7/18 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage Review: Chris Jericho appears, plus Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Kane, The Miz and more...
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage Review
Taped Tuesday, July 15th in Fayetteville, NC.
[Q1] The show opened to the arena immediately, and Dean Ambrose made his way out to the ring. Footage was shown from Monday of Ambrose getting beat down by Kane and Orton. Ambrose said all he heard for the past two years is that Seth was the smarter one. He then said Seth is smart enough to know he can't do his own dirty work. Ambrose then told the hypothetical Rollins that if he thought a trip to the hospital would stop him from kicking his ass on Sunday, he was mistaken. He asked if that was all he had, and demanded Rollins come out and settle it now.
Rollins popped up on the tron and told Ambrose he didn't get it. He is nothing without him, and he would destroy him on Sunday. He would like nothing more than to curbstomp his face right then and there. He said he couldn't because he tweaked his knee and wasn't medically cleared. Ambrose said it sounded like he was scared, so he should come down and make daddy proud and come down and take his beating like a man. Rollins smirked and said that Ambrose always goes back to the daddy line, like he has something to prove. He then said that he had just talked to Triple H, and that Ambrose would have a match tonight.....against Kane.
Cole said Chris Jericho would take on Luke Harper, and Miz and Fandango would take on Ziggler and Sheamus next....[c]
My Take: This felt like a house show opening in a way. There were a few clever lines from Ambrose and Rollins in there, but nothing that really advanced the narrative much. They pretty much explained all they can in this chapter until the fallout that will come after Sunday.
Fandango made his ring entrance, followed by The Miz, Sheamus, and Ziggler.
[Q2] 1. Sheamus and Ziggler vs. Fandango and The Miz: Ziggler and Miz started the match, and The Miz went out of his way to avoid any damage to the face. Fandango tagged in and ate a few nice looking drop kicks from Ziggler. Sheamus tagged in and traded blows with Fandango. Fandango got dumped to the floor and Miz jumped out of the ring to avoid damage to his face. The babyfaces celebrated in the ring mid match...[c]
Sheamus sold for a bit after the break, taking strikes from both Fandango and Miz. Miz applied a chin lock mid ring, and then hit a DDT and Sheamus showed signs of breaking out. Fandango got cocky and danced in the ring, which allowed Sheamus to hit white noise and make a hot tag to Ziggler. Dolph hit Fandango off the apron and went for a Fameasser on Miz, who escaped to ringside. Sheamus tossed him back in, and he hit a Leg Lariat for a two count.
Dolph hit a nice DDT and covered, but Fandango broke the tag. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Fandango, and Ziggler followed up with a Zig Zag on Miz for the win.
Ziggler and Sheamus defeated Miz and Fandango at 12:28.
Cole plugged Kane for Ambrose later. Nikki Bella was shown backstage dressed like a referee...[c]
My Take: Miz is entertaining when trying to avoid damage to his face, but the Hollywood character hasn't shown much depth so far. This was a fun tag effort, but again, kind of felt like a house show match.
[Q3] Cole announced Cameron vs. Naomi for the Battleground Kickoff Match. Nikki Bella made her entrance to be ref for the next match, and footage was shown of Brie and Stephanie from Payback. Eva Marie and Alicia Fox were already in the ring.
2. Alicia Fox vs. Eva Marie: A couple of long collar and elbow tie ups to start. Both women traded pinfall attempts. Eva Marie argued with Nikki over a slow count, and then both women attacked Nikki.
The match ended in a no contest in 0:30.
After the match, Alicia hit an Axe kick and both women patted themselves on the back.
My Take: Oof. Total waste of time.
Backstage, Stardust said something about co-existing realities and looked for a cosmic key. He did a knock knock joke with Goldust, who said beyond the cosmic door is another dimension of sound, sight and bizarre. He said Stardust holds the key, and all they need is a little Stardust.
My Take: Ooooooookaaaaaaaay.
