Welcome, one and all, to (an admittedly very late) Thursday Night SmackDown! Where heels are faces, faces are tweeners, the Authority is gone, everything is beautiful and nothing hurts! The ever entertaining Mauro Ranallo is welcoming us to the party, where later tonight Sami Zayn is going to battle Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio will duke it out with AJ Styles. As Maryse introduces our Intercontinental Champion and her husband The Miz, in French no less, I am thoroughly convinced I have slipped into a really weird alternate universe. My body is ready.
The Miz strides down the ramp and into the ring to plant tiny air kisses on either cheek of his lovely wifey, and they totally coordinated their outfits which makes me think they could be great villains in a season of Power Rangers. Miz welcomes the peons to Miz TV and then introduces Maryse as “the only one worthy of being called my wife” and “the love of my life,” and it looks like it takes her by surprise, and oh my gosh how cute is that. Miz’s guest this week is Maryse herself, and he asks her what it’s like to be married to him, and she answers, “Perfection!” For a brief moment I imagine they’re just going to compliment each other until they start making out right then and there, and — and then they do just that. Welp!
A ‘woo-WOO-woo’ interrupts their tonsil hockey, and Maryse looks over her shoulder in barely contained disgust. Apparently Zack Ryder is disgusted as well, and he says as much as he makes his way down the ramp in his WrestleMania coat. You know, the one that makes him look like an honorary Lucha Dragon? Miz swears every woman wants to kiss him — Miz, not Zack — and Maryse says Zack’s not a ‘real’ man, to which Zack replies by pointing out that Miz… wears more makeup than her? C’mon, Zack, it’s 2016! And frankly, you could use some eyeliner. Still, all attempts to put down poor Zacky for having the IC title taken from him within 24 hours falls flat, because Zack had his ‘Mania moment, and no one can take that from him! Also: he totally wants another IC title match! Right here, right now! Miz says yes!
Except oh wait, Zack’s already scheduled for a match. Smell ya later, loser! The power couple snickers as Zack turns around at the sound of a roaring motorcycle engine, the telltale sign of an incoming Baron Corbin. Hooboy. After a quick commercial break, the bell rings…
- Corbin is HUGE, jesus christ
- Zack with a boot to the face and then a facebuster… which didn’t look like it did a damn thing to Corbin
- Corbin STOMPING THE FUCK OUTTA ZACK
- Mauro says Corbin collects skulls? Wh… why tho. Oh god why.
- Mauro also says he’s a former gridiron gladiator, three time Golden Gloves boxing champion, and now I’m thinking Zack Ryder will be murdered in the ring 😦
- Corbin’s clotheslines look like they could legit take your head off
- Zack’s missile dropkick from the top rope is beautiful okay? okay
- Whenever Corbin is thrown out of a ring he looks like a very large panther that lands on his feet and looks only mildly perturbed at the inconvenience
- Zack attempts a Broski Boot but Corbin opts out in favor of exiting the ring, doot doot
- Corbin re-enters and– END OF DAYS. Pin for the win to Corbin!
A victorious Baron Corbin removes his arm from the ref’s grasp and instead continues to give a beatdown to Zack because, really, Corbin gives no fucks about anything but his own amusement, and kicking the shit outta people is the best form of amusement for him. Before he can do any real damage, though, Dolph Ziggler runs in! Ziggles attempts to kick the lone wolf in the face, but Corbin grabs the leg and then ducks the next kick, rolling out of the ring to a chorus of boos. Ziggler yells for him to get his ass back into the ring, as Ziggler would really like to avenge someone, and with Neville out of the picture Zack’s his only current option for this. Corbin only promises that bad things will happen to Zigglebutt before stalking away. Zigs checks up on Zacky, who’s still dazed at the barricades. Did you get the license plate of the truck that hit you, Zack? I bet it’s 10N3W0LF.
And now it’s time for Renee Young to interview people who will either insult or her ignore her, as is tradition with these sorts of interviews! This time around it’s Kevin Owens, and he seems pretty smiley for someone who’s… Kevin Owens. She asks him for insight into Sami Zayn, as he’s got a lot of history with his ex, and KO seems particularly pleased with her question as it means she knows that he actually knows his shit when it comes to Sami. D’aww. According to KO, Sami’s lucky he got tossed out the LAST time he wanted to pull some violent shenanigans, but we’ll see what happens this time. KO ominously recommends Renee talk to Sami about what to expect in tonight’s main event, and the look on Renee’s face as she watches KO leave screams ‘your breath smells like garlic and I hope it gives you heartburn’.
