Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett, Sheamus and Big Show by pinfall
Bryan discussed his desire to raise the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship by defending it regularly. Bryan addressed the recent fighting between himself, Ziggler, Barrett and Sheamus. Barrett and Sheamus entered, with Sheamus promising Bryan a “European-style ass kicking.”
Sheamus and Barrett entered the ring, but Ziggler showed up to even the odds, and challenged Barrett and Sheamus to a tag match. Big Show interrupted, saying that for once he agrees with Sheamus, and he’s tired of little guys thinking they can run the place. Roman Reigns entered next, evening the odds once again.
Once the match began, Ziggler hit a basement dropkick to Show’s knee, then followed up with a DDT. Ziggler tried for a Stinger splash, but Show caught him with a huge chop. Barrett followed up with a neckbreaker as the heels isolated Ziggler in their corner.
Barrett hit Winds of Change for a near-fall, but Ziggler finally managed to reach Bryan for the hot tag. Bryan took down Sheamus with a clothesline, following up with his signature series of kicks, coming up empty on the final kick. Bryan recovered quickly enough to dump Sheamus from the ring and hit a dive between the ropes.
Bryan tossed Sheamus back in the ring, but Barrett took advantage of a distracted referee to hit a big boot on Bryan. Show tagged in, hitting a gorilla press slam and an elbow drop for a near-fall. Bryan reversed a chokeslam into a Yes Lock, but Show powered out.
Sheamus tagged in and tried for White Noise, but Bryan made an amazing counter into a DDT, finally reaching Reigns for the tag. Reigns hit Show and Barrett with Superman punches, covering Barrett and forcing Sheamus to make the save.
Barrett hit a superkick on Reigns, but Reigns countered a Bullhammer Elbow into a spear for the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: A better than average Teddy Long Special, but the piped-in crowd noise for Reigns was ridiculously overdone, and the finish was telegraphed in such a way that absolutely no one could have believed Barrett was about to land the Bullhammer.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya) def. Kofi Kingston and Big E (w/Xavier Woods) by pinfall
Big E asked the crowd why they chant “New Day sucks,” and tried to get a clap going. Instead, the crowd again chanted “New Day sucks.” Big E said that they try to bring positivity, but clearly something needs to change. Big E urged the crowd to love the New Day, saying that they’re here for the fans.
Tyson hit a monkey flip, but Kofi landed on his feet. Tyson still managed to take Kofi to his corner, where he and Cesaro took turns wearing him down. Kofi knocked Tyson from the ring and took out both Kidd and Cesaro with a dive over the ropes.
Back in the ring, Cesaro and Kidd regained their advantage, isolating Big E in their corner. Big E fought back by countering a Tyson crossbody into a belly-to-belly suplex, but Cesaro tagged in first. Cesaro hit a very impressive gutwrench suplex for a near-fall.
Tyson tagged back in and hit a guillotine legdrop, which Cesaro followed up with a double footstomp for another two-count on Big E. Big E ran shoulder-first into the ring post, and Cesaro hit a giant swing. Tyson took advantage of a distracted referee to add a dropkick, but Kofi made the save.
Cesaro and Kofi started arguing, which gave Big E time to hit a lifting side slam. Kofi and Tyson tagged in, with Kofi using a diving clothesline and a dropkick to gain the momentum. Kofi followed up with a Boom Drop, but Cesaro took advantage of another distraction to hit Kofi with a cheap-shot uppercut through the ropes.
Tyson hit a spinning neckbreaker for the pinfall victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: This is the kind of fast-paced action that makes for a healthy tag-team division. I also really loved Tyson’s new kickpads, which are decorated with his, Cesaro’s and Nattie’s names. His new trunks added another great element, as it has a picture of the tag title belt on it.
New Day’s heel turn is off to a solid start, and all three men are plenty talented enough to get over if their gimmick finally improves.
Miz TV featuring Summer Rae and Damien Mizdow
Miz promoted “The Marine 4” and showed the film’s preview. After the preview, Miz was interrupted by Summer Rae, his co-star in the movie. Miz said that Summer should feel privileged to be in his movie, and that it was a case of Miz “giving a diva a chance.”
