This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens with the COO, Triple H, making his way down to the ring. He welcomes the crowd to Smackdown, then says he’s heard all of the rumors, and ugly words like “favoritism” and “abuse of power”. He doesn’t like that WWE stars want to blame others for their own failures. He and his wife are okay with that burden, as they deal with it every day. They accept that they can’t make everyone happy and simply do what’s best for business. Even then, they receive criticism from everyone. For example, when they present a match like the 11-on-3 handicap elimination match, pitting 11 of your favorite stars against the Shield. It’s bad on their part, right? Let’s take a look at how that ended. We see the ending of the match, where Daniel Bryan leveled Seth Rollins with a running knee to score the final elimination. Back to Trips, he says that any angst in the locker room should have been settled, but it wasn’t enough. That match was what was best for business…
The Miz interrupts the promo, making Trips the second-most hated man on-screen right now. Trips reminds Miz of all of the opportunities WWE has given him. He was given plenty of opportunities and failed, then blamed everyone else. He gave Miz the opportunity of a lifetime by putting him in a match with Randy Orton, and Miz choked. We see Miz get attacked in front of his parents by Orton, including having his neck Pillmanized. Back to the ring, Trips says he supposes that’s management’s fault. That was a hard pill to swallow, but he doesn’t see how Miz failing is on him. The thing is, this past Monday, Miz wasn’t ready to compete, and Trips’ job as COO is to protect him. If he had let Miz compete, God knows what Orton would have done to him on Monday night. Instead, he gave Miz another opportunity to speak his mind on MizTV, and gave him a hot guest with the Big Show. Once again, we cut to RAW, where Show was ordered to knock Miz out and did so. Back to Trips and Miz. Miz says all Trips gave him was a set-up. Stephanie McMahon hijacked the interview and had Show knock him out. Thanks for the opportunity. Trips says Steph had every right to be in the ring, then wants Miz to repeat what he called her. Miz says he called her a castrating witch, but should have switched the “w” with a “b”. Trips laughs and says that’s typical of Miz-running his mouth and unable to back it up. He gets it, though. Everyone was upset and tempers were hot. After everything Miz has been through, Trips understand. Maybe Miz said something he shouldn’t have, and maybe Steph shouldn’t have done what she did. He says Steph regrets what she did, and he’s going to give Miz another opportunity tonight. He’s sure Miz feels fine tonight, so he’ll get an opportunity against Orton tonight. That is, if Miz wants it. Miz wants it. Trips is glad, and then asks if he could fly his private jet to pick up Miz’s parents and bring them to the arena tonight, since Cleveland isn’t that far. In the meantime, Miz needs to get changed because his opportunity is knocking.
I must be having déjà vu, because I could have sworn I recapped this match between two guys no one cares about last week. ADR hits a kick and some forearms before hitting another kick and some headbutts. Truth comes back with an uppercut, then assaults ADR in the corner. ADR comes back with a kick to the gut and more headbutts. He sends Truth into the corner and misses a running shoulder thrust. Truth pops up with a jumping side kick. He hits a pair of clotheslines and an Osaka street cutter for 2. Truth misses the axe kick, and a splash in the corner. ADR hits a thrust kick to the face and gets 3.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio, who is bleeding from the mouth. After the match, he applies the jujigatame on Truth until Rob Van Dam runs in and dropkicks him in the head as Ricardo Rodriguez stands ringside. RVD hits a spinning legdrop, then gets a chair from Ricardo. He rams it into ADR’s stomach a couple of times, then dropkicks it into ADR’s face in the corner.
We see Vickie Guerrero and Triple H watching what’s going on in the ring from the back. Vickie proposes making the title match at Battleground more interesting. Trips agrees and says it needs to be a Hardcore Match. Vickie likes it and says this is what’s best for business.
The Prime-Time Players are walking around in the back and get a couple of stagehands to do their “millions of dollars” dance. The stagehands do it wrong, so the Players correct them and they get it right. Then…well, that’s thankfully it.
We get a video for the Real Americans. After the video, we see the Americans in the ring. Zeb Colter goes for the catchphrase, but then stops himself and says no one can say it but real Americans. They’re tired of being mocked and would appreciate it if the crowd minded their own business.
