By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped on Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey
[Q1] A recap of last Monday’s Roman Reigns roller coaster was shown to open the show. It played inspirational music over the final moment of the show and the title celebration. In the arena, we heard Roman Reigns’ music hit and he headed down to the ring through the crowd. Roman said winning the championship on Monday said so good, but doing it on his Daughter’s birthday was complete godsend. He was excited to take it home and show his family what they sacrificed for, but he knew in the back of his head that he wasn’t long for the WWE.
He said he speared Triple H and he Superman punched the Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon, and he knew there would be consequences come Monday. But for now, he would savor the moment, because we did it. Sheamus then interrupted Reigns and congratulated him on being the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He said most people thought he would be angry, but he was happy for him. Sheamus told him to enjoy every moment, because it wouldn’t be long before the title was back around his waist.
Roman said he was ready right now fella, but Sheamus said it wasn’t that simple. Sheamus asked what made him think that he could attack Triple H and Vince McMahon. Sheamus told him that The Authority had launched a formal investigation, and until then, he couldn’t compete or even be in the building. Sheamus then asked Roman to leave the building, and said the Authority had vested power in him to do so. Reigns refused, which then prompted Sheamus to bring out a gaggle of security officers on Reigns.
Reigns manhandled the the lot of them, and then the largest of the guards pleaded with him to leave peacefully. Reigns punched him anyway, and then celebrated to his music, which made no sense in this context. The announce team plugged Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler later on tonight. Alberto Del Rio and Ryback were shown headed towards the ring…[c]
My Take: Roman returns to earth. The crowd was hot for him during his entrance, but the promo still felt like it was overly scripted and Reigns delivered it like a guy who was worried about forgetting his lines. Sheamus was the more dynamic of the two from a personality standpoint, but the crowd didn’t seem all that into The Authority vesting him with any power. I hope they have something better planned for Monday.
[Q2] Alberto Del Rio made his ring entrance, followed by Ryback. A picture in picture promo aired where Ryback said that he was going to make Del Rio sorry for coming back to WWE, and that the League of Nations can eat it.
1. Alberto Del Rio vs. Ryback: They worked some mat wrestling early, and Del Rio gained an advantage with a cheap shot during a ref break. He continued on offense with strikes until Ryback did some no-selling and reversed his fortunes. Ryback placed Del Rio on the top turnbuckle, and Ryback attempted to set up a hold, but Del Rio grabbed an arm and fell backwards for an armbar using the top rope. Ryback escaped, but then got sent flying off the apron and into the barricade by a charging Del Rio…[c]
Ryback escaped a chinlock with a back suplex and started a comeback. Del Rio shoved him as a taunt, but that just made him more angry. He hit a big splash and followed up with a second rope dropkick for a two count.
[Q3] Del Rio ducked a clothesline and hit a beautiful bridging German Suplex that got a near fall. Del Rio fired up for a side kick, but Ryback avoided him and hit a spinebuster and a meathook clothesline. He set up for Shellshock, but the League of Nations ran down and caused a distraction. That allowed Del Rio to apply a Cross Armbreaker, and Ryback was eventually forced to tap out.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Ryback at 12:13.
After the match, Sheamus hit Ryback with a Brogue Kick and Rusev applied The Accolade. The League of Nations gloated as the crowd booed. The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons was plugged for later. Backstage, Summer preened Tyler’s hair while they dissed Titus O’Neill. Goldust snuck up behind them and acted like Goldust. They both freaked out and Summer sprayed hairspray in his face. He coughed and eventually walked away.
My Take: That was a better match than I initially expected. Ryback works a “methodical” pace, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when he picks up the pace a bit, and he did that down the stretch in this match. It wasn’t a blitzkrieg by any stretch, but it was a good pace in comparison to what we saw from he and Rusev on Sunday. Del Rio has yet to connect with me upon his return from Mexico. I’m still waiting on an angle that’s in his wheelhouse, because he hasn’t been near one yet.
