Smackdown Review – Neville Stands Tall Before Money in the Bank

6/11/15 – by Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler by pinfall

Rollins confronted Ambrose in the ring about stealing his Championship belt. Ambrose left the belt in the ring, saying that Rollins could have it, before telling him that the belt was a replica. Ambrose said that he didn’t know where the title is, and that the previous few days had been a blur, breaking the fourth wall and saying, “It still feels like Tuesday to me.”

Kane interrupted and said that Rollins needs to refocus, because he had chosen J&J Security as his opponents on Raw, but had still lost. As a result, Kane booked Rollins in a match with Ziggler. Once the match got underway, Ziggler hit an arm drag, but came up empty on a follow-up superkick attempt.

Ziggler followed up with a neckbreaker, but Rollins used an electric chair to land a backdrop for two. Rollins followed up with a knee drop for another two-count, then hit a suplex. Ziggler avoided a second suplex and clotheslined Rollins out of the ring.

Ziggler bounced Rollins head-first into the barricade, but Rollins dumped him into the timekeeper’s area. They got back in the ring, where Rollins hit a Sling Blade for a near-fall. Ziggler fought back with a jawbreaker, following up with clotheslines and a DDT for a near-fall of his own.

Rollins tried for a bucklebomb, but Ziggler countered into a sunset flip for two. Rollins whiffed on a superkick, and Ziggler hit the Famouser for a very close near-fall. Ziggler hit another jawbreaker, then climbed up top and hit a flying crossbody. Rollins rolled through, grabbing Ziggler’s tights to earn the cheap pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: This match was a nice counterpoint to people who complain that Ziggler matches are 99% selling and 1% offense. He dominated the first five minutes of the match, and the offense went back and forth from that point forward. I also really enjoyed the creative finish. Rollins and Ziggler are always so good together.


Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Neville def. Sheamus, Kane and Kofi Kingston (w/Big E and Xavier Woods) by disqualification

In this week’s Teddy Long Special, Neville earned an early two-count with a springboard crossbody on Kofi. Orton and Sheamus slowed things to a brawler’s pace, as Orton hit a clothesline, which Sheamus answered with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Orton responded with a side slam and tagged in Neville, who hit his signature series of kicks.

Neville hit a step-up enziguiri, then climbed up top, but Kane took advantage of a distracted referee to knock him off-balance. Sheamus tossed Neville off the turnbuckle, and the heel team isolated him in their corner, with Kane earning a near-fall off of a sidewalk slam. Kofi got a two-count of his own with a dropkick.

Sheamus hit three backbreakers on Neville, as Woods screamed “Neville is getting destroyed right now!” at ringside. Neville finally sent Sheamus into the ring post and made the hot tag to Reigns, as Sheamus tagged in Kofi. Reigns landed several clotheslines and a Samoan drop.

Chaos broke out as everyone hit their finishers. Once the ring cleared, Reigns caught Kofi with a Superman punch, but Woods and Big E attacked him to cause the disqualification. Woods and Big E hit the tandem Big Ending, then set up a ladder and watched Kofi ascend toward the MITB briefcase.

Ziggler’s music hit and he cleared New Day out of the ring. Neville climbed the ladder and hit a crossbody onto the huge group of wrestlers. Neville repositioned the ladder in the ring and retrieved the briefcase, which he posed with to end the show.

Scott’s Thoughts: Pretty much your standard six-man tag match. The shenanigans at the end were fun, as was the tease of Neville winning MITB, seeing as there’s no way Neville wins MITB.


Ryback def. The Miz by pinfall

Ryback hit a delayed vertical suplex, and Miz rolled out of the ring. Ryback followed him, but Miz hit a drop toehold, sending Ryback face-first into the announce table. Back in the ring, Ryback hit a sit-out jawbreaker and a powerslam for two.

Miz locked in a figure-four, but Ryback fought his way out, only to take a DDT from Miz for a two-count. Miz tried for a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Ryback reversed it into a spinebuster. Miz hit the Skull-Crushing Finale on his second try, but Ryback managed to kick out.

Miz tried for a Meathook clothesline, but Ryback reversed it into one of his own. Ryback followed up with Shell-Shocked for the pinfall victory. Big Show entered after the match, saying that “The Big Guy is no match for The Big Show.”

Scott’s Thoughts: That was much better than expected. Miz was booked as a legitimate threat, and the Skull-Crushing Finale provided a convincing false finish. Furthermore, the pacing and storytelling was better than one would expect from a Ryback match. Unfortunately for Ryback, he has to wrestle Big Show on Sunday, which doesn’t make anyone look good.


King Barrett def. Jack Swagger by pinfall

In advance of his match against Barrett on Sunday, R-Truth sat in on commentary, hilariously mistaking Byron Saxton for both JBL and Farooq at the same time, simply calling him “APA.” Truth put on Barrett’s king robe, allowing Swagger to roll Barrett up for two. Truth put on Barrett’s crown and climbed up on top of the announce table with Barrett’s scepter.

Barrett confronted Truth, which allowed Swagger to hit Barrett with a clothesline onto the floor. Swagger dumped Barrett back into the ring and hit a Swagger Bomb for two. Swagger tried for a Patriot Lock, but Barrett rolled out of it and hit Swagger with a Bullhammer elbow for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Barrett has taken so many losses lately that I was almost surprised to see him pin Swagger, even though the latter has been essentially absent from WWE TV for months. I think that Barrett and Truth will put on a better match at Money in the Bank than most expect.


Paige def. Alicia Fox by submission

Paige applied an early STF — which looked considerably tighter than John Cena’s — but Fox reached the ropes to break the hold. Paige used a schoolboy to earn a two-count, but Fox answered with a big boot and a clothesline for two of her own. Fox climbed up top, but Paige caught her and hit a bulldog off the top, bouncing Fox’s chin off the top rope.

Paige followed up with a senton off the apron, then tossed Fox back in the ring. Paige hit a superkick, then locked in the PTO, sitting all the way down on the mat with the hold cinched in, forcing the submission.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was probably the best Divas match we’ve had on TV in several weeks. Paige and Fox are two of the best in-ring talents in the division, and they have solid chemistry as well. I enjoyed Paige’s take on the STF, and also her new spin on the PTO.


Michael Cole interviews Lana

Lana said that she can’t see the future, but she enjoys reading books with Dolph Ziggler and then discussing them together. Rusev interrupted and said that Ziggler has been with many women, yet Rusev had only been with Lana. Rusev told her to submit herself to him, and she walked out on the interview

Scott’s Thoughts: Rusev as the abusive ex-boyfriend is an uncomfortable fit and an uninspired character. I also don’t like the suggestion that Lana’s identity is tied to the man she accompanies. I also don’t see Dolph Ziggler as a bookworm.


– In a backstage interview with Renee Young, the Prime Time Players cut a promo in which Titus O’Neil said that PTP’s coming out party was scheduled for Sunday. Darren Young said that he thought that was last summer, to which Titus said, “No, that was your coming out party, and you should be proud. This Sunday is our coming out party.” I like how PTP keep hinting at Darren’s sexuality — and acceptance thereof — without explicitly talking about it.