SmackDown is in San Diego, CA this week, and we’re two weeks away from WWE Payback. Tonight, AJ Styles will face Alberto Del Rio for the first time ever. Also, Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho will face off for the first time.
Maryse gets an introduction, which just leads into her introducing the Miz for “MizTV”. His guest is Maryse, so this is just going to be a segment where they verbally fellate each other. No. These two aren’t worth the flesh they’re printed on, and therefore not worth recapping.
Thankfully, Zack Ryder breaks this up before too long. This is making him and everyone else physically ill. Maryse yammers on. Ryder points out Miz wears more makeup than her. If you’ve seen how much spray tan that falls off him, you know Ryder is telling the truth. Ryder says Miz can’t take away his Wrestlemania moment, and he’ll get his title back. For now, he’ll enjoy watching Miz get dropped by the new #1 contender, Cesaro. Ryder then challenges Miz to a rematch for the title right now. Maryse does the talking for Miz. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse than Miz doing his own promo. She’s Summer Rae levels of awful. Miz accepts the challenge…before pointing out Ryder is already scheduled for a match tonight, against this man…A giant pile of suck known as Baron Corbin.
MATCH 1: ZACK RYDER VS. BARON CORBIN
Corbin plants Ryder face-first before hitting a shoulder off the ropes. Ryder blocks a corner attack before hitting a facebuster off the ropes. Ryder gets tossed to the outside, lands on the apron and hits a forearm. Corbin responds with a forearm off a springboard attempt. Corbin chokes Ryder across the bottom rope, baseball slides to the floor and hits a right. Stupid set-up for just a punch. The punch gets 2, and now Corbin goes for a version of the katahajime. Ryder escapes with a jawbreaker, but Corbin no-sells and hits two corner clotheslines. Ryder takes a Hart corner bump and a northern lariat (Bobby Roode’s recent signing must make it okay for Mauro Ranallo to call it that). Ryder comes back with a knee and sends Corbin to the floor. Corbin lands on his feet and runs right back in, where Ryder hits a pair of knees in the corner and a missile dropkick from the middle. Ryder pounds Corbin down with forearms. Corbin sees the Broski Boot and slides to the floor, so Ryder kicks him through the ropes. Back in, Ryder runs into the End of Days for 3.
WINNER: BARON CORBIN.
Corbin launches Ryder to the floor after the match to continue the attack, but Dolph Ziggler charges down to the ring. Corbin blocks a superkick, misses a clothesline, then bails to the floor on a second superkick attempt.
Renee Young is standing by with Kevin Owens. She asks about insight about the Zayn/Jericho match tonight. Of course he has insight. He has more than anyone when it comes to Zayn. Zayn was lucky Owens was escorted out on RAW, but that won’t help him tonight. No one can help him tonight. He’s known Zayn for 14 years, so why doesn’t Young go ask Zayn if he has insight.
MATCH 2: PAIGE VS. EMMA
Paige gets the pseudo jobber non-entrance, which doesn’t bode well. Emma comes out, and she’s got a really stupid entrance, including collared shoulder pads. We get an inset promo from Emma. She doesn’t like Becky Lynch because Lynch is better than her and got pushed farther than Emma ever hopes to be pushed in short order. That’s how I interpret it, anyway.
Emma and Paige jockey for position. Emma paintbrush Paige, then gets kicked in the gut. Paige stomps Emma down in the corner until Emma blocks and schoolgirls her into the buckles. Emmamite Sandwich connects, followed by Emma slamming Paige’s head into the bottom buckle for 2. Emma pulls Paige by the hair through the ropes, then clubs her with a forearm before hitting a butterfly suplex for 2. Emma then locks in a full-nelson as Ranallo mentions Outback Jack while talking about Australian wrestlers. Not a great reference, but I appreciate his knowledge. Anyway, Paige breaks the hold with her ass, then superkicks Emma in the chest. She connects with a running knee in the corner, then another one in the middle for 2. Paige pulls an ADR and slaps the leg way too soon. Paige sets Emma up top, then goes up for some headbutts. Emma escapes and pulls Paige face-first into the top buckle for 3. Wait, what?
