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WWE Smackdown LIVE review
August 9, 2016
From Bakersfield, Calif.
Live on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Randy Orton was arriving at the arena backstage when Charly Caruso came up to him for an interview. She asked him about how focused he’ll be for his match tonight with Alberto Del Rio, what with Brock Lesnar on the horizon. Orton said Lesnar may be a legend but he’s a Legend Killer. He said it takes just one RKO to get to Viperville. Del Rio walked up and made fun of “Viperville.” Orton offered to give him a VIP experience. This is like bad soap opera dialogue. Del Rio told Orton that he’ll have to try it with a broken arm.
– Smackdown Open.
– Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan made their full entrance. Afterward, they showed Wyatt losing to Dolph Ziggler in the main event last week, as well as the post-match situation involving Rowan and Dean Ambrose. Wyatt said last week, he didn’t fall to Ziggler; instead, he was a victim. He said Ziggler rammed his face into the steel outside the ring and everything went black for him. Everything had been taken from him again. Wyatt called himself a god and said you can’t kill a god. Just ask Ambrose. He said his teeth can cut right through you, like knives, and that Smackdown is his show now. Wyatt said there is no red, no blue, but only Bray Wyatt “against the whole damn world.” That brought out Dean Ambrose for a rebuttal.
“He’s not smart enough to be afraid,” said JBL of Ambrose. Ambrose, from the aisle, made fun of Wyatt for proclaiming to be the victim. He called Wyatt “a big ol’ baby.” Ambrose said Smackdown belongs to the people and to the WWE World Champion. Wyatt laughed at that. He offered Ambrose a chance to approach, but Ambrose declined the offer of a trap. At first. But then, he decided he wanted to shove Wyatt’s fancy words down his throat. Before he could do battle with the two, Dolph Ziggler came out. He gave Ambrose a look then charged into the ring himself. The numbers game took over, which is when Ambrose tried to make the save. Ambrose low-bridged Rowan out, and as Wyatt was going to hit Sister Abigail, Ziggler readied for a superkick. Wyatt tossed Ambrose into the kick. Superkick to Rowan, but Sister Abigail to Ziggler. They replayed the mistaken superkick to Ambrose. They did a nice job with the Ambrose-Ziggler back-and-forth last week, getting pretty deep. Unfortunately, this week, the build-up goes back to the bland “miscommunication leads to babyface opponents not trusting each other.”
– Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio is tonight.
– Next, American Alpha in action.
– Ziggler was backstage holding his head, selling Sister Abigail. An enraged Ambrose came up and said he didn’t need Ziggler’s help and knew that the superkick wasn’t an accident. Ziggler said he needed to prove something to himself but Ambrose told him to do it on his own time. Ziggler wanted a fight right there. Before they could come to blows, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan interrupted and made the requisite tag match main event for tonight. Bryan used Ziggler’s own words from last week against him here, saying if you don’t like the match, screw you.
1 – AMERICAN ALPHA vs. MIKEY O’SHEA & MIKE VEGA
Before the match could begin, The Ascension came out. They were followed by The Vaudevillains. Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder, The Hype Bros were next. The announcers played it up as everyone wanting to see, up-close, if AA are worthy of the hype. Dragon-screw leg-whip to Vega by Jordan. They continued working the leg, with frequent tags. Double dropkicks on O’Shea after they almost dropped the big man on his head with a double hip-toss. Big overhead released belly-to-belly to Vega. Grand Amplitude for the win.
WINNERS: American Alpha, at 1:12. Felt like this match and segment should’ve run as their debut.
All the tag teams brawled after the match, with Alpha standing tall.
– Orton vs. Del Rio is still to come.
– But next, Eva Marie’s “Spectacular Debut.”
– Renee Young was at the desk with Miz and Maryse. Miz was making googly-eyes at his wife and they were about to jump each other from across the table, so Young hilariously segued by saying, “let’s take a look at Apollo Crews.” And we did, via video package. Upon return, Miz and Maryse were lying on their sides on the desk, staring into each other’s eyes. The two of them only wanted to talk about each other and not about Miz’s upcoming opponent in Crews. They smooched a bit as Young sent it to ringside.
– Becky Lynch made her entrance. Eva Marie was next to oppose her. JBL cranked up the hyperbole to 11 for Eva. Before they could fight, Eva had a wardrobe malfunction. The straps on her top broke and she tried to hold herself into her outfit. The ref got a towel from ringside to cover her as she rushed backstage. Therefore, no match. Caruso got into the ring and tried to talk to Lynch, but Becky interrupted and said every time she enters the ring, she’s ready to fight. If Eva wants to hide behind excuses, that’s fine. Lynch said she’s not leaving the ring for a second week in a row without a fight. So she challenged anyone from the back. “Come at me, bro.”
