Date: August 20, 2015
Location: Resch Center Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso
It’s the final show before Summerslam, meaning it’s time to find out how many times they can talk about Brock vs. Undertaker in about an hour and a half. It’s going to be a mixture of matches getting the hype this week as the main event is an eight man tag with three feuds being combined into one match. Let’s get to it.
Ryback vs. Big Show
Non-title and yes they’re actually starting with a match for a change. Ryback punches away to start but Show drops him with a clothesline. They seem to be going with the “hit each other really hard” formula tonight. Phillips starts listing off the odds for Sunday’s title match, because the fans aren’t smart enough to divide by three. A side slam puts Ryback down and Show hits the chinlock. Miz told Lawler the following sage wisdom: “Size means nothing. The whale is an endangered species but the ant is doing just fine.” That’s one of those bizarre statements that works, which makes it even more disturbing.
Ryback fights up and just runs Big Show over, much to the announcers’ delight. Something like a spinebuster puts Show down again (to be fair, he’s not the easiest guy to spinebust) but the Meat Hook is countered by a spear for a close two. Show actually dropkicks him to the floor but Ryback comes back with the Meat Hook to put them through that part of the barricade they always go through when they go through part of the barricade (Jimmy: “OH SNAP! OH SNAP!”). It’s a double countout at 4:14.
Rating: C+. They packed a lot into this and it’s fun to see someone like Ryback muscle Big Show around. I know it’s been done a million times, but it’s still an impressive display of strength. Also, well done on having them go to a draw instead of having one of them lose. I’ve never been a fan of having someone going into a title match losing, but that’s what they did with Miz on Raw. Hopefully that doesn’t mean he gets the title back though as Ryback is starting to put something together as champion.
It takes a bit to get everything cleaned up.
New Day vs. Los Matadores/El Torito
This is billed as a six being match because WWE is stupid that way. I could watch New Day’s entrance for hours, especially the look on Kofi’s face. Woods and Fernando get things going and Lawler is already making his lame old man short person jokes. A quick splash sends Woods into the corner for a tag to Kofi but Los Matadores double team him down with Diego’s neckbreaker getting two.
Lawler says he went to see the Lucha Dragons’ new movie: Dragon Ball Z. I would pay to see Lawler watch a Dragon Ball Z movie. The threat of Torito sends New Day to the floor and we take a break. Back with Woods charging into Diego’s elbow but making the tag off to Big E. Diego gets dropped face first on the top turnbuckle for two and it’s rotating stomp time.
Woods hits his running basement dropkick in the corner before it’s off to Kofi, who is sent face first into the post, allowing for the tag to Torito. This is the big showdown with Woods (Lawler: “It’s deja moo!”) and a rolling cradle gets two for the bull. Everything breaks down and Big E. runs the full sized masked guys over, leaving us with E. vs. Torito. A big backbreaker sets up the Warrior splash and Woods gets the pin at 9:09.
Rating: D+. This is WWE in a nutshell: lame puns, a six being match, and a full match built around a thirty second spot on Monday that no one really cared about because it might make someone backstage laugh. At least New Day won and we got the celebration after a watchable match, but the story just killed this for me.
Someone gives Woods flowers and the celebration is on in full.
Here are Ziggler and Lana for a chat. Ziggler talks about how good it feels to be back here…..with Lana. He’s been tired of spending six weeks on the shelf, eating his dinners through a straw. Ziggler wanted to be here to help Lana against Summer and Rusev, before he needed to find his Lana (his words) and see if she was ok. The first thing she said to him was they needed to crush those two. Ziggler: “THAT IS HOT!”
Lana thinks they make a great team because Ziggler always stands up for what he believes in and she shoved Summer into a fish. Dolph says Lana just wanted to prove how tough she was, which makes Lana giggle. Rusev can have his pathetic wannabe but only Dolph gets the real thing.
