10/29/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters
Luke Harper, Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan (w/ Bray Wyatt) def. Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Ryback by pinfall
Wyatt opened the show, holding Undertaker’s hat and Kane’s mask. Wyatt said that he now owns the souls of the Brothers of Destruction, but that he has also a challenge for tonight. He laid out an offer for any trio to face off against his family of monsters.
Later in the show, Ambrose told Renee Young in a backstage interview that he was accepting the challenge. Cesaro approached Ambrose in the hallway and offered his services as a partner, which Ambrose gladly accepted. Ambrose then ran into Ryback in the weight room, and Da Big Guy said he had his own revenge to seek on the Wyatts, rounding out Ambrose’s team.
Strowman hit a delayed vertical suplex on Ryback to start the match, and Harper hit him with a senton over the top rope. Ryback hit Rowan with a spinebuster and reached Ambrose, who hit a running crossbody on Rowan, followed by a bulldog. Ambrose dumped Harper and Rowan from the ring, then hit them with a top-rope elbow drop to the floor.
Back in the ring, Rowan hit a spinning heel kick for a two-count on Ambrose. Harper and Cesaro tagged in, with Cesaro hitting running uppercuts on Harper, then setting him up on the top rope and dropkicking him out of the ring. Cesaro delivered running uppercuts to both Harper and Rowan, then hit Harper with a burning hammer for two.
Ryback tackled Strowman over the announce table, as Cesaro hit a top-rope crossbody for a close near-fall on Harper. Cesaro followed up with a springboard corkscrew uppercut, but Strowman exploded from behind the announce table and Wyatt took a cheap shot at Cesaro. Harper hit Cesaro with a lariat and pinned him.
Scott’s Thoughts: A fun brawl, with at least some semblance of stakes, as opposed to the typical Smackdown Teddy Long Special. The finish was a bit of a cluster, but this is Smackdown, so I’m not going to complain too much about getting a solid two-hour show.
Roman Reigns def. Kevin Owens by countout
Reigns began cutting a promo about his desire for the title, his disdain for Seth Rollins, etc. Owens interrupted, saying that Reigns stole one from him on Raw, and was now the No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship. He told Reigns that his victory was a fluke, so Reigns challenged him to a match.
Reigns and Owens matched power early, unable to knock each other over. Reigns hit a neckbreaker, following up with a pumphandle suplex. Owens responded with a jawbreaker, then drove Reigns into the barricade at ringside, and hit a fallaway slam into the barricade as well.
Back in the ring, Reigns hit a series of ten clotheslines and a big boot for two. Owens fought back with a back bodydrop and a superkick for a near-fall of his own. Reigns countered a cannonball with a clothesline, and Owens answered with a German suplex.
Reigns blocked another German and took Owens up top, hitting a Superman punch that knocked Owens onto the floor. Owens grabbed his title belt and wandered off into the crowd, accepting the countout loss.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was a fun match to kick off the show. Reigns still has a long way to go on the mic, but his in-ring work has improved markedly. I am a bit sick of the “Walk Owens Walk” booking, but I didn’t have a huge problem with it here.
Lucha Dragons def. The Ascension, Dudley Boyz, and Sheamus & King Barrett in a four corners tag team match
As the match was about to begin, Kofi and Big E entered wearing unicorn horns. They shame the other teams for not having Halloween spirit, as they made their way to commentary. Kalisto hit a hurricanrana and a rebound enziguiri on Sheamus to open the match.
The Dragons hit tandem missile dropkicks on The Ascension, and D-Von nailed Barrett with a vertical suplex. Konnor hit a running spinebuster on Kalisto, which Viktor followed with an elbow drop. Kalisto reached Sin Cara for the tag, and Sin Cara hit a top-rope moonsault, a springboard crossbody, and a springboard moonsault on Viktor.
Viktor tried for a front suplex off the ropes, but Sin Cara countered beautifully with a Frankensteiner, forcing Barrett and Sheamus to make the save. The Dudleyz hit tandem gorilla press slams on Sheamus and Barrett, which the Dragons followed up with Wazzup headbutts. The action spilled outside, and Kofi started screaming at everyone to be careful around the pumpkins.
Sin Cara made a quick tag to Kalisto, who hit Salina del Sol on Viktor from the apron, earning the pinfall victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: The Dragons haven’t gotten a big win in quite a while, and they both looked fantastic here. This match was seemingly built to showcase the luchadors, and they rose to the occasion. Also, Big E and Kofi were delightfully obnoxious on commentary.
Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz by pinfall in a Trick or Treat street fight
Ziggler hit Miz with a kendo stick, then hit him in the crotch with it. Ziggler dunked Miz’s head in a bowl of apples at ringside, then put a pumpkin on his head. Ziggler superkicked the pumpkin and it shattered into pieces around Miz’s head.
Miz responded by tossing Ziggler over the announce table, then wrapped Ziggler’s leg around the ring post and hit it with a chair. Miz tried for a figure-four, but Ziggler rolled him up in a small package for the pinfall. After the match, Breeze entered with Summer, attacking Ziggler’s injured leg and unloading on him until referees pulled him away.
Scott’s Thoughts: This was just a cheesy holiday gimmick match, but Ziggler superkicking the pumpkin off of Miz’s head was absolutely hilarious. The feud between Ziggler and Breeze could develop into a ton of fun.
Paige def. Natalya by pinfall
As soon as the bell rang, Paige hit an immediate superkick for a near-fall. Natalya fought back with a running lariat and a German suplex, and Team BAD appeared onstage. Sasha Banks mocked Natalya for “seeking attention” following her beatdown on Smackdown last week.
Paige took advantage of the distraction to hit a Rampaige for the pinfall. Team BAD entered the ring, and Tamina planted Natalya with a superkick. Sasha hit a Bank Statement and Team BAD walked away up the ramp.
Scott’s Thoughts: It’s funny how Natalya was completely irrelevant for months, and now there are no less than four women attacking her. I appreciated how Team BAD entered and exited to Sasha’s music, and she clearly acted like the ringleader. I’m not sure if this was meant to plant a seed of Paige joining forces with Team BAD — or maybe just Sasha — but they can use it in that manner if they’d like to down the line.
Alberto del Rio (w/ Zeb Colter) def. R-Truth by pinfall
Alberto and Zeb entered, and Zeb said that The Real American and The Great Mexican had joined forces out of mutual respect. Zeb said that he and del Rio are the first residents of MexAmerica, and they seek to rename the United States title as the MexAmerican Championship. Alberto promised to “make MexAmerica great.”
Truth started the match with a spinning heel kick and a front facebuster. Alberto answered with a double-stomp to the chest from the top rope, earning the squash victory.
Scott’s Thoughts: Alberto del Rio and Zeb Colter on a motorized scooter, creating the great nation of MexAmerica, continues to be nothing but fun. Alberto’s revolving door of finishers is an interesting development as well.
- “Boo Dallas” kept trying to scare people into “Boo-lieving” backstage in his ghost costume. He finally managed to startle Mark Henry, who punched Bo into a trash bin. Fun, light filler.