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Smackdown - July 11, 2014

Date: July 11, 2014
Location: Canadian Tire Center, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

The blue show is in Canada tonight as we're getting closer to Battleground. The announced main event for tonight is Roman Reigns vs. Rusev which is going to be a war. It's a war destined to end due to interference but it's still going to be good while it lasts. Other than that there's Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho which should be good stuff. Let's get to it.

Opening video.

We look at Rollins and Cena from Monday in a long video package.

Here are Lana and Rusev to open things up. Lana rips on the leaders of America and Canada, saying they're just like Roman Reigns: all style and no substance. Reigns cuts her off and stares down the evil foreigners. This is his ring and Rusev actually thinks he can crush Reigns. Reigns says try it and threatens to put his fist across Rusev's face.

Lana says be careful what you wish for but Reigns wants a referee out here right now. The look on Rusev's face is hilarious as he looks surprised with his mouth wide open. A referee comes out and is ready for the match but Lana says not on Reigns' terms. Roman didn't sound good on the mic here. He's still finding his style.

JBL and Cole schill the Network.

AJ Lee vs. Cameron

Non-title and Paige vs. AJ for the belt is set for Battleground. The bell rings but Cameron wants to put on lip gloss. Cameron takes her down and tries to put makeup on AJ, which JBL thinks is a foreign object. A double chicken wing has AJ in trouble and Cameron shouts a lot. Back up and AJ sends her into the corner for a running clothesline followed by a shot to the face for two. Cameron tries to leave because AJ messed up her face, only to have Naomi run down and throw her back in. The Shining Wizard gets AJ the pin at 3:12.

Rating: D+. I get that Cameron is supposed to be annoying, but man alive I can't stand watching her. She isn't the kind of character where I want to see what's coming to her. She's the kind of character that makes me think of how much I can't stand modern celebrity culture and makes me want to go read a good book.

Orton says Chris Jericho has won everything there is to won and that makes him a legend. That leaves Orton with one thing to do: introduce Jericho to the Legend Killer.

Fandango vs. Adam Rose

Layla comes out with Fandango but Summer Rae is one of the Rosebuds. Rose jumps over Fandango to start and gives him a little spank. Summer Rae and Layla go at it about thirty seconds into the match and Fandango gets nailed trying to break it up. Rose wins by countout at 1:02.

Rose hits the Party Foul on Fandango post match.

We look at Bray and Jericho's discussion from Raw.

Jericho says his match with Bray has a chance to be a classic because they're from opposite sides of the spectrum. Bray says save us Y2J but Wyatt is too far gone to save. Jericho is going to follow Wyatt's advice and let actions do the talking tonight against Randy Orton. Maybe it's time to crush the head of the serpent. As for Wyatt, Jericho is coming. He blows very gently in a nice touch.

Later tonight it's Layla vs. Summer Rae with Fandango as guest referee in a Money in the Bank rematch.

Usos vs. Heath Slater/Titus O'Neil

Non-title. Jimmy pounds on Titus to start but it's quickly off to Slater who gets kicked in the face for two. Heath takes him down into a chinlock but gets caught in a bad looking Samoan drop for two more. Everything breaks down and Slater jumps into a superkick, setting up the Superfly Splash for the pin at 1:59. Nothing match but I like them throwing random low level guys together as jobbers. It's better than having Ryback/Axel job here.

Post match the Usos say they love the rivalry with the Wyatts. Jey imitates a stereotypical commentator while Jimmy acts out a lot of the moves he describes. Odd but kind of entertaining actually.

Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton

Before the match Bray pops up on screen and sings his song before telling Chris to save himself. Cole actually gives us some backstory here, talking about Orton arrived in WWE in 2002 and called Jericho to pick him up at the airport because Jericho was the only person he knew in WWE. Now Orton only cares about himself and isn't like his old self. Jericho quickly sends Randy to the apron and dropkicks him out to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Jericho hitting a running knee to the back for two as Cole brings up Orton punting Jericho out of WWE back in 2010. I'm digging this storytelling from Cole. Chris misses a charge and falls out to the floor where Orton sends him into the steps. It's good for two back inside and the fans loudly chant for Y2J. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Orton slams Jericho's head down onto the mat.

