April 9th, 2015
Mr. Thursday Night: Daniel Bryan kicks off the show with Jerry Lawler declaring that “YES!” is everyone’s favorite word in the English language. Is JBL calling Daniel Bryan a farm animal or Jerry Lawler’s lame puns/jokes in regards to Daniel Bryan worse?
Bryan gets on the mic and soaks in some “YES!” chants from this hot Texas crowd. Bryan said it was one of the highlights of his career to climb up that ladder and win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania in front of 76,000 people and that a championship only means as much as the actions of the man who holds it.
Barrett comes out to brag about how he knocked out Bryan. Sheamus then comes out to join Barrett and they both threaten Bryan with a “European style ass kicking.”
Dolph Ziggler then makes his way to the ring stating that Sheamus looks like Carrot Top and Jack Sparrow had a baby that no one liked. Ziggler then challenges the Europeans to a fight with him aiding Bryan.
The Big Show joins the fray calling Ziggler and Bryan munchkins. Well, Team Munchkin needs a big man, so Roman Reigns makes his way down to the ring to complete the set up for tonight’s main event. Show, Barrett, and Sheamus vs. Bryan, Ziggler, and Reigns.
This segment was your typical Smackdown start with interrupted promo after interrupted promo until you have enough guys in the ring to make Teddy Long weep with joy in order to set up a tag team match. Also, how awesome of a tag team would Barrett and Sheamus make? I’ve always said Cesaro and Barrett would make a great WWE version of the Kings of Wrestling. Heck, put the three of them together in a Kings of Wrestling stable.
The Brass Ring Club (Cesaro and Tyson Kidd) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E): Before the match Big E says “DALLAS! Don’t show us any malice…” Big E then goes on to start a “NEW! DAY!” chant that ends up being a “NEW! DAY!….sucks!” chant. Big E then starts cutting a heelish promo trying to figure out why Dallas is showing malice towards this dead end gimmick. This gimmick needs a Rocky Maivia to DIE! ROCKY, DIE! transition. The slow burn heel turn of this group could work if handled properly.
This was a good TV tag team match. There was a nice sequence of a #HOSSFIGHT between Cesaro and Big E finishing in the Giant Swing into a dropkick from Kidd. The match ended with Kingston setting up Kidd for the Trouble in Paradise. As Kingston started the New Day clap the crowd chanted “NEW! Day sucks!” much to Kingston’s chagrin. Kingston was distracted by this leading to Kidd hitting him with a Swinging Fisherman Neckbreaker for the win. **3/4
#AXELMANIA Runnin’ Wild: Curtis Axel comes out to cut his usual promo on Neville with his Hogan impression. Gimmicks like AxelMania and Mizdow are fun and all, but they need to realize that those gimmicks have a shelf-life and need to evolve in order to keep it going. AxelMania isn’t past the expiration date of evolving, but it’s certainly getting close. Axel lost the Royal Rumble shtick, so now he needs to add a new element.
Curtis Axel vs. Neville: “The Caped Crusader” “The Man Whose First Name Vince McMahon Forgot”, Neville is making his Smackdown debut. Neville’s entrance receive crickets for a response from the crowd, but that changed throughout the match with his exciting high flying offense eliciting some “NXT! NXT!” chants which must be the new “EC-DUB!” chant. Neville makes quick work of Axel here and finishes him off with the Red Arrow. **1/4
#GiveDivasAChance: Alicia Fox, Natalya, and Cameron are in the back with Renee Young. Renee asks if they feel guilty for manipulating Kane into giving them a #1 Contenders Divas Battle Royal on Raw thus taking Naomi’s shot at the title away. This leads to Natalya strutting her “worst actor in WWE” skills in an awkward shoving match between Fox and Natalya. This whole scenario is awkward. The idea of Kane being manipulated by these women is disturbing and I don’t think this is what AJ Lee had in mind when she started #GiveDivasAChance.
Natalya vs. Alicia Fox: Cameron is the Special Guest Referee for this match and there are few things more annoying than when Melina was ringside for John Morrison matches doing her banshee screaming routine, but Cameron screaming as a referee might be one of those things.
Natalya was her usual self with her crisp and technically sound offense. Alicia Fox was her usual okay self. Natalya wins with the Sharpshooter. After the match Cameron DDT-ed both women. Cameron then screamed for the ringside crew to give her the compact mirror she keeps ringside. This is fine for her gimmick, its whatever, but the fact that Cameron grabs the mirror, stands on the turnbuckle flipping her hair, and doesn’t even look in the mirror! It’s just ridiculous.
