As usual, Smackdown kicks off with a recap of what happened on Raw. Considering the events that closed Raw, it apropos to show the sequence of events that lead to the Authority’s return. Can’t help but wonder if having John Cena just utter the words, “I bring the Authority back” was the smartest way to go about this. In fact, it’s actually a bit asinine, but hey let’s suspend disbelief. That is what wrestling is all about.
WWE.com reported that after the attack by Seth Rollins and his cronies Edge and Christian filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against WWE. This is probably the most realistic reaction we have ever seen to one of these beat downs. Neither Edge nor Christian are active competitors so in actuality, they were assaulted last on Monday. The only part of this that made your favorite wrestling pundit pause is if Edge and Christian filed suit, why the heck are they allowed to open up/run Smackdown tonight? Oh well, let’s just go with it. That is probably going to be a theme tonight.
Edge starts off by apologizing to everyone because he feels responsible for the Authority being back in power. Before Edge and Christian can get the show started, a limo appears on the ‘Tron and J and J security are making their way to the ring. J and J have a prepared statement from the Authority. The Authority’s statement says they had nothing to do with Seth Rollins attack on Edge and Christian. Also, J and J will serve as “observers” in the Authority’s stead to make sure Edge and Christian follow the rules. Edge retorts that since they are still in charge, tonight Big Show will face Ryback. Christian follows that up with Rusev will face Roman Reigns.
Singles Match: Bray Wyatt vs. Eric Rowen-
No. Just No. Why is this happening on Smackdown? One would think a match between teacher and student would be a bigger deal than just a one off on Smackdown. Bray tells Rowen to lie down for him. Rowen refuses. Bray clocks him twice, and Rowen has had enough. Rowen sends Bray half way across the ring. Bray sidesteps a charging Rowen, sending him shoulder first into the corner. Rowen regains control and has a pretty good showing. He crushes Bray with a flying forearm. Bray begs off and asks Rowen if he remembers him. As Rowen is trying to help Bray up, Bray hits Sister Abigail for the win.
Bray Wyatt defeated Eric Rowen via pin fall.
After the match, Bray cuts a promo telling Dean Ambrose that if he is willing to do this to his own flesh and blood (Rowen) what will he do to Dean. He then asks Dean if he will marry him. Ok, that didn’t happen, but this writer can’t be the only one wondering why Bray is so in love… err… obsessed with Ambrose. In retrospect this match between Rowen and Bray must have happened for the sole purpose of Bray being able to cut this promo. Seems like a wasted opportunity. Why not build to a three-way dance at mania between Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Eric Rowen? This writer is aware of the Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania rumors, but at this point, will that really be worth seeing? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Backstage, Edge and Christian trick J and J into doing a five second pose while Edge and Christian sneak away. We probably wont see this again for a while, but Edge and Christian are still gold. It would be great to see more of the two of them around. Why not have them host a review show on the network? Maybe they can do hilarious commentary over old matches. Wait… I didn’t just say that. Picks up phone anyone know how to copy write and idea?
Six Man Tag Match: Adam Rose and Gold and Stardust vs. R-Truth and WWE Tag Champions The Usos-
Can anyone explain why we have to refer to them as Gold and Stardust? Anyone? Anyone? Anyway, It’s a little surprising to see the Usos in this spot. Are ahem, Gold and Stardust in line for another title shot? In an interesting turn of events, Adam Rose still has the Rosebuds with him. With him turning heel on the Bunny (for like the 8th time) it was assumed the whole gimmick was going bye-bye. By assumed, this writer means hoped for. It’s a terrible, terrible gimmick. Not everything that works at a NXT taping is going to get over with a WWE crowd.
The heels take and early advantage, beating the heck out of Jimmy Uso. Rose is clearly a heel here, but the Rosebuds are still cheering him like mindless idiots. Wait, maybe they can use that! Since Bray Wyatt isn’t a cult leader anymore, maybe Rose can be? Ok that would never work, but at least we are thinking out of the box here.
Stardust hit the Falling Star to the outside onto R-Truth. Rose sets up for the Party Foul on Jimmy, but Jimmy reverses. Jimmy and Jey hit the double superkick on Rose. Jey goes up top and finishes of Rose with the Superfly Splash.
R-Truth and The Usos defeated Adam Rose and Goldust.
After the match a few of the Rosebuds tried to attack the Usos, but they are quickly dispatched. Maybe this writer was right. The Rosebuds are heels now as well. This could be interesting. Knowing our luck the Bunny will return for revenge with an animal kingdom faction. Oops! Shouldn’t have said that out loud. Vince is always listening.
Singles Match: Big Show vs. Ryback-
The announce team try to put over that terrible promo Ryback delivered on Raw detailing his life story that no on really cares about. Sorry if that sounded harsh, but it’s the truth. The worst thing you can do is try to humanize someone who is supposed to be a monster. Having Ryback tell the story he told on Chris Jericho’s podcast smelled of damage control based on the disparaging remarks CM Punk made in reference to Ryback. Ryback seemed uncomfortable talking on Raw, but that isn’t his fault. WWE needs to give their younger guys considerable promo time (we are all looking at you, Roman Reigns) if they want them to develop into real superstars.
Ryback is immediately on the attack. Trapping Big Show in the corner and crushing him with shoulder blocks. Big Show tosses Ryback into the corner and clotheslines Ryback over the top rope. Big Show attempts a Chokeslam, but Ryback fight out of it. Ryback comes off the top with a double axe handle, which sends Big Show tumbling to the mat. Ryback is wasting no time here. He immediately calls for the Meathook Clothesline, but Big Show rolls out of the ring. After the commercial break, Big Show is working over Ryback’s ankle, which Ryback pointed out that he broke in three places. Guess CM Punk was right (Google it).
