4/2/15 Smackdown Review – WWE Hits Reset Button After Misfired Raw

Randy Orton def. Big Show (w/Seth Rollins, Kane, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) by disqualification; Orton receives Extreme Rules title shot

Rollins started the show in the ring, explaining the long day he’d had on Monday, and saying the people deserve their champion at his best. Orton quickly interrupted, reminding him that he had beaten Rollins earlier in the night at Wrestlemania. Orton also added that he never got a one-on-one rematch for the title after losing it last year (which is also true of Daniel Bryan, but whatever).

Rollins said that he and he alone decides when the next title match will happen. Orton responded that Rollins had never done anything on his own, before making fun of Kane for not having a Wrestlemania match. Orton channeled his inner Roman Reigns, saying that Kane had gone from “The Big Red Monster to Little Red Riding Hood.”

Kane announced that Orton would face Big Show, and if he could beat Show, The Authority may consider Orton’s championship request. The match began, and Orton planted Show with a dropkick. Orton hit a DDT from the top rope, and The Authority rushed the ring to cause the disqualification.

Kane hit Orton with a chokeslam, and Ryback entered to make the save. Ryback and Orton teamed up to take out Noble and Mercury, before Orton hit Kane with an RKO. Later in the show, Kane told Rollins that he would need to defend his title against Orton at Extreme Rules.

Rollins said that the office smelled bad, and walked out as a toilet flushed. Dean Ambrose appeared, saying that Kane has a great private bathroom. Kane responded by booking him into a match with Luke Harper.

Scott’s Thoughts: I could have done without the toilet humor, but I love the idea of an Orton/Rollins singles match for the title. In kayfabe, there’s really no reason Reigns deserves a rematch, seeing as he was the challenger and took the pinfall. With Lesnar “suspended,” Orton is the logical man for the spot, since he defeated Rollins cleanly at Wrestlemania.

 

Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan by countout

Sheamus entered to an excellent new theme song, which is a great fit for his new heel persona. Sheamus said the reason he attacked Bryan and Dolph Ziggler on Monday was because he can. He said that while he was recovering from his injury, he had found himself wondering where all the real men are in WWE.

Sheamus said that Bryan and Ziggler can’t hang in the main event, and that fans shouldn’t be disappointed by the inevitable. Sheamus said that he came back to crush the dreams of Bryan and Ziggler fans. As the match got underway, Bryan hit a series of kicks, but Sheamus responded with uppercuts.

On commentary, Barrett said that Bryan never pinned him, and that he will invoke his rematch clause whenever it suits him. Bryan hit another series of kicks, but Sheamus fought back with a backbreaker. Sheamus followed up with a knee drop and tossed him on his back twice with a sort of vertical suplex throw.

The two men exchanged stiff strikes, and Bryan dropped Sheamus with a clothesline. Bryan dumped Sheamus from the ring and hit a dive between the ropes, driving Sheamus’ head into the barricade. Bryan got Sheamus back in the ring and hit a missile dropkick.

Bryan hit his signature series of kicks, but Sheamus reversed the final kick into White Noise, which Bryan countered into a Yes Lock. Sheamus avoided the Yes Lock, but Bryan hit a drop toehold into the turnbuckles. Sheamus tried for Ten Beats of the Bodhran, but Bryan fought back with headbutts.

Sheamus drove Bryan off the apron, and Barrett took advantage of a distracted referee to hit a Bullhammer Elbow. Bryan began to gush blood from his forehead, unable to get back up as Sheamus accepted the countout victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: An absolutely top-notch match from two men who really know how to work with each other. Fans joke all the time about how WWE is weirdly obsessed with Bryan/Sheamus matches, but this was a great reminder that they have every reason to feel that way.

Also, I may be warming up a bit to Sheamus’ new look. He *does* look really stupid, but it works well enough with his new cocky heel persona. One other note is that Barrett was far better on commentary than any of the actual announcers. Barrett remained true to his heel character, but put over Bryan and chastised Sheamus whenever necessary. Great job by Barrett.

 

Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper wrestled to a No Contest

Ambrose opened the match with a variety of elbow strikes, including diving and corkscrew elbow drops. Ambrose tried for a running crossbody, but Harper caught him and dumped him from the ring. Back in the ring, Harper came up empty on a big boot and fell from the ring himself.

