- Air Date: June 30, 2016
- Location: AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL
- The Big News:
Cesaro won an opportunity at the U.S. Championship but promptly lost that title match to Rusev. They announced Rusev would defend his title again on Raw against Titus O’Neil. Also, Dean Ambrose beat The Miz in a non-title champion vs. champion match.
- Show Recap:
They started with a cold open and promo for a Fatal 4-Way match to determine a number one contender for the US Title (with the title match also taking place tonight). This was followed by a segment where each guy cut a promo “earlier tonight” about the match.
It started with Cesaro driving up to the the building. He began cutting a promo immediately upon leaving his SUV, saying he was inviting his opponents to the uppercut party. Next was Apollo Crews, who was working out. Crews said he was the underdog, but sometimes the impossible becomes possible.
Next was Sheamus and his wacky moustache (and beard). Sheamus didn’t know why Crews was in the match but would have fun kicking his head off. Finally, Alberto Del Rio said he didn’t know who Crews was before Monday, and was going after his old comrade Rusev. This was pretty goofy, but at least it was different.
Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton and David Otunga were the commentators again. Because of the skeleton crew, I guess, a generic man was the ring announcer. They never mentioned his name.
U.S. Title #1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way: Cesaro beat Alberto Del Rio, Apollo Crews and Sheamus via submission
There was a cool spot where Del Rio had the armbar on Sheamus but Crews nailed him with a standing moonsault. Crews took out himself and Sheamus from the ring with a running crossbody. Cesaro gave Del Rio the big swing and applied the sharpshooter for the tapout win.
The match went about 11 minutes and it was fine. It was somewhat surprising to see Del Rio tap. It felt like Crews or Sheamus would get back in, but they didn’t.
Afterwards, Del Rio attacked Cesaro, sending him into the steel steps followed by the double footstomp. As some referees checked on Cesaro, Rusev marched to the ring. He congratulated Cesaro for achieving the greatest honour a man can receive - a match with him. Rusev didn’t want to wait and challenged Cesaro to the title match right now.
After a break, the referees continued to check on Cesaro. They began taking him to the back, but Rusev called him a coward, so Cesaro stopped, turned back toward the ring, and accepted the match.
U.S. Title Match: Rusev (w/Lana) beat Cesaro via submission
With Rusev sitting on the top rope, Cesaro hit an uppercut and dropkick to send him out of the ring, followed by a cannonball. He tried a crossbody in the ring, but Rusev caught him, hit a swinging side slam and somersault senton for a near fall. Cesaro came back with uppercuts and a clothesline for two.
Cesaro tried countering an Accolade into the sharpshooter, but he was in too much pain, so Rusev was able apply the hold. Rusev tried pulling back on the Accolade the way he did to Kalisto, but Cesaro rolled through into a pin attempt for a close near fall. However, Rusev caught him with a side kick and applied the Accolade for the submission win.
It was only about 7 minutes but good while it lasted. The announcers put over how much pain Cesaro must’ve been in throughout. The crowd got into Cesaro as the match went on and there was also “Rusev sucks” chants.
Renee Young caught up with Rusev and Lana backstage. Rusev said Independance Day should be Rusev Day. He said while Americans would be stuffing their faces with processed meats and shooting off fireworks in the name of Rusev, he would be with Lana on an island away from this country. Renee informed him that he has to defend the title against Titus O’Neil on Raw. Lana said, “Rusev crush” and they left.
The first 37 minutes of this show was devoted to all of the above mentioned U.S. Title stuff. They aired a video package of the special olympics deal from Raw and showed Dana Brooke walking backstage.
Dana Brooke beat Billie Kay via pinfall
No entrance for Billie Kay. Ranallo mentioned that Kay was from Australia and this was her debut. Sasha Banks watched backstage. Kay made a brief comeback, but this was basically a squash. Brooke won in 3-4 minutes with a Samoan Driver. They used as many camera cuts as possible to save this one.
Renee found Banks backstage. Banks reminded us that she made Brooke tap out. She cut a pretty good promo, saying she has a long history with Charlotte and Charlotte knows she’s breathing down her neck. Banks was interrupted by Summer Rae, who said everyone was sick of her and she hopes they get drafted to different brands. Banks challenged her to a match tonight.
