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Smackdown - October 10, 2014

Date: October 10, 2014
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Tonight is the 15th Anniversary Special for Smackdown, meaning we're likely to get a lot of cameos and clips from great Smackdowns over the years. These shows are always hit or miss and could range from a really fun show to PLEASE LET IT END. The flashbacks should be fun though. Let's get to it.

We open with a montage of great Smackdown moments. The old man taking off his face to reveal Bischoff blew my mind.

Here's Stephanie for our first long chat of the night. She talks about the origin of the word Smackdown, saying it was made by the man who lost to her husband on the first episode of Smackdown, the Rock. Smackdown has always been about the people, so here's BIG JOHNNY ACE! We actually get a PEOPLE POWER chant and Johnny talks about how great his era really was.

Johnny has been doing his research on the WWE Network (Stephanie: “Proof that anyone can use it.”) and has some matches to make tonight. Cue Teddy Long (with JBL doing the Teddy Dance!) who says he was Smackdown GM for six years and he's not letting Ace take it away again. Ace cuts him off though and says he's making a tag match with Miz/Cesaro vs. Sheamus/Swagger. Teddy would make it a six man tag with Bo Dallas and Mark Henry being added. Ace: “TEN MAN TAG! TEN MAN TAG! TEN MAN TAG!”

Johnny adds the Dusts and Usos to the mix, but Teddy says let's make it a FIFTEEN MAN TAG MATCH! Ace says that doesn't make sense. Teddy takes the previous ten guys and add the Mini Gator, Slater, O'Neil, Torito, Los Matadores and......TITO SANTANA? Stephanie likes the idea, even though Santana isn't here. Apparently the Gator and Bull count as one guy between the two of them in case the math didn't make sense. Stephanie adds a stipulation: each guy picks a team and the winning captain is named the best GM of all time. This was totally fun and the battling tag match ideas was a nice idea.

Stephanie isn't done though as she announces John Cena and Dean Ambrose appearing on MizTV later in the night. This brings out Adam Rose and the Rosebuds to with Smackdown a Happy Birthday. He invites Stephanie onto the Exotic Express but instead she makes Rose vs. Kane next. Stephanie does her own dance and of course Teddy joins in. Even Ace dances a bit.

We get the first great Smackdown moment: the debut episode with Rock vs. HHH. So the pilot has been written off I guess.

Kane vs. Adam Rose

Kane says he isn't a cheeseburger or Rosebud and tonight he's going to crash the party. Rose tries to speed things up to start before grabbing a sleeper. That goes nowhere so he goes up top, only to dive into an uppercut. The chokeslam gives Rose his first loss at 1:03. That's kind of a waste of the last six months but at least he wasn't given any kind of a push.

Kane goes after the Exotic Express post match as they all go into the ring to check on Rose. He beats some of them up until it's only the Bunny left. JBL is thrilled but some of the Rosebuds get back in to distract Kane so the Bunny can escape.

From June 27, 2002: John Cena answers Kurt Angle's open challenge. Undertaker shook Cena's hand after the match.

AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox

Non-title. Paige is holding AJ's title on the announcers' table during the match. Fox scores with some kicks to start before getting two off a great looking northern lights suplex. We're in the chinlock less than forty seconds into the match. AJ counters a backbreaker into the Black Widow for the submission at 1:22.

Paige and Fox go after AJ but she fights them off without much effort.

The next moment is a bunch of big dives and crashes, capped off by Lesnar and Big Show breaking the ring. In a nice touch, each package is introduced with a different Smackdown theme from over the years.

Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston

Noble and Mercury are at ringside to watch out for Ambrose. Seth immediately stomps Kofi down in the corner to start before whipping him hard into the barricade. Kofi's face is dropped onto the apron before he gets another beating back inside. Kingston finally gets a knee up in the corner and scores with a dropkick. Seth just hammers him again and hits the Buckle Bomb. There's a second buckle bomb and the Curb Stomp gives Seth the pin at 3:35.

Rating: C-. In the words of Big Zeke's theme song, this here's what you call domination. Seth squashed Kofi here and it's kind of sad to see Kingston having such little direction that this is all he can do anymore. There wasn't anyone else that can take a loss like this? Granted it's not like it's going to be remembered in like a day though so it's not that big of a deal.

Luke Harper release video.

Another video package on Money in the Bank cash-ins.

Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title again. Rusev powers him into the corner to start and kicks Ziggler in the back before choking on the apron. Ziggler fights out of a chinlock but misses a Stinger Splash as we take a break. Back with Dolph hammering away but getting caught with the knees to the ribs and fall away slam. Rusev hooks a front facelock with a body scissors but Ziggler finally rolls forward to escape.

A hard shot to the face staggers Rusev and there's a dropkick for good measure. The running DDT is blocked but Rusev misses a charge, setting up a bad looking Fameasser for one. Back up and the running superkick sets up the Accolade to make Dolph tap at 8:20. This was only a few steps above a squash save for that one flurry.

Rating: C. But I thought Rock buried Rusev on Raw and there was no way he could ever recover. Those comments still make my head hurt but that's another story for another time. This was a big win for Rusev and they're getting more and more common. I know the logical story was to have him go over Sheamus for the US Title, but they're getting to the point where he needs to go into the World Title picture with wins like these. He's not there yet, but they can't ignore him much longer.

Post match Lana says Philadelphia being the birthplace of America explains a lot of things about this country. She brings up meeting Rock on Monday and starts ranting in Russian. Rusev takes the mic from her and says Rock will pay the consequences. He issues a challenge to Big Show for Raw.

We look at Austin vs. Booker T. in a grocery store. I loved that.

After Raw went off the air, Rock came in to see HHH and Stephanie to talk about the upcoming Smackdown special. They bring up the main event of the first Smackdown and Rock giving him a Rock Bottom the next week. HHH thinks it was Road Dogg that got beaten up because HHH kept giving Rock Pedigrees and leaving him looking up at the lights. Rock wonders what would happen if they headlined Wrestlemania one more time.

Both guys talk trash and HHH says name the time and Wrestlemania so he can turn off the electricity on Mr. electricity. They get nose to nose and Rock asks why they're this close because it's kind of weird. Rock: “One of us has to back up.” HHH: “Well I can't do it. I'm the Game.” Rock: “Well I'm the People's Champ.”

They agree to do it at the same time but neither guy moves. They finally back up and HHH again says name the time and stadium. Stephanie breaks it up and suggests they go to dinner. HHH: “How about we go to Wrestlemania?” Rock: “How about you pay the bill you cheap bastard?” HHH says Rock is cheap because he made all those #1 movies and won't pay for dinner. This was a really funny segment but I'm not sure I want to see these guys headline a Wrestlemania. Then again, it's not the worst idea in the world either.

The announcers get a birthday cake and it winds up on Tom's face since he's the rookie. It wouldn't be Smackdown if that didn't happen.

Booker T. comes out to do commentary on the main event.

Another clip of Austin leaving a rattlesnake in the McMahons' office and then destroying the DX bus.

Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny

Teddy: Usos, Los Matadores, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, El Torito
Johnny: Miz, Heath Slater, Titus O'Neil, Goldust, Stardust, Bo Dallas, Damien Mizdow, Mini Gator

Goldust and Fernando get things going and don't seem all that interested in doing much for the first thirty seconds or so. Fernando finally takes Goldust over with a hurricanrana and it's off to Stardust who is quickly sent to the floor. Everyone gets in for a staredown as we take a break. Back with Titus knocking Jey into the Johnny corner but the Usos clean house, only to have Stardust kick Jimmy out to the floor. Jimmy gets caught in the corner and takes a splash from the Gator.

The fans want Mizdow and get their wish with a right hand to Jimmy's head. We hit a chinlock for a bit before it's off to Titus as things slow down. Titus charges into Jimmy's foot in the corner but Cesaro breaks up a hot tag attempt. We take another break and come back with Jimmy fighting out of Slater's chinlock and nailing an enziguri. He backdrops Cesaro down and makes the tag off to Sheamus for very little reaction. Cesaro takes the ten forearms to the chest, just like Slater and Stardust.

Sheamus has all three of them in a row and goes down the line to hit each of them over and over. Everything breaks down and the Usos pull Slater and O'Neil to the floor for suicide dives from Los Matadores, followed by a double dive from the Usos to take out everyone. The minis go at it until Bo powerbombs Torito onto the pile on the floor.

Henry can't hit the Slam on Dallas and gets low bridged out to the floor. There's a Brogue Kick to Dallas but Sheamus gets swung by Cesaro until Jey superkicks Cesaro down. Mizdow gets the tag and tries the Skull Crushing Finale but gets driven into the corner. The Brogue Kick to Mizdow sets up Jimmy's Superfly Splash for the pin at 17:48.

