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WWE Smackdown Live Recap For August 17, 2016

John Cena AJ Styles

The show opens with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan talking about Summerslam. Randy Orton joins them to sign his contract with Brock Lesnar for the PPV. Orton blabs on about “Just one RKO”, because he is a one-trick pony.

Heath Slater walks in with a gift basket full of fruit. He throws an apple at Orton. The basket was supposed to be for someone named “Bob”. Slater shocks the world by saying he actually watched the show last week later on and found out they were going to offer him a contract. First time for everything, I suppose. Slater talks about standing up to Brock Lesnar last night. Shane and Bryan were impressed, but they don’t want to give him more chances. Slater insists the situation is a bit of a big pickle. Orton has an idea and eats the apple. Great idea, dumbass.

We are in Austin, TX and, Jeezus, we’re going straight to “MizTV”. Maryse looks worse than normal.

Thankfully, Dean Ambrose interrupts before Miz can finish his introduction. Why do I get the feeling this is our main event? Again?

Ambrose is promptly interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Oh, no. Not a triple threat…Ziggler fakes an apology for the interruption. Ambrose is fine with it, because he doesn’t need to talk to make his point. Miz tries to get “Woah” over as a catchphrase, doing his best Joey Lawrence impression in the process. He invited these two on his show to talk. He points out that six months ago, no one would have thought Ziggler would headline a PPV for the World title, comparing him to the Ghostbusters reboot. Basically, he calls Ziggler a choke artist and a fizzle. He’s now in a career resurgence. But, what happens if he loses at Summerslam? Someone in the audience screams he should retire. Ziggler says he’s only worried about the match and winning, not losing. Ambrose likes the focus Ziggler has now, but he doesn’t buy it. Ziggler shuts Miz up before he can get much more out, getting a “Shut your mouth” chant going in the process. Does Ambrose want him to admit that WWE never got behind him? That he uses the critics as fuel to make himself better? That everything Ambrose has said the past three weeks makes him want to “kick your head right off your face”? His words, not mine.

Ambrose is right, and Ziggler admits it. But, Ambrose will have to admit that after Summerslam he was the last push to put Ziggler over the edge and beat him for the title. Ambrose calls this powerful stuff and goes into a hypothetical about Ziggler winning. If that happens, Ziggler’s life won’t be transformed. When you win the title, that’s when things get really hard. There’s now a big target on your back and the pressure goes way up. They both know Ziggler doesn’t like pressure. Ziggler is happy being a sarcastic star of his own crappy movie. The chip on Ziggler’s shoulder will weigh him down and bury him, because he’s never felt pressure like he will at Summerslam when he tries to take Ambrose’s belt. Ambrose will hurt and embarrass him. But, he will prove something to everyone: that he doesn’t want it bad enough. Ziggler has never wanted it bad enough, and he’ll never get it. Ambrose raises the belt over his head. Ziggler isn’t impressed. He says Ambrose knows nothing about him, but he does know one thing: he knows that this Sunday, Ambrose will have to push through all the limits and dig down deep, only for it not to be enough to put Ziggler away. He’ll know in his mind he doesn’t have what it takes. Ambrose will bleed all over, and it won’t be enough to put Ziggler away. Ziggler keeps this up before surprising Ambrose with a superkick and knocking him flat on his arse. Ziggler then says on Sunday, Ambrose will realize he is that damn good. Did Triple H feed him that line?

That last line and the “head/face” flub aside, this was one of Ziggler’s best promos in a long time. Decent work from Ambrose, too.

Tonight…Oh, no. It’s John Cena/ADR part 812. And Heath Slater/Randy Orton has been made official.

Up next, a 12-man tag team match. Well, that’s certainly extraneous.

During the commercials, Miz kept going, rambling about his Summerslam opponent, Apollo Crews. Crews eventually came out to confront him before dropping Miz with Crews Control after Miz kept calling him “Apollo Creed”.

MATCH 1: THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY), AMERICAN ALPHA (CHAD GABLE & JASON JORDAN), AND THE HYPE BROS (MOJO RAWLEY AND ZACK RYDER) VS. THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH), THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR), AND BREEZANGO (TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO)

Gable and Breeze start with a lock-up. Viktor tags in immediately and hits a European for 2. Gable escapes a slam and gets in an O’Connor roll, which Viktor blocks. Rawley makes a blind tag and takes Viktor down before hitting a corner splash. Ryder tags in for a surprisingly good pop as the Bros go for a double-team in the corner. Konnor puts a stop to that, and that leads to a 12-man brawl, as you would guess. Commercials.

