This week, SmackDown emanates from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. This is the “go-home” show before Wrestlemania XXXI, so don’t expect much.
MATCH 1-FATAL 4-WAY MATCH: JIMMY USO (W/NAOMI AND JEY USO) VS. BIG E (W/XAVIER WOODS) VS. FERNANDO (W/DIEGO AND EL TORITO) VS. WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION CESARO (W/TYSON KIDD AND NATALYA)
This is a preview of the fatal 4-way for the tag titles that will take place on the WM kickoff show. The four start off attacking each other in opposite corners until E and Jimmy are left standing. They duck shots from each other, and collide with Cesaro & Fernando in opposite corners. Looks like tag rules are not in effect here. Jimmy chops Cesaro as Fernando is hit with an overhead belly-to-belly from E. He does the same to Jimmy, then throws Cesaro into the other two, hitting the trio with a corner attack. He gorilla presses Cesaro into Jimmy, then hits Fernando with a belly-to-belly. He hits the Warrior Splash on Fernando for 2 as Cesaro breaks it up. E sends him to the floor, then turns around into a reverse dragon whip from Jimmy. Jimmy goes for a suicide dive, but Fernando intercepts him with a dropkick before hitting a suicide dive on E and Cesaro outside. Jimmy then takes his turn, wiping out all three. He rolls Cesaro in, then goes up top for the Samoan Splash. E stops him, and Cesaro knocks him to the floor with a European uppercut. Cesaro dropkicks E off the apron, then nails Fernando on the apron with punches before going for the lifting superplex. Jimmy climbs up to the middle rope as well, while E comes in from behind with a German suplex, taking all three down in a variation of the “Tower of Doom” spot. He covers Fernando, but only gets 2. Fernando comes back with a complete shot/DDT combo on Jimmy and E for 2 as Cesaro breaks it up. Cesaro boots Fernando, then runs into a pair of boots in the corner. He catches Fernando off a dive and hits the Cesaro Swing before catapulting Fernando into Jimmy. He then does the same thing to E before going for the Neutralizer. Fernando breaks it up with a Backstabber, and E looks for the Big Ending on Cesaro. He hits it, but only after Jimmy nails him in the face with a superkick, putting both men down in the process. Fernando tosses Jimmy to the apron, but Jimmy backdrops him to the floor. He heads up top and hits Cesaro with the Samoan Splash for 3.
WINNER: JIMMY USO.
In the main event, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry will take on Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, the Big Show and Kane in an 8-man tag team match.
What comes next, like ever year, is craploads of filler, emanating from Wrestlemania Axxess.
Back to the arena, AJ Lee is in the ring. The fans have known her for a long time. They’ve seen her as a diva, a GM, everyone’s girlfriend, and the longest-reigning Divas Champion in history. She loves that belt, and so does Paige. On RAW, the Bellas used that love to turn them on each other. It worked, but because of that, at Wrestlemania, she’s going to step up to the plastic mannequins, and she is going to beat them. The only question she has is whether she’s doing it alone. Paige, whether you want to join her at WM is entirely up to you.
Paige comes out and says she loves how Lee wants to skip past RAW, but she’s not fooling anyone. It’s been a year since the day after last WM when Paige beat Lee for the title, and she knows Lee doesn’t want Paige to have it back. Lee says it’s not about that. She wants the belt, and when she wants something, she gets it. But now is the time for WM, and as long as they are threatening each other, they are no threat to the Bellas. Paige agrees, but how does she know if this isn’t another one of Lee’s tricks? Lee says it’s because she hates losing. Paige is the same way. She’s weird, crazy and stubborn as hell, and she also hates losing. That is why they can’t let the Kardashians win at WM. Paige agrees, says to ditch the “frenemies” thing and become actual tag team partners.
The Bella Tw*ts come out, and my ears are already bleeding. Nikki calls them names and says Lee is a manipulator, but that won’t help them win. Brie says they have a bond that can’t be broken. She’ll always forgive her sister, because they’re sisters. Nikki says these two desperately want the title, and we all know if Lee gets it, she’ll never defend it. Brock Lesnar showed up for work more times last year. Nikki says she has been running the division since Lee has been on vacation. These two remind her of every other diva in the locker room, trying to be them. Brie says everyone wants to be a Bella, and I throw up in my mouth. Lee says that they’re right: everyone wants to be failed, D-list actors like these two. I’ve mentioned I love AJ Lee right? Okay, good. Nikki responds with the most brilliant retort ever: “Not a failed actress, no.” Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Paige says they don’t want to be the Bellas because they prefer to be freaks, geeks, widows, misfits and oddballs. Most of all, they prefer being the ones that can be themselves. Lee says they are what real women look like, and at WM, they are going to kick the Bellas asses. Nikki says she prefers no labels, but a real woman prefers to let her actions do the talking, so why don’t you garblegarblegarble? Brie pretends to hold her back, then makes some stupid comment about how being held back makes them real women and calls Paige/Lee bitches.
Holy lord, the Bellas are worthless. Every time I think they’ve gotten as worthless as they possibly could, they outdo themselves.
MATCH 2: JOHN CENA, MARK HENRY, DANIEL BRYAN AND ROMAN REIGNS VS. SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY), THE BIG SHOW, KANE AND BRAY WYATT
Reigns is getting Cena-levels of boos. Reigns starts with Rollins, with Rollins ducking a lock-up attempt. He then applies a side headlock before Reigns breaks free and hits a shoulderblock. Rollins throws Reigns to the corner and stomps him down, only to have Reigns hit him with a running clothesline. He follows up with a series of short corner clotheslines, misses a short-arm, then hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Rollins counters an arm wringer with a jawbreaker, then tags in Wyatt, who knocks Reigns down with an uppercut. Reigns comes back with a back elbow, then throws Wyatt to the corner for some kicks. Wyatt gets whipped across the ring, where he backdrops Reigns to the apron. Reigns lands on his feet and hits a hotshot before nailing Wyatt with the apron dropkick. Wyatt tags out to Kane, who shoulders Reigns off the ropes. He nails an uppercut, misses a clothesline and gets hit with one by Reigns. Reigns hits a couple uppercuts, hits a boot out of the corner, then lands a flying clothesline from the middle for 2. Kane tags out to Show, and now Henry is begging for a tag. Reigns obliges. The two big men trade punches before Show hits a shoulder off the ropes, then nails a big body blow before throwing Henry to the corner for a hip attack. Wyatt back in, and he drops a couple elbows before peppering Henry with rights. Rollins in, and he stomps Henry down. He screams in Henry’s face, leading Henry to shove him away. Kane tags in before Henry can tag out and stomps Henry some more. In the corner, Kane hits a straight right, then tags out to Show. Show hits a big chop, but Henry starts fighting back with punches. Off the ropes, Show connects with a big side kick, then walks over Henry before draping him on the bottom rope. Show stands on Henry’s back as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Cena and Wyatt are now legal, with Cena hitting a Proto-Plex. He connects with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, then looks for the AA. Kane tries to interfere, but gets knocked to the floor. Cena turns his attention back to Wyatt, who runs through Cena with a flying back elbow. Show tags in, and he drops Cena with a bodyslam. Kane in, and he hits an uppercut before stomping Cena down. On a side note, watching the new Road is Jericho DVD (review coming soon) and watching him work with Kane back in 2000 or so, you realize what a lazy slob Kane has turned into in the years since. Back to the match, Kane locks in a front chancery, and Cena is trying to power his way to his corner for a tag. Kane muscles him across the ring back to his own corner, where Rollins tags in. Rollins stomps Cena down, then distracts the ref as Wyatt nails a cheap shot. Cena fights back as Rollins talks trash, and now the two are trading punches. Cena ducks a clothesline and goes for the AA. Rollins lands on his feet, kicks Cena and hits him with an Asai DDT for 2. In the corner again, Wyatt tags in and beats Cena down. He hits the running senton for 2, then goes for it again. Cena moves on the second attempt, and is now crawling for the tag. Rollins tags in and cuts Cena off with a sleeper. Cena fights back to his feet, so Rollins jumps on his back with a bodyscissors. Cena rams him back-first into the buckles to break it up, then collapses. He looks for a tag, but Rollins stops him with a botched blockbuster for 2. Rollins tags out to Show, who then boots Henry off the apron. Show goes to the middle rope for a Vader Bomb, but Cena dodges it by rolling to the apron. Cena rolls himself back in and begins to crawl, only to have Rollins tag in and cut him off yet again. He charges at Cena, but gets backdropped to the floor. Cena dives for the tag and gets Bryan, who ducks a Rollins clothesline and knocks the rest of the heels of the apron. Rollins sends him into the corner, Bryan backflips off, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He connects with a corner dropkick, then sets Rollins up for a super hurricanrana. Bryan fires up the Yes! Kicks and goes for the Buzzsaw, but stops when J&J jump on the apron. Bryan dispatches of them quickly, only to turn around into a Ghetto Blaster by Rollins. Show looks for a tag as Reigns does the same. Show tags in first and knocks Reigns off the apron as Henry gets back up. He goes for the chokeslam on Bryan, only to have Reigns enter the ring and nail him with a Superman Punch. Wyatt comes in and goes for Sister Abigail, but Reigns shoves him off and hits the spear. Kane comes for a chokeslam, so Reigns escapes and hits another spear. He connects with a corner clothesline on Show, and Henry comes in to hit Show with an avalanche. Cena in with the AA, and Bryan caps it off with the running knee for 3.
WINNERS: DANIEL BRYAN, JOHN CENA, MARK HENRY AND ROMAN REIGNS
This week, the show emanates from Kanas City, MO. To kick things off, here comes Roman Reign through the crowd, sporting a new shirt that says “I Can. I Will.” He says Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman think they can intimidate him.
Mark Henry interrupts and says he came out last week and he wanted to find out just what Reigns had in the ring, and Reigns showed him something. Henry climbs in the ring and shows what happened last week, for those that weren’t watching. We cut to last week, where Reigns knocked Henry to the floor and speared him through the barricade. Back to the arena, Henry says he doesn’t normally say things like this, but he got what he deserved. He then tells Reigns that, at Wrestlemania, he not only expects Reigns to beat Lesnar, but he’s putting all of his money on it, because Reigns can and will. The two shake hands, and that’s when Seth Rollins’ music hits.
Rollins comes out, flanked by J&J Security, as well as Kane. Kane mocks Henry and calls him the world’s biggest self-help guru. He can’t believe for a second that Reigns will beat Lesnar at WM. Rollins says, then again, anything can happen, before staring at his MITB case. The real reason they are out here is because everyone’s been buzzing since he accepted Randy Orton’s challenge at WM. Unfortunately for the fans, Orton isn’t here tonight, and he won’t be here. The best security team in the world, J&J, have secured the entire building and blocked the entrances. Orton will not step foot in here tonight. This isn’t for Rollins’ protection; this is for Orton’s own good, because when he finally gets face-to-face with Orton, he’s saving all of the humiliation for WM. Thankfully, for Reigns and Henry, he’s in the mood for a WM tune-up. Kane interjects and announces he and Rollins will take on Henry and Reigns. Believe in the Authority.
Tonight, all of the title contenders in the IC title ladder match at WM will face each other in a gauntlet match.
Tatsumi Fujinami is the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.
MATCH 1: PAIGE VS. BRIE BELLA (W/NIKKI BELLA)
AJ Lee is on commentary, which is A-OK with me. Nikki Bella is also going to be on commentary, which now means I have to mute my computer, godd*mmit. The match starts, and Paige immediately tackles Brie to the floor and lays into her with punches. Paige slams her back-first onto the announce desk and hits a few more punches before Brie fights back and rolls her back into the ring. Back inside, Brie hits a middle rope missile dropkick for 2. She applies a rear chinlock, then whips Paige down by the hair. In the corner, Paige goes face-first into the top buckle a couple times, then gets hit with a running bulldog for 2. Brie then goes back to the chinlock because why the f*ck not? Paige tries to elbow out, so Brie clubs her with a forearm. Paige comes back with a kick off the ropes, and the two collide with simultaneous clotheslines. Paige is up first and goes for the big kick, but Brie blocks it and snaps Paige onto her face. She hits a weak running knee against the ropes and goes for a lackadaisical cover for 2, which Paige counters into a crucifix for the surprise 3.
We’re outside the arena, with J&J checking in with their security staff. Jamie Noble tells them they need to tell him right away if Orton shows up.
MATCH 2-GAUNTLET MATCH; PARTICIPANTS: DEAN AMBROSE, STARDUST, R-TRUTH, LUKE HARPER, DANIEL BRYAN AND DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ambrose and Stardust are the first two competitors. Stardust gets an inset promo during his entrance. He says the competitors don’t matter, something about the “ivory enterprise”, blah, blah. Basically, he wants the IC title. Ambrose applies a hammerlock, but then eats a back elbow before hitting a forearm off the ropes. Ambrose snaps off some jabs, then ties Stardust up for some chops. Stardust bails to the floor off an Irish whip, leading to a chase back into the ring. Stardust hits Ambrose with a kick, ducks a rebound clothesline and hits the Disaster Kick for 2. Another pin attempt gets 2 before Stardust hits a boot off the ropes. He stomps Ambrose down against the ropes, then hits a standing gourdbuster. We see Bad News Barrett watching on a monitor in the back. In the ring, Stardust goes for a sunset flip, but Ambrose drops down and pins Stardust for 3.
Stardust is eliminated.
Stardust attacks Ambrose from behind and rams him shoulder-first into the ring post twice as entrant #3, R-Truth, comes out. He pelts Stardust with rights, ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping heel kick. The ref checks on Ambrose to make sure he’s okay, Ambrose nods, and this match continues. Stardust jumps on the apron, and Truth quickly knocks him down. He turns around, only to have Ambrose drop him with Dirty Deeds for 3.
R-Truth is eliminated.
Entrant #4 is Luke Harper. He also gets the inset promo treatment, and says you never know true freedom until you’ve lost everything. He knows, because they took it from him. Now he will use you to set them all free. At WM, he will piece himself back together.
Back from the break, Ambrose pelts Harper with rights before dropping him with a cross-body. More rights from Ambrose, but Harper recovers and snaps Ambrose down with an arm wringer. He hits an armbar takedown, then applies a modified top wristlock. We see BNB looking on once more. Ambrose gets back to his feet and tries to fight out, but Harper cuts him off with a kneelift. He hits a snake eyes into the middle buckle, then applies a modified crossface. Ambrose shimmies his way to the bottom rope, leading to a break. He pulls himself up on the apron, where he low-bridges an incoming Harper. Ambrose comes off the apron with a flying elbow. Back up, Ambrose rolls Harper in the ring and goes for a tornado DDT. Harper tosses him and goes for the discus clothesline. Ambrose ducks and rolls Harper up for 2. Harper recovers and surprises Ambrose with a seated scrapbuster for 2. Harper goes back to the crossface hold from before, torquing Ambrose’s bad shoulder in the process. Ambrose breaks the hold by biting Harper in the hand. He then snaps off some jabs and chops, hits a kitchen sink against the ropes, then follows up with a seated dropkick. A la magistral gets 2, and now Ambrose heads up top. He dives over an incoming Harper, rolls through and gets blasted with a superkick before hitting a rebound clothesline. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, but Harper shoves him off and hits the discus clothesline. He then folds Ambrose up with a sit-out powerbomb for 3.
Dean Ambrose is eliminated.
Entrant #5 is Daniel Bryan. Commercials.
Back from the break, J&J are talking to security staff, stationed by doors. Noble tells one of them that no one can come through the doors without credentials. Someone comes in on a phone, but he has photo ID, so they let him go through. Noble says to keep an eye out for suspicious people and they should radio him immediately if they see anyone.
Back to the ring, Harper/Bryan is already underway, with Bryan targeting the legs of Harper, wrapping the left one around the ring post from the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan kicks at Harper’s left leg repeatedly, finally taking him down. Bryan goes for a surfboard stretch as BNB is still looking on. Back in the ring, Bryan gets the surfboard on, then turns it into a rear chinlock. Harper elbows out of the hold, but can’t stand up. Bryan fires up the Yes! Kicks, but goes for one too many as Harper blocks him, picks him up and dumps him to the floor. Harper then collapses before he’s finally able to stand up. Bryan rolls back in, where Harper meets him with a pair of elbow drops for 2. He hits a bodyslam, but is still limping a bit. He locks in the Gator Roll, then goes into a side headlock. Bryan gets to his feet and breaks the hold with a legbreaker. Harper manages to immediately hit a European uppercut, however, then lands another big bodyslam. A third slam connects, and he goes for another uppercut. Bryan ducks and gets Harper in a backslide for 2. Harper pops up and hits his big boot for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Harper hits a couple of knees and goes for another slam. Bryan escapes and hits a few kicks before getting sent over the ropes. Bryan holds on, skins the cat and pulls Harper to the floor with a headscissors. He sends Harper into the barricade with a suicide dive, then hits a few more kicks against the barricade. Back in the ring, Bryan fires up the Yes! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw. Harper then drops him on his head with a dragon suplex for 2. Bryan blocks a discus clothesline, but Harper spins once more and connects on the second try for 2. Harper goes for the sit-out powerbomb, but Bryan counters into a sunset flip before turning it into a heel hook for the submission win.
Luke Harper is eliminated.
