7/7 Barnett’s WWE Smackdown TV Review: Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent, Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn, IC Champion The Miz vs. Kalisto

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By Jake Barnett

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WWE Smackdown on the USA Network
Taped on Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio at Huntington Center

[Q1] The Club was shown backstage as Mauro Ranallo voiced over and reminded everyone that Enzo and Cass are now John Cena’s homeboys. Chris Jericho cut a promo on Sami Zayn being a thorn in his side into a mirror, and said he would get “it” tonight. Zayn was then shown and said Jericho would have to settle for second best. Seth Rollins was shown backstage as Jey Uso approached him and talked trash. They had a brief exchange were Jey challenged him for the honor of his family, and Seth ran down Roman and said it was never one on one with them. Jey promised it would be, and Seth accepted. Jojo was about to make ring introductions when Dean Ambrose interrupted her.

Dean apologized to Jojo and said she was doing a great job, but he had always wanted to be a ring announcer like Howard Finkel, except taller and with hair. He declared himself special guest ring announcer, and gave a ring introduction to Jey Uso, who he announced as a member of the Flying Uso Brothers. He announced Seth Rollins as a scumbag who didn’t get enough hugs as a kid, and was born with a giant stick up his butt. Rollins entered and looked annoyed as footage was shown of the scuffle between Ambrose and Rollins on Raw.

1. Seth Rollins vs. Jey Uso: Rollins and Jey went back and forth early on, with Rollins attempting the first pin after a backbreaker. Ambrose got on the house mic during the match and recommended everyone check out the merch stand, and reminded people that Seth Rollins ice cream bars taste like crap. Rollins went outside to jaw with him, but Jey quickly pounced and hit a suicide dive that sent Rollins into the barricade, and announced the commercial break…[c]

[Q2] Rollins turned things around and hit a flying knee from the apron to the floor. He took control in the ring with a chinlock and talked trash to Ambrose. Rollins followed up with a hangman’s neckbreaker, and then climbed to the second rope to measure up a strike. Ambrose piped up again and said that a Ford Pickup was parked in the fire lane and would be toed. This setup a comeback from Jey Uso, which culminated in a pop up Samoan Drop that got a two count. Rollins recovered and went for a pedigree, after a series of reversals and pinfall attempts, Jey hit him with a Superkick. He then climbed up top for a big splash, but Seth got the knees up and hit The Pedigree for the win.

Seth Rollins defeated Jey Uso

After the match, Ambrose chased off Seth Rollins and said that he would beat him and Roman at Battleground to remain WWE Champion. The announce crew then mentioned that Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent would be revealed tonight. They also said Sami Zayn would take on Chris Jericho later in the show. Zack Ryder made his ring entrance withs ome new gear and music…[c]

My Take: That match never had a chance to get off the ground with all the interjections from Ambrose, but the match dynamic was still fun. Ambrose trash talking and creating distractions would have rapidly overstayed it’s welcome, so I’m glad they didn’t beat the jokes into the ground. The show opening with multiple matches being setup in backstage vignettes was a nice change of pace from the usual 20 minute opening promo segment.

Sheamus made his entrance for the second contest of the show.

2. Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus: The match opened with a flurry of offense from Sheamus, who landed heavy punches and knees, and then hit Beats of the Bodhran. The match spilled outside briefly and Sheamus slammed Ryder back first into the ring apron. The beating continued in the ring with an Irish Curse Backbreaker, but things came to a quick halt a moment later. Ryder and Sheamus were battling on the turnbuckle when Ryder hit a big forearm that sent Sheamus crashing to the mat, and followed up with the Elbro Drop for the win.

Zack Ryder defeated Sheamus

[Q3] Tom Phillips interviewed Ryder on top of the ramp and asked him what he would do next. He said he would take some advil and ice his back, but after that he wants to recapture his United States Championship. He said being the champion is about being the best at that moment in time, and it’s something everyone should cherish. He then said the current champion doesn’t respect anyone or anything, and he wanted to teach him some. Sheamus then walked up the ramp and yelled at Tom for laughing at him. Becky Lynch was shown walking towards the stage…[c]

My Take: Nice to see Ryder get a win, but I don’t know if it’s worth reading anything from it other than they are preparing him to get crushed by Rusev. I think Ryder deserves some attention creatively as he has been dreadfully underutilized, so hopefully this is a positive step towards some longer term character development.

