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WWE Smackdown review
June 16, 2016
Taped 6/14/16 in Biloxi, Miss.
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Smackdown Open.
– As fireworks shot off near the entrance ramp, the many ladders surrounding the set were noticeable.
– Chris Jericho was in the ring, Money in the Bank briefcase hanging overhead. Jericho was there to host the Highlight Reel. He showed off the all-new JeriTron 6500 and the $20,000 carpet that made up his new set. Jericho talked about winning the MITB this coming Sunday because he invented the match. Soon after, Dean Ambrose interrupted by coming out, and they showed a piece of the Ambrose Asylum on Monday in which Ambrose broached the possibility of his winning the MITB to his former Shield partners Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. The ensuing brawl was also shown.
Ambrose, coffee in hand, complimented Jericho for the new digs. He almost spilled his coffee and Jericho admonished him for it, saying the carpet was made of 100% Serengeti yak’s hair. Ambrose said he brought the coffee so he could really “drink in” the gift of Jericho. Jericho took away Ambrose’s JeriTron privileges, and he ordered the monitor to be raised out of view. Y2J talked about the damage Ambrose has done to him previously. He said there’s a hole in Ambrose’s soul that can only be filled by becoming World Champion. As Jericho continued beating his own drum for the match on Sunday, Kevin Owens walked out.
Owens said that the MITB contract is his. He worked the crowd and said he won’t tell anyone when he’s cashing in after he wins. Alberto Del Rio’s music interrupted. Del Rio, like Owens before him, cut a promo as he headed to the ring. He said he’s the only one who has ever won MITB. Sirens brought out Cesaro next. Before he could even speak, Sami Zayn followed. Zayn said that everyone is forgetting that there’s a six-man tag match tonight. Cesaro and Zayn argued over Zayn interrupting before Cesaro could get a word out. Jericho called them “stupid idiots.” They entered the ring as sides were clearly drawn. Jericho said his team will whip Zayn’s team’s rear ends. Jericho talked about his team having the poise and dignity, that is, until Ambrose poured his coffee onto the carpet, at which point Jericho lost it. A short six-man fracas broke out as referees broke it up. No heat for the brawl, and the constant changing of the camera shots didn’t help it get over. Nothing here was bad per se, but there’s gotta be a better or more creative way to build to these MITB matches besides the old “everyone interrupts promos” trope.
– Next: A Fatal Four-Way match with Big Cass, Kofi Kingston, Aiden English, and Luke Gallows.
– No entrance for the Vaudevillains, and The Club was just finishing up theirs. New Day interrupted Enzo Amore’s pre-match mic work.
1 – AIDEN ENGLISH vs. LUKE GALLOWS vs. BIG CASS vs. KOFI KINGSTON – FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH
Xavier Woods and Amore were on commentary. Kingston and Gallows paired off early, while Cass and English killed time in the corner. Cass fought off a heel double-team to take down Gallows and English. Karl Anderson provided an early distraction, leading to Cass being tossed over the top rope. He was thrown into the barricade by Gallows and English. Yes, there was a stand-off among the four teams that led to a break at 1:39 of the match.
Back at 5:31 of the match with the heels this time turning their attention to Kingston. English pulled Gallows off of a cover. They put their differences aside to continue pounding on Kofi. Gallows had Kofi up for an electric chair, but Cass showed back up and big booted Gallows. Splash in the corner on English. Big boot to English. Simon Gotch tried to get involved, but was tossed onto the apron. Gallows and Cass traded blows at ringside. Anderson caught one for good measure. Kingston leapt onto Gallows and Cass. Big E. clotheslined Gotch. Trouble in Paradise to English in the ring for the win.
WINNER: Kingston, at 8:00. A little weird typing that this was a Fatal Four-Way Match without a title on the line. Fun match here that told a decent story. Enzo and Woods had some entertaining back-and-forth on commentary.
A few replays were shown.
– Renee Young was joined backstage by Becky Lynch and Natalya. Tonight, Nattie faces Charlotte in preparation for her tag match on Sunday. Natalya called Lynch a “true friend.” Lynch said she and Nattie are like Mulder and Scully from the X-Files. The truth is, Charlotte can’t win a fight on her own. Charlotte and Dana Brooke interrupted. Charlotte said Dana as “seen the light,” that’s why she’s with her. Dana said they are both crystal clear on the terms of their relationship. Lynch and Brooke got in each other’s faces before they were restrained by their respective partners.
