How can you stare at people with a mask on? +++ Dean Ambrose has to deal with a lot of people +++ Paul Heyman isn’t amused +++ The Usos and Big E should have a manager +++ Roman Reigns has to deal with Randy Orton and his servant Kane

Dean Ambrose collage
“You think you’re gonna ruin this for me? I got eyes on you all the time. You’re not ruin this for me! […] It’s my time. It is MY time!” — SETH ROLLINS.


How can you stare at people with a sheep mask on?
As for the start of SmackDown we jumped right into the first match between Sheamus and Bray Wyatt with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan being on ringside as well. There was a first fun moment when Michael Cole wondered how you can stare someone down with a sheep mask on your face. Sheamus was sent outside and Harper / Rowan were kind of protecting Bray Wyatt but Rowan still had his mask on. So, this stare-down was really funny. After the commercial break, we noticed that The Usos were coming at ringside, too. We got a lot of MITB promotion from now on. Like the SmackDown episode just before a PPV is always like that. Sheamus and Bray Wyatt are both competitors of the WHC ladder match while The Usos will have to defend their tag team title against Harper and Rowan.

Once again, Bray Wyatt couldn’t lose after being on the receiving end of Sheamus’ hold, the Cloverleaf, because Luke Harper saved him and consequently caused disqualification after just more than ten minutes of the match. Given, that both, Sheamus and Bray Wyatt, didn’t appear quite strong in the recent past, I doubt that they will be in any kind associated with the WHC title on Sunday. Short word on this and all the predictions going around these days: There are some people who really discuss the outcome based on strength and personal abilities. That’s certainly kayfabe predictions and I could do these as well. But that would be nonsense since I’m not part of the business. I’m obviously playing to a gimmick with my wrestling reviews as well – my gimmick probably is that of a ever moaning intellectual piece of crap – but in the article that will follow this one, I’m giving my predictions based on storylines and usual outcomes of previous PPVs, not strength or personal abilities. But since this talk is already part of my next wrestling article, I’m doing a hard cut and jump right into the next segment that followed on SmackDown.

Dean Ambrose has to deal with a lot of people
After a short promo that refreshed our memory on that Daniel Bryan is still alive, Triple H came out with his pets Randy Orton and Seth Rollins to promote them heavily of being the next World Heavyweight Champion plus the holder of the contract for a title shot. It’s quite obvious that the minor ladder match will happen earlier than the main ladder match. So, basically the winner of the contract could throw in that one instantly after the new WHC will be crowned. The contract holder would have the time to recollect, getting refreshed and ready while just after the WHC match happened, the new champ and face of the company won’t be ready for another challenge. So, like CM Punk once did, that would be a great opportunity for the new contract holder while it would also be great for the PPV. Just imagine the reaction of the WWE Universe when something like that would happen! That would be quite some Undertaker at Wrestlemania moment, not quite even but very close, I guess.

Dean Ambrose Anyway, when the pets were finally allowed to speak on their own, Seth Rollins told Randy Orton that he would already have a plan B in mind, in case something would go wrong on Sunday. Orton thought about that statement and some tension between the two guys were shown. Triple H didn’t like that, of course, so he told Orton that he should trust Rollins. Triple H then mentioned Dean Ambrose and he got a huge pop. But again, he just had some bad news for them like for Dean Ambrose as well because he still wouldn’t get a match against his preferred opponent, Seth Rollins, but Wade Barrett. I didn’t really mind because I like these two against each other.

Dean Ambrose Two things about the start of the match were quite interesting: 1) Wade Barrett for once didn’t have some bad news for Dean Ambrose when it was the perfect opportunity to tell him that wouldn’t get this contract on Sunday but Wade himself would grab it. But there was none of it. And 2) the announcer finally announced Dean Ambrose residing from Cincinnati, Ohio. No stray gimmick then. The lunatic fringe one is far enough, I guess. The actual match lasted for almost seven minutes with a very long hold around the middle. The great thing here was this variation in using the Jawbreaker Lariat by Dean Ambrose: not after two hard punches this time but straight from a counter. And another teaser maybe was that Dean Ambrose now uses some slapping himself right into the face to announce Dirty Deeds to happen. When he does that next time in a one-on-one match, we’ll know that this is some gesture to announce his finisher.

Dean Ambrose And Dirty Deeds indeed came that finished Wade Barrett off. Afterwards Dean Ambrose wasn’t really in the mood to celebrate because from experience in the recent past, he looked around for Seth Rollins being there anywhere. But he wasn’t. Instead, Jack Swagger came out alongside Zeb Colter. Jack Swagger being another opponent to Dean Ambrose in the contract ladder match, there was a bit of teasing each other with Dean Ambrose not shy to challenge Swagger just for another match. But Swagger chose the easier way in going after the already beaten Wade Barrett. Unfortunately, with the last push into the barricades, Wade Barrett injured his right shoulder for real and you could see him tapping Jack Swagger’s leg twice as a sign that he should get rid of him.