Back from the break, Konnor and Ryder are down. Jimmy and English tag in, with Jimmy hitting a pair of clothesline and a superkick. He connects with an uppercut and hits the Alley-Uce. The running hip attack connects before Jordan tags himself in. Jimmy doesn’t like that and they argue. Jordan shoves Jimmy out of the way of an incoming English and drops English with an Alpha-Plex for 2 as Konnor breaks it up. Konnor slumps in the corner, leaving him open for Ryder’s Broski Boot. Viktor charges in and gets caught with a double-team version of the Rough Ryder from the Bros. Breeze takes Ryder out with a spinning heel kick, then turns around into a discus punch from Rawley. Rawley gets dropped with a superkick by Fandango, only he can’ t even get his leg up to Rawley’s chest. Jey Uso plants Fandango with a superkick of his own (that’s 3 thus far tonight). Gotch runs in and eats a double superkick (4) from the Usos. Jimmy then goes flying with a tope suicida onto the heels outside. Jey gets thrown to the floor by English, and English then gets picked off AA’s pop-up back suplex finisher, called Grand Altitude, for 3.

WINNERS: AMERICAN ALPHA, THE HYPE BROS AND THE USOS

Eva Marie’s debut, part 3, is up next. Just die already.

MATCH 2: NAOMI VS. EVA MARIE

Naomi’s already atrocious entrance theme has somehow gotten even worse. She has a neon and black-light dance routine for her entrance as well. Remember that one time Victoria danced for her entrance? It’s worse than that. Oh, and Naomi is inexplicably a face now.

Eva Marie gets her entire entrance…only for her announcer to say she has been delayed due to traffic. WHAT THE F**K IS THE POINT OF ALL OF THIS?!

WINNER: N/A

We get a video package of when Alberto Del F**kface returned last October. Sounds like he’ll already be gone by the end of the year since Triple H hates his guts and doesn’t think he deserves his over-inflated salary. In this situation, I am 100% siding with Trips.

We cut to ADR in the back warming up, when he’s interrupted by AJ Styles. Styles is a bit jealous that ADR gets to beat up John Cena tonight, but he has a front row seat for it. Eventually, ADR cuts him off. He’s been beating up Cena for a long time. He doesn’t need a Styles pep-talk. Styles says maybe ADR is right…which is why he’s in the main event at Summerslam, while ADR isn’t even on the car. Ooh. Get some aloe for that burn. Styles just became my favourite wrestler for the week.

We get a video for “Curt Hawkins Facts”. Holy shite! Hawkins is back?! When did this happen? Not that I’m complaining, as I felt he was very underrated, but wow. Did not expect to see that. This week’s facts are “Curt Hawkins has counted to infinity…Curt Hawkins can slam a revolving door…Curt Hawkins doesn’t flush the toilet; he scares the crap out of it.”

MATCH 2A: RANDY ORTON VS. HEATH SLATER

I’m amazed Slater gets announced second here. Not that he has a prayer against one half of WWE’s Golden Boys, of course.

As the match starts, JBL says that you have to wonder about the rationale for Slater to have this match with Orton because Orton is so dangerous. No you don’t, jackass. The match was booked, so Slater does his job. God, JBL is a twit.

Orton immediately boots Slater and sends him shoulder-first into two ring posts. Garvin Stomp time, followed by a boot and a toss to the corner. Orton throws some terrible Europeans before pounding on him with fists. Orton clubs Slater across the chest, then goes back to punches. All of a sudden, the bell rings. Apparently, Orton didn’t let Slater out of the corner before the 5-count and was disqualified.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: HEATH SLATER

So…does Slater get his SD contract now? He technically won the match.

Orton throws Slater to the floor, then tosses him over the announce desk. Orton yells at people in the audience to move, despite being nowhere near the people he’s yelling at, then drops Slater across the barricade with a gourdbuster. Again, nowhere near the people he was yelling at. Also, Slater didn’t come close to touching anyone in the front row. Orton is a tool. He then pulls Slater up for the hanging DDT spot on the floor. Orton then throws Slater into the ring and mocks Brock Lesnar by throwing Slater with a weak German suplex. He then hops a bit a la Lesnar before hitting another weak German. That ends with an RKO Outta the Planned Position.

The Wyatt Family appear on the screen to do their “We’re here” bit, only now there’s ominous music playing in the background.

Flo Rida is doing the theme for Summerslam. Do they have this joke on retainer or something?

A trainer is checking on Slater in the back. He’s hurt. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan enter, applauding him. Shane points out that Slater technically won, so he’s got his contract. Slater then rants about how tough he is and how badly he just beat up Lesnar before saying, “No mercy”. Shane decides that’s a good name for their October PPV. So both Backlash AND No Mercy are back on the calendar. Slater then calls Bryan “Mick”, as in Mick Foley, then talks about how awesome his reality show is. Admittedly, Slater is pretty funny here. Shane hands Slater his contract, and Slater calls Shane beautiful, and confuses him with Stephanie. Before he can sign the contract, however, Shane takes it from him, and he doesn’t notice. Slater then looks all over for it. So…this angle continues.

