7/4 Gleeds's WWE Smackdown Review: Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the U.S. Championship, Chris Jericho, The Miz, Bray Wyatt
By Haydn Gleed
WWE Smackdown on Sky Sports 3 (UK Version)
Taped on Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey
I want to wish all the readers from the good ol' US of A a happy Independence Day, and I hope you all stay happy and healthy during the holiday. If you are reading this on the 5th July, I hope your hangover isn't that bad.
I will be reviewing the International version of Smackdown as it aired in the UK, making up for the sins of my country 238 years ago, I hope I do my nation proud...
The opening video played while Mr B Ware tells us all about this life in the background. On the International feed we again opened with Sheamus making his entrance with Michael Cole shouting, "It's Championship time!".
Gleed's Ramblings: I honestly have no idea why our version is different to the US version. I also don't know why for the second show in a row, whoever puts these together thinks Sheamus coming out is a big hook.
Cole reminded us that this was a July 4th United States championship challenge against Alberto Del Rio. On cue, out walked Del Rio as JBL said this is like all the July 4th party's he's been too, in the sense that it always breaks out into a fight...
1. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the US Title.The match started off with both men slugging it out until Del Rio got the upper hand after a kick in the bread basket. Del Rio had the offence until Sheamus came back with an elbow to the mouth. Sheamus continued with the power attacks and hit a number of quite impressive uppercut shots. Cole made some jokes about Sheamus stealing Del Rio's car, storyline wise, a while back, and I just zoned out when I heard the fake laughter.
Del Rio regained the offence, and at one point had Sheamus on the canvas with his head sticking out under the bottom rope. Del Rio on the outside stomped a kick into the side of his head. Sheamus came back and threw Del Rio into the ringside barrier, but Del Rio came back with a whip into the metal steel steeps. Very even stevens offence at the moment. Both men were on the apron, and Del Rio hit a backstabber, as we headed into the commercial break...
Back from the break, Del Rio was going for a clothesline, but Sheamus ducked, and looked like he was going to crossbody Del Rio out of the ring, but he ended up jumping over the top of him and Del Rio just flopped to the outside. Back in the ring, both men were slugging it out with Sheamus coming out on top. After an Irish curse backbreaker which got a close 2 count, he had Del Rio up for a firemans carry, but Del Rio fought out of it.
Del Rio hit an impressive looking DDT after Sheamus had got him up for a powerslam which got a very close 2 count. Del Rio was fully in control at this point as he climbed to the top rope. From no where Sheamus caught him with an elbow. On the top rope, Sheamus pounded on Del Rio's chest for a count of 10, and then hit a flying shoulder charge. Sheamus setup for the brogue kick, but Del Rio ducked. Sheamus countered a submission move into the clover leaf
Del Rio managed to wiggle out of Sheamus's grasp and applied the cross armbreaker. Sheamus managed to reverse the pressure, and then impressively powered onto his feet while picking up Del Rio. Sheamus tried to follow up with a shoulder charge in the corner but Alberto moved. Both men were down. Del Rio went for a second rope moonsault missed, got back to his feet straight into a Brogue kick for the 1-2-3...
Sheamus beat Alberto Del Rio in 8:23 via pinfall to retain the U.S. Title.
Gleed's Ramblings: Really enjoyed that match. Started off with both men getting their offence in, and ended with both men countering each other's moves. Sheamus pounding on Alberto's chest on the top rope instead of against the ropes on the apron was a nice shakeup, and the finishing sequence was good fun.
They showed highlights from the Triple H, Stephanie and John Cena in ring promo from Monday Night Raw. I personally thought it was a great segment and should have appeased the Cena haters. They followed this with the show ending angle between Rollins and Ambrose when Cena was down ....
Back in the arena, Seth Rollins music hit and out he walked with the money in the bank briefcase. They showed a shot of Michael Cole and JBL, and they thanked us for joining them on the 4th July. I'm guessing this is the start of the US version of the show, I really have no idea why they change the edit.
