October 17th, 2014
Commentators: Michael Cole, Todd Phillips, and JBL
Raw Recap of this past Monday’s episode with the Ambrose/Cena/Rollins/Authority storyline. And we kick off the show with Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins making his way to the ring. The fans chant “You sold out!” and Seth joins in with them “I sold out! I sold out! I sold out! yeah! Keep them coming!” Seth then continues that when he was younger he cared about honor and integrity. Seth then tells the WWE Universe that if they had any guts then they would admit that they would sell out too. Seth Rollins has become really great on the microphone compared to where he was pre-heel turn. Seth Rollins then sends a message to Dean Ambrose, that after their Hell in a Cell match at the PPV of the same name, that Ambrose will not walk out of the Cell, but he will be carried out. Seth then tells Dean that he may have sold him out, but at Hell in a Cell he is going to “PUT! You out”. Seth’s ongoing Smackdown rival, Dolph Ziggler makes his way to the ring to get ready for his match with Seth.
Dolph grabs a mic and points out the pop he received when he came out telling Seth that that is the sound of when people want to see you. Dolph Ziggler tries to tell Rollins about the importance of respect. Rollins laughs at him and tells him respect doesn’t mean anything. Ziggler then hits Seth with a big dropkick to start the match.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler: This match started off mega-hot, but the heat was instantly sucked out of the match when they immediately cut to a commercial break and when join the match in progress Seth has a rest hold on Ziggler. Commercials are important for revenue and whatnot, but can we find more strategic spots for them? And a message to JBL, it’s not cute when you leave the “L” out of Ziggler.
WWE goes to another commercial a few minutes into the match. This match has been going on for about 4 minutes and we have already had two commercial breaks. It is easy to conclude that this match would really be spectacular if it wasn’t being constantly interrupted with these stupid commercials. With 8 hours of in-ring TV for the WWE a week we have been getting lengthier, more exciting matches, thus making the only difference between TV and PPV matches is commercials vs. no commercials.
This match was good, but they ever sucked the heat out of what started out to be a semi-hot crowd with the rest holds and commercial breaks. Seth Rollins wins with the combination of the turnbuckle power bomb and curb stomp.
As Rollins rolls out of the ring, Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring and gets on the mic to tell Seth that he is going to rip Rollins face off at Hell in a Cell. Rollins backpedals up the ramp only to be joined by Corporate Kane. This is going to be turned into two rants. What the Hell is the difference between Corporate Kane and Masked Kane anymore? Okay, the storyline of the mask suddenly making him demonic and powerful was lame, but at least there was some sort of separation between the two sides of Kane, but now, there is literally no difference. Corporate Kane doesn’t make any managerial decisions like he used to. Instead, we get promos from Corporate Kane talking about how much he loves to fight and cause pain and yadda yadda yadda. And second rant? Kane comes out on this episode and tells Dean that he will be wrestling Kane tonight. WHO WANTS TO SEE KANE VS. DEAN AMBROSE FOR THE 1,000th time?! I AM SICK AND TIRED OF WATCH KANE IN MAIN EVENTS OF SMACKDOWN! KANE IS IRRELEVANT IN 2014!
AJ LEE vs. Layla: Paige is on commentary for this match with Alicia Fox standing behind her. This match is a nothing match. AJ Lee forces Layla to tap out to the Black Widow after a few minutes. Alicia Fox enters the ring, post-match, and gets attacked by AJ Lee only to have Paige gain the advantage for her team by attack AJ from behind and giving AJ the RamPaige. Are we ever going to get a WWE Divas division that is like the NXT Divas division?
Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane are in the back. Seth tells Kane to leave a piece for him. Kane then tells Seth that both Seth and Dean are facing an apocalypse inside of the Hell in a Cell. What the Hell does that mean? Again, the man is irrelevant, and the only people that don’t seem to understand this are Vince McMahon and Triple H.
Renee Young is in the back with Sheamus and the Uso’s. Young asks these three how they feel headed in to their six man tag team match against Gold and Stardust and The Miz. Sheamus cuts one of his classic goofy promos. And by “classic” I mean “stupid and out of place”. Then the Uso’s cut one of their even more stupid and out of place promos about how Miz and Mizdow remind them of Schwarzenegger and DeVito. The Uso’s keep calling Sheamus “Sheamoose” Santino Marella style. I wonder if the WWE will make an Irish Moose t-shirt for Sheamus akin to Daniel Bryan’s Flying Goat shirt.
Sheamus and The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Gold and Stardust and The Miz w/ Damien Mizdow: What is there to say about this match? It was the same basic formula you get in a multi-man WWE match. The closing sequence was filled with finishers, missed finishers, blind tags, etc… Sheamus wins with a brogue kick to Goldust. Again, the match wasn’t bad, but it was very formulaic.
We then get a graphic about Forbes Most Valuable Sports Brands. Apparently WrestleMania is up there with the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four, and World Series etc… This is both a nothing thing to brag about and another case of WWE wanting to be referred to as “sport” when it’s convenient.
