WWE Smackdown review
July 7, 2016
Taped 7/5/16 in Toledo, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Backstage, all three members of The Club were having a very animated discussion. Mauro Ranallo speculated it was about John Cena’s new friends, Enzo Amore & Big Cass.
– Elsewhere, Chris Jericho was preparing his hair while talking aloud about his disgust of Sami Zayn. It turned out there was a production assistant nearby. Jericho asked if he’s seen a blue scarf missing from his dressing room.
– In the interview area, Sami Zayn plugged his upcoming match with Jericho tonight on Smackdown, addressing the camera directly.
– Seth Rollins was walking into the building when he came upon Jey Usos. Rollins said he thought that family traveled in packs. Rollins also called Jey’s cousin Roman Reigns a “cheater.” Jey wanted a one-on-one match with Rollins and assured the former WWE Champ that it would be a straight-up match with no family at ringside. Rollins agreed to the match.
– Smackdown Open.
– As JoJo was in the ring about to announce the first match, Dean Ambrose’s music interrupted and he walked out. JoJo was not expecting him. At ringside were Ranallo, Bryon Saxton, and the returning Jerry “The King” Lawler. Ranallo speculated that Ambrose could be the number one overall pick in the upcoming WWE Draft. Ambrose apologized to JoJo, saying he has always wanted to try his hand at ring announcing. He said he has a lot of stroke since he’s the WWE Champion, and called himself the guest ring announcer for the opening bout. Ambrose introduced Rollins as having been born with a giant stick up his butt, and referred to him as Seth “scumbag” Rollins. When Rollins came out, they replayed Ambrose’s tabletop attack on Rollins from Raw.
1 – JEY USO vs. SETH ROLLINS
Quick take-down by Uso, and a deep arm-drag took Rollins down again. Ambrose took his seat at ringside to watch this match. Rollins got his boot up on a corner charge and delivered a back-breaker. Ambrose read a plug for fans to visit the WWE merchandise stands in the concourse. That distracted Rollins and Uso managed a crucifix roll-up for two. Rollins confronted Ambrose, but Uso brought him back in the ring. Top-rope cross-body for two. Suicide dive by Uso on Rollins. At 2:41 of the match, Ambrose noted on the mic that five minutes had elapsed in the match. He told the fallen Rollins that it’s time to go to commercial break, which they did at 2:58.
Back at 5:50 with Uso in control and Lawler aghast at Ambrose’s actions. A high knee by Rollins sent Uso to ringside. Running knee from the apron by Rollins. Ambrose interrupted again and made an announcement about a 1997 Ford truck being parked in the fire lane, warning the driver that it’s about to be towed. Uso was able to take over again thanks to Ambrose. Reverses and counters signaled we were getting to the end of the match. Superkick by Jey, who then ascended the ropes. From the top, he missed a splash as Rollins got his knees up. Pedigree and cover by Rollins for three.
WINNER: Rollins, at 9:41. Classic Dean Ambrose hijinks here. Rollins picks up a singles win, and the loss shouldn’t hurt Jey at all.
The finishing sequence was replayed. Rollins demanded Ambrose announce him as the winner. Ambrose stood on the announce table and did so, using some creative license again to describe Rollins. Ambrose entered the ring and Rollins scampered away. Ambrose said he just went into the ring to raise the hand of Rollins, but instead, he raised the title over his head, which he said will happen at Battleground. He announced himself as the winner of that upcoming Triple Threat.
– Tonight, Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent will be revealed.
– In the main event, Sami Zayn faces Chris Jericho. I guess I was a week early on predicting that match for Smackdown when I thought it’d occur last week.
– Zack Ryder came out with a new remixed theme song. He faces Sheamus, next.
2 – ZACK RYDER vs. SHEAMUS
When Sheamus came out, they showed Ryder upsetting Sheamus at the end of the 16-man elimination tag match. An angry Sheamus is a dangerous Sheamus, as he showed early on in this one. Ryder fought back in desperation with forearms, but outside the ring, Sheamus slammed Ryder onto the apron. Sheamus set Ryder on the top rope, but Sheamus was pushed off by Ryder. Ryder hit the El-Bro drop off the top and got the win.
WINNER: Ryder, at 2:43. So, Sheamus, huh? Feel like there must be something going on here.