Alexa Bliss seemed to answer. She told Lynch to be careful what she wishes for. She said she’s ready to bring Bliss to Smackdown Live and, in fact, can’t think of a better way to debut than to knock off Smackdown’s number one female draft pick. Bliss, on her birthday, debuts next.
2 – BECKY LYNCH vs. ALEXA BLISS
The match was joined in progress out of break. Bliss stepped and stood on Lynch near the ropes. A flurry of questionable right hands by Bliss to a grounded Lynch. She cranked the neck next. Lynch fired back with clotheslines. Bex-ploder out of the corner. Eva Marie made her entrance again, with the voice-over man saying Eva was now ready to compete. She came out, but Bliss attacked Lynch from behind. Twisted Bliss off the top finished Lynch.
WINNER: Bliss, 2:34 shown. Really? Joining someone’s debut match in progress? Tacky.
Caruso talked to Eva after the match. Eva said it was too bad she couldn’t fight this week because her leg is all healed and she even hurried backstage to get her outfit fixed. But she said she’d be ready to go next week. Not a bad promo there.
– Ambrose and Ziggler face Wyatt and Rowan, tonight.
– Next, Orton vs. Del Rio.
3 – RANDY ORTON vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
After Orton came out, they showed the RKO and F5 delivered by the Orton and Lesnar respectively last week. Loud “RKO” chant as the match began. Shoulder tackle by Orton. European uppercuts by Orton, followed by a hard whip of Del Rio into the buckle. Catapult of Del Rio’s throat into the bottom rope. Del Rio was back up pretty much no-selling it after a two-count. Orton sent Del Rio outside, where they went to break at 3:06 of the match.
Back at 6:11 with Orton delivering a Garvin Stomp to Del Rio. Del Rio came back to send Orton shoulder-first into the ring post. He continued working that extremity, smashing it into the ring steps. Del Rio from the top with a right hand to the shoulder of Orton. Standing dropkick outta nowhere from Orton. Del Rio, sitting on the top rope and being worked over by Orton, surprised Randy with a cross arm-breaker over the top rope. Orton crotched Del Rio on the top rope. Del Rio was suplexed down. Orton sold aggravation of the shoulder injury on the landing. He shook it off to hit a powerslam. Both finishers were avoided. Draping DDT by Orton. Del Rio escaped the ring before the RKO. Orton followed, clotheslining Del Rio over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. He began to clear the announce table, but Del Rio whacked Orton in the injured arm with a chair.
WINNER: Orton, via disqualification, at 12:19. Certainly not the most exciting of matches, not a surprise given the participants involved.
Del Rio continued doing a number on Orton’s arm. That is, until Orton hit an RKO back in the ring. The whole idea of his fight with Lesnar is that no matter the punishment he may (will) take from Brock, the RKO can come so quickly it can neutralize Lesnar at any time. And they’ve done a fine job working that story. A replay of the RKO was shown.
– Rhyno was warming up backstage when he was approached by his upcoming opponent, Heath Slater. Slater reminded Rhyno what’s at stake. Rhyno said he already has his contract. Slater said he has two kids (and a new pool!) and needs this job. Rhyno talked about his recent political victory and said he can’t let his constituents down. Slater mentioned having four kids and Rhyno called him on the discrepancy. Rhyno quizzed him on his new pool and said he can’t help Slater out.
– They showed The Miz pulling up in his car from earlier today. He ran into Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine. Miz complained to Scooby about not being on the cover. I don’t know that Scooby has a say in who makes the DVD covers. Miz wanted all the DVDs recalled or he’ll hear from Miz’s lawyer. Scooby silently promised Miz Scooby Snacks if he went into the van. Miz did so and locked him in. So Scooby opted to drive Miz’s fancy car while Miz yelled and pounded on the glass inside the van.
4 – HEATH SLATER vs. RHYNO – IF SLATER WINS, HE GETS A SMACKDOWN LIVE CONTRACT
Rhyno blocked a hip-toss by Slater and hit a short-arm clothesline. Irish whip into the buckle by Slater, then a boot for a two-count. The announcers spent a lot of time making fun of Slater growing up/living in West Virginia. Slater got frustrated at not being able to put Rhyno away. Belly-to-belly by Rhyno. Gore missed. Slater rolled Rhyno up and tried to use the ropes for leverage, but the ref caught him. Slater argued and fell victim to a Gore for the end.
