WWE SmackDown – Review, Highlights and Analysis From 07/11/2014

The Usos vs. Gold & Stardust

I was surprised to see a steel cage match, with the Tag Team titles on the line, kicking off SmackDown. I’d think it would be booked later in the night. Placing something that exciting in the beginning of the show makes me wonder what the WWE are planning to do to top it up.

The chemistry between the four competitors has been proven to be great time and time again over the past few months and last night was no different.

Goldust was the first person in the match to use the steel cage as a weapon. Jimmy Uso was the first man to fly off the cage. This pretty much gives a good idea of how the two teams acted throughout the match. Gold and Stardust brought violence to the table and the Usos made up for the high spots.

The end of the match involved all four men, climbing to the top rope. Jimmy delivered a superplex to Goldust, then Jay did a splash on Goldy but Stardust took advantage and got a roll up win to retain the titles.

What happened to Los Matadores? What happened to Miz and Mizdow? How come the Usos ended up having a title match out of nowhere?! I’m not complaining, the matches between the Usos and the Cosmic Brothers are always entertaining but the storytelling is undeniably poor.

Kane Segment

Kane was out to deal with the Survivor Series situation. He used what happened to Randy Orton on RAW to threaten everyone on the roster.

Then he put himself in a punishment match against Dolph Ziggler. AGAIN. Putting the match inside a steel cage didn’t make it any more exciting. Kane has lost all his credibility by now and no one takes him as a threat.

Afterwards, Kane moved on to recruiting members for Team Authority. He was just about to place an offer to someone backstage when he got interrupted by Cesaro.

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The Swiss Superman wanted to join Team Authority but Kane wasn’t too excited about it, so he placed Cesaro in a match against the man he originally wanted – Ryback.

This is just sad. Cesaro has fallen so low down the card that now he’s not even wanted on Team Authority. That definitely hurts, knowing how good he is in the ring. I’m starting to believe that his accent is what’s tripping him in the WWE.

Ryback vs. Cesaro

For the first time since his return, the Big Guy actually had competition.

Cesaro dominated the match-up from the very beginning. He had counters to Ryback’s power moves and managed to keep the Big Guy down.

The Swiss Superman was vicious, using the steel post to hurt his opponent, but he was also aware of his size disadvantage and used the Sleep Hold, for example, to compensate for that.

However, Cesaro’s in-ring skills didn’t help him get a win. Ryback finally overpowered him and delivered the Shell Shock to get the 3 count.

Kane tried to offer Ryback a place on Team Authority after the match but the Big Guy left before Kane could start talking.

As I said in my RAW review, it’s more than obvious that Ryback will be on Team Cena. Also, Rusev will join Team Authority and as a result of their clash at Survivor Series, the Big Guy and the Bulgarian Brute are going to start a feud for the US title.

Where this leaves Cesaro is a mystery. He’ll probably remain stuck in the quicksand of the midcard.

R-Truth vs. Adam Rose

This match is a result of R-Truth’s borderline bullying remarks during the Halloween show. If you’ve missed it, he told Adam Rose straight in the face that the Bunny is more important than him.

There wasn’t much fighting involved. R-Truth spent his time teasing Adam Rose by hopping and dancing around. Rose decided to be bizarre and jumped in Truth’s arms like a bride.

The Bunny was mimicking Truth on the outside. However, the Bunny’s tricks distracted Adam Rose and Rose lost the match.

Rose didn’t take the loss well. Just as I was saying: “No, please, not an Adam Rose vs. The Bunny feud!”  Rose smacked the Bunny right in the face. Then Rose seemed to exclude him from the party.

Regardless of how this ridiculous rivalry ends, Adam Rose is turning heel. But the Rose character is just made to be a face only. Maybe he’ll go back to his Leo Kruger style. Then he could have some chance of becoming relevant.

The Peep Show w./ Dean Ambrose

The Lunatic Fringe didn’t want any introductions. He came out while Christian was still talking. The host wasn’t happy and he made it clear that because of his experience with the Shield, he doesn’t like Dean Ambrose. Immediately after that, Christian asked him about Bray Wyatt.