Tom Phillips greeted Ryder atop the stage. He asked Ryder about what might be next for him. Ryder said Advil, ice packs, and a back adjustment. He set his sights on regaining the United States Championship. He put down the current champion, Rusev, and he officially challenged Rusev for the U.S. Championship. Sheamus began walking up the stage and Ryder headed to the back. Sheamus got in Phillips’ face as he thought Phillips was laughing at him. Phillips backed away.
– Becky Lynch was walking backstage. She’s in action, next.
– A video package aired hyping Baron Corbin.
– An upset Rusev was walking backstage with Lana. Greg Hamilton approached him and asked about the Ryder challenge. “What’s wrong with that man?” asked Rusev, citing his destruction of Titus O’Neil on Monday as to why no one should be challenging him. He vowed to confront Ryder on Raw Monday night and wanted Ryder to challenge him face-to-face.
– Becky Lynch made her way to the ring for singles action. Before she could get to the ring, Natalya attacked her from behind. Nattie tossed Lynch into the barricade at ringside. She mounted Lynch and hammered away with rights. Finally, she applied the Sharpshooter to a chorus of boos, until referees came out to break the hold.
– The announcers talked about Lynch vs. Natalya at Battleground, then transitioned to The Wyatt Family vs. New Day feud. We saw clips relating to this from Monday night. Then, on WWE.com, Xavier Woods explained why he lashed out at his fellow New Day members on Raw.
– Next, we’ll hear from Enzo Amore & Big Cass about why they came to John Cena’s aid Monday night.
– Enzo and Big Cass came out. After Enzo’s usual start, we got a graphic advertising Enzo & Cass & John Cena vs. The Club in a six-man tag match at Battleground. Cass said Monday night was about sending a message. He said The Club needs to learn they can’t constantly attack Cena and get away with it. The Club interrupted. A.J. Styles patronizingly apologized for interrupting, citing the fact that Enzo and Cass interrupted them when beating up Cena on Monday. They intimated that Cena wasn’t around, and Karl Anderson suggested they beat up Enzo and Cass. Then, they could hit some golf balls, eat some dessert, and beat up Cena. Cass didn’t buy that Styles would shut his mouth. Styles said he wasn’t talking to Cass, but “the guy that looks like a bird.” Enzo did the “you talkin’ to me?” bit from Taxi Driver. Enzo told Styles to step through the ropes for one round with Sugar Ray Amore, and he’ll be walking out of the ring a diabetic. Cass spelled it out for The Club, as for the first time ever, we’ll get Styles vs. Amore, next.
3 – ENZO AMORE vs. A.J. STYLES
It wasn’t long before Amore jumped over the top rope and onto all three Club members at ringside, but the spill didn’t look like he hit his spot correctly. Back-breaker by Styles on Amore inside the ring. Amore fired back with a standing dropkick and both men struggled to get to their feet just 2:45 into a match that hadn’t exactly been worked at a brisk pace to this point. Backslide by Amore for a near-fall, followed by Amore showing off his boxing moves. Styles hit a snap suplex on Amore, folding him up into the turnbuckles. Styles tried a suplex off the top rope, but Amore countered. He jumped off the ropes and connected on a DDT. Cas pulled Anderson off the apron and booted both him and Luke Gallows. In the ring, Styles clash from A.J. for the win.
WINNER: Styles, at 6:03. Not as dynamic as Styles’ other Smackdown matches over the last few months, but if he’s saving himself by working a slower pace here, it’s a smart move for the long run.
Replays of the match were shown.
– Chris Jericho continued on his quest to find his blue scarf backstage. He came upon Kevin Owens, who had it wrapped around his neck. Owens said he found it earlier and was considering buying one for his wife and wanted to see how nice it was. Jericho took it back and complained about Owens getting his greasy popcorn fingers all over it. Jericho demanded money from Owenst to get it cleaned. Owens took a handful of change out of his pocket and dropped it in Jericho’s hand. Jericho demanded another quarter, but all Owens had was a Jolly Rancher. Owens noted he’d be at ringside for Jericho’s match with Zayn later on. That was a little odd.
– Coming up, Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent will be revealed.
