Smackdown Review – Owens Asserts Dominance as Ambrose/Reigns Fend Off Authority


Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins and Kane (w/ Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) by pinfall

Ambrose explained how he had gotten out of jail on Monday, saying that he had used his one phone call to dial up his best friend Reigns. He told Reigns to buy him some time, and luckily, the footage of Rollins shoving Ambrose into the cameraman had freed him. He said that the NYPD is full of huge Ambrose fans, and that they let him drive the paddy wagon back to the arena.

Once the main event match began, Reigns hit a side slam on Kane, which Ambrose followed up with a missile dropkick. Ambrose hit a bulldog, but Rollins tagged in and hit him with a Sling Blade for two. Kane and Rollins exchanged tags, wearing Ambrose down.

J&J Security tried to take cheap shots at Ambrose, but he responded with a double rebound clothesline. Ambrose went up top and hit a tornado DDT on Kane, making the hot tag to Reigns as Rollins tagged in himself. “Dean Ambrose’s only friend in the world, Roman Reigns” hit a Samoan drop, and Ambrose added a flying elbow.

Reigns tried for a schoolboy powerbomb, but Rollins fought his way out. Rollins tried for a Pedigree, but Reigns countered with a Superman punch. J&J Security started beating down on Reigns, causing the disqualification. Ambrose beat down on Noble, Mercury, and Rollins until Kane brought in New Day to take him out.

Reigns and Ambrose demolished all three members of New Day, including a tremendous Superman punch from Reigns to a diving Kofi Kingston. Rollins and Kane finally regained the advantage on Ambrose, and Rollins hit him with a Pedigree.

Scott’s Thoughts: The disqualification finish is so tired, but this was still a better-than-average Smackdown main event. I also like the idea of New Day as Authority co-conspirators. I still have a sneaking suspicion that Reigns might turn on Ambrose at Elimination Chamber.


Michael Cole interviews Kevin Owens

Cole said that Owens had been in the WWE for two weeks, and Owens reminded him that he had been in the business for 15 years. Owens said he would dominate John Cena on Sunday, and Owens interrupted him again. Owens said he knows Cena’s resume, but says he doesn’t have anything to prove to Cena — Cena has to prove himself to Owens.

Owens said that he had taken out his best friend, Sami Zayn. He said that he was closer to Zayn than almost any human being on the planet, and if that’s what he does to someone he cares about, imagine what he’ll do to Cena. Owens held the NXT Championship in the air, and said “The real champ is here.” As Owens exited, Dean Ambrose was making his entrance for the main event. As he walked by, Owens sized him up before continuing on up the ramp.

Scott’s Thoughts: Kevin Owens on the mic. Seriously. One of the best things in wrestling right now. And dear lord, if you’re going to tease me with an Owens/Ambrose feud…please, PLEASE follow through with it at some point, thank you very much. That would be so awesome.


The Lucha Dragons def. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in a Lumberjack Match

The lumberjacks surrounding the ring consisted of the other four teams in Sunday’s tag team Elimination Chamber match. Cesaro hit an uppercut, which Kidd transitioned into a German suplex. Sin Cara recovered to hit a hurricanrana on Cesaro, which Kalisto followed up with a hurricanrana of his own.

Cesaro hit a delayed vertical suplex, tagging in Kidd, who got hit with an enziguiri from Sin Cara. Kalisto tagged in and hit a dropkick for a near-fall, following up with a hurricanrana. Sin Cara tagged back in, nailing Kidd with another hurricanrana and a springboard moonsault, earning a near-fall.

Kidd responded with a hurricanrana of his own, finally reaching Cesaro. Cesaro hit Sin Cara with a series of running corner uppercuts, before knocking Kalisto off the ring apron with a dropkick. Sin Cara landed yet another hurricanrana, and Kalisto added a springboard corkscrew for two.

Kalisto landed an enziguiri on Cesaro for a two-count, but Cesaro responded with a back bodydrop. Kidd added a diving elbow for a near-fall, but Kalisto responded with a Listo Kick, forcing Cesaro to make the save. Kalisto tried for another hurricanrana on Kidd, who reversed it into a Sharpshooter.

Sin Cara forced Kidd to break the hold, but ate a superkick from Cesaro for his troubles. Kalisto took advantage of a distraction — courtesy of Xavier Woods — to hit Salina del Sol on Kidd to earn the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was a fun and surprisingly lengthy match to open the show. The crowd didn’t really get into it, but I did. If booked correctly, Sunday’s Elimination Chamber tag match could be surprisingly fun, seeing as there’s a laundry list of talented wrestlers in the match.


Ryback def. Ryback by disqualification

Lana told Renee Young that for a moment, she thought Rusev could change and be more progressive. She said that she realized that was impossible now, and that she would be no man’s property. Renee asked her about her relationship with Dolph Ziggler, which she denied, before stating that Ziggler would indeed be competing for the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday.

Rusev entered, telling Lana that he wasn’t jealous at all, and that he was over his spat with Ziggler. He then took an about-face, telling her that he would punish Ziggler in the Elimination Chamber, and there’s nothing she can do to stop him.

In the match that reportedly resulted in Rusev’s ankle injury, the two brawled around the ring for awhile, until Ryback hit a delayed vertical suplex for two. Ryback added an elbow drop, but Rusev fought back with a clothesline. Ryback tossed Rusev out of the ring, and he landed awkwardly, in what appeared to be the spot that injured his ankle.

Rusev bounced Ryback’s head off the announce table, before hitting a Samoan drop onto the floor. Back in the ring, Rusev tried to continue the match, but was very clearly having trouble with his ankle. The action spilled back outside, where Rusev drove Ryback into the ring post repeatedly, causing the official to call for the bell.

Scott’s Thoughts: Kudos to Rusev for working through his ankle injury, but man, he probably should have just called it a night instead of gutting it out, if it means he can’t work Elimination Chamber.


R-Truth def. King Barrett by pinfall

Barrett started the match with a big boot, following up with a neckbreaker for two. Barrett hit a suplex and set up for a Bullhammer Elbow, but came up empty. Truth countered with a schoolboy for a two-count, following up with the Lie Detector, earning the *very* quick pinfall. Sheamus entered the ring and took out Truth after the match.

Scott’s Thoughts: Okay, that’s it. I am so done with watching Barrett lose clean twice a week. It cheapens the King of the Ring moniker, just like it cheapened the Intercontinental Championship when he held it. It doesn’t matter how many accessories and trinkets you give a jobber, he’s still a damn jobber.


Paige def. Naomi (w/ Tamina Snuka) by pinfall

Naomi drove Paige’s left arm into the ring post, then continued to work it over with a variety of holds and strikes. Paige responded with a superkick, giving one to Tamina for good measure. Paige hit the RamPaige on Naomi to end the match.

Scott’s Thoughts: Wow, that was fast. Paige single-handedly fought off both Naomi and Tamina with ease. Sure makes Naomi look like a serious competitor…