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WWE Smackdown results: Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn; Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio

Dean Ambrose

- Air Date: June 23, 2016
- Location: Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ

- The Big News:

There was no acknowledgement of the Roman Reigns wellness policy violation or suspension. There was also no mention of what happened with Jerry Lawler this week. Smackdown did feature Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins for the first time ever, and it delivered.

Show Recap:

They started with a video package recapping Dean Ambrose’s night at Money in the Bank and Raw. They officially announced Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns at Battleground. The commentary team was Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton and David Otunga. The Raw/Smackdown podiums were on the stage too, even though they were never used.

Seth Rollins Promo

Rollins said all of our parents told us that we can accomplish our goals if we work hard, but MITB was proof that they’re all liars. Nobody works harder than him and he proved it when he came back early from his injury and pinned the paper champion Roman Reigns. Rollins said Ambrose snuck up behind him and stole his title.

Rollins said he would prove again that he was, and always will be, the best member of the Shield. Tonight, he wanted to prove he was the man and issued an open challenge, which brought out Sami Zayn. Rollins asked him of his master Kevin Owens let him off his leash. Rollins was taking Zayn lightly and called him the perfect opponent.

Before Zayn could say anything, Dean Ambrose interrupted. Ambrose called for the production guys to bring his Ambrose Asylum set into the ring, which they did. Ambrose has a cactus now. He also (poorly) drew the WWE title belt on the bristol board sign. Rollins thought this was crap and didn’t want to be a guest on his show, but Zayn played along, acting overly excited and honoured to be on.

Ambrose’s first question was for Rollins, asking him why he’s such a jackass. Rollins didn’t want to be there, so Zayn challenged him to a match right now. Rollins was pissed about this whole thing and stormed off. Ambrose announced the match for the main event, and Ranallo called it a first-time ever match. Perfectly fine opening segment.

Cesaro beat Alberto Del Rio via pinfall

They went to commercial one minute into the match. The story behind this was that Del Rio blames Cesaro for costing him the ladder match. Cesaro won an 8-9 minute match after reversing the armbar into a Neutralizer. Really good match and the crowd got into it the more it went.

Sheamus beat Apollo Crews via countout

Otunga said he understood Sheamus’ position because when Otunga himself was out, he was afraid somebody else would take his spot, and Sheamus must be worried about the same thing.

Crews had control until Sheamus gave him a rolling senton on the outside. Sheamus grabbed the steel steps, stood them up, and eventually hit Crews with a Brogue kick, sending him into the steps. This was somehow not a DQ, and Sheamus got in the ring as the referee counted out Crews.

The announcers discussed the Draft and the AJ Styles/John Cena program.

Backstage with The Club

Gallows said there’s no better feeling than beating Cena, which Styles did. Anderson said there was no better feeling than beating up Cena, which they all did on Raw. The Usos interrupted and told Styles he can’t win without his boys “Head and Shoulders.” Styles couldn’t tell the Usos apart. Jimmy said they’ve fought Gallows and Anderson before, but not Styles one-on-one, and challenged him.

Styles agreed to a match and would take him on without the Club at ringside. Jimmy wanted to shake on it, but when Styles went to shake his hand, Jimmy pulled his hand back and dabbed. The crowd laughed. They cut to Ranallo who said the match was made official, even though the segment literally just ended a second earlier. Whoever runs Smackdown works quickly, I guess.

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AJ Styles beat Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso) via pinfall

Otunga picked Jimmy Uso to win this match. He also mentioned listening to the Stone Cold podcast and thought Styles was insecure about his size, which is why he hangs out with such big guys. Amazing. As Styles held a headlock, the younger portion of the audience chanted “AJ sucks.” Jimmy made his comeback and hit a superkick.

At this point, Gallows and Anderson ran down through the crowd  to attack Jey. Jimmy nailed them both with a dive, and Styles followed with slingshot forearm on Jimmy. Styles pushed him back in the ring and hit a Phenomenal forearm for the win. The action was good but this was too short. The story, of course, was that Styles won thanks to the Club.

