The show kicked off with Rollins and Kane arguing…again. There’s nothing new to be added to the commentary of this situation. The Director of Operations and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion share a mutual feeling of disdain for each other. That’s it.
Although Kane is currently perceived as the face in this situation, I suppose it will end with Rollins being kicked out by the Authority, which will eventually turn Rollins face.
I just want to mention that if Kane’s job really is to make Seth grow as a champion and as a person, he’s doing a terrible job. Rollins has been getting worse and worse since he got the title.
Roman Reigns def. Kane
Roman Reigns started his speech with a shout out to Dean Ambrose, followed by calling Seth Rollins their “little brother”. I couldn’t possibly describe to you how many face points that got him with the fans. Then Reigns said something important; something that’s undeniably true but surprisingly no one ever said before – Rollins did single handedly destroy the Shield but all three of them built it together. I believe Reigns deserves a “thank you” for finally pointing that out.
Then Kane showed up, all angry, getting undressed on the way to the ring. I don’t know what’s worse – Seth’s age-related taunts to Kane or that Kane validates them by letting it get to him.
Although Kane broke the Roman Reigns routine and prevented the Superman Punch by countering it with a Chokeslam, the Director of Operations had no chance withstanding Reigns’ momentum. Roman eventually hit the Superman Punch. Kane decided that he had had enough and simply left, allowing Reigns to wait out the 10 count to a victory.
Obviously, Rollins couldn’t have missed the opportunity to gloat and make fun of Kane. In addition to that, the champ, lost in his own narcissism declared once again that he needs help from absolutely nobody at Payback. Triple H is sitting somewhere, listening to this and Seth is simply digging his own grave.
Damien Sandow def. Axel
Sandow. This is a curious topic. He did some parroting of JoJo’s announcing with some added elements of certain comedy value. Then throughout the match he mocked Axel, copied his moves and even pulled of a stunt double trick by rolling next to Axel and then hitting him with an elbow to the face. The only thing in this match that had Sandow written on it was the You’re Welcome for the win.
I don’t know how to feel about this. Sandow has a strange appeal and he connects to the audience but I’m afraid that this gimmick doesn’t seem to fit anywhere above the midcard. Then again, something in Sandow’s look makes me believe that he’ll surpass that barrier.
Ryback def. Luke Harper
Ryback didn’t like the fact that Bray Wyatt’s challenging his dedication, so he decided to play the pun game and dedicated the match to the Eater of Worlds.
I have to admit, I almost fell asleep during this match. It might have something to do with the fact that it’s after 2AM here when the show’s on but I doubt it because there were a couple of other fights that kept me very much awake later in the night. The message in this match was that Ryback is strong. It was shoved in our faces throughout the entire segment. That and the constant remarks on commentary about Harper’s personal hygiene. How am I supposed to take a competitor seriously when the only thing I hear about him are undermining jokes by a trio of douche commentators.
The real fun came after Ryback won. The lights went out, Bray Wyatt showed up and viciously slammed the Big Guy into the mat. Then a Sister Abigail followed. This minute, graced with Bray’s presence, was a million times more entertaining that the entire match + Ryback’s promo before that. I’m still quite disappointed that Bo wasn’t Bray’s real focus when he attacked The Big Guy on Raw.
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro def. The New Day
This is a match that was definitely worth staying awake for. The best way to describe what happened is team work. The manner in which Kidd and Cesaro helped each other throughout the match was impressive. The first part was entirely the Fact Droppers making a demonstration of their skills as a team. Afterwards the New Day started cheating – everything from distractions, through borderline DQ-material interferences to Xavier Woods laughing hysterically, mocking his opponents. There were so many saves that I lost count. In the end, the New Day finally got themselves DQ-ed. This time, it was fully intentional. They just wanted to keep their titles.
I’m impressed by the New Day. The somehow made a bad gimmick work. I’d like to congratulate them on being the most hated team on the roster.
Nikki Bella def. Cameron
Cameron was gossiping with Summer Rae about the altercation between Brie and Naomi on Raw. Nikki overheard them and picked up an argument with Cameron.
The match was all Nikki. The best move Cameron had was side-stepping Nikki and then tossing her into the barricade. None of that requires wrestling skills. Nikki, on the other hand, continues to impress me. She has improved a lot. I’m the first to recognize progress when it’s there. The divas champ is doing a very good job, holding on to that title.
I still find it funny that Nikki was allowed to tell Cameron on TV that she isn’t even remotely as good as Naomi. The truth hurts. Then again, I don’t think Cameron realizes this is true.
Another studio promo by the Prime Time Players was aired. This time they were making fun of the New Day. Admittedly, they made me laugh at one point. However, Titus ended up promoting the WWE Shop. This turned a decent promo into a merch add. This is not helping me view PTP seriously.
Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose
This is a duo you can’t go wrong with. Before the match Rollins found Ambrose backstage to try to reason with him and convince him to back down. As you can imagine, it didn’t go Rollins’ way. The animosity from the feud they had after the break-up of the Shield was gone. They were closer to becoming friends again that to fighting. The thing I don’t like is that the WWE’s making Ambrose look cartoonish and too comedy-centered. He can be a face without being a harmless lunatic that plays clown for the kids, you know.
The match started with Ambrose contorting Rollins in the most painful of ways and I was instantly teleported in my FCW memories. Later on I vaguely remember Kane walking down the ramp midmatch. However it didn’t matter at the time. I had even stopped taking notes. That’s how good the action in the ring was. Ambrose vs. Rollins just flows.
At one point things got completely out of control. Ambrose pushed Rollins into Kane and then took out Kane and J&J. Kane went berserk and tried to chokeslam both Ambrose and Rollins at the same time. He even wanted to chokeslam the ref. Then Ambrose saved everybody and took Kane out. Rollins made the best of the distraction, surprised Ambrose with his new, still unnamed finisher and won.
After the match Kane found it hard to decide whether he preferred attacking Rollins, or Ambrose. He opted for Ambrose and Rollins gladly joined in the beat down, accompanied by J&J. This led to Roman’s heroic appearance. He and Dean fought the attackers off and stood tall at the end of SmackDown.
It’s interesting how the WWE keeps going back to the Shield. This undeniably is the best thing the company’s come up with in the last decade, so they’ll milk until the very last drop. I can’t complain though. Roman telling off Seth after the match was funny. And a rivalry stemming off of the Shield break-up will always be valid. Come Payback, Reigns will have plenty of issues to take vengeance for.
What did you think of this week’s Smack Down? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!