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Smackdown - September 27, 2013

Date: September 27, 2013
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

The WWE is almost on the verge of a civil war between the HHH regime and a good chunk of the midcard. Daniel Bryan continues to be the one big hope for the good guys but tonight is about Dolph Ziggler as he challenges for Dean Ambrose's US Title. Other than that we may see some new developments for Battleground which is now just over a week away. Let's get to it.

Here's HHH to open things up. He's been checking social media and doesn't like seeing terms like favoritism or abuse of power. Sometimes WWE Superstars would rather blame management for their own failures. HHH and Stephanie are fine with that burden because they simply can't make everyone happy so they do what's best for business. Then on Raw HHH puts Shield in an 11-3 handicap match, ending with Daniel Bryan pinning Seth Rollins for the final win. HHH continues to talk about how awesome the match was but here's Miz to interrupt.

Miz doesn't think there's much to this idea of being fair but HHH cuts him off by reminding Miz of all the opportunities he's been given. Miz is the classic example of what HHH was talking about: a superstar who failed but blames someone else. HHH put him in the ring with Randy Orton two weeks ago and here's a clip of the beatdown Orton gave him in front of Miz's family.

What HHH doesn't get is why the beatdown that Randy Orton gave Miz should be on HHH's head. It's HHH's job to protect Miz, even from himself. That's why Miz only allowed Miz to host MizTV on Raw and he even threw Miz another opportunity by giving him Big Show as a guest. We get a clip of Stephanie telling Big Show to knock him out, which Miz says was ridiculous.

HHH asks Miz what he called Stephanie, with Miz repeating the castrated witch line, but he wishes he could replace the W with a B. Tempers were running high all around on Monday and HHH is sure Stephanie regrets what she said. However, let's talk about tonight. Miz must be ready to go, so tonight it's Miz vs. Randy Orton. Maybe HHH should even get in the jet and bring Miz's parents here to watch another beatdown.

R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title of course. Del Rio is very excited over what he did to RVD on Raw and he easily weathers an early Truth attack, only to miss a charge into the post. Truth's suplex into a Stunner gets two but the ax kick misses, allowing Del Rio to hit the low superkick for the pin at 1:33.

Post match Del Rio goes after Truth even more until RVD makes the save and holds up the title.

In the back Vickie and HHH make the match with Del Rio vs. RVD a hardcore match. HHH's name for the match: the Battleground Hardcore Rules match. Somehow, that might be more creative than the writing staff.

The Prime Time Players teach some stagehands the Millions of Dollars dance.

Prime Time Players vs. Real Americans

Swagger and Titus get things going with O'Neil kicking both Americans down like they're not even there. Swagger comes back by taking out the leg before the Americans start some rapid tags. Jack drives Titus into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs before it's back to Cesaro to stomp him down. Here's the giant swing on O'Neil for a ridiculous 27 seconds. It's one thing on a small guy like Santino but to do 22 revolutions on a guy 6'4 and over 260lbs is INSANE. Again, why in the world is Cesaro in this tag team and not fighting for world titles?

Cesaro is too dizzy to stop a tag though and Young starts cleaning house. Cesaro comes right back with a spinning Rock Bottom for two as everything breaks down. Darren gets a rollup for two on Antonio but Swagger gets in a blind tag. Young hits the Gut Check on Cesaro but Swagger comes back in with the Patriot Lock for the submission from Young at 3:45.

Rating: C. Any match with nearly 30 seconds of Titus O'Neil being swung around in a circle makes me it at least passable. The Players are a fine midcard team and Cesaro is awesome but Swagger is just there. He's such damaged goods at this point that he's dragging down anyone he works with. Heaven forbid we change anything about him though right? That would just be lunacy.

Bray Wyatt vs. Zack Ryder

Harper and Rowan throw Ryder into the ring but don't do anything to him other than that. Zack fires off some right hands so Bray just runs him over and drives in shots to Ryder's back. We actually get a chinlock from Wyatt but Ryder fights up and hits his usual stuff. The Rough Ryder is countered with Ryder being LAUNCHED into the air, followed by Sister Abigail's Kiss getting the pin at 2:21.

US Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler

Kofi and RVD flank Ziggler for protection. Just get to the DQ and six man tag already. Dean takes over with a headbutt and rakes Ziggy's eyes over the top rope. An elbow drop gets a quick one for the champion but Dolph comes back with punches in the corner and a dropkick. A Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor, triggering a brawl for the DQ at 2:01.

HHH makes the six man.

Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston/Rob Van Dam

The bell rings and we take a break literally a second later. Back with Van Dam firing off kicks to Rollins before driving shoulders in the corner. Rolling Thunder gets two but Rollins gets in a shot to Rob's bad arm to take over. Off to Dean to crank on the arm but Rob comes back with a spin kick to the face to bring in Ziggler. Dolph snaps off a dropkick and drops five elbows instead of ten. Ambrose pops up and counters the jumping DDT into a snap spinebuster to give Shield control again.

Off to Reigns for a hard clothesline for two before bringing Dean back in to work on the ribs. Reigns comes back in and slams Dolph face first into the mat in a move so simple that it's awesome. Something like a gutwrench slam has Ziggler in even more trouble but he comes back with a dropkick to put both guys down. Rollins breaks up another hot tag attempt but gets backdropped down, allowing for the real hot tag to Kofi.

Kingston speeds things up and hits the Boom Drop on Ambrose followed by the spinning cross body for two. Ziggler hits the Fameasser on Rollins but gets speared down by Reigns. Rob kicks Reigns down and clotheslines him to the floor for a moonsault from the apron. Kofi hits a springboard clothesline on Ambrose and Trouble in Paradise to Reigns, only to have Rollins hit the running knee to the head to give Dean the pin at 8:13 shown of 11:43.

Rating: B-. Good match for the most part with a very hot finish. Shield certainly still has it for the six man stuff as they went nuts out there with the fast spots for the ending. It's always more fun when you don't know who is going to win a match and Shield is great at those false finishes with the last second saves.

Big Show says he can't sleep at night and is a pariah in his own locker room. He starts crying again when HHH comes in and says maybe Show should just walk away. They really need to read up on what IRON CLAD means. HHH offers to help him find a job as a doorman or baggage handler since Big Show's size makes him “special.” Big Show holds his fist up at HHH but doesn't do anything past that.

Cameron vs. AJ Lee

Non-title. Tamina comes out with AJ due to every other Diva being against her (according to AJ in an inset promo). AJ takes Cameron into the corner before hooking a cravate about 30 seconds into the match. Cameron comes back with a quick rollup and a flying leg attack which was supposed to be a cross body for two. AJ sends her to the floor and shouts that Cameron is useless. Tamina takes out an interfering Naomi and the Shining Wizard knocks out Cameron for the pin at 2:41. Still no idea who I'm supposed to cheer for here but Cameron is worthless.

Here's Heyman to show us a clip of him pinning Punk at the PPV. The fans have disappointed him because they're surprised he pinned Punk. Heyman trade secret: Punk will lose every time the fans' blood lust drives him to come after Paul. We look at the Heyman guys destroying Punk on Monday. Heyman thanks everyone for their help on Monday and that includes the fans for driving Punk to do it. Punk is crazy enough to want a match with Ryback at Battleground which will end up with Punk on his back and looking up at the best in the world.

Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater

Santino has Hornswoggle and Great Khali with him. Slater drops Santino with a single right hand to start and we hit the chinlock thirty seconds into the match. Santino comes back with his punches and hiptoss, only to have Slater knee him in the ribs to stop the comeback. As much of a comeback as you can have in the first minute of a match that is.

Slater gets crotched on the top and Santino loads up the Cobra....but Mahal plays a flute to hypnotize the sock. Khali plays a flute of his own to counter but McIntyre takes him down. The Cobra is about to attack Santino when Horny makes the save. Khali plays some more flute, allowing Santino to hit Slater with the Cobra for the pin at 2:58. I've watched wrestling for over 25 years and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like this.

Los Matadores arrive on Raw.

We recap the Rhodes Family troubles. Cody and Goldust (and presumably Dusty) accept an invitation to Raw on Monday.

The Miz vs. Randy Orton

Miz charges at Orton to start and fires off left hands in the corner. A clothesline sends Orton to the floor and he goes into the post for good measure. Back in and Miz pounds away even more before kicking Orton in the face. The running corner clothesline only hits buckle though and Orton has a breather. Miz might have injured his shoulder and has to be looked at but says he can keep going. Orton immediately grabs the Elevated DDT and won't let the doctor check on Miz again, drawing a DQ at 3:05. I'm not going to bother rating it due to a good chunk being spent on the medical check but this was more of an angle than a match.

Cue HHH to say that Orton isn't getting out of it that easily so we're restarting this as a No DQ match. Orton throws Miz over the announce table and then into the steps as he's in psycho mode. Miz gets in a chair shot to the ribs but Orton gets in a shot of his own to take over again. Another Elevated DDT on the floor knocks Miz out cold but it's the RKO for the pin at about 6:20 total.

