Smackdown Review – WWE Cruises Through Yet Another Directionless Smackdown

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10/8/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Randy Orton and Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman by disqualification

The first seven minutes of the eight-minute match revolved around Orton and Reigns failing to knock Strowman down. Reigns finally hit a Superman punch that knocked Strowman to the floor. Reigns drove Wyatt into the barricade, then hit a Drive-By on Strowman. Wyatt hit Reigns with a chair to cause the DQ. Orton hit an RKO on Wyatt, and Reigns speared him.

Scott’s Thoughts: I was not entertained by this.

Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) def. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) by pinfall

New Day cut a promo in the ring to open the show, saying that they had dominated on Raw like no other faction in history had done. Ziggler interrupted, saying that the “power of positivity” had cost him a shot at the US Title on Raw, but The Authority had granted him his request for a match against Big E. Ziggler called back to their long history together, and called out the Dudley Boyz to join him in his corner so that Kofi and Xavier couldn’t interfere.

Ziggler opened up on fire, with a dropkick and a DDT. Ziggler tried for a running crossbody, but Big E countered into a backbreaker for two. Dolph hit a big boot and a Famouser to earn a near-fall.

Big E hit a belly-to-belly suplex and a running splash for a two-count of his own. Ziggler answered with a superkick, but Kofi attacked Bubba Ray. When D-Von went to check on his brother, Kofi jumped up on the apron, hit Ziggler with a jawbreaker, and held down Ziggler’s legs while Big E pinned him.

Scott’s Thoughts: As I’ve said before, it’s a good idea to have New Day employ more heelish tactics, which is exactly what they’ve been doing lately.

Ryback def. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) by pinfall

Backstage, Rusev asked Summer why she was telling people about their engagement. He reminded her that he’s only going to marry her when he wins another championship, and she said she’d gotten him a match against Ryback tonight, to help him get into the IC Title picture.

Owens sat in on commentary as Ryback opened the match with a Thesz press. Rusev continually worked over Ryback’s left hand, until Ryback hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Ryback hit a running gorilla press slam for two, but Rusev answered with an Alabama slam.

Ryback responded with a sitout jawbreaker, but Rusev countered Shell Shocked with a superkick. Summer tried to push Ryback’s leg off the bottom rope, but the referee noticed and stopped the count. Ryback hit a Meathook clothesline and Shell Shocked for the pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: Remember back when beating Rusev clean meant something? Ha. Hahaha.

Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Natalya def. Team Bella by pinfall

The Bellas challenged Becky and Charlotte to pick their own partner, and they predictably picked Natalya. The faces worked over Fox for awhile, but Brie turned the tide with a missile dropkick on Becky. Fox bridged a Northern lights suplex for a near-fall, following up with a single-leg dropkick.

Becky finally reached Charlotte, who hit a neckbreaker and a big boot on Nikki. Nikki tried for a Rack Attack, but Charlotte countered with a spear and the figure-eight, but Brie kicked her and allowed Nikki to reverse the pressure. With the referee distracted, Becky kicked Nikki, allowing Charlotte to reverse the pressure back onto Nikki, who tapped out. Backstage, Paige told Renee Young that she’s mad at Natalya for trying to take her spot.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’m pretty sick of these six-Diva tag matches. They seem to be on a never-ending cycle, and subbing Natalya in for Paige doesn’t help at all (especially since I’m not sure Natalya even tagged into this match at any point).

King Barrett def. Neville by pinfall

WWE aired a promo package before the match, calling back to their encounter at the King of the Ring finals. Neville hit a springboard crossbody to start things off, but Barrett fought back with a big boot. Neville hit a step-up enziguiri, following up with a moonsault from the top rope to the floor.

Neville got Barrett back in the ring and bridged a German suplex for two. Neville planted Barrett with a tornado DDT and attacked him against the ropes. When the referee pulled Neville away from the ropes, Barrett hit him with a Bullhammer and pinned him.

Scott’s Thoughts: Why does every single Barrett victory get booked in the exact same way? He’s always backed into a corner, and hits a cheap Bullhammer when the referee pulls his opponent away. This happens every single time Barrett wins a match. On the other hand, I liked how WWE went out of their way to mention the history between these two. They often don’t bother doing that for main-event level feuds, not to mention midcard rivalries.

  • Paired up with Rich Brennan and Jerry Lawler, Booker T tried to play the heel announcer role, and failed miserably. He was persistently annoying in a way he hasn’t been for quite some time.