Smackdown – September 24, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 24, 2015
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

We’re getting closer to Kane vs. Rollins, likely inside the Cell, as they blow off their feud from months ago on a show where the other Cell match is the real main event. Then again, given that the World Champion is coming off two losses in two days (though he did beat a 56 year old), maybe it’s better that he isn’t main eventing. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the ending to Night of Champions and Kane’s personality shift on Raw. I’m kind of shocked but the Kane stuff is entertaining me.

Here’s a very enthusiastic Kane in the ring. He’s back because the WWE is on fire right now and needs someone with his administrative assistance. First up, he makes Rusev/Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler/Ryback as well as Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper with associated family members barred from ringside.

This brings out Rollins who wants Kane to cut out the nonsense. Kane talks about his training in conflict resolution and hopes to have a healthy dialogue to solve these issues. Seth doesn’t buy it and asks about Kane attacking him twice. Just like on Monday, Kane has no idea what Seth is talking about.

Then he switches to serious and talks about being a corporate worker, not a demon who wants to inflict incredible pain and punishment upon him until he begs for mercy. Seth thinks Kane needs help and Kane is willing to take it under advisement. One last thing: Rollins is facing Dean Ambrose in the main event. Ok Rollins is guaranteed to win there right? Ambrose barely ever beats…Dean is going to pin Rollins again isn’t he?

Booker thinks Kane has multiple personalities but the old trickster Lawler thinks it’s a ruse.

Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper

The Wyatts and Ambrose are banned from ringside. These two have fought each other about once every two weeks since late July. Both guys try powerbombs in the first ten seconds and head out to the floor. Harper gets sent into the barricade and then the announcers’ table.

Back in and Harper elbows out of a Samoan drop, only to have Reigns power him up on the second attempt. So much for Reigns selling for more than five seconds. There are the ten clotheslines in the corner and they head outside again. Harper nails a superkick followed by the sitout powerbomb, only to have Roman come back with the Superman Punch and spear for the pin at 3:59.

Rating: D+. So we’re now at the point where Reigns can beat Harper in under four minutes. Therefore, why would I want to see them fight again? To be fair I could have asked that question before as these two have fought what seems like a hundred times this year alone, but they had a good match or two so why not try it twenty times?

New Day vs. Neville/Lucha Dragons

Before the match, New Day says the Dudleyz are gone after Madison Square Garden and the tables will be saved. Neville kicks Kofi to start and throws Kalisto onto him for a seated senton. All three members of New Day come in and get stared down to the floor as we take a break less than forty seconds into the match. Back with Kalisto in trouble and getting stomped down in the corner as Woods drops to the floor for some tromboning.

Kalisto backdrops Kofi to the floor and makes the tag off to Cara for a springboard moonsault and elbow to Xavier’s jaw. New Day is all sent to the floor, allowing Neville and Kalisto to moonsault from the top as Cara adds a suicide dive. That looked awesome. Back in and Kofi grabs Kalisto’s leg, allowing Woods to add a running knee to the head for the pin at 7:33.

Rating: C-. The match was fun while it lasted but they really needed a break in a seven and a half minute match? I like the idea of some trios teams running around as it’s not like they have anything to do on their own or in a tag team. If the Dragons aren’t going to get a run in the tag team scene, let them hang out with Neville and do cool dives.

Cesaro vs. Bo Dallas

During Cesaro’s entrance, we see clips of Big Show squashing him on Monday to make sure you know you’re about to watch a loser. Dallas talks about surviving Suplex City and suggests Cesaro Bo-lieve to get over his trip to Big Show Boulevard. Cesaro does four straight nipups to escape a wristlock before wrapping his legs around Bo’s waist and rolling him around the ring. Back up and Cesaro charges into an elbow in the corner and gets forearmed in the back.

Dallas pulls him to the apron and drops Cesaro back first across the apron. A chinlock doesn’t have much effect so Dallas starts working on the back again. Booker thinks the back injury here could be career ending. If jobbing to Big Show twice in a week didn’t kill it already, I don’t think a few forearms to the back are going to do it. Back up and Cesaro grabs his arm trap small package for the pin at 4:26.

Rating: D+. Another short match here but it’s nice to see Cesaro win again, even if it’s to someone like Dallas. Thinking of Cesaro jobbing to Big Show twice in a row to build up what’s likely going to be a five minute match with Lesnar doing the exact same thing he’s done to Big Show every time they’ve fought makes my head hurt but that’s life in WWE for you.

We recap Charlotte winning the title on Sunday.

Here are Charlotte and Becky Lynch with something to say. Lawler doesn’t seem to know why Paige isn’t with them. Charlotte talks about how perfect the last week has been for her but Paige comes out to interrupt. Paige has never been a team player and doesn’t know what came over her. She’s glad Charlotte won the title but was hoping that she was in this spot. Paige thinks she deserves some recognition for starting the Divas Revolution.

Charlotte agrees and here’s Natalya to interrupt. She thinks the division is as good as it’s ever been before but Paige thinks Natalya is a crazy cat lady. Paige knows she’s better than Natalya and thinks Natalya let the Revolution pass her by. Now she’s trying to latch on to these younger Divas to keep herself relevant. Paige slaps her in the face and walks away. This has some potential, but none of it matters if they’re going to just go back to the Bellas in three months.