Chris Jericho made his ring entrance. Jericho's eye was either genuinely bruised or made up, either way he had a bruise on the side of his face where Wyatt planted him with Sister Abigail on the ramp. Cole introduced the Sting video for WWE 2K15...[c]
[Q4] Footage was shown of The Wyatt's beating up Chris Jericho from the past few weeks. The Wyatt's then made their ring entrance. Wyatt told Jericho he would remember everything about him. He remembers him saying he would always be there, and that he would save us all. He called him a liar, and the biggest hypocrite of them all, and that he deserves everything that is coming to them. He then said it won't matter what he does now, it will just be too late. He then told Jericho not to worry about us now, just save himself.
2. Luke Harper vs. Chris Jericho: Both men trade offense early, with Harper getting the better of it. Harper got dumped to the apron, and then out to the floor by a charging Jericho...[c]
Harper took a shot at Jericho's black eye as he hit mounted punches, and then transitioned into a nice vertical suplex. Harper tried for a fallaway slam, but Jericho reversed into a rollup attempt for a two count. Jericho got caught with a big right hand for a near fall. Harper rang up Jericho on the bottom rope, and Jericho rolled to the outside. He then dropped him on the barricade as Bray Wyatt cheered from ringside.
Jericho capitized on a Harper mistake and hit a springboard dropkick for a near fall. Harper caught Jericho attempting a cross body, and then hit a sit out body slam for a two count. Jericho recovered and hit a top rope cross body for a near fall. Harper hit a big boot and a sit out powerbomb for a good near fall. Bray called for Harper to finish it. Jericho side stepped a splash in the corner and hit a lionsault for a near fall.
[Q5] Jericho went for a codebreaker, but Harper pushed him away. Harper went for another powerbomb, but Jericho reversed and locked in The Walls of Jericho. Rowan tried to interfere, but Jericho hit a springboard drop kick. Luke tried for a discus clothesline, but Jericho surprised him with a roll up for the win.
Chris Jericho defeated Luke Harper at 12:41.
After the match, Rowan and Bray entered to try and do damage to Jericho. The Usos hit the ring ot make the save. Cole plugged the main event, and Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger were shown walking towards the ring...[c]
My Take: A very nice match that I really enjoyed. Both men worked well together, and I liked the pace they worked down the stretch. Harper looked very strong at various points of the match, and Jericho did a great job of gaining sympathy from the crowd. I look forward to seeing how he and Bray Wyatt meld together on Sunday.
Footage was shown of Jack Swagger applying the Ankle Lock to Rusev on Monday. Swagger swung the US Flag in the ring. Colter said that Lana or Tammy Faye or whover would pay for what she did on Monday. He then said he was tired of Rusev, Putin, and the insults hurled by Lana. He then said Lana and Rusev are only in the country because they are allowed to be there. He then said Swagger would be crush proof on Sunday, and did the we the people bit.
Lana and Rusev interrupted and said stupid Americans never learn. This Sunday at Battleground Rusev will crush Jack Swagger and all of America. Rusev tried to start a Ru-si-a chant, which prompted a huge USA chant. They waved their dicks (flags) at one another and then Cole plugged the main event.
My Take: Far from the best Colter promo, but this program is over enough that it worked anyway. The enthusiastic flag waving is hilarious.
[Q6] Alberto Del Rio made his ring entrance. Del RIo cut a picture in picture promo about winning the Intercontinental Championship. Kofi made his entrance, and cut a brief promo of his own. Neither promo was particularly worth commenting on.
4. Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio: Del Rio hit a nice enziguri early on with Kofi on the apron, and he fell to the floor. Del Rio brought things back into the ring, and applied a chin lock. Kofi sent Del Rio to the floor, and then hit a suicide dive. In the ring, Kofi hit a springboard fist and then a clothesline. He got fired up and hit a boom drop.
Kofi energized the crowd and went for Trouble in Paradise, but missed. Del Rio hit a kick to the face, and went for the cross arm breaker, but Kofi reversed into SOS. Del Rio grabbed the ropes to break the pin. Del Rio climbed up top, but Kofi crotched him. Kofi tried for a superplex, but Del Rio pushed him down. Kofi tried to catch himself on the top rope, but Del Rio hit a double stomp and got the win.