MizTV with Dean Ambrose
Maryse introduced Miz, who said this could be the last MizTV on Smackdown because of the draft. People cheered. He then said that MizTV could be exclusive to Smackdown. People booed. He was about to introduce his guest Dean Ambrose, but before he could, Ambrose came out anyway.
Ambrose brought a Cuban sandwich to the ring. He blamed his busy schedule for not having time to eat because they’ve been running him around like crazy. Miz was mad he had a sandwich. Ambrose said he needed to keep his strength up because he just won the title and has a triple threat match coming up.
Ambrose said he was a fan of MizTV and mocked his fancy set. Miz said the only thing the Ambrose Asylum had was the plant and Ambrose told him not to talk about Mitch that way. They asked the crowd if they’d rather see the Asylum and they cheered. Miz put himself over for remaining IC champion despite his schedule. Ambrose responded by calling himself the champion.
Miz called him a joke because while Miz looks like a champion, Ambrose doesn’t, and called him a black mark on anyone who holds a championship in WWE. As Miz ranted, Ambrose continued eating and had mustard stains on his mouth. Ambrose got in his face and said he could see where this was going, and they both put down their titles like they were about to fight.
Miz took off his white suit jacket, so Ambrose used it to wipe his mouth. Maryse grabbed the jacket it, tossed it over Ambrose’s face to blind him, and Miz knocked him down with a boot. Miz and Maryse left, while Ambrose sat up and continued eating his sandwich.
The people seemed to like Ambrose, but he didn’t come off great here. He obviously got his revenge later in the show, but he was punked here by Miz and Maryse, and then he kept eating his sandwich on the ground like a bum.
Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman (w/Bray Wyatt) beat two jobbers via pinfall
Strowman got the pin after about a minute. The Wyatt Family posed but they were interrupted by New Day on the screen. Kingston cut a promo in the vein of Bray Wyatt, and asked Bray what he fears. Big E wondered if he feared soap or women with big ol’ booties.
Big E told Bray to expose himself, but Kingston didn’t want to see Bray exposed. Big E agreed and told Bray to keep his sheep in its barn. Bray laughed and said he loved how everything was a joke to them. He pointed out Xavier Woods’ apparent concern and said the devil calls out for him. “Run.”
Sasha Banks beat Summer Rae via submission
Summer knocked Banks off the apron with a big boot and they went to commercial less than two minutes into the match, even though nothing else happened since the previous commercial break. Summer had the heat after the break and the crowd chanted “Let’s go Sasha.” Banks came back with running clotheslines and a kick to the crotch (I think).
Banks missed a running double knee attack, and Summer hit a wheel kick for a two count. Banks missed the double knees again and Summer hit a DDT for two. Banks finally did hit the double knee strike, followed by a crossface for the tapout win after about 8 minutes.
They aired a video package from Raw highlighting the stuff with Rollins, Ambrose, Styles, Cena, etc, including Rollins promo on Reigns.
Non-Title: WWE Champion Dean Ambrose beat IC Champion The Miz (w/Maryse) via pinfall
Ambrose was all over Miz early and was about to go for a suicide dive, but Maryse pulled Miz out of the way. Ambrose went right back after him and tried Dirty Deeds, but Miz sent him to the outside. Ambrose promptly followed with a clothesline. Maryse tried to distract Ambrose, but that didn’t work either.
Miz was eventually able to toss him into the barricade and then went to commercial (3 minutes into the match). After the break, Miz worked over Ambrose’s leg as fans chanted “Let’s go Ambrose.” Miz went for the skull crushing finale but Ambrose countered into a rollup for two, followed by a neckbreaker.
Ambrose came back with fists, chops, a clothesline, running forearm, bulldog and la magistral cradle for two. Ambrose tried a diving dropkick but Miz caught him (sort of) and applied the Figure Four. Ambrose got to the ropes and followed with a suicide dive.
Miz then countered a rebound clothesline and hit skull crushing finale for a near fall. Miz went for a double axe handle off the top but Ambrose countered into Dirty Deeds for the win. Pretty good match that went about 15 minutes.
- Final Thoughts:
This was a skeleton crew show and it sure felt like it. Still, the US title stuff and the main event were both good.