The sixth and final entrant is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler gets an inset promo, and says the IC title ladder match at WM has all types. Whether you’re a dirty lunatic, a rapper that refuses to get high, a guy going to a costume party on Mars, a homeless zombie, a Brit with no stones or just a turd, they’re not as good as him. He’s bringing the title back where it belongs, and it’s just too bad he’s too good. Commercials.
We’re back, and the two start with a lock-up. Bryan turns it into a hip throw, which Ziggler counters with a headscissors before Bryan escapes back to his feet. They lock up again, and repeat the sequence, but with the roles reversed. BNB watches on. Bryan applies an arm wringer and backs Ziggler to the corner before hitting him with a spinning back kick. Bryan hits some more Yes! Kicks, then picks Ziggler up for a European uppercut. Ziggler comes back with a flurry of rights, only to have Bryan trip him up. Ziggler blocks the attempt at a submission hold and stacks Bryan up for 2. The two go for a test of strength, but Ziggler boots Bryan, backs him into the corner, and hits a Rude Awakening. Nice touch there. He misses a corner splash, which allows Bryan to hit a running corner dropkick. He connects with a super hurricanrana, but Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip for 2. The two trade shots, which Ziggler eventually getting the best of the exchange. He headbutts Bryan in the corner and goes for a whip. Bryan backflips out, ducks a clothesline, and the two collide off simultaneous cross-body attempts. Commercials.
Back from the break, Bryan is working over Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler escapes a back suplex, hits a couple kicks and lands a big dropkick. He goes for the rocker dropper, but Bryan counters it with a powerbomb into a jackknife for 2. Bryan goes up top, but Ziggler crotches him and looks for a superplex. Bryan slides under his legs and crotches Ziggler. Bryan then goes up for a back superplex, which Ziggler counters with a mid-air cross-body for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, and Bryan grabs the ropes to block. Ziggler rolls away, only to get nailed with a Buzzsaw for 2. Bryan signals for the running knee. Ziggler sees it coming and drops Bryan with a superkick for 2. Ziggler picks Bryan up in a front chancery, but Bryan counters it into a quick Yes! Lock. Ziggler breaks free and jackknifes for 2. Bryan powers up to a vertical base, and now the two fight over a backslide attempt. Bryan drops to one knee and manages to pull Ziggler down for 2. He misses the Buzzsaw, and Ziggler hits a surprise Zig-Zag for 3.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Damn, that was a hell of a match. It was pretty average at first, but once R-Truth was out, it really picked up and didn’t stop. I could watch Ziggler/Bryan all day.
After Ziggler celebrates, he has a stare-down with Bryan, only to shake his hand a moment later. BNB comes out and congratulates them for stealing the show, just like they’ve been trying to steal the IC title over the last few weeks. He’s got some bad news for both of them: stealing the show is a code. It’s a code for being…well, we never find out, because BNB immediately drops Ziggler with a microphone shot. Bryan starts nailing BNB with kicks and goes for a running corner dropkick, but BNB is back up, and he nails Bryan with the mic as well. He loads up the Bull Hammer and blasts Ziggler with it, then gives one to Bryan as well.
Bray Wyatt promo, hyping the match with the Undertaker at WM. Sorry, but as soon as this match was made official, I completely lost interest.
We get predictions from the divas on who will win the divas tag team match at WM. Who the hell cares? It features the Bellas, so it will absolutely suck. Listening to Cameron and Summer Rae talk…I’d rather hump a splintered piece of balsa wood.
Another Sheamus hype video.
J&J are with more security guards, by the shutters. Same stuff as the last two times.
MATCH 3-jINTER-SPECIES TAG TEAM MATCH: WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CESARO & TYSON KIDD, AND NATALYA VS. EL TORITO AND LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO)
Cesaro and a Matador start, with Cesaro hitting a shoulder and dropping an elbow for 2. The two crisscross until the Matador hits a hurricanrana. Nattie tags herself in, which automatically brings Torito in. Kidd tags himself in before anything can happen. Torito kicks Kidd in the leg, then tags in a Matador, who suckers Kidd into a trip into the second rope. The Matador drops himself across Kidd’s back as he slides through the ropes and to the floor, tagging in the other Matador in the process. The legal Matador hits a tope con hilo for 2. Kidd recovers and sends him throat-first into the middle rope for a knee-choke. Behind the ref’s back, Cesaro hits a boot on the apron. Cesaro tags in, and he stomps the Matador down before hitting a European uppercut. The Matador gets tossed to the floor. Kidd tags in and goes for an attack from the apron, but gets tripped. The other Matador tags in and hits a springboard chop. He knocks Cesaro off the apron and hits a spinning headbutt. Torito tags in, and the two hit a springboard version of the Sidewinder (the Smoking Gunns’ old finisher) for 2. A Matador tags in and hits a somersault plancha from the top for 2 as Cesaro breaks it up. The other Matador hits Cesaro with an enziguri, then pulls his partner over for a tag to Torito. Torito sends Kidd head-first into Cesaro off a springboard hurricanrana. Nattie tags herself in as Los Matadores send the champs to the floor with a pair of dropkicks. They follow up with stereo suicide dives. Torito looks for one, but gets grabbed by Nattie. He counters into an armdrag, then comes off the top for a hurricanrana. Nattie catches him and hits a sit-out powerbomb for 3.
WINNERS: CESARO, TYSON KIDD AND NATALYA.
Nattie sure looks good in a leather catsuit. Just saying.
Roman Reigns comes out for the main event, and Mark Henry’s music hits next. However, after a minute or two, Henry isn’t coming out. THe cameras cut to the back, and Henry’s been laid out near the locker rooms. Seth Rollins and Kane come out, flanked by J&J Security. Rollins waves his arm, and about half a dozen security guards join them. The guards line up at the bottom of the entrance ramp, and it looks like this is going to become a handicap match.
MATCH 4-2-ON-1 HANDICAP MATCH: ROMAN REIGNS VS. KANE AND SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY)
Kane starts off for his team, eating a series of rights by Reigns. Rollins distracts the referee, which allows J&J to trip Reigns near the ropes. Off the distraction, Kane hits a big boot before tagging in Rollins. Rollins clubs Reigns down, then hits a neckbreaker for 1. Rollins chokes Reigns over the middle rope, then tags in Kane. Kane sends Rollins into the corner for a forearm, and Rollins then sends Reigns into Kane for a sidewalk slam, which gets 2. Kane rams Reigns face-first into the top buckle, then sends him across the ring. Reigns blocks a splash, hits a few rights, then gets caught with a DDT off the ropes for 2. Rollins tags in, pulls Reigns to the apron from the floor and nails him with rights, followed by a running boot. Back in the ring, Rollins clubs Reigns down. Reigns comes back with rights until he gets hit with a complete shot into the middle buckle. Kane tags in and hits a quick pair of elbows. Rollins back in now, and Kane sends him in for a corner splash. Reigns sees it coming and backdrops Rollins to the apron before hitting Kane with a leaping clothesline. Rollins misses a springboard knee, lands in the corner, and gets hit with several clotheslines from Reigns. Reigns misses a short-arm, ducks a kick, misses a leaping clothesline and hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. He loads up the Superman Punch and nails an incoming Joey Mercury with it. He goes for it again on Rollins, but Rollins blocks it and goes for a spinning neckbreaker. Reigns blocks that, the two spin through several more times, and Reigns ends the series with a shot to the back of the head. Jamie Noble gets knocked off the apron as Rollins rolls to the apron himself. Reigns goes after him, and Rollins hits him with a hotshot. Rollins goes up top as Kane tags himself in. Reigns nails Rollins with a punch in mid-air, but Kane then comes in and grabs Reigns for a chokeslam. Reigns escapes, ducks a clothesline and connects with the spear for 3.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
After the match, Reigns shoves the security guards on the ramp out of the way. Rollins starts throwing a fit in the ring as Randy Orton’s music hits. He turns around, and Orton hits the ring through the crowd. He tackles Rollins, then proceeds to take out the security guards. He catches and incoming Rollins with a powerslam, then coils up for the RKO. Noble tries to interfere, but gets hit with an RKO. Rollins escapes an RKO attempt, but Orton grabs him by the foot before he can leave the ring. Mercury tries to attack Orton from the buckles, but gets hit with a mid-air RKO as Rollins escapes up the ramp.
So, I’ve reviewed several of these over the last couple of years, and let’s be honest: these sets are more or less a quick cash grab. They are a collection of Raw and Smackdown matches that range anywhere from terrible to good, and that’s pretty much it. There are a few talking head segments interspliced into the DVD between matches and segments from people involved in them, but beyond that, there’s little else here.
Now, that’s not to say that the DVD set can’t be enjoyed. Some of the segments are decent, some matches feature alternate commentary from the competitors, and there are a handful of matches and segments on here that are very enjoyable. Stuff like a 6-man Elimination Chamber qualifier, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, the Usos winning the tag team titles from the New-Age Outlaws, a Shield handicap match and a triple threat for the IC title between Dolph Ziggler, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (a dark horse candidate for WWE match of the year 2014, in my opinion), are all here, as well as several others. As for good in-ring segments, you’ve got the “Occupy RAW” piece, The army of Wyatt Family children surrounding the ring and the “last stand” between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho.
The rest of the DVD? While there are some other good matches on here, there’s a TON of what basically feels like filler, including Dean Ambrose losing the US title in a battle royal, a Bo Dallas/Sin Cara match that no one probably even remembers, the mud pool “match” between Vickie Guerrero and Stephanie McMahon, Batista attempting (and failing) to bash the WWE Universe, and others.
Fortunately, the good matches outweigh the bad stuff overall, but it’s still somewhat of a mixed bag. Chances are, you’ve seen most everything on this DVD if you already watch RAW and Smackdown every week. There might be one or two things new to you overall, but nothing that you will likely need to go out of your way to see.
The set overall is not a “must-buy” by any means, but if you can find it at a good price or get it as a gift, there’s definitely some enjoyment to be found (seriously, watch the IC triple threat). If you’re a collector and/or always get these installments, you likely have your mind made up and already know what you’re in for. Like I said, it’s not bad by any means; it’s just nothing spectacular and, as I said before, just feels like the quick cash-grab it’s obviously intended to be.
An Epic Year
Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan
RAW * January 27, 2014
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
RAW * February 3, 2014
#1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry
SmackDown * February 14, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Zeb Colter)
John Cena vs. Cesaro
RAW * February 17, 2014
The Next Guy
The Deadman vs. The Beast
Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker’s WrestleMania XXX Contract Signing
RAW * February 24, 2014
Batista Goes “Hollywood”
Batista Bashes the WWE Universe
SmackDown * February 28, 2014
Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler
SmackDown * February 28, 2014
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos
RAW * March 3, 2014
The Usos’ Moment
Undertaker Chokeslams Brock Lesnar – WWE RAW Contract Signing
The Yes Movement vs. The Authority
Daniel Bryan “Occupies” RAW
RAW * March 10, 2014
John Cena vs. Luke Harper
RAW * March 24, 2014
Sending a Message
WWE Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee vs. Paige
RAW * April 7, 2014
Turning the Paige
The Band is Back Together
The Shield vs. Rusev, Alberto Del Rio, Bad News Barrett, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Titus O’Neil, 3MB, and RybAxel
RAW * April 14, 2014
The Wyatt Family & Children Surround the Ring
RAW * April 28, 2014
Following the Buzzards
Cracking The Shield
20-Man Battle Royal for the United States Championship
RAW * May 5, 2014
John Cena & The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
SmackDown * May 9, 2014
Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara
SmackDown * May 23, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Bo Dallas)
Seth Rollins Turns on The Shield
RAW * June 2, 2014
Daniel Bryan Occupies WWE RAW – Yes Movement
Why Seth, Why?
Seth Rollins Explains His Side
SmackDown * June 6, 2014
There’s Always a Plan B
Gold & Stardust vs. RybAxel
RAW * June 16, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Stardust)
Vickie’s Last Laugh
Mud Pool Match with Vickie Guerrero’s Career on the Line
Vickie Guerrero vs. Stephanie McMahon
RAW * June 23, 2014
Brie Bella & Stephanie McMahon’s SummerSlam Contract Signing
RAW * August 4, 2014
Stephanie Will Pay
The Authority Introduces Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion
RAW * August 18, 2014
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * August 18, 2014
Jericho and Wyatt’s Last Stand
Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
RAW * September 8, 2014
The Rock Interrupts Rusev and Lana
RAW * October 6, 2014
15-Man Tag Team Match
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny
SmackDown * October 10, 2014
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * November 3, 2014
Triple Threat Elimination Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
SmackDown * November 14, 2014
John Cena, Ryback, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins, Kane & Luke Harper
RAW * December 1, 2014
WWE Thursday Night SmackDown opens with Daniel Bryan. He says that, ever since Fastlane, week after week, he has tried his hardest to ignore the giant Wrestlemania sign. But he can’t ignore it anymore. He has to accept that he can’t repeat his WM last year, when the Yes! Movement took him all the way to the WM main event. That door has closed, but when one closes, another opens. A couple of weeks ago, he was in the ring, surrounded by the WWE superstars, fighting for the IC title. And that got him thinking about the guy who were his heroes, when he watched WM. Guys like Mr. Perfect, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, HBK and Randy Savage. They were all IC champs at WM, and when they were, they were more exciting than anything going on in the World title division. And, he also realized one more thing: since he has been in WWE, the only title he hasn’t won is the IC title. So…even though he can’t repeat last year, he can create a new moment this year. He made a request, and he’s out here to announce he’s officially in the IC title ladder match at WMXXXI.
Bad News Barrett (still sans belt) comes and says he has some bad news. Despite what everyone seems to think, he’s still the champion. After WM, he will remain the champion. So, you could say that will make BNB Bryan’s new hero.
Dolph Ziggler comes out next. He says BNB may never be Bryan’s hero, but he is Ziggler’s hero. Ziggler has never met someone so delusional and desperate to be relevant in his life. BNB is the champion, but where is the title? He can’t hang onto the belt. How’s he going to retain it against six hungry stars throwing him off ladders at WM?
Luke Harper joins the party now. He says he wants his WM moment and points to the sign. He and Bryan go nose-to-nose for a moment, until…
Dean Ambrose marches down to the ring and says if these guys think they can get in the ring and throw fists without inviting him, they need to be locked up for observation. If no one can wait until WM, he’s fine mixing it up in a fight, and he’ll do it with anyone in the ring.
Stardust charges down to the ring, looking all over for something. He asks where his white stallion of the Milky Way? Where is the ivory enterprise?
R-Truth comes out, and he’s carrying what is likely the title belt in a burlap sack. He opens the sack, and that’s exactly what’s in it. He starts talking to the belt. He knows BNB is the champion, but he’s going to hold onto the belt for safe-keeping, at least until WM. Even though he’s scared of heights, he’s climbing the ladder. BNB says he won’t make it to the second rung before pulling Truth back down. Truth pulls a page out of the Frank Rizzo playbook and calls BNB “sizzlechest”. He says possession is 9/10 of the law, so that makes him the big boss man. #ComeGetIt (his words). BNB says that’s his and starts to leave the ring, but a brawl breaks out before that can happen. Bryan tosses BNB before Ziggler does the same to Stardust. Harper gets backdropped by Ambrose, and now he, Ziggler and Bryan are the last three left in the ring.
We’ll have an exclusive interview with Randy Orton later tonight.
MATCH 1: KOFI KINGSTON, XAVIER WOODS AND THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) (W/BIG E AND NAOMI) VS. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO), AND WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CESARO & TYSON KIDD (W/EL TORITO AND NATALYA)
We get an inset promo from Los Matadores, who say that, after losing to the tag champs last week, they made the decision to do whatever it takes to win the belts and claim their WM moment.
Kofi starts off with one of the Matadors. Kofi gets thrown to the corner and stomped down. Kofi avoids a corner whip and hits a dropkick out of the corner for 1. Woods tags in and comes off the middle with a forearm for 2. The two crisscross until Woods hits another forearm for 2. The Matador comes back and tags in the other Matador, who hits a dropkick. Woods comes back with punches and a kick. One of the Usos makes the blind tag and hits a few chops, followed by a back-body drop out of the corner. This is Jimmy. Jimmy hits a European uppercut out of the corner, but then gets distracted by apparently Diego on the apron as he goes for the corkscrew moonsault. That makes Fernando the man in the ring, and he proceeds to crotch Jimmy on the top buckle. Fernando knocks him to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Jimmy is fighting out of a Fernando headlock. Fernando sends him face-first into the middle rope and lands across Jimmy’s back while simultaneously tagging out. Diego comes in and hits a slingshot elbow for 2 beofre going into a rear chinlock. Jimmy escapes, misses a reverse Dragon Whip, keeps spinning and connects on the second try. Jey tags in, as does Kidd. Jey nails Kidd with several strikes, ducks a clothesline and hits a Samoan drop. He hits the running hip attack in the corner before Kofi tags himself in. Kofi hits a springboard cross-body for 2, only to have Cesaro break it up. Woods comes in to fight off Cesaro, leading one of the Matadors to come in. A miscommunication leads to the Matador clotheslining Cesaro to the floor. Woods then sends him flying. Before Woods goes for a dive. One of the Usos comes in and hits one of his own. Woods tops him by hitting a somersault plancha, only to wipe out one of the Usos on accident. In the ring, Kidd hits a slingshot roll-up for 2, only to have Kofi reverse it for 2. Kofi goes for another one, but Cesaro blasts him with a European uppercut from the floor. One of the Usos takes Cesaro out with a superkick. In the ring, Kidd goes for Just Kidding, only to have one of the Matadors tag in. Kofi goes for TIP on Kidd, Kidd ducks, and the Matador gets blasted. On the other side of the ring, one of the Usos prevents Cesaro from interfering. As the referee is distracted, Los Matadores switch places, and Kofi gets hit with a Backstabber for 3, with a handful of tights.
