Friday, 30 May 2014 08:29
This show went faster than the last week or two. While that’s usually a good thing, this was largely due to the number and speed of matches. Even between matches there was usually only one entrance. I’d definitely recommend NXT Takeover over this episode, as you won’t miss anything memorable here like the Charlotte/Natalya match. But if you just want a wrestling show to fill the time, this will do fine.
The Shield kicked off SmackDown. Ambrose said they don’t care what happens to themselves. So while Evolution will be happy with having hit them all with a sledgehammer, it’s not enough to phase them. He wanted to know how crazy Evolution would be will to get. He warned them to bring everything they had because the hounds would be off their leash. Rollins spoke about the elimination factor. He targeted Orton, saying if Randy can’t walk away after being pinned there will be a stretcher to take him backstage. He said they’d then eliminate Batista, leaving Triple H by himself against all three. They will take their time with Hunter, but they will get the job done. Evolution will be extinction.
Reigns took the mic. He said powerbombing him on Raw was a big mistake. He listed the ways and weapons they’ll use. Then they’ll destroy every announcers’ table they can get their hands on. They ended the opening by telling people to believe in the Shield.
They gave a little history package on the IC title to lead up to the US vs. IC title match tonight.
Match Number One: Kofi Kingston Vs. Cesaro w/ Heyman.
Kofi got no entrance, but a little inset promo saying this would be the start of his road back to the US title. They had a fun opening match. Giving directions it was exactly what it should have been. Cesaro showed his strength early, Kofi made a comeback with some fast action, but Cesaro caught him with a big uppercut as he was rebounding out of the corner looking for a cross body for the finish. After the pin Cesaro left him lying with the Neutralizer.
Winner: Cesaro, Pinfall.
Renee introduced Bad News Barrett backstage. He has bad news for anyone who thinks his title is in trouble at PayBack against RVD. He then turned his attention to Sheamus. The English have never been afraid of the Irish. And Sheamus is the champion of one country, whereas he is the champion of EVERY continent.
Match Number Two: Tamina Vs. Paige (C), Non-Title Match.
No entrance for Tamina. The Champion got one and an inset. She just said after the PPV she’ll show she’s better than Fox and will show everyone she deserves to be champion. Fox came out at the bell to distract Paige. She was taking photos with fans, then took the Divas Championship just being generally obnoxious. Paige was yelling at the ref to do something about Fox taking her title and got superkicked. She kicked out but instead of getting back to fighting she again stuck her head through the ropes toward Fox and got beaten up again. Eventually Paige lost her cool and just started throwing knees at Tamina. Tamina tried a Samoan Drop but Paige hit the Paige Turner and her submission for the victory. Fox danced away without the title. I’m a big fan of Paige, but other than winning this segment did little for her.
Winner: Paige, Submission.
Renee introduced Sheamus backstage. She asked what the story was between him and Cesaro. He made a gremlins reference, saying that attacking him from behind was like feeding him after midnight. She brought up Barrett’s comments about his title meaning more than Sheamus’. Sheamus said he was never good at geography but he knows physics. And when his kick meets Barrett’s face, he’s knocking out teeth. And that’s good news.
Bolieve, same challenge and change video from before his debut.
Match Number Three: Xavier Woods Vs. Bo Dallas.
Bo wore his shirt all the way to the ring. He then cut a little promo, with Xavier already in the ring. He said thanks to his Bolievers, he’s undefeated since his debut. His shirt finally came off after the promo and bell. After Bo did some wrestling and a lap of celebration to start, Xavier eventually made a small comeback. But as he tried for a top rope cross body Bo dropkicked him in midair. Bo then hit the bulldog out of the ropes for the pinfall.
Winner: Bo Dallas, Pinfall.
He said we’re all winners tonight and gave Xavier a big hug. I thought he’d get away without a slow mo of his stomach, but it came just before they cut to a video of Bray Wyatt going after Jerry on Raw. After an ad they replayed Torito pinning Drew, then having Swoggle rip off his tail.
They cut back and Los Matadores were in the ring with Torito. Torito had a bandage where his tail should be and was opening and closing a full size pair of Brutus the Barber Beefcakes’ sheers. 3MB were also in the ring, with Swoggle stroking his hair while he still has it.
Match Number Four: Jinder Mahal w/ 3MB Vs. El Torito w/ Los Matadores.
Jinder took Torito to the top rope but was distracted when everyone on the outside started fighting. Torito hit a sunset bomb and a moonsault for the pinfall.
Winners: El Torito, Pinfall.