Erick Rowan vs. Bray Wyatt: Before the match we get a nice video package of the history between these two. This match wasn’t advertised ahead of time, in fact! This match wasn’t even announced until before the commercial break. Earlier in the show we saw a screen cap stating “Bray Wyatt live tonight”. Why can’t this be a longer program? Why can’t Bray Wyatt feud with Rowan for a couple PPV’s ending in Wyatt getting his much needed win whilst putting Rowan in a better light? Ugh. This company.
Bray cut a promo before the match talking about how he found Rowan when he was lost and cast out by society. Bray puts Rowan over as a monster. Bray states that what society saw as flaws in Rowan he saw as possibilities. Bray states that he showed Rowan what it was like to be loved.
This promo proved two things:
- Bray Wyatt is a great promo when he has something specific to talk about.
- Bray Wyatt would make a good babyface and WWE should’ve turned him babyface after he set Luke Harper and Rowan free. Harper and Rowan then could’ve made a great big man tag team.
The worst part is that Bray ends the promo stating “Behold the new face of fear!” Wasn’t that what the whole program with The Undertaker was about? Bray said if he defeated Undertaker then he would become the new face of fear? Bray lost that match. Who knows?
This match was surprisingly good. Wyatt hit Rowan with a nice stiff Lariat on the outside of the ring. Wyatt then hit Rowan with the Senton Splash on the ground. The crowd in this match sounded like a crowd at a 1993 Superstars taping. Mostly quiet throughout the match with some chattering here and there from some kids. Wyatt wins with Sister Abigail. Wyatt then holds Rowan’s head after the match with a look of sadness on his face. Interesting.
Miz TV w/…..The Marine 4 Trailer?: The Miz doesn’t have a scheduled guest for “the Most Must See Talk Show” tonight. The Miz instead decides to show us the Marine 4 trailer, not once, but twice. As the Miz begins to talk about the rave reviews his movie has been receiving when his co-star, Summer Rae, interrupts. The Miz says Summer should be thankful because this movie was his way of “giving a Diva a chance.” Summer and Miz begin to argue whether or not Summer is a “co-star” or an “extra”. Summer than jabs The Miz for how Damien Mizdow became a star after eliminating Miz from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Miz then mentions how the crowd chants “We want Mizdow!” which elicits a “We want Mizdow!” chant. If the crowd was really that passionate about Mizdow they would have started this chant themselves. The heel shouldn’t have to fish for jeers.
The Miz then tries to coerce Mizdow into joining his side again and all Mizdow has to do is apologize. Mizdow shakes Miz’s hand and says “I’m sorry I didn’t do this sooner.” Mizdow then attack the Miz and makes out with Summer Rae.
If WWE didn’t create a “behind the scenes” look at Mizdow doing the Miz’s stunts in the Marine 4 then they’re doing it wrong.
Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus, Bad News Barrett & The Big Show: Jerry Lawler’s big joke for the match “Big Show is so big that I heard last night he went and saw Furious 7 in the theatre and sat next to everybody.” Wow….
The heels took turn working over Ziggler in the beginning of the match to build to a hot tag to Daniel Bryan who comes in and completes his signature offense on Sheamus. This leads to the heels then working over Bryan. The Dallas crowd is HOT for Roman Reigns! They were chanting “WE WANT ROMAN!” What a great way to build Roman up even more by letting Bryan play the sympathetic babyface in peril. The WWE has actually being doing right by Reigns at WrestleMania and thereafter. The fans will actually want to see Reigns win the WWE title. How great would it be if he went up against Lesnar again at next year’s WrestleMania? Reigns vs. Lesnar II. It could be a cool story with a sport like feel.
Reigns comes in and this breaks out into a six man brawl as every man tries to hit their signature moves. This leaves Barrett and Reigns in the ring. Barrett sets up for the Bullhammer Elbow only to have Reigns counter with the Spear and the win. ***1/4
Final Thoughts: This was another good episode of Smackdown. The main event would have been better sans Big Show, but it only makes sense with the upcoming Show/Reigns match at Extreme Rules. There was a nice continuation of storylines. Smackdown continues to be a show that can bridge the gap for stories we see on Raw, but not necessary to watch as long as you watch Raw weekly.