WINNERS: CESARO, TYSON KIDD AND LOS MATADORES.
Connor “The Crusher” Michalek is the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, and the first recipient of the Warrior Award. Honestly, this is my favorite thing that WWE has done since, well, probably ever. Connor was an amazingly special kid, and it’s obvious he meant everything to everyone in WWE.
Ryback comes out for his match with the Miz, and now Renee Young is standing by with the Miz and Damien Mizdow. She calls Ryback one of the favorites in the Andre battle royal. Miz laughs and says he’s one of the most decorated superstars in WWE. Mizdow starts mocking Miz. Miz says he hasn’t gotten the Andre trophy yet, but when he puts his mind to something, he wins, which makes him the odds-on favorite. He calls Ryback brainless, and Mizdow responds that Ryback is a 295-lb. machine (I call BS, but whatever). Miz cuts him off and says he can beat Ryback, AND do it by himself. He doesn’t need Mizdow. What he needs Mizdow to do is press his pants and get him a macchiado or some such bullsh*t.
MATCH 2: RYBACK VS. THE MIZ
Miz has the worst entrance and pre-match ceremony ever. The two lock up, and Miz applies a side headlock. Ryback powers him up to the top rope and leaves him there before taunting him. Miz charges, so Ryback snaps him down on his face. Miz hits a couple back elbows, then runs into one from Ryback. Ryback hits a delayed vertical suplex as we see Mizdow watching on a monitor. Miz rolls to the apron and hits a hotshot. Back in the ring, Miz hits a few shots. Ryback comes back with his own, but then runs shoulder-first into the ring post. Miz chokes him on the middle rope, then drops a leg across his back for 2. Ryback blocks a snapmare, but then takes a few kicks and a boot to the head. Ryback blocks a second attempt and drops Miz with a spinebuster. Ryback blasts Miz with the Meat Hook, hits Shell Shocked and gets 3.
We see Mizdow laughing at what he just witnessed.
Roman Reigns heads down to the ring. We cut to what Paul Heyman said about Brock Lesnar on RAW. Back to Reigns, he says Heyman claims he knows Reigns and his family. The reality is Heyman just disrespected them all. He says the Anoa’i clan is just three generations removed from cannibals. Who says that? Heyman takes every opportunity he can to tell Reigns he can’t. If there are two things Reigns won’t accept, they are people disrespecting his family, and telling him he can’t. He can, and at WM, he’s going to represent his Samoan blood and win the WWE title, and you can believe…
Mark Henry marches down to the ring. Apparently, he still works here. Henry says he was listening to Reigns, and he just had to come out here. Either Reigns is a comedian, or one too many coconuts fell on his head. Henry doesn’t like anyone talking about his heritage either, but Reigns needs to understand Heyman has gotten under Reigns’ skin. He talked about Reigns’ heritage, then told him he can’t. Reigns says he can, and Henry disagrees. He’s the strongest man in the world. He knows who he is, which is more than he can say for Reigns. He’s been in the ring with Lesnar. Lesnar broke his arm and damn-near killed him with an F-5 on the floor. Is Reigns ready for that? Henry doesn’t think so. Reigns starts to say “With all due respect”, but Henry cuts him off. He says Lesnar doesn’t respect Reigns. The fans don’t respect him. The boys in the locker room don’t respect him. Reigns has to earn his respect here. Nobody is going to give it to him. Reigns starts to leave, but Henry stops him. This is what he’s talking about. The young bucks think they know it all and have done it all. Reigns hasn’t been anywhere. Henry then slugs him, and Reigns responds with a quick Superman Punch. Henry rolls to the floor, and Reigns goes after him, spearing him through the barricade and into the timekeeper’s area. Reigns says to hell with “I can’t”. He can, and he will. Believe that!
MATCH 3: AJ LEE AND PAIGE VS. CAMERON AND SUMMER RAE (W/EVA MARIE)
Sweet merciful crap. The Bellas are on commentary AGAIN. Mute time. Cameron and Paige start off, and Paige immediately takes Cameron down with a boot to the gut. She throws Cameron face-first into the buckles, then tags in AJ, who hits a roundhouse. Cameron gets sent to the corner, where AJ hits a splash and a neckbreaker. She hits a spinning back-kick to the gut, then goes after Rae on the apron. The temporary distraction allows Cameron to hit AJ from behind. Cameron then hits a split-kick for 2, remembering to turn her opponent onto her back for the pin this time. Rae tags in and, and they hit a series of garbage double-teams for 2. Rae applies a rear chinlock, then whips AJ down by the neck before knocking Paige off the apron. Cameron tags in and stomps AJ in the corner before tagging in Rae. AJ fights them both off, then hits Cameron with a clothesline. Paige tags in and hits Rae with a trio of short-arm clotheslines, followed by a dropkick off the ropes. Paige ducks a clothesline, hits her big side kick and locks in the PTO for the quick submission win.
WINNERS: AJ LEE AND PAIGE.
AJ and Paige start to leave, but turn back when Nikki throws her hat at them. Yes, her hat. She then tops that by throwing her jacket. Tough broad right there, I assure you.
We see a trainer checking on Mark Henry. Renee Young steps in for an interview and asks if he was intentionally antagonizing Roman Reigns earlier. He says he was. He’s invested his whole career in WWE, and tonight, Reigns made a believer out of Henry. He pushed, and Reigns pushed back. He doesn’t know if Reigns can beat Lesnar, but he believes he can.
Earlier today, Michael Cole sat down for an interview with Randy Orton. Cole goes back four months, when Orton was excommunicated from the Authority. We see the clips, and Cole asks him how that effected him emotionally. Orton says something changed in him that day. The four months he was off, all he could think about was his revenge on the Authority, especially Seth Rollins. Cole says Orton wove his way back into the Authority. Orton agrees, but he had his blinders on for Rollins. He thought he’d get back at Rollins at Fastlane, but Orton saw an opportunity present itself. He’s an opportunist, and yes, he wove his way back in. He was just biding his time. The mind games were fun. Cole points out Orton helped Rollins beat Reigns a couple weeks ago. Orton says he’s not friends with Reigns. He used Reigns, and he’d do the same to anyone if that meant he could get to Rollins. He knew that would solidify his position in the Authority and keep them believing. This past RAW, he used reverse psychology, and berating the Authority was the last thing anyone would expect. At that moment, he knew he’d get his revenge, and it would be sweet. The revenge happened later on in a handicap match with Reigns. Orton points out that Kane and Big Show have imploded and were sent home. The two giants were out of the way. During the 2-on-1, J&J got in the way, and Orton took care of them. Now four were out of the picture, and it was down to Orton and Rollins. When Rollins needed a tag, and Orton pulled back…what motivates men? Fear. He saw fear in Rollins, and it lit something up in Orton. He enjoyed beating the hell out of Rollins after the match. All the weight of the world was off his shoulders at once during that assault. When he put Rollins through a table with an RKO, it was just relief. He enjoyed every second. Cole says there will be hell to pay. Orton says he’ll pay. It was worth it. Cole asks what is the first thing Orton will do this Monday on RAW. Orton says he’ll find Rollins, spit in his face and challenge him to a match at WM.
MATCH 4: DANIEL BRYAN, DEAN AMBROSE AND DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. LUKE HARPER, STARDUST AND INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION BAD NEWS BARRETT
Ambrose and BNB start with Ambrose applying a side headlock. Ambrose hits a shoulder off the ropes, goes into a crisscross and hits a clothesline. Ambrose drops a power-drive elbow, then applies his version of the Regal Stretch before tagging in Ziggler. Ziggler applies an arm wringer, which BNB counters. He tags in Stardust, who nails a fist off the top rope. Rhodes goes for a corner whip, gets it reversed, and collides chest-first with the buckles. Bryan tags in and comes in off the top with a double axe handle. Bryan applies a surfboard, then drops Stardust back to his knees for a chinlock. Stardust breaks free and tags in BNB, who gets hit with a drop-toehold. Bryan hits a series of European uppercuts before BNB attacks Bryan in the corner. Stardust tags back in and hits a couple of corner headbutts. Bryan reverses a corner whip and hits a running dropkick. Up top, Bryan hits a super hurricanrana, then calls for the knee. Stardust sees it coming and bails to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Harper is now legal for his team, and he gets a 1-count on Bryan before applying the Gator Roll, then turning it into a side headlock. Bryan gets to his feet and tries to power himself to the corner for a tag, but Harper snaps him down by the hair. BNB tags in and throws Bryan to the corner. He sets Bryan across the top buckle and clubs him across the back before hitting a running kick to the gut for 2. Stardust tags in, and he hits a few strikes before tagging in Harper. Harper goes for a slam, but Bryan counters into a schoolboy for 2 before nailing a Buzzsaw. He crawls to his corner and tags in Ambrose as Stardust also tags in. Ambrose hits a splash in the corner and follows up with a running bulldog. Ambrose hits a back suplex into a facebuster for 2 as Harper breaks it up. Harper pulls Ambrose to the floor, but Ambrose sends him into the barricade. Stardust charges at Ambrose on the apron, and Ambrose low-bridges him to the floor. Up top, Ambrose takes out both Harper and Stardust with a flying elbow. Back in the ring, Stardust nails Ambrose, only to have Ambrose rebound with a clothesline. He signals for Dirty Deeds, but lets go when BNB tries to interfere. Ambrose boots BNB in the head, then rolls to the floor to slam him face-first into the announce desk. Harper then drops Ambrose with a big boot. Commercials.
We’re back, and BNB is nailing Ambrose with knees while he’s tied up in the ropes. BNB hits a big boot for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights out, but gets put back down quickly before Stardust tags in. Stardust attacks Ambrose in the corner and goes for a superplex, but Ambrose reverses into a release gourdbuster from the top. Ambrose then hits a seated missile dropkick. Ziggler and Harper tag in, and Ziggler goes on the attack, hitting a corner splash and a neckbreaker. The Shot to the Heart connects for 2. He goes for the rocker dropper, misses, nails BNB on the apron, then nails Harper with a dropkick. The rocker dropper connects for 2, and Ziggler then nails Stardust on the apron. Harper rolls Ziggler up for 2, then gets nailed with a superkick for 2 as Stardust breaks it up. Bryan takes Stardust out with a big kick, then backdrops BNB to the floor. Bryan, Ambrose and Ziggler line up, looking for a trio of suicide dives. Bryan and Ambrose connect, but Ziggler is put down with a big boot by Harper. Harper hits a sit-out powerbomb, but only gets 2. Harper picks Ziggler up in a torture rack, but Ziggler counters with the Zig-Zag. He falls into a tag from Bryan, who nails Harper with the running knee for 3.
WINNERS: DEAN AMBROSE, DANIEL BRYAN AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Michael Cole enters the ring and congratulates Bryan on the pin. Bryan thanks him, only to have Ziggler cut Bryan off. Bryan stole one for the team, but he gets it. It’s every man for himself. Last year, Bryan had Lady Luck on his side. This year, he’s all alone, and Ziggler’s out there, too. Just remember that. Ambrose interjects and gives both men a half-assed congratulations. He says they stole the show, just like everyone’s been stealing the IC title, which was his original idea. Back to the jealousy between Ziggler and Bryan. He thinks Ziggler doesn’t believe he’s as good as Bryan, and that bothers him. And Bryan is very good, and everyone thinks he’s nice, but everyone in the locker room knows the truth: Bryan’s a turd.
I was worried about this DVD initially, if for no other reason than the Shield just plain weren’t around that long. Were they an amazing, dominant faction that produced some great moments and matches? Absolutely. However, their run was limited thanks to a split in early 2014 that left most fans scratching their heads (especially when it happened a night after their huge clean sweep of Evolution in a 6-man tag team elimination match at Payback). Despite this, however, The Destruction of the Shield is overall a really fun DVD that covers a lot of ground.
Being that these three guys haven’t been in WWE long, you’d hope the the DVD would start with some discussion of each man’s work prior to their debut in 2012 at Survivor Series…and that’s exactly what we get. With the exception of Roman Reigns, who went straight to developmental (more on him in a minute), both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have their independent careers covered here, leading to each of their signings with WWE’s then-developmental system, FCW. Although these pieces are somewhat limited, CZW, ROH and DGUSA/Evolve were all still cool enough to loan WWE some footage in order to cover the respective careers of these two athletes. What’s even cooler is commentary from guys both men worked with that are in WWE today, including Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Sami Zayn (El Generico) and a surprise appearance from referee Drake Wuertz, better known as long-time CZW mainstay Drake Younger. All parties praise the efforts of both Rollins and Ambrose on the indy circuit, with the general consensus being that both men would eventually make it to WWE (on a side note, Rollins mentions that he nearly didn’t sign with WWE because John Laurinaitis was horrible about returning calls, and instead nearly signed with TNA, or as he puts it, “some other company).
Now, as I said, Reigns never really worked the indy circuit, and instead went straight to FCW. However, that’s not to say he had an easy ride. Yes, he’s a member of the famous Anoa’i wrestling family, but if anything, he comes off as feeling even more pressured to be successful in wrestling as a result, which is completely understandable. Aside from this, Reigns was a star football player in high school (on a team with his cousins, the Usos, no less), became an even better player in college, and nearly made it big in the pros before being cut from his practice squad. From that point, Reigns decided to go into the family business, as he felt he had a better shot at providing a stable life for his daughter, a move that was obviously a smart gamble.
In addition to these stories, numerous WWE personnel discuss the careers of all three men, including Joey Mercury, who was apparently very instrumental in getting all three contracts, as well as legends like Mick Foley and William Regal, who have both worked extensively with Ambrose in the past. Even Ambrose’s attempted feud with Foley is covered, and I didn’t realize the reason the legs were cut off before it had the chance to really grow was Foley was more or less told by doctors he could never wrestle again, contrary to the popular rumor that WWE simply didn’t like the angle.
From the signings, each wrestler spending time in FCW/NXT is discussed, including the frustrations of both Ambrose and Rollins waiting longer than originally expected to get called up (in Rollins’ case, most notably attitude problems and serious issues with WWE agent Terry Taylor), up until the idea was created to put the three together and make them something a modern-day Horsemen group. At this point, most fans should be familiar what happens next: the Shield entered the WWE and caused complete destruction for a year and a half, until their break-up at the aforementioned RAW the night after Payback. This part of the DVD is less interesting, if for no other reason than it’s pretty common knowledge. And, surprisingly, despite all of this taking place on WWE, this section is really glossed over, with only a handful of matches being mentioned and a small blurb about their championship runs.
All of this leads up to the break-up and ends with the Ambrose/Rollins and Reigns/Orton matches at Summerslam. Both matches are looked at in detail, including preparations each man went into to physically get ready (all three are major workout junkies, and it shows), capped off with what ended up being two show-stealing matches at the second biggest card of the year.
That’s all on disc 1, which is also where the matches start. And the match list for this set is really extensive. Although no indy footage for Rollins and Ambrose was obtained, we still get some exclusive matches featuring both them and Reigns from both FCW and NXT, most of which the average fan has never seen. One of note is a triple threat match between the three, back when Reigns was still wrestling as Leakee Lee. Also included are an awesome match between Ambrose and one of his heroes, William Regal, as well Rollins becoming the first NXT Champion in a match with former WWE scrub, Jinder Mahal.
Aside from this, the rest are WWE matches you’ve probably seen, but that’s not really a bad thing. The Shield have been involved in some awesome matches, of the singles, tag and 6-man varieties, with a little bit of each thrown in for good measure. The Payback 6-man is here, as well as the awesome one vs. the Wyatt Family from last year’s Elimination Chamber. Also included are Ambrose’s US title win over Kofi Kingston and Reigns/Rollins beating Team Hell No! for the tag titles, both of which took place at Extreme Rules 2013. Both Summerslam matches mentioned above are included in their entirety, as well as Rollins’ MITB case win last year. All in all, 18 matches are included, and all of them are pretty enjoyable in their own ways.
While the documentary could have been a little bit better (mainly in the detail department, with less glossing over), the set overall is a really solid collection, with the match listing definitely being the selling point. If you’re a fan of all three guys or just one or two, you’ll want to pick this set up if you have the chance.
*Who is the Shield?
