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Smackdown - June 27, 2014

Date: June 27, 2014
Location: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's the final show before the Money in the Bank pay per view so odds are we're going to see various matches between the participants in the two ladder matches. The build for the show has been acceptable but nothing thrilling for the last few weeks. Then again, a good wrestling show is always entertaining. Let's get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with a recap of how we reached the World Title ladder match, complete with a music video.

Here are HHH, Orton and Rollins to get things going. HHH talks about all the eras we've seen in WWE history and says we're currently in the Authority Era because the Authority keeps making history. One way they're making history is by having the first Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship and to be the new face of the WWE.

But wait, there's more. There's also going to be a ladder match to become the new Mr. Money in the Bank. After Sunday, you're looking at one heck of a team in front of you. Orton promises to climb the ladder and become World Champion on Sunday, meaning he's still the face of the WWE. Rollins says he'll win as well but says there's a chance that Orton can't get the job done. Orton thinks Rollins might not win either, but HHH cuts them off, saying it's either survive against the Authority or thrive with the Authority. That brings him to Dean Ambrose, who is in for some Bad News tonight.

Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose

Non-title. They circle each other to start until Dean hits the Thesz Press and pounds Barrett out to the floor. Back in and Barrett hits a big boot to take over followed by a neckbreaker for two. Barrett hits his running boot while Ambrose is in the ropes and Dean is knocked to the floor again. We take a break and come back with Dean caught in a chinlock before he quickly fights out and nails some forearms. Barrett runs into a corner elbow but is still able to counter a tornado DDT. Ambrose escapes a pumphandle slam and hits his bouncing clothesline, setting up Dirty Deeds for the pin at 6:45.

Rating: C+. It wasn't quite the Ziggler match on Monday but this was still better than most matches you get in WWE anymore. They're actually having a competitive midcard again and it's really nice to see for a change. Dean getting a clean win is a good thing, though I wish it had been against another opponent.

Post match Swagger comes out and beats up Barrett in retaliation for Barrett hitting the Bull Hammer on Main Event. Ambrose jumps Swagger and pulls out a ladder but they wind up brawling without it. Dean starts getting the better of it but Rollins comes in through the crowd and sends Dean into the steps. A curb stomp leaves Ambrose laying.

Cameron vs. Paige

Non-title. Naomi sits in on commentary. Paige runs her into the corner to start but gets caught with something resembling a Codebreaker for two. Cameron puts on a headscissors as Naomi says Cameron is always talking. A quick Paige Turner gets the pin at 1:17.

Paige and Naomi have a friendly staredown after the match but Cameron jumps the champion again, knocking her into Naomi. Naomi and Paige are about to fight but cooler heads prevail.

The Wyatts pop up on screen with Harper talking about never having nice things but the Usos have what they want. Tick tock tick tock. Bray says his brothers will trample the Usos and a ladder will be his stairway. He'll take their ornament of power and have it all right in his hands. Imagine a nation of sheep led by a lone wolf.

Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus

Non-title. Sheamus hammers away in the corner to start and runs Bray over with a shoulder before stopping a charging Wyatt with feet in the corner. The top rope shoulder looks to set up the forearms but Bray bails to the outside. The Family offers a distraction, allowing Bray to knock Sheamus off the apron as we take a break. Back with the Usos at ringside and Bray getting two off something we didn't see.

Sheamus fights out of a superplex attempt but gets punched off the top rope to the floor. Back in and Bray fires off headbutts in the corner before we hit the chinlock. Sheamus comes out with a running ax handle to the face followed by the forearms. Some more ax handles set up the powerslam but Bray nails a quick splash in the corner followed by the backsplash for two. A mostly botched Irish Curse sets up a top rope knee drop but Sheamus doesn't cover. Instead he puts on the Cloverleaf, drawing in the Family for the DQ at 8:35 shown of 12:05.

Rating: C-. Basic power brawl here with Sheamus getting in more offense than I was expecting. Bray's chances of winning on Sunday fall further and further every week, which is a shame as he's the most interesting guy in the match when he isn't being jobbed out time and time again.

The Usos immediately come in and the Family is sent running.

Goldust and Stardust accept Ryback/Axel's challenge for Sunday. Stardust shows up and talks about staring into the sun and how terrifyingly beautiful it is. He talks about other stars but knows that he's everyone's favorite. Cody is nailing this so far.