Swoggle got in the ring behind the bull when Slater and Drew distracted him. Matadores took out the big guys and Swoggle was left alone with the bull. He tried to run but the Matadores stopped him. Torito grabbed the scissors and chased Swoggle into the safety of 3MB. Bad.
They played a video on the history of US champions like the IC one earlier.
Match Number Five: Bad News Barrett (c) Vs. Sheamus (c), Non-Title Champion Vs. Champion Match.
Heyman was on commentary. These two know each other well enough to have this match in their sleep now. And having Heyman on commentary was something to spice things up a little bit. Each guy countered the other’s big moves into big moves of their own. The match ended as Barrett tried for the Wasteland. Sheamus rolled off the shoulders looking for a rollup, but Barrett rolled onto his feet and right into a Brogue Kick for the pinfall. The finish surprised me a little, just shocked it was clean.
Winner: Sheamus, Pinfall.
Sheamus grabbed his belt then grabbed Paul Heyman. Heyman kept saying he’s just an advocate. He said he had two children at home depending on him. He said he’s said nothing bad about Sheamus. He was great searching for the right thing to say. He was reaching the bottom of the barrel when he half said half asked Sheamus to have good luck on Sunday and Sheamus let go. He walked away smiling, having gotten into Heyman’s head. Nice little touch after a clean match.
Renee introduced the Usos backstage. Jey’s ribs were taped after they lost a tag match to Rowan and Harper on Main Event. Jimmy was promoting his Last Man Standing match with Bray tonight. Really good little promo in the end, just saying he was going to throw the rule book out the window and hit it out of the park. Good fire.
They recapped Big E. beating up Titus a month ago.
Match Number Six: Titus O’Neil Vs. Big E.
Big E. held on to the flag from Monday. Lana came out to the stage after both men were in the ring. She put over Russia and brought out Rusev waving the Russian flag. He started walking down the ramp as the bell rang so Titus took out the distracted Big E.
Titus missed a splash after just a few moments of offence, was hit with a belly to belly and a splash. Big E. pulled down the straps and pinned Titus with the Big Ending. Rusev was still on the stage, so he just pretending to walk to the ring to distract Big E. They then had a flag wave off. Rusev on the stage and Big E. in the ring. Surreal.
Winner: Big E., Pinfall.
Match Number Seven: Adam Rose Vs. Jack Swagger.
Zeb was on commentary. Zeb made fun of the origin of Rose, saying he’d heard he was from South Africa, The Bahamas and England. Rose danced away at the bell then offered Swagger his lollipop. Swagger shot for a takedown but Rose moved aside. Swagger ended up leaving the ring when Rose messed with his head during a body lock and jumped into Swaggers arms. Cat and mouse followed before Rose got him in a whacky leg pin for the victory. Swagger just sat there stunned while Zeb threw a tantrum on the mat and Rose danced away with his group.
Winner: Adam Rose, Pinfall.
They recapped the Bryan/Steph segment from raw.
Match Number Eight: Bray Wyatt w/ Rowan & Harper Vs. Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso, Last Man Standing Match.
Another entrance cut as the Wyatts were already in the ring as the Usos came out. For some reason the other Wyatts and Uso left the ring for the bell after it was clearly announced there would be no DQ. Jimmy got Bray out of the ring quickly and they went to the last ad with Harper and Rowan standing over Bray to keep him safe.
Bray was back on top after the break but was soon sent outside again. Jimmy jumped up to the barricade and ran along it like Jeff Hardy used to do, but jumped over Bray to throw a superkick back at him. The ref started counting to ten for Bray as Harper made sure he was ok. Bray got up and immediately back in the ring took Jimmy out with his running forearm. He then crab walked as the ref counted to 8 before Jimmy got to his feet. Bray jawed with Jey but couldn’t hit a superplex on Jimmy. Jimmy knocked him down and hit a splash for an 8 count on Bray.
The match again went outside and Jimmy got an 8 count with a hip attack to Bray’s head as he sat up against the barricade. Harper and Rowan then decided to get involved by taking out Jey. Jimmy started superkicking everyone. Jimmy had Bray set for the hip attack to the head against the steel steps, but Bray avoided it and hit the Sister Abigail on the floor for the ten count.
Winner: Bray Wyatt.
Bray counted along with the ref as he lay with his back on the bottom rope. The show went off the air with the Wyatts celebrating in the ring.
8 matches is just too many for a two hour show. Still, they all went quickly enough. It’s just hard to recommend this over the NXT Takeover show.