Cue the Rusev flag, quickly followed by Rusev and Summer. Rusev promises to crush Ziggler’s throat again and put him in the Accolade. Well that’s certainly efficient. He’ll let go before Ziggler passes out though so Dolph can see Summer crush Lana as well. That will be the end of his comeback, but Dolph says the comeback doesn’t even start until Summerslam when he kicks Rusev’s teeth down his throat and steals the real girlfriend. Didn’t he do that already?
This is one of those feuds where the rationale seems to have been “well, there’s nothing else for them to do”, which rarely makes for a good story. Ziggler’s thinking makes sense (“What am I supposed to do? Turn down the hot blonde trying to kiss me?”) but Lana feels so forced into this story.
It really doesn’t help that she had to just sit around and wait for Ziggler to come back from his movie as she’s lost all of her heat in this story. Yeah remember like three months ago when you heard all those WE WANT LANA chants? How long have those been gone? About as long as she’s been with Ziggler I believe? At least it’s not a mixed tag though.
Here’s a good chunk of Cena and Rollins’ exchange from Raw.
Neville vs. Bo Dallas
Dallas takes him into the corner for an elbow to the jaw and driving some knees into the back of the head. “BOLIEVE!” We hit the cravate on Neville but he pops up, kicks Bo in the head and ends this with the Red Arrow at 1:54. Neville is getting into that 1995 Randy Savage mode of only hitting one move, which isn’t a good sign for him going forward.
Stardust and Barrett pop up on screen and promise to win. Barrett: “On Sunday, red and green turn black and blue!” Stardust: “Yeah. He’s going to punch you!” Neville will be grounded by a royal Bullhammer so hail the Cosmic King and Stardust.
Team Bella comes out for a triple threat but it’s time for a chat first. Alicia introduces Nikki, who will hold the record in 26 days and represents fearlessness. Has that slogan ever been explained? I mean, what makes Nikki fearless? Nikki says she may be fearless but she has doubts too. This past Monday was her toughest challenge to date and Sasha didn’t disappoint. Maybe one day, Sasha will be an amazing Divas Champion, but that day isn’t today. Well of course not because she hasn’t gotten the record yet.
Nikki says that her title reign makes her the most powerful woman in sports entertainment. Oh yeah Stephanie is getting involved in this after Sunday. They’re proud of being part of what social media has dubbed the Divas Revolution. Oh come on. I know WWE has decided that social media is the greatest thing in the world but Cole has been calling it that name for a month now.
Cue Team BAD with Naomi saying that the Bellas don’t speak for the entire division and no one believes them. She advises them to not prepare a victory speech for Summerslam, “because it’s not going to happen boo.” Sasha talks some trash so Brie gives one of the worst deliveries I’ve ever heard as she says Sasha calls herself the Boss, but there’s a much better word for her that starts with a B. That line was clearly off a script and Brie just butchered it. Like, Ed Leslie levels of bad butchering.
Sasha brings up making Nikki tap on Raw (Nikki: “Still the champ!”) but switches to Brie, who has ridden her injured husband’s coattails for months now. Brie tells her to shove it instead of bank on it and violence is teased but here’s Team PCB to intercede. Well Team CB at least as Paige is at Tough Enough. Becky promises a lass kicking and we’re ready to go.
Before we get to the match, let’s talk about why this was such a bad segment at its core. Ignoring how bad some of the delivery was, you had pretty much the entire Divas’ division out there (has Natalya been on TV in the last month?) and none of them talked about wanting to be champion.
Nikki said Sasha might be champion one day, but I can’t remember the last time anyone said they wanted a shot. It’s just about establishing which team is dominant or whatever, because that’s all they’re allowed to fight over right now. I can’t wait for next week when they can get back to normal with some better stories, because this whole AJ record thing is killing anything they had with the introduction of the new roster.
Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella vs. Sasha Banks
Everyone goes after each other to start and it’s Becky left standing and telling the others to come get her. We take a break thirty seconds into the match of course because having a break after the promo wouldn’t have made a bit of sense. Back with Brie doing a YES chant and kicking Sasha in the head for two. The BRIE MODE running knees don’t appear to make much contact but get two more on Lynch.
