Smackdown Review – Ambrose and Reigns Keep Rollins at Bay


Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt by pinfall

Reigns said that even though he lost at Payback, he still had fun because he got to punch Rollins in the face, got to do another Shield powerbomb, and went toe to toe with his best friend, Ambrose. Reigns said that he was entering the Money in the Bank ladder match.

Ambrose entered, saying that he didn’t need to dream about MITB, because he’ll be champion by then. Reigns said that Ambrose getting his title shot “was pretty nifty,” but asked Ambrose if he was ever going to have an exit strategy. Kane entered and said that as far as he was concerned, Reigns isn’t in MITB.

Kane pointed out that Reigns lost at Wrestlemania and at Payback, and all he’d earned is his spot at the back of the line. Kane announced Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt for later in the show, which Ambrose was more than happy to hear, saying he had unfinished business with Wyatt. Kane told Reigns that he should spend the rest of the evening reflecting on his failures, saying that he didn’t have a match for him. Reigns said he would make sure Kane stuck closely to his Director of Operations duties.

Ambrose and Wyatt faced off in the main event, with Ambrose gaining an early advantage with a dragon screw leg whip, sending Wyatt rolling from the ring. Ambrose followed up with a dive between the ropes, but Wyatt recovered enough to drive Ambrose into the ring steps.

Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a gorilla press slam, but came up empty on a running senton. Wyatt got Ambrose tangled up in the ropes, but Ambrose managed to hit a tornado DDT onto the floor. Ambrose followed up with a clothesline and a dropkick.

Wyatt tried to hit Sister Abigail into the barricade, but Ambrose countered with a rebound clothesline off the apron. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a lifting side slam for two. Ambrose answered with a basement dropkick, but when he went up top, J&J Security appeared to make a distraction.

Wyatt tried for Sister Abigail again, but again Ambrose countered and the two knocked each other down with a double clothesline. Rollins and Reigns both entered, with Reigns quickly dispatching of Noble and Mercury. Rollins retreated back up the ramp, and Reigns took advantage of a distracted ref to hit a Superman punch on Wyatt. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, pinning Wyatt.

Scott’s Thoughts: We’ve seen Ambrose and Wyatt wrestle a million times, but this was still a pretty good main event. Keeping Reigns in the periphery of the title angle with Ambrose and Rollins is a good move, because it keeps him relevant and viable in the championship picture.


Dolph Ziggler def. King Barrett by pinfall

Ziggler hit an early jawbreaker, then sent Barrett shoulder-first into the ring post. Ziggler followed up with a dropkick and a neckbreaker, then used an elbow drop to earn a two-count. Barrett responded with a suplex, but Ziggler hit another dropkick.

Barrett answered with Wastelands for two, then the action spilled outside, where Barrett drove Ziggler into the ring apron and the barricade. Barrett bounced Ziggler’s head off the announce table, then got him back in the ring. Ziggler managed a roll-up for two, but Barrett answered immediately with a superkick for a near-fall of his own.

Barrett came up empty with a Bullhammer Elbow, allowing Ziggler to win the match with a Zig-Zag. After the match, Lana appeared at the top of the entrance ramp, clapping for Ziggler.

Scott’s Thoughts: Hopefully this Lana angle ends with her revealing that she was with Rusev all along. As for this match, I always appreciate a Ziggler win, but Barrett eating yet another pinfall is hard to stomach.


Paige and Naomi verbally spar over No. 1 Contendership; triple-threat title match set for Elimination Chamber

Paige cut an in-ring promo, reminding fans that the last time they saw her, she won a Divas battle royal to become No. 1 Contender. She said that Naomi had only become relevant by putting Paige on the shelf, before questioning whether Tamina was competing in the correct division. Paige said that she admired Naomi for taking what she wanted, but she said Naomi had stolen from the wrong woman.

Naomi and Tamina entered, and Naomi said that she has the charm and athleticism to be the top Diva, as opposed to Paige, who is “only good at screaming.” Naomi said that Paige had gotten a title shot on her first night in WWE, without earning or deserving it. Naomi said the only way she was going to get opportunities is to take them from people less deserving, like Paige.

Paige said that the only thing Naomi doesn’t lack is excuses, which was enough to make Naomi and Tamina attack her. Nikki ran in to make the save, evening the odds and taking out both Naomi and Tamina. Nikki tossed Naomi into the ring, where Paige planted her with a superkick.

Paige set up for a RamPaige on Naomi, but Nikki hit her with a forearm strike and delivered the Rack Attack. After the match, it was announced that Nikki would defend her title at Elimination Chamber against both Naomi and Paige.

Scott’s Thoughts: I kind of like how WWE is clearly aware of the babyface/heel imbalance in the Divas division. I definitely like the fact that Nikki and Paige don’t just automatically get along now that the Bellas are faces again. This was the least crappy Divas segment on the main roster in several weeks.


The Lucha Dragons def. Los Matadores, The Ascension, and Tyson Kidd & Cesaro in a four-corners tag team match

With four teams in the match, much of the early portion revolved around teams blindly tagging themselves in. Sin Cara hit a springboard crossbody to earn a near-fall on Konnor, but Konnor got his knees up when Sin Cara tried to follow up with a springboard moonsault. The Ascension beat down on Sin Cara for awhile, with Viktor planting Sin Cara with a powerbomb.

Los Matadores and The Ascension kept tagging themselves in, and eventually started fighting. Cesaro tagged himself in for Sin Cara, hitting an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, following up with a Giant Swing. Kidd finished it off with a dropkick, but chaos broke out, with all four teams mixing it up.

Kalisto tagged in and hit a spike headscissor driver on Diego, then leapt off the second rope to plant him with a reverse hurricanrana, which Kalisto bridged into a successful pinning maneuver.

Scott’s Thoughts: Even though the four-team setup was a bit messy, The Lucha Dragons still managed to shine through the crowd of competitors. Still relatively meaningless, but more fun than I expected.


R-Truth def. Stardust by pinfall

In a rematch of their Payback Preshow match, Stardust landed an early clothesline, following up with a Disaster Kick for two. Stardust hit Dark Matter, but Truth kicked out of that as well. Truth hit Little Jimmy to quickly finish off Stardust.

Scott’s Thoughts: First off, these two really don’t have much chemistry, and it’s probably time to give them different opponents. Furthermore, Stardust looked awfully weak after Truth kicked out of his finisher and polished him off 30 seconds later.


Axelmania and Macho Mandow def. Heath Slater and Adam Rose (w/ Rosa Mendes) by pinfall

Slater connected with a spinning heel kick on Mandow, then combined with Rose on a double suplex, earning Rose a two-count. Mandow fought back with a side slam, tagging in Axel, who hit a big boot and a leg drop on Slater for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: I don’t understand why anyone would be entertained by this whole Macho Mandow/Axelmania angle. It’s cringeworthy at best, and disrespectful at worst.