Smackdown Review – Rollins and Ambrose Collide in MITB Rematch

6/25/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

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

Ambrose suggested to Reigns that they search the entire building for Bray Wyatt, but Reigns said he could take care of Wyatt, and that Ambrose needs to focus on The Authority. Ambrose left just before Reigns found a picture of himself — with his eyes and mouth cut out, surrounded by the words “Anyone but you” — tucked into his flak jacket.

Reigns tried to search the building for Wyatt, but Kane stopped him and kicked him out of the building for creating an unsafe work environment. Ambrose and Rollins began their match, with Ambrose taking the early advantage after an arm drag and a clothesline. Rollins fought back with a leg whip into the ropes, then locked in an inverted figure-four.

Ambrose reached the bottom rope to break the hold, taking Rollins up to the second rope, where he hit a double-underhook suplex. Ambrose rolled Rollins up for two, then hit a sitout facebuster for another near-fall. Rollins countered a tornado DDT into a superkick for a two-count of his own.

Rollins climbed up top and hit a diving crossbody, but Ambrose rolled through, earning a near-fall. Ambrose followed up with a neckbreaker, then climbed the turnbuckle. Kane tried to make a distraction, but Ambrose dove to the floor to take him out.

Ambrose climbed up top again, hitting a diving elbow on Rollins. Ambrose covered Rollins as Mercury distracted the referee, denying Ambrose the victory. Rollins rolled Ambrose up, but Ambrose kicked out, then tossed Rollins into Mercury, knocking Joey off the apron.

Ambrose rolled Rollins up for a close two-count, then hit a tornado DDT for yet another close near-fall. Rollins countered a rebound clothesline into a powerbomb attempt, but Ambrose countered with a headscissor that dumped Rollins from the ring. Ambrose climbed the turnbuckle and hit a diving elbow on Rollins, Kane and Mercury.

Ambrose tossed Rollins back into the ring, but immediately ate an enziguiri. Ambrose responded with a rebound clothesline, turning Rollins inside out. Ambrose pulled Mercury into the ring and tried to plant him with Dirty Deeds, but Rollins took advantage of the distracted Ambrose to hit a Pedigree and win the match.

Scott’s Thoughts: A rematch of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match from the most-recent PPV is one hell of a step up from your average Smackdown main event. This was an excellent match, which saw Rollins earn another cheap win on the way to his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar. Ambrose continues to look strong, as he had Rollins beaten cleanly, had Mercury not prevented the referee from making the count.


Seth Rollins celebrates his Authority brethren

Rollins started the show in the ring with Joey Mercury and Kane, saying that he had burned Suplex City to the ground on Monday. Rollins said that — as opposed to his time in The Shield — he is surrounded by true brothers in The Authority. Rollins acknowledged that Jamie Noble suffered three broken ribs at the hands of Brock Lesnar on Raw, and said that Noble will make a full recovery.

Rollins dedicated the episode of Smackdown to “the courageous Jamie Noble,” saying that Noble wouldn’t want them to be sad, but rather to celebrate. Rollins said that no one in the ring has more reason to celebrate than Kane, who had been instrumental in taking out Dean Ambrose and Lesnar in consecutive weeks. Rollins said whether Kane wears a suit or a mask, he is forever the devil’s favorite demon.

Kane said that The Authority’s close friend Big Show was unable to make it to the show, due to his beating at the hands of Ryback on Monday. Kane asked Ryback to join them in the ring, and Ryback entered. Rollins berated Ryback for endangering innocent employees, and that if he wants to know how to act like a real champion, he could take lessons from Rollins.

Ryback said that there’s a difference between a champion and a sellout. Kane said that Ryback would have an opportunity to show everyone how he thinks a real champion behaves, booking himself into a match with the Intercontinental Champion.

The Authority retreated up the ramp, but Rollins stopped, saying that he’s sick of not getting the respect he deserves. Rollins said that he would finish the job he started at Money in the Bank, by taking out Ambrose in a match later in the night.

Scott’s Thoughts: We’re all used to lengthy talking segments opening WWE shows, but at nearly 17 minutes, this was way too much. Still, I continue to be intrigued by the constant mentions of family and brotherhood whenever Kane is around. I wonder if it’s hinting at an Undertaker return, or perhaps a sign that Kane will soon go back under the mask.


Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons def. New Day and Bo Dallas by pinfall

The Prime Time Players interrupted a New Day promo, saying that because New Day has three members, they would have to choose a member to sit out at Battleground. Bo Dallas entered, telling New Day that he had asked The Authority if he could join New Day, which The Authority agreed to. New Day enthusiastically welcomed Bo to the team, and taught him their signature clap.