Back to the chinlock as the fans chant for the Canadian again. He fights up with a belly to back suplex and a dropkick but Orton kicks away from the Walls. A powerslam gets two for Orton but Jericho comes back with a running clothesline in the corner. Orton crotches him on the top, only to have Jericho come back with a top rope cross body for a close two.

The backbreaker puts Chris down again and Randy loads up the Elevated DDT but Jericho counters into the Walls. Orton makes the rope and now the Elevated DDT connects. Jericho blocks the RKO and hits the Lionsault but the Wyatts seem to be coming. The lights come up and they're nowhere in sight, allowing to hit the RKO for the pin at 11:50 shown of 14:20.

Rating: B-. Solid match here as you would expect from two top level guys when they're given the time. They didn't go outside their comfort zone here but even the basics from these guys is still good stuff. Unlike Ambrose, Jericho losing isn't going to affect his status due to how established he is. It's why he's been brought in and that's the right idea.

Layla vs. Summer Rae

Fandango is refereeing again and gets kissed by both girls to start. The bell rings and Fandango stops both girls from charging at the other. Apparently he wants to dance but the girls aren't impressed. Instead they both beat him up and knock him to the floor before dancing together as Fandango is stunned. This wasn't a match.

More Network talk.

Goldust vs. Curtis Axel

Feeling out process to start with Goldust breathing at Curtis. Stardust gets on the barricade and seems to be conducting the crowd as Axel takes over on Goldust. A dropkick sends Goldust outside and Stardust is now laying on the announcers' table. He puts on JBL's hat as the match heads back inside where Goldust kicks Axel in the head. A powerslam gets two for Goldust and the Final Cut gets the pin at 2:28.

Ryback goes after Goldust but Stardust blows gold dust into his eyes and sends Ryback to the floor.

Bo Dallas vs. El Torito/Diego

Bo promises to be handi-capable against Diego and his Bo-vine friend. The big guys start but Diego stops him to shout OLE. Dallas hammers away in the corner but gets sent into the buckle, setting up the Bodog for the pin at 1:17.

Torito gets pulled into the ring post match but Bo helps him to his feet, only to give him a Bodog.

Rusev vs. Roman Reigns

They lock up to start until Rusev kicks at the legs to take over. Reigns cleans house with right hands and knocks Rusev to the floor as we take a break. Back with Rusev controlling with a nerve hold before he drops Reigns with a spinwheel kick. We hit the nerve hold again before Reigns' comeback is squashed by a kick to the chest. The fans think Russia sucks and help Roman fight out of the third nerve hold. A running clothesline drops the Russian and a Samoan drop does it again. The apron kick has Lana freaking out and there's the Superman Punch, drawing in Orton for the DQ at 6:55 shown of 9:25.

Rating: C. This was decent while it lasted but there was no way either guy was getting a clean win here. Also, a nine and a half minute match on Smackdown doens't have nearly the same atmosphere that these two had in the battle royal. Build these two up a bit more and make it mean something and the match will be much better.

Rusev lays Roman out but Lana orders Rusev out of the ring instead of CRUSH. Orton heads inside and hits an RKO to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. Reigns finally having to deal with some adversity is a nice thing to see, but the rest of the show wasn't much. Orton vs. Jericho was good but doesn't mean much, and the rest of the show was just there. Unfortunately Smackdown is slipping back into its old pattern of meaning nothing at all and that makes it hard to sit through.

AJ Lee b. Cameron – Shining Wizard
Adam Rose b. Fandango via countout
Usos b. Heath Slater/Titus O'Neil – Superfly Splash to Slater
Randy Orton b. Chris Jericho – RKO
Goldust b. Curtis Axel – Final Cut
Bo Dallas b. Diego/El Torito – Bodog to Diego
Roman Reigns b. Rusev via DQ when Randy Orton interfered

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  1. Kinda hope they keep Titus and Slater as a team.
    But man was Reigns over tonight. If they can keep that momentum up for him I could really see him headlining Mania.