Miz told Summer to sit down and speak only when spoken to, and she refused, referring to Miz as the co-star. Miz said that he had made Mizdow a star, and he was doing Summer a similar favor. Summer reminded Miz that Mizdow had tossed Miz from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Miz said that Mizdow is not a leading man, no matter how much the crowd chants for him. Miz asked the crowd if they even knew that Damien Sandow had been fired twice by WWE, and was about to be let go again, but Miz saved his career.
Mizdow entered, and Miz told him that he’s on a steep decline, and needs to get his future back on track. Miz said that the WWE Universe can’t get him back on track, but that he can. Miz offered to forgive Mizdow if Mizdow would say that he’s sorry.
Mizdow shook Miz’s hand and said “I’m sorry…I didn’t do this sooner,” and punched Miz in the face. Miz ran away up the entrance ramp as Mizdow kissed Summer. Mizdow smiled at the camera as Summer tried to process what had just happened.
Scott’s Thoughts: This honestly might have been my favorite part of this week’s Smackdown. Miz and Mizdow continue to make their feud click, and Summer’s inclusion was surprisingly well-done also. It’s pretty amazing to think of how long WWE has been running the Miz/Mizdow angle, and that it’s still working so extremely well.
Bray Wyatt def. Erick Rowan by pinfall
Wyatt said that the first time he had seen Rowan, Rowan had been cast out by a society that could never understand him. Wyatt added that he had taken Rowan in, and taught him everything he knew, including the value of family. Wyatt said that Rowan had lost his way, and he will now end him.
Wyatt said that if he could do this to someone he once loved, “imagine what I can do to you.” The match got underway, and Wyatt dropkicked Rowan out of the ring. Wyatt got Rowan back in the ring and hit a DDT for a near-fall.
Wyatt tried for a running senton, but Rowan got his knees up, fighting back with clotheslines. Rowan hit a spinning heel kick for a near-fall. The action again spilled outside the ring, with Wyatt taking Rowan down with a clothesline. Wyatt followed up with a running senton on the floor, before tossing him back into the ring. Wyatt planted Rowan with Sister Abigail, earning the pinfall.
Scott’s Thoughts: I’m interested to find out who Wyatt is targeting next. I also appreciated the fact that WWE took the time to remind viewers of the extensive backstory between Wyatt and Rowan, in what could have just been a throwaway Smackdown match.
Neville def. Curtis Axel by pinfall
Axel said that the road to “Axtreme Rules” had hit a tiny roadbump named Neville on last week’s Raw. Neville entered and opened the match with quick hip tosses. Neville knocked Axel from the ring and hit a plancha onto the floor. Back in the ring, Neville hit a gorilla press slam, finishing Axel off with the Red Arrow.
Scott’s Thoughts: Neville has made a very smooth transition to the main roster. Commentary has done a great job of putting him over, he’s been booked strongly, and his exciting in-ring ability is quickly winning over fans.
Natalya def. Alicia Fox by submission (w/Cameron guest referee)
Fox, Cameron and Natalya cut an awkward backstage promo with Renee Young, in which they addressed the reasoning behind pressuring Kane into booking the #1 Contender’s battle royal for next week’s Raw. Fox and Natalya started fighting, and Cameron had to break it up.
This led to a match between Fox and Nattie, with Cameron as the guest ref. Fox hit a shoulder tackle, but came up empty on a running senton. Natalya hit a basement dropkick for a two-count, but Fox fought back with a big boot.
Fox bridged a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall, but Natalya countered a tilt-a-whirl slam into a crossbody for two. Fox regained the advantage with a clothesline, but Natalya rolled through a sunset flip and locked in a sharpshooter. Fox tapped out to give Natalya the win. After the match, Cameron gave DDTs to both Natalya and Fox.
Scott’s Thoughts: The heel vs. heel — with heel guest ref — dynamic was a bit bizarre. That said, the match itself wasn’t bad.