Rating: C+. This was nothing but fun and that's all it was supposed to be. Was there really any doubt that Teddy was going to win this in the end? He's the definition of the feel good character and it's hard not to like him. The match was fine and the big dives were fun as always. Nothing great but a fun way to celebrate fifteen years.

Teddy is lifted onto the winners' shoulders.

Rowan is free video.

Time for MizTV to close the show. We recap the events from Monday before Miz announces the match at Hell in a Cell as an anything goes contract on a pole match. Ambrose and Cena come out, with Cena hugging a Make-A-Wish kid on the way to the ring. Dean says he doesn't care who Cena is because no one crosses him. Seth Rollins tried to end his career and Ambrose wants his revenge. John wants to take that from him and no one steals from Dean Ambrose.

Cena talks about how the WWE brass is scared of Dean Ambrose because he'll say whatever is on his mind out of a love for this business. On Monday, Ambrose showed the balls (and Cena has an actual pair of baseballs in his hand) to leave Cena laying because it gets Cena towards what he wants. To Miz: “Why are you looking at these? You don't even know what they are.”

Cena knows that Dean is going to make him earn it at the pay per view because they're cut from the same cloth. There's a reason Cena can come to this ring every night for twelve years: he has a pair of these and doesn't break his word for anyone. Ambrose better bring his a-game to Dallas because Cena likes his chances.

Miz hypes up Cena's career and asks Ambrose is he thinks he can beat him. Ambrose: “Yep.” Dean knows he can do it and Miz keeps talking until Cena threatens to slap the glasses off his face. Cena goes to leave but Miz says that's not how this works. The guests are supposed to fight and I think you know what's coming. Miz gets beaten down and takes a DDT from Ambrose, only for Dean to get AA'd. Rollins smiles in the back to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. I had a good time with this show and that's all that it needed to be. They had a good time with the Smackdown anniversary, even though they pretty much blew by the last ten years or so. The ending was a nice touch and helps set up the match even better. I like it being a contract on a pole match as it gives Ambrose a better chance to win, even though he isn't going to pin Cena. That being said, he almost has to win inside the Cell, even though I'm not sure he will. Nice show here and that's an upgrade for Smackdown.

Kane b. Adam Rose – Chokeslam
AJ Lee b. Alicia Fox – Black Widow
Seth Rollins b. Kofi Kingston – Curb Stomp
Rusev b. Dolph Ziggler – Accolade
Team Teddy b. Team Johnny – Superfly Splash to Mizdow

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  1. HHH vs Rock would be fine if it were Hunter's last official match.

  2. Best episode of SD in forever, although that's to be expected given that it's the 15th anniversary episode. Highlights were the HHH/Rock segment and Steph's rather … bouncy dancing.

  3. Also it can't be understated how great Cena was in putting over Dean and their match at HiaC.

  4. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 10, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    It was one of those times, where I wish Cesaro would have taken the pin instead of Sandow.

  5. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 10, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    I loved how it was the first time that anyone made Adam Rose's party come to a screeching holt. Having Kane beat up the Rosebuds was a nice touch as well. Wish he would have gotten the Bunny.

  6. Wasn't really feeling the HHH/Rock match, but then I envisioned an I Quit match, and started drooling.

  7. Kane catches bunny at Mania, Tombstone.....and you can probably write who is inside.

  8. Daniel O'ReillyOctober 10, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I was actually hoping the Bunny would take advantage of all the Rosebuds distracting Kane and land one of his spin kicks.

  9. Pete Rose might be a little too old to take that bump now.

  10. WM always has a legends/part-timers match. Rock-HHH could work.

  11. The crowd was silent during the big swing.. if that doesn't show you how far he's fallen...

  12. It doesn't, because trying to glean things from the crowd noise of a taped show is a fool's errand.

  13. The Love-Matic Grampa!October 11, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    HHH-Rock could be great if they don't take it the least bit seriously and just have fun with the feud. No fake "angry" promos and sign-pointing, just sarcasm, insider references and slowly increasing tensions until someone throws a punch and the match is on.

    They get nose to nose
    and Rock asks why they're this close because it's kind of weird.
    Rock: “One of us has to
    back up.”
    HHH: “Well I can't do it. I'm the Game.”
    “Well I'm the People's Champ."

    More of this, please.

  14. If even the canned crowd noise was silent, that's a bad sign.

  15. Aw, man. No buys. The comedy would be fine for a while but then it would have to get serious or it'd die a death. Rock/Cena did a decent job of when to be funny (or not in Cena's case) and when they needed to get serious.

