Smackdown – August 16, 2016

Smackdown
Date: August 16, 2016
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final show before Summerslam and it’s time to see what the blue show has to offer. Odds are we’ll be seeing a big build towards AJ Styles vs. John Cena II to go along with Smackdown World Champion Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler as guests on MizTV. We’ll also have another chance to see Eva Marie’s in ring debut. Let’s get to it.

Randy Orton signs his contract vs. Brock Lesnar but warns the bosses that the match might be short because it only takes one RKO. Heath Slater brings in a fruit basket but Bryan sees the card: “To Bob, my condolences.” Slater can’t believed that he’s not being offered a contract so Orton eats an apple and says he has an idea. A secret alliance with Carlito?

Opening sequence.

We open with MizTV but Dean cuts off Miz’s intro. Ziggler cuts off Dean’s opening statement though and they go nose to nose. Miz talks about how this is a huge fight for the title at Summerslam and even he thought Ziggler was a write off. He was a flop like WWE’s version of the Ghostbuster’s reboot. Again, I’d like to point out: a two time World Champion and a four time Intercontinental Champion should never be considered a flop. All Dolph cares about is winning the title on Sunday.

Miz gets cut off again as Ziggler says all he wants to do is kick Ambrose’s head off (of his face that is but I think I get what Dolph meant). Ziggler wants to hear Dean say he was the final push Dolph needed to get over the top. That earns a chuckle from Dean, who says the title isn’t the goal. Winning the belt is just the start because that’s the day the pressure really starts. Everyone knows Dolph can’t handle pressure which is why he’s never grabbed the ball and scored a touchdown. HE’S A TWO TIME WORLD CHAMPION AND HE WON IT THE SAME WAY DEAN DID!

Ziggler gets serious and says Dean is going to have to give everything he has but it’s not going to be enough to put Dolph away. As Dean is reaching down deep and looking for one last move BAM! Dolph lays him out with a superkick in mid sentence and says this Sunday, Dean will realize that he’s that good. Ziggler’s stuff was much better but this idea that Ziggler has never won the big one is ridiculous, especially coming from Ambrose. Or are they just burying the legacy of the World Heavyweight Championship and saying it doesn’t mean a thing anymore?

During the break, Miz insulted Apollo Crews by calling him Apollo Creed, only to have Crews come out and beat Miz down. I had almost forgotten about that match so it’s nice to get a quick something.

American Alpha/Usos/Hype Bros vs. Ascension/Vaudevillains/Breezango

Viktor and Gable start things off but Mojo tags himself in for a three point tackle. Konnor saves his partner from the Hype Rider and everything breaks down to take us to a break. Back with Ryder and Konnor reaching for tags as it’s off to Jimmy vs. English. Jordan starts throwing suplexes and it’s time for the parade of finishers, including a ridiculous four superkicks. Jimmy dives on most of his opponents, leaving English to take Grand Amplitude for the pin at 6:50.

Rating: D+. Well that accomplished a grand total of nothing. Wow the Usos can throw superkicks and hit dives and American Alpha is awesome. I feel so much more confident about this new division than I did coming in when I thought the division had no depth and was basically American Alpha and a bunch of nothing teams. That’s really not enough to warrant a title but I’m sure WWE would disagree.

Naomi vs. Eva Marie

Naomi’s full outfit now lights up, including her hair, and she has a backpack full of glow in the dark material to throw to the crowd. It’s certainly eye catching if nothing else. And Eva isn’t here due to traffic issues so no match again. This is becoming the highlight of the show.

AJ Styles can’t wait to see Alberto Del Rio beat up John Cena tonight but Del Rio tells him to stop living in the past.

Curt Hawkins is coming. Uh….yay.

Heath Slater vs. Randy Orton

So I guess just facing Lesnar last night doesn’t count for some reason. Slater can barely walk so Orton easily takes over by hitting him in almost every body part. Orton keeps hammering away in the corner…..and that’s a DQ at 1:00.

Orton destroys him post match and doesn’t seem to notice that he lost. The elevated DDT onto the floor sets up some German suplexes and Brock’s pose. An RKO leaves Slater out cold.

The Wyatts are here.

The bosses give Slater a contract so Heath brags about how he showed no mercy. Bryan thinks that’s a great name for a pay per view but Slater thinks Bryan is Mick Foley and a bigger star than Roman Reigns. Oh and Shane is Stephanie. That’s enough for the boss and Shane takes the contract away but Slater keeps reading the bed he’s laying on. No signing.

Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose

Non-title and the Wyatts came out during the break. Of note: Bray and Randy had a staredown as Orton was leaving. Dean tries Dirty Deeds thirty seconds in but settles with a dropkick to send Rowan outside for a suicide dive. Back in and Rowan takes over with a powerslam before sending Dean into the steps. Rowan slowly stomps and pounds in the corner, only to have Dean suplex him back down.

