Quick note. This was a SmackDown worth seeing. There's always going to be some throw away segments, and there were parts I would have fast forwarded if I could, but three Shield matches will will make most shows worth sitting through. However it's the closing segment that put this show over the top.
The opening recap focused on The Shield's destruction of Team Hell No, Orton and Sheamus. It then hyped that all three of the Shield would be in singles matches tonight.
No Josh on commentary, just JBL and Cole. Rollins was the first Shield member up.
Match Number One: Seth Rollins w/ Reigns Vs. Kane w/ Daniel Bryan.
JBL and Cole put over how Rollins may be the fastest man on the roster, which played into the story of the match. Rollins would run, duck and slide around Kane to attack from different angles. Kane would grab him when he could, or put a boot for Rollins to run into. He hit a delayed suplex which the crowd were into.
Rollins hit a dropkick to Kane's knee as he was running to ground him, then continued to work the leg. Kane teased a chokeslam off the top rope for a brief hope spot but Rollins kicked him away and hit a swinging DDT for a nearfall. They got back to the top rope and this time Kane knocked Rollins off and followed him with a clothesline.
Reigns then got on the apron, but Kane grabbed his throat. He pushed Reigns to the floor but ate a kick to the head from Rollins. Rollins then went to the top rope to try his jumping knee, but with the ref's attention with Reigns, Bryan hopped up and push Seth off the top rope into a chokeslam from Kane.
Winner: Kane, Pinfall.
Reigns was yelling at the ref as Kane and Bryan celebrated in the ring. They showed Bryan's involvement several times as Rollins and Reigns yelled at the ref. Bryan and Kane stayed in the ring until the bell rang again.
Match Number Two: Daniel Bryan w/ Kane Vs. Roman Reigns w/ Rollins.
Reigns was still fuming from what just happened and attacked Bryan. Bryan hit a drop toe hold though and continued his new aggressive style. He had a new repeating spot that I hope he continues using. Reigns was on his back whith his legs tied up around Bryan's right leg, who was standing over him. Bryan would then dive forward with an elbow to the face, stand up and dive forward with another elbow. Bryan then stayed in the half guard raining down elbows that were each treated with a “yes” from the crowd.
After some back and forth action Bryan got the No Lock on out of a crucifix. Reigns was crawling to the ropes but had stopped making progress and was ready to tap. Rollins then pushed the bottom rope toward him and he grabbed it. The ref was watching Kane when Rollins got involved, Kane kept pacing and gave Rollins a boot outside. He then clocked Reigns who had put his head outside the ropes. The ref did see that and disqualified Bryan.
Winner: Roman Reigns, DQ.
Roman and Rollins got out of there quickly, very happy with themselves. Bryan yelled at Kane who wouldn't hear any of it. Bryan was yelling that Kane didn't think Bryan was capable of winning so Kane told him to get over it.
Damien Sandow was back in the ring with a suit and his wooden table. He had three cups set up and a ball. Sheamus cut him off and said he should have quit ahead when he out smarted Sheamus with the knot last week. Sheamus said Sandow was annoying everyone, so he would win this challenge and end it for everyone.
Sandow hid the all under a cup, swivelled them, revealed the ball, swivelled them, showed the ball then hid it in his pocket as he swivelled the cups again. Sheamus picked where it should have been and seemed confused that it wasn't there. Sandow offered him another go, fifty-fifty with the last two cups. Again Sheamus picked wrong. Sandow covered the last cup as he tried to wrap up the segment. Sheamus told Sandow to show the red ball under the last cup. A “show your balls” chant started and Sandow asked if there was one adult in the crowd. Sheamus lifted the last cup to reveal no red ball. Sandow had the line of the night when he paused, obviously caught out, before saying “I am also a magician! Is there no end to my talent?” Sheamus gave him a Brogue kick and said “you're welcome”.
Match Number Three: Sin Cara Vs. Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman.
This was a rematch from last week. Heyman cut a promo on his way to the ring about how the WWE see him as a liar, but when it comes to his guys, he always tells the truth. He said no one had ever had as strong a first two weeks in history as Curtis Axel. Axel took the mic and said between Cena and Hunter there are 26 world championships, yet they're 0-2 against him. He said when you're a Paul Heyman guy, life is perfect.