*Seth Rollins’ Journey Begins
*Dean Ambrose’s Journey Begins
*Roman Reigns’ Journey Begins
*Brothers in Arms
*The Ambrose-Rollins FCW Rivalry
*The Face of NXT
*The Quick Study
*Failure to Launch
*Assembling the Shield
*Bringing the Sword
*The First WrestleMania
*State of Evolution
*Lunatic Fringe Unleashed
*One Versus All
*Rollins Training for Summerslam
*Ambrose Training for Summerslam
*Good Friends, Better Enemies
*Reigns Training for Summerslam
*A Most Intriguing Matchup
*Arrival in Los Angeles
*The Future is Now
Dean Ambrose on Seth Rollins FCW Rivalry
15-Minute Time Limit for the FCW 15 Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
FCW * August 14, 2011
Seth Rollins on Dean Ambrose FCW Rivalry
30-Minute Time Limit for the FCW 15 Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
FCW * September 18, 2011
Roman Reigns on FCW Triple Threat Match
Triple Threat Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Leakee
FCW * February 5, 2012
WWE Shield DVD Full Match Listing
Dean Ambrose on William Regal FCW Rivalry
Dean Ambrose vs. William Regal
FCW * July 1, 2012
Seth Rollins on NXT Championship
Gold Rush Tournament Finals for the NXT Championship
Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal
NXT * August 29, 2012
Roman Reigns on NXT Debut
Roman Reigns vs. CJ Parker
NXT * October 31, 2012
Seth Rollins on Shield In-Ring Debut
6-Man Tag Team TLC Match
The Shield vs. Ryback & Team Hell No
TLC * December 16, 2012
Dean Ambrose on United States Championship
United States Championship Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston
Extreme Rules * May 19, 2013
Roman Reigns on WWE Tag Team Championship
Tornado Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs. Team Hell No
Extreme Rules * May 19, 2013
Roman Reigns on Facing the Usos
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos
Money In the Bank * July 14, 2013
Roman Reigns on Survivor Series 2013
Classic Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Shield & The Real Americans vs. The Usos, Rhodes Brothers & Rey Mysterio
Survivor Series * November 24, 2013
WWE Shield DVD Full Match Listing
Dean Ambrose on Wyatt Family Rivalry
6-Man Tag Team Match
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
Elimination Chamber * February 23, 2014
Seth Rollins on Evolution Rivalry
No Holds Barred 6-Man Elimination Tag Team Match
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton & Batista)
Payback * June 1, 2014
Seth Rollins on Money in the Bank 2014
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger
Money in the Bank * June 29, 2014
Dean Ambrose on SummerSlam
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
SummerSlam * August 17, 2014
Roman Reigns on SummerSlam
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam * August 17, 2014
Seth Rollins on Falls Count Anywhere Match with Dean Ambrose
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * August 18, 2014
Roman Reigns on Seth Rollins Rivalry
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * September 15, 2014
*The Dean Ambrose – William Regal Rivalry
WWE Shield DVD Full Match Listing
Roman Reigns on FCW Triple Threat Match
20-Minute Time Limit for the FCW 15 Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
FCW * August 28, 2011
Dean Ambrose on Facing The Undertaker
The Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose
SmackDown * April 26, 2013
Seth Rollins on Facing Orton and Bryan
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan
Payback * June 16, 2013
Roman Reigns on Royal Rumble
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
Royal Rumble * January 26, 2014
This week opens up with Dolph Ziggler coming down to the ring, wearing the IC title belt. He says having the belt just feels right. He’s not one to hold a grudge against his boss, but it seems to him he never got his rematch for the title against Bad News Barrett. He’s not sure why…oh, wait. That’s right-he saved the day, won Survivor Series, and got fired by the Authority. Now, he’s got a second chance. This means a lot to him. Winning the title last year changed his life. It meant so much to him, and now, it’s back where it belongs. That’s why he’s officially entering the IC title ladder match at Wrestlemania. That felt great to say, but it feels like something is still missing. It feels like someone is missing, someone he’d love to share the stage and blow the roof off the place with. Someone who proved it’s not how big you are, but how big heart is. Someone who proved that, with a movement behind you, anything is possible, and you can become champion. He wants to ask this superstar to come out right now…
Instead, we get BNB. He stops on the stage and says he knows he’s not the person Ziggler was referring to, but he believes that Ziggler has something that belongs to him, something he wants. He calls Ziggler a comedian after some remarks, then says people like Ziggler, Luke Harper, R-Truth and Dean Ambrose can play all the games they want. They can steal his championship, but it doesn’t change the fact he’s still the champion. And who does Ziggler think he is, challenging people to WM matches? This is BNB’s match, and his championship. Ziggler can either hand over the belt right now, or BNB will get in the ring and take it from Ziggler’s unconscious body. Ziggler holds the belt, then lays it across the mat. Harper comes from out of nowhere and attacks Ziggler from behind. He stares BNB down as BNB goes for the belt. He gets down to pick it up, but Harper stands on it. The two pick it up and have a tug-of-war until Ziggler nails Harper from behind. The two heels then double-team him, leading to Ambrose charging down to the ring. Ambrose takes out Harper with a clothesline, then he and Ziggler send BNB to the floor. Harper is back up, but he bails. Ambrose and Ziggler stare at the belt, and BNB & Harper try to come back in. The faces brawl with the heels on the floor, and that’s when Truth shows up and hides next to the ring post. As the brawls continue, Truth sneaks into the ring, gets the belt, then hides underneath ring. Ziggler and Ambrose hit the ring, wondering where the belt went. Truth comes out the other side of the ring and heads up the ramp with the belt.
Renee Young stops Truth in the back and asks why he took the belt again. Truth says when he heard he was in the match at WM, he came up with a plan. If he has the title under his arm, he won’t have to climb a ladder. Young says the belt will be hung above the ring, and he’ll have to climb the ladder to get it. Truth doesn’t like that idea, so he offers Young the belt. He asks where “Gene Ambrose” is. She doesn’t know, so he says he has to find somebody to take it off his hands.
It’s announced that, later tonight, Ziggler and Ambrose will take on BNB and Harper.
MATCH 1: WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CESARO AND TYSON KIDD (W/NATALYA) VS. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO AND FERNANDO, W/EL TORITO) The champs get an inset promo. They say you’re looking at the best team in WWE. Not only do they have the belts, but they are the hardest-working, no-nonsense professionals in the company. Fact. They’ll be keeping an eye on the division, and if any tag team wants to lose to them at WM, they’ll have to earn it. Fact. Good luck.
Kidd starts off with a Matador, who makes a blind tag off a side headlock. The two crisscross until the legal Matador hits a spinning neckbreaker for 2. Kidd backs him into the corner and tags out to Cesaro, who sends the Matador into the corner. Matador blocks a charge and hits a hurricanranrana off the middle rope. The other Matador tags in and hits a spinning headscissors. He ducks a clothesline, but then runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before Cesaro hits a double-stomp for 2. Cesaro goes into a side headlock before running into a back elbow in the corner. Kidd tries to interfere, but he gets low-bridged to the floor. Matador tries for a tag, but Kidd pulls the other half of the team to the floor. Cesaro goes for a pin with the ropes and gets 2 until Torito points out the cheating to the referee. Matador manages to roll Cesaro up for 2, but Cesaro is back up with a European uppercut. He spots Torito on the apron and pulls him into the ring by his horns. Torito kicks him in the shin and taunts him with a dance. Cesaro goes to grab him, but the ref holds him back. Nattie takes the opportunity to trip Torito. Meanwhile, Cesaro and Kidd hit a version of Montezuma’s Revenge, and it’s enough for 3.
WINNERS: CESARO AND TYSON KIDD.
The Big Show is in the back with Kane, and he says Kane owes him an apology about Randy Orton. Kane says he may have been wrong about Orton, but he’s not apologizing to Show for anything. Show says that, since Kane is the DOO, he’s letting Kane know he’s entering the Andre battle royal, he’ll win it, then put his own head on the trophy and call it the Big Show Battle Royal. Kane says Show is a giant, but he’s no Andre. Show says that’s a compliment. Kane says he’s in the battle royal as well, and he doesn’t intend to lose. Show says who will show up: the “Devil’s Favorite Demon”, or a spokesman for Men’s Wearhouse? Kane tells him to grab a ringside seat for his match against Ryback later tonight. Kane then does the Men’s Wearhouse slogan.
MATCH 2: RYBACK VS. KANE (W/THE BIG SHOW)
Show stands at ringside, next to the Andre trophy. Kane hits a boot, misses a clothesline and gets hit with a flying shoulderblock. Ryback tries to come off the middle, but Kane meets him with an uppercut. Ryback gets stomped down, then receives several shots in the corner. Kane whips him across the ring and hits an avalanche for 2. Ryback comes back with a neckbreaker off the ropes, then counters an avalanche attempt with a spinning belly-to-belly. Ryback comes off the middle with a falling splash, then hits a spinebuster. He loads up the Meat Hook, and that’s when Show jumps on the apron. Kane tries to attack from behind, but Ryback sees it coming. Kane and Show exchange words, and when Kane turns around, Ryback lays him out with a Meat Hook for 3.
Show tries to hit the ring after the match, but Ryback knocks him off the apron. Kane rolls to the floor, where Show begins to berate him. Kane grabs a mic and tells Ryback to stay where he is, because he now has a match against Show.
MATCH 3: RYBACK VS. THE BIG SHOW (W/KANE)
After Show and Kane argue a bit more as the ref rings the bell. He nearly gets counted out, but breaks the count and assaults Ryback with rights. He then hits Ryback with some knees and a blow to the back. Ryback gets corner-whipped, then receives a version of the short-arm clothesline. Show hits a bodyslam, then another. Ryback gets to his feet, so Show headbutts him and sends him to the corner. Ryback avoids a charge and hits Show with a series of shoulder thrusts. Ryback goes for a dive off the middle, but gets goozled. He breaks the hold, ducks a right and hits a spinebuster. The Meat Hook is signaled, and that’s when Kane jumps on the apron. Ryback whips him in, nails Show with a Meat Hook to the back, then hits Kane with a regular one. Show is back up, and he hits the KO Punch for 3.
WINNER: THE BIG SHOW.
Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and says the Undertaker’s reckoning is at WM, but he refuses to answer its call. Wyatt has something Taker can relate to, and this Monday night on RAW, he will unleash its spirit. Not even Taker can outrun his own fate. Rise, Dead Man. Rise. The camera pans down, and there’s an urn in front of him.
Another promo for Sheamus’ return. I really hope he’s coming back as a heel.
The Bella Twins come out for Brie’s match, but before that starts, Nikki Bella says everyone is talking about the hashtag #GiveDivasAChance. She agrees with it, but one thing needs to be made clear: It’s not give AJ a chance; it’s give DIVAS a chance, and that’s what they’ve been doing since AJ has been on vacation. Brie says that, while AJ has been resting, the Bellas have been giving all the divas a chance. However, none of them have lived up to the “Bella standard” (oh, sweet merciful crap…). It’s a high standard, and that’s why the Bellas are still here, with Nikki still being the fearless Divas Champion. That is also why they will always be the stars of Total Divas. Nikki says no divas will stop them, including AJ or Paige. There is only one voice in the divas division, and that’s the voice coming from the top. Brie tells AJ to come out with her “frenemy”, because they’re going to give AJ her precious little chance.
Dear god, who the hell thought it was a good idea to give the Bellas mic time?
MATCH 4: BRIE BELLA (W/NIKKI BELLA) VS. AJ LEE (W/PAIGE)
Brie counters a lock-up with an armdrag. They go back into the lock-up, and Brie backs AJ into the corner, slamming the back of her head into the buckles. AJ blocks a charge with a pair of knees, ducks a clothesline and hits an armdrag into an armbar. She turns it into a hammerlock, which Brie breaks with a back elbow. AJ comes back with a roundhouse, then slides into Brie’s legs, knocking her on her face. AJ heads to the top and hits a cross-body for 2. Brie hits a back elbow out of the corner and comes off the middle with a dropkick for 2. Brie mounts AJ and slams the back of her head into the mat for 1, then sends her into the ropes for the absolute sh*ttiest clothesline I’ve ever seen for 2. Brie applies a modified rear chinlock, which AJ breaks free of. Brie hits a “clubbing” blow to the back, then hits a low “running” dropkick for 2. AJ gets slammed face-first into the top buckle three times, but then misses a splash. AJ rolls her up for 2, then gets hit with a clothesline for 2. Brie goes back to the rear chinlock, which AJ breaks free from once again. Brie hits a forearm to the back and drops AJ with a DDT for 2. She tries the pin again and gets another 2. Brie hits…something…off the ropes, screaming in her obnoxious voice the entire time before getting 2. She hits a snapmare and follows up with a rolling neck snap for 2. Brie goes back to the chinlock AGAIN. Is she the Randy Orton of the divas division now? AJ fights out, only to get hit with…something…again…off the ropes. Brie hits a knee against the bottom rope, then comes off the middle for another dropkick. AJ avoids it, and Brie lands on her stupid face. AJ hits a Thesz press and peppers Brie with rights. AJ hits a corner clothesline and a neckbreaker. She connects with a spinning back kick, then sends Brie to the floor with a seated dropkick, right in front of Paige. Nikki tries to get between the two as AJ sends Brie back into the ring, where she applies the Black Widow. Nikkie tries to interfere, but Paige yanks her to the floor while Brie taps out.
WINNER: AJ LEE.
Renee Young is standing by with Daniel Bryan. She says it seemed like Dolph Ziggler was referring to him earlier. Bryan moves away from that and talks about the IC title match at WM, then says Ziggler might be right in that the match could steal the show. As for tonight, he can’t wait to see who ends up with the title belt.
Alundra Blayze is announced as the newest inductee into the Hall of Fame. Very deserved.
MATCH 5: BIG E AND KOFI KINGSTON (W/XAVIER WOODS) VS. THE MIZ AND DAMIEN MIZDOW
Mizdow leaves his sunglasses on as Miz applies a headlock on Kofi to start the match. Miz hits a shoulder off the ropes, goes into a crisscross and gets hit with a back elbow. Kofi hits an armdrag into a float-over for 1, right into a standing armbar. Miz gets a rope break, kicks Kofi in the knee and hits a snap DDT. Mizdow looks for a tag as Kofi starts hitting Miz with strikes. Miz gets a kick off the ropes, and Mizdow tries for a tag again. Miz ignores him, and then gets hit with a dropkick. Mizdow tags himself in to a big pop, hits a pair of clotheslines and then drops the Reality Check. Mizdow finally takes his glasses off after a kip-up. We see the tag champs and Natalya watching this match on a monitor backstage. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Mizdow goes for the figure-4, but Kofi kicks him away. Mizdow stays on his feet and hits a big boot. Miz is back up, and he tags himself back in before brow-beating Mizdow. He orders Mizdow out and all the way to the floor. Mizdow does as he’s told and turns his back on the match. Behind Miz, E tags in, and he & Kofi hit a combination Big Ending and flying DDT for 3.
WINNERS: BIG E AND KOFI KINGSTON.
Mizdow smiled as he heard Miz lose, and now Miz is screaming at Mizdow for doing exactly as he was told.
Byron Saxton recorded an interview with Roman Reigns earlier today. Before that, we are shown a video package for Brock Lesnar. Saxton points out what we just saw to Reigns, as well as the comments Paul Heyman had for Reigns on RAW. Reigns says Heyman has made a living out of running his mouth and lying, but he did put one piece of truth out there: Lesnar will hurt Reigns at WM. Look at him. Everyone who steps in the ring with Lesnar gets hurt or taken out. Look at the Undertaker. Look at John Cena. Reigns knows he will feel pain and get hurt, but he also knows he can take the punishment. After Lesnar gives Reigns everything he’s got, Reigns will stand up, lock-and-load, and hit him right on the button. When Lesnar’s knees are shaking, and his legs are wobbly, Reigns will cut him in half with a spear and win the WWE World Championship. Whether Heyman and Lesnar want to or not, they will believe that.
MATCH 6: JACK SWAGGER VS. WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION RUSEV (W/LANA) (NON-TITLE)
Oh, great. This match again. Rusev starts with a boot to the gut, then tosses Swagger to the floor. Swagger fights back on the floor with rights, then rolls Rusev back into the ring. Swagger hits a clothesline, then tosses Rusev to the floor this time. Commercials.
Back from the break, Rusev hits a kick to the ribs and lands what I think is supposed to be a dropkick for 2. Rusev repeatedly stomps Swagger in the chest, then kicks him in the spine. Rusev drops a series of elbows to Swagger’s neck and shoulder, then applies a rear chinlock. Swagger manages to free himself, but Rusev tightens his grip and gets the hold back on. He then breaks it himself to give Swagger a headbutt. Swagger reverses a corner whip and hits an avalanche. He then whips Rusev across the ring and hits a clothesline. He goes for the Swagger Bomb, and Rusev tries to block it with a foot. Swagger sees the block coming, grabs the foot and applies the Patriot Lock. Rusev quickly gets to the ropes and rolls to the apron, where Swagger knocks him to the floor. Outside, Swagger rams Rusev into the barricade before rolling him back in. Rusev gets back to his feet and hits the thrust kick. He stomps Swagger in the back and applies the Accolade for the tap-out win.
As Rusev is celebrating his win, Curtis Axel appears on the TitanTron. He says not to change the channel, because Axelmania is running wild. Rusev, let him tell ya something, brother. You still don’t have an opponent for WM. Axel knows Rusev is still undefeated in WWE, just like Axelmania is still undefeated in the Royal Rumble match, 39 days and counting, brother. Often imitated, never eliminated, dude. But he’s coming after Rusev. This Monday night on RAW, Axel vs. Rusev, brother. When Axel puts Rusev down in the ground, 1-2-3, he’s coming after the US title at WM, brother. So Rusev, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do, Rusev? Whatcha gonna do when Axelmania runs wild on you?