Rob Van Dam/Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro/Alberto Del Rio

Heyman is on commentary as Del Rio and Van Dam get things going. A quick monkey flip sends Del Rio flying for two and it's off to Ziggler for the big elbow drop. Del Rio throws him down though and brings in Cesaro to work on Dolph's arm. Back to Alberto for a kick to the arm in the corner as Heyman breaks down the strategy for Sunday: “Climb the ladder and get the titles. What a stupid question!”

Ziggler hammers away in the corner and nails a neckbreaker as Heyman turns it into an analogy about asking Hilary Clinton how she'll become President. Cole of course gets in a jab at Hilary because that's probably what Cole told him to say. Del Rio kicks Ziggler out to the floor and us to a break. Back with Del Rio holding Ziggler in a chinlock followed by the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Cesaro puts on a chinlock of his own as Cole and Heyman continue their amusing banter about Sunday.

Ziggler fights back and puts on a sleeper but Cesaro rams him into the buckle to escape. Dolph avoids a charge and makes the hot tag to Rob as house is cleaned. Rolling Thunder gets two on Alberto but he nails a Codebreaker to the arm. Rob avoids the corner enziguri and hits the split legged moonsault for two. Swiss Death lays Ziggler out and Rob kicks Cesaro to the floor. The Five Star hits knees though and the armbreaker gives Del Rio the submission at 10:00.

Rating: C. Totally standard and therefore fine upper midcard tag match here which did what it was supposed to do before Sunday. I doubt any of them have a chance at winning on Sunday but it's nice to see WWE give them some lip service. Also Van Dam continues to job to anyone he can find like he should be doing.

The Usos talk very fast about keeping the titles on Sunday. They can cut some energetic promos.

Lana and Rusev do their thing in the ring, consists of standing there looking intimidating and looking great in a blue suit. You figure out which is which. The theme this week is urban decay in America, which just doesn't happen in Russia.

Rusev vs. Sin Cara

Total squash of course with Rusev winning via the Accolde in 42 seconds.

Big E. comes out after the match and talks about how America has transformed into a nation that works hard to keep things together. A real man looks his opponent in his eye which is what Big E. does here, but Lana makes Rusev back off. I'd buy this feud a bit more if Rusev hadn't destroyed Big E. in almost every encounter they've had.

We look at the Stephanie vs. Vickie angle from Raw. That's a great sendoff for Vickie and Stephanie's YOU'RE FIRED sounded so much like her dad's it was eerie.

Big E. vs. Rusev and Layla vs. Summer Rae with Fandango as guest referee have been added to the MITB card.

Roman Reigns vs. Kane

Feeling out process to start until Reigns gets two off a running shoulder. A slam gets the same but Reigns lowers his head and gets caught by a running DDT for two. We take a break and come back with Reigns in a chinlock but quickly breaking out. Kane walks into a Samoan drop but he kicks Roman in the face to take over.

The side slam gets two and a frustrated Kane sends him out to the floor. He loads up the announcers' table but Reigns drives him back first into the edge. Back inside now with Reigns nailing a clothesline followed by some headbutts. The apron kick sets up the Superman Punch but Orton comes out for the DQ at 4:52 shown of 8:22.

Rating: D+. It's a decent power brawl but it didn't have the chance to go anywhere. As I've said for a few weeks now though, Reigns is looking more like an even footing star every night and it's getting easy to accept. Reigns beat Kane up here for a lot of the match and was never in any serious trouble. That's a really interesting sign.

Orton takes the Superman Punch but Reigns walks into a chokeslam. Kane brings in a ladder but Orton isn't too keen on him climbing up. Kane steps to the side as Orton looks up, allowing him to climb the ladder. JBL is putting the pieces together as Orton takes the belts down (note that they're attacked to a kind of hanger and Orton took the hanger down, making it less likely that someone would only take one belt) and poses. Orton loads up the Punt on Reigns but gets speared. Kane takes one as well and Reigns holds up the titles to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This show did a much better job of what it was supposed to do as Sunday now feels a bit more interesting. On top of that, there are now three more matches on the card, which solves one of the show's biggest problems. This was no masterpiece or anything but it was an easy way to spend two hours.

Dean Ambrose b. Bad News Barrett – Dirty Deeds
Paige b. Cameron – Paige Turner
Sheamus b. Bray Wyatt via DQ when the Wyatt Family interfered
Alberto Del Rio/Cesaro b. Rob Van Dam/Dolph Ziggler – Cross armbreaker to Van Dam
Rusev b. Sin Cara – Accolade
Roman Reigns b. Kane via DQ when Randy Orton interfered

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