Ambrose hit a dive between the ropes, but Harper caught him again and tossed him into the apron. Ambrose (finally) used a variant on his rebound clothesline, coming off the apron to take out Harper on the floor. Ambrose tossed Harper back into the ring and hit a top-rope elbow drop for a near-fall.

Harper fought back with a big boot and tried for a powerbomb, but Ambrose dumped him from the ring again. Ambrose followed, but Harper tossed him into the timekeeper’s area before disassembling the announce table. Ambrose took advantage to hit a flying elbow strike from on top of the barricade.

Harper drove Ambrose into the ring post twice, then powerbombed Ambrose through the announce table. Harper walked away as doctors tended to Ambrose, ending the match in a draw.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was a very fun match. I’ve been a bit bored by Ambrose’s offense lately, but I liked the variant on the rebound clothesline, and Ambrose/Harper had great chemistry throughout the match. Also, there aren’t enough No Contest finishes in wrestling today. It seems that WWE is building to an Ambrose/Harper match at Extreme Rules, which is an idea I can get on board with very easily. Good stuff.

 

Roman Reigns discusses Wrestlemania

Reigns did an interview with Byron Saxton, in which he talked about the beating he took from Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Reigns said that he had taken a trip to Suplex City, and had stopped off in every single borough. He went on to say that he was ready for Suplex City (“I might even buy a condo there”), but Lesnar hadn’t been ready for Reigns’ Superman Punch.

Reigns said that he had climbed to the top of the moment, only to be knocked off by Rollins as soon as he got there. Reigns finished by saying that he had beaten Rollins before, and that he would do so again.

Scott’s Thoughts: Reigns did pretty well here, but I question why WWE keeps putting him in this type of segment, instead of letting him wrestle (or entering him into a new feud). I feel like there’s only so much character development that can be done with this type of arc, no matter how well Reigns performs.

 

Breaking News: John Cena enjoys America

Cena cut one of the most ridiculously pro-American promos he’s ever cut, and that is saying a WHOLE LOT. After several minutes of putting over America, he said that he will continue to put up his United States Championship in an open challenge every week.

Rusev and Lana entered, teasing more tension between the two as Rusev snatched the mic away from Lana. Cena reminded Rusev that the champ is indeed here, lest anyone had forgotten. Rusev told Cena that he’s invoking his rematch clause at Extreme Rules, but instead of Rusev’s Russian flag, Cena dropped an American flag from the rafters. Cena then started singing the National Anthem, before talking about how American he is for a bit longer.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was pretty bad. Is it so much to ask for Cena to say something other than “I love America”? This segment went on for far too long, simply because Cena was saying the same thing over and over and over.

 

Prime Time Players kick off a feud with New Day

Titus and Darren cut a hysterical backstage promo, making fun of each member of the New Day. I laughed especially hard when they ridiculed Kofi Kingston’s concave chest, because Andrew and I have been joking about that for years. PTP decided to see if they could get New Day over, and started a New Day chant, only to hear the sound of crickets chirping. Titus barked and PTP did their “millions of dollars” chant to finish the segment.

Scott’s Thoughts: I absolutely love the idea of pushing PTP as faces, while simultaneously turning New Day. This could do wonders for both factions, and for the tag-team division as a whole.

 

The Miz def. R-Truth by pinfall

Miz hit a shoulder tackle, which Truth countered with an arm drag. Truth followed up with a spinning heel kick and a Stinger splash, but came up empty on a scissor kick. Miz took advantage to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale and earn the pinfall. Damien Mizdow entered and took out Miz, putting on his sunglasses and posing over him.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’m still enjoying this angle, and looking forward to their seemingly inevitable Extreme Rules match. Miz and Mizdow are both tremendous comedic talents, and this feud has played to their strengths all along.

 

Naomi def. Natalya by pinfall

Natalya and Naomi went for dropkicks in tandem, then kipped up simultaneously. Natalya hit a basement dropkick for two, and Naomi hit an enziguiri. Naomi followed up with her new headscissor driver finisher for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Naomi needs to stick with either the headscissor driver or her split-legged moonsault (or both) as her primary finisher. Both are far better options than The Rear View.