Rollins was mid ring, with microphone in hand. He said that on Raw, he was seconds away from cashing in the money in the bank contract on John Cena. He said he had a message for John, he got lucky on Monday. He mentioned the fact that Cena was a 15 times world champion, and that he was flat on his back unconscious in the centre of the ring, and that doesn't bode well. He said that sooner rather than later, he will cash in the contract and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
He told the crowd to take a good look at his face and get used to it. He said very soon, this will be the new face of the WWE. With that Ambrose stepped on the stage, microphone in hand himself. He said Rollins was delusional. Did he really think he was going to get his hands on the titles? He said no, not while he is around. He said no matter what, he will be there no matter what plans Seth and Triple H make, he will be there. He asked him how his coronation went on Monday? With that they showed a replay of what happened at the end of Raw, which the International viewers had already seen.
Back in the arena, Rollins was looking at the video and did not look too pleased, while Ambrose said watch that footage. Watch it over and over again, because that's your life for the next year. Is that briefcase a blessing? No, it's a curse because it's every excuse to ruin his life and ruin that precious face of the WWE.
Rollins asked, do you think I care if you show that video over and over? He said he knows him better than anybody, and he hasn't got what it takes to keep this up for a year. Rollins said that he hasn't got what it takes to stop him becoming champion. Ambrose started walking towards the ring, and he said, of course I can, and I'll start right now. He jumped in the ring, ducked an attempt by Rollins to hit him in the head with the briefcase and took him down. Ambrose laid in the punches while Rollins was on the ground, until Randy Orton came from the back, grabbed Dean from behind, and both Randy and Seth beat down on Ambrose.
Reigns music hit, and he charged to the ring. Orton and Rollins were there to meet him, and put the boots to him. Reigns came back with headbutts and punches. He threw Rollins to Ambrose who beat on him in the corner until Rollins wriggled out of the ring. As Rollins and Orton were backing up the ramp, Triple H's music hit and out he came not looking too pleased. Triple H said he thinks you guys have made a point. He said let him make a point, and his point is the only one that matters. Ambrose, tonight you want to fight? You will face the Viper Randy Orton. He then turned his attention towards Reigns and told him if he interferes in the match, he will be out of the fatal 4 way match at Battleground. His music hit and all three men made their way to the back...
Gleed's Ramblings: I have to admit, I'm becoming a huge fan of Ambrose as a singles babyface star. We all knew how good he was at promos, but at the moment he is doing some excellent work. Rollins said a lot, but was repeating the same point over and over and I found myself tuning out. Ambrose turned what could have been an awkward promo segment and made it extremely entertaining for this viewer.
They advertised Chris Jericho would be on Smackdown later as they went into the break....
Back from the commercial, and we had Stardust holding his hands up to the camera. He started talking about possible team names for him and Goldust. He mentioned lunar dreams, cosmic revelations and children of dust. He asked, what's in a name? Goldust came into shot. He said can you see it, it's written in the stars. Both men talked in riddles, before Stardust left the camera shot. As Goldust was taking his deep breath, Stardust came back into shot and blew gold star confetti all over the place.
Gleed's Ramblings: I have no words to describe what I just saw.
Byron Saxton was somewhere backstage and introduced Roman Reigns. He asked Roman what his reaction was to what Triple H said? He said, he has to do what he has to do to protect his baby boy Rollins, but he knows Ambrose will do just fine tonight against Orton on his own. He said he won't do anything to jeopardise his spot in the four way match at Battleground. He ran down the list of people in the match by saying he had to go through the chosen one Randy Orton, the demonic Kane and Mr never give up John Cena. He said make no mistake he is walking out of the PPV as WWE Champion...
Gleed's Ramblings: Nice intense promo from Reigns. I think that was the longest I've seen him talk, and he did alright. He came across as cool and confident, and that's what you need from him right now. He said the right things and delivered it well.
Cole threw to a package showing the pre-show interview with Daniel Bryan before Money In The Bank. This was actually the first time I'd seen this as we don't get the pre-show over here...
Back in the arena, Bo Dallas made his entrance, as JBL said he may be the most inspirational man on the planet. Michael Cole said the planet?! JBL replied with Earth. I hate myself but I laughed. Bo Dallas said on the stage, that he thinks we can all Bo-Leave and despite Bryan's recent shortcomings, that he's a pretty special little fella. He said when he enters the Battleground battle royal, he will win for the little people like Daniel. Cole said Dallas would be in action after the break
Gleed's Ramblings: The crowd don't get Bo Dallas, I wish they did.
