Date: June 4, 2015
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
In something I could get used to, the big story tonight continues to be Kevin Owens, who will be issuing an NXT Title Open Challenge in the same vein as John Cena's US Title Open Challenges. Owens has only had one match on the main roster so far so it's going to be interesting to see how they treat him here. Let's get to it.
We open with stills of Sunday's main event with Ambrose winning via DQ but leaving with the title anyway.
Here's Rollins to get things going, of course without the title but carrying a chair. A year ago to the day, he took a chair to Ambrose and Reigns to dismantle the Shield. Rollins sits down in the chair and talks about being asked “why” so many times over the last year. Why did he do what he did and destroy what he created? From the day he arrived, he said his goal was to be the very best in this industry.
After all the time in the Shield, he got tired of sharing the glory with two chumps beneath him. That led him to the Authority, who groomed him to be the future of the WWE. Then he won the Money in the Bank ladder match all by himself. Around the time of the Royal Rumble, he had a vision to defeat Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at the same time. To execute a plan like that took a genius (So people like Kane and Jack Swagger are geniuses?) because now the Beast is off licking his wounds and Reigns is living in Seth's shadow.
Rollins stands here as the greatest champion of all time but with no title around his waist. That brings him to Dean Ambrose, who wants all of the fans to think that stealing a title makes you a champion. Well allegedly it made him the Intercontinental Champion so why not try it with the big belt too? Rollins can take care of Ambrose without any member of the Authority, including Stephanie or HHH. Cue Ambrose on the screen, standing under a ladder, to say Rollins either has a bad memory or is a liar.
The fans saw Ambrose pin him on Sunday and now he knows the Authority is going to send everyone that they can to keep this title from slipping through their fingers. At Elimination Chamber, Ambrose climbed to the top of the mountain and at Money in the Bank, he'll climb to the top of the ladder and claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that rightfully belongs to him or he'll die trying.
This right here was a great example of why the Authority really isn't needed most of the time. Yeah they helped set up the story, but this was one of the better promos these two have ever had, which happens to come off the heels of another of their best promos ever last week. The Authority bogs so much stuff down with HHH taking twice as long as any human to speak and Stephanie has to get in her buzz words because saying “WWE World Heavyweight Championship” and “Money in the Bank pay per view” is how you sell a show instead of letting the wrestlers who hate each other talk the fans into the building.
Prime Time Players vs. Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons
#1 contenders match. Darren and Sin get things going with Cara being taken down to the mat but nipping up to his feet. Off to Kalisto who eats a clothesline for two as the fans are just silent here. Viktor tags himself in to stay on Kalisto as New Day is watching in the back. Kalisto kicks Konnor out to the floor and sends Viktor out to the floor as well, setting up a nice double suicide dive to get the fans into things a bit.
We take a break and come back with Ascension working over Kalisto, including Viktor dropping an elbow for two. Kalisto finally gets a boot up in the corner and takes Viktor down with a middle rope ankle scissors. Saxton: “Kalisto is like a real life Sonic the Hedgehog.” No Byron, he isn't.
Ascension breaks up a hot tag attempt but Kalisto knees out of a delayed vertical suplex, allowing Titus to tag himself in and clean house. Everything breaks down with Titus kicking Konnor in the face and throwing Kalisto at him to put both guys on the floor. The pumphandle powerslam from Titus is enough to pin Viktor at 9:29.
Rating: C. Fun triple threat match here though the continued depush of Ascension makes my head hurt. They're a good power team and we even got a nice little tease of that on Sunday, so it's time for them to get pinned again here. To say they were in trouble coming out of the gates is an understatement, but WWE hasn't done them any favors.
Renee Young asks New Day about their future now that they know their #1 contenders. Woods continues to be amazing with a line of “Renee, our future is as bright as a morning sun.......rising over a new day.” Their plan for the Prime Time Players: dispose of the Prime Time Players and their greed, clap and then watch Kofi Kingston win Money in the Bank. Kane comes in and makes Kofi vs. Neville for tonight.
Ryback vs. Stardust
Non-title. Ryback throws him into the corner to start but runs into a boot to the face. A reverse DDT gets two for Stardust and a running knee to the face gets the same. Off to the chinlock for a bit before it's the Meat Hook and Shell Shock to give Ryback the pin at 2:11. Nothing to see here.
We recap the Bellas using Twin Magic on Raw, which is still a horrible idea.
Renee Young brings Paige out for a chat. Paige says it feels like things are never going to change around here because the Twin Magic has been done for years. The Bellas come out here every week and talk about giving Divas a chance but they know it's all about them and they make sure to hold the rest of the Divas back. Their lives are all about being celebrities but Paige's life is consumed with what happens in that ring. She'll never buy into the idea of if you can't beat em, join em. Instead, it's up to her to change the world she's in. Good stuff here but it's the same story AJ did before the Bellas took over the division.
Harper and Rowan say they're different because they're family.
Stills of Owens vs. Cena on Sunday.