Now we’re getting a promo from Cameron. She still has a job why? She says there’s been a lot of talk about #GiveDivasAChance. You know what? It’s about damn time they give Cameron a chance. Hey, it’s more uselessness with Summer Rae as she can’t believe Cameron is serious. It’ll be Summer Rae’s time, because it’s Summer Time (Oh, god**mit). Oh, yay. To complete the trifecta from hell, Eva Marie has joined the segment. When she’s around, these two. Have. No chance. That’s how she said it. Take it up with her.
We’re about to start the main event, and R-Truth is on commentary, still in possession of the IC title belt.
MATCH 7: INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION BAD NEWS BARRETT AND LUKE HARPER VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER AND DEAN AMBROSE
Ziggler and Harper start, with Harper quickly going for the Gator Roll. Ziggler counters into a side headlock, which Harper counters into one of his own. He comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock, goes into a crisscross, then catches Ziggler off a leapfrog. Ziggler counters into a sunset flip, but Harper pulls him back to his feet. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick. Ziggler goes for the leaping DDT, but Harper tosses him onto his face. BNB tags himself in, which Harper doesn’t particularly like. Meanwhile, Ambrose has also tagged in. BNB turns around, misses a clothesline and gets hit with a cross-body into some punches. BNB gets thrown to the corner, where Ambrose stomps him down. He grinds his forearm into BNB’s face, then lights him up with some chops. BNB gets sent into the corner, where Ambrose hits him with a splash and a bulldog. Up top, Ambrose hits a vertical flying elbow for 2 as Harper breaks it up. Ziggler knocks Harper to the floor right before Ambrose clotheslines BNB to the floor on the other side. Ambrose and Ziggler have a bit of a staredown as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, BNB has Ambrose in a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights out with jabs and a headbutts before BNB hits him with a back elbow off the ropes. Harper tags in and hits an elbow off the ropes for 2. He applies the Gator Roll again, then hits a suplex for 2. Harper applies a rear chinlock, which Ambrose counters with a jawbreaker. Ambrose snaps off some jabs and chops, but gets sent onto his face when Harper blocks a kick, which gets 2. BNB tags in and sends Ambrose face-first into the buckles, then hits him with some shots. Ambrose gets whipped, blocks a charge with an elbow and hits a tornado DDT. Ziggler and Harper tag in. Ziggler hits a corner splash and a spinning neckbreaker. The Shot to the Heart connects for 2. Harper avoids the rocker dropper. Ziggler responds by avoiding the big boot and hits the leaping DDT for 2. Harper blocks a hurricanrana attempt, which Ziggler then turns into a sit-out facebuster. Harper comes back with a scrapbuster for 2, which is broken up by Ambrose. BNB sends Ambrose into the ropes with a boot, which leads to the rebound clothesline by Ambrose. BNB and Ambrose head to the floor, where BNB sends Ambrose into the barricade. Back in the ring, Harper signals for the discus clothesline, which Ziggler avoids by hitting the superkick. He quickly follows up with the Zig-Zag, which is good for 3.
WINNERS: DEAN AMBROSE AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.
As Ziggler is celebrating, he turns around right into a Bullhammer by BNB. Ambrose hits the ring, and BNB puts him down with a boot. He looks around for his title, when he spots Truth at ringside. Truth gets up to leave, but BNB stops him and orders him to hand the belt over. Truth looks at it and starts to give it back, but Ambrose wipes BNB out with a suicide dive before that can happen. Truth puts the belt back on his shoulder and heads up the ramp, only to have Harper stop him. Truth tries to go around, but no luck. Truth drops the belt and offers it to Harper. Harper goes down to grab it, so Truth kicks him in the face and takes possession once again. Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he meets Truth on the stage. Truth smiles, looks at the belt and hands it over before getting a “Yes!” chant started. Bryan then celebrates with the belt. The celebration is cut short, however, when Stardust nails Bryan from behind and takes possession of the belt. Stardust climbs a ladder set up on the stage and holds the belt over his head.
This week’s episode emanates from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA.
We’re getting a rematch from Fastlane, as Erick Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler face the Big Show, Kane and Seth Rollins in the main event.
Daniel Bryan comes out, and he’s got a somber look on his face. A “Yes!” chant starts, but Bryan puts a stop to that by screaming “No!” He says, a couple years ago, that’s what he used to say instead of “yes”. He was frustrated, he didn’t feel like he had opportunities, or anyone in his corner. But, he was wrong, because the fans were in his corner. Because the fans gave him opportunities. We gave him so much opportunity, in the main event at Wrestlemania XXX, he finally, after scratching and clawing for 14 years, won the WWE World Championship. A big “Yes!” chant breaks out on this note. Back to Bryan, he says that, due to injury, he lost the title. At Fastlane, he got something most never get: a second chance. He got an opportunity to get everything back…and he failed. That means, this year, for Daniel Bryan, there’s no main-eventing WM, there’s no WWE World title match, and without that hope or dream, there have been a lot of people backstage asking him this: is the Yes! Movement dead? A big “No!” chant breaks out, and Bryan joins in. He will not give up or back down, and despite not being in the main event, he’s got big plans. This year, at Wrestlemania XXXI, he plans on going…
Bad News Barrett interrupts, sans IC title, and marches down to the ring. BNB asks how much longer Bryan is going to carry on with this nonsense. No one wants to here his sob story. It just so happens he’s got some bad news for Bryan, because Bryan won’t be getting a WM moment this year. Losers like him don’t deserve the spotlight, and there’s someone else who doesn’t deserve the spotlight, that being the “lunatic thief”, Dean Ambrose. Ambrose has stolen his IC title. He is still the champion. He has a warning: if Bryan doesn’t get out of the ring, he’ll show everyone exactly what happens when you step on his toes.
On that note, Ambrose walks down to the ring, IC title in-hand. Ambrose and BNB immediately go at, spilling to ringside, where Ambrose throws BNB into the barricade. BNB responds by pulling Ambrose into the barricade as well. Bryan is laughing in the ring, and then he spots the IC title. He picks it up as BNB climbs back into the ring, looking to get it back. Bryan teases that he’s going to keep it, so BNB starts screaming at him. Bryan hands it over, and when BNB turns around, he’s nailed by Ambrose. Bryan then takes a shot at him as well before Ambrose grabs the belt. Bryan then celebrates with the crowd as Ambrose smirks.
We’ll get an exclusive interview with Roman Reigns later.
MATCH 1: DEAN AMBROSE VS. THE MIZ
Miz comes out solo. He looks over his shoulder for Damien Mizdow, but Mizdow is nowhere to be found. Ambrose applies a side headlock, then hits a shoulder off the ropes. The two crisscross until Ambrose rolls through with a schoolboy for 2. He hits a bodyslam and a power-drive elbow for another 2 before throwing the Miz to the corner for some shots. Miz gets corner-whipped, hits a boot out of the corner and lands the Reality Check for 2. Miz rakes at Ambrose’s face, then applies a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights out, hits a boot off the ropes and lands a series of strikes. Miz eats a forearm off the ropes, then another. Ambrose throws him to the corner, stomps him down, slaps him in the face, hits a running forearm and a bulldog. Ambrose heads up top for the flying elbow, but before he can connect, Bad News Barrett runs down and grabs the IC title from the corner. Ambrose sees him, hits the floor, and lays him out with a clothesline. He grabs the belt and climbs back into the ring, where Miz hits a boot and tries for the SCF. Ambrose escapes and goes into a standing switch. Miz hits him with a back elbow, sending Ambrose into the ropes, leading Ambrose to hit the rebound clothesline. Meanwhile, BNB has grabbed the IC title once more and is heading up the ramp. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds and gets 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
Renee Young tries to stop BNB in the back for some questions, but he cuts her off and says he reclaimed what is rightfully his from Ambrose. As everyone knows, Ambrose cannot hold a candle to him in the ring, and neither can that disgusting goat, Daniel Bryan. Now that the title is back in his clutches, he’s never letting it out of his sight.
MATCH 2: NAOMI (W/THE USOS) VS. NATALYA (W/CESARO AND TYSON KIDD)
Nattie starts off with a hip throw, into a side headlock. Naomi fights out, but then gets shouldered off the ropes. The two crisscross after a staredown until Naomi applies a sort-of crucifix for 2. Nattie comes back with a trip, but Naomi kips up and hits an armdrag. Nattie hits a double-leg, which Naomi counters into a headscissors from her back, which she then turns into a submission hold. Nattie powers her way back to her feet and goes into a modified airplane spin. Naomi counters that into a sunset flip, but Nattie rolls through. The two then crash in the middle of the ring off simultaneous cross-body attempts. Nattie is up first, but Naomi quickly kicks her in the leg she injured on Monday. Kidd jumps on the apron to check on her, so Jimmy jumps up and takes him down with a superkick. Cesaro pulls Jimmy down and looks to send him into the ring post, but Jimmy reverses, sending Cesaro into a superkick from Jey. Back in the ring, the ref pulls Naomi away from Nattie to see if Nattie can still continue. As he gets Naomi back, it turns out Nattie was suckering Naomi in, as she quickly drops Naomi with a discus clothesline for 3.
After some commercials, we are back, and Rusev & Lana are in the ring. Rusev holds the US title over his head and says this is a symbol of a true champion, a real champion, your American champion. Lana says an American champion is someone who stands tall, full of pride and above everyone else. Rusev stands above Americans that are beneath him. Far beneath him. And do you know what a champion does not do? Rusev pipes in says he doesn’t have to agree to anyone’s terms. Lana then cuts to the TitanTron to show a still of a pre-match Cena at Fastlane. She says he’s so sure and full of himself there. Look at your American hero, rising above all obstacles as always, except this time (we see Rusev putting him in the Accolade, which won the match). She says this is your American reality, slipping into unconsciousness. Rusev says when it gets tough, all Americans just give up. Lana says they were surprised when Cena begged for a rematch. Rusev is a champion. He answers to no one, especially someone who is falling asleep on the job. Anyway, they’re going to talk about something more important than Cena. Rusev has received emails from the greatest president on earth, Vladimir Putin (a shot is put up on the Tron), then a picture of what appears to be a letter in Russian. She translates it, and it’s supposedly a letter from Putin, saying how proud he is of Rusev for everything he’s accomplished, as well as refusing Cena’s demands. Rusev says he’ll have a great match at WM, against someone worth his time, who he’ll defeat like everyone else. However, that opponent won’t be Cena, because “Mr. Never Give Up” has been beaten, broken and crushed.
Oh, for sh*t’s sake. Here comes Jack Swagger. Please don’t tell me they’re going to do this feud for a third time. He asks if Rusev is scared to give Cena a rematch. If he’s scared to fight, he came to the wrong city. Rusev is surrounded by real America and real Americans. He climbs into the ring (looking kind of pudgy lately) and does his catchphrase. Rusev goes for a clothesline, but Swagger ducks and goes on the attack, hitting a series of knees in the corner before landing a forearm to the back of the head. Rusev rolls to the apron, where Swagger knocks him to the floor with a clothesline. Swagger rolls him back into the ring, but Rusev slides back out to the floor. Swagger tries to grab him through the ropes, but Rusev nails him in the face. He hits his thrust kick from the floor, then climbs back in the ring to nail Swagger with more kicks to the legs and body before putting him down with another thrust kick. Rusev then locks in the Accolade. Swagger taps out, apparently forgetting this isn’t a match. Rusev lets him go anyway, but then reapplies the hold as the Russian flag drops from the ceiling. A referee comes out to break the hold. Rusev does, only to reapply it again.
MATCH 3: INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION BAD NEWS BARRETT VS. DANIEL BRYAN (NON-TITLE)
R-Truth is on commentary, due to a non-title win over BNB last week. He calls Byron Saxton “Coach”. The match starts, and the two exchange several quick holds before BNB looks to make sure the IC title is still in the corner. He then boots Bryan in the gut before throwing him to the corner for an assault. Bryan gets whipped across the ring, but he hits a drop toehold on an incoming BNB into the middle buckle. Bryan nails a pair of European uppercuts, then begins to work on BNB’s left leg before going for a surfboard. BNB tries to power out and grab the ropes, so Bryan just stomps him in the back of his knees. BNB recovers and nails a headbutt before snapping off a suplex for 2. Bryan comes back with another pair of European uppercuts, then starts firing up the Yes! Kicks. Bryan comes off the ropes, and BNB catches him with the Winds of Change for 2. BNB throws Bryan to the floor, then grabs the IC title for a little celebrating as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, BNB has Bryan hung up in the ropes and is nailing him with kneelifts. BNB then drops Bryan to the apron with a running boot. BNB pulls him in for the pin, but only gets 2. He then applies a rear chinlock, but Bryan escapes after some elbows. BNB nails him with an elbow to the back of the neck and goes for a corner whip. Bryan flips out of the corner, ducks a clothesline and nails one of his own. He fires up the Yes! Kicks again, then drops BNB with one of the ropes for 2. Bryan continues hitting kicks in the corner, then lands a running corner dropkick. He tries it one too many times though, as BNB avoids a second attempt. He asks where his title went, as it’s missing from the corner. It dropped to the floor, so BNB goes out to put it back in the corner. Bryan hits him with a baseball slide near the announce desk, then wipes him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Bryan goes up top. BNB recovers and crotches him, then goes for Wasteland. Bryan escapes and pulls him down into the Yes! Lock. Meanwhile, Truth gets up from the announce desk and steals the IC title belt, shoving it under his shirt. In the ring, BNB manages to get a rope break as Truth heads back to commentary. BNB hits a mule kick, then sends Bryan shoulder-first into the ring post. BNB sets up the Bull Hammer, but Bryan explodes out of the corner with the running knee for 3.
WINNER: DANIEL BRYAN.
After the match, BNB looks around for his belt and notices it missing from the corner once again. He looks around the floor and cant find it, then asks the referee to help him look. He asks everyone at the announce desk if they’ve seen it. Truth stands up and lifts his shirt up, where the belt was earlier. However, it’s gone now. BNB just slumps against the announce desk, looking distraught.
We go to an interview recorded earlier between Byron Saxton and Roman Reigns. Saxton congratulates him on his win over Bryan at Fastlane, calling it the most hard-fought match of Reigns’ career. Reigns agrees and says that’s the type of competitor Bryan is. Bryan knows what it takes to get where Reigns is going, and that is Brock Lesnar. He’s going to beat Lesnar at WM. Saxton cuts to what Paul Heyman said to Reigns on RAW, where Heyman more or less kisses Reigns’ ass, only to turn around and say Reigns still can’t beat Lesnar. Back to Reigns in the interview, he says Heyman talks nonstop. Reigns hates the word “can’t” and being told he can’t do something. He can and will beat Lesnar. Saxton asks how he’s preparing for this match. Reigns says maybe he’ll get back on his boat and take a cruise (jokingly). He says he has to train harder and faster, as well as watch old tapes of Lesnar. However, it won’t be athleticism that beats Lesnar. This is a man who has done it all before, including WM main events. Reigns hasn’t been there yet. Normally, he wants to do it on his own, but he’s not a fool. He needs to tap into his resources, talk to his family, get advice and prepare him. Where he’s at right now, he can be cocky, but this opportunity is once in a lifetime. The rug can be pulled any moment. He’s had to fight to keep this opportunity. He hopes Lesnar is cocky and confidence, bouncing around, staring at Reigns with his arrogant eyes. Through those eyes, he’ll look at a man fighting for a proud family, trying build a future for his family. That’s a scary combo. He’s going to beat Lesnar at WM, and he doesn’t care if anyone believes it; he knows it, and he’ll prove it.
It’s announced that the Bushwhackers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
We see R-Truth celebrating with the IC title in the back, when he’s stopped by Dean Ambrose. Truth makes up a lie about beating Bad News Barrett for the title, and Ambrose says he wants the belt back. Truth then hands it over before running away.
MATCH 4: FANDANGO (W/ROSA MENDES) VS. CURTIS AXEL
Apparently, Fandango will also be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal this year. Before the match, Axel says not to turn the channel (I should point out he’s now wearing an “Axelmania” shirt that looks similar to a “Hulkamania” shirt). Everyone knows, at the Royal Rumble, he was attacked from behind and didn’t get the opportunity to get in the ring. Therefore, he was never eliminated, therefore, he’s still in it. He set the longest record for time in the Rumble ever. He’s been in the match for 32 days, 7 minutes and 20 seconds (Axel stupidly says “32 hours”). Sorry, but Maven’s been in the Rumble match for over 13 years now, Axel. No superstar has eliminated him from the Rumble, just like no one will eliminate him from the Andre battle royal at WM. He then fails at an “Axelmania” chant attempt.
The bell sounds, and Fandango applies a waistlock. Axel elbow out, then stomps Fandango down before tossing him over the top and to the floor. He points up at the WM sign, and the temporary distraction allows Fandango to roll him up for 2. Fandango ducks a clothesline and hits a standing suplex before coming off the top with the Last Dance for 3.
We see Damien Mizdow in front of a green screen with two women, apparently shooting a commercial. The Miz tells them to cut, and says he hasn’t seen acting this bad since Michael Keaton in Birdman. Mizdow points out that Keaton was nominated for an Oscar for that. Miz then does an impression of Mizdow, mocking Mizdow, calling him useless and whatnot. Miz tells the director to ditch Mizdow in favor of an “A-lister”. The director didn’t know Miz was interested, and says he’d love to have Miz in the commercial. He hands Miz a script, which Miz tosses, calling his face a script. They start to roll as Mizdow looks on, angry.