[Q3] Tom Phillips interviewed Ryder on top of the ramp and asked him what he would do next. He said he would take some advil and ice his back, but after that he wants to recapture his United States Championship. He said being the champion is about being the best at that moment in time, and it’s something everyone should cherish. He then said the current champion doesn’t respect anyone or anything, and he wanted to teach him some. Sheamus then walked up the ramp and yelled at Tom for laughing at him. Becky Lynch was shown walking towards the stage…[c]

My Take: Nice to see Ryder get a win, but I don’t know if it’s worth reading anything from it other than they are preparing him to get crushed by Rusev. I think Ryder deserves some attention creatively as he has been dreadfully underutilized, so hopefully this is a positive step towards some longer term character development.

Rusev was interviewed backstage, and said that if Zack Ryder wants to challenge him on Monday’s Raw to his face, he’ll consider accepting it. Until then, he considers Zack Ryder a coward and all American’s losers.

Becky Lynch made her ring entrance, but was assaulted from Behind by Natalya before she reached the ring. She threw her in the barricade a few times and then put her in the Sharpshooter until refs separated them. Natalya eventually left Becky laying on the floor and walked to the back. The show then cut to a video package from Raw of Xavier Woods warning the New Day about the danger of the Wyatt Family. They then aired footage from a WWE.com interview with Xavier Woods where he said he didn’t agree with his brothers, but he would be there at the compound to support them….[c]

My Take: The Wyatt’s and New Day program has been a lot of fun. I like Xavier Woods taking the Wyatt’s seriously and I hope it leads somewhere interesting. I think it would have been very easy for New Day to cling to their act until people got bored of it, but I like the fact that they are evolving in this feud and both the Wyatt’s and New Day stand to benefit from it. Natalya and Becky Lynch needs some dialogue to further it along. Trading beatings can only get so far.

[Q5] 3. Enzo Amore vs. AJ Styles: Enzo got a few strikes in early and AJ rolled to the outside. Enzo tried to hit a splash over the top rope, but he hit the ropes and had an awkward spill that saw him hit hard on the floor. Back in the ring, Enzo got in a few strikes that staggered AJ. He went for a tornado DDT in the corner, but AJ reversed and hit a snap suplex into the turnbuckle. AJ then set Enzo on the top rope, but Enzo was able to knock him down and hit a jumping DDT that got a near fall.

Enzo climbed up to the top again, but Cass brawled with Anderson and Gallows on the outside, leading to Styles crotching Enzo in the corner. He then pulled him down directly into a Styles Clash for the win.

AJ Styles defeated Enzo Amore

Backstage, Chris Jericho searched backstage for his scarf. He found it around the neck of Kevin Owens. Owens told him he found it backstage, and Jericho freaked out at him because he found stain on it. He said the scarf was made of pashmere, and Owens accused him of making up the word. Jericho then said that it cost 750 dollars and that it was a rare material. Owens said it was worth about $4.

Jericho demanded he pay for the dry cleaning, so Owens pulled out a handful of change and gave it to him. Jericho said he needed another 25 cents, and Owens said all he had left was a Jolly Rancher. Jericho took it and told him to leave his stuff alone and mind his own business. Owen wished him luck later against Sami Zayn and said he would be out there to watch. Jericho called him a stupid idiot and said his scarf smelled like soup…[c]

My Take: A better match than I expected from Enzo. Styles really is getting the best from people these days. I like that Enzo and Cass got added to this high profile feud. It should get them some more momentum heading into the post draft world. Jericho and Owens are very funny together.

The Miz made his entrance with Maryse, while a segment was shown that setup the match. The Miz confronted a group of superstars about who threw potato salad at Maryse. Kalisto challenged him to a match, and Maryse accepted for him. Miz recited the “Hasta la vista, baby” line from Terminator 2 for some reason, and then walked off with Maryse. Kalisto then made his entrance in the arena.

[Q6] 4. Kalisto vs. The Miz: Kalisto hit a headscissors out of the gate and then hit a flying arm drag off the top rope. Kalisto set up for a suicide dive, but Maryse stood in front of The Miz and Kalisto stopped short. Kalisto rolled out to ringside, but Miz pounced on him and shoved him into the ring steps…[c]

Miz targeted the back of Kalisto with forearms and knees. He then lined up for a corner clothesline, but ended up running into his boots and Miz followed up with a Tornado DDT. Kalisto fired up and hit a spike headscissors, and made a cover for a near fall. He went for Salida Del Sol, but Miz powered out. He then tried a victory roll, but Miz kicked out. Kalisto attempted a springboard twisting plancha, but Miz got out of the way. Miz then hit a Skull Crushing Finale for the win.

