By Steve Khan, WrestlingObserver.com
- Airdate: April 30, 2015 (Canadian Air Date: April 29, 2015)
- Location: iWireless Center in Moline, IL
News: Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose in their first one-on-one match (on TV) since Hell in a Cell.
Cold open with Seth Rollins, Noble and Mercury bumping into Kane backstage. Rollins was surprised to see Kane (even though they were in The Authority’s office) and said Kane had some nerve showing up to Smackdown (even though he appears to be the only one in charge). Rollins said Kane was jealous and made jokes about his age. Kane said it was his job to help Rollins grow and he was going to do what he can to make him into a man, whatever that means, so he put Rollins in a match with Dean Ambrose. Rollins belittled Kane some more and stormed off.
Roman Reigns came out to a pretty good reaction and wished Ambrose luck later against their “little brother” Seth. He said Rollins broke up the Shield and cost Reigns the title at Mania, and Reigns has been in the fight of his life every night since. Reigns said he’ll have a lot of fight in him at Payback. Kane came out with a referee for an impromptu match.
Roman Reigns vs. Kane
They fought outside the ring and Reigns hit his apron dropkick. Reigns sold it like he hurt his back and the announcers didn’t mention it at all. Reigns was selling the beating from the Last Man Standing match (or the fact that he landed on the new video board) and Kane followed by landing a sidewalk slam on the announce table, which was not a DQ. After a break, Reigns fought back, trading fists with Kane and eventually hitting a vertical suplex. Reigns then hit a flying clothesline, clotheslines in the corner and a Samoan drop.
Reigns went for the superman punch bunch Kane caught him with a chokeslam for a near fall. Reigns countered a tombstone into a DDT and superman punch. Reigns went for the spear but Kane fled the ring (and Reigns comically landed face first on the mat). Kane left, so Reigns won by countout. Reigns was upset afterwards, asking why Kane would pick a fight and then leave. Good question. Match was fine until the finish.
Backstage, Rollins told Renee that he never runs away from a fight and he will beat Reigns and Randy Orton at Payback on his own. Rollins called himself the man.
Damien Sandow vs. Curtis Axel
They replayed clips from the embarrassing segment these two had on Raw. When Sandow hit the ring, he repeated the introduction being given by JoJo. He made sure to correct his billed weight. Sandow also repeated JoJo as she introduced Axel, throwing in some insults, like calling him the village idiot. Sandow won quickly after a full nelson slam. Sandow was mocking Axel during much of the match. New Sandow, same as the old Sandow.
Backstage, Ryback told Renee that his message to Bray Wyatt tonight will be very clear when he devours Bray’s former disciple Luke Harper. If Bray doesn’t care about Harper anymore then why would he care about this?
Ryback vs. Luke Harper
Tom Phillips or Byron Saxton said Bray has a “secret menu of doom” and has a “special recipe” for Ryback. That’s really what he said. Ryback hit a nice delayed vertical suplex to Harper, even marching in place before dropping him. Ryback tried punches on the turnbuckle but Harper countered into a sitout powerbomb. After a break, Ryback fought back with a powerslam, big splash and spinebuster. Harper hit a superkick but Ryback kicked out. Ryback followed with a meat hook clothesline and Shell shocked for the win.
After the match, the lights went out and Bray appeared in the ring after his video flashed on the screen. Just like on Raw, Ryback ran right into Bray, who hit him with a rock bottom and Sister Abigail. Bray and Harper stared at each other briefly before the segment ended.
WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & Big E w/Xavier Woods vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/Natalya
Kingston tried a schoolboy but Cesaro picked him straight up into vertical suplex position, Kidd came off the top, and they hit Kofi with a brainbuster combo. Kingston and Big E made a blind tag, trying to catch Cesaro off guard, but Cesaro hit Big E with a German suplex. Kidd tagged in and they stomped on Big E to the tune of “New Day sucks,” which is a clever spot. New Day took control over Kidd after a distraction from Woods.
Kidd made a hot tag to Cesaro who hit Kingston with a huge back body drop and uppercuts in the corner. He followed that with a press slam and double foot stomp but Big E broke up the cover. Kidd took out Kingston on the outside with a flip dive. Cesaro and Kidd used the big swing/dropkick combo but Woods and Kingston broke up the cover for a DQ.