It’s Sasha’s turn now as she stacks the other two up in the corner for the double knees. That always looks cool. Brie and Sasha clothesline each other down and it’s Becky in to clean house with suplexes all around. Sasha gets up on the apron but Brie rams Becky into her and grabs a rollup with trunks for the pin at 7:21.
Rating: C+. Brie is an interesting case as she can range anywhere from dreadful to passable on any given night. This was a good little match after a promo that didn’t make a ton of sense when you started to think of it. Thankfully we get to the serious stuff next week though so this is one of the last messes we have to sit through.
Orton, Ambrose, Reigns and Cesaro all promise to win their matches on Sunday.
Long video of Undertaker and Lesnar from Monday.
Randy Orton/Cesaro/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus/Kevin Owens/Luke Harper/Bray Wyatt
That’s quite the main event roster. Orton and Sheamus get things going after about ten minutes of entrances. The threat of an RKO has Sheamus on the floor after about twenty seconds and we’re already in a commercial. Cut that out already! Back with Owens saying he wants Cesaro and getting what he wants when Orton drags Kevin over to face him. A quick suplex puts Kevin down and it’s off to Ambrose vs. Harper with the former getting a very nice canned reaction. Dean drives him into the corner for the same canned pop for Reigns.
Roman kicks Harper in the face but eats a forearm and it’s quickly off to Bray. Back to Cesaro for the European uppercuts in the corner and it’s off to Harper, who whips Cesaro into the ropes. Unfortunately Harper thinks he’s wrestling a human as Cesaro flips over the ropes and lands on the apron for a sunset flip. Everything almost breaks down but in what might be a first, the referee actually holds things together.
The distraction lets Harper kick Cesaro in the face and the villains take over. Bray gets in some shots and NOW Owens is willing to come in for the Cannonball. Back from a second break with Cesaro getting caught in the Regal Roll and a tag to Harper for a slingshot hilo of all things. Owens and Wyatt alternate backsplashes for two and it’s off to a chinlock to kill time. Cesaro does his best to fight out of the corner but walks into the Irish Curse to stop him cold again. A dropkick finally gives Cesaro a break and that invisible crowd pops up one more time.
The hot tag brings in Reigns who starts his variety of clotheslines. The apron kick mixes things up a bit and it’s time for some Samoan drops. See, why can’t he do things like that more often? A suplex or two won’t kill him. Some double teaming from Wyatt and Sheamus puts Reigns down but Sheamus takes too much time going after Ambrose, allowing the Superman Punch to knock him silly.
Dean gets the next hot tag to run over Harper, as has been his custom over the years. Wyatt gets knocked to the floor and Dean dives out onto him, followed by throwing Harper outside for a suicide dive. The standing elbow gets two on Harper with Owens diving on top for the save (Harper was crushed) and it’s time for the parade of finishers, capped off with Dirty Deeds for the pin on Harper at 19:22.
Rating: B. Take eight guys and let them get in there together for a solid formula tag match and watch the good results come in. There isn’t much else you can do to hype up this many matches on one show so this was about all they could put together. Harper losing was probably the best option as he’s just a minion whose job is to lose so Bray doesn’t have to. I’m always a sucker for all the finishers in a row to end a match too so good stuff.
The winners celebrate to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was a good, solid go home show for everything but the two main events. Smackdown has really improved in recent weeks since they started being the show where the midcard feuds get some spotlight. Raw alternates between Cena vs. Rollins and Lesnar vs. Undertaker, so it’s nice to see the other stuff get some attention too. Good show this week and Summerslam looks solid.
Big Show vs. Ryback went to a double countout
New Day b. Los Matadores/El Torito – Woods pinned Torito after a splash from Big E.
Neville b. Bo Dallas – Red Arrow
Brie Bella b. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks – Rollup to Lynch with a handful of trunks
Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Cesaro/Randy Orton b. Luke Harper/Bray Wyatt/Kevin Owens/Sheamus – Dirty Deeds to Harper
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