8/22 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on Syfy Live Review: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Goldust and Stardust, Randy Orton, and more...
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped on Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona.
[Q1] The Summerslam post event trailer aired again to open the show. In the arena, pyro fired up the crowd and cole welcomed us to Phoenix. Randy Orton's music hit and he headed towards the ring. Orton opened and said winning a battle is not winning the war. He then went on to say that one match will never define him, and that Reigns can't beat him when he's focused. He introduced a video and showed his beating on Reigns from a few weeks ago on Raw. He then said that's what happens when he's focused, and that Roman Reigns will get his.
He said tonight, he has a match with RVD. He said he doesn't care who it is, he's going to put down anybody put in his way. Orton went on to say that tonight was about respect, and that he was owed respect by the crowd. He called himself a 12 time champion, and said if they didn't give him the respect he deserves, he would simply take it from him.
Orton posed for a bit, but then Seth Rollins music hit. They walked by each other and met gazes for a second. Rollins entered the ring and Cole shifted focus to Lesnar vs. Cena on commentary. He said they would find out more the Cena vs. Lesnar rematch later in the show...[c]
My Take: Monotone and sort of aimless from Orton. I know that monotone is kind of his shtick, but Orton is usually more organized than he was during this promo.
The announcers switched over, and Tom Phillips brought us back from break. He joined for a three man booth. Video was shown of Ambrose vs. Rollins from Monday Night. Jack Swagger made his entrance for a match with Rollins.
[Q2] 1. Seth Rollins vs. Jack Swagger: Swagger opened up on offense and quickly cleared Rollins from the ring. Rollins returned to the ring and took over control of the match with an attack on Swagger's ribs. Swagger tried to shake off Rollins with a few punches, but he wasn't able to get any space until he caught Rollins coming off the ropes and hit a belly to belly suplex. Rollins stopped the rally with a kick to the ribs and both men were left catching their breath...[c]
Swagger hit a nice wheelbarrow suplex, and fired up on offense. He hit a Swagger Bomb, which hurt the injured ribs. They worked back and forth into a Patriot Lock, and Rollins escaped quickly. Swagger charged Rollins and both men tumbled to the floor. Rollins tried to get into the ring, but Swagger grabbed a Patriot Lock and pulled him onto the floor. Rollins dumped Swagger into the crowd and ran him into the post. He barely got back in the ring to beat the count, and got curbstomped as he got back in.
Swagger was eventually counted out, and Rollins was given the victory.
Seth Rollins defeated Jack Swagger at 10:34.
Bo Dallas walked out as Swagger coughed and laid out on the floor. Dallas told Swagger that after he let down 317 million people at Summerslam, he went from American Hero to American Zero. Bo said in true patriotic fashion, he would turn Jack's failure into a comeback story. He said he was ready to be our American Sweetheart. Dallas then concluded by saying we can all conquer fear, if we just Bo-lieve. Tom Phillips then plugged more Raw footage for later. Cole talked about the Bella betrayal...[c]
My Take: I wish I had an idea of what they plan to do to Swagger here. Is he going right back to heel after getting tired of people calling him a failure? It's not like Zeb and Swagger really work as heels in any other context than with Rusev.
[Q3] Footage was shown of the Bella's bad acting from Monday. I will never forgive them for it. Backstage, Miz said something irritating and demanded Kane give him an update about his Intercontinental Championship. Kane said he doesn't care about Miz's rematch, but said he could have a sequel, and booked him in a match with Roman Reigns for later. Rusev made his entrance with Lana, and it seeemed like WWE piped in heat. Everybody in the crowd kind of sat on their hands. They plugged Paul Heyman's DVD...[c]
Footage was shown of Mark Henry getting fired up on Monday while talking smack to Rusev. Sin Cara was in the ring for the next match.
[Q4] 2. Rusev vs. Sin Cara: Rusev opened up early, but Sin Cara used his speed to recover. Sin Cara got in some kicks and hit a missile dropkick from the tip. This staggered Rusev, who immediately destroyed Sin Cara with a jumping side kick. Rusev applied The Accolade and Sin Cara tapped out.
Rusev crushed Sin Cara at 1:49
Lana got into the ring and said this is what happens when you disprespect Russia. She called Putin the world's real peace keeper and true leader. Some awkward pre-tape from Mark Henry aired and he said they must not have gotten the message on Monday. He then essentially introduced himself, and came out to the ring. Rusev and Lana cleared out to heat up the crowd. Henry trash talked Lana and Rusev as they walked away.
RVD was interviewed backstage by Renee Young. He told Orton to chill out, and said losing to Roman Reigns can happen to anybody. He told him instead of focusing on Reigns, he should worry about RVD. Orton smashed RVD from behind before he finished his sentence, and told Renee Young to tell RVD their match was next when he woke up.
My Take: Rusev and Henry works, but I didn't think they got all they could out of Rusev and Swagger. The match was nothing to comment about, and Orton was Orton. He's been the same viper for a long time, and that's kind of the problem.
Orton was shown in the ring. VIdeo was then shown of the assault prior to the match. RVD then made his ring entrance.