Big Show slaps on an elevated Indian Deathlock. Ryback gets to the bottom rope, causing a break. Ryback hits a Lou Thez press and then goes up top. Big Show catches Ryback by the neck and tries to Chokeslam him, but Ryback picks up Big Show and spinebusters him. Ryback calls for the Meathook once again, but the Russian flag descends from the rafters as Rusev and Lana make there way down the ramp. Ryback goes out on the apron (He’s) and tells Rusev he wants him (dumb) and since he isn’t paying attention to Big Show (as), Big Show hits the WMD and knocks Ryback out of the ring (F**K).
Big show defeated Ryback via count out.
After the match, Ryback managed to crawl back in the ring, you know because he is so strong the WMD didn’t really knock him out. Don’t get made at this writer, Michael Cole and JBL are trying their damnedest to get anyone who will listen to believe it. Rusev attacks, but he eats a Meathook Clothesline in the process. All signs point to Ryback being the one who eventually defeats Rusev. How do you all feel about that? Sound off in the comments!
Backstage, Edge tricks Jamie Noble into going into the women’s bathroom. This bit had Vince McMahon written all over it.
Tag Team Match: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd w/Natalya vs. Los Matadores w/El Torito-
Wait, aren’t they supposed to be called the Masters of the WWE Universe? Why the heck weren’t they announced as such? Strange. Natty seems to be playing the pseudo Miss Elizabeth roll here. Kidd pretty much treats her like crap and she kind of just takes it.
Diego sends Cesaro to the outside and tries to dive through the ropes but he runs right into a sick European Uppercut by Cesaro. Fernando is in and he gets double legged by Cesaro. Cesaro big swings Fernando, as Tyson Kidd drop kicks Fernando in the face. Cesaro and Kidd’s teamwork is impeccable. Let’s hope this actually goes somewhere. Cesaro and Kidd get the win after they hit there tag team finisher the… the… Swiss Blockbuster? Yeah, let’s go with that.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated Los Matadores via pin fall.
Singles Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Curtis Axel-
Didn’t Axel re-debut in NXT? It’s a bit surprising to see him on Smackdown so soon. Ambrose literally beats Axel from pillar to post before the bell ever rings.
Ambrose cuts a standard Ambrose promo about how he is going to blah, blah, blah. Normally Ambrose’s promos are interesting, but this one fell a bit flat. The Ambrose/Wyatt feud has been a bit underwhelming, but hopefully the Ambulance match on Raw will be the end of it. Ambrose was the top face in the company while Reigns was hurt he did a great job and deserves to be back in the main event mix. Before you start of course he there isn’t a spot for him there right now, but still!
Tag Match: The Ascension vs. Jobber One and Jobber Two-
Full disclosure, this writer is not a fan of the Ascension. Not at all. Creative made a huge mistake having their first match be against Miz and Mizdow. They needed to look as impressive as possible against a team that the crowd hates or a bunch of jobbers. Mizdow is too over to be fed to Konnor and Vicktor. That said, their match on Smackdown may have made up for the botched Raw debut. The Ascension looked impressive destroying Jobber One and Jobber Two. Jobber Two sold the hell out of The Ascension’s “finisher” Fall of Man.
The Ascension defeated Jobber One and Jobber Two.
Backstage J and J tell Edge and Christian that its time for them to leave. J and J remove Edge and Christian’s memorabilia and replace it with Authority memorabilia. This won’t shock anyone, but Edge and Christian decided to deface Triple H and Stephanie’s Music and Fitness cover. The “I heart HBK” tattoo Edge put on Triple H was priceless.
Main Event Singles Match: Roman Reigns vs. United States Champion Rusev w/Lana-
No! No! NO! These two should be nowhere near each other at this point. One of the biggest issues WWE has at this point is getting people to buy the Network and PPV’s. Giving away matches like this makes no sense. Well, Smackdown needs to have a main event, but having it be between these to rising stars is strange.
As expected, these two run into each other like two run away freight trains. Rusev using his above average grappling skills to out leverage Reigns at first. Reigns responds by tossing Rusev to the outside. Someone tell Rusev, whatever happens, he has to make Reigns look strong.
Rusev hits a huge German suplex on Reigns. Rusev follows that up with a gut wrench suplex for a near fall. Rusev tosses Reigns with ease via a fall away slam. That was impressive. Roman floors Rusev and sets up for the Superman punch. Rusev hits a drop kick before Reigns can connect. Rusev goes for his Savate kick, but Reigns hits a Superman punch instead. Rusev tumbles to the outside. The Big Show makes his way to the ring. Reigns runs straight at Big Show and Superman punches him. Back in the ring, Reigns hits the Spear on Rusev, but Big Show pulls him out of the ring.
Roman Reigns defeated Rusev via DQ.
Big Show beats Reigns up on the outside. He caps off his assault with a huge spear. Big Show tries to Chokeslam Reigns threw the announce table, but Reigns send Big Show flying over the table. Reigns then flips the table on top of Big Show.
All and all this was a pretty good episode of Smackdown. It is easy to become jaded after watching Raw because of the long in-ring scripted promos. Smackdown on the other hand is and always has been the wrestling show. It is only the first Smackdown of the year, but this episode was a great start. Match of the night would have to have been Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. Los Matadores. Solely because of the above average tag teamwork exhibited by both teams. The match to skip this week Bray Wyatt vs. Eric Rowen.