on his feet as the referee calls for the bell. ***1/2
Rollins and Reigns fight out into the crowd as Mark Henry makes his way to the ring. A gigantic USA flag hangs from the rafters as Lex Luger’s old theme music plays in the background. Rusev and Lana are pissed off and Henry jumps into the ring only to get beat down by Rusev. Henry shakes with rage and World’s Strongest Slams Rusev and Luger’s music plays again.
This was a really pretty good episode of Smackdown. It had some good matches and some good previews to Night of Champions whether it be through the wrestlers fighting in the ring themselves or the video packages they showed. It certainly got this viewer pumped for NoC. Which! By the way you will be able to read my thoughts on each match at the PPV as I will join the Voices of Wrestling round table to discuss the PPV and review it. You can also follow me on Twitter @LuchaNerd and look for my other VoW columns “Saturday Morning Breakfast Brawls” and “My WWE Soapbox”.