MATCH 3: ERICK ROWAN (W/BRAY WYATT) VS. WWE WORLD CHAMPION DEAN AMBROSE (NON-TITLE)

During the break, Orton and Wyatt crossed paths at ringside. There’s your next pointless Wyatt feud, folks.

Ambrose charges in with forearms before Rowan knocks him down with a shoulder. Rowan boots Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose escapes a slam and goes for Dirty Deeds. He ducks a spin kick and sends Rowan to the floor with a seated dropkick. Ambrose follows up with a tope suicida before sending Rowan into the barricade. Back in, Ambrose ducks a clothesline. Rowan catches a cross-body and hits a spinning powerslam. Ambrose heads to the floor, where Rowan baseball slides him in the back. Outside, Rowan hurls Ambrose into the barricade. Back in for 2, and now we go to a rest hold. Rowan yanks Ambrose down by the face, then sends him hard into the buckles. Rowan nails a forearm and a trio of headbutts in the corner. Ambrose blocks a corner charge, then low-bridges Rowan to the floor. Rowan is back in, and he misses a boot in the corner. Ambrose tees off on Rowan with punches and forearms. He ducks a clothesline and back suplexes Rowan. Up top, Ambrose looks for the elbowline, which connects for 2. Rowan comes back, glancing Ambrose with a spin kick for 2. More punches, because it’s what Erick Rowan does. Ambrose escapes a uranage, then escapes a powerbomb before connecting with a Lunatic Lariat. Rowan is up first, but Ambrose surprises him with Dirty Deeds for 3. Rowan continues to be the Blue Brand’s biggest jobber.

WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE

After Ambrose leaves, we go back to ringside. Wyatt is sitting with his back turned to Rowan, staring at the sheep mask. He then throws the mask down and walks away. Only a few weeks in, and they’re breaking up the Wyatt Family. Again. Creative are absolutely clueless when it comes to this gimmick.

MATCH 4: CARMELLA AND BECKY LYNCH VS. ALEXA BLISS AND NATALYA

Bliss and Nattie get the jobber non-entrance. Carmella gets a version o it herself. Lynch gets the full entrance treatment, which is fine, since she’s the best worker in this match. We go to clips from last week when an Eva Marie distraction cost Lynch her match against Bliss, which leads me to believe the same will happen here.

Carmella, who also debuted last week in an embarrassing match where she botched her own finisher (that shouldn’t even be a finisher), starts off with Nattie. Nattie gives her a clean break off a lock-up. Carmella hits a couple forearms and does Kelly Kelly’s spinning headscissors. I already hate her. Carmella then moonwalks. That isn’t helping. David Otunga compares her to Iggy Azalea and says she has “swag”. He is a jackass, and now I hate Carmella completely. Nattie drops Carmella with Nattie By Nature, then stands on her back before tagging in Bliss. The heels hits a double takedown by the hair before Bliss stands on Carmella’s back before covering for 2. Carmella escapes a chinlock with a jawbreaker, then crawls for the tag. Nattie and Lynch, the two real workers here, make the tag. Lynch hits both of the heels with a springboard kick in the corner, then hits a few more moves before nailing Straight Fire. The Becksploder gets 2 before Nattie comes back with some shots. The two both miss clotheslines and collide in the ring with simultaneous cross-bodies.

Sure as shite, Eva Marie comes out. She is revolting. Everything about her is grotesque.

Amazingly enough, I am relieved to see Naomi come out and interrupt the farce that is Eva Marie. She chases Marie into the ring, where Nattie grabs Naomi by the hair and tosses her. Nattie sees Lynch coming off the distraction and rolls her up for 2, only for Lynch to quickly counter into the Disarmer. Nattie taps.

WINNERS: CARMELLA AND BECKY LYNCH

Marie stares on with a blank expression as the three faces celebrate in the ring. Marie tries to make it look like she’s thinking, but she’s fooling no one.

Up next, a video for Lesnar/Orton called “15 Years in the Making”. Yeah, let’s ignore the fact that these guys have wrestled many times over the years, back when they were both younger and Orton wasn’t a total dud.

Rapper Wale has a song for Summerslam as well. Another guy they got on retainer that wrestling fans don’t listen to.

We see Kalisto being shoved against a wall, a hand from an unseen assailant pulling at his mask. I’m having a Michael Cole/Heidenreich flashback. We see that the hand belongs to Baron Corbin. Turns out my flashback was dead-on.

Jon Stewart will be at Summerslam for the second year in a row.

