WWE world champion Roman Reigns opens up this week’s SmackDown show. He runs down what happened on RAW, saying he’ll Superman Punch AJ Styles at Payback on Sunday. He doesn’t believe what Styles is saying. He respects Styles as a competitor, but he knows Styles’ history, and Styles isn’t fooling anyone. Come out here and tell the truth.
Instead of Styles, we get the Miz and Maryse. I’m done with this segment. Miz drones on until Reigns slugs him and clotheslines him to the floor. You know how not over Reigns is when he’s still booed for slugging the least over wrestler on the roster.
The League of Nations have challenged any three wrestlers to face them next.
Just announced, Reigns will take on the Miz tonight.
MATCH 1: THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS (ALBERTO DEL RIO, RUSEV AND SHEAMUS) VS. WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION KALISTO, SAMI ZAYN AND CESARO
Cesaro now has a full James Bond entrance, which is kind of cool. Sheamus and Rusev argue over who will start, and then they argue with ADR. Sheamus finally gets the nod, starting with Kalisto. Kalisto immediately fires off some kicks before running into a back elbow. Rusev tags himself in and he beats Kalisto down. ADR then tags himself in and snaps off a suplex before kicking him in the back. Sheamus in, and he clubbers away. Rusev in, and we get more arguing. Rusev with a bodyslam and a running elbow for 2. Rusev goes to a bearhug. I think James Dixon and the crew over at History of Wrestling are onto something when they say that only the sh*t guys use bearhugs. Kalisto punches his way out before taking a knee to the gut. He escapes a slam and tags out to Zayn, who drops Rusev with a spinning headscissors. Forearm shots from Zayn before he blocks a corner charge twice. He’s distracted by Sheamus, which allows Rusev to nail a roundhouse kick for 2. Commercials.
Back from the break, Sheamus drops a leg on Zayn for 2. ADR comes and slaps his thigh on Zayn before punching himself in the hand in the corner. A DDT gets 2 before ADR goes into a breathtaking chinlock. Zayn fights out before ADR gives him a Backstabber. ADR flexes and embarrasses himself in the process. He calls for the finish, but Rusev tags himself in. The two of them argue, and now Sheamus is in trying to cool things off. Eventually, ADR just bails on the match. Rusev turns his attention back to Zayn, then screams at Sheamus. Sheamus responds in kind before tagging in. He comes off the top with shot, only for Zayn to move, causing Sheamus to nail Rusev. The two get into a shoving match, and now Rusev is bailing. Sheamus misses a charge in the corner, and Kalisto tags in, hitting a springboard hurricanrana, several kicks and a springboard corkscrew. Sheamus heads to the floor as Cesaro tags in. Cesaro wipes Sheamus out with a running European. Back in, a top rope cross-body gets 2. Cesaro nails several more Europeans all over the ring, then puts Sheamus down with a dropkick. Cesaro calls for the Cesaro Swing, but Sheamus gets to the ropes and rolls to the floor. Now he’s bailing on the match. The faces win by count-out.
WINNERS VIA COUNT-OUT: CESARO, KALISTO AND SAMI ZAYN.
At least the LoN gimmick is finally dead. Now, if ADR and Rusev can just get fired, we’ll be all set.
After some commercials, we see the LoN arguing in the back, which leads to a quick brawl before Sheamus announces officially that they’re finished.
Video package for the Zayn/Kevin Owens rivalry.
MATCH 2: BARON CORBIN VS. DAMIEN SANDOW
Hey, Sandow still has a job! And he’s coming out to his old music! Not that it matters. He’s still a jobber at this point. Corbin throws Sandow to the floor and rams him into the barricade. Corbin lays in some goofy-looking elbows, then some punches. Back in the ring, Corbin stands on Sandow’s face, then chokes him over the buckles. Riveting stuff. Sandow gets in a couple weak shots before eating a modified stun gun. Corbin with an elbow to the back of the head and a catapult under the bottom rope. This slug wrestles like the Warlord. The End of Days hits and this is over.
WINNER: BARON CORBIN.