The Miz defeated Kalisto

Backstage, Sasha Banks was interviewed and said that what happened on Monday was no joke and that The Boss was more than hype. Charlotte then stepped in wearing a pair of Sasha’s signature glasses, and Sasha asked where she got them. Charlotte said she gets them the same place Sasha does, the discount Nicki Minaj dollar store. Dana Brooke then piped in and said that Sasha has gotten lucky a couple of times, and challenged her to a match on Raw. Sasha asked why not tonight, and Charlotte snapped in and said because she’s the Queen and she makes the rules.

She called Sasha’s look a bunch of costume jewelry and said she wears Rolexes and Diamonds. Sasha told her she’d have all the diamonds when she took her Title from her, and told Dana Brooke she’d see her on Monday. Brock Lesnar’s opponent for Summerslam was hyped for next…[c]

My Take: The Miz vs. Kalisto was ok but nothing you’d want to watch back a second time. I liked the Charlotte and Sasha promo, but little has been done to establish Sasha’s persona. Why is she The Boss? Are we just supposed to assume everyone has followed her entire career from NXT?

[Q7] The same “Make Darren Young Great Again” video from last week’s show aired, focusing on Bob Backlund giving him the Crossface Chickenwing submission as his finisher. The Show then cut to an obvious green screen affair at WWE studios, and Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton was announced for Summerslam. We got some inane commentary from Corey Graves and Booker T, who repeated themselves a lot saying how great it was going to be.

Sami Zayn made his ring entrance for the main event….[c]

My Take: Lesnar vs. Orton is now confirmed. What was the point of the goofy low rent Sportscenter studio for the announcement? Do people really need a detailed explanation about how Randy Orton is Booker T’s “boy”?

Backstage, we saw a Golden Truth ad for the Sonic Boombox. It was as bad as you’d expect. In the arena, Kevin Owens joined on commentary. Chris Jericho then made his entrance as the Battleground Match between Owens and Zayn was hyped.

5. Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho: This started out slow with both men trading holds. The pace quickened when Zayn hit some arm drags. Jericho fired back by hitting a dropkick that sent Sami out to the floor. On the outside, Sami jumped up on the barricade and hit a moonsault on Jericho, and pursued him back into the ring. Jericho broke Sami’s momentum with a forearm to the face, and then taunted the crowd…[c]

Jericho and Owens traded punches as Kevin Owens dominated the commentary desk talking about how losing to Sami Zayn isn’t an option a Battleground. The match spilled outside as Kevin Owens clotheslined Jericho to the floor right in front of Kevin Owens. Zayn hit a flying crossbody for a two count back in the ring. Jericho fired back at Zayn with jumping Enziguri from the second rope. Zayn came back with a tornado DDT, and then hit a tope con hilo on Jericho when he rolled to the outside.

Owens threw his water on Zayn at ringside, and then Zayn threw Jericho at Owens. In the ring, Zayn hit an exploder suplex into the corner on Jericho. He then lined up for the Heluva Kick, and Owens jumped on the apron, so he kicked him off the apron. Jericho went for The Walls of Jericho, but Zayn rolled him up for the win.

Sami Zayn defeated Chris Jericho

After the match, Jericho interrupted Zayn’s celebration with a Codebreaker. Owens then entered the ring after Jericho left, and hit a pop up Powerbomb. The show closed with Owens stood tall.

My Take: This was a better than average Smackdown Main Event. Jericho and Zayn have good chemistry, and Owens on commentary kept things interesting at the low points in the action. Zayn has done a great job of getting victories lately, but WWE insists on calling him an underdog. How long can that last? Overall, this show felt more lively than the holiday show on Monday, but it seemed to be focused on setting up Raw rather than creating a natural flow to the show. They essentially set up the matches for this show before the introduction aired, and then spent the rest of the promo time on the show focused on Raw.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Mister Saint Laurent, who offers passionate words about what MLW delivers that pro wrestling has been missing, addresses criticism of MLW's contracts, straying from the path that his family paved for him, discusses the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view event that will be held on November 2 in Chicago, and more (62:44)...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. “My Take: Lesnar vs. Orton is now confirmed. What was the point of the goofy low rent Sportscenter studio for the announcement? Do people really need a detailed explanation about how Randy Orton is Booker T’s “boy”?”

    Lmao, and you’re getting paid to write on this site and you don’t even know that’s the Raw Pre Show set? They probably recorded this Monday after they did the Pre Show.

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