PTP chose Sin Cara and Kalisto as their teammates for the match. New Day and Bo isolated Darren in their corner early, exchanging quick tags to wear him down. Darren fought back with an atomic drop and a suplex for two on Bo.

New Day and Bo took a moment to regroup outside the ring, which led to a truly great moment which saw Bo raise his sideways thumbs as New Day clapped. Back in the ring, Sin Cara caught a springboarding Kofi with a dropkick, but Woods tagged in and hit a superkick. Woods screamed “How’s your brother doing?” at Jimmy Uso, who was sitting in on commentary.

The heels wore down Sin Cara until he hit a top-rope hurricanrana on Kofi, making the hot tag to Kalisto as Kofi reached Woods. Kalisto hit a springboard crossbody and a Listo kick, followed by a headscissor driver, forcing Bo to make the save. Darren hit Gut Check on Bo, and Titus hit Clash of the Titus on Big E.

Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise on Titus, only to get dropkicked from the ring by Kalisto. Woods rolled Kalisto up for a near-fall, but Kalisto hit a handstand springboard heel kick. Sin Cara dove off the turnbuckle to take out everyone else on the floor, as Kalisto hit a springboard shooting star press on Woods for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Now *that* is how you book an eight-man tag to actually entertain. The chemistry between all eight wrestlers led to a tremendously fun, fast-paced affair. Also, Bo Dallas dancing with New Day was absolutely hysterical.


Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) by pinfall; Rusev the scorned ex-boyfriend strikes again

Ziggler locked in an early sleeper hold, but Sheamus rolled out of the hold and avoided a superkick. Ziggler dropkicked Sheamus off the apron, but Rusev entered, asking Lana to stop all this nonsense and to come with him. Rusev said he would treat Lana the right way, but Lana turned her back on him.

Rusev grew very angry as Lana walked back to the ring, saying that this was it for him and Lana. Sheamus tried to take advantage of the distraction, but came up empty on a Brogue Kick. Ziggler rolled him up for two, but Sheamus responded with an Irish Curse backbreaker.

Sheamus climbed up top, but Ziggler caught him and hit a facebuster from the top rope. Ziggler flipped through a powerbomb attempt with a sunset flip for a near-fall, following up with a superkick for a very close two-count. Ziggler locked in another sleeper, but Sheamus fought his way out and hit a Brogue Kick for the pinfall.

After the match, Rusev was freaking out backstage, and Summer Rae appeared to once again tell him that Lana isn’t worth it.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was better than it should have been, considering the extremely awkward Rusev interruption. As I said on the Going Over Podcast this week, Rusev is an awfully uncharismatic character to keep onscreen twice a week through an extended injury hiatus. At least Ziggler and Sheamus did what they could to put on a compelling match, despite the ridiculous distractions surrounding them.


Ryback def. Kane (w/ Big Show) by disqualification

When Ryback entered for his match with Kane, Big Show appeared and attacked him on the entrance stage. Big Show beat up Ryback for several minutes, slowly working their way down the ramp. Show tossed Ryback into the ring and Kane demanded that the referee ring the bell to start the match.

Despite having been beaten up for minutes on end, Ryback kicked out of Kane’s immediate pin attempt. Ryback sent Kane shoulder-first into the ring post, following up with a spinebuster. Ryback hit a Meathook clothesline and set up for Shell Shocked, when Show entered the ring, kicked Ryback, and forced the disqualification.

Big Show and Kane continued to beat down on Ryback after the match, with Show leaving Ryback lying in the ring after two chokeslams.

Scott’s Thoughts: This Intercontinental Title feud is dead in the water. Also, it was odd that The Miz wasn’t involved in an even tangential manner here, seeing as he’s in the triple threat match at Battleground.


Alicia Fox (w/ The Bella Twins) def. Naomi (w/ Tamina Snuka) by pinfall

Fox hit a single-leg dropkick, but Naomi responded with a hurricanrana. Naomi hit a gorilla press slam and a leg drop for a near-fall, taking time to taunt Fox. Fox responded with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then tackled Naomi to the floor between the ropes.

Naomi drove Fox into the ring apron, then started yelling at the Bellas. Tamina superkicked both Bellas, but back in the ring, Fox hit a headscissor driver to earn the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: Naomi was playing heel in the match, as Fox fought back from underneath. The fact that WWE has such a shortage of babyface Divas that we get these confusing heel-vs-heel matches twice a week is a glaring problem.


– Jimmy Uso sat in for Byron Saxton on commentary, and did not do a very good job. He was silent for awkwardly long stretches of the show, and when he did speak, he referred to absolutely everyone as “Use.” That got old very quickly.