The Big Show makes his way to the ring and we get a recap of the Rusev, Show, and Mark Henry square off on Raw. The Big Show gets on the mic and talks about wanting to watch that clip over and over again. Big Show then confesses to the WWE Universe that he sticks out in the crowd. Big Show says that he was 6 ft. 9 in at the age of 12 and when you’re that big, that young you get responsibility thrust upon your shoulders. This means Show is ready for the responsibility of pinning Rusev. Show points out that he has knocked Rusev out twice and the third time will be a charm. Big Show then calls out his best friend with “Come out here you big sexual chocolate of a man!” and then proceeds to dance while Henry’s music plays. Why does the WWE insist on having their wrestlers not take anything seriously?
Big Show points out how Henry smells good and Henry announces that he showered today. Woo! Aren’t we glad? Don’t worry. It gets worse. Big Show then proceeds to tell a story about wanted to smothered and covered food at Waffle House, but they couldn’t because someone cut them off and stole the last parking spot. Henry and Show proceeded to tip the car over and go to eat some gas station doughnuts. Show then talks about how he and Henry are family and Show tells Henry that he, himself, needs to defeat Rusev. Henry then tells Show that Rusev is not human. Henry tells Show it’s a tough pill to swallow to hear Big Show talk about doing something that Henry couldn’t do, but man to man, he will get out of Show’s way. Lana and Rusev make their way to the top of the ramp. Lana refers to Show and Henry as blimps, full of gas and are slow. Rusev then cuts a promo on Show continuing to show some improvement on the mic. Show then tells Rusev to shut up because he has a bootleg Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. Show then tells Rusev his spine won’t break because it’s American made. Ugh. The promo work here from Show would have been really solid if he cut all of the stupid jokes out. I am pinning the sophomoric humor that we see from Cena, Big Show, Sheamus, CM Punk at times, etc. on Vince McMahon thinking the Rock was the greatest thing since sliced bread. The Rock continues to ruin the WWE.
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi: We get a recap of the backstage promo from Monday that was exclusive to WWE.com. Nikki lets Brie know that they have a match at HiaC and the loser has to be the other Bella’s bitch. Wow… You remember when Dixie Carter got in trouble for secretly employing Vince Russo to be her consultant? I have a feeling that Vince McMahon has now done the same thing. Contract on a pole match, Loser has to be the winner’s assistant match; this all has Russo written all over it. This is the kind of crap that should stay and should have died in the Attitude Era. It is interesting to note this promo was a backstage exclusive and wasn’t on TV when most of this feud has taken up major time in major segments on the flagship Raw. Anyways, this match was back and forth until Nikki gave Naomi the Torture Rack drops to her knees thing for the win as Brie looks on from the back via a monitor.
Renee Young is backstage with Dean Ambrose. Renee tells Dean that the Director of Operations, Kane is vicious and violent, and asks Dean what is going through his mind. (As if Dean hasn’t wrestled Kane 1,000 times already). Dean then tells Renee that he thinks Kane has starred in one too many horror flicks and that this isn’t Hollywood. It’s Birmingham.
Dean Ambrose vs. Corporate Kane w/ Seth Rollins: Before Ambrose makes his way to the ring Cole plugs the main event of this coming Monday’s Raw as a 2 on 3 Handicap Street Fight that will pit Rollins, Orton, and Kane against Cena and Ambrose. What is the point of that match? That just screams FILLER! And you shouldn’t sell FILLER as if it is a groundbreaking main event. Ugh.
Dean Ambrose has such a unique offense, it really makes his matches enjoyable, but with how crappy the WWE product has been post-Summerslam it reminds me a lot of CM Punk’s run in 2010 -2011. Punk was the only redeeming quality of most episodes of Raw, but it was still overall a poor show.
Dean goes for the double armed DDT until Rollins jumps on the apron to distract Ambrose. Kane then goes for the Tombstone, but Ambrose counters and goes for the McGuiness Lariat only to be attacked by Rollins for the DQ. Predictable. Overdone. Dumb.
Post-match, Rollins goes to curb stomp Ambrose on a steel chair, but Ambrose counters and grabs the chair as Rollins runs away. Ambrose beats Kane down with the steel chair instead.
Overall thoughts: This was a mediocre episode of Smackdown. Largely forgettable, but what episode of Smackdown in 2014 isn’t forgettable. The WWE needs to change up the way they do television completely. If these episodes of Raw and Smackdown were airing head to head with WCW (or another worthy competitor) Vince McMahon would be fired up and try to shake everything up completely, but instead Vince and company has hit an all-time low of complacency. It’s embarrassing. It’s hard to sit through. It’s hard to write about. It’s hard to be a WWE fan these days.
Oh, and if you want to follow me on Twitter for more of my rants, thoughts, etc. I’m @LuchaNerd