A three-count off a turnbuckle shot? Are you jerking my nuts?
We go back to RAW for the long-awaited debut of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, going by his former WWE name again.
We then go back to RAW for Reigns/Wyatt 2: Electric Boogaloo. Thankfully, this angle is officially dead as of this week. Unfortunately, it’s due to Bray Wyatt once again suffering an injury, mere weeks after returning from a minor one.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy come out. Enzo screams a bunch of crap that isn’t worth repeating. What the hell is their appeal? Enzo makes references to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They’re tough New Yorkers, you know. They’re fighting the Ascension tonight, so there’s no danger of losing. The worst thing Enzo can say about the Ascension…is that they’re the Ascension. Okay, that was admittedly funny. Still not buying what they’re selling, though.
MATCH 3-TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: ENZO AMORE AND COLIN CASSIDY VS. THE ASCENSION (KONNOR AND VIKTOR)
Enzo tries a side headlock before Konnor shoulders him out of his boots. Viktor tags in and chops Enzo in the corner. Enzo avoids a corner whip and hits a headscissors before hitting an I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-that-is for 2. Cass tags in and bodyslams Enzo onto Viktor for 2. Enzo back in, and Cass throws him into Viktor in the corner. Enzo goes up top, but is distracted by Konnor. Viktor sends him flying into the barricade. Jerry Lawler insults Carrie Fisher. Bite me, King. Konnor tags in and continues the attack at ringside before rolling Enzo back in for 2. Viktor tags in and the Ascension double-team Enzo a bit for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Enzo counters with a jawbreaker and goes for the tag, but gets cut off. Konnor in, and he runs into a pair of boots before Viktor gets backdropped to the floor. Enzo then throws Konnor shoulder-first into the ring post before making the tag to Cass. Viktor also tags in and gets destroyed by Cass. Cass hits a bodyslam and the Empire Elbow. Corner splash connects, as does a big boot for 2 before Konnor breaks it up. Enzo goes after Konnor, but gets tossed outside. He lands on the apron and low-bridges Konnor to the floor. He suckers Konnor to come back up, where Konnor gets planted with a big boot from Cass. Viktor then misses a corner splash and gets hit with a scrapbuster. Enzo tags in, and he & Cass hit the Rocket Launcher for 3.
WINNERS: ENZO AMORE AND COLIN CASSIDY.
Enzo and Cass move onto the semifinals to face the Dudley Boyz.
Jojo is with AJ Styles. She points out his “phenomenal” streak. Can we expect this to continue at Payback? Styles says he’s always had to fight to the top, and now he’s got Roman Reigns at Payback for the WWE World title. He’s never been in the ring with someone like Reigns, but Reigns hasn’t been in the ring with anyone like him, either. When Styles gets opportunities, he doesn’t let go. Alberto Del Rio interrupts and talks about how great he is. He doesn’t care who Styles is. Standing next to Styles, he can smell that Styles doesn’t belong here. He’s all hype. ADR sure likes to describe himself here. Styles says he doesn’t belong here; he belongs out in the ring. ADR tells him “You’re out of your link.” I don’t know, either.
Commercial for the new Dolph Ziggler/Kane movie, Countdown. While I would expect it to be a piece of crap, when you see the commercial and realize that it’s a movie that takes place at a WWE show, that’s when you truly realize what a dumpster fire it will be.