Mauro: “WWE Champion Dean Ambrose willing to put it all on the line!” Other than the title in this match that is. Erick kicks him in the face as JBL talks about opponents not expecting Dean to drop an elbow while they’re standing up. You don’t expect him to do something he does in almost every match? Speaking of which, Dean hits Dirty Deeds for the pin at 4:58.

Rating: D+. That’s the match you would expect from these two as Erick showed off his power but Dean did his normal stuff while JBL said stuff that doesn’t make sense. I like the idea of having Dean fight midcarders though as it allows him to look good and the person he beats doesn’t look bad because they lost to the champ. Everything works fine.

Post match Bray looks at Rowan’s mask and walks away. Good.

Becky Lynch/Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss/Natalya

Carmella and Natalya start things off with a headscissors sending Natalya flying. We hear about Daniel Bryan making a new Women’s Title despite there being a total of five female wrestlers on the roster (I’m waiting on Eva to actually wrestle to count her and get it all the way up to six.). Natalya takes Carmella down and the heels take over until a diving tag brings in Becky. Everything breaks down and Natalya collides with Becky…..as Eva Marie comes out to her full entrance. This brings out Naomi for a chase to distract Natalya, setting up the Disarm-Her for the tap out at 4:15.

Rating: D. I probably shouldn’t have rated it due to how long the match spent on Eva’s entrance but it lets me talk about how stupid it is to have a title for this division. The entire division was involved in one match and you have a total of one former title holder in the whole thing. Becky has never won anything, Carmella and Alexa are rookies, Natalya is the same thing she was the day she debuted, Naomi is flashy but nothing great in the ring and Eva is a comedy act.

That gives you Becky, Natalya and Naomi to do the lifting until Bayley can come and make it four women of worth in the division, at least until Alexa and Carmella are more ready. Remember when all the women were in the ring the night after Wrestlemania and it looked like something might come of it? Yeah forget all that because having enough for one great division means it’s time to split it into two weak divisions.

Baron Corbin attacks Kalisto again. What did Kalisto do to deserve this kind of demotion?

Long video on Orton vs. Lesnar, which we saw a few weeks ago.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena

AJ is on commentary. Feeling out process to start until a hiptoss sends Del Rio outside and he takes a breather in the crowd. Back from an early break with Del Rio hitting a shot off the top but missing a charge to crash out onto the floor. Del Rio kicks him in the face (kind of) and avoids a charge to send Cena into the buckle.

AJ and Otunga keep arguing over respect with Styles calling him a rookie. Since this is a Del Rio match and you can guess what he’s doing, I have the chance to flash back to Otunga being Styles’ replacement at an autograph booth at this year’s Axxess. I’ve never seen a line clear out so fast in my life. Alberto hits a DDT for two and we take another break.

Back with Del Rio diving into a dropkick as Cena starts his comeback. The Backstabber cuts him off and gives Alberto two, followed by the corner enziguri for the same. Cena reverses the cross armbreaker into the STF but Del Rio is too close to the ropes. The low superkick sets up the cross armbreaker but Cena escapes with a powerbomb. A quick AA gives Cena the pin at 16:56.

Rating: C+. Really if you’ve seen these two fight once, you’ve seen almost every one of their matches. Del Rio isn’t going to beat Cena in a regular match (certainly not at this point in his career) and it gets a little more boring every time these two fight. Del Rio is just so dull like this and it’s so boring watching him clearly not care.

AJ runs in for a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles says he’s tired of hearing that the future goes through Cena and he’s going to be the new face that runs this place. He goes to leave but comes back for more, allowing Cena to hit the AA. Cena isn’t done though and hits a big AA through the table to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show had some moments but it never took off and a lot of that is due to a lack of a really compelling feud. AJ vs. Cena feels like the World Title feud while Ambrose and Ziggler are continuing to fight over who is the best wrestler from Ohio. I still can’t buy into the idea that Ziggler has never won a big match when he did the exact same thing Ambrose did. If so, what does that make Dean? Throw in the tag and women’s divisions that can fit into a single match and it’s hard to find a reason to get excited about this show.

Results

American Alpha/Usos/Hype Bros b. Ascension/Vaudevillains/Breezango – Grand Amplitude to English

Heath Slater b. Randy Orton via DQ when Orton kept attacking in the corner

Dean Ambrose b. Erick Rowan – Dirty Deeds

Carmella/Becky Lynch b. Natalya/Alexa Bliss – Disarm-Her to Natalya

John Cena b. Alberto Del Rio – Attitude Adjustment

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