Happy 15th birthday +++ Kane is a party pooper +++ Seth Rollins now has got a bodyguard +++ Triple H and The Rock announce the main event for Wrestlemania 31 +++ JBL likes slapstick +++ Dean Ambrose apparently has got a new finisher
Happy 15th birthday
I’m quite late with this SmackDown review this time – it’s RAW Monday already! – because laziness crossed my way. It happens from time to time. So, we’ll see how much I like to write about the actual show and some speculation about coming shows.
This SmackDown was pretty much hyped before it aired because it was the 15th anniversary, i.e. birthday of SmackDown. The end result was mediocre but it also did have its good segments. All kicked off with the first General Manager of SmackDown back in 1999, Stephanie McMahon. She was about to praise herself and her husband when she was thankfully interrupted by another GM of SmackDown, John Laurinaitis. I know his voice sounds like this because he suffered a throat injury during a wrestling match but it’s still terrible to listen. Most of all because I think it’s not healthy for him to speak at all. But he didn’t say much because he was also interrupted by a former GM, this time Theodore “Teddy” Long. And what followed was probably my highlight of the whole show: JBL fanboying over Teddy was just hilarious! I somehow might have liked JBL here.
A little competition between Big Johnny and Teddy followed with who was able to make the greatest tag team match led to Stephanie McMahon announcing a 15-man tag team match between Team Johnny and Team Teddy for the title “Greatest SmackDown GM of All Times”. Despite 16 guys being involved in this, Adam Rose was left out, so he came out now to demand for being in a match or something, just to be involved in the anniversary show.
Kane is a party pooper
Well, Adam Rose got something. Maybe Stephanie McMahon was in a very special gifting mood, she presented Adam Rose a match against Kane. And a fun moment followed because Kane came out and told us that he wasn’t a lemon and he wasn’t a rosebud. Sometimes he would be a demon but tonight he would be a party pooper. And indeed he was. The Exotic Express didn’t have a fun time watching their party animal losing within just over one minute with a chokeslam. Shocked as they were they’ve all made it into the ring to care about Adam Rose. But Kane came back to chokeslam his way to the bunny. And this actually was another fun moment. Good camera work, too, following Kane’s look to the shell-shocked rabbit who then tried to escape. And he did with leaving just a few other party people chokeslammed behind him.
On a side note what happens with the bunny is a bit stale now. I guess it’s because Hell In A Cell is coming closer, so there is more attention on the big storyline and the mid-card titles. As for this SmackDown I really thought at times that the bunny was Dean Ambrose because of the acting, the falls etc. Maybe Sami Zayn was already on his way to Malaysia, so someone had to hop in, so to speak. But Paige was also present at SmackDown, so that was just some wish-thinking perhaps. But the question remains what will happen with The Bunny and who will be revealed as being The Bunny in the end. As of late WWE has made El Torito fighting the Mini Gator again. Could be ending up in a match between them at HIAC as some fun break between two more “serious” matches. But like we already noticed, despite being the same people, Hornswoggle as the Mini Gator doesn’t work at all. It’s not that much fun as it could be. I think I would have more fun with a match between Kane and The Bunny. But we will see.
Seth Rollins now has got a bodyguard
The next match was between AJ Lee and Alicia Fox with Paige standing on ringside, mocking AJ Lee. And that was actually the best part of this short segment. The match was irrelevant with the usual finish – the Black Widow by AJ Lee for the win – and when Paige made it inside the ring to punish her ex-friend AJ, of course AJ still got the last laugh against the two. Stupid and stale like the whole feud. It was promising and great at the beginning but right now it’s just boring.