We get a special video package for Sting.
Adam Rose comes out for his match, but before that, we get an inset promo from him, surrounded by his Rosebuds. He says this year’s WM will be the ultimate party, because for the first time ever, he’ll be crashing that party and walking out the winner of the Andre battle royal. To the other competitors green with a jealousy, don’t be a lemon; be a Rosebud.
MATCH 5: ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS) VS. GOLDUST
Rose nails Goldust from behind, then throws him into the corner for some kicks. Rose hits a forearm and throws Goldust to another corner for a chop. Goldust comes back with a drop-down uppercut, then unloads on Rose in the corner. Rose reverses a whip, but then runs into a powerslam for 2. Rose comes back with a couple boots in the corner, then comes off the top with a dive. Goldust moves, and Rose lands on his feet. It’s all for naught, however, as Goldust quickly drops him with the Final Cut for 3.
Goldust heads to the back through the Rosebuds, only to have one dressed like a sock monkey attack him. The Rosebud throws him into the ring apron, only to strip off the top half of the suit, revealing himself to be Stardust. At least he’s back in his less goofy-looking gear. Stardust rolls Goldust into the ring and throws him around like a ragdoll before hitting what used to be called Cross Rhodes. Not sure if he’s changed the name of it yet.
The screen cuts to black, which means it’s time for Bray Wyatt. Do his words mean anything to you, “Dead Man”? Sometimes, he wonders if you can hear him at all. Or maybe you’re just to busy clinging to whatever life you have left, that you can’t even heed his call. He needs you to know this: he is not just a man; he’s is the serpent. Even the bravest rat can only outrun the snake’s fangs for so long before fate calls them by name. Your ignorance mocks him, Undertaker. How wrong is it you think can hide from him? Hell is his playground, and he would go through the deepest, darkest depths just to see your face. Time is ticking. Wrestlemania approaches. So come on, “Dead Man”. Show yourself. Find him. Find him.
MATCH 6: DOLPH ZIGGLER, ERICK ROWAN AND RYBACK VS. SETH ROLLINS, THE BIG SHOW AND KANE (W/J&J SECURITY)
Rowan and Kane start, with Kane applying an arm wringer. He turns it into a side headlock, then collides with a shoulder off the ropes, only to leave Rowan still standing. Kane hits a boot and sends Rowan into the corner. Rowan comes back with a shoulder that takes Kane down. Rowan hits a headbutt, then catches Kane off the ropes, hitting him with a fall-away slam. Rowan mounts the middle buckle and hits a spinning European uppercut for 1. Rowan rams Kane head-first into the top buckle, then tags in Ziggler. Kane drops Ziggler with a knee, then goes for a suplex. Ziggler lands on his feet and trips Kane, sending him into the buckles. Ziggler then hits a dropkick for 2. Kane backs Ziggler into the heel corner and tags in Rollins, who lands a punch, then sends Ziggler into the ropes. Ziggler knocks him into the corner with a kick, hits a corner splash and follows up with a neckbreaker before hitting the Shot to the Heart. He misses the rocker dropper, and Show makes a blind tag. Ziggler drops Rollins with a dropkick, then goes after Show. Show shoves him down, then swings Ziggler onto his back out of a cobra clutch. Haven’t seen him do that in about 9 years. Commercials.
Back from the break, Kane is now legal for his team, and he’s got Ziggler in a rear chinlock. Ziggler gets to his feet and punches his way out before Kane whips him down by the neck. Kane misses an elbow off the ropes. Ziggler turns around and misses a rocker dropper, then runs into a big boot. Rollins tags in and covers Ziggler for 2, then gets another 2 off a punch. Show tags in after Rollins throws Ziggler into Show’s boot. Show drops Ziggler with a big boot and goes to the middle rope for his version of the Vader Bomb, which connects for 2. Show picks Ziggler up by the face and throws him to the corner. Ziggler blocks a charge, then takes Show down with a rocker dropper. Kane tags in as Ziggler crawls to Ryback. Kane knocks Rowan down with an uppercut, then turns around into a leaping DDT from Ziggler. Ryback and Rollins tag in, and Ryback dominates before hitting a Thesz press. He then bounces Rollins’ head off the mat before hitting an overhead belly-to-belly. Rollins blocks a corner splash and comes off the ropes, only to be caught in a gorilla press, which Ryback then turns into an over-the-shoulder powerslam. Ryback signals for the Meat Hook, which connects. Jamie Noble jumps on the apron, and Ryback wipes him out. Joey Mercury enters the ring, and Ryback bounces his face off the mat. He picks Rollins up for Shell Shocked, then looks at Mercury and decides to pick him up as well. He gets them both up, but then drops them when Show tries to enter the ring. Show puts Ryback down with a boot, so Rowan comes in and clotheslines Show to the floor. Rollins wipes Rowan out with a suicide dive, then comes back in, looking for a blockbuster from the middle rope. Ryback catches him upside-down in mid-air and looks for Shell Shocked again. Rollins escapes as Kane looks for a chokeslam, only to have it broken up when Ziggler takes him down with the Zig-Zag. Rollins tosses Ziggler to the floor, then hits a thrust kick on Ryback. He goes for the curb stomp, but gets distracted when Rowan tosses Noble into the ring through the ropes. Mercury gets dropped on the outside. Rollins goes for the curb stomp anyway, but Ryback sees it coming, moves and sends Rollins right into a Ziggler superkick. Ryback then hits Shell Shocked for 3.
WINNERS: ERICK ROWAN, RYBACK AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Even when Rowan wins a match, he’s barely a factor.
The go-home edition of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown features Seth Rollins against Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show vs. Erick Rowan.
MATCH 1: DANIEL BRYAN VS. THE MIZ (W/DAMIEN MIZDOW)
As Miz comes out, we cut away to earlier today, where Miz is talking to Mizdow about his match tonight, claiming Bryan owes all credit for his success to Miz due to them being on NXT season 1 together. Mizdow laughs, and Miz gets pissed. He says Bryan would have been a nobody without him, just like Mizdow. He’s trying to teach Mizdow to be a good assistant, but if he breaks away, he’ll never work in this town again. That’s fine, because there’s more than one town in the US.
The bell rings, and Miz does his pre-match nonsense. Mizdow does his version, which gets a huge pop. Miz gets a mic and orders him down, saying the people aren’t here to see Mizdow. Mizdow is an assistant, so he needs to go to the back to get a towel for Miz after the match. Miz calls him “Felicia” for unknown reasons, and then turns around, only to have Bryan start nailing him with kicks. Bryan nails a European uppercut and a kitchen sink off the ropes. Another uppercut connects, as does a third. Miz reverses a corner whip, Bryan flips out of it, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Bryan hits a running corner dropkick, then lays in the Yes! Kicks before setting Miz up on top for a super hurricanrana. Bryan goes for the running knee early, but Miz bails to the floor. Bryan misses a baseball slide, and Miz rolls back into the ring, where he hits a seated dropkick to the knee. Miz drives his knee into Bryan’s several times, then goes for the figure-4. Bryan counters it with a small package, rolls through and goes right into the Yes! Lock. Miz tries to spin it around it get to the ropes, Bryan is having none of that. Miz taps out in a total squash.
WINNER: DANIEL BRYAN.
Completely one-sided match, just like all matches with the Miz should be. Mizdow returns with a towel as Bryan celebrates and looks at the Wrestlemania sign.
MATCH 2: RYBACK VS. KANE
Dear god, Kane needs to call it a career. The bell rings, and Kane applies a side headlock, only to have Ryback counter immediately with a back suplex. Ryback throws some rights and goes for an arm wringer. Kane comes back with an uppercut and a few rights of his own. He hits a corner whip and goes for an avalanche, but Ryback blocks it and hits a spinning belly-to-belly. He calls for the Meat Hook, but Kane slides to the apron, where he hits Ryback with a hotshot. Ryback shakes it off and lands some strikes before Kane hits a DDT off the ropes. Kane hits a pair of weak-looking big boots, then lands another uppercut in the corner. Then another. Then another. Kane hits a sloppy back elbow for 1, then applies a rear chinlock. Ryback fights his way out with rights, ducks a clothesline and hits a Thesz press. He follows up with a jumping splash and a spinebuster for 2. Ryback mounts the middle rope for a splash, but Kane knocks him to the floor with yet another uppercut. Kane is to uppercuts what Randy Orton is to chinlocks. Ryback gets back in and proceeds to hit a surprise Shell Shocked for 3.
Dean Ambrose makes his way down to the ring, as he’s going to be on commentary for the next match.
MATCH 3: R-TRUTH VS. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION BAD NEWS BARRETT (NON-TITLE)
Ambrose makes fun of Truth’s pre-match ritual, which makes me smile. BNB hits a kneelift out of a lock-up, then beats Truth down in the corner. Truth blocks an Irish whip and hits a back elbow. He does his little dance, ducks a clothesline and hits an uppercut. In the corner, Truth nails some rights until BNB gets himself through the ropes. The ref pushes Truth back, which allows BNB to nail a big boot. He slams Truth into the adjacent buckles, then sets him across the top buckle. After a few hits to the back, BNB nails a kick to the gut for a 2-count. BNB applies a rear chinlock while talking trash to Ambrose at ringside. BNB nails another kneelift and sends Truth to the corner, where he runs into a pair of boots. Truth hits a pair of clotheslines and a jumping side kick for 2. Truth misses the axe kick, which allows BNB to hit him with the Winds of Change. He talks more trash to Ambrose, but Ambrose just lets it slide before complimenting Jerry Lawler on his t-shirt. BNB knocks Truth to the floor and assaults him against the announce desk, all the while yelling at Ambrose. Truth gets rolled back in, and BNB signals for the Bull Hammer while BNB screams at him to watch. Ambrose turns his back on the match, which pisses BNB off. He gets distracted, and Truth rolls him up for a quick 3.
Ambrose leaves, completely ignoring BNB the entire time.
Bray Wyatt appears on the screen, singing softly to himself. You like that song? He sings it to all his pets before he puts them down. Time’s ticking, man, and the angel with the burned wings is waving you home. Find him, or he’ll find you. (laughs)
Another promo for Sheamus.
MATCH 4: BIG E AND XAVIER WOODS (W/KOFI KINGSTON) VS. THE ASCENSION (KONNOR AND VIKTOR)
Inset promo from the Ascension. They call Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair old farts, saying they shouldn’t talk about the past when they are the past. Tonight, they’d destroy Flair and Rhodes, but instead, they’ll make the New Day their latest victims. New day, same old story. Welcome to the wasteland. Vikto locks up with Woods and applies a side headlock before nailing a shoulder off the ropes. The two crisscross until Woods hits a kitchen sink and follows up with a seated dropkick for 1. Viktor recovers, rams Woods into the corner and tags in Konnor. The Ascension stomp Woods down for 2, then Konnor whips him into the corner. Viktor back in, and he stomps Woods some more before hitting European uppercuts and chops. Konnor back in, and the Ascension hit a double shoulderblock for 2. Viktor in again, and now Woods is fighting back. He manages to make the tag, and E comes in with a pair of overhead belly-to-bellies, followed by a standard one. Konnor comes in, and E clotheslines him to the floor. He goes for the Warrior Splash, but Viktor gets his knees up. He sends E shoulder-first into the ring post, tags in Konnor, and the Ascension take E down with the Fall of Man for 3.
WINNERS: THE ASCENSION.
MATCH 5: LUKE HARPER VS. ROMAN REIGNS
Reigns nails a right and throws Harper to the corner, where Harper gets stomped. He comes back with a boot, misses a clothesline and gets nailed with more rights. Reigns kicks him to the floor, then heads outside for a running clothesline. Reigns rams Harper back-first into the barricade, then rolls him into the ring. He blocks a boot, hits a punch and a version of the Mark of Excellence. Harper comes back and sends Reigns to the outside, but misses a shoulder on the apron. Reigns knocks him to the floor again, but Harper recovers and shoves Reigns into the ring steps before hitting a clothesline. Harper rolls Reigns in and hits a tope con hilo for 2. Harper gets 2 off a few stomps, then applies the Gator Roll before going into a side headlock. Reigns gets to his feet and breaks free before hitting a kneelift and a Saito suplex. Harper nails a series of corner clotheslines, then drops Harper with a big uppercut. Reigns flies off the ropes with a clothesline for 2, but then gets pulled into the middle buckle, courtesy of a handful of tights. Reigns shakes it off and goes for a Samoan drop. Harper escapes and hits a sit-down scrapbuster off the ropes for 2. Harper sets Reigns up for a powerbomb, but Reigns counters with a Samoan drop. Reigns loads up the Superman Punch, but Harper nails him with a superkick. Reigns falls into the ropes, then comes off with a surprise spear for 3.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
MATCH 6: THE BIG SHOW VS. ERICK ROWAN
Oh, great. The world’s largest athlete vs. WWE’s biggest jobber. As Rowan tries to enter the ring, Show boots him to the floor. Rowan tries to come back with a slam, but no luck. Show tosses him up the ramp, then throws him into the steps. The match hasn’t officially started yet. Show picks up Rowan and sends him into the ring post, then rolls him into the ring. The ref tries to get Show to back off, but Show hits a boot instead. The ref separates them and asks if Rowan wants to continue. Rowan nods yes, and this match is underway. Show assaults Rowan in the corner with punches, then stomps him down. The ref separates them again, and Rowan throws a weak punch. Show hits a bodyslam, then knees Rowan in the face. Show stomps Rowan down in the corner again, then picks him up for the chokeslam for 3.
WINNER: THE BIG SHOW.
MATCH 7: CAMERON VS. PAIGE
The insufferable Bella Twins are on commentary. Hello, mute button! Cameron slaps Paige at the start, so Paige hair-mares her into the corner. She follows up with a series of back elbows, heads to the apron, and pulls Cameron through the ropes for some kneelifts. As she comes back in, Cameron hits her with a DDT for 2. Paige gets sent to the corner, and Cameron hits the sh*ttiest avalanche I’ve ever seen after doing some stupid dancing. Paige gets slammed on her face for 2, then gets whipped down y her hair. Cameron drops to the floor to slap Paige in the face, then taunts the crowd in the ring, only to get rolled up for 2. Paige hits a trio of short-arm clotheslines and a dropkick. She ducks a clothesline, nails a big side kick, and locks in the PTO for the easy submission win.
After the match, Paige challenges Nikki Bella to get in the ring. Just like last week, Nikki does what she does best: makes stupid faces and holds the belt over her head.
Renee Young is standing by with Goldust. She asks what’s going through his head as he moves onto Fastlane for a one-on-one match with Stardust. He says that, at first, he tried to embrace Stardust. He knows what it’s like. He doesn’t know what Cody was trying to do, but the team was on fire. They rekindled their brotherhood and recaptured the tag titles. Then, darkness crept in. Slowly, Cody slipped from him. Now Stardust is more than a persona. Stardust is a cancer who is eating his brother alive, and he wants his brother back. Now, he has to do something that is probably the most difficult thing he’s ever done, and that’s face his brother. He needs to beat Stardust at Fastlane. Stardust appears on the screen behind him, and it’s his typical rambling. He says, after Fastlane, “Cody” won’t be the only one who ceases to exist; the universe will forget the name of Goldust.
MATCH 8: WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION JIMMY USO (W/NAOMI AND JEY USO) VS. TYSON KIDD (W/CESARO AND NATALYA)
Inset promo from Cesaro and Kidd. Cesaro says they have a bond greater than brotherhood; they have the bond of friendship. Kidd says you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends, and teaming with Cesaro was the greatest decision of his life. Cesaro says the power of friendship will be proven to be greater than blood when they become the tag champs at Fastlane. Fact. The match starts with Kidd nailing forearms to the face. Jimmy reverses an Irish whip and hits an uppercut, followed by a bodyslam. In the corner, Jimmy hits a chop, then mounts the buckles for some punches. Outside, Rusev comes out of nowhere and nails Jey with a forearm to the face. He enters the ring and drops Jimmy with a spinning heel kick. He then turns to Kidd, dropping him with a kick to the face.
WINNER: NO CONTEST.
Rusev stomps Jimmy down, then nails him with rights. Jey hits the ring to try and stop him, but gets put down with a thrust kick. Rusev then mounts Jey for some punches, screaming for John Cena the entire time. We see Lana on the stage, laughing. Rusev grabs a mic and screams in Russian.