[Q5] 3. RVD vs. Randy Orton: They battled back and forth early, until RVD hit a kick and dumped Orton to the outside. Van Dam splashed Orton on the outside, but missed the follow up kick from the apron and crashed into the barricade. Orton tossed RVD all over the ringside area. he used the steps, ring posts, announce tables, and barracades. Both men were eventually counted out. RVD then took a DDT from the apron the floor.
The match ended in no contest at 3:09.
Orton set a chair in the ring and sat on it next ot RVD, who was laid out on the mat. Orton mocked RVD's thumb gesture and moved the chair to the other side of him. Orton then hit an RKO onto the chair, and told the announcers to tell Roman Reigns that he was coming. Orton posed a bit...[c]
My Take: Meh. Orton always looks smooth, but beating up RVD means very little at this point. On top of that, Orton as a sadist has been done a bunch before, and much better. I get why they felt they had to have this segment, but I felt like I went through a timewarp to 10 years ago.
Roman Reigns was interviewed backstage. He was asked about Randy Orton's threat to come after him tonight. Reigns begged Orton to come after him. He said he and his boy Dean Ambrose would get their revenge. He knows what the Authority is capable of, and said they would get theirs. He then said Orton says a lot of things he can't back up, and gave Summerslam as an example, where he claimed he would decimate him. He said he decimated him right up until he speared his ass and beat him. Reigns concluded and said he'll see Orton later.
Natalya was in the ring, and Paige made her entrance.
[Q6] 4. Natalya vs. Paige: Paige hit some strikes early, but Natalya came back with a butterfly suplex. Nattie followed Paige to the outside, where she got levelled and sent into the post. Nattie barely answered the count, and Paige stalked her by crawling towards her on the mat. Paige then followed up with some terrible looking headbutts, and some knee lifts.
Paige applied a body scissors, and AJ's music hit and she skipped out to ringside. Paige almost pinned Natalya after a splash, but AJ stole the belt from ringside. Paige gave chase and got her belt back, but she walked right into a Sharpshooter. AJ then stared at her as she tapped out.
Natalya defeated Paige at 2:56.
The announcers plugged Stardust and Goldust vs. Harper and Rowan...[c]
My Take: An ok divas match, but the angle between AJ and Paige is bizarre. Just about all the divas characters are either catty or crazy, and this feels like a contest to see who can out crazy the other one. After a while it feels a little patronizing, but what do I expect given the history? I don't even know.
Goldust and Stardust made their ring entrance. They were followed by Rowan and Harper.
5. Goldust and Stardust vs. Rowan and Harper: The Usos cut a picture in picture promo about nothing. It was like a Seinfeld skit. They eventually got out that Goldust and Stardust won't get lucky again. I think Stardust is going for a wrestling version of Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka. Or maybe just Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie. I don't know, but either way he got his ass handed to him early in the match. Goldust eventually tagged in and traded with Rowan.
Rowan eventually beat Goldust down in a corner and hit a profoundly poor looking head butt, which Goldust didn't even bother to sell. He did sell the forearms, though, and Rowan hit a shoulder block that sent Goldust out to the apron...[c]
[Q7] Harper crushed Goldust with another shoulder block, and Rowan tagged in to hit a big body slam and leg drop. Harper tagged in and they continued the job of isolating Goldust in their corner. Harper gator rolled Goldust and applied a side headlock. Goldust got a boot up as Harper charged him, and then hit a head scissors. Harper hit a huge clothesline that leveled Godust, followed by a powerbomb. Stardust broke up the pin, and then he and Rowan crashed to ringside. Goldust rolled up a surprised Harper form behind and got the win.
Goldust and Stardust defeated Rowan and Harper at 10:34.
After the match, Rowan and Harper destroyed Goldust and Startdust at ringside. They used the post and the announce table, and then further laid out Goldust in the ring with a big clothesline and splash combo. The announce team gave the hard sell for the WWE Network, and then showed Triple H as he announced the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. They then plugged a Raw rebound for next...[c]
My Take: This match was entertaining, but would have been a lot better if both of these teams had deeper characters. As it is, they are one dimensional and despite the quality of the work rate I had a hard time really getting sucked into it.
[Q8] Cole and Phillips spoke about the Monday Night War premiering on the WWE Network after Smackdown. A video was then introduced of Brock Lesnar accepting the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and some of Paul Heyman's Promo. Roman Reigns then made his ring entrance...[c]
Footage was shown of Reign's on MizTV last week. Miz made his ring entrance...
6. Roman Reigns vs. The Miz: Orton walked out onto the ramp immediately. As Orton stood next to the ring, Reigns dominated the offense. Orton tried to enter the ring in a sneaky fashion, but Reigns saw him anyway, but that gave MIz an opening. Miz hit a clothesline and some kicks. It didn't last, however, and Reigns quickly hit a spear and pinned Miz while he gazed at Orton.
Roman Reigns defeated MIz at 3:12.
Reigns and Orton brawled in the ring and around the ringside area after the match. They fought over a chair, which Reigns eventually got a hold of and wore out Orton with it. Orton eventually retreated to the back as Reigns gloated.
My Take: A throwaway match, and an ok brawl to close the show. Reigns vs. Orton doesn't feel like it has much left, but I give them credit for trying. Overall, this match has some solid action, but not worth going out of your way to watch. Tom Phillips was a welcome addition on commentary, as he filled in a lt of detail that Cole and JBL normally gloss over. The rest of the show felt like a holding pattern of sorts
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