– Dolph Ziggler joined the commentary team after the break.
2 – ZACK RYDER vs. BARON CORBIN
No entrance for Ryder. Corbin worked over Ryder in the ropes, then confronted Ziggler at ringside. Ryder, from the apron, dropkicked Corbin down. Ryder dropped some right hands on Corbin in the corner, then whitewashed him with a Broski Boot for a near-fall. Corbin created separation with an uppercut which Ziggler strangely called a “cheap shot.” End of Days put an end to Ryder.
WINNER: Corbin, at 1:45. Corbin continues to pick up wins leading up to his match with Ziggler on Sunday.
Corbin again went outside the ring to trash talk Ziggler before leaving.
– Dean Ambrose teams with Cesaro and Sami Zayn to face Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, and Chris Jericho later tonight.
– Lana introduced United States Champion Rusev. Not sure how long he’s been like this, but Rusev looks like he’s dropped some weight. As he came out, his attack on Titus O’Neil from Monday was shown. Kalisto did his usual dive into the ring, but Rusev caught him in mid-air and gave him a suplex. Rusev continued the pre-match onslaught, hooking in The Accolade, trying to break him in half. Sin Cara came out for the save and got some offense in, but Rusev stopped him with a clothesline. Cara fell victim to the Accolade until O’Neil ran off Rusev. But this time, O’Neil stayed on the hunt, attacking Rusev from behind at ringside and putting a hurting on him. O’Neil tossed Rusev into the ring, but could do no further damage before Rusev escaped.
– Mauro Ranallo, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Byron Saxton at ringside discussed John Cena vs. A.J. Styles at Money in the Bank. They threw it to a video package of the contract signing from Monday.
– Renee Young was with The Club and A.J. Styles backstage. Styles said he’ll prove Cena can’t beat him, and he’ll do it all on his own. He said Cena tried to embarrass him on Raw. Styles said he’ll show the WWE Universe that he is phenomenal. New Day walked up and Woods said the whining Styles does, goes great with his emo haircut. New Day made fun of Styles’ “style.” Styles faked laughed at their jokes and challenged the one who talks the most, Woods, to a tune-up match. Woods accepted. That match is next.
3 – A.J. STYLES vs. XAVIER WOODS
The Club was absent from ringside, and while the rest of New Day came out with Woods, they advanced no further than the stage, where they collected Xavier’s trombone and headed to the back. After Styles worked a wrist-lock in which he informed everyone that everything he does is better than everyone else, Woods managed to fight back with chops. Woods seemed to injure his knee in the corner after a Styles dive took it out. Referee Dan Engler backed Styles away so he could check on Woods. Once given the okay, Styles kept after the knee. Pele kick took Woods down. Styles landed on his feet in escaping a suplex attempt (not selling the knee at all). Styles hit a back-breaker on Woods to take the show into break at 4:48 of the match.
Back at 7:40 with Styles climbing the top rope to meet Woods there. Woods headbutted Styles down, then flew off with a cross-body. Inverted suplex by Woods to show off some of his seldom-seen babyface comeback. Styles got his feet up on a corner charge, but Woods elbowed him off the apron and to the floor. Woods dove over the top and onto Styles. Back to the top went Woods, who walked a few steps across the ring on the top rope and connected on an elbowdrop for two. Styles avoided a top-rope suplex from Woods and landed the Phenomenal Forearm. Styles then previewed what he’d do to Cena and applied the Calf Crusher.
WINNER: Styles, via submission, at 10:55. Styles is looking more and more comfortable between the ropes in WWE. Woods showed he has some singles value.
Replays of the finishing sequence were shown. Styles got a mic and said that’s just a taste of what he’ll give to John Cena. He said Cena’s time is up and his time is now.
– The announcers at ringside plugged the WWE Network.
– Still to come: A six-man tag match featuring the MITB match competitors.
– Next: Natalya vs. Charlotte.