MATCH 2: The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, w/Zeb Colter) vs. The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Swagger and Titus start with a lock-up, and Swagger hits a few kneelifts. Titus counters a corner whip and shoulders Swagger down before booting an in-coming Cesaro. Swagger hits a back elbow out of the corner and sends Titus shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle. Cesaro tags in and stomps Titus down before tagging Swagger back in. Swagger shoves Titus down, and Titus eventually fights his way out of the corner. Swagger rams him back in, then hits a corner clothesline. Cesaro tags in and hits Titus with a giant swing, spinning him around 22 times, which is pretty damn impressive. Titus can’t stand up, so Cesaro goes for a pin, getting 1. Titus gets his bearing and hits a release sidewinder before tagging in Young. Young hits a clothesline and a release overhead belly-to-belly. He follows up with a corner clothesline and a northern lights suplex for 2. Cesaro comes back with a uranage for 2, but Titus breaks up the pin. Swagger sends Titus outside and ref tries to get Swagger out of the ring as Young rolls up Cesaro in a schoolboy. The ref turns around to make the count, but Young only gets 2. Cesaro tags in Swagger as Young hits the Gut Check. He goes for the pin, but Swagger is the legal man, and he quickly applies the Patriot Lock for the submission win.
WINNERS: The Real Americans.
Up next, Bray Wyatt makes his Smackdown debut in singles competition. Before that match, we get a video for the Wyatt Family.
MATCH 3: Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) vs. Zack Ryder
Harper and Rowan intercept Ryder as he’s coming down and throw him in the ring. Wyatt shoves Ryder into the corner, and Ryder comes back with forearms. He ducks a clothesline, but gets hit with a nasty running forearm. Wyatt forearms Ryder in the head several times, then applies a rear chinlock. Ryder tries to fight out, but gets clubbed across the back. He hits a facebuster off a back body drop attempt, then nails a running forearms in the corner, followed by the Broski Boot for 1. Ryder signals for the Rough Ryder, but Wyatt simply launches Ryder over his head. Sister Abigail connects, and Wyatt gets 3.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt.
MATCH 4-WWE United States Championship: Dean Ambrose (Champion, w/WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam)
As Ziggler comes out, he sees the three in the ring and calls out for back-up, which happen to be Kofi and RVD. Ambrose backs Ziggler into the corner out of a lock-up, then throws him to the adjacent corner for a headbutt before grinding his face on the top rope. Ambrose hits a chop against the ropes, then hits a clothesline off a boot by Ziggler. He nails a forearm to the face for 2, then sends Ziggler hard into the corner. Ziggler comes back with a back elbow out of the opposite corner, ducks a clothesline, hits one of his own, then follows up with some mounted punches in the corner and a neckbreaker. He misses the rocker dropper, escapes a back suplex and hits a dropkick before clotheslining Ambrose to the floor, taking himself outside in the process. Rollins grabs Ziggler’s foot as he’s trying to get back in the ring, and the referee sees it, ringing the bell.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Dolph Ziggler. RVD and Kofi attack Rollins and Reigns as Ziggler goes after Ambrose in the ring. All six men wind up in the ring a moment later, and as the referee gets gets everything split up. Triple H comes out and says that, if these guys want to fight, fine. The match will be re-started as a 6-man tag.