MATCH 9: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS
Earlier in the night, we were informed J&J Security are banned from ringside. The two lock up, and Rollins goes right into an armbar before turning it into a hammerlock. Ziggler reverses, and Rollins quickly gets a rope break. Rollins applies a side headlock, then takes Ziggler down with a hip throw. Ziggler makes it back up and sends Rollins into the ropes, where Rollins hits a shoulderblock. The two crisscross, and Ziggler comes back with a hiptoss and a dropkick. Ziggler misses a corner splash, and Rollins stomps him down as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Rollins is in control with a rear chinlock. Kane and Big Show are now at ringside, as are Erick Rowan and Ryback. Ziggler avoids a back suplex and runs in for the leaping DDT, but Rollins counters with a Stun Gun for 2. Rollins hits a short-arm clothesline, then another. Rollins goes for a third, but Ziggler ducks. He ducks another, and the two collide when they both go for cross-bodies. Rollins is up in the corner, and Ziggler hits him with a splash. Rollins avoids the neckbreaker, but then misses a corner splash of his own. Ziggler hits another corner splash, follows up with the neckbreaker, then drops the Shot to the Heart for 2. He misses a rocker dropper, then counters a waistlock with one of his own before rolling Rollins up for 2. He ducks a clothesline and gets in a backslide for another 2. Rollins comes back up with a boot to the gut and goes for the curb stomp. Ziggler comes up with the leaping DDT. Rollins blocks it and turns it into a powerbomb, which Ziggler counters into a sunset flip for 2. He quickly follows up with the rocker dropper for another 2. Ziggler goes after Rollins, but Rollins gets through the ropes, where he hits a cheap shot. He tries to throw Ziggler out, but Ziggler reverses. Rollins lands on the apron, near Ryback and Rowan, and Ziggler knocks him to the floor with a dropkick. Rollins gets up and realizes where he’s at, so he shoves Rowan and slaps Ryback. Ziggler comes from out of nowhere with a clothesline, then rolls Rollins back in. He misses another corner splash, but lands on the middle buckle, where he hits Rollins with a mule kick. Kane jumps on the apron, and Ziggler knocks him down with a right. He then comes off the ropes with a hurricanrana on Rollins, but Rollins catches him and runs him across the ring for a corner powerbomb. Rollins then hits the curb stomp for 3.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.
J&J Security run down to congratulate Rollins as Rowan and Ryback check on Ziggler. Rollins points out there’s five of them, and only two in the ring, with Ziggler being done for. Rollins and company circle the ring as Ziggler rolls to the floor, leaving Rowan and Ryback in the ring. The faces go on the attack, knocking Show and Kane to the floor. Rollins jumps on Ryback’s back, but Ryback snaps him off. Kane drags Ryback to the floor, and Ryback responds with punches. J&J beat Rowan down in the corner as Ryback tries to fight off Kane and Rollins at ringside. Eventually, Rollins sends him crashing into the ring steps. Meanwhile, Rowan sends both members of J&J flying in the ring. Kane is in as Rowan hits J&J with a double avalanche. He turns around, and that’s when Kane and Show hit him with a double chokeslam. Rollins puts Rowan down with a curb stomp. He gets rolled to the floor as the Authority stand tall. Ryback clears the ring, then nails Show with a Meat Hook. J&J jump him, and he sends them flying. He sets up for another Meat Hook, but J&J grab his feet, allowing Show to hit the Knockout Punch. Rollins then finishes the job with another curb stomp.
End of show.
Final thoughts: You know, it’s really hard to take the trio of Rowan, Ryback and Ziggler as a threat when a) Rowan is such a jobber, b) Ziggler has only been allowed to beat Rollins clean once, despite the fact they’ve faced each other about 812 times since Survivor Series, and c) the three of them wind up having their asses beat down pretty much every single week.
This week’s WWE SmackDown episode opens with the Usos, Los Matadores, the Ascension, Slater-Gator and the Miz & Damien Mizdow in a locker room with Kane. He’s talking about some kind of match being about the luck of the draw (my feed likely missed the first part; I’m guessing we’re looking at some kind of tag team turmoil match for tonight). He says the matches are chosen at random, but it’s certain that the turmoil match (yep) will start with Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan teaming together. The Big Show steps in and tells these guys this is their chance to prove who is the dominant team in WWE, to grab the bull by the horns. El Torito flips out at this comment, so the Matadores grab him by the horns. Kane says anyone can win tonight. Miz/Mizdow could be back in the title hunt. The Ascension are young bucks looking to make a name for themselves. Slater-Gator have reinvented themselves. The Usos…well, all they have to do is prove they are the champs. All of these men have the opportunity to make an impact, so let’s get out there! The teams shove each other a bit before leaving the area.
I guess there’s no love for the Masters of the WWE Universe or Gold & Stardust in the division this week.
MATCH 1: BRAY WYATT VS. R-TRUTH
Wyatt shoves Truth to the corner right away and goes for a punch. Truth blocks, hits a few of his own, hits a kick off the ropes and an uppercut before Wyatt puts him down with an uppercut of his own. Wyatt chokes Truth over the middle rope, then nails a straight right and a knee to the back. Wyatt chops Truth against the ropes, then hits another uppercut. Truth puts on the brakes off an Irish whip, does some dancing and suckers Wyatt into a low bridge. Wyatt is back up on the apron, and Truth puts him down with a hotshot. Truth heads out to the apron, and the two trade blows before Wyatt snaps Truth down onto the apron with an arm wringer. Wyatt drags Truth to the ring post, places his head against it and blasts him with a right to the side of the head. Back in the ring, Wyatt hits a sit-down splash out of the corner, then drags Truth to the middle for a trapezius claw. He turns it into a rear chinlock as Truth tries to fight out. Wyatt hits a kneelift and sends Truth into the ropes. Truth goes for a sunset flip and gets blocked. Wyatt tries for another sit-down splash and misses. Back up. Truth hits a jumping side kick. He follows up with an elbow in the corner, ducks a clothesline and connects with the Lie Detector for 2. He goes for the axe kick, misses and hits a jawbreaker. It’s all for naught, however, as Wyatt turns around and drops Truth with a clothesline. Wyatt does the crab walk, spins over and lays Truth out with Sister Abigail for 3.
WINNER: BRAY WYATT.
MATCH 2: SUMMER RAE VS. PAIGE
The Bella Twins are on commentary, so my feed goes on mute. The two lock up, and Paige hits a snapmare into a pin for 1. She then hits an armdrag for another 1. Rae comes back with a roll-up for 1, and Paige responds with a big side kick and a headbutt for 2. Rae misses a roundhouse, and Paige hits a mule kick. In the corner, Paige hits a series of back elbows, then screams at the Bellas before pulling Rae to the apron for some kneelifts over the middle rope. Back in the ring, Rae connects with a roundhouse for 2, then hits a few weak punches and attempts to apply an Indian deathlock. She shoves her free foot into Paige’s chin, turning the move into a pin for 2. Paige reverses into a roll-up for 2. Rae comes back with a roll-up into some mounted punches, then does god knows what before sending Paige into the ropes. Paige comes back with a boot and a trio of short-arm clotheslines. She hits a dropkick off the ropes, ducks a clothesline and hits a back kick to the face before locking in the PTO for the submission win.
After the match, Nikki does what she does best-holds the Divas title over her head while making stupid faces.
We get a promo for Sheamus, who is set to make his return soon. That is followed by a blurb about Rikishi, who is the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.
MATCH 3: FANDANGO (W/ROSA MENDES) VS. ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS)
Rose comes out and goes for the trust fall bit again, but then decides no and orders all of the Rosebuds to back off. The bell sounds, and Rose drops to the outside to lecture the Rosebuds. Fandango grabs him by the hair, but Rose breaks it with a hotshot. Back in the ring, he throws Fandango to the corner, then hits a short-arm clothesline. Rose hits a European uppercut, then stomps Fandango down in the corner. Rose hits a snap suplex for 2, then applies a bodyscissors. Fandango falls back into a pin for 2, so Rose breaks the hold and applies a sleeper. Fandango counters with a back suplex, then snaps off a few left jabs and a pair of clotheslines. Rose comes back with a boot off the ropes, but then runs into a powerslam. Fandango goes up top for the Last Dance, hits it and gets 3.
One of the Rosebuds checks on Rose after the match, so Rose shoves him down and hits another one with a forearm to the face before storming off to the back.
MATCH 4-TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH; PARTICIPANTS: DANIEL BRYAN & ROMAN REIGNS, THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW, WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY), LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO, W/EL TORITO), SLATER-GATOR (TITUS O’NEIL & HEATH SLATER), THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR), AND THE BIG SHOW & KANE
Bryan/Reigns and Miz/Mizdow are the starting teams. Bryan and Miz lock up, with Bryan quickly turning it into a snapmare and hitting a kick to the back. He tags out to Reigns, who throws Miz to the corner for some rights. Reigns talks some trash to Bryan before throwing Miz down, then tags Bryan in. The fans want Mizdow, and surprisingly, he’s tagged in. He locks up with Bryan, and Bryan sends him into the ropes for a kitchen sink. Back up, Mizdow ducks a clothesline and hits the Reality Check. He goes for a corner charge, but Miz stops it and tags himself in. Miz misses a clothesline, and Bryan nails him with a corner dropkick. Bryan goes for it again, but Reigns tags himself instead. Reigns nails Miz with the Superman Punch and calls for the spear, but Bryan tags himself in. He nails Miz with the running knee and gets 3.
Miz/Mizdow are eliminated.
Team #3 is the Usos. Bryan puts a side headlock on Jey, then turns it into a schoolboy for 2. They lock up, and Jey applies an arm wringer, but Bryan counters into an armdrag, then turns that into an armbar before stomping the arm. Jey applies a waistlock, but Bryan counters with an armbar into a wringer. Jimmy makes a blind tag, and the Usos hit a pair of back elbows and a double elbow drop for 2. Reigns tries to talk Bryan into tagging him out as Michael Cole mentions, I think for the first time ever, that Reigns is a cousin of the Usos. Bryan begrudgingly makes a tag and now Reigns locks up with Jimmy. Jimmy applies a side headlock, but Reigns breaks free and hits a shoulder off the ropes. Jey tags in and applies a side headlock before suffering the same fate as his brother moments before. Reigns and Jey lock up once more, and Jey goes back to the headlock. Jimmy makes a blind tag as Jey hits a shoulder off the ropes. Reigns doesn’t go down until Jimmy comes flying off the middle rope with a shoulderblock. The Usos then clothesline Reigns to the floor and call for the dive, but Reigns sees it coming and circles to his corner, exchanging some words with Bryan in the process. Bryan offers a tag, and Reigns takes it. Bryan applies a waistlock on Jimmy, then takes him down before applying an Indian deathlock. He breaks his own hold to pelt Jimmy with rights and a jumping knee. Jimmy comes back with a chop, and now the two are trading blows until Bryan fires up the kicks in the corner. He drapes one of Jimmy’s legs over the middle rope and hits it with a running dropkick. Bryan nails a European uppercut, and Jimmy comes back with a few shots of his own. He shoves Bryan into the corner, where Jey makes the tag and follows up with a big splash for 2. Jey shoves Bryan to the corner for a shoulder thrust and tags in Jimmy, who comes off the top with an elbow to the shoulder. Jey tags in and does the same. Jimmy tags back in, but Bryan slides to the floor before the third one can connect. Now, Reigns is jaw-jacking with Bryan, reversing the roles from a few minutes ago. Commercials.
Back from the break, Reigns and Jimmy are legal, with Reigns hitting a waistlock takedown. Reigns hits a suplex, and Bryan tags himself in. Bryan hits Jimmy with a European uppercut, makes fun of Reigns’ suplex and hits a snap suplex of his own for 2. He hits another European uppercut, then nails some kicks in the corner. Jimmy comes back and shoves Bryan to his corner to tag in Jey, who hits Bryan with the running hip attack for 2. Jey applies a 3/4-nelson and turns it into a modified wristlock. Bryan snaps him off, but then runs into a back elbow. Jey drags Bryan to the corner and tags in Jimmy, who comes off the ropes with a flying headbutt for 2. He goes back to the arm, but Bryan fights out with punches. Jimmy stops that with a headbutt, then lights Bryan up in the corner with a chop. Bryan flips off a corner whip, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Bryan pulls Jimmy to his corner for a tag, and Reigns accepts. He hits a snapmare on Jimmy, then takes him down with a low running boot for 2. Reigns applies a rear chinlock now, but Jimmy is fighting his way out. He hits Reigns with an uppercut, then hits a kick off the ropes, but Reigns shakes it off and takes him down with a clothesline. Bryan tags in and drives his knee into Jimmy’s face before hitting yet another European uppercut. Bryan misses a corner dropkick, and Jey makes the tag. He charges into the corner, and Bryan sidesteps him, causing him to collide with the ring post and then hit the floor. Bryan baseball slides Jimmy on the floor, then proceeds to assault Jey against the barricade. Reigns doesn’t like what he sees and pulls Bryan off, screaming that Jey is hurt and that Bryan can’t win outside the ring. Bryan tells him not to get in his face and this is how he wins. Reigns tells him to do it int he ring as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Bryan is still in control of Jey, holding him in a hammerlock. Jey elbows his way out, then runs into a dropkick. Bryan taunts Reigns with the “Yes!” chant, then covers Jey for 2. He looks for a tag from Reigns off an arm wringer, but Reigns isn’t having it. Bryan folds Jey’s arm in an awkward way, then hits a butterfly driver into an armbar. Jey quickly gets his feet on the ropes to break the hold, so Bryan picks him up for another European uppercut. He goes back to an armlock, but Jey counters with a Samoan drop. Jimmy makes the tag and hits Bryan with a pair of clotheslines, a superkick, a drop-down uppercut and a full-nelson bomb that sends Bryan to the corner. Bryan avoids the hip attack by backdropping Jimmy, but Jimmy makes the tag before landing on the apron, and Jey comes off the top with a cross-body for 2 as Reigns breaks it up. Jimmy gets in Reigns’ face and then hits an uppercut. Reigns throws him to the corner, misses a charge, blocks a kick, then gets hit with a reverse dragon whip, setting him up for the hip attack. Reigns rolls tot he floor to avoid the move, and Bryan comes up with a corner dropkick on Jimmy, sending him to the apron, in perfect place for Reigns’ apron dropkick. Jey takes Reigns out with a suicide dive, so Bryan does the same to Jey. Jimmy rolls back in for a dive of his own, but Reigns flies into the ring with a Superman Punch. Jey then puts Reigns down with a superkick before Bryan comes off the top. Jey sees him coming and meets him with a superkick. He goes for the Samoan Splash, but Bryan blocks it with his knees and rolls the move right into the Yes! Lock for the submission win.
The Usos are eliminated as Reigns has to pry Bryan off his cousin. Reigns screams at Bryan that Jey tapped and he needed to break the hold. Bryan talks some trash of his own. Commercials.
Another video for Sheamus.
Back from the break, Reigns and Bryan are still arguing as team #4 comes out, that being Los Matadores. Bryan gets hit with an armdrag by Diego, then comes back with an arm wringer. Diego ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning headscissors that sends him to the corner. Diego stomps him down in the corner, but Bryan comes back with a kitchen sink off the ropes. Bryan goes for a surfboard, then turns it into a dragon sleeper combo. Diego punches his way out, so Bryan hits him with a European uppercut. Diego avoids a kick and trips Bryan into the middle rope before hitting a sit-down splash across Bryan’s back. Up top, Bryan crotches Diego, then climbs up for a butterfly suplex, right out of William Regal’s playbook. Bryan applies the Yes! Lock, and Los Matadores are done.
Los Matadores are eliminated.
Team #5 is Slater-Gator. Slater got a haircut. Reigns tags himself in, to Bryan’s chagrin. Reigns immediately drops Slater with a right, then hits a misdirection flying clothesline. He knocks Titus off the apron, hits Slater with a corner splash and a fireman’s carry into a flapjack. Titus tries to come back in, so Reigns drops him with a Superman Punch. Slater eats a spear and Reigns gets 3 as he stares at Bryan.
Slater-Gator are eliminated. Commercials.
Back from the break, and team #6 is on their way out, that being the Ascension. Bryan is back in for his team, starting off with Viktor. The two lock up, and Viktor breaks it with a straight right. He throws Bryan to the corner for an assault, but Bryan fights his way out with kicks and elbows. He applies a side headlock, goes into a crisscross, and gets low-bridged by Konnor. The Ascension double-team Bryan on the outside until Reigns gets involved. He fights them off for a minute, but the Ascension quickly overwhelm him, then toss him over the announce desk. They turn their attention back to Bryan, beating him down against the barricade before throwing him into the ring post. Reigns then meets the same fate before Bryan is rolled back into the ring. The referee appears to have ended this match, but the Ascension don’t care and hit Bryan with the Fall of Man.
The Ascension are eliminated.
The Ascension continue their assault, rolling Reigns into the ring as another referee comes down to try to restore order. The rest of the refs come down, and they are finally able to hold the Ascension back as the Big Show’s music hits.
Looks like we have a team #7, and it’s Show/Kane. Commercials.