Here's Kevin Owens for the NXT Title Open Challenge. Before the match, Owens talks about everyone knowing him after what he did this past Sunday. He's the man who defeated John Cena in his first match in WWE. However, Owens' son is still a John Cena fan because he's seven years old and doesn't know any better. On Monday, Owens heard the emotion in Cena's voice and learned something: John Cena is completely delusional.
Cena actually believes all the nonsense he spews out. Cena stood out here and said Owens isn't a real man, so there is no way Kevin can let his son be influenced like this anymore. The fairy tales that Cena force feeds kids around the world have to stop and Owens is glad to be the one to step up and do just that at Money in the Bank. That brings him to tonight and the NXT Title Open Challenge starts right.....well he isn't wearing a watch so just get out here.
NXT Title: Kevin Owens vs. Zack Ryder
We even get big match intros. Owens is all over him to start but a single forearm sends him out to the floor. Ryder is right back on him but Owens knocks Zack into the barricade. Back in and Ryder scores with a middle rope dropkick but the Pop Up Powerbomb ends this in 1:12.
Owens gives him the Cannonball and another powerbomb post match.
Sheamus enjoyed giving Orton a beating on Monday and he's going to do it to everyone in the Money in the Bank ladder match in ten days before going on to become WWE Champion. Simple yet effective again.
Tough Enough videos.
Neville vs. Kofi Kingston
This has potential. Kofi kicks him down to start but Neville flips forward into the cross body out of the corner. Lawler: “Neville has so many moves that when I try to call his matches, I'm more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles.” That's Lawler's one clever line all year. Kofi sends him to the floor for some cheap shots from the New Day and we take a break.
Back with Kofi getting two off a reverse suplex but Neville kicks him right back. A standing shooting star gets two on Kofi and Neville plants him with a tornado DDT. Big E. pulls Kofi away before the Red Arrow can launch, but Neville just dives on both of them with a big moonsault. Back in and Neville counters a rollup into one of his own for the surprise pin at 8:04.
Rating: C+. Neville continues to impress and it's cool to see him fight off all three guys and pick up a win with something other than the Red Arrow. You don't want to overuse the big spots and risk burning the fans out on them, because there comes a point where even Neville can't top himself with the high spots.
It's time for MizTV with special guest Lana, who has her own Titantron video. We look back at the breakup and Rusev being all devastated as a result. Lana says Rusev didn't respect him so he doesn't deserve her. This gets a standing ovation from Miz, who describes Lana as good. He calls it a good business decision, but Lana, with the accent melting word by word, says that it was purely personal. If Miz keeps suggesting otherwise, she'll either leave or Miz will get slapped.
That brings out the second guest: Rusev, who slowly limps to the ring. Rusev is here as a broken man and blames it on his upbringing. He didn't know what he had until it was gone and he knows Lana loves that song. Rusev asks for one more chance and would like her to be his crutch while he can't walk. Lana tells him where he can stick his crutch so Rusev erupts all over again and calls her stupid. Cue Ziggler to get Lana out before things get bad. Rusev as the crushed ex-boyfriend is perhaps the worst usage of someone with potential that WWE has had in years and it's just sad at this point.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
This could be good. Sheamus goes right to the ribs to start and knees Reigns to the floor, only to eat a big clothesline. Sheamus keeps the power game going by driving him into the apron and throwing him over the announcers' table as we take a break. Back with Sheamus driving knees into the ribs and slapping on a chinlock. The Regal Roll gets two but Roman fights out of the ten forearms. Roman misses the apron kick (has he ever done that before?) and Sheamus takes over again, only to miss a charge into the post.
Back up and Roman fires off some clotheslines in the middle of the ring and in the corner but the Samoan drop is countered. They head outside again and this time the apron kick connects with Sheamus standing on the floor. Back in and here are Kane and the Stooges for a distraction, setting up the Irish Curse for two. The Brogue Kick misses and Reigns hits the Superman Punch, only to have Kane come in for the DQ at 10:40.
Rating: B-. I liked this as much as I expected to with both guys hitting each other over and over until we got to the obvious ending. It's getting really tiring to see Kane and the Stooges come in for the DQ or interference, especially when they barely have anything to do with the match in the first place. Fun power match here though.
Kane chokeslams Sheamus to shock the Stooges. He announces himself as the final entrant in the Money in the Bank ladder match and chokeslams Reigns to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show was one of the more entertaining episodes they've had in a good while as they let the stories progress naturally instead of forcing everything in. The wrestling was decent enough and the two hours went by very quickly. I can live with Smackdown like this, especially with such a good opening promo instead of the Authority droning on and on.
Prime Time Players b. Ascension and Lucha Dragons – Pumphandle powerslam to Viktor
Ryback b. Stardust – Shell Shock
Kevin Owens b. Zack Ryder – Pop Up Powerbomb
Neville b. Kofi Kingston – Rollup
Roman Reigns b. Sheamus via DQ when Kane interfered
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