Date: September 26, 2014
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things are in a state of flux right now with Roman Reigns out of the picture for the time being, leaving Dean Ambrose to take his spot. Dean has already been dealing with Cena, which puts him in about as big a spot as you could ask for. Ambrose still needs to rack up some wins though so hopefully that starts tonight. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the events from Raw with Ambrose, Cena and the Authority.
Dean Ambrose vs. Miz
This is due to Ambrose attacking Miz on MizTV on Main Event. Miz bails to the floor to start before getting caught in a headlock and rollup for two. Ambrose sends him outside again but chases after him this time, eventually taking him down in the ring and hammering away. Miz begs him not in the face so Dean rakes at the Moneymaker. A bad looking Reality Check gets two for Miz and he stomps away as the fans are all behind Dean.
Ambrose comes right back with a dropkick to send Miz to the floor, followed by a big plancha. Mizdow offers a distraction though and Miz takes over as we take a break. Back with Dean blocking the corner clothesline with a forearm to the face. Cole actually gives us an explanation for how Dean got out of the room on Raw: “He went out the back door.”
Dean sends him to the floor and hits a suicide dive before a tornado DDT gets two. A missile dropkick is countered into the Figure Four but Dean is right by the ropes. The Rebound Clothesline drops Miz but here are Rollins and Kane for a distraction. Thankfully Dean is too smart for that and hits Dirty Deeds for the pin at 10:13.
Rating: C-. The match was fine and Dean getting a clean pin over a former World Champion is nothing but good for him right now. Miz isn't exactly John Cena but he's a guy that Dean should be beating like this. Also how nice is it that a good guy comes off looking smart for a change? Nice enough match.
The Authority comes in for the beatdown but Ambrose fights both of them off and runs off with the briefcase.
Stardust and Goldust are all insane and say the Gemini Usos can't have the Tag Team Titles. The rematch is tonight.
Cesaro, Heath Slater, Diego, Titus O'Neil, Fernando, Bo Dallas, Zack Ryder, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, Damien Mizdow, Justin Gabriel, Jack Swagger, Big E.
The winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot later tonight. Fernando is quickly tossed out and Bo dumps Cara. Cesaro tosses Diego but the new Nation can't eliminate Dallas. Instead Kofi low bridges Gabriel out before Cesaro dumps Woods. Big E. has the power battle with Cesaro and is lifted up in a very impressive gorilla press. Titus breaks it up for no apparent reason so Cesaro lifts him up, only to have Big E. return the save. Cesaro is tired of all this and just muscles Big E. out.
We take a break and come back with no eliminations during the break. Titus and Ryder fight on the ropes and Zack gets tossed. Swagger eliminates Titus a few seconds later, leaving us with Cesaro, Slater, Swagger, Dallas, Mizdow and Kingston. Swagger throws Heath out and everyone surrounds Mizdow. The big beatdown is on and Mizdow is quickly out.
Kofi gets thrown over the top but skins the cat to pull Dallas to the apron with him. A kick to the head is enough to eliminate Bo as Swagger hits the Vader Bomb on Cesaro. Kofi tries to come back in with a hurricanrana but Jack catches him and drops Kofi into the opposite corner. Another Vader Bomb is blocked by Cesaro to send Swagger to the apron. Kofi hits a springboard shot to Jack's head but has to save himself from Cesaro. Swagger gets back in but Cesaro throws Kofi at Swagger to eliminate both guys for the win at 11:25.
Rating: C. This wasn't bad and thankfully they kept things moving with only about eight minutes shown on TV. Cesaro is becoming a beast in these battle royals which could become a thing for him going forward. Also those displays of strength of his are hard to ignore with the gorilla presses and ending sequence being very impressive.
The Usos have everything ready to get their titles back.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Goldust/Stardust
The Dusts are defending in a rematch from Night of Champions. We get some big match intros and start with Jey and Stardust. A rollup gets a quick two for Jey and he slams Stardust down before sending him outside. Goldust is sent outside as well, setting up the double dive from the Usos as we take a break. Back with what looks like a hot tag to Jey who backdrops Goldust for two. Jey is sent into the buckle and out to the floor so Stardust can get in a few cheap shots of his own. Stardust: “WHERE'S THE KING???” Back in with Goldust dropping an elbow and cranking on the arm.
Jey loses his shirt and gets beaten on even more until he nails a forearm to drop Stardust. Goldust gets backdropped to the floor but he charges back in to a Samoan drop. The hot tag brings in Jimmy to clean house with a t-bone suplex to Stardust. The superkick misses though and Stardust sends him to the floor. Goldust tries a dive but the Usos catch him and toss him into the barricade. Stardust dives backwards onto both of them and all four are down. Back in and the Usos nail a Doomsday Device of all things on Stardust. Jimmy hits the Superfly Splash but Goldust comes in with the title belt for the DQ at 10:13.