  16. I agree, following the template of the WM28 Rock/Cena match would be perfect. These two can absolutely find that balance between "Hey, we *are* fighting each other at our industry's biggest event, shit's about to get serious" and "We're two of the most secure, accomplished people in wrestling history and we can crack jokes about this."

  17. I guess. I don't think it's anything, personally. Even if it was real, I don't think the reaction of any single crowd means all that much, really.
    And Cesaro's been on the back burner for months and wasn't a made man anyway, so to speak, before that. So of course he isn't getting the same reactions he was getting back in March. I think we're reversing the cause and effect here. If they push him hard again, he'll get reactions again. But as much as I like him as a worker, he's still mostly a bland, blank slate of a character.

    It sucks if the writers don't give you anything to work with, but talent's job is to present something to creative to give them a reason to work with. I'm a big fan of Cesaro, but I don't know that he's done that.

  18. The Love-Matic Grampa!October 11, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Sure, they can be serious at the very end, but otherwise it'll just come across as phony. Why should either of them be angry? Rock's an A-List movie star and HHH's is running WWE. Both men have achieved their dreams and are wealthy and accomplished in their fields. What's there to be pissed about? As much as we deride Cena for not selling his losses, Vince Jordan does have a point about him being on top of the world and thus having no reason to be angry. That goes double for HHH and Rock.

    However, there's ton of history between the two and I'd much rather see a slow build that starts off "friendly" and slowly escalates because ultimately these two are complete egomaniacs who always have to get the last word and come out on top. In other words, this feud should be everything Flair/HBK wasn't.

  19. Aye, it doesn't have to be a contrived shift, where it's all fun and games until HHH runs Rock over in the parking lot. Just a slow realisation from both that they, this does matter, people will remember this, and I'm not gonna be the guy they remember on the bottom.

  20. Both men became wealthy and acheived their dreams a decade ago though, that stuff needs to be left at home as much as possible in storyline terms, because then the whole edifice comes down. Half the guys on the roster are richer than we could ever dream to be, but that shouldn't really come up. They should always be motivated by wins and losses and titles and proving who's the best, because that's the whole point of wrestling.

  21. The Love-Matic Grampa!October 11, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    But I'm talking in kayfabe terms as well. HHH is firmly established as the new Vince and Rock is openly acknowledged as a mainstream megastar.

    Please understand that I'm not advocating the return of stuff like "DX vs. The Little People's Court" or breaking kayfabe left and right. I just like the idea of two old successful rivals being frienemies and having respect for one another and yet always being one insult away from beating the crap out of each other.

  22. If we must have a special attraction type deal with part-timers, Rock vs. HHH is fine. I think it's a good opportunity to get Austin involved too. Stone Cold is the biggest rival of both Rock and HHH and would be the only guy who could "call it down the middle". Rock can make the point that HHH is the COO and Hunter is obsessed with being as big a star as him (Rock), so he can't trust any WWE official to call the match fair. But there IS one guy who would be impartial....*glass breaks*

  23. Go all in on Attitude Era goodness and have Stone Cold as referee/enforcer.

  24. The Love-Matic Grampa!October 11, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    See, I'm not sure we even disagree about this. Maybe we would take different roads to get there, but we still end up at the same destination.

  25. Yeah, you'e right. I think we are pretty much on the same page. But yeah, my first thought was DX and Cena comedy stuff in 2006 or 2007 and how it was nothing but comedy and it just felt pointless.

  26. I have no desire to see Undertaker, Sting, or Austin wrestle in 2015, but you know we are getting a part-timer attraction of some sort. Rock vs. HHH is OK, but I fear it would only serve to add to the "HHH is as big a star as Rock/Austin/Hogan" myth

  27. Wrestling is pretty much entirely based on myths and illusion. Within kayfabe, yeah, he kind of is that big of a star. It's fine if you don't want to see old guys wrestle (for the record, I vote yes on Rock/HHH, yes on Austin v. anyone, and no on Sting and Taker) but that seems like a puffed-up way of simply saying "I don't like Triple H." Which is fine to say by itself.

  28. I know it's kind of off on a tangent now, but as silly as it was I enjoyed the '06 DX comedy stuff *because* it felt pointless, and I think it was supposed to feel that way.

