Date: April 9, 2015
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
For the second week in a row, the advertised big match is Sheamus/Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler/Daniel Bryan and that's really all there is to talk about here. Raw ended with Orton becoming #1 contender to Rollins' title after beating Ryback and Reigns in a triple threat. Tonight we might see the Extreme Rules card take more shape as Smackdown gets to announce a match every now and then. Let's get to it.
Here's Daniel Bryan to open things up. He says it was one of the highlights of his career to climb that ladder and win the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania. However, the actions of the man make the title (which says Intercontinental Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. I bet Vince is FURIOUS at the belt over that), so Bryan wants to defend this title against anyone who wants a shot.
That's what he did after Wrestlemania against Dolph Ziggler, but Sheamus come out looking all stupid with a Brogue Kick to the face. So last week he fought Sheamus, but somewhere in the match he saw Wade (first time hearing that name in a while) Barrett....and now we all see Barrett on the ramp. He says he ended Bryan's magical week with a Bull Hammer, and the fiendish gleam on Barrett's face during that line is great. This brings out Sheamus to say he followed it up with a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus tolerates Barrett because he isn't a munchkin like Bryan, so the two of them should come down there and give Bryan a beating because they can. They get in the ring but Ziggler comes out to call Sheamus the offspring of Captain Jack Sparrow and Carrot Top. The fight is about to be on but here's Big Show because ruining main events just isn't enough for him anymore. Big Show wants in on this beatdown but here's Roman Reigns to even things up. A quick fight likely makes the tag match a six man. I'll take that over a spontaneous match. They've got something with this tag team feud with the title thrown in.
Tyson Kidd/Cesaro vs. New Day
Non-title with the New Day getting booed out of the building on the entrances. It's a good sign that WWE has quickly caught onto the reality that no one likes them and is already starting to turn them. There's an idea to the team but it's just working as presented. Big E. wants everyone to get up and clap along with them so that's exactly what they do, but with the SUCKS part added in. That makes Big E. think something has to change and that the fans have to love them. Woods is the odd man out here.
Kofi and Kidd get things going with Tyson taking him into the corner for some forearms before it's off to Cesaro. He mocks the clapping and gets the crowd going again as the champions are the default good guys here. Kofi low bridges Cesaro to the floor and Big E. launches Kofi to the floor to take out the champs as we take a break. Back with Big E. suplexing Kidd but needing a tag. Cesaro breaks up a tag though and rag dolls Big E. into a gutwrench suplex. That's scary strength.
Back to Tyson for some knees to the back as Lawler is talking more than I've heard him do in months. Big E. finally shoves Cesaro off but misses a charge into the post for two. There's the Cesaro Swing into the dropkick from Tyson for two more with Kofi making the save. E. knocks Cesaro out of the air and makes the hot tag so Kofi can clean house with dropkicks and shots to the head. The Boom Drop sets up more clapping and sucking as everything breaks down. Kidd grabs a fisherman's neckbreaker for the pin on Kofi at 10:00.
Rating: C. Not much to see here but it could have been far worse. They need to turn New Day soon and thankfully we seem well on the way to that point. Cesaro and Kidd are starting to establish themselves as a really good heel team, which is something we haven't seen in a long time.
Recap of Monday's triple threat and the events that led up to it.
Free Network month shill. Remember when you had to pay for that?
Curtis Axel vs. Neville
In case you didn't get enough of it the first time ten days ago. Axel wants to know what Neville is going to do when Axelmania runs wild on him. Neville flips around to start and grabs an armdrag but gets caught with a knee to the ribs. Neville's front flips lead to Axel charging into a boot in the corner, followed by a running forearm. The spinning dive over the ropes takes Axel out again and it's a slam followed by the Red Arrow for the pin at 2:17. That's the same match they had on Raw after Wrestlemania.
Natalya, Cameron and Alicia Fox insist they didn't try to con Kane into the Divas battle royal on Raw. Naomi deserves the shot and all but Cameron says she's going to win. Alicia asks how long Cameron has been here and it's been THREE YEARS??? She's this bad after THREE YEARS??? Alicia and Natalya get in a fight.
Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
Cameron is guest referee so we can see her be horrible at something besides wrestling. To her credit, she found a referee's cut off top and changed in the span of a commercial. It's a catfight to start and they trade slaps until Cameron breaks up a fight next to the ropes. Natalya does her step over into the dropkick spot for two but Fox hits something like the Helluva Kick to take over. Fox's northern lights suplex gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Back up and a cross body gets two for Natalya and the Sharpshooter gets the win at 3:41.
Rating: D+. As you may have noticed, there was a lot of play by play here. Here's the reason why: these people have no characters. Cameron is close with the stuck up chick who only cares about herself, but Alicia is just Alicia and Natalya is just a veteran and serious wrestler. There's nowhere to go with those characters as there's nothing that stands out about them. The same is true for most of the Divas. Even Summer is just there as the dancing stuff is gone. I'm not saying we need to go back to the days of GLOW, but something would be nice.
Cameron lays both of them out with DDTs post match.
