Let’s start this review with my admission that I came into this episode genuinely really looking forward to the show because of Kevin Owens’ Open Challenge, but also very down because I know there won’t be an amazing match involving Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. No word on the extent of Kidd’s injuries right now. In case you didn’t hear, he was injured in a dark match on Monday. I’ve written time and time again that he and Cesaro are the highlight of this review on a consistent basis and it pains me deeply as a huge fan of his to hear that he’s injured. We joke around a lot, but I really cannot stress enough how much I hope for a good prognosis and quick recovery for such a talented dude.
This week’s show started off with a huge swerve as Seth Rollins, NOT Roman Reigns opened. He also was not accompanied by anyone, which is different. It’s okay though because Rollins is really good in every aspect and needs a little time to shine on his own in the eyes of fans. He cut a promo to start off about how he dismantled The Shield about a year ago. My initial thoughts are that it’s a unique promo because of the calm nature of it and the low lighting around him. It’s very Jake the Snake Roberts-esque in tone, which is cool. He transitioned into his accomplishments and then into Ambrose taking his title. It’s probably not an enormous coincidence that the Steve Austin Podcast with Paul Heyman on Monday had a lengthy blurb from both Heyman and Austin on how to cut more meaningful promos and this show opened with Rollins doing almost every single thing they mentioned in that show. Rollins is a student of his craft, so it’s cool that he paid attention.
Ambrose interrupted with a backstage promo. He’s been good at talking since the day he started with the WWE. He semi-referenced how his struggles for the past year have made him stronger. I liked that because it, in a way, made his win/loss record work in his favor. At the end of that Rollins just made really angry faces at Ambrose. Listen, guys, I ain’t no stranger to an argument. I know that the goal isn’t to make better points, but to always get the final word. That’s how you win. Obviously. So why do heels just stop talking after the babyfaces say their piece? I’m glad they do because…ya know…they need to shut the Hell up at some point and get down to bi’ness. It’s my job to point out loopholes in logic, so I can’t exactly ignore it. I also can’t exactly suggest a better method other than a brawl to cut down the length of the promo segments. There are a million, but I’ll find a way to bitch about every single one.
The Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension vs. The Lucha Dragons
*Ah yes. Let’s start the action off with a reminder that Tyson Kidd is injured. WWE, you bastards. You did this to me on purpose.
*Anyone care to tell me why Luke Harper and Erick Rowan aren’t in this match? I get that they don’t want heel vs. heel matches for the Tag Titles, but Harper and Rowan transcend the basic heel/face dynamics because they feel special. Either they had better be involved with the titles at SummerSlam, or the plan is to get them and Bray Wyatt back together because he’s not doing anything terribly meaningful right now. Which breaks my heart.
*The Lucha Dragons are insanely fun. Actually, I like all three teams here, but they are just so damn fun.
*Tytus O’ Neil is still lunky, but God damn is he ever strong. Since their little push back into the tag division they have really highlighted his power and it’s fun to watch. He’s got great energy. I like him and Darren Young a lot; I just think their schtick can get annoying.
*O’ Neil pretty much crushed everyone and won for PTP. It wasn’t on the same level of quality as the last couple of months have been with New Day/Cesaro and Kidd. BUT, I do have some hope that New Day and PTP can have some great matches together.
Winners: Prime Time Players
New Day was cutting a promo and Kane interrupted them and put Kofi Kingston in a match with Neville. I don’t get Kane’s character. He acts like a dick heel to babyfaces, then goes and does it to heels too. Heels play favorites, but he just treats everyone the same with the exception of people in The Authority because he could lose his job if he doesn’t. Doesn’t that, essentially, make him a face by default because he’s just doing what a good boss would do?
They did that stupid Sonic commercial thing that they did on Monday. If they replace the Sonic guys ever then I will rampage. Those two are like the most important thing on television.
Ryback vs. Stardust
* I don’t need to watch this to type, “Ryback won in a couple minutes and Stardust is still a character and I don’t know why.”
* Ryback won in a couple minutes and Stardust is still a character and I don’t know why.
* Told ya so.
Paige cut a promo about how the Bellas are holding the Divas division back and how they care more about magazine covers and fame than wrestling. That, ladies and gentlemen, I believe is the precursor to one of the NXT women coming up soon to join Paige in her attempts to take down the Bellas. This is fine.
Erick Rowan and Luke Harper had a segment where they were weird.
Kevin Owens came out. The earth stood still. He’s magnificent, isn’t he? He said he thinks John Cena is delusional. I mean, he’s right. Claiming Owens, the guy who defeated him and doesn’t like that his own son worships Cena instead of him isn’t a real man? The promo with Cena Monday was very good, but that, “You’re not a real man,” spiel was complete nonsense. He transitioned into the Open Challenge, which was answered by Zack Ryder. Why? I don’t know. The crowd went mild. I was so excited and the very moment I heard, “Woo woo woo.”
Kevin Owens vs. Zack Ryder
*So much potential for a great match here and they gave us this. You have no idea how bitter I am.
*I’’ve seen quite a few Kevin Owens/Steen matches, and it was during this match that I realized how his super brutal offense would look against someone like Ziggler with enough time on a big stage. The fact that I’m thinking of other matches is probably not good.
*Owens with a popup powerbomb win in all of like a minute. Ugh. F***ing WWE, man. I get the need to make Owens look strong with a decisive win, but he beat John f***ing Cena clean in his first WWE match. All we need is him in good matches that show off his talent. We know he’s a wrecking machine.
Winner: Kevin Owens
More Tough Enough submissions aired. I think I saw Grimm and Frostbitten in there. Google them if you don’t know who I’m talking about.