Up next was a match between Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins. First of all I have to say that Seth Rollins fell a bit short in appearances and importance. He still had his promos and most recently got hunted and slimed and all. But the main focus is on Dean Ambrose vs John Cena. Seth Rollins now appears as some kind of the Holy Grail that isn’t seen much and you definitely can’t touch him. He is now surrounded and protected by his bodyguard of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. His briefcase is practically useless right now since Brock Lesnar isn’t present at all. And he won’t be for HIAC. If there was a time when the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was more irrelevant, please tell me. Because at the moment I can’t remember. If it’s really planned for Brock Lesnar to have hold this title hostage until Wrestlemania 31, then good night! I mean, fighting for this belt should be an honor, this price should be the one that is most looked up to. Right now I couldn’t think of anything more meaningless than this belt. Sometimes people moan about titles not being defended enough. But at least the United States Championship and The Intercontinental Championship are being defended at Live Events. The WWE WHC isn’t defended at all.
But enough of this. Just for another time, we got to see the Luke Harper promo. And then we got Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler. It was actually a good match of almost eight minutes. I really like seeing Rusev in longer matches. And it was long enough, so Dolph Ziggler wasn’t that much humiliated when he had to tap out to the Accolade. Lana’s promo on Dwaaayne afterwards was short but great. And Rusev challenged the Big Show for a match on coming RAW. I thought that this match was already made up. But okay, we will get this match and I guess, Big Show will lose this time, so The Rock can destroy Rusev at Hell In A Cell.
Triple H and The Rock announce the main event for Wrestlemania 31
And then we got a backstage segment that was filmed after last RAW. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were talking when The Rock approached. What followed was a bit of remembering history together, all friendly and full of laughs at first. But quite soon, when memories weren’t that funny for Triple H any more, especially when Dwayne told him all the great Wrestlemania events when he had beaten or humiliated Triple H. In the end this altercation finished with a close face-to-face situation, both men were quite uncomfortable with. Actually, I thought just two or three more arguments and they would have been making out right on the spot. They realized for the situation being awkward, so both of them wanted to back away. From here on this segment was ridiculous really. Like I said, it started good, had a great middle part to the highlight of it all but then just a deep fall to awkwardness. Somehow both backed away in the end to kind of agree on a Wrestlemania match between the two of them. And because wrestling fans haven’t got a long term memory, this will happen at the very next Wrestlemania.
When they finally went off, two promo pictures were seen on the wall: for the 2K15 WWE game with John Cena on the cover and the Hell In A Cell promo photo with Dean Ambrose behind bars.
JBL likes slapstick
We got back to the announcers table with JBL, Tom Phillips and Michael Cole. Actually we got to see a 15th anniversary birthday cake. JBL reacted quite enthusiastic, took up the cake and smashed it right into the face of Tom Phillips. Yeah, childish slapstick, but at least the cake tasted well, so Tom Phillips got the best of it.
The 15-man tag team match was up next and Booker T came out for additional commentary. The competitors were the following:
Team Teddy: Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Diego & Fernando (Los Matadores), El Torito, Jay & Jimmy Uso, Mark Henry;
Team Johnny: Cesaro, Titus O’Neil, Heath Slater, Mini Gator, Damien Sandow, Bo Dallas, Goldust, Stardust.
This was something like a re-match from Wrestlemania 28 when there happened to be the first Team Teddy vs Team Johnny match. Now this one lasted for around 16 minutes (including two commercial breaks!). It was accompanied with “We want Sandow” chants and when Sandow was in the ring, “Let’s go Sandow” chants were about to hear. Cesaro even was allowed to do his swing again on Sheamus. But in the end, Jay Uso won the match with a splash on Damien Sandow, so Team Teddy got the win, and Teddy Long now can call himself “Greatest GM of SmackDown ever”.
Dean Ambrose apparently has got a new finisher
And after the Erick Rowan promo we got Miz TV with The Miz as host obviously and his guests Dean Ambrose and John Cena. Like always, you were already able to read what Dean Ambrose had to say at the start of their encounter and to the question of The Miz why Dean Ambrose had finished last RAW with the double hooked DDT on John Cena. Just before Dean Ambrose and John Cena had been coming out, The Miz told us some breaking news that a stipulation was added to the match between Dean Ambrose and John Cena: it’s now a “no holds barred, contract on a pole match”, so the winner doesn’t need to pin his opponent while the loser isn’t really a loser. I’ve already mentioned this stipulation in my previous review of RAW (because I was so late with that as well).
