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Smackdown Review – New-Look Wyatts Heat Up Rivalry with Ambrose and Reigns

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8/27/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Sheamus def. Dean Ambrose by pinfall

The action quickly spilled outside, and Ambrose bounced Sheamus face-first off the announce table twice. Ambrose drove Sheamus into the barricade, then hit a clothesline. Ambrose hit a diving forearm off the announce table to continue his early dominance.

Sheamus turned the tables by throwing Ambrose into the barricade, then hitting a gorilla press slam onto the announce table. Sheamus hit a vertical suplex back in the ring, followed by a knee drop. Sheamus locked in a submission hold on Ambrose’s left knee, picking him up and wrenching it backwards.

Ambrose tried to escape the hold, but Sheamus countered with a sitout powerbomb for a near-fall. Ambrose fought back, stealing Sheamus’ move and hitting Ten Beats of the Bodhran, but Sheamus responded with a jawbreaker. Ambrose hit a rebound clothesline to regain the advantage.

Ambrose planted Sheamus with a running bulldog, transitioning into a crucifix for a near-fall. Ambrose sent Sheamus into the ring post, then hit a dive between the ropes that drove Sheamus into the barricade. Back in the ring, Ambrose hit a top-rope flying elbow, but Sheamus powered out at two.

Sheamus came up empty on a Brogue, then fought out of Dirty Deeds. Ambrose hit a rebound clothesline, but the lights immediately went out and the Wyatt Family appeared, surrounding the ring. Sheamus took advantage of the distraction to hit a Brogue and pin Ambrose.

Roman Reigns’ music hit, and he appeared from the entrance ramp instead of through the crowd, taking out Luke Harper with a Superman punch. Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman dared Reigns to enter the ring, and he did. Reigns stood toe to toe with Braun, who hit a sort of chokeslam facebuster variant, followed by a bear hug.

Strowman picked Reigns back up, placed him over his shoulder, and hit another facebuster variant. The Wyatts closed the show standing tall over Reigns.

Scott’s Thoughts: The Wyatts vs Ambrose/Reigns rivalry has heated up again with the addition of Strowman and the new storyline wrinkles. It’s become increasingly clear that Ambrose and Reigns will need to enlist the help of a third member to overcome the numbers game, and this week has made me reinvested in that storyline.

Seth Rollins delivers a stern message to Sting

Rollins said that Monday was supposed to be the greatest night of his life, with the unveiling of his new bronze statue, but Sting ruined it. Rollins said that he should be escorted by parades in every town he wrestles in, and that every leading man in Hollywood would fight over the right to portray him in his biopic. He said that in his short career, he has achieved more than Sting in his entire career.

Rollins pointed out that he is the WWE champion, while Sting merely toiled away “in the minor leagues, pal” for years on end. He said that Sting had no right to interfere in his ceremony, and that “I don’t owe you a damn thing!” Rollins said that he’s not afraid of Sting, and added that he will gladly put up his World Heavyweight Championship to finish the job Triple H started at Wrestlemania.

Scott’s Thoughts: How does Rollins come to the ring alone for ~5 minutes on every single episode of WWE TV, and cut consistently compelling promos like this one, each and every time? Rollins really is the complete package: elite in-ring presence, excellent mic skills, charisma for days, etc.

The Dudley Boyz def. The Ascension by pinfall

The Dudleyz hit a sideslam/legdrop combination to earn a two-count on Viktor. Bubba followed up with a gorilla press slam, while D-Von hit a Wassup headbutt. D-Von tried to get a table from under the ring, but Konnor decked him with a clothesline.

Inside the ring, Viktor took advantage of the distraction to hit an STO on Bubba. Bubba reached D-Von for the hot tag, hitting a flapjack on Viktor and a neckbreaker on Konnor. D-Von hit a double clothesline on The Ascension, tagging in Bubba for a 3D to put Konnor away.

After the match, the Dudleyz set up a table in the ring, when New Day entered and taunted them from the entrance ramp. Xavier Woods was holding a sign that read “Save a table, break a Dudley.” In response, Bubba hit a second-rope powerbomb through a table on Konnor.

Scott’s Thoughts: It’s great to see the Dudley Boyz back in WWE, and their feud with New Day is off to a fantastic start.