Bray Wyatt narrates a video about Erick Rowan, who was a child in a man's world. How could society do what they've done to him? They took away Rowan's innocence and we're all guilty, even though we don't know it. Bray has fixed him and now Rowan is free. We might have seen this video when the Family split up last year. If nothing else it's cool to see a video like this to set up the matches later. What happened to the days of promos to set stuff up? It doesn't have to have high production values. Just a quick promo from backstage would be fine.
Here's Bray in the ring for his match but first he talks about remembering the days when Erick Rowan was lost. Society saw all of Rowan's flaws but Bray saw possibilities. “Yes Erick, you too can job to Big Show.” The fans give Bray the WHAT treatment as he talks about being Rowan's brother. He fixed Erick like you fix a broken toy and then set him free. Society has returned Rowan to Bray and he's broken all over again. Tonight Bray is going to teach Rowan one last lesson: no matter what, trust no one because evil is inside of us all. If he'll destroy someone he called his brother, imagine what he'll do to you.
Bray Wyatt vs. Erick Rowan
Bray tells him to bring it on to start so Erick runs over him to knock Wyatt outside. Back in and Bray grabs him by the beard but you don't do that to a former genius. What you do instead is send Rowan into the post and then knock him off the apron and into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Rowan fighting out of a chinlock but the backsplash hits knees. Rowan hits some running splashes in the corner for two but Bray rolls outside when Erick goes up top. That works better for Bray as he takes Rowan's head off with a clothesline and follows up with the backsplash. The Rock Bottom doesn't work but Wyatt takes him down with the flying body block. Sister Abigail ends Erick at 9:34.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here for the most part but I like that they're giving the Wyatts what seems to be some closure. Either that or they're repackaging Rowan into something else. I was interested in the genius gimmick but that was sacrificed on the alter of Big Show, next to Hideo Itami. Bray needs something to do now that the Undertaker match is over. I'd love to see him actually win a feud against a top name for a change too.
Bray cradles Rowan's head post match.
It's time for a special movie edition of MizTV. We see the trailer for Marine 4 but before Miz can get anywhere else, his co-star Summer Rae cuts him off. They get in an argument over who was the real star of the movie with Summer calling him a co-star and Miz calling her a featured extra. Summer brings up Mizdow eliminating him from the battle royal and the fans chant his name.
Miz asks if the fans know the backstory of Damien Sandow. He was fired twice until Miz saved his career and gave him a purpose. Cue Mizdow but Miz cuts him off and says Mizdow is going to go on a steep decline. These people can't get him on track but Miz is capable and willing to because he's a charitable person. He'll do it for an apology and everything can go back to the way it was.
All Mizdow has to do to get everything back is shake Miz's hand and apologize. Hey now, quit adding things to the rules. Miz asks whose hands Mizdow wants his career in, because the people will drop him in a heartbeat. Damien apologizes.....for not doing this earlier and the beating is on. Miz leaves so Mizdow kisses Summer, who seems to like it.
Video on WWE taking over the Bay Area for Wrestlemania weekend.
Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns/Dolph Ziggler vs. Big Show/Sheamus/Bad News Barrett
I guess because the original four needed star power to carry them? Sheamus and Ziggler get things going with the Irishman taking Dolph into the corner for a right hand to the ribs from Big Show. A big chop puts Ziggler down as Dolph is firmly into his standard style. Dolph dropkicks the knee out and gets two off the running DDT, only to get chopped out of the corner. Barrett comes in for the first time and slaps on a chinlock but the fans are already cheering for Dolph to get out.
Winds of Change gets two but Ziggler flips over Sheamus and dives into the tag to Bryan. The YES Kicks have Sheamus in trouble and Daniel backdrops him to the floor for the Flying Goat. They're moving in this one so far. As Bryan throws Sheamus back in, Barrett gets up and kicks Daniel in the head as we take a break. Back with Bryan getting slammed by Big Show and a huge elbow getting two. Barrett comes in for another chinlock as the fans sound like they want Roman.
Show breaks up a hot tag attempt but his chokeslam is countered into the YES Lock. This time it's Sheamus making the save and trying a superplex, only to get knocked off by Bryan. Daniel's cross body is caught but he spins into a DDT and makes the hot tag to Reigns. Roman cleans house with Superman Punches as everything breaks down. Ziggler and Sheamus go to the floor and Bryan hits Show with the running knee. The spear out of the corner gives Reigns the pin on Barrett at 15:18.
Rating: B-. Pretty good match here with everyone moving quickly and putting in some efforts. It's interesting to see that Reigns is back to his old style and looking cool after not having the Wrestlemania main event looming over him. I think people are going to like him better when he's not out there against the most popular guy in the company and now that he's been able to give us something to connect to. Now if only they could get him completely away from Big Show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a pretty basic but well done show with decent wrestling and some midcard storyline development. That's about all you can ask for from Smackdown these days as the illusion of the move back to Thursdays making the show matter is long gone. I do like that tag feud revolving around the Intercontinental Title though as it's something that could go somewhere if they let it get interesting. Not bad this week but nothing great.
Cesaro/Tyson Kidd b. New Day – Fisherman's neckbreaker to Kingston
Neville b. Curtis Axel – Red Arrow
Natalya b. Alicia Fox – Sharpshooter
Bray Wyatt b. Erick Rowan – Sister Abigail
Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler b. Sheamus/Big Show/Bad News Barrett – Spear to Barrett
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