Neville vs. Kofi Kingston
*Neville in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. I have nothing more to say. Life is good.
*I absolutely LOVE A New Day’s entrance with Big E doing his empowerment speech. His voice resonates so much, it’s so funny, it’s so awesome, and it’s so very perfect. They’re like John Cena heels where we chant that they suck because we love them. It’s fairly universal that they are a success as a tag team, and that is one great story.
*The commercial spot was right in the beginning of this match. Why does WWE hate its fans?
*Sometimes I imagine Neville’s ears flapping as he jumps off the top rope and him just flying away to Neverland.
*I have made a conscious effort to ignore the announcers for most of this show because Lawler’s commentary is so awful. But in this match I couldn’t help but realize how Xavier Woods and Big E were basically doing commentary outside. Mic those guys for New Day matches and turn off the other commentators.
*Neville won with a pin where he locked Kingston’s arms down with his legs. There was a great spot where he did a moonsault from the top rope to the floor, but other than that this match was way too grounded for my tastes. With two guys as crazy as Kingston and Neville I just can’t give my stamp of approval to a match that was so lacking in energy.
A MizTV segement! I’m so excited!
That’s what I would say if I liked to lie in my reviews.
Miz is dressed like a tool. He can talk and he’s better in the ring than he’s been allowed to show in a few years. It’s literally not his fault that I can’t stand him. Not even in the good “he’s a bad guy so I don’t like him because he’s good at being a bad guy” way. I mean like, “I want to turn the channel because he’s so lame.” BUT HEY! Lana is his guest so everything I just said is completely irrelevant because she’s just…she’s…she Lana. I can’t add more. If you’re male then you understand. If you’re female then you think she’s a slut. Because all pretty girls are sluts if you’re a girl and see another pretty girl. Girl rules are weird.
The surprise guest was Rusev. The fact that they’re leaving him on TV despite his injury means they want to make sure people don’t forget him. Personally, I think they need to take him off television and when he comes back make him a monster heel like he was before his feud with Cena. Show that he used his time off to get stronger and come back better. Whatever. It’s not my company. Not my money going to waste.
Rusev tried talking Lana into coming back to him. I don’t blame him. I say, for the sake of both of their careers, that she go back to him. Whatever. Not my company. Not my money. She said no and Rusev flipped out and called her stupid. Which led to Ziggler coming out to defend her honor. She left with him. I love that they have days between shows to work this stuff out but choose this small window every week to work on their relationship. It’s very neat that they don’t have any contact any day other than Monday and Thursday (Tuesday if you think you’re SMART).
I also love that Ziggler wore a shirt to rep for Tyson Kidd/Cesaro. That was a really nice gesture on his part.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
*Sheamus doesn’t say “fella” nearly enough any more. I don’t mind heel Sheamus at all, but there was a time when he would just come out and scream, “FELLA!” on the entrance ramp and that never didn’t make me smile.
*See? This is what I’m talking about. Lawler said, “This is a match the world might be talking about for a long time.” I stopped ignoring the commentators for one second and that’s what I heard. Lawler, with all due respect, it’s time to hang it up. Jesus Christ.
*This match was very slow in the beginning. Slow enough that I typed both of those bullet points up and then sat here waiting for something exciting to happen so I could type it. Then I typed this one too. Still nothing. Roman Reigns has a good vertical jump, I guess. Is that worth a point? This has really been this whole show.
*The welts on Sheamus are brutal. It looks like he took this Celtic Warrior thing way too far, got some crazy medieval disease, and latched leeches to his skin in order to combat it.
*John Canton said it would be crazy to take a shot every time Reigns hit a punch or a clothesline. I may accept that challenge one day. When I feel brave.
*Kane and J&J Security interrupted the match and came down to the ring. Reigns won by DQ when Kane hit him with a boot.
Winner: Roman Reigns by disqualification
Kane announced that he’s the final participant in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “He’s totes got no chance of winning.” And you’re right. And I hope to shit that you’re right. BUT, in terms of a good story, Kane winning and cashing on Rollins is actually not bad.
What we learned on this week’s Smackdown
*WWE hates me.
*WWE hates you.
*Remember how the main event of Money in the Bank is the WWE Title match with Rollins and Ambrose? They opened the show, then they went home because there was no reason for them to sell things more than that, especially since the main event revolved around both of their respective “friends.”
*The lack of Tyson Kidd severely hurt my enjoyment of this show. I hope he and his wife realize how much joy he brought to us as fans. The good news is Natalya posted on Instagram that they flew home on Friday, so hopefully he can return soon.
*In the grand scheme of important television moments, the Sonic guys falls somewhere between the Moon Landing and 9/11. Replicating their brilliance can never happen.
*Stardust still exists. And I am really getting tired of saying it.
*WWE really thought we wanted Zack Ryder to challenge Kevin Owens.
*WWE hates me so f***ing much.
*Metallica said it best: “He’s off to Neville Neville Land.”
*Lana is not an unattractive woman.
*WWE is not my company and it’s not my money on the line. I have to constantly remind myself.
*Sheamus uses leeches to keep himself in good health.
*We needed two weeks of build-up to reveal that the final participant in the Money in the Bank Ladder match is…*drum roll*…KANE! Yeah. Pretty stoked on that.
*Sarcastic bullet points are sarcastic.
*My Twitter is still @JakobDraper and I still update it now and then by talking to people who I don’t have any other means to talk to. Including Jeremy from CinemaSins. I love that guy. I also love you. Enough that I think following me is what’s best for you.