MATCH 5: The Shield (WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) vs. Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam and Dolph Ziggler
After a commercial break, RVD and Rollins are legal. RVD hits a rolling monkey flip and a standing moonsault for 2. He follows up with a series of kicks, then hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner, followed by a spinning heel kick. Bodyslam by RVD, and he follows up with Rolling Thunder for 2. Rollins comes back with a shoulder stunner on RVD’s bad arm, send him in shoulder-first into the buckles, then tags in Ambrose. Ambrose applies an arm wringer and drives RVD to the mat into an armbar. RVD tries to fight out, but Ambrose cuts him off. He avoids a back body drop, blocks a kick and nails a roundhouse. Ziggler tags in and hits a cross-body into some mounted punches before nailing a series of elbow drops. Rollins tries to interfere, but Ziggler sends him to the floor. He goes for the leaping DDT, but Ambrose counters into an Alabama Slam for 2. Reigns tags in and applies a rear chinlock. Ziggler elbows out, but takes a stiff right to the face for 2. Ambrose back in, and he stomps Ziggler in the midsection before choking him with his knee. Reigns back in, and he whips Ziggler face-first into the mat. Ziggler crawls to his corner for a tag, but Reigns just grabs him and picks him up into an elevated gutwrench suplex. Ziggler pops up with a leaping DDT. Rollins tags in and cuts Ziggler off from making a tag with a front chancery. Rollins clubs him down, then, snaps RVD’s bad arm across the top rope. He goes back to the chancery on Ziggler, but Ziggler counters with a low back body drop and tags in Kofi. Ambrose also tags in. He ducks a flying clothesline, but Kofi rolls through and knocks Reigns off the apron. He ducks a clothesline, hits a chop, a dropkick and a cross-body. He follows up with the Boom Drop and calls for the TIP. Ambrose ducks and shoves Kofi into the corner. Kofi climbs the turnbuckles and hits a cross-body for 2 as Rollins breaks up the pin. Ziggler comes in, shoves Rollins away and hits the rocker dropper on Ambrose. Reigns comes in and cuts through Ziggler with a spear. RVD comes off the top with a side kick on Reigns, then clotheslines him to the floor before hitting a moonsault from the apron. In the ring, Kofi hits the Pendulum Kick on Ambrose and then hits a springboard clothesline. Reigns comes in, Kofi ducks a clothesline and hits the Trouble in Paradise. Ambrose rolls Kofi up, and Kofi rolls through into his own pin. Rollins comes from out of nowhere and hits his stomp to the head, which allows Ambrose to get the 3.
WINNERS: The Shield.
Renee Young is standing by with the Big Show. She asks how he’s been holding up for the last couple weeks. He says every decision he’s made these past few weeks has weighed on his conscience. He can’t sleep, he’s a pariah in the locker room and he’s getting harassed on the streets. But, he needs this job and needs to do what he’s told to keep it. He starts crying, and that’s when Triple H walks in. He says that, if things are this difficult, he can quit his job. He’ll even help Show find another job as a doorman, a paperboy or an airport baggage guy. A regular-sized person can find a job anywhere, but then again, Show is special, and he needs this job. Show is staring Trips down, and Trips begins making fun of his crying. Show puts up his fist like he’s going to punch him, and Trips says Show needs to think about his family and his wife. Show is going to do absolutely nothing, and he’s going to like it. Show screams and then walks away.
We get a video for the Miz, because WWE refuses to accept that no one gives a damn.
MATCH 6: Cameron (w/Naomi) vs. WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee (w/Tamina Snuka; non-title)
We get a cut-away promo for AJ, and she explains why Tamina is with her, and that’s because she hired Tamina as protection since she is just as ostracized in the locker room and can identify with AJ’s problems. AJ attacks Cameron from behind, then stomps her in the corner before hitting a snapmare and applying a cravat. Cameron fights out before getting hair-whipped down to the mat. She gets sent into the corner and dodges a splash before rolling AJ up for 1. Cameron hits a pair of clotheslines and a Dropsh*t. She hits a suicide for 2, then boots AJ out of the corner before hitting a cross-body from the middle rope for another 2. AJ comes back with a roundhouse to the gut, then throws Cameron outside in front of Tamina. AJ heads out and screams what we’re all thinking, that Cameron is completely useless. Naomi tries to get in AJ’s face from the apron, so Tamina drops her with a clothesline. In the ring, Cameron rolls AJ up for 2 before getting blasted with a shining wizard for 3.
WINNER: AJ Lee.
We see Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel talking. Axel tells Heyman he’s got this, and Heyman heads out to the ring.