MATCH 6: AJ STYLES VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO
In what should come as a shock to no one, ADR winds up injuring Styles in this match, because he’s a total clownshoe. Thankfully, the injury was minor, and Styles isn’t missing any ring time over it. ADR backs Styles into a corner before giving a clean break. ADR then gets distracted by the crowd, as if he’s never seen one before. Headlock is applied and ADR hits a shoulder. That is followed up by some exciting whistling. Boot to the gut and a throw to the corner lead to some ADR rights. Styles comes back with a receipt, then grinds ADR down with a headlock. ADR reverses, crisscross, dropkick by Styles. ADR rolls to the floor and avoids a slingshot plancha, but then turns around into a straight knee to the face. Back in, Styles gets 1. He lights ADR up with a chop before ADR completely f**ks up a corner whip and lands a kick to the gut. ADR then hits a seated dropkick to the back, simultaneously slapping both his legs in the absolute most obvious way possible for maximum sound. God, he’s a tool. A pin gets 2, and ADR throws Styles to the floor for a whip into the barricade. Back in, more whistling before a double axe handle off the top gets 2. I hate how he does that move, because he humps the air like he’s going for a plancha. Styles avoids a corner charge, sending ADR shoulder-first into the post. Styles snaps off a nice suplex for 2, then lands some corner shots. ADR backdrops him to the apron and follows with a step-up enziguri. ADR dropkicks Styles through the ropes as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, ADR has a rear chinlock in. Styles fights out before receiving a few strikes. Styles reverses a corner whip, misses a forearm, ducks another enziguri, then puts ADR down with a series of a strikes and a basement forearm. Styles nails a corner clothesline and the Ushi-goroshi gets 2. Styles goes for a pumphandle, but ADR escapes and connects with the Backstabber. ADR misses a superkick and runs into a Pele for 2. Styles sells the back and heads up for the Spiral Tap, but ADR crotches him. Styles falls into the tree of woe, but grabs ADR before he can head up top. ADR lifts him up for the inverted superplex that nearly piledrives Styles for 2. Styles is holding his neck, and I believe that’s where the injury occured (again, he’s thankfully okay). ADR sets up the tree of woe again and lands a couple kicks to the midsection. He goes up for his stupid double stomp, but wastes time whistling. Styles pulls himself out of the way, goes to the apron and hits a kneelift. Styles misses the Phenomenal Forearm, rolls through and gets trapped by ADR. He reverses the rolling jujigatame by rolling through into an Oklahama roll for the roll-up and the 3. Rolls.
WINNER: AJ STYLES.
R-Truth is in the back with Goldust, who he’s apparently been trying to text all day. They need to get ready for their tournament match. Goldust says that maybe their team will happen one day, but it won’t be tonight. Goldust talked to management and got pulled out of the match. Truth understands Goldust wants to focus on himself, but is then interrupted by Fandango, who is replacing Truth. He calls them “Goldango”, then just gyrates around a lot. Hey, remember when Truth and Johnny Curtis won a tag title match that never happened because Curtis was sent back to FCW and Truth turned heel? Of course you don’t.
MATCH 5-TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: THE VAUDEVILLAINS (AIDEN ENGLISH AND SIMON GOTCH) VS. GOLDANGO (GOLDUST AND FANDANGO)
Goldust and English start, with English immediately going on the attack with kicks and stomps. Gotch comes in for a double arm wringer, chop and punch combo. Gotch hits a European uppercut and a snapmare before making the tag. Gotch hits an elbow and English hits a kick for 2. Goldust comes back with the Shock Therapy before Gotch tags in. Fandango makes the tag, hits a Manhattan drop and a few jabs. A couple of clotheslines connect, followed by an enziguri and a spinning heel kick. English gets an Enziguri before Goldust clotheslines him to the floor. English rams Goldust into the barricade, then distracts Fandango. This allows Gotch to club him in the gut and make the tag to English for the Whirling Dervish and the 3.
WINNERS: THE VAUDEVILLAINS.
The ‘Villains will now face the Usos in the semifinals, while the Dudley Boyz will face Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy.