Rating: C. Again this was more of an angle than a match. They're doing a much better job at getting Orton over as a heel here though and that's the important thing. Orton being all smug and holding the title isn't going to get people to hate him but being a psycho that destroys people when they can't defend themselves certainly will. Miz is a good choice for a sacrificial lamb.

Overall Rating: C. This was a story building show and there's nothing wrong with that. The show flew by and never dragged, but there's nothing on here you need to see. The good for business thing was a bit better tonight with HHH screwing over faces instead of heels like he did on Monday. Not a bad show but it was a supplement to Raw which is a bad choice for Smackdown.

Alberto Del Rio b. R-Truth – Superkick
Real American b. Prime Time Players – Patriot Lock to Young
Bray Wyatt b. Zack Ryder – Sister Abigail's Kiss
Dolph Ziggler b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Shield interfered
Shield b. Rob Van Dam/Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston – Ambrose pinned Kingston after a running knee to the head
AJ Lee b. Cameron – Shining Wizard
Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra
Randy Orton b. Miz – RKO

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  1. That dueling flute business was definitely something else.

  2. If it was in Chikara people would be blowing their loads about it.

  3. Again, why in the world is Cesaro in this tag team and not fighting for world titles?

    Because there's more to being a champion than swinging your opponent around?

  4. No, the answer is cause HHH wants to rebuild the tag division. As to why they can't have Cesaro team with someone, I don't know, GOOD, is beyond me. Cesaro's great. He can do more than swing his opponent around, although that was pretty sweet to see

  5. He's still a little lacking in the personality department, but I maintain he'd be a great freak of the week against your top faces.

    Punk vs. Cesaro, Bryan vs. Cesaro, Cena vs. Cesaro, hell, even Sheamus vs. Cesaro.

    Those are four awesome matches.

  6. Bryan vs Cesaro and Sheamus vs Cesaro are already proven awesomeness. I'm kinda shocked that they haven't run Cena or Punk against him yet though

  7. Last time I saw AJ and Tamina together, Tamina was beating the crap out of AJ on Vickie's orders.

    I assume that I just missed some plot developments, and that they have filled in the gaps in a seamless manner.

  8. Alberto Del Rio has been world champion for a good chunk of this year. I'm not sure what else he can do besides speak with an accent and hit loud superkicks.

  9. Well, that's because Chikara is a completely different atmosphere than the WWE.

    Case in point:

    Yeah, this would NEVER happen in The E.

  10. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 27, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Closest thing we'll get to having a wrestler use HYPNOSIS in the WWE.

  11. Vince had a hard on for ADR, plus there have been rumors that ADR was promised a lengthy title reign in his contract and that the WWE wants to keep him happy so he can headline in Mexico when they do their annual stop there as part of their tour....

  12. Thank god that Brad Maddox vs. Vickie "Tuxedo vs. Bra and Panties" match wasn't true.

  13. Cesaro needs a manager like Heyman. His personality doesn't show through.

  14. Uh...Santino matches have EXACTLY the same atmosphere as Chikara matches.

    It's just that because they're indy it's cool and he's lame.

    P.S. Santino is actually lame. Just like Chikara.

  15. Jesse...all that shit happened in 2011.

  16. They're wrestlers, water under the bridge.

  17. He has the best German Suplex in WWE, and the best enzuigiri, oh, he also never breaks character in matches or promos (coughBryancough) is super crisp in everything he does (coughPunkcough) and isn't afraid to bump like a man (coughOrtoncough).

    He's better than Cesaro at this moment. Could Cesaro surpass him? Sure, but ADR displays way more character IN THE RING than Cesaro does.

  18. If wrestling doesn't work out for Cesaro, he should start training for the Olympic Hammer Throw team.

  19. Yes, Santino's matches do have much of the same atmosphere as a Chikara event. However...

    Because the general atmosphere and style of the WWE is alot more serious than Chikara is, the matches come across as being very goofy, especially when talented people are taking losses from Santino's comedic offense.

    Chikara, on the other hand... the entire promotion is built off of a comic book like goofy tone and atmosphere. So, Santino's matches and style wouldn't come across the same way in that atmosphere as they would in WWE's. In WWE, Santino is very much comedic relief. In Chikara, because most of the roster is comedic in some way, shape, or form, the act would be treated in a different manner.

    PS - Different strokes for different people. I don't get the Chikara hate from people. Chikara as a brand doesn't hurt anyone. It has it's niche and it fills it well, and people have a genuine passion and love for the product, even now when it's 'dead'. Comedy will always have it's place in wrestling, it's never going to be completely super-serious like some people would desire.