The match then started and the Sin Cara lights were finally gone. Sin Cara basically got the same offence as last week until he tried a reverse handspring and was met with a clothesline to the back. Axel then picked him up and hit a Perfect Plex for the pinfall.
Winner: Curtis Axel, Pinfall.
Match Number Four: Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Vs. Big E. Langston w/ AJ Lee.
Before the match they ran through the Raw match where AJ's involvement led to Del Rio beating Big E. with a roll up. They focused on Big E.'s frustration with AJ after the match. They also plugged the app, where Del Rio had cut a promo saying he believed Ziggler wasn't as hurt as he was acting.
AJ pouted during the entire match outside. It was back and forth, with Langston being on or at least near Del Rio's level. Langston got to power out of the armbreaker again, during which AJ seemed to be stopping herself from helping. Del Rio then got the armbreaker on in the ropes, so when it was broken he fell to the floor outside and Big E. stayed in. With Del Rio outside and the ref with Langston, AJ attacked Del Rio's eyes. Big E. then got him back in the ring, hit the Big Ending and got the pinfall.
Winner: Big E. Langston, Pinfall.
AJ was immediately bubbly again.
They recapped Cena changing his upcoming match with RyBack and their fight near the ambulance. RyBack then came to the ring in an ambulance.
Match Number Five: RyBack Vs. Kofi Kingston.
This was the match that will explain Kofi's upcoming absence as he receives surgery. Kofi brought the fight from the bell but was quickly taken out with the Meathook and was pinned with the Shellshock.
Winner: RyBack, Pinfall.
RyBack then grabbed a table from under the ring and powerbombed Kofi through it. He then grabbed another table and again powerbombed Kofi through it. RyBack grabbed a third table which got a babyface pop, as there had been chants of one more time. RyBack hit another powerbomb and walked away.
They recapped the Highlight Reel from Raw with Heyman accepting Jericho's challenge on Punk's behalf.
Jericho was interviewed in the back. He cut a promo about how Punk had been laying with dogs like Paul Heyman, and now he'd get fleas, among other afflictions.
Match Number Six: Chris Jericho Vs. Cody Rhodes.
They had a simple but fun match for this late in the show. Cody got in some offence, like hitting an Alabama Slam for a nearfall, but with no entrance and no hint of a program he feels like an afterthought. Rhodes got another nearfall by turning a Walls of Jericho attempt into a pinfall, but when he went for the Disaster Kick Jericho grabbed the foot, locked on the Walls and got the submission.
Winner: Chris Jericho, Pinfall.
JBL and Cole threw to the Wyatt family video from Monday.
Match Number Seven: Randy Orton Vs. Dean Ambrose.
Ambrose had his entrance during an ad break and there were no other Shield members ringside to start. After Ambrose beat Orton down in a corner the action spilled outside where Orton gave Ambrose a backsuplex on the barricade. In the ring Ambrose worked a chin lock but Orton gave another back suplex to break it.
Orton wasn't quite as motivated as the last week or two, but never slouched and genuinely enjoyed his comeback. Ambrose headbutted his way out of a superplex, but Orton hit him with a dropkick as Ambrose jumped off. Orton then hit the draping DDT but after pumping up the crowd for too long, Orton couldn't hit the RKO as Ambrose rolled out of the ring. Rollins and Reigns then ran in for the DQ.
Winner: Randy Orton, DQ.
Bryan and Kane ran down to even the odds and then the oddest thing happened. Orton disappeared and Kane took Reigns outside. Bryan was left with Rollins, who he gave a release German suplex to. He then hit an awesome running dropkick to Ambrose in the corner. Then one to Rollins who had gotten up in the opposite corner. He then dropkicked Reigns through the bottom and middle rope to the outside, catching himself on the top rope. He popped up on the apron and gave Reigns the flying knee off it. Bryan jumped back to the apron, to the top rope and gave Ambrose his top rope dropkick. Bryan was the last one in the ring as Ambrose rolled out but he wasn't finished there. He did a kip up (which they very nearly missed on camera) and charged for a suicide dive through the ropes onto Ambrose and Rollins.
Back on his feet, Bryan started the “yes!” chant and there wasn't a single person in the arena not doing it. It was incredible. Kane and Orton got beside Bryan, raised his hands and the show finished with the crowd yessing as one.
There have been a lot of good closing segments of SmackDown thanks to the Shield recently, but I cannot think of a better one than this in terms of joy watching wrestling. Go out of your way to see it.