WWE Smackdown – Review, Highlights and Analysis from 26/09/2014

Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz

It was an explosive match to start off an explosive Smackdown. The crowd was awesome too. The pop when Dean Amborse’s name was announced was amazing.

The match started with the Miz running around the ring, trying to escape Ambrose to the sound of loud LET’S GO AMBROSE chants. Actually Miz spent a lot of time sliding out of the ring and running around until Dean finally got him and got his hands on the money maker, which outraged both Damien Mizdow and JBL. Just a quick note: Sandow is probably the most entertaining person that can you can possible be accompanied by.

The Lunatic Fringe was all over Miz. The A-lister was on the receiving end of a top rope dropkick and then got tossed out of the ring and onto the barricade, face first.  Damien Mizdow was there not only to coach and cheer the Miz, but also to sacrifice himself as a distraction to the Unstable one.  This allowed the Miz to take control of the match for a bit, while Ambrose gave us a bit of his insane facial expressions and his insanely good mannerisms.

The Lunatic Fringe turned things around quickly and launched himself on Miz outside of the ring. Miz tried to sneak one in on Ambrose with a roll up but failed. Dean went for a tornado DDT but Miz somehow survived. Ambrose got on the top rope and got rid of Mizdow, who was trying to distract him, but missed the dropkick to Miz and found himself locked in the Figure 4. Ambrose got to the ropes and the commentators pointed out that he had a very high pain threshold. To be fair, the WWE audience hasn’t yet see and probably never will seen anything that even comes close to what Ambrose’s pain threshold can withstand (for reference-Jon Moxley).

Anyway, the Lunatic Fringe was getting psyched and ready to finish Miz off when his facial expression suddenly changed. He saw Seth Rollins and Kane approaching. Miz tried to take advantage of the distraction and went for the Skull Crushing Finale but Ambrose countered with Dirt Deeds for the 3 count.

Kane and Rollins cornered Ambrose and attacked him in the middle of the ring. The audience seemed to be worried about it, chanting for Cena to come to the rescue. However, the Lunatic Fringe needed no help and took both of his opponents out. Then Ambrose did something many wanted to see. He stole Seth’s briefcase and ran away with it through the audience.

It was a matter of time before Ambrose stole the briefcase. But we also know that Rollins is not going to take it lightly. He is proud of being Mr. Money in the Bank and he won’t just talk. He’ll act. Until now he had no reason to go after Ambrose. He only needed to fend him off. Now Rollins will most probably go on the attack. The thought of this feud, locked in Hell in a Cell, gets me excited from now. Anyone with me?

Gold & Stardust Promo

Stardust was excited talking about the stars that align when Goldust interrupted him, telling him in a deep morbid voice that that was enough because they already had the cosmic key. Stardust agreed that the Usos “Can’t have it”.

I loved how Stardust played with words, calling the Usos “the Gemini Usos”. Also, is it just me or the Gold/Stardust promos about the cosmic key sound like conversations between Sméagol and Gollum, discussing the Precious?

Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender Battle Royal

The participants were Heath Slater, Titus O’Neil, Bo Dallas, Jack Swagger, Los Matadores, Sin Cara, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder and Damien Mizdow.

The match started with two quick eliminations, both courtesy of Bo Dallas

  1. Bo eliminated ½ of Los Matadores
  2. Bo eliminated Sin Cara

The second member of Los Matadores followed soon.  It is really bad but even the commentators don’t discern in between Diego and Fernando. What credibility can we talk about here?

  1. Damien Mizdow eliminated 2nd ½ of Los Matadores

Meanwhile, Kofi, Woods and Big E, all dressed in matching red outfits ganged up on Bo Dallas. I’m confused. Is the Woods Faction a thing or not? Moving on:

  1. Kofi Kingston eliminated Justin Gabriel

Elimination 4 was done in such a spectacular manner that the commentators awarded Kofi with the title “Battle Royal Guru”. If he could only win one of those Battle Royals, I’m sure he’d appreciate it even more. The next elimination was Cesaro’s first for the match.

  1. Cesaro eliminated Xavier Woods

This angered Big E and he attacked Cesaro. The Swiss Superstar showed off his incredible strength by lifting the 290lbs Big E over his head. A bit later, Big E returned the favor but Cesaro quickly got away, picked up Big E for the second time and just tossed him out of the ring. Cesaro’s strength never ceases to amaze me.

  1. Cesaro eliminated Big E

Zack Ryder was getting beaten up by Titus O’Neil while sitting on the top rope. Then Titus viciously pulled the rope, which resulted in the Broski taking a nasty fall on the outside.

  1. Titus O’Neil eliminated Zack Ryder

Almost immediately after that

  1. Jack Swagger eliminated Titus O’Neil

This infuriated Heath Slater who exploded out of the corner and attacked Swagger. The Slater and the Gator had been working quite well together during the match until this point. Slater though got distracted because he was arguing with the already eliminated Titus, which cost him the elimination.