You never know what was initially planned, maybe some more beating by Swagger to Barrett, followed by some stare down between Swagger and Ambrose. And maybe I interpret a bit too much in some scenes and actions but I think, Dean Ambrose was forced to react quickly to get all attention off Barrett and right into him against Swagger. That was also the moment when one ladder was used to further promote MITB. Maybe it was here when the referee told Dean Ambrose that Barrett wasn’t able to compete any more. Yes, it might take off the illusion to pay attention to such kind of things but I somehow like it. I’m very much into details and I like to discover the really tiny ones. So, it adds to the fun of pure enjoyment watching the whole show.

At some point, Dean Ambrose got rid of Jack Swagger with throwing him over the barricades and was just waiting for him to recollect himself, when all of a sudden Seth Rollins appeared to attack Dean Ambrose from behind. He first threw him into the “steel” steps, then got him back inside the ring to hit his Curb Stomp on him. And as a finish, Seth Rollins yelled at Dean Ambrose that Sunday will be his moment and that he won’t take that away from him. Sidenote: I really tried hard to transcribe the whole piece in the caption to the above shown picture. I just didn’t get this one sentence. So, if you’d be so kind to inform me about what he was actually saying (something with “climbing the ladder on his own”) in a comment down here, I’d be happy to add that and reference you.

Paul Heyman isn’t amused
The divas title match on Sunday between Paige and Naomi was also promoted next with a short match between Paige and Cameron with Naomi on commentary. She talked basically on her Funkadaktyls partner, that she was a bit strange but still good to deal with. Anyway, Paige got the win with her finisher called Paige Turn and afterwards had to deal with both of the other ladies. As much as I like Paige’s fighting style and moves, but she should work on her promos. It’s really refreshing to have a female wrestler with a slightly darker voice, compared to that annoying screaming most of the ladies have. So, she should use this voice far more often and confident. Yes, she’s only 21 years of age, so confidence comes with age, I think.

After that we got a short promo backstage with Goldust to further introduce Stardust. And Cody Rhodes here did a marvelous job, I have to admit. He really grows on me with that gimmick. Maybe the two of them should use the tag team name “The Dusty Road”. It was then announced that at MITB they would have a tag team match against Rybaxel.

Up next was another tag team match to tease both ladder matches on Sunday: Cesaro & Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler & RVD. Interesting here that Alberto Del Rio got the win for his tag team, i.e. the less expected to win the actual WHC ladder match. Paul Heyman was on commentary, of course, and he was noticeable pissed about anything, Michael Cole told him. Once again, he spoke laurels on Brrrock Lesnarrr, that he was the one behind ending that streak at Wrestlemania and that he will be the one to be behind Cesaro to win the prestigious World Heavyweight title. At least, he didn’t act like he was fully sure about that. But after the match he still hyped Cesaro, acting like he had just won the match for his tag team. And that of course caused rage in Alberto Del Rio. Given that all attention was off Dolph Ziggler and RVD, both of them won’t play any part of actually grabbing this contract on Sunday.

The Usos and Big E should have a manager
After that we got a bit of time filling segments. First of all a very annoying backstage interview with The Usos. Yes, I understand that The Usos are meant to be fun and I like them inside the ring. But they really shouldn’t speak, at least not into some microphone when some camera is around to air it. Same goes for Big E. He came out to the ring just after Lana continued mocking the whole country of U.S.A. and we learned that Big E would fight for the legacy of the United States against Rusev on Sunday. Was that new? I thought that would have already been fixed. Anyway, Rusev previously had beaten Sin Cara in just under one minute and the whole segment was closed with a little brawl between Big E and Rusev.

William Regal After the RAW review of the farewell to Vickie Guerrero, it was also announced that another match would happen on Sunday: Summer Rae vs Layla with special referee Fandango. I’m somehow looking forward to that match. I just hope it doesn’t get spoiled in some way except for William Regal to stroll by, taking Layla with him. And since I’m on William Regal right now, here is my explanation to the title of this review: with the split of The Shield recently and the change of outfit, it was about time for Dean Ambrose to get his new profile picture. It was some nice coincidence that William Regal as well got a new one yesterday.

Roman Reigns has to deal with Randy Orton and his servant Kane
As you might imagine I wasn’t very much into the so-called main event of SmackDown. It was Super Reigns vs Kane since Reigns did spear Kane on latest RAW. Later in the match, Randy Orton came out to cause disqualification after just under seven minutes of slow action at times. Reigns was beaten down for once and Kane grabbed a ladder from outside to get it inside the ring. It was quite obvious afterwards that Kane was supposed to be the willing servant to Randy Orton with him getting up the ladder, grab the titles and pose with them inside the ring. But then, he also wanted to finish off Reigns. Instead it was Reigns who just woke up from the dead to spear Orton, then Kane and finally stood tall inside the ring with both titles held up high.


The Gifs to this review were brought to you by bulamutumumo and raphie-loves-the-shield.

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