In the 4th of July edition of Thursday Night Smackdown, Wyatt haunts Reigns, overwhelms Ambrose, whilst Rollins advertises the Apple Watch…
After recapping Raw’s main event, which left The United Authority standing tall, Rollins, flanked by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, bragged about his generous nature as well as his domination over Reigns, Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in recent weeks. The spot featured Rollins give a brilliant Jamie Noble impression; one so good I thought it was Jamie talking for a moment. He reminded us of the upcoming shows in Japan, before setting up two huge matches for later in the show: Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns. Ambrose’s music hits and he charges down the ring, before going back for a kendo stick. The Lunatic Fringe fends off the three on one contest, before…
1. Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose
After some early Wyatt dominance, Ambrose rallied. Trademark offense is exchanged between the pair, as Wyatt’s Spider Walk and Ambrose’s top rope elbow feature. As Wyatt rolls outside, Ambrose chases him, dashing across the announcers tables. He is caught by Wyatt who drops him neck first onto the barricade. The Sister Abigail is then the final nail in Ambrose’s coffin in a match that didn’t quite deserve the crowd’s “This is awesome!” chanting.
2. Adam Rose vs. R-Truth
Rose is back with his “You just don’t get it” nonsense. R-Truth doesn’t give him chance to finish, striding down to the ring in a royal attire of his own. King What’s Up wields a plunger, mocking King Barrett. This is a very odd and totally useless storyline other than to try and keep Barrett relevant. Yet, wins over Swagger and losses to Truth will do nothing to help Barrett or the prestige of the King of the Ring. A Lie-Detector puts down Rose in quick time, doing nothing for either competitor (except reminding us that the filler rivalry reigns on.)
We are then reminded of the fierce rivalry between the NXT Champion and the US Champion and its continuation on Monday Night Raw. Seeing Owens Pop-Up Powerbomb to Cesaro was the most satisfying moment of Smackdown to this point.
3. Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Before the match we see a WWE.com exclusive interview with the Big Guy as he guarantees he is going to Shellshock the World’s Strongest Man. Henry refuted these claims in an interview, declaring Ryback has “bit off more than he can chew.” This Wrestlemania 29 rematch is another power battle. It is slow and frankly a little boring. An even match leaves both men flat on their backs in the middle of the ring but Ryback gets up with a full head of steam. A huge Suplex signals the beginning of the end as a Meathook and a Spinebuster set up a huge Shellshock. Not an exciting match by any means, but one that made Ryback look like a legitimate power monster.
A bit more Apple advertising by J&J and Rollins reiterated that Reigns is yet to arrive before…
4. Brie Bella vs. Naomi
Alicia Foxx is ringside to support Brie as Nikki and Tamina are away competing in Japan. An early Foxx intervention gives her Bella sister the upper-hand over the flashy-footed former-Funkadactal. Naomi manages to get back into the bout, but Alicia trips Naomi, allowing Brie to capitalise and collect the pinfall victory.
Then Wyatt is back, standing in a poorly lit and remarkably misty room, goading Reigns out of his “deep, black cave”. He criticises Roman for loving too many people whilst he cares for no-one. He promises that everything Reigns loves will be burned to the ground and only then will he show any mercy. Wyatt, though saying much the same as he has said before, is still hypnotic on screen.
5. The Ascension vs. The Prime-Time Players
The PTP still look very odd with the titles; they don’t quite fit. This was not quite a squash match, but it wasn’t far off. Titus initially dominated Victor before Mr. No-Days-Off took over. He quickly becomes isolated in the Ascension’s corner. Young is blasted into the ring-post as he tries to mount some offense, as he is beaten down, teasing the hot tag. O’Neil gets in and unsurprisingly cleans house. The match breaks down, before Clash of the Titus wins the match. Nothing we haven’t seen countless times before here, but the Prime Time Players always seem to entertain.
The new-but-not-improved Rusev hobbles to the ring. His Bulgarian allegiance and new association with Summer Rae is highlighted. The brute then shuts the crowd up, allowing Summer to apologise for her actions on Raw. Summer said that she enjoyed “slap[ping] her gold-digging face” and Lana’s loss is only her gain. Rusev shouts the he has a “better woman now” and calls out Dolph, claiming that he will “eat [Ziggy’s] heart”.
6. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
It is then time for our main event. Rollins and his security minions stroll down to the ring, confident that Roman has not arrived. The three then count a ten-count with help from their Apple Watches. Roman’s music hits at 7. After limping to the ring, the big Samoan is straight on the offensive. After taking down the Champ, Roman tries to end Joey. Seth prevents the assault and takes solid control, targeting Roman’s injured back. Despite taking more punishment, Reigns is the new Superman, and takes control. As he sets up his big punch, Joey unsurprisingly causes a DQ. A two-half a half on one attack is broken up by a kendo-stick wielding Lunatic, as the numbers game flips on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Seth manages to scurry away but Joey is left alone to be mauled upon. The kendo stick does most on the damage to a helpless Mercury, before a Spear splits him in half, as Rollins stands and watches.
Not quite the revenge Reigns wanted, but a pretty decent end to a not too shabby show. Smackdown finishes with a couple of quite entertaining spots, but nothing worth writing home about.