After the commercials, Heyman comes out onto the stage, laughing. He shows us the video of him pinning CM Punk at NoC after Ryback rammed Punk through a table. The fans are disappointing him. They react to that footage with horror and shock. Are they really surprised he pinned CM Punk? He doesn’t want to throw out his trade secrets, but he’ll give one out for free. Every time the bloodlust of the fans comes up when Punk faces Heyman, Punk will fail. He will lose. Have people considered that, in this one given situation, that they could possibly be wrong? Are they really that myopic? RAW, for example. In his hometown of Chicago, Punk told Heyman he knew this was a trap, and he was right. When Heyman’s scooter failed, it was the crowd that motivated Punk to pounce. Heyman then shows us the footage, which ended with Ryback carelessly launching Punk over a table and nearly injuring him. Back to Heyman, he says he owes a lot of people some thanks. He thanks Curtis Axel for helping him put the plan together. He thanks his hero, Ryback for putting the plan into action. Lastly, he wants to thank the fans. It’s their worship that will drive him to come after Heyman each and every time. Punk has signed for a match with Ryback at Battleground. Do you think Punk stands a chance against Ryback? Here’s what it’s going to come down to: Punk will face Ryback at Battleground, and history will repeat itself, with only the fans to blame. At Battleground, Punk will end up flat on his back, looking up at the winner of the match, Ryback, and Paul Heyman, the “best in the world”.
MATCH 7: Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) vs. Santino Marella (w/The Great Khali and Hornswoggle)
I am in hell. Marella blocks a kick, then goes for his own. Slater blocks it, they spin each other around, and Slater knocks Marella down with a kick, then gets a 1-count after some stomps before applying a rear chinlock. Marella fights out, ducks a clothesline and hits a hip toss. Slater blocks the saluting headbutt and gets 2. He drops a knee and goes up top, but Marella crotches him and Slater collapses to the mat. Marella pulls out the Cobra, but Mahal jumps on the apron and is playing a flute to try and “charm the Cobra”. Khali then does the same thing and I die a little inside. Khali hits Drew on the apron with a brain chop, and Mahal nearly causes Marella to hit himself with the Cobra. Hornswoggle yanks Mahal to the floor and breaks the flute. Back in the ring, Slater hits a jumping roundhouse on Marella, then goes up top. Khali is back on the apron, playing his flute. Marella gets back up and hits the Cobra for 3.
WINNER: Santino Marella. I am telling you right now, I will never recap a match like that again.
We get a video for Santino Marella. This is followed by a video for Los Matadores, who debut this Monday night on RAW.
We see the sit-down interview Triple H did with Michael Cole, in regards to the Rhodes family. Basically, all three members of the family will be in the ring, and they will be allowed to speak their mind. Trips also has what he feels will be a very lucrative proposition for them. All I hope is that this somehow results in some kind of solid push for Cody.
Yeah, because I needed to see these two wrestle yet again. Miz tackles Orton after the bell, and Orton comes back with a boot. Miz blocks a slam into the buckles and hits some lefts before running into another boot. He blocks a right and hits a few lefts before clotheslining Orton to the outside. Miz heads outside, where Orton boots him yet again. He tries to whip Miz into the ring post, and Miz reverses it. Orton gets thrown into the barricade, then back into the ring. Miz mounts Orton for some punches and follows up with a running boot. Orton pulls himself to his feet in the corner, where he avoids the hanging clothesline. Miz is now holding his shoulder and neck, selling the injury from a couple of weeks ago. He rolls to the floor as the ref continues to check on him. One of the trainers comes out and also checks on him, but Orton pulls him back into the ring by the neck and hits the suspended DDT. Orton mounts him for some punches, and the referee tries to pull him off. Orton ignores him, and the ref rings the bell.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Miz.
Triple H comes out and he says he knows what Orton is trying to do by getting himself intentionally DQ’ed. He’s not going to let Orton take away Miz’s opportunity, and is going to restart this match. It will be No-DQ, and must be won by pinfall or submission.
MATCH 9-No Disqualification Match: Randy Orton vs. The Miz
As two trainers are checking on Miz, Orton heads outside and throws him over the announce desk and into the barricade. He pulls Miz back over and throws him shoulder-first into the ring steps, then into the barricade before hitting a clothesline. Orton throws Miz into the timekeeper’s area. Miz comes back with a chair shot to the gut, then another across the back. Orton boots the chair into Miz’s face on the third attempt, then drags him over to the barricade for another suspended DDT, which connects. Orton picks him up and rolls him into the ring, then slowly pulls him to his feet and hits an RKO for 3.
WINNER: Randy Orton.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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