New Day beat down Kidd and Cesaro after the match and left. Cesaro and Kidd were announced the winners by DQ but the New Day’s music played and they celebrated. This was a good match with a very lame finish and, obviously, not nearly the amount of heat as in Chicago. If Kidd and Cesaro are actually faces now, I wish they would’ve done something to actually turn them.
Backstage, Cameron and Summer Rae laughed over Naomi embarrassing Brie Bella on Raw. Nikki showed up so Summer left. Nikki noted that Brie wasn’t there and basically told Cameron to shut up. She didn’t, so Nikki challenged her to a match. Cameron was the most annoying person in the world in this segment.
Cameron vs. Divas Champion Nikki Bella - Non-Title
Naomi did an in-set promo saying that nice and polite people fail. Nice and polite? The Bellas? They just cheated a few days ago to beat you. Anyway, Cameron worked over Nikki for too long and Nikki came back with a roundhouse kick, forearm and Rack Attack for the win. No heat. If Brie and Nikki are actually faces now, I wish they would’ve done something to actually turn them.
Another bad Prime Time Players promo, this time calling out New Day. They also want WWE to sell their shirts so they can make some money.
Backstage, Rollins told Ambrose that he should back out of the match. Rollins explained that if anyone tried to humiliate him, The Authority would take them out. Ambrose said “sounds good” and he would see them out there. Rollins didn’t understand. Ambrose said he liked the sound of humiliating Rollins and stopped listening to him after that. Rollins told Ambrose he was making a mistake. Ambrose said his whole life was a mistake, but at least this mistake will lead to him beating Rollins’ face in.
They recapped the King of the Ring semi-finals and finals, which ended with Barrett beating Neville with a Bullhammer. I really hope Barrett’s seventh chance works out.
Dean Ambrose vs. WWE Champion Seth Rollins w/J&J Security - Non-title
J&J distracted Ambrose outside the ring, allowing Rollins to hit him with a baseball slide. J&J then attacked Ambrose as Rollins distracted the referee. This brought out Kane. Rollins worked over Ambrose but Ambrose came back with a clothesline, dropkick and suicide dive. Ambrose followed with a facebuster for two. Rollins then hit a turnbuckle bomb for two, followed by an enzuigiri and superkick for a near fall.
Ambrose knocked Seth into Kane and then back body dropped him over the ropes, also onto Kane. Ambrose then knocked down all four guys with a top rope elbow drop. Rollins managed to toss Ambrose into the barricade. Rollins went to check on Kane, who almost double chokeslammed Rollins and Ambrose. The referee warned him to back off and Kane threatened the referee.
Ambrose slammed Kane into the ring post allowing Rollins to get his hands on Ambrose, using his new DDT for the win. After the match, Kane teased attacking Rollins but attacked Ambrose instead. All four heels kicked away at him but Roman Reigns made the save. He hit a superman punch to Kane and a double spear to J&J. Ambrose hit a rebound clothesline on Kane and Reigns followed with a spear as Rollins watched from the stage.
Decent show thanks to a couple of good matches, carried by a bigger than usual Smackdown main event.
That being said, I wish they hadn’t done Ambrose vs. Rollins on this show. I probably shouldn’t complain about getting something different on Smackdown, since everything generally feels the same, but it felt like they should’ve saved this for something bigger. I always thought Ambrose should’ve won that Hell in a Cell match in October, but when he didn’t, I held out hope that these two would have a big rematch down the line.
It became obvious that the company had no plans for Ambrose soon after that, which explains why they never bothered to explain why Ambrose didn’t try to stop Rollins from cashing in his briefcase at WrestleMania. There was an easy explanation too, that Ambrose was taken out by Luke Harper in the ladder match, finally giving Rollins the opportunity to cash in. But Ambrose is an afterthought, which is why they did this match on Smackdown even though Rollins is starving for title opponents.
Last year, Ambrose tried for months to get his hands on Rollins, and when he finally did, he was screwed by Bray Wyatt. Months later, I guess we’re to believe Ambrose doesn’t care anymore, and he fought Rollins tonight simply because Kane told him too. Because Dean Ambrose is like everyone else.
- Roman Reigns beat Kane via countout
- Damien Sandow beat Curtis Axel via pinfall
- Ryback beat Luke Harper via pinfall
- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro beat WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day via disqualification
- WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella beat Cameron via pinfall - Non-title
- WWe Champion Seth Rollins beat Dean Ambrose via pinfall - Non-title