Back from the adverts, Diego and El Torito were in the ring doing their matador and bull shtick...
2. Bo Dallas vs. Diego (w/El Torito). When the lights came back on, they showed Bo Dallas smiling and pointing saying, that was awesome! Cole pointed out that Fernando was injured. Dallas mocked Diego's Ole! and got a drop kick for his trouble.
Diego wasn't on offence for too long, as Dallas took over. He unloaded with punches and kicks. Bo showed off to the crowd, but got caught in the face with a boot when he charged Diego in the corner. Diego hit a number of shoulder blocks as Cole speculated if El Torito was inspired by Bo Dallas.
Dallas caught Diego coming in over the top rope and threw him into the ringpost. This gave him the opportunity to the Bodog as JBL screamed, 12 and Bo! 12 and Bo! 12 and Bo! Dallas ran a lap of honour around the ring in celebration.
Bo Dallas beat Diego in 1:49 via pinfall.
After the match, Bo Dallas addressed El Torito who was checking on Diego. He said, hey little fella. He said one day if you want to grow taller, all you have to do is Boleave. As he turned around, El Torito gored him in the rear. Dallas turned around and started to talk to him like a child by repeating no you can't do that, so El Torito twerked him. Bo picked him up and slammed him hard to the canvas as Cole chastised Dalles's actions.
Gleed's Ramblings: Bo looked impressive and vicious in his match and then by attacking El Torito. He is definitely a heel incase there was any doubt at that point.
Cole said that last Monday's Raw was one of the most entertaining Raw's in a while. He threw to a video package of the returns of The Miz and Chris Jericho...
Gleed's Ramblings: Not sure suggesting Raw hasn't been that entertaining recently was the best idea.
Break The Walls Down!!! Chris Jericho's music hit and he stepped on stage with his flashing jacket as the crowd went crazy. Cole and JBL ran through all of Chris Jericho's achievements. Inside the ring, the crowd started a Y2J chant. Chris said for the first time in a year, Chris Jericho was back on Smackdown. He said it feels good to be back in the ring in front of the thousands of Jericaholics in the crowd and the millions at home.
He pointed at the camera and said I fooled ya, I fooled ya. He said it was one of the greatest moments of his career and it felt good. He said but then, along came a spider and his family. He knew that Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt families had become one of the most dominant forces in WWE, and he knew they would beat him down and that did not feel good. He said he had one thing to say to the Wyatt families, thank you. Thank you for reminding him that the WWE wasn't all about lighted jackets, surprise entrances and Y2J chants, the WWE is about survival as well. He said guess what Wyatt's, he can be a little dangerous.
He told Wyatt he doesn't think like anybody else, he doesn't act like anybody else and as a result that is one of the reasons he's one of the best in the world at what he does. He told Wyatt you can light a torch or sit in your rocking chair, but if you want to get a little crazy, he can get a little crazy. If he wants to get nuts, he will get nuts but he can promise that he will never ever be the same again.
Gleed's Ramblings: I got a sudden urge to get some nuts from the kitchen.
The Wyatt's entrance video package cut across him. Bray was pacing in front of the camera. He said that the world has not got a voice of its own. It can't tell you what it wants, what it needs. If it could he said, it would be yearning for a saviour. He turned to the camera and said, Save Us Chris and laughed. He said please forgive me, where are my manners. You may call me Bray Wyatt, but I have a million names, seducer, accuser, destroyer. He said he is the colour red in a world of black and white, and if you value your ability to breath, don't get too close. Save us Chris, save yourself.
Back in the ring, Chris said, hey Wyatt, here's an idea, I do think I want to get close with you and he invited him out to the ring. He was cut off by Miz's music who came out on stage wearing his Hollywood gear. He said how does it feel Chris to be interrupted? He interrupted a moment on Monday that people will talk about forever, the return of The Miz.
He said he could have helped you Chris, it could have been two former champions fighting off the Wyatt, but you tried to break this, while pointing at his face. The money maker. As he got into the ring, he told Chris he is lucky he didn't break the money maker because it would cost him, WWE and everyone else....at which point Jericho hit the Codebreaker and put on The Miz's sunglasses. At ringside Jericho mocked the money maker gesture as Cole re-hyped the main event for later.
