Since last post: 1911 days Last activity: 1585 days
#1 Posted on 14.9.16 1044.53 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1047.57
Live from Philadelphia, PA!
The show opens with AJ Styles coming out to gloat about his World title win. AJ told you so! He doesn't want to be quiet about it, either. If AJ says the sky is green, you shouldn't bother looking, because his lips don't lie, and he's got the title to prove it. He is the Champ that Runs the Camp!
John Cena interrupts the festivities to point out that AJ has something that belongs to him, and he would like it back. AJ offers him the headband - since he has the title, he doesn't need the headband. Cena wants the title instead, since he has a new goal - tying Ric Flair's World Title Reigns record. Cena can't think of anyone better than AJ to make history off.
That brings out Dean Ambrose, and he's mad as hell. He ingores Cena to get right into AJ's face, warning him that AJ's made an enemy for life and Dean will make his life miserable, and take back the title with interest. Cena calls Deano out on complaining about a low blow when he had AJ hanging on his crotch a couple of weeks ago. Cena references the Stone Cold Podcast. "I'm surprised his low blow even hurt you...because you've got no balls!" Dean has no time for Cena, "a lazy part-timer" who's great on cereal boxes but can't get it done in the ring. Dean has a problem believing that Cena can hang with him since he couldn't even beat AJ at Summerslam. Now Shane McMahon is out to join the lovefest, and he makes a triple threat for the world title at No Mercy. But tonight, emotions are running high and we're having a tag match - Cena and Deano vs AJ and a partner of his choosing. And if AJ can't find a partner, Daniel Bryan will provide one for him. 1 for 1. AJ is perfect as the douchebag and Cena and Deano brought the hatred. Their promos were fire, and this version of Dean, who doesn't care how much of an asshole he needs to be in order to prove a point, is the best version of Dean. Cut the goofiness, more of this please!
Hype Bros v The Usos: Ryder starts out strong but the Usos soon cut him off with a chop block and beat the holy hell out of the knee they injured at Backlash. Jey grabs a stepover ankle hold, but Ryder fights out and it's hot tag time. Mojo cleans house with a Pounce (!) and some more tackles. He stacks the Usos up for a corner splash, but Jey escapes to take out Ryder on the apron, and the superkick and splash finish off Mojo in quick order. Heel Usos are pretty good. 1 for 2. Not much of a match, but not offensive either.
Curt Hawkins has some more Hawkins Facts. It's time for SmackDown to face the facts!
The Miz is out to address his win at Backlash. They can call him a coward all they want, but he's now 162 days into his title reign, and that's better than 130-something other intercontinental title reigns. Dolph Ziggler interrupts, pointing out that Miz is still trying to prove to himself that he's a worthy champion. But no matter what he does, there'll always be an asterisk next to his name, because the WWE Universe and the folks in the back will never truly believe that Miz is a top guy, a main eventer. Miz points out that if he put stock in the WWE Universe's opinion, his career would be buried, just like Dolph's. But Dolph is out to offer Miz a chance to really prove himself - a title rematch, one-on-one, no distractions, no interference. Miz has no interest in that, but Daniel Bryan is now out to make that match for No Mercy. Miz doesn't take kindly to that, holding Bryan hostage over contract renegotiation. Until Miz's contract is renegotiated, there will be no title defenses! Miz is calling his own shots now! Daniel doesn't get what he wants until the Miz gets what he wants. 2 for 3.Miz is one of the hottest acts going around right now, his character work is just fantastic.
AJ meets up with Baron Corbin backstage, offering him the chance to be his partner. That's probably not a good idea for someone called "the Lone Wolf." Sure enough, Corbin would rather be his opponent, since he wants that title. For now, Corbin has to settle for.
Baron Corbin v Apollo Crews: The match never starts as Corbin attacks Crews during his entrance pose and beats the hell out of him. Corbin ends the segment with the End of Days on the outside, but Jack Swagger makes his entrance, causing Corbin to bail. Swagger reveals that he's now SD property as his Raw contract has run out. Swagger promises big trouble for everyone. 2 for 4.Not a great look for Crews, as he lost pretty clean at the PPV and then got demolished here without a real match. I can't really get excited about Jack Swagger anymore, though.
Becky Lynch is with Charly Caruso in the ring to talk about her title win. She says it's appropriate her first appearance with the title is in Philadelphia, because that's the best place for Becky Balboa to showcase her title. Becky commends the quality of her opposition and her own resilience, and then declares that she's a fighting champ: "come one, come all, I'm a fighting woman, so come at me, bros!"
