Smackdown Review – Reigns and Rusev Clash

8/6/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Roman Reigns def. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) by pinfall

Reigns opened the show in the ring, challenging Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper to a match against himself and Dean Ambrose at Summerslam. Rusev entered and started arguing with Reigns, who accused Rusev of being a creep for dressing Summer up like Lana.

Rusev said “maybe tonight, I call you Lana,” which doesn’t make any sense at all and is also just really freaking weird. Reigns actually called him out on it by saying, “This is America baby, and we have no idea what you just said.” Reigns called Rusev a sexist freak and Rusev responded by vigorously waving the Bulgarian flag.

When their main-event match began, Rusev earned a two-count with an elbow drop. Rusev hit a side slam, but came up empty on a diving headbutt. Reigns answered with 12 clotheslines (seriously) and a Drive-By.

Reigns hit a side slam, but Rusev fought back with a spinning heel kick for two. Reigns hit a sitout powerbomb to earn a near-fall. Reigns no-sold a Rusev superkick and hit a Superman punch. Summer tried to interfere, but Lana came out and tackled her.

Rusev planted Reigns with another superkick for a two-count, but Reigns hit a spear to win the match. After the match, Wyatt appeared on the Titantron and accepted Reigns’ challenge for Summerslam.

Scott’s Thoughts: The opening segment was poor, but I’m not sure what else to expect from a 10-minute Reigns/Rusev promo. The match was slow and boring. Furthermore, the rehash of the Wyatts/Shield program feels cheap and flimsy because there is no storyline, and it’s a lesser regurgitation of a hot feud from 2014.


Charlotte (w/ Becky Lynch) def. Naomi (w/ Sasha Banks and Tamina Snuka) by disqualification
Naomi and Sasha Banks (w/ Tamina Snuka) def. Charlotte and Becky Lynch by pinfall

Charlotte immediately locked in the figure-eight, but Sasha interfered and caused the DQ. Charlotte and Becky cleared the ring, and Eden Rhodes announced that the match would be re-started as a tag match.

Becky hit a single-leg dropkick on Naomi, followed by three sharp leg drops. Charlotte tagged in for a knee drop, earning a two-count. Charlotte locked in a headscissor and tossed Naomi around the ring three times before releasing.

Tamina took advantage of a distracted referee to hit a superkick that knocked Charlotte to the floor. Sasha tossed her back in the ring, where she hit a backstabber. Instead of transitioning into the Bank Statement, she kept Charlotte in a front facelock.

Charlotte hit a back bodydrop to reach Becky, who hit Naomi with clotheslines and a dropkick. Becky followed up with a second-rope thrust kick and a T-bone suplex, forcing Sasha to make the save. Naomi hit a lungblower on Becky, but Becky kicked out.

Naomi hit a gorilla press slam and a leg drop for two. Naomi planted Becky into the turnbuckle with a running bulldog, but Becky finally reached Charlotte. Charlotte hit a neckbreaker and a spear on Sasha, but Naomi broke up the pinfall.

Naomi rolled up Charlotte and the referee hesitantly counted two, because Naomi clearly did not tag in. The commentary team tried to turn the botch into a storyline element, but it didn’t work. Charlotte rolled Naomi up, but Naomi reversed it and awkwardly pinned Charlotte for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: The first “match” made Naomi look incredibly weak, as she was about to tap out maybe 30 seconds in. The second match was fine, but it was so long (about 20 minutes, not including commercials) that it felt like filler after a while, and the finish was god-awful.


Mark Henry and the Prime Time Players def. New Day by pinfall

Woods landed a dropkick on Darren, who fought back with an atomic drop and a single-leg dropkick. Darren hit a side slam on the apron on Kofi, then hit Woods with a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Xavier hit a corner dropkick on Darren, following up with a superkick.

Big E tagged and hit a splash for a two-count. Darren finally responded with an enziguiri, tagging in Titus. Titus hit Kofi with a big boot and a powerslam, forcing Big E to make the save. Henry tagged himself in, and Titus tossed Kofi into Henry’s arms for a World’s Strongest Slam, earning the pinfall.

Backstage, New Day proclaimed that they’ll be the next tag champs at Summerslam, before debuting a new chant: “Ayyy, we want some New Day!”

Scott’s Thoughts: Pretty standard stuff here, but the finish was fun.


Stardust def. Zack Ryder by pinfall

Ryder hit a facebuster, but Stardust fought back with a handstand kick. Stardust hit a lifting side slam for two, but Ryder answered with a flapjack. Ryder hit a Broski Boot for a two-count, but Stardust hit The Queen’s Crossbow to earn the pinfall.

After the match, Stardust grabbed a mic and said that he will go toe to toe with Stephen Amell on Raw, and invited Neville to join them.

Scott’s Thoughts: Not bad for a squash. I do not care one bit about some B-list TV actor becoming involved in this feud, but I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it.


– Backstage, Rich Brennan announced that Ryback will still be defending his Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam against Big Show and The Miz. Ugh. Big Show did an awful impression of Ryback and promised to knock out Ryback at Summerslam.

No one wants this match to happen. Unfortunately, it is happening. The Intercontinental Championship is currently approximately equal in value to the kids’ replica WWE title belt on my DVD shelf.

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