Ambrose explained that usually people target each other because they want something that the other one has but he said he had nothing. This is why Dean’s belief is that Bray Wayatt’s after him because he likes playing mind games. Just as Ambrose was getting all fired up, proclayming he wasn’t afraid of Bray Wyatt, the lights went out.

When they turned back on Bray was in his rocking chair at the top of the ramp. Wyatt hit some low blows in that segment.  He first talked about the Shield being taken away from Dean and then resorted to talking about Ambrose’s father, who left him when he was a child.

Ambrose went crazy and ran towards Bray but the lights went out again. When they got back on, Bray was behind Ambrose and screamed RUN in his ear. Ambrose was surprised and before he could react the lights were out and Wyatt was gone.

In real life, Ambrose has had a difficult childhood. I’ve listened to older interviews with him and I know that he likes using the difficulties that he has experienced in his life to build his character. That’s how he produces such realistic emotion in his promos.

However, it always makes me feel uncomfortable when things that personal get used in storylines. It was the same when CM Punk’s father’s alcoholism was brought into his feud with Jericho. I don’t think it’s right.

Rusev vs. Sheamus Recap

A highlights video of the match for the US title was played, followed by the video of Lana and Rusev’s reaction.

After screwing the fans, who don’t have the Network, out of the match, now the WWE are making amends. Good luck!

AJ Backstage

AJ was explaining to Renee that she knew Nikki was behind Brie’s attack on RAW, when Brie came to apologize. Then Nikki attacked AJ in the back and revealed she had given orders to her sister to distract AJ.

Since the Bellas are helping each other anyway, why don’t they just both stay heel? Oh, wait! That’s right! Because Brie needs to get a title shot too. Ok then.

Natalya vs. Summer Rae w./ Tyson Kidd on commentary

This match happened because Natalya saw Summer Rae talking to Tyson Kidd, who had committed the great sin of not picking up his phone, which caused jealousy.

With such ridiculous premises for a fight, I’m not surprised Tyson Kidd doesn’t care. He spent his time at the announce table, promoting himself.

That was until Cole told him to go support his wife. That’s exactly what Tyson did. However, he ended up distracting Natalya and she lost.

I mentioned it in my NXT review too, the Natty’s husband gimmick in its original version on NXT is so much less in-your-face. No cat knee pads, no constant talk about marital issues – just Tyson Kidd, being great in the ring but relying on Natty’s connections backstage to get opportunities. I don’t like this exaggerated main roster version that much.

Dolph Ziggler Backstage

Dolph was telling Renee that he would stand up for himself against the Authority, no matter what, when he got interrupted by Triple H.

The Game told him it wasn’t too late to join the Authority, if he didn’t want to end up worse than Orton.

I don’t know why the Authority insists on having Ziggler on their side. I wouldn’t want to rely on someone, who had taken so much pressuring to accept to join me.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane

Dolph was frantically trying to escape the cage from the very beginning and Kane just wouldn’t allow him. Ziggler tried everything – pins, climbing the walls countless times, going for the door, but Kane’s power would stop him every time.

Also, Kane wouldn’t go down either. One hit was never enough to put him on his knees. And even the Zig Zag couldn’t get him beat.

The match was decided near the door. Ziggler ended up on top of the door after being pushed off the cage onto it. From there, he outsmarted Kane and won by escaping.

This match was underwhelming and utterly useless. This has nothing to do with Ziggler’s performance. The issue is that everybody knows Kane has no chance of beating anybody, who’s above the lower midcard level. This kills all the suspense.

Also, why would you give Ziggler a win now? If the WWE really wanted Dolph to struggle to defend his decision, they should have put him in dangerous situations (like the one on RAW) with no escape options. Then, he could actually have a reason to reconsider joining Cena.

Excluding the Ambrose/Wyatt segment, I found this week’s SmackDown unimpressive. What about you? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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