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Smackdown - October 31, 2014

Date: October 31, 2014
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tom Phillips

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're onto a new set of new stories for a change now with a focus on Cena vs. the Authority and Ambrose vs. Wyatt. That isn't the best pair of stories in the world but we're stuck with this until we get to the Rumble and the wrestling actually matters to the company anymore. It's also Halloween so hopefully things aren't all that campy tonight. Let's get to it.

We open with....Vince. He tells us about the big news from the conference call: November is a free month of the WWE Network (for new subscribers), meaning Survivor Series is a free show. That's quite the incentive and the lack of a commitment should help them in the long run.

Battle Royal

Paige (Summer Rae), Natalya (Queen of Hearts), Naomi (paratrooper), Summer Rae (schoolgirl nerd), Layla (clown), Emma (Tarzan), Rosa Mendes (zombie nurse), Cameron (cop), Alicia Fox (firewoman), Nikki Bella (cat)

They're in costumes of course and the winner gets a Divas Title shot so AJ is on commentary. We get a video from earlier today of Brie dressed as Daniel Bryan but Nikki sending her to get her Louis Vaton bag in San Antonio. Naomi quickly kicks Rosa out to the floor and Natalya kicks out Summer (AJ: “There goes the sexy D-Von Dudley.”).

Emma gets tossed as well as Layla pulls the stuffing out Paige's top. That earns her an elimination before Cameron and Naomi go out one after another. We're down to Natalya, Paige, Nikki and Fox but Alicia quickly kicks Natalya out. Fox dumps Paige but eliminates herself in the process, giving Nikki the win at 2:43.

Here are Kane, Rollins and the Stooges for a chat. Kane loves this time of year because he gets to torment little kids but the fun keeps going into November with Survivor Series. Tonight though it's Ambrose vs. Cesaro in a Trick or Street Fight but Rollins thinks Bray Wyatt might interrupt. If that happens though, Dean will fall just like he did on Sunday inside the Cell. Rollins laughs at the YOU SOLD OUT chants before taking the focus back to Survivor Series. Who could Cena possibly get on his team? Who would be willing to team with him against the Authority and risk their careers in the process? Kane can think of one man so get out here Dolph Ziggler.

Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title again. Ziggler dropkicks the knee but the DDT is countered with Kane just throwing Dolph down. A clothesline gets two for Kane but Dolph avoids an elbow drop. Back up and Kane uppercuts Dolph off the top and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Kane missing a big boot and taking a Fameasser for two. Jamie Noble gets on the apron for a distraction though, allowing the big boot to connects for another two count. The chokeslam is countered into a sunset flip just like Monday but Kane pops up. Ziggler's Stinger Splash is caught in the chokeslam for the pin at 8:27.

Rating: D+. Kane. Beat Dolph Ziggler. Clean. In 2014. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Ziggler saying legends can't just come in and get handed big matches at Wrestlemania earlier this week. If that's true, and given the company's track record it wouldn't be all that shocking, WWE needs to get over itself already.

Post match Kane hits another chokeslam and makes Ziggler vs. Rollins.

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler

Curb Stomp, 23 seconds.

Heath Slater vs. Ryback

Slater is a scarecrow. He hammers away with right hands but loses his fake hand so it's time for air guitar. Ryback plants him with a spinebuster, setting up the Meathook and Shell Shock for the pin at 1:28.

The Exotic Express is looking for people to party with and find Goldust, Stardust, Sin Cara as a Ninja Turtle and R-Truth as a ghost. Truth asks what it's like to have the Bunny upstage Rose all the time and thinks Adam should have been the Bunny for Halloween. Rose laughs it off so Truth gives him a rock. The Bunny hops around Rose and that's it. If there was a point here, I must not be smart enough to get it.

Time for MizTV with Miz saying he may be available to join Team Cena. However that's not what we're here to talk about. Instead, let's focus on the special guest tonight: Mark Henry. Miz asks Mark what happened on Monday but Henry says it was exactly what should have happened. Miz shows us a clip of Rusev making Show tap, which Henry says was a result of Show trying to upstage him.

Show didn't help Henry on Sunday and Mark gets annoyed at the WHAT chants. Henry says Show has been acting like he knows everything for months but he's just a nosy guy with an overactive pituitary gland. It's all about strength but here's Big Show for a brawl. They fight at ringside with Henry sending him into the post and through the barricade.

We recap the Authority vs. Cena on Monday.