Jojo is standing by with Chris Jericho. After a recap of all that is going on with him, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Jericho starts talking about respect. Ambrose hijacked “The Highlight Reel”. Ambrose is either too stupid to understand respect or who Jericho is. Jericho calls himself the greatest of all time. He proved it in this dump of a city when he beat the Rock and Steve Austin in the same night in 2001 to become the first Undisputed Champion. He returned here tonight to give everyone the gift of Jericho. Drink it in. He’s like Haley’s Comet. A talent like his comes around once every 76 years. Zayn? Once a week. Jericho knows it all and will teach Zayn a lesson. Zayn will feel the pain because Jericho is the best in the world at what he does.
We get another video package from Epico and Primo, who spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool. Oh, wait. Wrong Colon family members.
MATCH 7: SAMI ZAYN VS. CHRIS JERICHO
Jericho backs Zayn to the corner, then gives a clean break to celebrate. Another lock-up, but Zayn backs Jericho in this time. He gives a clean break, but then chops Jericho before hitting a trio of armdrags that send Jericho to the floor. Jericho throws a desk chair before coming back into the ring. Kevin Owens’ music hits, and I’m guessing that chair was for him for some color dysentery (RIP Hawk).
Before he makes it that far, however, Dean Ambrose also comes out. He sticks a flyer to Owens’ chest, then starts passing more of them out to the crowd. They’re flyers for his new talk show segment, “The Ambrose Asylum”. Ambrose sits down for some commentary as Zayn rolls Jericho up for 2. He pelts Jericho with forearms, then clotheslines him to the floor. Owens is still milling about. Ambrose hands Jericho a flyer, who throws it back at Ambrose commercials.
Back from the break, and Owens is on commentary now as well. In the ring, Zayn lights Jericho up in the corner before getting a thumb to the eye. Jericho forearms him to in the back, then baseball slides him to the floor. Jericho celebrates again before pointing at Ambrose. He then suplexes Zayn back into the ring for the posing pin, which gets 2. Jericho foot-chokes Zayn in the corner, then whips him across the ring for a corner clothesline. Jericho heads up and connects with a flying back elbow, his original WCW finisher, for 2. Jericho grinds Zayn down with a rear chinlock, but Zayn punches out. Jericho plants him with a dropkick off the ropes for 2. Jericho paintbrushes Zayn a bit, which leads to Zayn coming back with a pair of clotheslines. Jericho kicks him off the ropes, but Zayn no-sells and hits another clothesline. Springboard cross-body from Zayn gets 2. Jericho elbows out of a back suplex and goes for a tigerbreaker. Zayn initially fights it off, but Jericho lands it on the second try. Jericho with more slaps before getting backdropped to the apron in the corner. Jericho stares at Ambrose from the top, and the distraction allows Zayn to come back with some kicks and a tornado DDT for 2. Zayn goes for a half-and-half suplex, but Jericho fights him off and looks for the Walls. Zayn reverses it, but then walks into a boot and a running facebuster out of the corner. Zayn blocks the lionsault, which sets up the Helluva Kick. Jericho ducks, rolls Zayn up and goes for the Walls again. Jericho locks it in this time. Zayn crawls for the bottom rope as Jericho tries to pull him back. Zayn is successful, however, so Jericho has to break the hold. Zayn rolls to the apron, where he shoulders Jericho in the gut and forearms him in the face. Zayn goes for a springboard, but Jericho shoves him to the floor before dropkicking him into the announce desk. Jericho heads out and attacks Ambrose, throwing him into the barricade. Zayn then backdrops Jericho onto Owens as Owens is talking trash. Zayn rolls Jericho back in, but gets caught with a basement dropkick from Jericho. Jericho talks a bunch of trash while slapping Zayn. Zayn has had enough and head-and-arms Jericho into the buckles. he sets up the Helluva Kick once more, but Owens runs in and clotheslines him, leading to the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: SAMI ZAYN.
This was a great match until the schmozz ending. Owens continues the attack before Jericho joins in. Ambrose hits the ring and goes right after Jericho as Owens clubs away at Zayn. He sets up Dirty Deeds, but Owens clobbers him from behind to break it up. Owens then looks for a powerbomb, but Zayn knocks him to the floor with a Helluva Kick.
END OF SHOW.