  2. Dolph Ziggler is a lost cause and WWE should send him down to NXT to job to Adrian Neville for a couple of months before redebuting Dolph as The Red Rooster Jr. so he can cut passionate promos of himself going COCKADOODLEDOO and he can finally get rid of his pink homoerotic ring gear. The WWE will never trust him due to his sloppy work which ends up with him getting a concussion every couple of months... If they dont send Dolph down to NXT then they should just release him after he jobs out to younger talent for the next few months.

  3. Also I'm a bit surprised to see how progressive (for WWE) the alleged conclusion to the Summer Rae/Layla thing was. Fandango got called on his shit and two women banded together and kicked the crap out of him.

  4. Progressive? It's pretty much the plot of half-a-dozen chick-flick romantic comedies at this point. It was kind of predictable.

    Whatever. However they choose to minimize their screen-time is fine with me.

  5. kbwrestlingreviewsJuly 11, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Yeah but he makes it up with promos and returning so often.

  6. Yeah but like I said, better than them fighting over him. And I like both girls so another version of LayCool is fine with me.

  7. kbwrestlingreviewsJuly 11, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Ambrose doesn't need to squash anyone. I didn't think he should have been fighting Orton in the first place, though the match was good.

  8. So long as it doesn't happen all the time losing in a competitive match doesn't hurt anyone involved.

  9. Though I wonder if Reigns will receive a Cena-type backlash by the end of the year if they keep booking him super strong. There has to be some type of balance though.

  10. The thing that bugs me is that certain heels don't cheat to win any more, which is counter-intuitive to the notion of having heels and faces in the first place.

    Here's why Orton's had longevity in WWE: as a heel, he's been going over faces cleanly with the RKO. What this tells the audience is that despite acting like an asshole, he's the better wrestler (kayfabe) than the faces who can't get one over on him.

    This is one of the reasons why heels wind up getting cheered. A guy who talks shit is construed as a "strong personality" when he's made to look like someone who can back it up in the ring.

    I didn't mind Ambrose losing to a former world champ, but if the guy's a heel it benefits both guys for Orton to have won cheaply instead of using the RKO Outta Nowhere (which is not ever out of nowhere since he lands it every match in a predictable manner).

  11. It is telling that during Orton's face run he never got a significant fan backlash despite most of the net hating the character. But to me a heel character like Miz is much more suited for that role. I still say they didn't go far enough with his chickenshit character while he was champ, he should have been winning EVERY match via cheating or bullshittery. And he should have finally got his comeuppance at Mania 27 but we all know how that turned out.

  12. kbwrestlingreviewsJuly 11, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    I wasn't saying it cripples his push. I just wouldn't have him lose until he faces Rollins.

  13. "Unfortunately Smackdown is slipping back into its old pattern of meaning nothing at all"

    That's like saying "the William Penn statue is slipping back into its old pattern of remaining motionless"

  14. I'm sad the Big John Studd/Bill Fralic feud never took off. Fralic had good mike skills.

  15. I thought Orndorff collected the bounty himself? Besides, did you really expect a payoff? That might mean Orndorff doesn't turn heel and have the biggest program of his career with Hogan.

  16. But is Jerry the same as Luscious Johnny?

  17. Most likely rainy day in 1984/85 -- but still they were thinking it.

  18. Agreed. I'm sad we didn't get a one on one match with Studd and Fralic - he was retired at that point as a football player and he was more talented and taller than Mongo.

  19. I bet we get Orton-Jericho and/or Reigns/Rusev again on Monday night.

  20. Nope, main event of that show was announced as John Cena, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, Kane and Randy Orton. Rusev will probably do something with Swagger to set up BG.

  21. Your positive response to the troll made me chuckle.

  22. I have no clue what the point of that Summer Layla dance sequence was for.

  23. Let's hope that neat storytelling from Cole during the Orton/Jericho match is a positive sign for the commentary in general. Say what you will about Vince but the guy knew how to properly call a match so I don't know why he insists on doing it like he does today. If he wants to have his voice on commentary that bad just, you know, do commentary again.