– More from Darren Young and Bob Backlund. Young said he’s been spending his time reading, which Backlund calls “dumbbells for the brain.” Young said he’s been reading and getting advice from some great poetry. Backlund told Young not to ever take advice from anyone. That confused Young, but Backlund said he doesn’t give advice, he gives orders. So he ordered Young to give him 100 high knees.
4 – NATALYA vs. CHARLOTTE
No entrance for Natalya. As Charlotte and Dana Brooke came to the ring, they showed Charlotte’s loss to Paige on Raw. Nattie caught a kick attempt from Charlotte and put her down. Inverted surfboard by Nattie. Natalya stepped over Charlotte then delivered a basement dropkick that seemed to catch almost all air. Baseball slide worked better as a follow-up. As both were outside the ring, Charlotte booted Natalya to the floor. German suplex with a release from Nattie for two. Charlotte caught Nattie with an elbow charging into the corner. Charlotte went to the top for a moonsault, but Natalya attacked the knee. Sit-out powerbomb out of the corner for two. Brooke distracted Natalya with the Women’s Title. Lynch and Brooke fought into the ring. Charlotte tossed the belt at the feet of Natalya with the ref distracted. Natalya picked up the belt and the ref took it, allowing Charlotte to chop block Nattie and apply the Figure Eight for the victory.
WINNER: Charlotte, at 4:09. A little clunky in spots. The finish was pretty lame and again the babyface fell for the heel’s underhandedness.
– Coming up, a preview of Rollins vs. Reigns for the WWE World Title.
– Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews will take place on the WWE MITB Kickoff Show.
– The announcers sent it to a video package of the Reigns vs. Rollins feud.
– Main event time, as Dean Ambrose headed to the ring first. The rest after the break.
– All of the babyfaces were in the ring, and Alberto Del Rio was finishing his entrance. Owens had already entered during the break, so all that was left was Chris Jericho.
5 – DEAN AMBROSE & SAMI ZAYN & CESARO vs. KEVIN OWENS & ALBERTO DEL RIO & CHRIS JERICHO
The six men seemed to pick up where they left off in the opening segment, as they started by brawling at the bell. Del Rio and Cesaro were declared the legal men, I suppose. Del Rio avoided a backslide, but Cesaro hurled himself at Del Rio at ringside with a cannonball off the apron. European uppercut sent Jericho into the timekeeper’s area. Del Rio caught an uppercut outside as well. Back in the ring, he came off the top with a cross-body onto Del Rio for two. Cesaro swung Del Rio until Owens got involved. He was then swung. Jericho came in and Cesaro swung him as well. A superkick by Del Rio to Cesaro turned the tide as they went to break at 3:09 of the match.
Back at 6:14 with Jericho catching Cesaro with a dropkick. Cesaro was taken to the heel corner, where he continued to be on the defensive. Del Rio tagged himself in, to the chagrin of Jericho. Step-up enzugiri on Cesaro. Cesaro came back by nailing Del Rio with a standing dropkick, sending him plummeting to the floor. Jericho tagged in, as did Zayn at 8:27. Zayn with the 45th top-rope cross-body of this show, catching Jericho for just a two-count. Jericho whacked Zayn with elbows in the corner. Blue Thunder Bomb by Zayn, but he couldn’t capitalize. Del Rio tagged in as did Ambrose at 10:12. Ambrose’s car-crash offense was a success, with Del Rio getting bulldogged and Owens getting taken out. Suicide dive onto Del Rio outside the ring. Saxton said if Ambrose wins the MTIB contract he “can literally turn WWE upside down in one night.” Apparently, Ambrose has mastered the laws of physics despite his Wildman persona. Dirty Deeds countered, by Lunatic Lariat hit. Everyone got involved at this point. Cesaro accidentally hit Ambrose with an uppercut. Zayn dove onto the outside, but missed Owens and landed on Cesaro. Del Rio made a blind tag to Owens, finally make him the legal man. Owens superkicked Del Rio off the apron, then superkicked Jericho. Ambrose, Dirty Deeds to Owens, for the end.
WINNERS: Ambrose, Cesaro, and Zayn, a 13:14.
Replays of the teammates turning on each other at the end aired. Ambrose celebrated alone in the ring, eyes on the golden briefcase hanging above the ring, to close the show.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He is the host of “Moonlighting with Greg Parks,” a PWTorch VIP-exclusive audio show posted each weekend. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.