Renee Young stops AJ Styles in the back to ask about what Roman Reigns said earlier. Styles doesn’t care what Reigns says. He’s taking the title at Payback, so Reigns will have to call him “champ” instead of “liar”. He doesn’t answer to Reigns. He’ll step on Reigns’ cape when he wants, and that will be tonight, as he’ll be at ringside for Reigns/Miz.
It’s time for the “Ambrose Asylum”. His set is sweet. It features a potted plant on a stool, an area rug and poster board on an easel. Before we get to the show, Ambrose wants to talk about RAW when he was in the Walls of Jericho on the announce desk. Jericho made a mistake when he let go of the hold. Ambrose can hold a grudge and nothing can pry him off. He’s going to plant Jericho’s head at Payback and beat him. Jericho is one of the greatest of all time, but this Sunday, Jericho will be looking at the guy who will turn Bon Jovi into Meatloaf. Ambrose eats some Tic-Tacs, and now it’s time to start the show. His guests tonight are Natalya and Charlotte, along with Ric Flair. Aside from that ridiculous hair, Nattie looks good in her dress tonight. Nattie says the set looks like her dentist’s office. Ambrose points out Nattie will face Charlotte for the WWE Women’s title at Payback, as a result of a match between the two three weeks ago, where Uncle Grandpa cost Charlotte the match via DQ. Back to the segment, Ambrose points out Charlotte tapped out before the DQ was called. Nattie says it’ll be different this Sunday, as her uncle Bret Hart will be in her corner.
Charlotte and Grandpa, who was recently detained at the airport for erratic behavior, make their way out. Amazingly enough, Flair wasn’t drunk. Instead, he was just inexplicably causing a scene. Good god, what the hell is he on these days? Ambrose reminds Charlotte of what Nattie just said. Charlotte calls that. Disturbing. How. Could. You. Nattie? Everything. Uncle. Bret. Has. Been. Through. Nattie says Charlotte has no room to talk about parading people around. She needs to take a look in the mirror and see what’s standing behind her. Charlotte says that’s. Different! Different! Legendary. Her. Father. Some stats we already know. He’s. Her. Coach. Nattie calls him a lying, screaming, creepy old man who knows that he has to cheat to help his daughter win because she’s not good enough to do it alone. And, if her father tries anything at Payback, Hart will put a stop to that. And Charlotte will tap again. Flair is given a mic. Dear god. It is just tragic to watch him. He lists off the places he beat Hart, then goes off about fighting on the moon. Time to settle his tea kettle, according to Nattie. The WWE Universe needs a champion they deserve. Charlotte holds the belt over her head. Nikki Bella went blonde.
The New Day come out to do color dysentery.
MATCH 3: CURTIS AXEL AND BO DALLAS (W/HEATH SLATER) VS. ENZO AMORE AND BIG CASS
Enzo does his usual pre-match promo. I’m already sick of this. Enzo and Dallas start, with Dallas hitting an armdrag. I have to go on mute because the New Day on commentary is grating. Dallas looks like a fat Jack Swagger in his new gear. Enzo and Dallas trade taunts before Enzo hits a cross-body. He makes a running tag to Cass, who throws Enzo in for a corner clothesline. Enzo tags back in and dives at Axel before running into a back elbow. He dropkicks Dallas off a blind tag, then gets tripped by Axel. The Vaudevillains come out to scout the match as Curtis Cena throws Enzo into the buckles for an elbow. Dallas tags in and gets sent to the floor off a missed charge. Slater rolls him back in, where tags out to Axel. Cass tags in and cleans house before hitting a corner splash. Slater gets booted off the apron. Cass hits a scrapbuster and tags in Enzo, and the Rocket Launcher gets 3.
WINNERS: ENZO AMORE AND BIG CASS.
Cass tells the Vaudevillains that on Sunday, they’re going to prove there’s only one word to describe the ‘Villains, and that is “SAWFT”, which isn’t an actual word.
R-Truth is in the locker room, holding a tree branch. Goldust comes in and says that last week, when they danced, it felt right. Tyler Breeze interrupts with his selfie stick. Truth said last week was right and Goldust was happy. He wants nothing more than Goldust’s happiness…so he found a new partner. They’re called “Gorgeous Truth”. Goldust is bummed. Apparently, Breeze is a face now. He and Truth walk away as Fandango comes in and dances. Goldust says he has a headache. Fandango grinds on the bench.
