The match itself was great. Because Dean Ambrose as the winner at the end and because he had to demonstrate strength and power as promotion for the match Shield vs. Evolution at Extreme Rules he had some great moments and fighting sequences. He had to look like the strong guy in this match, the one who was feared most – and he was.
So, let me explain the choreography of this match: first of all Dean Ambrose was thrown out of the ring several times for obvious reasons. He was the title holder, so he was the main target and the biggest fear for all others. Retaining the title this time was only possible via submission inside the ring. So, Dean Ambrose couldn’t just walk away. He needed that cover inside the ring. And not being in the ring meant that he would lose the title. Strategy for the other three guys was all about keeping Ambrose outside the ring.
Then there was Alberto Del Rio vs. Rybaxel. The first part of the match Curtis Axel and Ryback well worked together as the tag team they recently appeared. On RAW they just had this Tag Team title match against The Usos. Now both of them had the opportunity to win singles gold. There was obviously only this one belt. So, at any point in the match either Curtis Axel or Ryback had to turn on the other one. But first of all they worked together with tiny tensions already when they once at the very beginning the two of them were on their own inside the ring.
Like you see in the three Gifs above [made by jonathansgoods; brilliant tumblr name, btw!] during the match Dean Ambrose had one longer encounter with every other of the three guys and dominated them there. There were also some comical moments innit, like the little shrug with his shoulders after Ryback went over the top rope. Against Curtis Axel he had to improvise with the lariat because his opponent was standing a bit too narrow to the ropes.
All in all, when Dean Ambrose was inside the ring, it was fast forward, very smooth wrestling; outside the ring most of the time Axel and Ryback had to work together to do same lasting damage to Ambrose – at least for a few moments.
Another thing was that all other guys got covered for a few times, Ambrose had to interfere thrice in a cover to make the match continue. But Ambrose himself wasn’t covered a single time.
At the end Ryback had covered Del Rio but Axel then turned on his team mate and pulled Ryback off the cover and outside the ring. Then Axel crawled back inside the ring when Ambrose all of a sudden appeared to roll over him into a cover on Axel that finally won him the match to retain his title. That obviously wasn’t an official finisher and DA also wasn’t given time to celebrate his win.
Not even one single second after the bell rang for the finish of the match, Ryback attacked DA with Axel also stomped on DA for a few times. Then Seth Rollins and Reigns appeared from ramp side to help their teammate. Sure, Reigns had to spear and at the end they did their Triple Powerbomb on Curtis Axel. All about to show unity and power as a team. But also this celebration and the moment of victory was taken away from Ambrose because most of all Reigns had to be the big guy, the strong guy and the most important one for this team. I won’t say it again at length because I’m really fed up with that, so I’d like to reduce this finish to just one word:
[The bitch slap was brought to you by stellarollins] || What else did we have on SmackDown? Not very much of relevance, I’m afraid. I’ll break it down to just a few more words:
- Once again we had a lot of reviews and promotions. At one point I couldn’t count the times I jumped forward not to re-watch – again – segments I’ve already seen for a couple of times. Why are you doing this, WWE? I mean: in the times of your Network, YouTube and other video channels? It’s not necessary unless you don’t have fresh material to fill the shows with. Oh, by the way: where is Kofi Kingston these days?
- The first new segment / match of SmackDown was a tag team match between The Wyatt Family and The Usos & Sheamus. Bray Wyatt won it with Sister Abigail on one of the Usos and after that another brawl broke free outside the ring to demonstrate the power of Bray Wyatt to promote his Steel Cage match against Super Cena at Extreme Rules.
- Then we had the contract signing for the WeeLC match between El Torito and Hornswoggle at Extreme Rules. 3MB and Los Matadores were with them as well as Vickie Guerrero and her annoying voice. No more words needed.
- Next match was RVD vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter). And also Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman) came out for Heyman to speak a few words on commentary and for Cesaro to get hit by Swagger just for Cesaro to hit his Neutralizer on RVD after the latter had won the short match. All that to promote their triple threat match at Extreme Rules.
- Another promotion for the 2-on-1 handicap match between Alexandr Rusev (w/ Lana) and R-Truth & Xavier Woods went by with Woods causing disqualification when Rusev was about to win against R-Truth. Both opponents managed to keep Rusev outside the ring afterwards, and I think they will win it at Extreme Rules. Unfortunately.
- Then there was probably the first promo of Daniel Bryan that I liked. Most certainly because it was a very personal promo, given his father just died a few days ago. There was lot of emotion going on and the audience felt it. Me, too. But his last remark that he would send Kane to hell at Extreme Rules was kinda stupid because, like Kane himself stated afterwards, Kane was already there and that he would take DB on a tour when they are both arrive there. After some lunatic laughing by Kane this segment was over.
- The next match was hilariously funny because Dolph Ziggler had to go after Magneto a.k.a. Damien Sandow. I mean, the man looks remarkably ridiculous in that red costume but I seriously hope that this gimmick won’t last for very long. I like the evil smart Damien Sandow. Just don’t take this gimmick from him, WWE!
- Only on German TV there was Cesaro again with his remarkable translation work for 3MB and Hornswoggle. Here are two of his best phrases this time:
“Ich weiß gar nicht, wie ich das alles übersetzen soll.”
“Darüber will ich gar nicht reden.”
- Big E also had another singles match (when did he have his last? I can’t remember) against Titus O’Neil. He was heavily beaten up and only won it because O’Neil himself caused disqualification. Not really champion-like promotion material for Big E’s match against Wade Barrett at Extreme Rules, even if he did beat up O’Neil afterwards outside the ring. Could be some hint by the WWE that Wade Barrett will indeed win that match. He better will!
- If you haven’t watched NXT from Thursday: do it! William Regal once again was in superb form.
And for all you Dean Ambrose enthusiasts out there: the video below is The Shield’s Backstagepass segment from after SmackDown. I just hate it when WWE tries to tell people that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins just started wrestling when they came to FCW / WWE. Like just ignoring the fact that the internet even exists. But, just go on and make yourself appear stupid: