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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