Tyler Breeze was in the ring as the show came back. Titus O’Neill made his entrance.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. Titus O’Neill: Titus hit a body slam early on and Tyler demanded the ref keep him away from him as he cowered in the corner. Breeze got double knees up in the corner as Titus charged in, and shortly afterward Goldust walked out and sat in the VIP section and had a drink. Titus took control in the ring with a clothesline and followed up with a big splash in the corner. Breeze tried to go up top, but Titus caught him and threw him.
Goldust grabbed the selfie stick and walked to ringside. Breeze protested and asked Goldust what he was doing. Breeze got turned around into a sit out Powerbomb and Titus made the cover for the win.
Titus O’Neill defeated Tyler Breeze at 3:11.
The announce team plugged the main event between Owens and Ziggler…[c]
My Take: I like the Goldust and Breeze pairing. I could live without Breeze taking so many pins in TV.
[Q4] Footage was shown of the Ziggler vs. Ambrose from Monday. Backstage, Ambrose was interviewed by Renee Young. He said he knew Owens plan was to drive him crazy, but he was committed to being a fighting champion and nothing that Owens does would change that. We then got some still photos from the Wyatt’s and ECW match from TLC, and the video of their match from Monday.
The Wyatt family was shown backstage. Bray Wyatt said it’s extreme to push beyond the limits of ordinary men, but no man can survive a confrontation with fear. They then did a round robin promo around the Wyatt Family where they all tried to outcrazy each other. Strowman said he takes solace in the last breaths of the enemies that expire in his arms. The New Day made their entrance in the arena…[c]
My Take: So, the Wyatt’s and ECW continues, or not? I like Dean Ambrose as a fighting champion. WWE needs to find him challengers that keep him busy though, because he’s too good to be lost in the mid card shuffle.
Xavier Woods said that the Lucha Dragons and Usos rejected their offer of friendship, because they are jealous. He said he can’t blame them because they are pretty fantastic. He also said they are Sultans of Style, and pointed to their unicorn horn.
[Q5] Kofi then got to the point and said he wanted to get back to what they started on Monday, and that was celebrating. Woods then said that he wanted to clear up the fact that when they dance, they dance for themselves, not people who don’t understand the power of positivity. They then started dancing, and the Lucha Dragons eventually interrupted.
3. The Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day: The Dragons jumped out to an early advantage by using double team offense on Xavier Woods. Sin Cara applied a Gory Special and made a tag, and Kalisto hit a dropkick for a two count. The Dragons continued making frequent tags and using double team offense, including a catapult somersault splash, to keep Woods isolated. Big E provided a distraction, and that allowed Woods to knock Kaliso out to ringside…[c]
Kofi controlled Kalisto mid ring and tossed him into the post. Both Kofi and Xavier cycled in and out for stomps in the corner. They then taunted the crowd, and Big E yelled at somebody at ringside because he claimed the trombone was broken. New Day continued to control Kalisto, while Big E taunted and talked trash on the outside. Kalisto eventually hit a crossbody that bought him some time, but Big E pulled Sin Cara off the apron before he could tag out. New Day then danced and celebrated in their corner, but that allowed Sin Cara to take out Kofi and Big E with a dive into both of them, and Kalisto grabbed Xavier off the turnbuckle for a powerbomb and the victory.
The Lucha Dragons defeated The New Day at 14:19.
Backstage, Renee Young asked Dolph Ziggler about his match with Kevin Owens. He rambled quite a bit. He spoke about how important it was to be able to go back to the locker room after a match and dare the locker room to top what he did. He said he takes his hat off to people who make him up his game, but that almost never happens. He then dared Kevin Owens to be better than him in the main event.
Brie Bella made her entrance in the arena…[c]
My Take: The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons feud continues, and I like the idea of building the Dragons up as babyface champions that embarrass New Day for losing focus. The Dragons are talented enough that they could carry the division as babyfaces, but WWE needs more tag teams if they want the division to hold anyone’s interest at this point. Dolph Ziggler’s promo was a bit bizarre for a babyface. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t quite understand why he continually places “stealing the show” above championships on his list of priorities.
Footage as was shown of Charlotte retaining her Divas Championship, and of Becky getting a win over Brie and Foxy on Monday while being unaware of Ric’s interference. Team BAD were at ringside with signs.
4. Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella: Becky got tossed to ringside early on so Brie could trash talk with Team BAD, who were wearing her gear. Brie applied a chin lock, and then Charlotte made her way down to the ring. Becky went on an offensive streak, but Brie regained control with a drop kick and hit a “Brie Mode” knee for a two count. Becky fired back with a pump handle suplex and got a two count of her own.
Becky shoved Brie into the ropes, and Charlotte grabbed Brie’s legs to trip her. Becky then reluctantly applied the Disarmer and got the win.
Becky Lynch defeated Brie Bella at 2:50.
My Take: More confused character development fo the women. I’m not sure why they can’t help themselves.
[Q7] Backstage, Becky and Charlotte argued. Becky said the reason they won on Monday was because of her Dad, and she chalked it up to Ric being Ric. But tonight, Charlotte interfered. Charlotte insisted that she just wanted her to win. Becky told her that whatever happens, she just wants it to be on her own merits. Charlotte said she just didn’t want her to lose. Becky accused Charlotte of not believing she can win on her own. Charlotte responded and said that she didn’t mean it that way. Becky stormed off and said that’s exactly what she meant.
Backstage, Kevin Owens was interviewed by Jojo. She asked about Dolph Ziggler, but first he talked about Dean Ambrose. He said he was a cockroach that seems to survive anything, but he guaranteed he wouldn’t survive him. He then moved on to Ziggler, and said he gets why Dolph wants to go out and save face for what happened on Monday. Owens said that was unfortunate, because just like he won’t stop until he puts Dena Ambrose is an institution, he won’t stop tonight until he puts Dolph Ziggler in the hospital.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance in the arena…c
My Take: Good promo from Owens. They really need to give him the mic more often, because he is one of their most talented and focused people on the mic. I was glad to see them go backstage with Charlotte and Becky, because the previous segment had mixed signals. Becky stayed the course and refused to accept the compromised win.
Kevin Owens made his entrance in the arena.
[Q8] 5. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler: Owens took control early on with strikes until he telegraphed a back body drop and got kicked in the face. Owens rolled the outside, and Ziggler followed, and eventually Ziggler hit a modified version of the Zig Zag into the barricade…[c]
A DDT delivered by Owens was shown from during the break, and he remained in control with a chin lock in the ring. He then hit a running Senton, and covered for a near fall. He went back to the chin lock, but eventually escaped and countered a back suplex attempt into a roll up for a two count. He then avoided a clothesline and shoved Owens shoulder first into the ring post. Owens answered a 10 count right at the buzzer and walked into a beating from Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler hit big flying forearm and set up for a superkick, but Owens caught him and hit an overhead belly to belly for a near fall. Owens climbed up top, and Ziggler met him there, but Owens slipped out and hit a release German Suplex for a two count. He then hit a cannonball in the corner and taunted the crowd. After several failed attempts at a pop up Powerbomb from Owens, Ziggler hit a superkick and both men were laid out. They brawled to their feet, and Owens dumped Ziggler to the outside after Ziggler tried to rip him off the ropes for a Zig Zag.
Ziggler sold his neck in a pronounced way now, and Owens refused referee orders to stop his assault. Owens then tossed Ziggler over the announce table, and the ref DQed him.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kevin Owens by DQ.
Ziggler tried to fight back, and Owens tossed him into the ring steps. Owens dumped over the top portion of the steps and set up for a Powerbomb. Ambrose ran down and took it to Owens. He went for dirty deeds, but Owens escaped and headed up the ramp. Officials tried to help Ziggler get to the back but Owens took another cheap shot at him and walked away. Ambrose came to check on Ziggler, but got caught with a Superkick from Dolph for his troubles.
My Take: A fun close to the show. I like the renewed focus on the Intercontinental Championship, and anything they can do to liven up the Ziggler character is a positive development in my book. His babyface run has been a continual disappointment due to him failing to find the right tone on the microphone. Owens was especially great here, and I hope WWE finds a way to pull him out of the mid card for something more important at WrestleMania. He’s got the right mix of physical ability and mic skills to talk himself under the skin of any opponent, with enough crediblity to back it up in the ring. Overall, this was an average edition of Smackdown that was elevated by a better than average main event segment. If you’re going to watch the show, I’d focus on that segment.