Linus Report: WWE Smackdown, 05/03/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! It’s that show without the biggest stars that’s more fun than the show with the biggest stars!

The show started with Dolph Ziggler coming down to the ring, wearing the WWE Intercontinental title he’d pilfered from Luke Harper on Raw. Harper had nicked it from R-Truth, who had thieved it from Wade Barrett. This stuff shouldn’t be fun, but it is.

Ziggler claimed that he’d never gotten a re-match against Barrett when he’d lost the title to him, and put over how much the title meant to him. He said he was officially entering himself in the Ladder Match for the title at Wrestlemania.

He said someone else should be in that match, someone with whom he could have a show-stealing match, and the crowd expected Daniel Bryan to appear. However, Bad News Barrett came out.

Barrett said Ziggler had something that belonged to him, and Ziggler made some jokes as to what that could be. Barrett said he could make all the jokes he liked but that he was still champion.

Ziggler challenged Barrett to come and get the belt but Luke Harper attacked him from behind. Barrett tried to pick up the title but Harper stepped on it. They had a tug of war over it and Ziggler jumped them.

Dean Ambrose ran out, and he and Ziggler fought the heels. R-Truth sneaked up, doing his best cartoon stealth impression, and stole the belt and hid under the ring. Ambrose and Ziggler couldn’t work out where the belt was, and Truth took a powder when he got the chance.

Backstage Renee bumped into Truth, who said that, if he had the title under his arm, he wouldn’t have to climb a ladder to get it. Renee pointed out that the belt would be suspended above the ring, and Truth did not like that. He tried to give the belt to Renee, who declined, and then ran off to find someone to give the belt to.

This was great. It’s made a secondary title worth caring about, even if the belt itself is a prop for comedy. Some of the better and more charismatic workers in the company want that belt, and it’s paying off.

After a break, they announced that Ambrose & Ziggler would team up against Barrett & Harper in our main event.

Hey, it’s Los Matadores! They didn’t get an entrance, but they’re fighting Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, who came down to the ring with Natalya.

The heels cut an inset promo declaring that a tag-team will have to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania. Is it too much to hope that the Usos feud is dead now?

Anyway, they had a decent short match, and the finish came when Cesaro tried to make a pin with his feet on the ropes. El Torito told on him to the ref, and Cesaro pulled the little fella into the ring.

Natalya tripped Torito and pulled him out and, while the referee was dealing with that, Cesaro & Kidd hit their double-team giant swing/dropkick move, and Cesaro got the pin.

Backstage, the Big Show and Kane had a discussion about which of them was going to win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. Hopefully neither.

Hey, it’s The Ryback! He’s fighting Kane. We are truly blessed.

So, yeah, they had a bad match. Not a terrible match, or one so bad it was funny, just a bad match. It’s Kane & The Ryback, what do you expect?

The Ryback won when he was setting up a spear and The Big Show tried to distract him but actually ended up distracting Kane. The Ryback hit the meathook clothesline and got the pin.

After the match, Kane & The Big Show got in each other’s faces, and Kane made another match, starting right now – The Ryback versus The Big Show. Seriously, who did something so bad that this is their karma? I’m thinking someone in ISIS?

So, yeah, The Ryback and The Big Show had a match. Lather rinse repeat. Kane got up on the apron and The Ryback pulled him in. He gave him another meathook clothesline and then walked straight into a knockout punch from The Big Show. Yeah, that was worth five minutes of my precious time.

Bray Wyatt cut a talky from wherever he cuts his talkies these days. It was dark and smoky. He said that The Undertaker was resisting his advances so he’d brought something he could relate to. He said that, on Raw on Monday, he’d unleash its spirit, and revealed… an urn.

Hey, it’s the Bellas! It’s going to be Brie Bella versus AJ Lee tonight, coming out of the angle on Raw when AJ returned to save Paige from a bullying at the hands of the Bellas.