  29. I stopped watching at that point completely for about 4 years. Goddamn did I not enjoy this stuff.

  30. Exactly. They're both good enough performers to nail this. I really hope they actually do this match.

  31. Eh. I'd like the hate to be seething from the outset. Vince might be off a bit off here. Highly successful people like Rock and H tend to be hyper competitive assholes. It takes a special kind of psycho to want to keep working like a dog after amassing a fortune. Sure they can respect one another, but let the hate flow.

  32. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    The feud must continue.

  33. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 11, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Never doubt the ability of Pete Rose!

  34. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 11, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Why is Rock hugging HHH and Steph and going out to dinner with them? Aren't they the two biggest heels in the company?

    Fans don't care about anything that happens in WWE because they make it clear that they don't care. Ridiculous.

  35. What reason would The Rock currently have to hate Triple H and Stephanie?

  36. CruelConnectionNumber2October 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    This show gets an F. IC Champ losing. Jobber tag. HHH/Rock hanging out. Kane squashing a new talent. Shit writing.

  37. Because they're the #1 heels in the company?

  38. Any good reasons, or just that?

    Besides, I'm actually watching the segment now. Not only was it obvious that everyone was being phony nice to each other, but they almost immediately started insulting each other.

    Triple H is now a real-life authority figure playing an authority figure on TV. And he's acted accordingly as this character, being professional and corporate. It took him seven months to snap and flip out on Daniel Bryan, after all.

    For them to have been at each other's throats like it was still 2000 would have been incredibly stupid.

  39. Uh...HHH isn't? I never got that memo...since when, precisely? He is bigger than they are...he is running the company. It is really hard to be more successful than that...

  40. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    That's a plenty good reason. HHH is positioned as a heel. The rock is supposed to be a face. So no, they shouldn't be hugging and joking and going out to dinner. It just confuses both their characters. It's just 100% dumb and screams "don't take anything on face value." Would you have babyfaces just hugging 1989 Ted Dibiase? It's so self defeating.

  41. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 11, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It also tells the audience that Rock hasn't paid attention to wwe at all the last two years, otherwise he should have some problem with HHH and Steph screwing over the faces at every turn. It's the same as why the hug that first night was such a retarded move for then babyface Batista.

  42. Man, Cena was heel as fuck to end the show.

  43. Cesaro is old-school in a lot of good ways, but in a quite horrible way, he's old-school in the sense that the only character he has is related to his physical prowess.

  44. Rock was on point in that segment, proving that his best comedy is character based, no just dick jokes. I also thought Triple H did pretty good work, yeah there was the subtle digs at guys (i.e. Road Dogg) but Triple H as this history rewriting, petty, insecure cock is pretty much his current character.

    I mean, both guys were pretty much making fun of themselves in that segment, and I think that works way better than "Soviet Street Walker".

  45. Rock/Austin/Hogan weren't contemporaries. Rock/Austin/Triple H were. If anything, I'd say that Triple H was the Attitude Era's Randy Savage, number 2 face, number 1 heel.

    Their careers (or rather their peaks) overlapped, but were not parallel. Austin hit the main-event in 97, Rock in 98 and Triple H in 99. And Triple H may not have been as big of a deal because WWE is a face-based company, but Triple H being the top heel would put him in that circle.

  46. Because heels aren't criminals? They're people that the good guys (and fans) don't like. They may even be bad people, but it's not unreasonable to socialize with bad people, especially if they're powerful/influential.

    You're saying you've never gone out to dinner with an asshole that happens to be a co-worker or school associate or a friend of a friend?

    Regardless of your political beliefs and who'd you consider to be face/heel in America's political system, politicians of both sides do socialize with each other, because at the end of the day two politicians of different political orientations have more in common than an average citizen and a politician of the same political orientation. Just as two wrestlers of the Attitude Era have more in common than a Rock fan and the Rock.

  47. I like this gimmick.

  48. Kayfabe-wise, it should make sense to the audience that Rock isn't tuned in to everything happening in WWE. He's doing other things. And since Rock works in Hollywood, even if he does know all the bad HHH is doing, we should assume Rock is used to playing nice with bad people (slimy executives, agents, etc.).

  49. Cena's Baptist preacher voice is really awful.

    And I still don't get Dean Ambrose. He's below average in the ring and his gimmick comes across as a guy who thinks he's a rebel cause he shops at Hot Topic.

  50. Like they did with Batista?

  51. I much prefer cocky, dickhead, 'knows he's the best' vet Cena.

    Dean Ambrose was a smug little shit and the 15-time world champ put him in his place.


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