  24. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    "She's the kind of character that makes me think of how much I can't stand modern celebrity culture and makes me want to go read a good book."

    So the female version of the Miz, then?

  25. Another cool thing tonight was how Cody was trying his damndest to get the crowd more involved in his brother's comeback. Shows he really cares about getting his characters over.

  26. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Agreed. And it's bullshit, beating a guy like Y2J SHOULD mean something, but this is the PG era. You have Brock Lesnar, a guy who could legit kill 5 people at once with his bare hands, and will put me over as long as Vince writes him a check. Common sense says you have him job to a guy that you want to make the newest main eventer. Vince sense has him destroy Cena on a B-show, only to job anyway.

  27. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Honestly, I have to agree with the troll here. I mean, the Red Rooster shit was retarded, but's he's spot on with Ziggler.

  28. I can't see Ziggler re-signing even if his relationship with management improves or us even as bad as we think right now. I mean if he was up shit creek that bad he'd be off TV.

  29. I'm guessing they were thinking since Cena actually sticks around the whole year they didn't want him losing to a part timer. All that's water under the bridge now anyway since he ended the streak and will end Cena's reign at Summerslam.

  30. kbwrestlingreviewsJuly 11, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    I really don't mind Miz as much as most people do.

  31. My point was more that wins and losses only sometimes matter. A character like Dean Ambrose gets over on reasons entirely apart from being booked to win or lose matches. In a way, doing jobs can actually be good for him.

  32. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 11, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    No, I understand that if you book that match Cena should probably win (and then FUCKING SELL THE BEATING AFTER!), but why do that in the first place? This is my whole problem with the part-timer thing, they work with no one but Cena and each other, outside of Punk jobbing a couple times.

  33. Every couple of months? He's only had 2 concussions in his WWE career & one of them was because of Swagger hitting him with a really stiff kick to the head.

  34. I've wondered if Vince will ever go back behind the announce table. Maybe when he decides to retire and hand over the business, he'll do some commentary during his last run.

  35. Cena got the backlash after years of being booked like that. I think the crowd can stay behind Reigns for a few months.

  36. Honestly, WWE has relied so heavily on the goddamn chicken-shit heel archetype, that I'm thrilled they're willing to throw in at least a few heels that are villainous not for their cowardice, but for their cruelty or amorality.

  37. Yeah, but to lose cleanly to a heel on television is inexcusable. It only happened because for eons now, the company has a hard-on for Cena and Orton and fuck all the rest.

    I'm not even unhappy with the current product -- well, I don't really watch but I follow along. I like what they're doing overall, but as I've talked about a lot on this blog, they just don't put in the right effort to book five hours of television a week effectively. They might honestly have double the level of talent that they did in 2000, but it clearly doesn't look it.

  38. The latter example of what a heel can be can be detrimental to babyfaces if not applied correctly; that is, is said heel is not bought into, it makes the face in question look poor.

    The best monster heel we have today is Brock Lesnar. No need to go into detail on that one. That's the best modern example we have.

    In years gone by, we can start the discussion with Andre in 1987. I think Savage fits into the role, Sid, Yoko... Diesel at a point? Undertaker a couple of times? The Two Man Power Trip?

    Basically, you need a STRONG presence to represent callous evil. Orton spent the last eight months being made to look inferior to Bryan, so he's not even in the position for this. We can make The Miz an evil badass if we like, that don't make it right.

  39. Cameron WHOREdashian?

  40. Team RaeLay? Really? Fuck, that's what they're going to do, isn't it?

  41. In his case, Ambrose should be the one getting DQ'd for not breaking a hold or getting counted out for chasing down Rollins or brawling with Orton in the crowd for the double countout. Stuff to get his character over as a craay wild card without having anyone cleanly job.

  42. I just watched this match - wow, Hogan must've really liked Honky to have laid down for that long. The implication the match and the announcing drew was that if Honky wasn't busy showboating he might've become the champ (and with Hogan on his back for 20 seconds they made it look like a possibility).


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