Another video from Epico and Primo. They’re at clubs, talking about how amazing Puerto Rican women are.
MATCH 4: APOLLO CREWS VS. STARDUST
I had forgotten about Crews, seeing as I haven’t recapped a match of his since after Wrestlemania. Speaking of guys I had forgotten about, here’s Stardust as well. Crews ducks a pair of clotheslines and hits a waistlock takedown. Rhodes goes to the floor and pulls Crews out as well. He gets in a few shots before Crews slams him face-first into the apron. Back in, Stardust dragon screws the leg as Crews comes back in, then stomps him down in the corner. Stardust punches Crews, then trips him. He whips the leg into the mat, then takes his gloves off for some reason. Stardust applies a version of the Calf Crusher, but Crews turns around and kicks his way out. They trade shots until Crews hits a clothesline. Punches and kicks, followed by a pumphandle powerslam for 2. Stardust comes back with a dropkick to the leg. He goes for another trip, but gets hit with an enziguri. Another one connects before Crews hits the release spinning sit-out powerbomb for 3.
WINNER: APOLLO CREWS.
Crews kind of looks like a ‘roided-up Daniel Cormier.
MATCH 5-CHAMPION VS. CHAMPION: INTERCONTINENTAL THE MIZ (W/MARYSE) VS. WWE WORLD CHAMPION ROMAN REIGNS (NON-TITLE)
Quite possibly two of the dullest world champions in history main-eventing this week. Ugh. Reigns backs Miz to the corner out of a lock-up. Miz tries a sucker punch, but Reigns sees it coming and scares him to the floor. Reigns tries to pull him back in, but gets a hot shot on the second rope instead. Back in, Reigns hits a shoulder. Miz pulls him face-first into the middle buckle. Reigns no-sells, hits an uppercut and sends Miz to the floor with a clothesline. Reigns heads out and hits the Drive-By before staring down Styles at ringside. Styles gets in his face, and Miz uses the distraction to send Reigns into the announce desk, then into the ring post. Back in, Miz gets 2. Commercials.
Back from the break, Miz rakes the face of Reigns while holding onto a chinlock. Reigns muscles out of and slugs away at Miz. Miz reverses a corner whip and flails for the hanging clothesline. Up top, Miz connects with a double axe handle for 2. Knee-choke over the middle is followed by a leg across the back for another 2. Miz drives his knee into Reigns’ spine, then hits a quick boot for 2. Miz goes into a chinlock, which Reigns quickly powers out of. Miz catches him with a knee to the gut, then tries for the Reality Check. Reigns shoves him off and hits a Samoan drop. The crowd is just booing everything here. Both are back up, and Miz runs into an elbow. Reigns slaps Miz a couple times, kicks him off the ropes, then connects with a pair of clotheslines. Reigns flies off the ropes with a third, then goes into ten more in the corner. He’s apparently Jim Duggan. Reigns connects with an uppercut, then signals for the Superman Punch. Maryse pulls Miz to the floor to avoid it, and Reigns heads out as well. Miz dropkicks the ring steps into Reigns’ knees, then rolls him back in. Miz reverses a back-body drop into a sunset flip, which he then tries to turn into the figure-4. Reigns kicks him off, but Miz comes back with a snap DDT for 2. Miz flaps his arms for the SCF. Reigns immediately elbows out and connects with the spear for 3.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
Styles jumps into the ring after the match and has a stare-down with Reigns. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make their way down to the ring. Reigns goes right after them at ringside, but he’s quickly overwhelmed. Gallows launches Reigns into the steps before getting into the ring. Anderson rolls Reigns in for a Gallows boot, and that’s when the Usos run down. They attack Gallows and Anderson as Styles continues to do nothing. Jimmy punches Styles, so Styles nails him with a kick. Jimmy avoids the Phenomenal Forearm, but then gets clotheslined to the floor by Gallows. Styles tries to talk to Gallows, and that’s when Gallows shoves him out of the way of a spear from Reigns. Styles grabs Reigns for the Styles Clash, but gets backdropped to the floor. Styles lands on the apron and avoids a big boot by dropping to the floor. Reigns celebrates with the belt.
END OF SHOW.