- Air Date: June 2, 2016
- Location: BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL
- The Big News:
AJ Styles is a full-fledged heel and won a match with the Styles Clash. Also, it appears the MITB ladder match will just involve the six guys already announced.
- Show Recap:
AJ Styles & The Club confront The New Day
The New Day came out to a big reaction. They mentioned the Vaudevillains robbing everyone of the opportunity to see Stephanie McMahon dance. Xavier Woods seemed particularly bummed about this.
What was more notable to New Day though was the attack by Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. New Day were about to remind us that they are our WWE Tag Team champions, but Anderson and Gallows interrupted. The Club said the New Day didn’t exactly look like champions on Raw, and the Club would be the champs soon.
Woods wondered what kind of “club” they actually were, and figured they meet in a treehouse. Big E said they definitely weren’t the hair club for men. New Day challenged them to a fight but figured they wouldn’t accept without their papi AJ Styles with them. That brought out Styles.
Styles was a full-fledged heel. He said this wasn’t a new day, it’s “our day,” and the WWE belonged to the Club. New Day reminded them who the tag champs were. Styles called Kingston a joke for being in an act like New Day after all these years. Kingston reminded Styles that he was a multiple time IC, U.S. and Tag Team champion, and what was really funny was how long it took AJ just to get to WWE.
Styles reminded them what happened on Raw and challenged Kingston to a match, which he accepted. Good segment. Styles and Kingston both came off well.
They announced a tag match between Dean Ambrose and Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio and Kevin Owens.
Non-Title: Becky Lynch beat Women’s Champion Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) via DQ
Like JBL, Lawler is not a fan of what Charlotte did to Ric Flair, although he doesn’t seem as disgusted by it. Brooke provided a distraction two minutes into the match allowing Charlotte to take over going to commercial.
They went back and forth after the break leading to Lynch trying an armbar as Mauro Ranallo let us know she trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Charlotte powered out, though, and hit a powerbomb. Charlotte went for a moonsault but landed on her feet as Lynch rolled out of the way. Lynch applied the Disarmer but Brooke tried pulling Charlotte out of it so the referee called for a DQ.
Brooke finally pulled Charlotte out of the ring, but Natalya cut them off on the ramp. Natalya and Lynch tried to apply their submission moves on the heels but they escaped through the crowd. The action was fine but the finish was crap. The crowd liked Becky.
MITB Interview Segment
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Zayn and Ambrose. With Ambrose standing right there, Zayn tipped his hat at Renee. Zayn said he and Ambrose have a good track record as a team despite Ambrose’s comments on Monday.
Ambrose was skeptical of Canadians because of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho and the border patrol guy. Zayn told Ambrose he shouldn’t have tried to bring nunchucks into the country. Owens and Del Rio interrupted. Owens tried to convince Ambrose that Zayn was manipulating him. After Del Rio added some insults of his own, Ambrose said they should just fight right now but the heels left.
The Dudley Boyz beat Golden Truth via pinfall
Tyler Breeze and Fandango sat in Breeze’s lounge at ringside. Truth rapped a new song on the way out, and they had the lyrics on the screen. Lawler called it terrible, and he’s right. During the match, Breeze jumped on the apron to take a selfie, so Truth knocked him off. Goldust was distracted, so D-Von pushed him into Truth and used a school boy for the win. Breeze and Fandango made bad jokes afterwards. This was not good.
They ran a video package for, of all things, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler. Outside of the arena, Renee said Corbin requested for interview time. She asked why they were doing it outside, and Corbin said the crowd doesn’t deserve his presence after they cheered what Ziggler did on Raw. Corbin said the next time he enters an arena it would be to end Ziggler.
Sami Zayn & Dean Ambrose beat Alberto Del Rio & Kevin Owens via pinfall
Ranallo plugged Raw in Oklahoma City and Lawler namedropped “J.R.” They showed a graphic for the MITB ladder match and there was no seventh mystery guy, just the six guys who already qualified.
There were some “Ole” and “Let’s go Ambrose” chants early on. There was a dumb spot during the heat where Del Rio hit a version of his double foot stomp finisher and never went for the cover. They double-teamed Ambrose on the outside so Zayn hit a flip dive to take out the heels.
Ambrose hit the rebound clothesline and went for the hot tag, but Del Rio knocked Zayn off the apron. Ambrose used a neckbreaker and went for the tag again but Zayn was still down. Del Rio tried a running enziguri on Ambrose, but he ducked and Del Rio nailed Owens instead. Zayn made the hot tag and immediately hit Del Rio with the Helluva kick for the win. Really good finish.
An enraged Owens grabbed Saxton’s headset and said he was sick of his partners costing him matches and he would show them what will happen at MITB. Owens grabbed a ladder to go after the briefcase, but Cesaro ran out and gave him a springboard uppercut - while wearing in his suit. Cesaro climbed the ladder and grabbed the briefcase, sealing his fate. Ambrose and Zayn appeared nonplussed.
Non-Title: U.S. Champion Rusev (w/Lana) beat Jack Swagger via submission
Lana introduced Rusev, and her accent was about 20% as strong as usual. As Swagger made his entrance, Rusev attacked him and tossed him into the steps. The referee asked Swagger if he was ok to start the match and he said yes. I feel like they’ve done this exact angle with these two before.
Rusev tried a superkick immediately but Swagger caught him for the ankle lock. Rusev escaped to the outside and cut off Swagger with a clothesline and took control. Swagger did get some offense but Rusev won with the Accolade. He refused to break the hold, so Titus O’Neil made the save, and Rusev bailed.
They actually plugged that after a break they would show the crap angle with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. And then they did. Also, there was another dumb segment with Darren Young and Bob Backlund. Basically, Backlund wants Darren to walk, not run. Literally.
AJ Styles (w/The Club) beat Kofi Kingston (w/New Day) via pinfall
They had a quick back and forth exchange and they both did a kip-up at the same time to face off, because wrestling is fake and choreographed. Just kidding. It’s fine. Styles got the better of Kingston with a couple of arm drags and posed with the Club.
Kingston got the better of the next exchange, which led to a corner dropkick accompanied by Woods playing the trombone. The Club and New Day all jumped in the ring but they were held back from fighting. This led to a commercial break, which was only two minutes into the match. Keep in mind they had already gone to commercial break after the entrances.
Anyway, after a while, Woods, Big E, Gallows and Anderson all got in each others faces outside the ring. Kingston was distracted so Styles ran him face first into the steel post. Crowd chanted for Kofi as Styles had control. As the announcers discussed Styles’ attitude, Saxton asked why AJ didn’t just show his hand in the first place, to which Lawler replied, “You’ve obviously never played poker.”
Kingston came back with a monkey flip, dropkick, clothesline and leg drop. Styles ducked the Trouble in Paradise and hit a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker. Styles went for the Styles Clash but Kingston (sort of) countered and eventually hit a double knee attack for two. Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but Woods distracted him with the trombone, allowing Kingston to use an S.O.S. for a near fall.
Anderson attacked Woods on the outside, so Big E tossed Gallows into the barricade. Anderson lept at Big E, but Big E caught him and hit a belly-to-belly onto the announce table, which was cool. Gallows booted Big E, so Kingston took out Gallows with a crazy flip dive. As Kingston stepped back into the ring through the ropes, Styles caught him with a Pele kick and nailed the Styles Clash for the win. Fun stuff.
- Final Thoughts:
AJ Styles as a heel with The Club is cool and freshens things up. Tonight’s main event was pretty good but this was an otherwise normal Smackdown show.