Angi S., Here…
In a rare treat, and in the spirit of WWE Week on the USA network, the WWE Universe got to unwrap the gift of a Super Smackdown! What made it super? Why it was brought to us LIVE from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also, it may have been the 800th episode but who’s counting? The night promised to be exciting was a sorely missed Superstar made his in ring return, two crazy people were under the same roof, and we were just one night removed from our World Heavy Weight Champion making an appearance. How would the guys and gals who we tune into watch fare on this special addition? Let’s find out!
Roman Reigns vs Fandango
Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall
I almost felt sorry for Fandango. Did he really think he stood any chance at getting retribution for the spear delivered to him on Raw? As it turned out, he was no match for a very pumped up Roman. Nothing could hold back the powerhouse as Fandango attempted to mount an offense. In the end, a beautifully executed spear laid the dancer on his back as he was pinned in short order by Reigns! Normally, my eyes glaze over during a match featuring Fandango, but Roman’s ability to capture my attention had me glued to the screen. I have missed him! Yes… I’m still mad for what he did to Seth at TLC, but I’ll get over it. Especially if he keeps putting on matches like this. People criticize Reigns for having a limited skill set. Which I feel is unjustified.
He loves being out in front of the crowd, to hear them react and to feed off that energy. He WANTS to entertain you and is at his happiest in the squared circle super man punching, basement drop kicking, and spearing his opponents. Sure, he’s not the best on the mic at the moment, but he IS improving. For right now, he let’s his actions speak where his words lack. Roman is exciting to watch and he made watching Fandango bearable. I’d have much rather seen his big in ring come back against someone who isn’t a glorified jobber. You hear that Roman is facing Fandango, there is only one believable out come. And while they did give us that out come, sometimes I’m not really into spoilers. I’d have liked to see a come back match against a more powerful opponent. But I am not unhappy with this in ring return. The match was fun to watch.
Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt Segment
The chemistry between Dean and Bray is undeniable. This psychological war they have going on gets better with each time they face each other both in ring and on the microphone. Being the first time they entered the same arena since TLC, Ambrose started things off. He made no excuses for the loss to the Eater of Worlds. He stated that for the first time, Bray Wyatt is facing someone just as sick and twisted as he is and that it scares Bray. He then challenges Wyatt to a Boot Camp Match (a what now?
Okay.. it’s Dean, I’m just gonna roll with it) at the WWE’s Tribute to the Troops Show. Bray answers and accepts the challenge stating that he can’t stop till he sees all the heros fall. I’d asked once before, what more they can do in this feud. I believe my answer is, continue to kick eachother’s ass. Here’s hoping Dean finally gets a win against his opponent. I know wins and losses mean little to the Lunatic Fringe, but I’d like to see him come out on top of this rivalry. It would be a great spring board BACK into the main event scene.
The Usos & Erick Rowan vs The Miz & Damien Mizdow & Luke Harper
Winner: The Usos & Erick Rowan via pinfall
The Usos and Big Red Rowan tore the house down in 6 man tag team action with The Hollywood A Lister, his stunt double, and Luke Harper. The action was fast from the get go as it started with the Miz and Jimmy. The anger seethed from Naomi’s husband and looked as if he would rip the man opposite him apart. The Miz, perceptive as always, decided it best to have Harper begin the match instead. Control of much of the match belonged to Luke and the tag champions as they were able to keep the Uso’s grounded and denying them from tagging in Rowan.
The crowd chanted their desire to see Damien Mizdow enter the fray, but were denied repeatedly. But it is not as if we didn’t get to see the funniest man on WWE programming in action. He continued his stunt doubling ways to perfection. At one time going beyond the call of duty and mimicking Luke Harper’s Gator Roll. This did not sit well with the Miz as he confronted his stunt double, stating that he was only supposed to mimic him. The Uso’s and Erick eventually regained control with a flurry of power moves from Big Red and super kicks from the twins. Rowan picked up the win for his team after he flew from the top rope hitting a big splash and pinning the Miz. This match was a lot of fun. It was smooth and entertaining. Everyone involved had their chance to shine and showed brilliantly. I’d still like to know why Erick and Luke have issue with each other. Or if it’s just that they ended up on opposing sides of the lines and have accepted that they are now fighting one another? Either way I am salivating for when these two men are in the ring together.
They have tremendous athletic ability that is coming through more and more each match. They were intimidating and brutal as a team but singles competition has allowed them to flourish. The drama between Jimmy Uso and the Miz also appears to be getting my attention back. They almost lost me on RAW ( but more on that later). I love how Damien Mizdow seems to be getting more blatant in his accepting and encouraging the crowd to love him, and how he still continues to show loyalty to the Miz by still doing as he’s told. There do seem to be cracks as the Miz shows signs of his jealousy and resentment towards his stunt double.
