By James Shannon |
SmackDown opened with Bryan coming to the ring. The show hasn't opened that way in a week or two, and the shows without it have felt fresh.
Daniel Bryan Vs. Christian
No great surprise but these two had a fun opening match. It seemed like they were trying to mirror each other the whole way. Christian sent Bryan outside but Bryan countered when Christian tried a baseball slide dropkick. Then Bryan sent Christian outside but was punched as he was about to dive through the ropes. They then traded a leg kick for a palm strike back and forth.
Bryan got a nearfall with his kick to the head. This came after Christian had already avoided it but missed a spear. Christian then got a nearfall with a second spear attempt as Bryan tried his running dropkick. Both men countered the other's finisher before Bryan caught Christian's arm as he jumped off the ropes, got the Yes Lock and got the submission.
Winner: Daniel Bryan, Submission
The crowd took a while to get into the flow of the match. It's probably because it takes half a match to figure out if you're meant to cheer Bryan or not. But by the end they loved it. Even broke into a “this is awesome” chant. Much better start than Bryan's segments with Kane and Orton.
Teddy Long was on the phone when Dolph walked in. Long said he had good news, Ziggler had the night off. Dolph said he wanted to be competing. Long explained that Del Rio was facing Sin Cara later and didn't want Ziggler getting involved. Teddy argued that he didn't want to be fired after what happened to Vickie, so he couldn't have interference in any matches tonight. Dolph accused Teddy of being pals with Del Rio. Long said he was just doing his job.
Seth Rollins w/ Roman Reigns Vs. Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso
Rollins controlled most of the match until he tried ramming Jey's head into the turnbuckles. That just woke Jey up who then made a comeback. He hit a splash in the corner, followed by a charging hip into Seth's head as he sat in the corner. Reigns got on the apron to stop a pinfall attempt, but he was taken out by a side kick by Jimmy. Jey then got a nearfall with a great Samoan Drop. Jey climbed the top rope as Reigns took out Jimmy on the outside. Rollins knocked Jey down and hit the knee to the back of the head for the pinfall.
Winner: Seth Rollins, Pinfall
The highlights of Vickie's firing was shown.
Chris Jericho Vs. Curtis Axel (c) w/ Paul Heyman, Non-Title Match
Jericho really threw himself into this match. He always has his working shoes on, but he was also full of energy here. Axel for his part kept up with him and the two had a match that was more fun than I expected, with a lame finish. It was hard hitting, back and forth all the way through. Axel had taken over and hit a big clothesline outside the ring. He took too long getting back inside though and Jericho caught him with a Code Break as he was halfway through. Axel fell outside which let Heyman try to encourage him. He was pulling himself up by the ropes and fell at 9.5 for the count out.
Winner: Chris Jericho, Countout
So Jericho beat Axel twice in a week leading to the PPV, where Axel will put his title on the line against Miz. Axel threw a tantrum ringside. He yelled about losing twice in a row and chucked a chair.
The Miz Vs. Ryback
Miz targeted the knee of Ryback to start, but it quickly slowed down to Ryback's pace. The slow pace kept up for a while until Miz made his comeback. Miz targeted the leg some more until Ryback said it was hurt again. He said he heard a pop but he didn't want the ref to stop the match. The ref kept Miz away and helped Ryback to his feet. As the ref was asking him again if he wanted the match stopped, Ryback pounced to hit the Meathook and Shellshock. That doesn't seem fair, Miz wasn't allowed to touch Ryback but Ryback was fine to attack Miz. Ryback continued to sell the leg after the comeback.
Winner: Ryback, Pinfall
Renee had Sheamus backstage. Sheamus will become a three time WWE Champion after grabbing the briefcase and the pints will be on him. He went to leave, told Renee he thinks she's cute, then left.
