SmackDown opens with a recap of Steph and Roman’s little battle, and how much Roman apparently enjoys being slapped in the face, before big Vinnie showed up. We all know what happened, we were watching Roman become champ, and if we weren’t the previous recap is there for a reason.
Roman comes down to the arena like a little happy puppy, the crowd all cheering for him. Incredible that they got him over in two days, but yeah, so nice to hear cheers for him instead of boos. He says winning the championship on his daughter’s birthday was a godsend, that he could take the belt home and show it to his family. He also reminds people not to punch their boss, because wrestling, as Max Landis tells us, isn’t wrestling – it’s a performance. It’s also the only place you can hit your boss and drug your wife and hit people with sledgehammers and still have a job after. Still, Roman doesn’t think he’s got too many days left in the WWE, after what he did.
Sheamus ambles out to blather on, saying he’s not bitter or angry, he’s happy for Roman, and he wants him to enjoy it – because he’s not going to keep it for very long. Roman offers to let him come down now, and Sheamus says nope, Roman’s upset important people. He isn’t allowed to fight, he isn’t allowed to make challenges, and he has to leave the building, because of what he did on Monday. Roman won’t leave, and Sheamus says he can take alternative measures – and out comes security. Obviously he brawls the hell out of security, because he’s a professional wrestler, and these guys are tiny in comparison. Also because the champion always beats the odds.
Del Rio ambles down to the ring, no longer in those gold trunks that get him so excited, to face Ryback, who really, really needs to stop wearing that hat, because it makes him look ridiculous, no I will NOT stop going on about it. It’s ridiculous. He’s still got a puppy on the back of his ring gear, which suggests he hasn’t got changed since Sunday. Luckily, we all know SmackDown is filmed on Tuesday, so at least he’s only been in it three days. Probably once they finish taping, they cut him out of it and burn it, because it’s so much trouble to get him into it in the first place.
Obviously the crowd is solidly behind Ryback, who doesn’t so much match Del Rio in mat wrestling as outsize him terrifically. Del Rio gets the armbreaker hold off the ropes, but Ryback’s ridiculously big. Mostly, this is like watching a mountain fight a glacier – one’s bigger than the other, but both of them are really slow. At least Ryback looks like he cares, Del Rio just looks bored, shoving Ryback into submission hold after submission hold, while Ryback throws him around like a child’s toy. I don’t know how long this match goes on, but it feels like the whole of my life until Barrett, Sheamus and Rusev show up, distract Ryback, and let Del Rio catch him in the back of the leg, pull him into the cross-leg armbreaker, and get Ryback to tap out.
Of course, the Euroboys can’t leave it at that, Barrett’s already upset he wasn’t there to stop his wrestling husband from keeping his title, so they beat the hell out of Ryback for funsies for a while. What lovely blokes.
Backstage, Summer is brushing Tyler’s hair for him, while he wears Burberry check gloves, and their pink and red colours clash horribly. Not a good look, guys, even for you two. Tyler will be fighting Titus later, and he calls Summer ‘Sum-Sum’ which might be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. Goldust appears behind them and startles Summer, who sprays him with hairspray and then… spits are her? I don’t even know anymore.
In the ring, that check looks like Sera’s plaid pants from Dragon Age. Commentary want Summer to peel them grapes, and she tells them not to talk to her, then throws grapes at them for being rude. Absolutely. If I had to sit next to that table of gawking fools, I’d have thrown a hell of a lot more than a grape. Especially when she’s trying to watch her boyfriend beat up another man. So rude. Tyler gets some beautiful dropkicks in, but Goldust wanders down to the ring while Titus is throwing Breeze across the canvas, and sits down next to Summer in the VIP area. Summer has a Mean Girls moment (You can’t sit with us!) and a tantrum, as Goldie upsets the grape and chocolate tray. Tyler’s being thrown around, hair loose now, and we’re watching Goldie use the selfie stick to take a shot of Summer, Lawler photobombing in the background. Summer must feel surrounded by actual children. Goldie distracts Tyler with the selfie stick, and Titus picks up the win, Goldie lying in the ring after, with the selfie stick, taking pics of him and Tyler’s flat-out body. I didn’t understand why most of this happened, but it was still a bit of a laugh.
Renee is interviewing our gorgeous new IC champ, and looking very pleased about it. Dean says he’ll keep going, keep fighting Kevin Owens, and won’t give up. He says he’ll take on anyone for the title, and that KO can’t drive him crazy. Commentary decide that’s because it’s already been done, but as someone who hates the whole ‘lunatic’ gimmick, I’m pretty glad Dean doesn’t explicitly say it.