  1. Jack Swagger eliminated Heath Slater

The only men left in the ring at this point were Kofi, Cesaro, Swagger, Bo and Mizdow. The first four decided for some reason to gang up on Mizdow. Staying in character, before he got eliminated, he yelled: “I’m a stunt double and I’m AWESOME!”. I was disappointed to see Mizdow go. I was rooting for him but I guess I’m just impatient. The moment when the stunt double will outshine the movie star will come and it will be awesome.

  10. Kofi, Cesaro, Swagger and Bo eliminated Damien Mizdow

Swagger tossed Kofi out of the ring but he hung on. Then Bo Dallas decided to take matters into his own hands by BITING Kofi’s hands. Seriously, that was the mini WTF moment of the match. Kofi tried to eliminate Bo, who hung on the outside in his turn but received another kick by Kofi and flew out. I don’t really want to see the Kofi vs. Bo feud revived though.

   11. Kofi Kingston eliminated Bo Dallas

What followed was a very chaotic exchange in which Kofi, Swagger and Cesaro were taking turns in trying to eliminate each other. It ended with Cesaro throwing Kofi at Swagger and eliminating them both in on go

  12. Cesaro eliminated Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger

I’ll be honest – I didn’t expect Cesaro to win. This opens up so many questions. What about Miz’s rematch? I mean, Dolph got the title back during a rematch but doesn’t the champion still have a rematch? What happened to Cesaro’s feud with Sheamus? What will happen to the US title? If Swagger or Kofi had won, Miz would have probably cost Dolph the match and then Kogi/Swagger would have had a ready feud with Bo for the title. Now it’s all up in the air. Very strange booking.

The Usos Promo

It was a very quick promo on the way to the ring. The Usos were hyped and said that they had everything but the titles which they were going to get back soon.

Gold & Stardust vs. The Usos

This was hands down the best match of the night and with the quality of this weeks’ Smackdown, this says a lot.

The Usos were so pumped up. I think the reason why they are so over is that they approach every match like a pay-per-view match – they go all out. The bell had barely rung when we already had flying Usos in stereo onto the Cosmic brothers outside the ring.

Gold and Stardust came off aggressive and merciless. They are getting more and more dangerous. Their bizarreness is not innocent and fun anymore. Goldust brutally slammed Jay’s arm into the post. Stardust then grabbed Jay and smashed him on the announce table, jumped on him, screaming “Where’s the key, Cole?!” and put his hands on Jay’s throat as if to strangle him. I could see flashes of the LOTR universe once again.

Jay took A LOT of punishment in this match. He had a crazed Stardust scream inhumanly at him while beating him down. His t-shirt was violently torn off him back. Jay wasn’t allowed to make a tag. He got ferociously pushed into the corner by Goldust just to watch him tag a fresh, blood-thirsty Stardust. Jay gave a desperate NO scream. In fact, Jay was so badly hurt that even when he had the whole ring to himself, he couldn’t drag himself to his brother. It was intense.

When the tag was finally made, Jimmy dropped Stardust on his head in a nasty-looking fall. Goldust got involved and Jimmy kicked him down. But then Jimmy missed the superkick to Stardust and found himself outside the ring. Goldust threw himself on both Usos but got caught and smashed into the barricade. Then Stardust jumped backwards, taking down both Usos. I don’t know if it’ll stick but Cole called the move The Falling Star.

Back in the ring, Stardust climbed on the tope rope but got caught by Jimmy Uso. He tagged Jay and Jay jumped onto Stardust while he was still on Jimmy’s shoulders. Jimmy tagged in and did a top rope splash on Stardust. The referee was just about to hit the final tap in the 3 count when Goldust got involved and caused a DQ, saving the titles for him and his brother.

The match was phenomenal. I’d actually pay to watch that and I got it on Smackdown for free. Simply beautiful wrestling!

Kane/Seth Rollins Segment

Kane was telling Seth that what happened with Ambrose didn’t matter because Rollins was still Mr. Money in the Bank, with or without the briefcase. However, Rollins didn’t agree. He said Ambrose had crossed a line and threatened that if the Lunatic Fringe didn’t return the briefcase in the same condition, he took it in, Seth was going to make what happened with the cinder blocks look like a “child’s play”.

I like where this is going. As I said, it is now personal for Rollins. Although he runs all the time, much like the Miz does, Seth is completely different. He doesn’t run because he’s afraid to fight. He runs because he wants to win at all costs. He is impressive in the ring but until now he was only chased. Now Rollins will chase Ambrose. We might see Rollins lose his head and go after his former Shield brother with the same passion Dean goes after him. Then a match for the briefcase just might become a tangible option. The outcomes of that, I’ll talk about another time.