– The Miz and Maryse came to the ring. Shown backstage were Dolph Ziggler, Kalisto, Titus O’Neil, and The Vaudevillains reliving Miz getting food all over him at the Independence Day party on Raw, watching the replay on a monitor. The Miz and Maryse entered the scene and Miz complained that Maryse was allergic to mayonnaise and it could’ve caused an international incident. Kalisto responded by saying if Miz wants a real international incident, he’ll face him later on in the show. Miz accepted by quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator.
4 – THE MIZ vs. KALISTO
Outside the ring, Maryse stepped between her husband and the ring to prevent a Kalisto dive. Miz then sent Kalisto back-first into the ring steps. They cut to break at 1:10 of the match.
Back at 4:33 with Kalisto fighting back against Miz. Miz, though, caught Kalisto with a back-breaker. Miz continued doing damage to the lower back of Kalisto. Tornado DDT by Kalisto evened things up. Kalisto went for a high-impact move, but Miz caught him and hit a sit-out powerbomb for two. There were a few, audible chants of “this is awesome” calling out from the silence. Short ‘rana by Kalisto for two. A few roll-ups by Kalisto, but they were unsuccessful. Miz side-stepped a dive and finished Kalisto with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
WINNER: Miz, at 7:40. Good to have Miz back so that the I.C. Title is in a more prominent spot. And a non-title win to boot!
– Renee Young was backstage with Sasha Banks. Banks took issue with Charlotte calling her “all hype” on Monday. Charlotte and Dana Brooke walked up and the two criticized each other’s looks. Brooke stepped up and issued a challenge against Banks for Monday. Banks didn’t want to wait until Monday. Charlotte said “the Taco Bell Chihuahua” doesn’t get to make the rules. Banks got the last word, saying she’d take the title from Charlotte and that she’ll see Brooke on Monday.
– We’ll find out who Brock Lesnar faces at Summerslam, next.
– Life Lessons with Coach Backlund aired. This was the same one from Monday night, where Coach Backlund gifted Darren Young his chicken-wing submission finisher.
– The announcers were shown on-camera as they threw it to Scott Stanford, Booker T., and Corey Graves at WWE Studios. Stanford announced Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at Summerslam in the most anticlimactic way possible. I thought we’d get a dramatic video package or something. Booker, Graves, and Stanford reacted to the big news.
– Sami Zayn came out for the main event. Kevin Owens came out next, as he mentioned he would be watching this one up close. Jericho vs. Zayn is next.
– R-Truth and Goldust performed in a backstage skit advertising for Sonic, with R-Truth Sonic Boom Box atop a ladder. Goldust helped him get it down, what with Truth’s fear of ladders.
5 – SAMI ZAYN vs. CHRIS JERICHO
As Jericho came out, they showed Zayn and Owens superkicking Jericho on the Highlight Reel two weeks ago on Raw. Zayn worked the arm and wrist of Jericho. Jericho did the same to Zayn. Springboard dropkick by Jericho to Zayn, sending Sami off the apron and to the floor. Zayn leapt on top of the barricade and moonsaulted onto Jericho. Owens was on commentary, and was doing a tremendous job as usual. Jericho laid in right hands to Zayn inside the ring as they cut to break at 2:53 of the match.
Back at 6:49 of the match, Jericho still in control. Zayn fought back with chops, but a back elbow put him on the mat. Owens said there’s not enough room in WWE for both him and Zayn. Jericho left the ring to take a break, but a break he did not receive as Zayn tracked him down and clotheslined him. Back in, cross-body off the top by Zayn on Jericho registered him a two-count. Tornado DDT by Zayn. Tope con hilo by Zayn. Owens tossed a drink at Zayn, upset that Zayn hit the table with excitement. Zayn directed Jericho into Owens, sending them both to the ground. Zayn capitalized in the ring with an exploder suplex into the corner. Owens got on the apron and Zayn hit him with the Helluva kick. Walls of Jericho attempt, but Zayn rolled Jericho up for the three-count.
WINNER: Zayn, at 12:35.
Replays of the match were shown. As Zayn celebrated, Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Zayn. After Jericho left, Owens picked the bones of Zayn by assaulting him in the ring. Pop-up powerbomb by Owens was the exclamation point to the beating, as he stood over the fallen Zayn to end 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.