  20. Why is Brock Lesnar a lazy fuck?

  21. I dunno, Brad is beautiful.

  22. I dunno. I think WWE has enough stratification in it that Punk vs. Heyman can exist in the same company as Bryan vs. HHH, AJ vs. the Divas Division, Fandangoo vs. Self Respect and Santino vs 3MB without it breaking my suspension of disbelief.

    I don't like Santino, and I don't think he's funny, but if he keeps to wrestling R-Truth and Fandangoo instead of Cesaro we're All Correct. Let the freaks have their cages and keep 'em separate.

    P.S. I don't want Chikara too die. In fact, I want it to suck up all the losers and no-talents in one place so I don't have to watch them corrupt good wrestling companies. I just hate that meta, 4th wall breaking wrestling for non-wrestling fans bullshit.


  24. Gotta save something for Wrestlemania.

  25. If they turned Cesaro face and got him involved in the main-event feud in time for the payoff ... can you imagine the crowd reaction if Cesaro were to get Stephanie in the giant swing?

  26. I co-sign all of this as a big Del Rio fan. I think he's one of the best all-around performers on the roster.

  27. Because after Cena is done with him, he would lose all credibility and never will be believed as a major player again

  28. ADR has had some really god matches. I just think his character is terrible.

  29. Answer him God damnit!

  30. And yet, he gets absolutely zero heat. As a heel or face.

  31. I love Cesaro, and his promo skills aren't great but they've been able to work around that plenty of times. His main problem is he sells like a Mike Tyson's punch out character, all wide eyed and cartoony.

  32. I just hate that meta, 4th wall breaking wrestling for non-wrestling fans bullshit

    See, one part of that still confuses me, "for non-wrestling fans". People at Chikara shows are the BIGGEST wrestling nerds. Most of Chikara's WM weekend crowd went to ROH and Wrestlemania that same weekend! Not your cup of tea, cool. you don't like fourth wall breaking, solid. But how do you get to it being for people who don't like wrestling

  33. They should have given some type of explanation about AJ and Tamina working together. Even something simple like Tamina saying, "I don't trust Naomi and I feel she's not worthy of marrying my cousin, Jimmy Uso."

  34. Character?

    Del Rio?

    Sorry, I'm usually too busy sleeping through his segments to notice.

  35. He is overpushed. I think he is a decent performer and wrestler but the fans haven't cared about him for awhile now and he has not had memorable feuds. Time to put someone else in that position

  36. His gimmick is "guy who has World Title".

    When he doesn't have the World Title, his gimmick is "guy who fights for World Title".

  37. So, like a wrestler then?

  38. Vince has a hard on for appealing to their large hispanic demographic.

  39. Maybe that's not what a lot of the fans think of it, but I've always gotten the vibe that Quack is ashamed to be a wrestler so he makes a product that inspires laughter so he doesn't get laughed at.

    It just rubs me the wrong way. This non-committal "I like it ironically" type hipster BS.

  40. A) That isn't true.

    B) It doesn't matter.

  41. Head-kicking ADR who beat Ziggler was a fantastic character. But then they threw him into a feud with RVD and it just disappeared.

  42. I'll make sure to send you a copy of Transformers. Hopefully the big flashing pictures will keep you entertained enough so you won't drown in your own spittle.

  43. Transformers isn't my thing. Liked the movie, but like ADR, if I've seen it once, I have no desire to see it again.

    If Del Rio disappeared tomorrow, NO ONE would miss him.

  44. I'm saying that you're too ignorant to appreciate him.

    He is a brilliant wrestler and one of the best pure in-ring (and I'm not just talking about workrate) guys WWE has.

    Seriously, watch his matches. Catch the little stuff he does. The facial expressions and how they change when he's in control or taking offense. Kicking a guy out of the ring after he wins a match.

  45. Ironically, I do get all that.

    I LOVED his match with Ziggler where he won back the title, and I loved the delusional face he tried to play after he won the title, he should have stuck with that.

    He also needs Ricardo. Badly.

  46. I'm in agreement there. But just because ADR is being misused doesn't mean he's untalented.

    And yeah, splitting him and Ricardo up wasn't a good idea. They should've made them a tag-team.

  47. Yeah, seems like a marketing slam-dunk, like Rey Mysterio.

  48. Is there a more impressive turn-around than the Dudleys entering WWF? Before that, I thought they were barely a step above New Jack or Public Enemy. Within 8 months they were tearing the house down with E/C and Hardys


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