Date: August 29, 2014
Location: Citizens Bank Business Arena, Ontario, California
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I can't believe I'm saying this but Smackdown might be the best thing I could sit through right now. To say Raw wasn't that great is an understatement and WWE really doesn't seem to be the most interesting right now. However, two hours of decent wrestling and far less nonsense might be the cure for some of their issues. Let's get to it.
We open with a clip of the eulogy from Raw, Reigns cleaning house and the match that followed.
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
Reigns takes him into the corner to start and runs Bray over with a hard clothesline. Bray sends Reigns out to the floor and hits a big running charge to knock him off the apron. Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit before Bray hammers on him even more. Roman comes back with right hands and the jumping clothesline but Bray elbows out of the Samoan drop. The backsplash gets two for Bray but he goes to the middle rope, allowing Roman to hit the Samoan drop for two. He loads up the apron boot but gets in a fight with the Wyatts for the DQ at 3:20.
Rating: C-. This wasn't bad for the most part and WAY less annoying than what I sat through on Raw. Bray looked like he was on equal footing for the most part and wasn't dominated during the match. It wasn't anything special but it kept both guys looking strong and set up stuff for later. That's the best you can ask for out of a match that isn't even three and a half minutes.
Big Show and Mark Henry make the save, setting up a six man tag later on I'm sure.
Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins immediately stomps Van Dam down in the corner to start but runs into an elbow to the jaw. Rob's middle rope kick drops Seth and he flips over Rollins' back, only to walk into a dropkick. We take an early break and come back with Rollins splashing him in the corner and mocking Van Dam's pose.
Rollins puts on the chinlock for a bit before Rob fights up and kicks him in the head. A superkick sets up Rolling Thunder but Rollins gets out of the way. The Curb Stomps misses and Rob kicks him in the face again. The Five Star misses as well and Rollins nails an enziguri for two. Seth goes up top and breaks up a superplex attempt with a running buckle bomb. There's another buckle bomb and the Curb Stomp is enough to pin Van Dam at 4:40 shown of 8:10.
Rating: C. It's a nice back and forth match with both guys getting to look good. Word on the street is this was Van Dam's last match and thankfully he got to go out with a decent match. Rollins getting a decisive win is a nice touch and he looks even better before he gets to his big match with Reigns.
We look back at the Bella Twins segment from Raw and are lucky enough to see family photos to make it even more SERIOUS.
Paige vs. Emma
Non-title. Paige slaps her down to start but Emma gets in a kick to the head. She goes up top, only to get pulled down to the mat. The PTO makes Emma tap at 58 seconds.
Post match AJ comes out with a box of chocolates for Paige. AJ says that it's because Paige is her friend and Paige said she loved her. She demands that Paige eat one and gets her wish. Paige spits it back at AJ but AJ eats it anyway. Paige is freaked out again.
Lana and Rusev come out to do their usual.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
Submission match. Swagger immediately goes after the ankle but he can't suplex Rusev because of the bad ribs. With that not being an option, Swagger kicks him in the ankle and puts on the Patriot Lock, sending Rusev crawling to the ropes. They head outside with Rusev whipping Swagger into the barricade. We take a break and come back with Swagger being sent back outside but Rusev's ankle is hurting too badly to follow up. Swagger blocks a kick and puts the Patriot Lock on outside.
Rusev crawls back inside for the break so Jack kicks at the leg in the corner. The Vader Bomb connects but the ribs are hurt even worse. Now Rusev puts Swagger in a Patriot Lock until Swagger rolls through into one of his own. The ropes save Rusev again and he nails the jumping superkick. Rusev hooks the Accolade but Jack gets an arm free and grabs a rope. The hold goes back on in the middle of the ring but Jack powers to his feet. A towel comes flying in and Bo Dallas trips up Swagger to put him back in the full hold, making Swagger tap at 7:03 shown of 10:33.
Rating: C. This is an interesting one as they keep Swagger looking as strong as they can, but having him tap defeats the purpose. It continues to set up Swagger vs. Dallas, but that doesn't really do as much for me with Swagger submitting. Have him pass out again, or let it be a regular match ending in a pin but the tapping out hurts this. It does however keep Rusev strong and that's more important long term.
Dallas says he threw the towel in because Swagger hasn't learned to Bolieve. Swagger takes a Bodog for good measure.
Miz is on the phone with his agent and says he can be on set within the hour. Reigns already had a match so there won't be a trilogy. Someone keeps tapping him on the shoulder (Miz: “Autographs will be signed LATER!”) but it's Kane, who makes Miz vs. Sheamus for tonight. Why does Kane have it in for Miz lately?