Gleed's Ramblings: I was blown away by that promo by Wyatt, top top shelf quality, and the usual fantastic work from Jericho that we come to expect from Y2J. They have only just scratched the service of this feud, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter. The Miz interpreting was what it was. I do like the new heel gimmick, but it does scream mid card comedy heel to me. I don't know if it's intentional, but his new "Hollywood" entrance video is very similar to the Rock's when he returned as a heel before WrestleMania 19.
Back from the commercials, Big E made his entrance. They cut to a second screen where Big E did his preacher promo saying he is sticking up for his friend Kofi Kingston. They showed highlights from the beatdown by Cesaro on Kofi after he lost their match.
Paul Hayman came out on stage and told the crowd his name. He said he presents to you, the soon to be Intercontinental champion.
3. Big E vs. Cesaro (w/Paul Hayman). Cesaro attacked Big E before the bell rang and stomped on him on the mat. He threw him to the outside and threw him around like a ragged doll. Big E did manage to get in some offence, but Cesaro got a steel chair and beat him across the back.
Cesaro threw Big E over the top of the announcers desk and then into the steel steps. Big E recovered and hit a belly to belly suplex. Heyman dragged Cesaro towards the back, as ref's held Big E back. Heyman could be heard saying, "you've got a bad eye, you shouldn't be out here".
Cesaro against Big E never started.
Gleed's Ramblings: Cesaro looked like a beast. He literally threw Big E over the top of the announcer's desk as if a normal wrestler was tossing around a fan, and Big E is a big guy. Good viciousness shown by Cesaro and Big E aswell when he got a few shots in.
AJ Lee, with Diva's belt on her shoulder, was shown skipping around the backstage area, as Cole said she will be in action next...
Back from the break, Eva Marie was shown in the ring, as Cole told us that Paige had joined them at ringside. Paige indicated that she's not going to do commentary; she's just going to watch the match. AJ Lee made her entrance, as we saw highlights of her winning the belt on Raw...
4. AJ Lee vs. Eva Marie. Eva Marie pushed AJ over and face palmed her before running away. She threw AJ to the ringside area as Paige watched on. Back in the ring, Eva Marie hit a horrible looking clothesline. AJ recovered and jumped on the back of Eva. She wriggled around Eva and locked in the black widow submission hold.
Paige was shown applauding AJ Lee, before she got in the ring and shock a confused looking AJ's hand...
AJ Lee beat Eva Marie in 1:04 via submission.
Gleed's Ramblings: The match was short, that's the best thing I can say about. But the post-match stuff with Paige was interesting.
In the ring, Bruce Springsteen....I mean Damien Sandow, was dressed up as the boss, guitar and all. Suddenly, Rusev's music played, and he and Lana made their way down to the ring with a giant Russian flag. The Boss Sandow attacked Rusev, but Alexander soon got the advantage with a giant kick to the face. He threw Sandow over the top rope as the crowd chanted USA.
Lana took the mic and told the crowd to shut up. She said today is America's birthday, and to celebrate the birth of the country you sing pointless songs and let off fireworks to boast the spirit of your pointless lives. She said the only impressive thing you do on July 4th is show the world how much fatter you get. She started to run down America further, before Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter made their way onto the stage.
Zeb got on the mic and called them both Karl Marx lovers, brilliant! Zeb said there are two types of people he hates, illegal immigrants, which Rusev and Lana probably are, and ungrateful illegal immigrants. Colter said he will quiz her on the history of America and Russia. Question 1, who invented the Internet? It wasn't a Russian he said. He asked who invented the automobile? Who was the first country on the moon? He said the only thing that the Russians invented that is worth a crap is vodka.
Lana told him to shut up you American swine. Swagger got in the ring and stared across the ring at Rusev as the crowd chanted USA. Colter said to Lana not to tell him to shut up, why don't you shut up? The crowd popped big for that. Swagger indicated that he was ready to fight Rusev. Colter asked the people in the building to rise, put their hand on their heart and chant, we the people!
Lana held Rusev back, as Swagger didn't take his eyes off Rusev for a second. Lana and Rusev retreated out of the ring and up the ramp. The whole time Swagger stared a hole through Rusev...
