Smackdown Review – Cesaro Steps Up to Kevin Owens

6/18/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Sheamus and Kane def. Dean Ambrose by disqualification in a 2-on-1 handicap match
Sheamus and Kane def. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose by pinfall

Sheamus started the show in the ring, saying that he doesn’t look so stupid now that he holds the Money in the Bank briefcase. He said that MITB is his ticket back to the top of the ladder, and that “you will be entertained.” Ambrose interrupted, reminding Sheamus that he had pinned him cleanly on Raw.

Ambrose said that he would defeat Sheamus again and return the briefcase to its rightful owner, Roman Reigns. Sheamus dropped the briefcase in the ring and dared Ambrose to come take it, saying that Ambrose doesn’t “have the stones to step inside the ring with me,” which was kind of dumb, seeing as Ambrose stepped in the ring and beat Sheamus on Monday.

Kane entered, saying that he’s tired of Ambrose’s disrespect, booking himself and Sheamus in a handicap match against Ambrose. Once the match started, Ambrose dumped Kane out of the ring, then hit him with a dive between the ropes. Ambrose followed up with a jawbreaker to Sheamus, but the numbers game quickly caught up with him.

Reigns entered, and together with Ambrose, managed to clear the ring. Reigns’ interference caused a DQ, giving Sheamus and Kane a cheap win. After the match, it was announced that the four would square off in a tag match in the main event.

In the show’s main event, Ambrose hit a crossbody on Sheamus, then helped Reigns clear Kane out of the ring as well. Kane and Sheamus managed to recover quickly, with Sheamus slamming Ambrose on the announce table. Sheamus hit a knee drop for two, as he and Kane isolated Ambrose in their corner.

Ambrose reversed a single crab into a surprising hurricanrana, but failed to reach Reigns. Kane tried to dump Ambrose from the ring, but he skinned the cat and hit a jawbreaker. Ambrose climbed up top and hit a flying elbow, reaching Reigns for the hot tag as Kane made his way to Sheamus.

Reigns hit Sheamus with many, many clotheslines, followed by a Samoan drop. Reigns dodged a Brogue Kick and hit a Superman Punch, but Bray Wyatt appeared on the Titantron, singing “I’m a Little Teapot” and holding up a picture of Reigns’ daughter. Sheamus took advantage of the distraction to hit a Brogue and pin Reigns.

Scott’s Thoughts: The burgeoning rivalry between Wyatt and Reigns is unusually compelling for a Wyatt feud, seeing as his motivations are actually clear for once. Reigns took his spot in the Money in the Bank match, and Wyatt is seeking revenge by threatening Reigns’ family.


Kevin Owens def. Cesaro by pinfall

Renee Young asked Owens why he attacked Machine Gun Kelly on Raw, and Owens said that he wouldn’t have done it if MGK hadn’t laid hands on him first. Renee asked him why he had demanded a non-title match against Dolph Ziggler on Raw, and Owens said it didn’t matter because he had won anyway.

Owens said there would be no open challenge tonight, because people need to earn their title shots. Cesaro interrupted, saying that “Fight Owens Fight” had turned into “Talk Owens Talk,” and challenged Owens to a match. Once the match got underway, Cesaro knocked Owens down with a clothesline, knocking him out of the ring.

Cesaro hit a rare dive between the ropes, then hit a big running uppercut. Back in the ring, Cesaro hit another clothesline, but Owens sent him into the ring post. Owens hit a clothesline of his own, following up with a senton. Cesaro recovered with a corkscrew springboard uppercut, but Owens landed a springboard tornado DDT for a near-fall.

Cesaro fought back with a Burning Hammer for a two-count of his own. Cesaro followed up with a running uppercut, but Owens hit a powerful release German suplex and a cannonball for two. Owens climbed up top, but Cesaro caught him with an uppercut and a dropkick to knock him off the turnbuckle. Owens recovered and hit a pop-up powerbomb to earn the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Owens has been the best part of WWE TV ever since he made his main-roster debut, and it was absolutely no surprise that this match stole the show with ease.


Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) def. Bo Dallas by pinfall

Bo said that it breaks his heart to see Lana on the rebound, but not as much as it breaks Rusev’s heart. Bo accused Lana of leaving Rusev in his darkest hour and criticized her choice of Ziggler, saying that if he had seen Dolph’s profile on Tinder, he would swipe left and keep looking.

Ziggler opened the match with a dropkick, but Bo responded with clotheslines for two. Bo took a quick victory lap, giving Ziggler time to hit a Zig-Zag to finish the squash. Lana entered the ring and kissed Ziggler, much to the dismay of Rusev, who was watching on a TV monitor backstage.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’m still not a fan of the Lana/Ziggler pairing, and I don’t see the point of keeping Rusev on TV every week if he’s not going to be able to wrestle in the foreseeable future. This angle is doing Rusev more harm than good.


Brie Bella def. Paige by pinfall

Brie hit a running bulldog and two dropkicks to start off the match, but Paige answered with a single-leg dropkick of her own. Brie went up top and hit a sunset flip powerbomb for a near-fall, following up with a neckbreaker for two. Paige fought back with repeated knee strikes and a superkick, sending Brie tumbling out of the ring.

Paige hit a senton from the apron, but once they returned to the ring, Alicia Fox appeared out of nowhere to take a cheap shot at Paige. Brie hit a Bella Buster to polish Paige off. After the match, Nikki entered and posed with Brie and Fox on the entrance ramp.

Scott’s Thoughts: As if the Bellas needed more help. Expect another Diva to side with Paige in the near future to even the odds a bit. (Match itself wasn’t bad.)


Seth Rollins puts Brock Lesnar on notice

Rollins referred to himself as the biggest star in WWE, saying that he had been shocked to hear Brock Lesnar’s music hit on Raw. Rollins said Lesnar was the last person he expected HHH and Stephanie to name as his next opponent, seeing as the last time we saw him, he was beating up WWE personnel, including Michael Cole.

Rollins said that he had come to realize this is how it has to be, and that he has to defeat Lesnar to cement his legacy. Rollins claimed that Lesnar knows better than anyone how dangerous Rollins is, seeing as he defeated Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

Scott’s Thoughts: Rollins cuts a hell of a promo, as evidenced by the fact that he turned this throwaway segment into something relatively worth watching.


Neville (w/ Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) def. Xavier Woods (w/ Big E and Kofi Kingston) by pinfall

Woods began the match by stomping on Neville dozens of times, but Neville responded, dumping Woods from the ring and hitting a plancha. Big E and Kofi cornered Neville, but The Prime Time Players entered to even the odds. Woods earned a two-count with a schoolboy, as Titus and Darren took care of Big E and Kofi on the floor. Neville nailed Woods with an enziguiri, then hit the Red Arrow for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Far too brief to really accomplish anything.


– The Miz debuted a new segment called “Miz at the Movies,” saying that despite the fact that Big Show is in the movie “Vendetta,” the “real-life Superman Dean Cain” deserved an Oscar for elevating the film to watchability. Miz claimed that the only reason Show was in the movie in the first place was because he had to turn the role down, saying he was too focused on winning the Intercontinental Championship. Miz is so great at these non-wrestling segments. Fun stuff.