We’re treated to a Wyatt promo after a recap of the battle on Raw, where they mutter on about Team Extreme, and how they’re going to beat them again, and everything else in this weird feud I don’t get because the Dudleys wanted the tag team titles, so what’s so exciting about beating up some hairy horsemen of the budget apocalypse?
The New Day are here to make our night better, with Big E making snow angels in the middle of the ring. They’re all such big kids, and I don’t care that I love them unapologetically. The Lucha Dragons eventually come out once New Day have finished shilling every bit of their merch, and we’re looking at a two vs. two tag team match. Big E has some new names for the New Day, and we learn Booker T can’t read, or doesn’t know what ‘undulation’ means.
Obviously, the Dragons are beautiful in motion, lots of lovely high flying spots, especially double-team moves. Kalisto takes most of the punishment, and I love seeing the Dragons get this push right now. There’s a lot of interference from Big E at the side, but eventually Kalisto drags Kofi down from the top rope for the pin, and they’ve won – shame they couldn’t do it when the titles were on the line.
Renee is now interviewing Dolph Ziggler, whose hair is… dry and in a ponytail. Renee refers to him as collateral damage, and Dolph gets angry, says he’s always in the background, has been for ten years, and he’s tired of it. He talks about how his championships have meant a lot to him, and how he works so hard all the time. Also, did I mishear, or did he just ask KO to top him, because… right. Moving swiftly on.
Brie Bella to face off against Becky Lynch, and apparently they’ve been having a twitter war I really should have noticed, but when you follow a lot of wrestlers, and they tweet all the time, there’s a lot going on. Team BAD are in the audience again, waving signs saying ‘boo’ and ‘unity’, prompting a ‘we want Sasha’ chant. Brie goes to face them down, but there’s nothing you can do in the face of that relentless cheer. The match looks to be pretty good, but who comes down to ringside but Charlotte – the distraction seemingly works in Becky’s favour, letting her give some good dropkicks to Brie, who stumbles back. Brie comes back hard, though, getting a pin for two, Charlotte calling for Becky to bring it on. Sasha’s wearing a Becky t-shirt, which is the cutest thing. Charlotte grabs Brie’s ankle, sending her flat to the apron, and Becky pauses before she puts her into the disarmer for the win. She looks a little conflicted about celebrating the win, while Charlotte grins and holds her friend’s hand aloft. Oh, Becky, don’t go to the dark side.
Backstage, Becky doesn’t seem happy with Charlotte interfering. Charlotte says she just doesn’t want Becky to lose, Becky saying she wants to win everything on her own merits. Looks like this whole team is going implode, and we’ll get to see much, much more of Becky being her own person, which I am all about.
Jojo is being adorable, and Kevin Owens calls Dean a cockroach. Owens says Ziggler has to save face, and he gets it, but he’s going to wish he hadn’t said all those things.
Dolph is clearly taking thing seriously tonight, because the lovely ramen hair is still in a ponytail. I’ve been fairly excited about this match, because both these men are hard workers and hard fighters, so I’m excited to see how it goes down. We start off with a hell of a slugfest, and Dolph is fast, but KO is vicious, and Owens starts throwing Ziggler around like he’s nothing. Both men, normally all attitude and sly smiles, are serious in this match, which is new to see, though Dolph looks more himself once his hair comes loose. They take the fight to the outside of the ring, more fast hits, and the two of them slamming off the barricades.
Back in the ring, Ziggler is clearly taking the worst of it, KO just dragging him around and holding him down, but Ziggler never goes down without a fight, and he won’t tap out of any of the submission holds, either. Dolph gets a beautiful landing on his feet that he turns into a roll up for two, and sends KO into the ring post and out to the side of the ring. When Owens is back in, Ziggler goes at him relentlessly, and there are a couple of huge elbow drops. Another great spot is Dolph leaping out of the pop-up powerbomb and hitting a superkick right to Owens’ chin.
Owens flings Ziggler outside the ring, and from there, all hell breaks loose, with Dolph getting slammed off the announce table over and over until the ref finally rings for the bell to make it stop. But Owens promised he’d send Ziggler to a hospital, so he doesn’t stop, and goes to powerbomb him onto the steps. Dean runs down to the ring to pull the two apart, and Owens runs from the new IC champ, but not before he stops to kick Ziggler in the face as the ref is trying to help him to the back. Dean goes to check on Dolph, and gets a kick of his own, Dolph clearly refusing to accept help. He fights his own battles, he doesn’t need a handout from Ambrose. SmackDown ends with Dolph and Dean sprawled on the ramp, and KO vanishing into the back, swearing to take his title back.