In the ring Teddy Long hosted a contract signing between AJ and Kaitlyn. The rest of the girls stood behind the table that the two wrestling sat at. Big E. stood with the girls. AJ asked if the girls were there to protect Kaitlyn, then remembered half of them hate her. But the other half hate AJ herself, even though they should be happy that she put the Divas title back on the map. She continued on when Long told her to hurry up, that there wasn't time for that. AJ signed and pulled the pen away when Kaitlyn reached for it. AJ warned her that if Kaitlyn signs, AJ will be prepared to embarrass her worse than before. Layla grabbed the pen and Kaitlyn signed. AJ said she tried to warn her, then started reading texts that Kaitlyn sent to her secret admirer bitching out the girls.
She offered to let Kaitlyn rip up the contract and run away forever. Kaitlyn said no, that AJ manipulated her into losing the title and her friends, and she'd never let a psychopath destroy her again. She will be champion again while AJ rocks back and forth in a padded cell. AJ slapped her so Kaitlyn pushed her back into her chair, then pushed the chair back with the table, trapping her in the corner. Kaitlyn got on the table and started to throw before Big E. dragged her away. She gave Big E. a stiff right and a spear on AJ who was sneaking up. A lot of the writing here was as bad as usual, especially the fake text messages. But AJ is really good and I expected the segment to be far worse.
Wade Barrett Vs. Fandango w/ Summer Rae
Zeb Colter was on commentary with Swagger and Cesaro standing behind him. Then Rhodes Scholars marched down the ramp a minute into Barrett beating up Fandango. As Rhodes Scholars jawed with Colter's men, Barrett lost attention for a second and was rolled up.
Winner: Fandango, Pinfall
No fight after the match. Barrett was angry but the commentary just turned to the Wyatt's debut Monday and announced that Kane was out of MitB due to the attack.
Alberto Del Rio (C) Vs. Sin Cara, Non-Title Match
Sin Cara entered the ring and kept running at Del Rio. He overwhelmed Alberto with punches and aggression. Del Rio got outside and JBL noticed how Sin Cara was massive and ripped with blonde hair peaking from under his mask. Back in the ring Sin Cara hit the ZigZag and swivelled his hips. Dolph “Sin Cara” Ziggler was at the top of the ramp when Vickie's voice came over the loud speaker. She had stolen Lillian's mic. She got the heat you'd expect, screaming about no one had shown her respect since Monday. Long even made her buy a ticket. She demanded he be fired for being a liar and spineless. He came out and said Stephanie had two words for her, he has one: Security!
Teddy Long had caught up to “Sin Cara” backstage and was calling out for Ziggler to stop. Teddy finally caught up and said he'd given Dolph the night off. But now it really was Sin Cara who asked “Dolph?” while pointing to himself. Ziggler came up and put his arm around Teddy and said he was sorry he was back, he left his cell in the locker room, congratulated Sin Cara saying he'd never looked better and left.
Sheamus Vs. Randy Orton
Completely 50/50 match between two guys the crowd clearly saw as stars. Although there was less support for Sheamus, even if all of his spots were cheered. They brawled, they both made big comebacks and ran through their spots. Sheamus hit his forearms in the ropes, then Orton hit his draping DDT. Orton dodged a Brogue Kick and Sheamus pushed out of an RKO.
Orton hit a series of headbutts on Sheamus as he sat on the top rope, but Orton didn't hit the superplex. Instead both men fell out of the ring from the inside middle rope. The ref started counting as both men were down and at five Bryan ran down and pulled a ladder out from under the ring. Before he could set anything up both Orton and Sheamus had slid into the ring, so Bryan ran at them with the ladder and knocked both down at once.
Bryan set up the ladder under the briefcase but Sheamus pulled him down. Sheamus sent him outside and climbed, until Christian pulled him down. Sheamus then stopped Christian's attempt but was knocked off by Christian. Christian was about to have the briefcase when Bryan pushed the ladder over. Before Bryan could finally make it up top, he got RKO'd. Orton slowly rose, climbed the ladder and unhooked the briefcase to end the show.