Seth Rollins vs Ryback
Winner: Didn’t Happen
Just one night after triumphing over John Cena in a steel cage match on RAW, Seth Rollins was set to take on Ryback. The living, breathing future of the WWE valiantly made his way down to the ring accompanied by the ever present J & J Security. As the Big Guy made his entrance he was ambushed by the United States champion, Rusev. And two brutal super kicks later, the hungriest man in WWE was put out of action much to the delight of Mr. Money in the Bank. Seth grabbed the microphone and stated that this was a perfect example of how things had broken down into chaos with the Authority gone. That it was a lawless mad house. Rollins also admitted that it was he with Paul Heyman who orchestrated Brock Lesnar’s attacks on Chris Jericho and John Cena on Raw.
As he attempted to take a much deserved night off, Dolph Ziggler interjected where he wasn’t welcome. The two exchanged heated words and insults but the Show Off challenged the new Standard Bearer of the WWE to singles competition later in the evening. Seth bravely accepted even though he deserved a night off after the hell he had put himself through, and the match was set. I loved the interaction between the two. Their disdain for one another and the constant need to out do the other made this engaging and fun. Dolph’s cockiness matches beautifully with Seth’s arrogance. Their technical skills have produced beautiful matches in the past and both were riding the momentum of victory, Dolph with his TLC title win, and Seth with his heroic win over Cena. The two parted ways but not before Dolph had one last uncalled for barb, stating that the match was, “What’s Best for Business.”
Naomi vs Nikki Bella
Diva’s Title Match
Winner: Nikki Bella via pinfall
This was a contest that came about thanks to the selfless acts of the Miz. He was able to get the match set up for Naomi since she had stated her focus was on winning the Diva’s title. It was all Naomi in the beginning as she was able to surprise Nikki with her fast paced style. But Bella turned the tides and it appeared as if Naomi was on the verge of losing her chance at Diva’s gold, however, the Awesome one, sans stunt double, made his way down to the ring and began to cheer on the challenger to Nikki’s title. Momentum changed again to favor Naomi and the win seemed within her grasp as she fed off Miz’s encouragement.
Jimmy took exception and rushed the ring to attack the Hollywood A Lister. The distraction of the outside scuffle ended up costing Naomi her shot at the Diva’s title as Nikki hit a Rack Attack for the pin. And I am fully invested in this whole story now. The Miz only had Naomi’s best interest in mind, why can’t Jimmy see that? She was thriving under the encouragement, one would argue even drawing inspiration from it. Could Naomi have pulled off the win had Jimmy not caused the distraction? We will never know because her husband, whom she had asked to remain in the back, came down and cost her the match.
Kane vs Adam Rose
Winner: Kane via pinfall
So Adam Rose is a glutton for punishment. He may be a party god but he is not a god of the squared circle. He didn’t stand a chance against the WWE’s reigning corporate monster. Not even the Rosebuds were enough to give him the strength to over come as once again, Kane asserted his dominance with a chokeslam for the quick win. But not satisfied with abusing Rose, Kane decided the Bunny needed to be dealt with once again as he threw the furry athlete into the ring and delivered another Tombstone Piledriver. The match served to remind us, as it did on RAW, that Kane is not to be taken lightly. He is a dangerous man who takes a sick pleasure in causing others harm. Now that that is established, give him someone who we would be more of a challenge.
As with Roman Reigns and Fandango, Kane needs a stronger opponent if he is to look stronger himself and if we are to forget that he has been on his back more than some in the adult film industry. We’ve done this twice, unless it’s going to the Bunny reveal, let’s move on and give Kane someone worth his skills to wrestle. And for that matter, give the man his mask back! I miss the Big Red Machine. The sadistic pyro that was Daniel Bryan’s undoing. Where is the Devil’s Favorite Demon!? On the brightside, I got to see Jimmy Jacobs on WWE programing again. Wonder if there’s a chance to see him in the ring in the near future. *crosses fingers and prays to the Wrestle Gods*
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
In a match that promised to be exciting, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler delivered in abundance. Rollins showed that not even taped up ribs would keep him from showing the Show Off why he is the undisputed living breathing future of the WWE. The match was fast and engaging and kept the WWE Universe on the edge of their seats with both men getting near falls. J & J Security made their presence felt and ultimately it was they who cost Seth the match.
The referee wrongfully threw Jamie and Joey from ringside and Rollins rightfully objected. However it was this slight error that allowed Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag for the pin against Mr. Money in the Bank. This match was intense. Dolph and Seth never fail to deliver and every time I hear they are going to be in the ring together, my fangirl heart does summersaults. But my little black heel heart can’t wait to see Ziggler curb stomped into oblivion. Seth and Dolph put on beautiful work. Their skills and abilities are just meant to be thrown together. I know this is a pipedream, but I can’t be the only one who would have a wrestlegasm if it was announced that they were going to have a n Ironman match. Both of them excel at making their opponents look better (not that either of them need help looking better.)
I was not happy to see Seth get pinned in the slightest, but I accept it. Dolph was able to capitalize on the distraction. It was a mistake on Rollins’ part. And who can really fault him for that? Every once in a while you fall down. I have faith that Seth will pick himself back up and show the Show Off that this defeat was a gift that needs to be savored. Because the next time they meet in singles competition, I just know that Seth Rollins will come out on top.
– Angi Sanders