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.
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.
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.