The Linus Report: WWE Smackdown, 16/07/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! It’s that show that you watch because, well, what else would you be doing with your time. EXACTLY.

The show started with Roman Reigns coming down to the ring from where he lives, up in the stands. He cut a talky on Bray Wyatt and the dubbed-in crowd noise was RIDICULOUS. It wasn’t even that Reigns wasn’t getting a reaction – he might have done, I don’t know – more that NO-ONE on the roster, even Lesnar or Cena, could get the reaction the crowd noise suggested he was getting. Hey, it’s all fake, right?

Anyway, he said that his feud with Wyatt started when Wyatt cost him the Money In The Bank match, and assured the fans that Wyatt wasn’t in his head and hadn’t broken his focus. He hyped tonight’s main event, he & Dean Ambrose against Sheamus & The Big Show, and then Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen.

Wyatt said that the prophecy was true and that Reigns was the perfect combination of brutality and brains. Yeah, me either. He wasn’t happy that Reigns had tried to make a fool out of him and said he knew that Reigns was behind him on Raw before he attacked. Jesus. He said Reigns was a monument that represented everything that should be good in the world but at Battleground he would smash the monument with his hammer. Reigns invited him to bring his hammer down to the ring, which is probably the start of a hundred blue movies.

Wyatt said Reigns was a fool if he thought he had any power over him and said he was capable of horrible things and the game had just begun. Reigns said the whole world saw Wyatt run from him but Wyatt said that Reigns was vicious dog who he had cornered. He told Reigns to surround himself with the people he loved and tell them he’s sorry because he wouldn’t be coming home from Battleground

Hey, it’s The Lucha Dragons! They came down to the ring for a match with The New Day, who got an entrance this week. I love The New Day. It was Kalisto & Sin Cara versus Big E & Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods running his mouth on the outside, and The Prime Time Players on commentary.

So they had a match and it was a fun match, and this is the reason we watch this show, right? There are actually people who watch Superstars and Main Event, too, and they have good matches on there but that’s a level of commitment I can’t match. Anyway, The New Day got the win after ten minutes of mostly getting the heat on Sin Cara – with a brief, spectacular flurry from Kalisto – and then they cut a talky on The Prime Time Players afterwards. These teams meet at Battleground.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns were hanging out, like bro’s. Reigns said he couldn’t wait until Sunday’s PPV because he was tired of Wyatt’s crap. Ambrose said they had to take care of Sheamus & The Big Show tonight but that they should keep an eye out for Wyatt. Reigns said if Wyatt showed up he wouldn’t make it to Battleground.

Hey, it’s Bad News Barrett! He came down to the ring in his King get-up to fight Jack Swagger, who was already in the ring. Swagger deleted his Twitter this week so I wonder if he’s about to be future endeavoured? Regardless, Barrett quickly dispatched him – despite a brief We The People shine – with the Bullhammer.

After the match, R-Truth came out in his bedsheet and cardboard crown. Only in wrestling could you hear “there’s a lot of disagreement as to who’s the real king between King Barrett & King What’s Up”. Barrett told him that he was sick of his nonsense and that he’d won the King of the Ring while Truth had lost earlier in that tournament. He said Truth makes a mockery of him and he’ll make the laughter end on Sunday at Battleground. Well, the pre-show, anyway.

They showed footage of Todd Frazier winning the Home Run Derby and celebrating with a replica WWE title – real sports! – and then a hype video for Brock Lesnar versus Seth Rollins at the PPV.

Cesaro was walking down a corridor backstage and, as he walked past Kevin Owens, Owens sarcastically wished him good luck. Such a brilliant dick.

Hey, it’s Rusev! He came down to the ring with Summer Rae for a match with Cesaro. These two tore the house down with Kevin Owens on Raw on Monday, and I’d imagine it’ll be no different here. Months spent dreaming of Rusev versus Cesaro matches, given time and TV exposure, are about to come true.

So, yeah, they had a match, and it was another great match. They work so well together, just two big fellas hitting each other and lifting each other and hitting each other some more. Both men tried for submission victories – Rusev almost got the Accolade locked on but Cesaro kept one arm free, and Cesaro looked for the Sharpshooter, which he’s started using as a tribute to Tyson Kidd while Kidd is out injured – but Cesaro got the pinfall victory with the Neutraliser (and I just realised the reasoning behind that name. Idiot).

Cesaro is only the second man EVER to pin Rusev – after Cena at Wrestlemania – and the only one to do it 100% clean, and he celebrated by running around the ring and hugging some fans in the front row. Great match, great moment. Rusev seethed in the ring. THIS FEUD MUST HOPEFULLY CONTINUE!

Backstage, Rich Brennan spoke to Sheamus. Where is Backstage Renee??? He asked Sheamus about his upcoming challenges – the main event tonight and Randy Orton at Battleground. He said it was just another day at the office and that tonight he’d send a message to Randy Orton. He told us we would be entertained and it sounded like a threat. I’m not scared of you, man on my TV!

Hey, it’s Stardust! He came down to the ring to fight Neville, and his entrance was intercut with comic book-inspired graphics and stills from his match with Neville on Raw. I’m not sure it entirely worked but it’s a change-up.

Neville came out and they had a match and it was a perfectly fine professional wrestling match. Neville got the win, to even up the series, with a victory roll, and if all this superhero stuff doesn’t end with an appearance by The Arrow from Arrow I’ll be gutted.

Backstage, after a break, Rich Brennan spoke to Neville and asked for Neville’s strategy. We didn’t get to hear the full answer – “erm, flipping?” – because Stardust attacked him, and left him lying, telling him to “be my hero!”

They showed footage of the NXT women being introduced by Stephanie McMahon on Raw and then threw backstage, where Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina were watching on a monitor. They spoke to JoJo about how they were going to dominate the Divas division – they’re apparently going with the name Team BAD (Best At Dominating) – and Banks said we could bank on that. JoJo spent the whole thing trying not to laugh. They walked off and Tamina stayed behind to look JoJo up & down, which was weird.

Hey, it’s our main event! Dean Ambrose came down to the ring and they went to a commercial break. During the break, Ambrose channelled the spirit of Madame Blavtasky, who revealed that Ragnarok was just around the corner.

After the break, Roman Reigns joined Ambrose in the ring, and then Sheamus & The Big Show came out and they had a main event match. It was mostly Dean Ambrose selling for the heels and making the hot tag to Roman Reigns who killed everyone with his MANLINESS.

Ambrose recovered enough to hit a tope suicida out onto The Big Show, who caught him and readied a chokeslam onto the announcers’ table. However, Ambrose managed to turn it into a DDT that left both men lying in a whole load of table wreckage. On a show no-one watches, let alone cares about. Thanks, pals, I appreciated it.

Back in the ring, Reigns was about to finish Sheamus when Bray Wyatt appeared and attacked him for the DQ. Wyatt had Reigns set up for Sister Abigail but Reigns is MANLY and fought out of it and hit a Superman Punch. Then he gave Sheamus a spear and stood tall as the show went off the air.

This was a Good show, mostly. It flowed nicely and had a few cool things on it and nothing that was terrible. I did resent the booking of Reigns to be head and shoulders above everyone else when he’s stuck in a mid-card feud no-one cares about but I’m used to that now. Ambrose is Brutus Beefcake. Battleground on Sunday, then. Might stay up! (said the giddy twelve-year old…)

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