Rating: C+. These teams have good chemistry and the match was working here. It sets up a third match, likely at the PPV, which should be just as good as this with extra time. The Usos are getting close to being a great team and having opponents like this and the Wyatts are only going to make them better.
We recap Ambrose stealing the briefcase.
Rollins is ticked off but Kane says the briefcase doesn't matter because it's all about the contract. Seth gets that but says if the briefcase isn't returned, the cinder blocks will look like child's play.
Layla/Summer Rae vs. Natalya/Rosa Mendes
Summer runs from Natalya to start so it's quickly off to Layla. They trade rollups and Layla has to kick away from the Sharpshooter. Off to Summer who gets suplexed down and kneed in the corner but Layla makes a blind tag. She nails one kick and immediately tags back out to Summer. The villains ask Natalya if she's going to cry as Rosa tries to play cheerleader on the apron.
Layla hooks a figure four neck lock and bends back over the ropes before hitting a dropkick to the side of the head. Summer comes back in for a bodyscissors and slams Natalya head first into the mat. Natalya kicks Summer away and makes the tag to Rosa (Cole: “Latina Heat!”) for a bad dropkick on Layla for two. Everything breaks down and Natalya kicks Summer to the floor, allowing Layla to roll Rosa up for the pin at 4:16.
Rating: D. There are a bunch of problems with this whole story. To begin with, why did Natalya wait about three months to go after Summer? Second, it's really hard to care about these catty fights the girls are having, especially when some of them are capable of having good matches. The words “some of them” is the final key point. Rosa Mendes is about as worthless of a Diva as there has ever been. As far as I know, she has never won a singles match on TV. Why should I think it's a big deal when she comes back?
We look at Main Event where Mark Henry wasn't going to apologize to America again because he thinks they don't appreciate him. Big Show came out and promises to knock Rusev out on Smackdown.
Big Show says he and Henry are brothers from another mother so he'll knock Rusev out in Henry's honor tonight.
We get the video on Reigns in the hospital and hear from the doctor on his prognosis.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro
Dolph is defending. Feeling out process to start with Ziggler taking him up against the ropes. Cesaro actually tries a monkey flip but Dolph lands on his feet and hiptosses him down. After a quick trip to the floor, Cesaro cranks on a chinlock and drops the champion with a belly to back suplex.
Ziggler gets caught in an abdominal stretch to stay on his ribs before a middle rope elbow gets two for Cesaro. Off to a modified cobra clutch on Dolph but he jawbreaks his way to freedom. A nice dropkick puts Cesaro down but he counters the Fameasser into a powerbomb, only to have Dolph climb over the shoulder into a rollup for the pin at 6:22. Cesaro clearly had the rope at two so there's likely going to be a rematch.
Rating: C. Nice power vs. speed match here with Cesaro keeping the champion down and using his power to negate the high flying. The ending is a good way to keep Cesaro's credibility and set up another match down the line. They could do better with more than six minutes so hopefully they're given a good deal of time later.
The announcers point out the rope grab and Cesaro yells at the referee.
Lana and Rusev say their usual.
Rusev vs. Big Show
Show goes right at him to start and nails a running clothesline in the corner. There's a loud chop and another clothesline but Rusev blocks the whisper chop. Big Show comes back with a sunset flip for two and knocks Rusev out to the floor. We take a break and come back with Big Show hitting a few loud chops in the corner but getting his leg taken out.
Rusev goes after the leg with some elbows before cranking on it on the mat. Show fights up with a side slam for two but misses the Knockout Punch. The jumping superkick drops Big Show for two and it's off to a side choke. Back up and the giant hits some clotheslines followed by the chokeslam but Lana grabs his foot before the Knockout Punch. The distraction lets Rusev hit him with the Russian flag for the DQ at 9:52.
Rating: D. This was ten minutes of “Big Show chops, they do nothing, Big Show chops again, they do nothing, finish.” Rusev beating up Big Show next is another good win for him as he's getting closer to the top of the card with these wins. He's still waiting for the big feud but he's still working well enough. As for Big Show, anything that keeps him away from the main event scene is a good thing.
Big Show knocks him out and Lana is stunned to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Tonight was a different kind of episode as some stuff seemed to matter. We set up a new challenger for Dolph and had Ambrose steal the briefcase which will likely be dealt with on Raw. The wrestling was nothing to see but more than anything else Smackdown needs to have stuff that actually matters. Smackdown needs to be a show that people want to see and two title matches and a battle royal are good ways to get to that point. Granted I have little reason to believe this is going to last as it almost never does but it was an easy show to sit through.
Dean Ambrose b. Miz – Dirty Deeds
Cesaro won a battle royal last eliminating Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger
Usos b. Goldust/Stardust via DQ when Goldust hit Jimmy with a title belt
Layla/Summer Rae b. Rosa Mendes/Natalya – Rollup to Mendes
Dolph Ziggler b. Cesaro – Rollup
Big Show b. Rusev via DQ when Rusev hit him with the Russian flag
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