Lesnar/Orton video package airs. Quality is as good as any of the video packages WWE do, which are always top-notch, but I just don’t give a damn about this match at all. Even Lesnar doing nothing but trashing Orton and basically calling him a pile of crap can’t entice me to want to watch this match. Orton calls this the biggest match in Summerslam history, because he is delusional on a level I can’t imagine.

A six-woman tag match has just been added to Summerslam featuring all six of the women in the previous segment.

AJ Styles comes out join commentary for the main event.

MATCH 5: ALBERTO DEL RIO VS. JOHN CENA

Even if Cena wasn’t booked against Styles at Summerslam, ADR would have no chance of winning here. He hasn’t won a match since I can’t remember when, and with Triple H hating him so much, this is just basically running out the clock until his contract expires. If he does somehow manage to get his contract renewed, you can bet your arse it’ll be for significantly less than the reported $1.5 million he got last time.

ADR immediately goes for a headlock, then hits a shoulder. Cena no-sells. In this situation, he can no-sell all he wants, because ADR is terrible. Another headlock, dropdown, leapfrog, Cena hiptoss. ADR takes a breather as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, ADR comes flailing off the top with a…punch? A freaking punch. That gets 2, and now ADR goes into a the rear chinlock. During the commercial, ADR superkicked (5) Cena in the gut. Back to the match, ADR misses a dive onto Cena’s back on the ropes and goes sailing to the floor. Cena rolls him back in and goes for the AA, which ADR counters with a bridging German for 2. David Otunga is kissing Cena’s ass like there’s no tomorrow on commentary. Styles asks how much Cena is paying Otunga for all the arse-kissing. Styles is the most entertaining part of this match, and he’s not even in it. Back to the ring, ADR absolutely whiffs a running boot, missing by a good foot, even with Cena putting his hands up. Cena sells it anyway. Rubbish. ADR goes for the spot again (Dammit, James Dixon. I can’t not notice stuff like that now because of you!), misses, and now Cena throws some punches. Cena goes for a splash in the corner and misses, which gets a 2 for ADR. Styles calls Otunga “rookie” as Otunga questions his experience. Styles is hitting on everything tonight. ADR kicks Cena in the back for 2. A DDT gets another 2 as Cena kicks out WITH AUTHORITY. Commercials.

Back from the break, Cena bombs a dropkick as ADR comes flailing off the top. Cena loads the spaceship with the rocket fuel, hits the Proto-Bomb and the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. ADR escapes the AA a second time and hits the Backstabber for 2 as Cena kicks out WITH AUTHORITY. Hubbard forbid Cena just get a shoulder up. I know I said I don’t care if he no-sells for ADR, but the fact that Cena can’t ever just barely kick out or get a shoulder up has always driven me nuts. Anyway, goes for another superkick. Cena is supposed to catch it, but ADR puts the brakes on too early, and you can see the block coming a mile away as a result. He is the worst. Cena tries for the STF, but ADR kicks him away before hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He botches a missed step-up enziguri, and Cena knocks him down with a clothesline. Cena heads up top, where ADR connects with the enziguri on a second try. ADR signals for the jujigatame, which Cena counters into the STF. ADR quickly grabs the bottom rope for the break, then kicks Cena in the gut. He hits a superkick (6), but it’s only good for 2. Cena tries for the AA a third time, only for ADR to counter into the rolling jujigatame. Cena twists himself and muscles ADR up into the powerbomb. The Attitude Adjustment gets 3.

WINNER: JOHN CENA

After the match, Styles wipes Cena out with a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles is sick and tired of hearing “The future goes through John Cena.” So am I, Styles. So am I. This Sunday, when Styles beats Cena, HE will be the face that runs the place. It’s great that Cena loves WWE, because he’ll make his passion his prison. Cena’s time is up; Styles’ time is now.

Styles starts to leave, then turns around and goes for the Styles Clash, only for Cena to pop up and hit the Attitude Adjustment, instantly no-selling everything. Cena starts tearing apart the announce desk, then slams Styles face-first into the ring steps. He sets the stairs next to the desk and looks to go super AA, which he does, through the desk. Way to bury your opponent right before the PPV. Again.

END OF SHOW

Styles was easily the most entertaining guy tonight, despite that load of crap at the end. Surprisingly, the 12-man, which should have been a guaranteed clusterf**k, was the match of the night. It was short and featured little rest, something that 6-man+ tag matches are often horrible about.

Eva Marie is still the most useless performer on either roster, male or female. She will never have value. Ever. Just fire her already. And why is Orton still high-profile in 2016? Fans lost interest long ago, and WWE have lost nearly all their faith in him due to being an injury-prone discipline case. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler has amazingly seen a resurgence in his career thanks to the Draft, and his match with Dean Ambrose at Summerslam could be a show-stealer.

Follow Dustin Nichols at @Xdustineflx

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Dustin Nichols

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