Back from (hopefully) the last break, a limping Reigns is starting with Kane. Kane immediately goes on the attack, stomping Reigns down for 1. Kane applies a side headlock, then hits a shoulder off the ropes for 2 before applying a rear chinlock that he turns into a hammerlock. Reigns elbows out, ducks a clothesline and hits a flying one of his own. Bryan tags in and fires up the Yes! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw and runs into a big boot. Show tags in, drops to the floor and drags Bryan to the apron for a chop to the chest. He pulls Bryan to the floor and throws him into the ring post, then gorilla presses him back into the ring. Show stands on Bryan’s hand, then hits a bodyslam. Show casually pushes Bryan with his foot, then kicks him in the ribs. Kane tags in as Show stands on Bryan’s face. Kane stomps Bryan down in the corner, then sends him into the adjacent corner for a splash before hitting a sidewalk slam for 2. Bryan gets thrown to the heel corner, where he tries to fight his way out. Kane goozles him, but Bryan starts kicking him in the legs. Kane shoves Bryan into the ropes, and into Show in the process. Show yells at Kane for not paying attention before Kane tags out. They pick Bryan up and hit him with a double back elbow. Show taunts Reigns on the apron as Reigns looks for a tag. Kane lectures Show about focusing on business, so Show picks Bryan up for the chokeslam. Bryan kicks his way out once more and hits a DDT. Bryan crawls for the tag as Show is slow to get up. He nearly makes it, but Show splashes him across the back to stop the tag and get a 2-count. Kane and Show continue to argue as Show picks Bryan up by the neck for a headbutt. Kane tells Show to finish Bryan, but Show says he’s having fun and taking care of his job. Show goes up for Vader Bomb, but Kane tags in. He tells Show not to take any risks and cause him this match. Kane goes to pick up Bryan, but Bryan pulls him down into the Yes! Lock. Show breaks it up after a moment, causing Reigns to come in. As the ref is distracted, Show pulls Kane to his corner to make the tag. Bryan crawls for the tag as Show and Kane continue to argue. Show puts Bryan down with a headbutt, then knocks Reigns off the apron with an elbow. Show calls for the chokeslam, but Bryan reverses into the Yes! Lock once more. Kane breaks it up with a boot this time and continues to berate Show. Show tells Kane to get out of his face, and that this isn’t all about him. Show turns his back on Kane, and Kane turns him back around, only to have Show blast him with the Knockout Punch. Reigns comes in and takes Show down with a spear as Bryan pulls himself up in the corner. He calls for the running knee, hits it and gets 3.
WINNERS: DANIEL BRYAN AND ROMAN REIGNS.
Bryan celebrates the win before both he and Reigns stare up at the big Wrestlemania sign. Reigns helps Bryan to his feet, and they nod at each other out of respect.
This week WWE SmackDown emanates from the World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO.
We’re kicking the show off in the worst way, with another episode of “MizTV”. Miz is accompanied by Damien Mizdow, who has been demoted from stunt-double to asssistant. Mizdow is ordered to sit at ringside during the segment. For the “show”, Miz has two guests. A big “We want Mizdow” chant breaks out. His two guests will face each other at Fastlane, with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the WWE World title at Wrestlemania. Daniel Bryan is out first, followed by Roman Reigns. Reigns immediately knocks out Miz upon entering the ring, and Bryan laughs. Reigns says Bryan thinks he’s going to slide in and take Reigns’ opportunity. He went through 29 superstars to get to this point, and he has no problem going through one more, because he’s going to Wrestlemania. He’s fighting Lesnar and he’s going to win the title. Would Bryan like to know how? Reigns is going to beat him at Fastlane. He doesn’t think they should wait, though. He thinks they should do it right here and now. Reigns tosses the director’s chairs from the ring. Bryan starts to talk, but instead tosses the last chair.
Before this goes further, Seth Rollins and J&J Security come out, with Rollins wearing a huge sh*t-eating grin. He says he hates to be a party-pooper, but actually, it’s kind of his thing. Anyway, he’s got a bone to pick with both of them. Bryan knows that on RAW, he was on the verge of beating Bryan, punching his ticket to Fastlane, and moving onto the main event of WM. But, he wasn’t victorious because Reigns tried to stick his nose into Rollins’ business. Reigns sucker-punched him because he’s a coward and doesn’t have the guts to face him one-on-one like a man. He gets it. After the role Rollins has been on, if he were Reigns, he wouldn’t want to face Rollins, either. In case Reigns forgot, he’s the guy who brought back the Authority and nearly slayed “The Beast” at the Rumble. It doesn’t matter what happens at Fastlane or WM, because he holds the future (his case) in his hands. On the subject of futures, Bryan’s future is in jeopardy. Per the Authority, Bryan has a match tonight…against J&J Security…and Rollins himself. Good luck making it to Fastlane.
Renee Young is standing by with Miz. Miz bitches about what just happened, calling it a failed attempt at a publicity stunt. The only controversy he sees is that he’s not in the main event of WM. Roman Reigns doesn’t belong in the main event, and he’ll prove it tonight, if Reigns accepts his challenge.
MATCH 1: GOLD & STARDUST VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER AND RYBACK
We get an inset promo from Ziggler and Ryback. They say they’re targets of the Authority, but they’re not going anywhere, no matter how much punishment they take. It’s just too bad for Gold & Stardust that they’re just too good. Feed them more. Back to the ring, the match starts with Ryback and Stardust. Ryback applies a side headlock, then hits a shoulder off the ropes. Ryback catches Stardust off the ropes, tags in Ziggler, hits an inverted atomic drop, then holds Stardust there for a Ziggler dropkick for 1. Ziggler applies an arm wringer, then tags in Ryback. Ryback hits a bodyslam, then mounts the middle rope for a falling splash for 1. Ziggler back in , and the faces hit a pair of back elbows before doing a Fargo strut. Ziggler then hits the Show-Off Elbow before Ryback hits a splash for 2 (not sure why he’s considered legal). Stardust back in as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Goldust is legal, and he’s grinding his knee into Ryback’s face. Ryback rams him into the corner and goes for a back-body drop. Goldust tags out, then hits a sunset flip, only for Stardust to boot Ryback for 2. Goldust tags in and applies a front chancery. Ryback fights out, but gets hit with a series of knees. Off a corner whip, Ryback knocks Stardust off the apron, then hits Goldust with a back elbow before backdropping him to the floor. Goldust rolls in and tags in Stardust, who comes off the top, only to get nailed in the gut. Ziggler tags in and drops Stardust with a clothesline. He hits a corner splash and a neckbreaker before knocking Goldust off the apron. The Show-Off Elbow gets 2, and Ziggler goes for the superkick. Stardust blocks and goes for a back suplex, but Ziggler lands on his feet and goes for the rocker dropper. Stardust avoids it, but then gets hit with a leaping DDT for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Stardust holds onto the ropes before hitting the Disaster Kick. Goldust starts screaming for “Cody” to tag out, so Stardust does so by chopping Goldust across the chest. He then bails on the match as Ziggler hits Goldust with a superkick. Ryback tags in and hits Shell Shocked for 3.
WINNERS: RYBACK AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Stardust stares at Goldust from the stage.
We get a Black History Month segment for “The Big Cat” Ernie Ladd.
Curtis Axel is in the ring, ready for a match with Dean Ambrose. Before that happens, however, Axel is going to cut a promo. This should be stunning. He says not to change the channel, but change the course of history. He was never eliminated from the Rumble. A “You’re not Perfect” chant breaks out. He says he should be headling WM as the entire crowd tries to stifle their laughter. He should be headlining WM, so he wants everyone to join the movement with the hashtag #AxelMania.
MATCH 2: CURTIS AXEL VS. DEAN AMBROSE
Axel goes on the attack with shots in the corner, but Ambrose quickly comes back with a series of jabs and kicks. He grinds Axel’s face across the top rope, then hits him with a chop. He explodes off the ropes with a cross-body into some mounted punches, then drops a power-drive elbow. In the corner, he grinds his forearm into Axel’s face and goes for a corner whip. Axel reverses, blocks a boot, sends Ambrose’s legs through the ropes, then nails him in the back of the head repeatedly as Ambrose is hung up. Axel nails a few more shots, then tosses Ambrose to the floor. Outside, Axel continues the attack, then screams at the announcers. He goes to roll Ambrose back in, but Ambrose blocks it and nails Axel in the face. He rolls Axel in and hits a corner forearm, followed by a bulldog. Up top, Ambrose goes for an elbow, but Axel boots him and goes for the Perfect-Plex. Ambrose blocks it, misses a clothesline, gets hit with a right, then rebounds off the ropes with a clothesline. Ambrose quickly hits Dirty Deeds and gets 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
Bad News Barrett appears on the big screen and says he has breaking news courtesy of the Bad News Zone, or BNZ. Ambrose is a deranged vagrant of a superstar who is trying to make himself relevant by challenging BNB for the IC title. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking good for Ambrose, because he’s too much of a lunatic to deserve a title opportunity. For more breaking news, please stay tuned to BNZ.
MATCH 3: FANDANGO (W/ROSA MENDES) VS. ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS)
Yay! A rare heel vs. heel match, only it involves two men no one in their right mind gives a damn about. Before the match, Rose goes for his trust fall, but the Rosebuds drop him. Rose loses it and begins assaulting them. On the apron, Fandango snaps Rose into the ring. The bell rings, and Fandango hits a spinebuster. In the corner, he hits a couple chops, then hits a back elbow off the ropes. Rose reverses a corner whip, and Fandango slumps in the corner. Rose stomps him down before hitting a short-arm clothesline. Fandango rolls to the apron, where Rose knocks him back down with a boot. On the apron, Rose hits a back suplex. Rose slams him face-first into the apron, then screams at the Rosebuds. Back in the ring, Fandango sneaks in a small package for 2. Off the ropes, he connects with a spinning heel kick, then goes up top, where he hits the Last Dance for 3.
The Miz comes down for a match with Reigns (who we learn accepted the challenge moments ago), then demands a mic. He says Reigns has embarrassed him on “MizTV” for the last time. You want to headline WM, why don’t you come out and face someone who actually did it?
MATCH 4: THE MIZ (W/DAMIEN MIZDOW) VS. ROMAN REIGNS
Miz knocks Reigns off the apron before the match starts, then throws him into the ring steps. The ref checks on Reigns to see if he wants to continue, and Reigns obliges by rolling into the ring. The bell rings, and Miz attacks Reigns in the corner. The ref backs him up, only to have Miz go back in for some kicks. He goes for a corner whip, and Reigns rebounds with a clothesline. He tosses Miz to the corner, then stomps him down. In the adjacent corner, Reigns hits a big headbutt. Miz comes back with a kick off the ropes, so Reigns Pounces him out of the rope as Mizdow looks on, seated at ringside. Miz screams at Mizdow to do something, only to turn around and get blasted by a Reigns clothesline. Back in, Miz goes for a tackle on the apron, misses, and gets kicked through the ropes. He manages to come back with a big boot out of the corner, then hits a quick kick off the ropes for 1. Miz rakes at Reigns’ face, then applies a rear chinlock. Reigns breaks free and nails Miz with a couple of punches before Miz blocks and hits the Reality Check for 1. Miz knee-chokes Reigns over the middle rope, while simultaneously raking at his face. He drops a leg across Reigns’ back for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Reigns fights to his feet and goes for an Irish whip. Miz reverses and hits a kitchen sink. Miz looks for the hanging clothesline in the corner, but Reigns explodes out of the corner with a clothesline of his own. Reigns hits a pair of corner clotheslines, then a short-arm. He goes for a Samoan drop, but Miz escapes and kicks Reigns in the knee before looking for a snap DDT. Reigns blocks it twice, powers Miz up onto his shoulder, then hits a spin-out flapjack. He blasts Miz with the Superman Punch, then cuts through him with a spear for 3.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
MATCH 5: WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION RUSEV (W/LANA) VS. ERICK ROWAN
Rowan is seriously the biggest jobber (both literally and figuratively) on the roster right now.The two immediately go to blows. Rusev shoves Rowan away, but Rowan comes back with a big boot. He rams Rusev’s head into the top buckle, then hits a Pounce, sending Rusev to the floor. Rowan rolls him back in, then blocks a kick attempt before shoving Rusev into the corner. Rowan hits an avalanche, but Rusev comes back with a spinning heel kick for 2. Rusev applies a rear chinlock, but then breaks it to hit a series of elbows before going back to the hold. Rowan fights out, but gets put back down with a knee. In the corner, Rowan hits an elbow and a right. He sends Rusev into the corner, then nails him with a Polish Hammer. Rusev gets bieled across the ring, and Rowan hits him with a spinning European uppercut off the middle rope. He hits another avalanche, then mounts the middle buckle for some punches. Rusev slides under his legs and knocks him off the ropes with a kick to the leg. Rusev lands a low jumping side kick, stomps Rowan in the back and applies the Accolade for the submission win.
It’s announced that Rusev’s match with John Cena at Fastlane will now be for the US title.
Renee Young is standing by with Paige. She says Paige has been having a tough time with the Bellas. What is going through her head? Paige says she doesn’t get embarrassed easily, but she was really embarrassed on RAW. She gets that she’s pale, she doesn’t look like every other diva or act like every other diva. She’s not a cookie cutter cutie pie like the Bellas, and she’s not a conformist. As for the Bellas, they’ll be the ones walking out embarrassed when she beats Nikki for the Divas Championship.
MATCH 6: ALICIA FOX VS. PAIGE
Paige still has some of the spray paint on her stomach from RAW. Paige tackles Fox and pelts her with rights before hitting a big boot. She grabs Fox by the hair and begins ramming her head into the mat. Fox comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. We see the Bellas looking on from a monitor backstage. Back in the ring, Fox picks Paige up for a sidewalk slam, but instead throws her through the ropes and to the floor. Paige makes it back in at 8, and Fox snaps her down with an arm wringer before hitting a northern lights suplex for 2. Fox applies a rear chinlock, but Paige elbows her way out. She hits a kick and a trio of short-arm clotheslines before connecting with a dropkick off the ropes. She ducks a clothesline and hits another big boot, then applies the PTO for the submission win.
Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and says they say a man is defined by his actions. But he is no man. He is everywhere. He is everything. He is the spirit of perpetual negation. He is the reaper. (Laughs) What is it that makes you think you are immune to him, and that there would be no repercussions to your actions? Maybe you think your sins just don’t count, but the eyes of a fool are blinded by pride. Now, the devil is knocking on your door. Knock, knock, knock. He just wants you to come home. Just let him in. Let him in. Let me in!
MATCH 7-3-ON-1 HANDICAP MATCH: DANIEL BRYAN VS. SETH ROLLINS AND J&J SECURITY (JOEY MERCURY AND JAMIE NOBLE)
Bryan starts off with Mercury, who asks for a test of strength. Mercury tries to yank him to the corner, but receives a kick to the leg for his troubles. Bryan reverses a waistlock and hits a takedown, only for Mercury to makes it to the ropes for a break. Noble tags in, and Bryan applies an arm wringer before sending Noble into the corner for a series of kicks. He then hits a kitchen sink for 2 before going back to the arm. He folds Noble’s arm over his head, then stomps the elbow before going for a jujigatame, only to have Noble quickly make it to the ropes. Noble rolls to the floor before coming back in for a tag to Rollins. Rollins talks a bunch of smack, then goes into a lock-up. Bryan turns it into a hammerlock, only to have Rollins elbow him in the face. They crisscross, with Bryan landing a dropkick for 1. Rollins backs him into the heel corner for an assault. Bryan fights them off, but then gets taken down by a shot from Rollins. Rollins hits a neckbreaker and tags in Noble, who hits a short-arm clothesline and a legdrop. Bryan goes for his legs, but Noble gets to the ropes before kicking Bryan away. Noble pulls Bryan to the middle, where Bryan fights back with kicks, sending Noble to the corner. He goes for a corner dropkick, but Rollins pulls Noble out of the way, causing Bryan to crash into the buckles. Rollins tags in, pulls Bryan to the floor and sends him neck-first into the barricade. Commercials.
Back from the break, Rollins has Bryan in a neck vice before hitting him with a release German suplex. Rollins talks some more trash, mocking Brock Lesnar in the process, then hits another release German. Mercury tags in and hits an elbow for 1. Noble in, and he stomps Bryan from the middle rope before dropping a pair of elbows. He does some shadow boxing before hitting a stomp, then tags in Mercury for a gut shot. Mercury hits a dropkick for 2, then tags in Rollins. Rollins stomps Bryan in the gut, then nails him in the back of the neck with a pair of forearms. He goes back to the neck vice, but Bryan fights out. He ducks a clothesline, and the two collide in the middle off simultaneous cross-body attempts. Back up, Bryan hits a few rights, but then gets hit with a complete shot into the middle buckle. Rollins stomps Bryan down, then tags in Noble. Noble immediately tags out to Mercury, while Rollins mounts the middle rope. J&J set Bryan up for a Rollins superbomb, but Bryan counters with a hurricanrana, sending Rollins to the floor. Noble gets hit with a drop-toehold into the middle buckle, and Bryan then kicks the ropes, sending Noble snapping backward. Mercury attacks from behind and goes for a corner whip. Bryan backflips, ducks a clothesline and hits Rollins on the outside with a suicide dive. Mercury then gets hit with a hotshot, and Bryan comes off the top with a double seated missile dropkick on J&J. He fires up the Yes! Kicks on both, then goes for the Buzzsaw. Rollins comes in to stop it with another German, but Bryan lands on his feet and clotheslines Rollins to the floor. Noble then gets backdropped to the outside. Mercury gets hit with a spinning back kick to the gut before Bryan calls for the running knee. Rollins pops up on the apron, and Bryan knocks him right back down, with the distraction allowing Mercury to roll Bryan up for 2, which Bryan quickly counters into the Yes! Lock, with Mercury almost immediately tapping out.
WINNER: DANIEL BRYAN.
As Bryan is celebrating on the stage, Kane nails him from behind and kicks him down the ramp. Kane rolls him into the ring, and now we have a 4-on-1 attack. J&J pick Bryan up and send him into a Kane chokeslam. They pick him up once more, and Kane hits another chokeslam. Rollins orders J&J to set Bryan up for the curb stomp, which connects. Rollins then tells Bryan, “Good luck making it to Fastlane. Welcome to the deep end.”