Summer Rae & Layla vs. Natalya & Rosa Mendes

Summer didn’t want to fight Nattie because she was afraid of her. Layla was screaming, petrified of the idea of being put in the Sharp Shooter. It gave off a weird feel as if Natalya was some sort of a big scary monster. It was bizarre.

Then Summer, who found herself backed into a corner, screamed: “I want to be friends, Nattie, Stop!”. Obviously, she just used that to distract Natalya and turn the momentum. However, I like Summer’s acting. She’s very expressive. Summer can definitely tell a story, unlike some other divas (I might or might not be talking about the Bella Twins here).

At some point, Natalya tagged Rosa in. Rosa did one move. It was a dropkick and it looked stiff. I wonder if she really is that bad or it’s just part of her gimmick. I’m afraid that the first is much more plausible than the second.

In the end, Layla tried to pin Rosa, Nattie broke it, then took out Summer but got kicked out by Layla and Layla picked up the win for her team.

Having in mind that Natalya was tagging with Rosa, it was more of a handicap match than anything else. The storyline is rubbish, mostly because not many WWE fans actually watch Total Divas so all the animosity comes a bit out of the blue. Even so Nattie and Summer did a great job of selling their rivalry.

Big Show Promo

Big Show talked about his strong bond with Mark Henry and the emotional impact that the feud with Rusev had on the World’s Strongest Man. The World’s Largest Athlete promised to knock Rusev out.

Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler

Did we just have a stolen MITB briefcase, a tag team titles match, a IC title #1 contender match and a IC title match in a single Smackdown? Whatever’s taken over the WWE Creative, I think I can get used to.

This was a speed vs strength match. And it was a great match. Ziggler would get thrown but then would land on his feet. Cesaro was physically dominating. He tossed Dolph, smashed him into the barricade and then lifted Ziggler with ease and put him back in the ring.

Cesaro had Ziggler locked in submission holds a few times. The IC Champion did a great job of selling the painfulness of the submission but then managed to withstand them.

Cesaro used his signature uppercut in midair but also used some pages from Ziggler’s book. The Swiss Superman climbed in the middle of the second rope and hit a flying elbow to the chest of Dolph. In general, Cesaro come off as the better man in the match.

In the end, Dolph went for the Famouser but missed. However, he managed to do a sunset flip and roll Cesaro. Cesaro had the ropes but the referee didn’t see it and gave the win to Ziggler.

It’s strange that they keep booking Dolph with those dirty wins. It’s possible that they’re setting him up for a heel turn, which would be an awful idea, having in mind how over he is. The LET’S GO ZIGGLER chants were off the roof. Otherwise, he’s being booked like that to give rematch claims to his opponents. That’d be dangerous because winning like that undermines his credibility as a champion. Then again, the IC championship almost changed hands 3 times in one week, so….

Rusev/Lana Promo

It was a standard promo routine for the Ravishing Russian and the Super-Athlete. Lana came out and started off in Russian, saying that at Night of Champions Mark Henry cried because he had realized that nothing could save him from Rusev. Then she added in English that Big Show would get crushed too. Rusev finished in Bulgarian, saying that Big Shows was just going to be the next one to fall in front of him and his greatness.

Big Show vs. Rusev

I’m used to seeing smaller superstars look tiny in front of the Big Show but when a man of Rusev’s size looks miniscule in comparison, then I realize how massive Big Show actually is. The difference was so impressive that adding Rusev’s considerably fast in-ring work, The Super-Athlete almost came across as the agile underdog in this match.

At some point, Rusev managed to kick Big Show down and started working on his left knee for a while. It looked brutal and painful. Rusev was switching between punches, kicks and submissions on that one poor knee. Eventually,  the Big Show got free and attacked Rusev. What I like about the Bulgarian Brute is that he’s very animated. Even when he’s portrayed as unstoppable, you can still see him showing pain during matches.

Big Show went for the knockout punch but Rusev ducked and super kicked him. The Giant kicked out and soon after that chokeslamemd Rusev. The Big Show was setting up for the konokout punch for the second time when Lana grabbed his leg. She’s so tiny that he easily pulled her in with one leg only. She did an amazing job of looking scared and innocent, while begging him not to hurt her. And the she did an amazing job of looking incredibly happy when Rusev attacked Big Show in the back with the Russian flag, causing a DQ.

After the match Rusev went for the superkick again but Big Show caught his leg and knocked him out.

The commentators pointed out that the  Big Show was the first person to take Rusev down like that, but let’s not forget that Mark Henry was the first person to break the Accolade and that didn’t help him win. I don’t see Big Show coming out of this feud as the winner. Showing that Rusev has weaknesses only makes him more believable as a character and when he comes on top his credibility is even higher.

What were you impressions of this week’s amazing Smackdown? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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