Kevin Owens/Rusev vs. Ryback/Dolph Ziggler

Ever the good coward, Owens tags out before having to face Ryback. Rusev demands Ziggler come in and stomps him into the corner. A dropkick gives Dolph a breather but he walks into a swinging Rock Bottom for two. Rusev: “I beat you Dolph! Now he’s going to beat you!” Owens comes in for a few stomps before it’s back to Rusev, who is quickly caught in the running DDT as we take a break.

Back with Owens slapping Dolph in a chinlock. Ziggler’s running DDT doesn’t work on Owens as Kevin throws him down and drops a backsplash. More heavy stomping gets two for Rusev before it’s off to Rusev for more of the same. Ziggler slams both heels and makes the big diving tag to Ryback. Rusev’s superkick is countered into a spinebuster but Owens offers a distraction, allowing Rusev to hit the superkick. Owens grabs the title and walks out, allowing Dolph to superkick Rusev into the Shell Shock for the pin at 12:45.

Rating: C-. Remember when beating Rusev was a big deal? Or when there wasn’t a large stable to be made out of people who use superkicks? The one posititve thing I remember here is the days when the midcard was strong and how we’re getting closer to having one here. There’s been a lot of attention given to the midcard feuds lately and the extra effort is paying off. It’s not great or anything, but it’s WAY better than it was a few years ago.

Video on Big Show to hype up Madison Square Garden.

The Dudleyz are talking strategy when Renee Young comes in to ask them about New Day. Bubba thinks New Day doesn’t act like champions and the titles are all that matter. Notice that Bubba makes sure to get in the date of the show instead of just saying it’s in so and so many days or a week from Saturday.

It’s a definitive date instead of some point that might change depending on when you’re watching the show. That’s the old school way of doing things and I wish it was the more common way now. The Prime Time Players come in to say they want a shot after the Dudleyz win the belts. Bubba and D-Von aren’t pleased but they shake the Players’ hands.

Rollins promises to take care of Ambrose and Kane.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

Non-title. Dean starts in on a wristlock before grabbing the champ’s head. Seth comes back with choking in the corner as they’re in first gear so far. A dropkick puts Seth on the floor and we take another early break. Back with Seth putting on a chinlock until Dean powers up and sends Rollins outside. The suicide dive is blocked though and Seth’s top rope knee to the head gets two.

Ambrose comes back again with some chops but the tornado DDT is countered, followed by the low superkick for two. Booker: “Ask me what I think about Dean Ambrose.” Rich: “What do you think about Dean Ambrose?” Booker: “He’s a fighter.” Thanks Book. Dean hits his rebound lariat (called the Lunatic Lariat) and a bunch of strikes followed by a butterfly superplex of all things for two. Dean comes up holding his leg but he’s still able to start a nice pinfall reversal sequence for a bunch of near falls.

A backdrop puts the champ on the floor and now Ambrose’s suicide dive connects. Dean gets two off a fisherman’s suplex (he’s mixing it up tonight) but Seth comes back with an enziguri to put both guys down. Seth is up first with the Sling Blade but the Pedigree is broken up. Instead a buckle bomb puts Dean down but Kane’s pyro goes off, allowing Dean to grab a rollup for the pin at 17:33.

Rating: B-. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion has lost three times in five days. TV ratings are sinking like a stone and WWE’s solution is to treat the World Champion the same way they used to treat the midcard titles. This is supposed to be the guy that is going to be getting the big face turn and push? The guy who keeps losing over and over again? But hey, did you see HHH and Stephanie dancing a few weeks ago and then getting to be all tough with Kane on Monday? Man they’re awesome. Finally, anyone want to bet that this win for Ambrose goes nowhere? Just let it be a countout or DQ and it’s the same thing.

Rollins grabs the mic and asks if Kane knows who he is. He hurt Sting at Night of Champions and Seth can do the same thing to Kane.

Overall Rating: C. This is a show where the wresting was fine but the booking really holds it back. On the surface, it looks like there’s some good stuff here. The midcard is looking stronger, New Day continues to be hilarious, Ambrose looks like he’s going to get a push, Reigns looks like he’s going somewhere over the Wyatts for a change and Cesaro looks primed for a push. That’s what you would think if you just watched this show. Here’s what’s likely going to happen.

The midcard will likely do the exact same stuff it has done in the past because the writers can’t maintain any stories. New Day will continue to be hilarious. Ambrose’s win will mean nothing. Reigns will keep feuding with the Wyatts for another three months. Cesaro will be built up and fed to someone who doesn’t need the push for a match that is never in doubt for a second.

In other words, WWE is fun if you watch once in awhile and don’t follow it long term. Once you start getting your hopes up for something, they’re going to come crashing down around you when you realize that WWE would rather spin its wheels and make sure that people don’t get too popular for reasons I still can’t comprehend. Everyone not named Cena winds up on equal footing and the numbers keep going down because there’s no one worth cheering for. This was a totally watchable stand alone episode but it’s nothing more than that.

Results

Roman Reigns b. Luke Harper – Spear

New Day b. Neville/Lucha Dragons – Running knee to Kalisto

Cesaro b. Bo Dallas – Arm trap small package

Dolph Ziggler/Ryback b. Rusev/Kevin Owens – Shell Shock to Rusev

Dean Ambrose b. Seth Rollins – Rollup

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