Jimmy Uso vs. Stardust
Jey is at ringside with a taped up knee, making him I believe the fourth current wrestler with a nagging injury (Swagger, Rusev, Ambrose, Jey). Again, GET SOME NEW WRITERS. Before the match, Goldust apologizes for freaking out on Monday but the Usos don't seem convinced. Jimmy hits a loud chop in the corner to start but Stardust hits the drop down uppercut to take over. He drives some shoulders into Jimmy's ribs but gets rolled up for the pin at 1:02.
The Dusts go nuts and attack after the match again.
Sheamus vs. The Miz
Pause for stunt double.
Sheamus vs. Damien Mizdow
Non-title. Miz offers a distraction to give Damien an early distraction. Some knees to the chest have Sheamus in trouble but he pops up with the running ax handles. He nails the ten forearms to the chest and pulls Mizdow back in for White Noise and the pin at 1:48. Another nothing match.
Miz gets in a cheap shot post match and runs, only to have Dolph Ziggler throw him back into the ring. Sheamus tries a Brogue Kick but hits Damien instead. Nice setup for a future tag match.
Clips of Lesnar and Heyman's pretaped interview from Raw and the Hall of Fame forum.
Wyatt Family vs. Big Show/Mark Henry/Roman Reigns
They all pair off because the bell rings with Reigns and Wyatt fighting out to the floor. We get started with Big Show and Rowan slugging it out in the ring. Big Show actually busts out a sunset flip for two before cranking on a hammerlock. Reigns comes in and drives Rowan down by the arm. It's quickly off to Henry to stay on the arm as the big guys make some fast tags.
Big Show hits the loud chop on Rowan before allowing Harper to come in for one of his own. Harper takes another in a different corner before asking Big Show to hit him again. Big Show gives him a running basement dropkick of all things, much to Cole's shock. Off to Henry who gets dropkicked down by Harper, allowing Bray to come in for a beatdown.
We take a break and come back with Henry countering a Rowan suplex to put Erick down. There's the hot tag to Big Show for some clotheslines but Rowan nails him with a clothesline to take over. Harper Gator Rolls Big Show to Wyatt's delight. Back to Bray for two off a DDT and Rowan gets the same off a splash. Erick cranks on the neck but lets Big Show up, allowing the giant to get a boot up in the corner. Harper keeps Big Show down and puts on a choke.
Big Show stands up and drops Luke down on his back, only to have Bray come in and hammer away. A huge clothesline drops Wyatt and there's the real hot tag to Reigns. Roman cleans Harper's house and hits the apron boot. There's the Superman Punch for two as Rowan makes the save. Big Show takes out Rowan with a chokeslam but Bray runs Big Show down. The World's Strongest Slam drops Bray but Harper kicks Mark in the face. Harper loads up the discus lariat but Roman nails a great looking spear for the pin at 12:17 shown of 15:17.
Rating: C. That spear really did look great and had the kind of impact that Reigns needs every time. Roman is continuing to get his strong push, but the way Bray has been treated since Summerslam doesn't sit well with me. He's just another heel at this point, which is really annoying considering how thin WWE is at the top of the card.
They need to build someone up instead of having him be cannon fodder for the big stars or the latest SUPER STRONG TEAM THAT WE'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT THAT IS GOING TO SPLIT UP FOR A BATTLE OF THE GIANTS IN LIKE THREE MONTHS AFTER WINNING AND LOSING THE TAG TITLES! I'll give them this though: all of these guys move amazingly well for their size.
Overall Rating: C-. This worked well enough but the short matches got on my nerves. But hey, at least we got to sit through a bunch of recaps of boring segments from Raw. The Bella segment just kills the show dead and doesn't make for entertaining television. Well at least not entertaining for the right reasons. The show was a decent enough use of two hours and I kind of like the tag match they set up with Sheamus and Miz's stuff. Not a bad show this week but nothing worth checking out.
Roman Reigns b. Bray Wyatt via DQ when the Wyatt Family interfered
Seth Rollins b. Rob Van Dam – Curb Stomp
Paige b. Emma – PTO
Rusev b. Jack Swagger – Accolade
Jimmy Uso b. Stardust – Rollup
Sheamus b. Damien Mizdow – White Noise
Big Show/Mark Henry/Roman Reigns b. Wyatt Family – Spear to Harper
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