Kevin Owens def. Neville by pinfall

Neville hit a hurricanrana, but came up empty on a baseball slide, allowing Owens to clothesline him to the floor. Owens hit a spinning burning hammer for a two-count, following up with a running senton. Neville fought back with an enziguiri and a springboard missile dropkick for a near-fall of his own.

Neville hit a German suplex, sending Owens from the ring. Neville followed him outside and hit a superkick that sent Owens face-first into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Neville tried to springboard again, but dove straight into an Owens superkick. Owens hit a pop-up powerbomb to finish Neville off.

Scott’s Thoughts: A very solid match that saw Owens and Neville maximize the time they were given. They cranked up the intensity quickly, and kept it at a high level throughout. Also, this win helps Owens rebuild his momentum, without hurting Neville much at all.

Dolph Ziggler and Ryback (w/ Lana) def. Rusev and Big Show by pinfall

Big Show speared Ryback, and Rusev added a dropkick for two. Rusev followed up with an elbow drop and appeared to be about to tag in Show, when he held back his hand and screamed, “I don’t trust you, giant!” Ryback hit a spinebuster and reached Ziggler for the tag.

Ziggler hit two dropkicks and two Stinger splashes on Show, followed by a DDT and a superkick. Ziggler tried for a Famouser, but Show picked him up and hit a flapjack, which is probably the coolest thing Big Show has done in months. Show hit a KO Punch on Ziggler, but Rusev tagged himself in blindly.

Rusev put Ziggler into The Accolade, but Show hit Rusev with a KO Punch and walked out on the match, apparently turning face for the 1,385th time in his career. Ziggler dropped his arm across Rusev to earn the pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: Jokes about Big Show’s constantly changing face/heel affiliation aside, this was a highly entertaining tag match that told several compelling stories at once.

Charlotte and Becky Lynch def. The Bella Twins by pinfall

The Bellas ran into Charlotte and Becky backstage, reasserting that they run the Divas revolution. Charlotte reminded them that Nikki turned on Brie last year at Summerslam and wished her dead, which shut the Bellas up pretty quickly.

Once the match got underway, Charlotte and Becky hit a double dropkick on Nikki. Nikki earned a two-count with a sunset flip on Becky, who responded with a dropkick to Brie. Becky hit three sharp leg drops, but Charlotte tagged in and missed a knee drop.

Brie hit a dropkick to Charlotte’s knee, then locked in a submission, wrenching back her leg. Charlotte tried for a gorilla press slam, but couldn’t keep Brie up with her injured knee. Chaos broke loose as Nikki and Brie prevented Becky from tagging in, but Charlotte took advantage to lock in Charlotte’s Web on Brie, earning the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Wow, we actually got a call-back to The Great Bella Split of 2014! Never thought we’d hear about that again.

Bray Wyatt explains the origin of Braun Strowman

Wyatt said that Sister Abigail had provided him with a savior, and that savior is Braun. He said Abigail’s eyes light up when she talks about her little black sheep, and that she gave Braun to Wyatt because she knew what he could do with Braun. He christened Strowman as “the new face of destruction,” while referring to Harper as “the new face of desolation.”

Reigns’ music hit, and Reigns/Ambrose entered through the crowd together, like back in the Shield days. Reigns and Ambrose hit the ring and stood toe to toe with the Wyatts. Strowman stepped up to Reigns, but Wyatt called him off, as all three Wyatts left the ring. Wyatt repeatedly said “I’m already inside” as they retreated back up the ramp.

Scott’s Thoughts: With how prominently Sister Abigail figured into the reasoning behind Braun joining the Wyatts, it brings back the idea that she could be revealed as a character at some point. This worked better than most of Wyatt’s recent talking segments because it was logical. Strowman’s introduction to the Wyatts is off to a solid start.

Jerry Lawler shows the WWE Universe how to order Domino’s Pizza

In one of the most ridiculous cross-promotional segments in recent memory, Lawler cut a lengthy promo for Domino’s new app, showing fans how to order pizza by using emojis on an iPad. It felt like Michael Cole’s endless WWE Network instructional promos from several months ago, except even funnier because it had absolutely nothing to do with wrestling.




@WrestleRosters