Now I’ve got some other breaking news that circled around the net as of late: this match between Dean Ambrose and John Cena that was supposed to happen at Hell In A Cell, so the winner could face Seth Rollins inside the cage, will now apparently happen at next week’s RAW. Since Cena had to be added to this feud and the match between him and Dean Ambrose was announced, I’ve wondered if Dean Ambrose alone should save just another PPV. You know, him being in such a match at the start of the show and then closing with what could be the match of the year, could have been great for a Dean Ambrose fan but not really the best for the man himself. I’m still not sure if WWE really goes for Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins inside the cage or if they are afraid to finish this feud because lets be honest: this has been one of the greatest storylines for months, if not years. I’m more and more convinced that John Cena will get the contract for the match, so he can have his revenge. Winning this contract match, wouldn’t make Dean Ambrose look like a loser. Maybe Seth Rollins himself interferes or his bodyguard or whoever from The Authority. So, it might look like Seth Rollins considers Cena as a lesser opponent and is more afraid of having Dean Ambrose step inside this cage against him. Who knows, maybe after Cena, WWE will throw Brock Lesnar inside this feud and Wrestlemania 31 really is the event when Dean Ambrose finally will get his hands on Seth Rollins and the win over him to finally finish this feud.
Or John Cena has got a little bit to say within the storylines he’s involved, his praising and laurel talking of Dean Ambrose was actually meant serious and he will “lose” against Dean Ambrose. Seriously, if Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins inside the cage doesn’t happen, what sense would this great promo photo make? If Dean Ambrose loses against John Cena, he needs to appear at Hell In A Cell anyway, otherwise this PPV would be a huge disappointment. Everyone would watch it regardless because even if Dean Ambrose loses, there will be still a loser’s match against Randy Orton (and will WWE really go for just another John Cena vs Randy Orton match at a PPV? I highly doubt it). But what fans really want is a clean match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins without interference from anyone. Not Seth Rollins vs John Cena. And also not a triple threat match between all three guys involved. That would only be a foul compromise. John Cena doesn’t need to be involved in any PPV and certainly not in any main event of any PPV.
As for Dean Ambrose’s supposedly new finisher, I’ve already mentioned and moaned about that his headlock driver called Dirty Deeds is the same as the headlock driver called Party Foul of Adam Rose. I guess that’s why Adam Rose didn’t have many matches recently and also had to lose tonight against Kane. Since Dean Ambrose is basically the top face of WWE, he really needs a finisher that stands alone and belongs only to him. So, this double underhook DDT he hit on John Cena last week and on The Miz tonight plus on several Live Events / House Shows over the last week, could have been introduced as his new finisher. It’s actually borrowed from Mick Foley and the man was asked about his opinion for the last few days but he likes it and gave his approving. So, we will see if it’s actually used as Dean Ambrose’s finisher in an actual match as well. I’d like this, too, because I never really liked the headlock driver as his finishers. I would prefer his Midnight Special from FCW. But the double underhook DDT looks good. On another but related thought: Dean Ambrose doesn’t have a hold for a finisher so far. And if he borrows from Mick Foley, why not asking William Regal for permission to use his Regal Stretch as a finisher as well? I would really love this!
As for the finish of this episode of SmackDown, The Miz once again didn’t get the attention he thought he was entitled to. So, he went mad and got punished instantly when Dean Ambrose and John Cena went for him. Cena first wanted to hit the AA on The Miz but left it to Dean Ambrose to hit the double underhook DDT on him. Just for Cena to come back at Dean Ambrose to hit the AA on him. Now they are even again.