AJ had Paige in her corner, and this was a – by main roster women’s standards – a decent-length match. Seriously, the last two matches have been as long as the six before them. #GiveDivasAChance, eh?

It wasn’t a terrible match but AJ Lee isn’t great, and Brie hasn’t improved as much as her sister lately. The Bellas were wearing yellow and black, like Toshiaki Kawada, so the 1990s All-Japan tribute continues. I love to imagine them getting together over mojitos to watch Misawa-Kobashi…

So, yeah, AJ won with her whacky submission move. Nikki tried to make the save for her sister but Paige yanked her off the apron. Afterwards the heels walked up the ramp as AJ & Paige stood awkwardly together in the ring.

Backstage Renee caught up with Daniel Bryan, who said he was excited about the Intercontinental title situation right now. You and me both, buddy! He said he can’t wait to see who ends up with the belt at the end of the show tonight.

Hey, it’s A New Day! They were already in the ring, and Kofi Kingston & Big E were going to fight The Miz & Mizdow. They recapped the hilarious shenanigans from Raw, where Miz accidentally made a commercial for erectile dysfunction, and then showed some tweets between he & his wife which were actually funny.

So A New Day were all over The Miz in this match, and he wouldn’t tag out to Mizdow. Eventually Mizdow tagged himself in and ran wild, but The Miz tagged himself back in and banished Mizdow to the floor, telling him to face away from the ring.

Big E then gave The Miz the Big Ending, and then Kofi came off the top with a DDT for the win. Mizdow, watching on the screen, smirked.

Backstage (and earlier today, although it was clearly from the Raw tapings, because Reigns is a big star and gets Tuesdays off now), Byron Saxton spoke to Roman Reigns, who delivered his usual wooden promo about stuff. STOP HAVING HIM TALK!

Hey, it’s Jack Swagger! I like this guy! Oh, he’s fighting Rusev. He’s dead, man.

Swagger was on top to start, and was all over Rusev when they went to a break after forty seconds.

After a long break, Rusev was in control, but Swagger locked on the Patriot Lock, and Rusev had to force a rope break. Swagger knocked Rusev out of the ring, and then followed him outside, but Rusev got back in and hit Swagger with a jumping side-kick as he got back in. He locked on the Accolade and got the submission win.

After the match, Curtis Axel appeared on the TitanTron and challenged Rusev to a match on Raw on Monday. He said that, after he’s won that, he’ll come for the US title at Wrestlemania, and did the Hulk Hogan shirt-ripping thing. Good stuff.

Backstage, Cameron was cutting a promo to camera about #GiveCameronAChance. Summer Rae, and then Eva Marie, interrupted her, saying it was their turn. I hope none of these women get a chance.

Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Dean Ambrose & Dolph Ziggler versus Bad News Barrett & Luke Harper! R-Truth is on commentary, which is a Good Thing!

They had a decent match, and Ziggler got the win with a Zig Zag on Harper. Truth had some good back and forth with Byron Saxton, who he accused of being jealous of his relationship with Coach. Well, it’s better than thinking he is Coach!

After the match, Barrett hit Ziggler and Ambrose with the Bullhammer, and stalked R-Truth. He was about to grab his belt when Ambrose took him out, and Truth walked smiling towards the ramp. Luke Harper cut him off and demanded the belt.

Truth shined it up and put it on the ground. Harper bent down to pick it up and Truth kicked him, BRUTALLY. He walked up the ramp and Daniel Bryan’s music played.

Bryan came out and Truth offered him the title. Bryan took it and led the crowd in “Yes!” chants. Looks like the person Bryan was interested to see ending up with the belt was… Bryan!

But no! He was attacked from behind by Stardust, of all people, who took the belt and climbed the ladder at the top of the ramp, and that’s your show.

This was a Good Show. It feels fresh and pacey, and never drags. Yeah, we got The Ryback in matches with Kane & The Big Show, but I can even forgive that. R-Truth was right last week – Smackdown is on fire!

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