Kofi Kingston defeated Kofi at 4:48.
Post match, they went backstage to Summer Rae and Layla. Fandango walked up and said he knows ladies love gold, and they can hang on his harm after he wins the Intercontinental Championship. Layla and Summer Rae said they want nothing to do with an egotistical flamingo dancer, especially a two timing one. After they left, Bo Dallas walked up and said that if he loves them, he should let them go. If they don't come back, they weren't his to begin with. With his fancy pants and smooth moves, another girl will dance into his life, and all he has to do is Bolieve!
My Take: A solid match from Kofi and Del Rio, that I probably would have liked more had I not seen it dozens of times before. Layla and Summer Rae moving on from Fandango was the only thing about that story that made sense, but the follow up has been pretty lame. Bo Dallas is funny as usual.
[Q7] Summer Rae and Layla were already in the ring. AJ Lee then made her ring entrance, followed by Paige.
5. Paige and AJ Lee, vs Summer and Layla: Summer danced and did the splits to start the match, but AJ just kicked her over. Layla and Paige tagged in, and Layla hit some nice kicks to get a two count. The heels looked to isolate Paige, and cut her off in their half of the ring. Summer tagged in and traded blows with Paige. Paige hit some nice knees on Summer and a kick to the face on Summer.
AJ tagged herself in, and immediately hit the black widow on Summer. She tapped immediately.
Paige and AJ defeated Summer and Layla at 2:12.
After the match, Paige sold being mad at AJ for tagging herself in, but then gave her a hug and acted like she was kidding. Footage was shown from earlier of the post match action from Jericho vs. Harper. Backstage, The Uso's drank some Sonic beverages. It was a bad ad. Hornswoggle ran up and got a brain freeze from drinking too fast.
My Take: Some flashes of nice looking offense from the ladies, Layla and Paige especially. It will be interesting to see what Paige can do with a heel turn.
A video package was shown of John Cena's rivalry with the Authority, and the build to the Battleground Fatal Four Way. Backstage, Rollins and Kane were shown. Rollins told Kane not to take what Orton did to him personally, but tonight was about Dean Ambrose. Kane said he didn't need Rollins help, and he would deal with Orton on his own terms. Rollins asked him to leave a little life in Ambrose, so he could finish the job of Sunday. Kane told him not to get any ideas about his briefcase on Sunday...
[Q8] Dean Ambrose made his ring entrance...[c]
Kane made his ring entrance.
6. Kane vs. Dean Ambrose: Ambrose ambused Kane before the bell and tried to hit a suicide dive, but Kane stuffed him. The ref rang the bell and Kane took over. He went right after the injured shoulder of Ambrose. He did an arm twist and pulled Ambrose to the mat shoulder first. He then did several leg drops on the bad shoulder. He grapevined his legs on the last one and wrenched on the arm. Ambrose fired back with a tornado DDT and some punches.
Ambrose hit a dropkick and climbed to the top rope. He then hit a missile dropkick and tried to fire himself up. Kane caught him coming off the ropes for a chokeslam, but he avoided it. He then low bridged Kane and sent him to the floor. He followed up with a suicide drive. Kane recovered faster than Ambrose and tossed him into the steps. Kane tossed aside the top portion of the steps and went for a tombstone.
Ambrose wiggled out and pushed Kane into the post. Rollins ran down and smashed Ambrose with the briefcase to cause a DQ.
Dean Ambrose won by DQ at 5:58.
Kane put the bottom steps in the ring as Ambrose and Rollins brawled. Kane hit a chokeslam on Ambrose, and then set him up on the steps. Rollins then hit a curb stomp on the steps, and he and Kane stood over him to close the show.
My Take: A pretty predictable close to the show, but not a bad one. Ambrose really sold like a champ, and his shoulder is proverbially hanging by a thread heading into Sunday. Overall, this was an average show. Lots of filler, but a couple of good matches that held your interest. I think Summerslam will be a lot more interesting than Battleground, but they are laying important groundwork here that will payoff at that show. I'll have more to say in All Access Audio tomorrow.
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