Non-title: WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & Big E (w/Xavier Woods) beat The Vaudevillains via pinfall

New Day won very quickly after hitting Gotch with Midnight Hour.

After the match, the Wyatts appeared on the screen. Bray said the measure of a man is what he does with power, but New Day used their power of positivity to interrupt the eater of worlds and that would be a grave mistake. New Day falls... Run.

There was a new segment with Bob Backlund and Darren Young. Young said his goals were to win a singles title and main event WrestleMania. Backlund said his era was called the “Bob Backlund era” and this will be the “Darren Young era.”

Backstage Interviews

Sami Zayn told a new interview man that it was time to move on from Kevin Owens, which is why he accepted Rollins’ challenge. He said the earlier segment may have been fun and games, but it was time to get serious. Zayn said he wouldn’t be worried about Owens tonight, and he hoped Rollins wouldn’t be worried about Ambrose, because Zayn would kick his face off. This was great.

Elsewhere, Renee Young asked Charlotte and Dana Brooke about Sasha Banks, which led to “We want Sasha” chants in the background. I missed Charlotte’s response. I’m sure it doesn’t matter. Brooke said she would beat Carrot Top Becky and playtime was over. One of the announcers (or someone) coughed into their mic during this segment and they didn’t bother editing it out.

Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte) beat Becky Lynch via pinfall

After Lynch hit a reverse DDT, Charlotte jumped on the apron, so Lynch knocked her off. The distraction allowed Brooke to apply a small package for the win in less than 2 minutes. Stupid. Another short women’s match and it was the only one on the show.

Afterwards, the heels doubled teamed Lynch. Lynch gave Brooke an Exploder, but Charlotte nailed her with a big boot. Sasha Banks came down for the save. Charlotte bailed and Brooke attacked Banks from behind, but she gave Brooke the Bank Statement as she stared at Charlotte.

Backstage, Rollins walked toward Gorilla when Ambrose showed up behind him. Ambrose said he wasn’t about to miss this match and casually walked along behind Rollins. Rollins was annoyed and responded by just walking really fast to get away. Funny.

Seth Rollins beat Sami Zayn via pinfall

Dean Ambrose joined commentary. Ranallo called him the new kingpin of WWE, and Ambrose really liked that. There were dueling chants of “Let’s go Rollins” and “Sami Zayn.” After a break, Rollins stomped a mudhole into Zayn. They each tried to hit a vertical suplex, but Rollins got the better of it and hit a Falcon Arrow.

Ranallo asked Ambrose what it was like to get “You deserve it” chants. Ambrose said you can’t outsmart the people and, “to quote John Cena, even though I don’t want to, real recognizes real.”

Zayn began making a comeback but Rollins escaped to the outside. Zayn went right after him with a clothesline, followed by a crossbody back in the ring for two. Zayn then hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall.

Zayn went for the Helluva kick but Rollins countered with a jumping kick and turnbuckle bomb. Zayn countered into a school boy for two, then reversed a Pedigree into a tornado DDT. Zayn went for Helluva kick again, but again Rollins escaped the ring. Zayn hit a flip dive, but as they re-entered the ring, Rollins immediately hit the Pedigree for the win. Very good match, although it was only about 12 minutes.

After the match, Rollins confronted Ambrose, but when Ambrose got in his face, Rollins backed off. Ambrose went to sit back down so Rollins gave him a cheap shot. With Ambrose down, Rollins celebrated, but Ambrose wildly attacked him. Ambrose went for a Dirty Deeds in the ring but Rollins bailed.

- Final Thoughts:

Based on normal Smackdown standards, this show was pretty good, especially with what felt like a light crew. Del Rio vs. Cesaro and Zayn vs. Rollins were both really good and the talking segments were entertaining too. I love that Seth Rollins seems like he’ll be perpetually annoyed as long as Dean Ambrose is WWE champion.