WINNER: Rhyno, at 3:05. Slater should show up at the next EVOLVE show looking for a job.
The finish was replayed. Slater looked crestfallen after the match.
– Backstage, Erick Rowan said an army of sheep will always defeat and army of wolves led by a sheep. Uh, okay. Bray Wyatt walked into the picture, saying he’s asking Rowan to give his life for the family. Wyatt said Rowan needs to do what he does best and destroy. Rowan put the sheep mask on and said, “run.”
– The announcers were shown at ringside. Mauro Ranallo sent it to a special look at “Ben-Hur.”
– McMahon and Bryan were talking backstage. McMahon appeared to have a contract for Slater in hand and he and Bryan were discussing bringing Slater aboard, saying his heart is what the Smackdown brand is all about. Slater rushed in and hollered about getting a raw deal, putting down Bryan and McMahon, and saying he’s too good for Smackdown. He stormed out before McMahon could offer him the contract.
– Carmella came out and said tonight, she’d slap Natalya so hard, Nattie will go blind. She talked about being the hottest chick in the ring and as she did, Nattie ran out and attacked her from behind. Carmella was able to fight her off and send her into the ring. Eventually, they separated long enough for the ref to call for the bell.
5 – CARMELLA vs. NATALYA
Nattie choked Carmella across the second rope a few times. Natalya worked hard to get the crowd into her heel act. Carmella tried to fight out of the corner, but Nattie stretched her arms and shoulders in mid-ring. After having a few words with the ref, Natalya was rolled up by Carmella for a near-fall. Nattie went back on offense and sat on Carmella as a cover attempt. Abdominal stretch followed. Discus clothesline from Nattie. Single-leg take-down by Carmella, who then locked in the Code of Silence submission move for the finish.
WINNER: Carmella, via submission, at 4:07. Carmella was certainly portrayed as the underdog and as this being an upset win. She didn’t have a chance to show much here.
– Next, a look at the upcoming A.J. Styles vs. John Cena Summerslam bout.
– Renee Young was back on set, recapping some of the goings-on from earlier in the evening. She previewed A.J. Styles vs. John Cena and sent it to a video package on the feud.
– Backstage, Baron Corbin was putting the boots to Kalisto in the locker room while security and refs yelled for him to stop (rather than actually trying to physically restrain him). Corbin yelled that it was for Kalisto costing him the Intercontinental Championship (via the Triple-Threat match last week).
– As Dolph Ziggler came to the ring for the main event, they refreshed our memories by showing what happened earlier in the show when Ziggler superkicked Dean Ambrose during the seg one melee. Ambrose made his entrance next. The tag match takes place after the break.
6 – DOLPH ZIGGLER & DEAN AMBROSE vs. BRAY WYATT & ERICK ROWAN
Wyatt attacked Ambrose at the bell. A mis-communication between the two resulted in the match looking like they were going in slow motion for a brief time. The two babyfaces ganged up on Wyatt in the corner. Wyatt survived that onslaught and began to work over the new legal man, Ziggler, until Dolph dropkicked him. Behind the ref’s back, Rowan gave a lariat to Ziggler. Ziggler rolled out of the ring to catch his breath as they went to break at 1:28 of the match.
Back at 5:14 of the match. Ziggler tried fighting back against Wyatt, but Bray slammed him. He missed with a senton, though. Both men were down and Ziggler made a tag at 5:45. Running bulldog by Ambrose, and a shot to Rowan for good measure. Pescado onto Rowan was next. He ran back into the ring, only to be clotheslined down by Wyatt. Rowan tagged in and splashed Ambrose. Rowan hung Ambrose across the top rope, clubbing him with forearms. A running boot knocked Ambrose out of the ring. Outside the ring, Wyatt, who had tagged in, gave Ambrose a uranage into the apron. Swinging neck-breaker by Ambrose downed Wyatt. Both men made tags at 8:40. Ziggler struggled to take Rowan off his feet. He finally did and hit an elbowdrop for two. DDT for two. Superkick was blocked and a spin kick put Ziggler on the mat for a near-fall. Zig Zag but the pin was broken up by Wyatt. Wyatt and Ambrose took each other out. Superkick by Ziggler to Rowan and that was all she wrote.
WINNERS: Ambrose and Ziggler, at 10:40.
The babyfaces seemed to be on the same page after the match until Ambrose kicked Ziggler in the gut and hit Dirty Deeds. The fans chanted “Yes” at Ambrose evening the score, in his mind, with Ziggler. They replayed the post-match attack. Ambrose headed to the back with his title over his shoulder as the show closed.
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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.