Stardust/Goldust vs. Los Matadores

Non-title. Before the match the champs say they'd listen to offers from either team at Survivor Series. So the Authority team might not be Authority members? Fernando works on Stardust's arm to start and sends him over to Diego for a dropkick. A slingshot hilo gets two on Stardust but he comes back with a springboard dropkick of his own. The champs send Fernando to the floor and we take a break.

Back with Torito getting knocked off the apron but Fernando plants Stardust, setting up the hot tag to Diego. A hurricanrana sends Diego outside and the masked men hit a huge double suicide dive. Stardust jumps backwards onto both guys before throwing Torito inside. Torito will have none of that though and dropkicks Stardust to the floor, distracting Goldust long enough for Fernando to roll him up for the pin at 7:24. That match needed a commercial?

Rating: D. Why do we have titles anymore? The only way they set up a title match is to have the champion lose (or in this show's case, lose TWICE to set up a match where Ziggler is just a piece), meaning we need a title match later where Los Matadores can lose. You have a roster so full of people not working and you don't have ANYONE else for Los Matadores to beat to earn a shot? This is getting old in a hurry.

Rusev vs. Great Khali

The fans chant USA so I guess they're neutral. Khali immediately chops Rusev in the head so the Russian hammers away in the corner. Another chop has the same result so Rusev kicks him in the face and Accolades him for the submission at 47 seconds.

Post match Lana talks about new orders from Russia: crush the US Champion and give the title to Putin as a present. This brings out Sheamus who says he's been waiting on for a long time. The challenge is accepted because Sheamus takes personal pride in what this title represents. Sheamus comes to the ring and tries a Brogue Kick, sending Rusev running. This would be the most logical feud in the world at the moment and exactly what they should have done. It shouldn't be surprising as Rusev's story has been one of the few well done thing in the WWE for months now.

Here's Bray Wyatt for a chat. Today is a special day because all of the people here get to pretend to be something that they aren't. Have you ever wondered why costuming yourself makes you feel so comfortable? Do you wear a mask to hide from the horrors of the world? Or is it because everyone hates everything about you? You can't pretend forever though because tomorrow morning you're just another one of those anonymous souls.

Dean Ambrose is different though because he never takes off his mask. Ambrose is like Wyatt: a creature, an animal and a monster. Bray understands what it felt like to have someone at a point like Rollins had Ambrose on Sunday. He knows what that power feels like and it makes you feel immortal. You have the power to take everything away from someone and Dean can't just wash away his sins. They will stain him forever and she still cries for him. Follow the buzzards.

Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro

Street fight. There are a bunch of Halloween items at ringside, including about twenty pumpkins inside the ring, because we've got a theme match. Ambrose brings out a candy corn themed kendo stick because even he can make candy corn look cool. Dean hammers away to start and drops Cesaro with a bulldog.

Cesaro comes back with some kendo stick shots to the ribs and right hands to the head followed by a big swing to the chest. More stick shots have Dean in trouble but he blocks a big swing and hammers away with right hands. Cesaro comes right back with a tiger bomb for two followed by more stick shots. He piles up a bunch of pumpkins but can't quite suplex Dean onto the pile.

Instead Dean sends him out to the floor, only to take some more stick shots. A dropkick destroys a bucket full of candy but Cesaro throws him over the announcers' table. Ambrose pops up with a stick of his own before throwing him back inside for a backdrop on the pumpkins. They head outside again with Cesaro nailing him out of the air with a kendo stick.

Dean's head is shoved into a bucket of apples and water but he comes back with a skeleton. Cesaro grabs a chair but gets knocked onto a table with some broom shots. A middle rope elbow with the broom sends Cesaro through the table on the floor. They head back inside where Ambrose puts a pumpkin on Cesaro's head and Dirty Deeds is good for the pin at 7:18.

Rating: C+. This was your usual fun main event with all the weapons and props being used in the right way. Ambrose getting a pin is a good thing and makes him look stronger going into the PPV showdown with Wyatt. Bray can get by on his talking alone and Dean can look good in matches like this one.

Another Dirty Deeds ends the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Decent wrestling aside, this was one of the most frustrating shows I can remember in along time. We had three losses for champions and Kane of all people getting his win back instead of laying down like he should be doing at this point. Hopefully the audience for this show is so low that most people don't watch and this doesn't mean much. This is a decent show but it's more frustrating than anything else.

Nikki Bella won a battle royal last eliminating Alicia Fox
Kane b. Dolph Ziggler – Chokeslam
Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler – Curb Stomp
Ryback b. Heath Slater – Shell Shock
Los Matadores b. Stardust/Goldust – Rollup to Goldust
Rusev b. Great Khali – Accolade
Dean Ambrose b. Cesaro – Dirty Deeds

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