Gleed's Ramblings: Another fun exchange. I know some people are going to say it made Rusev look weak for backing down, but firstly this is Independence Day, you need the American to win any exchange, and secondly Rusev looked like he was ready to fight, it was Lana who convinced him otherwise.
A split screen was shown of Ambrose and Orton walking backstage as Cole hyped the main event next...
Back from the break, Cole announced that on Monday, it will be Jericho against Miz on Raw. Seth Rollins was sat in on commentary while holding his Money In The Bank briefcase. Randy Orton made his entrance, followed by Dean Ambrose making his entrance for our main event...
5. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose. I didn't notice earlier, but Dean Ambrose had his shoulder tapped up selling the effects of the ladder match. Ambrose got the early advantage and got the 10 punches in the corner. Seth Rollins said that he's smarter than Ambrose. Randy Orton attacked the injured shoulder of Ambrose and bailed to the outside.
Randy finally got back in the ring, and Dean was straight on the attack which was only broken up by a Randy Orton dropkick to the injured shoulder. Michael Cole asked Seth if he sold his soul for the Money In The Bank contract? Rollins didn't answer the question. Ambrose applied a submission hold and stared over at Seth. Randy went back to the injured shoulder and applied an armbar. Ambrose mounted a comeback, but Orton kicked him again in the injured shoulder which sent Dean to the floor as we headed into the final commercial break...
We got back from the adverts with Randy making a pin attempt on Ambrose. He whipped him across the ring but Ambrose got the boot up. He went for a dropkick off the top rope but Randy moved. Randy threw Ambrose shoulder first into the steel ring post injured shoulder first. Randy attempted a pin, but only got 2. He tried to throw Ambrose shoulder first again into the post, but Dean reversed and Randy went flying into the ring post.
Both men slugged it out, but Dean got the better of the back and forth. Ambrose attacked Randy in the corner and hit an elbow from the second rope. He then clotheslined Randy over the top rope. He hit a diving shoulder charge between the top and middle rope. Randy got whipped into the ringside barrier before being flung back into the ring. Ambrose ran towards the announcers desk and flew towards Rollins before he turned his attention back towards Orton. He clotheslined Randy and started slapping his face. Randy got a quick snap powerslam to regain the advantage.
Ambrose managed to counter a DDT attempt by back body dropping Randy over the top ropes. He went for another dive between the ropes, but this time Seth smashed him in his injured shoulder with the MITB briefcase to cause the DQ...
Dean Ambrose beat Randy Orton in 9:46 via DQ.
After the match, both Orton and Seth beat down Ambrose in the middle of the ring. Randy hit the RKO on Dean, and Seth pulled off the tapping on Ambrose's injured shoulder. Rollins went to the top while Orton held Ambrose, but Reigns ran to the ring and pushed Rollins off the top. Orton went after Reigns, but Roman ducked and came back with a superman punch.
The heels made a retreat up the ramp, while Reigns went to check on Ambrose as the credits came up...
Gleed's Ramblings: Decent match between Ambrose and Orton. You should have known there wasn't going to be a clean finish, because at this point storylines need to be pushed forward and both men need to stay strong. Rollins was a lot better on commentary than he was earlier in the night, so he still seems to be a bit hit and miss, but thankfully more hit.
I actually enjoyed this episode of Smackdown. I purposely didn't read the spoilers, and was fully expecting a dull, unnewsworthy holiday edition, but it was pretty darn good. There was not a lot of wrestling as this was more of a talk heavy show but what we did get was good to very good, except for the Diva's match.
Best segment of the night for me has to be Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt's first back and forth on the mic. Seriously, Bray Wyatt was phenomenal and Jericho held up his end of the bargain as well. I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead with these two. Ambrose dragged his and Rollins segment up, so huge props to him as well.
I didn't get Stardust and the whole skit backstage, it left me scratching my head. Obviously Eva Maria in a wrestling match was just terrible but at least they kept it short. Those two things aside, I enjoyed this week's Smackdown.
Thank you for following along with me tonight, I hope I have made up for the penances of my nation on your country's birthday. If you want to discuss anything to do with this show, or hell, anything at all, hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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