#1 Contendership Fatal Five-Way: Naomi v Natalya v Alexa Bliss v Carmella v Nikki Bella: The action is fast and furious to start here, Nikki goes right after Carmella and beat the hell out of her. Natalya cleans house in the early going, hitting Carmella with a discus clothesline and snapping off suplexes on anything that moves. Michonoku Driver on Naomi gets 2 as Nikki breaks that up. Nattie takes a facebreaker but Carmella is in to break that up, and Nikki switches to her immediately, causing Carmella to bail. Nikki follows with a diving lariat to the outside, putting them both out for a bit. Naomi wrecks Nattie with a roundhouse, but Nikki is back in to contest again. Naomi grabs headscissors in the corner but Nikki turns that into an Electric Chair. Alexa tries to steal a win off that, but it doesn't work. Nattie has Alexa in the corner for some punishment, but Naomi swoops in with a full nelson driver. Nattie breaks that up with a basement dropkick, but Nikki hits her with the Bella Buster for 2. Naomi gets the Rear View on Nikki, but her baseball slide attempt ends with her head being slammed into the stairs. Ouch. Nikki tosses her into the barricade, and sets up Bliss for the TKO back inside, but Carmella shows up to superkick her, allowing Bliss to dump Carmella and steal the pin!3 for 5. Fast, furious, good stuff.
Shane McMahon is out for the Heath Slater contract signing. Heath's entrance graphic points out that "he has seven kids (that he knows of)." Tremendous. Heath signs the contract and lists off people he wants to thank, but the Ascension interrupt, demanding a title shot. Heath wants to duck out of it, but Shane makes the match, and it is now.
Tag Titles: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) v The Ascension: The Ascension have no credibility, so you know how this one will go. They beat up on Heath with some generic offense (and a horrible double-team botch). Rhyno sends Konor into the post to facilitate the hot tag, and then clobbers the Ascension. Slater grabs a sleeper on Konor, allowing Rhyno to Gore Victor for the win. 3 for 6. Slater is miraculously over, and so that made this fun, but the Ascension were awful in the ring, and didn't do themselves any favors.
Backstage, Kane rejects AJ's partnership offer, so he's left with Bryan choosing one for him. And Bryan has a great partner - James Ellsworth! AJ is distraught and walks off, but Bryan tells Ellsworth that he's going to do great.
Randy Orton is out to address Bray Wyatt. Orton says Bray calls himself the New Face of Fear because he is afraid. Bray is afraid of Orton, which is why he attacked from behind and tried to end his career. Randy issues a challenge - he's here now, and if Bray has the balls, he can come out and face him. Bray is backstage though, because he's a wise man who knows when to stay out. Bray offered Randy a gift at Backlash, but Randy didn't take it, and instead chose to embarass Bray. Bray now recognizes that they're locked in a fight to the death. Don't sleep. The lights go out, and Erick Rowan attacks Orton, but that ends with an RKO.4 for 7.I'll give Bray the benefit of the doubt, but my goodwill is running out.
Dean Ambrose and John Cena v AJ Styles and James Ellsworth The Miz: Miz wipes out Ellsworth as he makes his entrance, much to the delight of AJ Styles. So the tooth-chipping incident is firmly behind them, I see. We head to a commercial, and come back with Miz in control of Cena. Miz gets the kneeling DDT and chokes away in the corner, letting Mike Chioda know that "I have till five!" OOH! Corner clothesline sets up the Skull Crushing Finale, but Cena dodges and tags in Dean. AJ dives into a backbreaker, and Dean forces him in the corner for a good ole' fashioned beating. Dean stops to kick Miz's ass, but that allows AJ to avoid a lariat and nail him with the Pele, and we go to a break.
Back in, Dean runs over Miz with a lariat, and refuses to tag Cena in. Miz fights out a butterfly superplex and grabs a leglock, tagging in AJ. AJ wipes Cena out, and the resulting distraction allows them to double-team Dean, much to his frustration. Classic Southern heel tag team stuff there. Eventually, Deano tosses AJ into the corner to slug it out, but AJ wins that and grabs a chinlock. Deano fights out and stops an Uraken with a neckbreaker, and it's a double KO. Cena comes in off the hot tag and beats on Miz with his FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but AJ stops the AA. Dean dumps him and wipes him out with a suicide dive, allowing Cena to catch Miz with the AA for the win. 5 for 8. Dean is left seething while Cena celebrates, and then Dean selects the opportune moment and wrecks him with the Dirty Deeds. The crowd rains down a chorus of boos upon him! Dean shares some of his mom's favorite recipes with Cena, and then stares a hole through AJ, who's celebrating with his title at the top of the ramp. And that's how we end the show.
With the slight recent downturn in NXT and the CWC coming to a close, this is the best wrestling show on TV today.
Since last post: 1278 days Last activity: 1264 days
#5 Posted on 14.9.16 1144.30 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1144.58
For a second I thought we were gonna find out Slater was signed by Raw the night before and the tag champs were gonna be split up by show, appearing together only at combined PPVs. As it stands, not sure where they're going with Rhyno's odd facial expressions.
Also not sure if last night was supposed to turn Dean heel or just be part of the "he's crazy, he could do anything" aspect of his personality. Boos sounded loud.
#7 Posted on 14.9.16 1358.28 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1358.31
I'm actually a little surprised that Philly, which has always been more of a hardcore audience, booed Ambrose so loudly for laying out Cena, and for the huge reaction Cena got; it's almost like the "John Cena Sucks" chant when he came out was wink and a nod from the fans.
Since last post: 1576 days Last activity: 1227 days
#8 Posted on 14.9.16 1517.33 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1517.36
So there's an undercurrent of fan sentiment that says the character-driven NXT that everyone first fell in love with ended with Takeover Dallas, when Zayn had his last match, Bayley lost the title, and head writer Ryan Ward was moved up to Smackdown. Watching this episode of S!D!L!, it really did seem to have inherited, if not completely taken over, Ward's NXT aesthetic. It's a short(er) show that goes down easy, everything makes sense and connects from week to week, they try to get the most out of everyone on the roster, resulting in great rejuvenations (Miz) and guys beyond help (Swagger), occasional insider-ish promo content, and, with this episode, their very own Blue Pants in the form of, uh, whatever the jobber guy's name. Maybe the key is Ryan Ward, maybe he's given too much credit and the crucial factor of both NXT and SD is just having Rhyno around. Either way, I hope Smackdown doubled Raw's ratings and puts it out business ASAP.
Also Dan B is the best character in the company and Talking Smack is even better than Smackdown, the absolute A-show.
Since last post: 1107 days Last activity: 1106 days
#9 Posted on 14.9.16 1634.22 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1634.25
Speaking of Talking Smack, Renee made the point of asking whether Slater's new contract was fully executed by both parties. That is, with all the hubbub caused by The Ascension coming out, did Shane actually sign the contract? Weird stuff.
If I was General Manager Daniel Bryan, I'd be a little upset that Commissioner Shane McMahon was out there making matches unilaterally, pointing to the segregation of duties enjoyed by Steph and Mick.
Since last post: 1504 days Last activity: 633 days
#10 Posted on 14.9.16 1801.58 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1807.04
I can't recommend Talking Smack enough. It's where WWE's talent gets to have its actual character development on the downlow, where there's lower stakes and more creative freedom, and the good stuff gets filtered out onto the main show and edited to fit into current storylines.
Since last post: 1983 days Last activity: 1589 days
#11 Posted on 14.9.16 1821.51 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1822.17
I've been subtly trying to push the "The Mysterious Ryan Ward was actually responsible for everything good about NXT" angle for a while now, so I'll happily accept that Ryan Ward is running Smackdown, which is destroying Raw on every level, narrative as part of official Wniverse Continuity.
(I will now move on to floating the idea that HHH's Boys Kevin Owens and Finn Balor being the chosen top two for that brand, coupled with the news that Vince just had surgery, coupled with the August-ish reports that Vince was absent from several events, topped off with HHH himself being the most important character on Raw now all combine to PROVE that HHH is running Raw, which is a garbage television show that should be put on hiatus.)
Since last post: 1719 days Last activity: 1718 days
#12 Posted on 14.9.16 1855.08 Reposted on: 14.9.23 1855.44
Originally posted by LexusI'm actually a little surprised that Philly, which has always been more of a hardcore audience, booed Ambrose so loudly for laying out Cena, and for the huge reaction Cena got; it's almost like the "John Cena Sucks" chant when he came out was wink and a nod from the fans.
I think it's very easy to believe that part-time John Cena is going to be the most popular John Cena. He's picked up his game in the ring, he put over the indie darling AJ Styles more than he's ever done and he's going to come and go enough that he's more of a special attraction than being shoved down our throats all the time. I think that fans are starting to begrudgingly agree that he's a really, really big asset and that theme song of his is pretty great when it comes to surprise appearances. I still get goose bumps when I see his 2008 Royal Rumble comeback.
Originally posted by SKLOKAZOIDI can't recommend Talking Smack enough. It's where WWE's talent gets to have its actual character development on the downlow, where there's lower stakes and more creative freedom, and the good stuff gets filtered out onto the main show and edited to fit into current storylines.
It's the shit.
It's so true. Nothing ground breaking this week but Alex Bliss and Baron Corbin, two of their less experienced wrestlers, just got to sit there for 7 or 8 minutes and work on their characters and seemed to be winging it. Neither was perfect but did a good enough job that I'm convinced they could be really good characters with more practice. And when you do get more veteran guys like Miz, AJ or Dolph they knock it out of the park.