MATCH: Paige vs. Emma
Paige is already in the ring when we get started, hawking her merch before Emma comes out with her gorgeous armoured shoulders and my visiting Wrestling Virgin nearly dies from the hotness. Emma has a little aside about how Becky was the quirky little thing and Emma was rejected. She’s going to beat up our ‘leather queen’ Paige, apparently.
- The women lock up nice and early, grappling with each other
- Paige takes Emma to the corner after a big kick
- Paige screams for the enjoyment of the crowd – we’ve missed you, Paige
- Emma takes her down brutally in the corner, there’s no playing nice here
- Early pin from Emma, Paige kicks out at two
- Pulling on the hair, Emma gets to a count of four before she lets go
- Submission grapples, full nelson from Emma
- Poor Paige has to keep adjusting her leather-look shorts, poor thing
- High knee from Paige, followed by another to get at pin on Emma for two
- Paige takes Emma to the top rope for a few punches, then climbs higher, Emma fighting back with a headbutt, and pulling her down, head first on the top turnbuckle
- Emma gets the jack-knife cover for the win
Three minutes and fifteen seconds for that match as Emma leaves, shouting ‘it’s about me’ as the ref sees to Paige’s hurt nose. Yes, what a new leaf turned over for the women’s division. Ahahaha.
We get a recap of the tournament coming up, with the tag teams, and the turn up for the books of Gallows and Anderson. Finn Balor to debut, please. Please?
We also took about “strange bedfellows” Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. I mean. I’d watch that porno, but I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it. Plus a recap of Shane running raw, and how the League vs Bray and Roman came about. He digs them. Alright, man, whatever floats your boat, but I am starting to worry about what happened to you when you jumped off that cage. Have you been checked for concussions lately?
Also, it’s pretty sad to see this coming up when we now know Bray Wyatt has been injured in Milan and could be out for a while.
Enzo & Big Cass vs. The Ascension – Tag Team Tournament
Enzo and Big Cass are here! God, I love them so much, and the crowd are all about it, too. My Wrestling Virgin friend says Enzo looks like the little brother, and the big brother in Cass is stood there going “Look, I’m sorry guys, I had to bring him with me to come play, mum said I had to look after him.” His reactions behind Enzo give me life, they’re fucking great. Enzo says the worst thing he can say about The Ascension is… well, they’re The Ascension, y’know. That’s so sad, but so true.
- Viktor and Konnor take Enzo apart in the corner
- Headscissors takeover from Enzo, and then a pin for two
- Big Cass comes in to throw Enzo at The Ascension, because Enzo is basically a weapon at this point
- Poop emoji on Enzo’s butt!
- Viktor and Konnor take apart Enzo on the barricades, before an early pin from Konnor for two
- Another pin, this time from Viktor
- Enzo trying to tag in, but The Ascension are keeping him away from Cass
- Enzo gets Viktor up and out of the ring as he runs towards him, Konnor too, sliding out
- Tag to Big Cass, HUGE lariats, Big Cass lifting Viktor easily
- Konnor takes Enzo towards the ropes, and Enzo pulls them down to take them apart easier
- Rocket Launcher! Enzo and Big Cass take the win!
Gorgeous match to show off the power of the recent NXT rising stars, and they’re through for the next round!
Jojo’s here to talk to AJ Styles! His bob still looks offensive, there’s a phenomenal pun, and AJ says he’s happy about the opportunities he’s being given. He says he’s never been in the ring with someone like Roman Reigns (“You mean someone who can’t wrestle?” asks the Wrestling Virgin), but Roman’s never been in the ring with someone like him.
Del Rio shows up to say he’s been fighting for scraps, and that he keeps hearing a lot about this AJ Styles, but he doesn’t care about who he is. He says he wanted to face AJ in the ring, but now he thinks he doesn’t need to, because AJ doesn’t belong here, and he can smell it.
AJ says no, he doesn’t. He doesn’t belong here, talking. He belongs in the ring. Oooh! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
MATCH: AJ Styles vs. Alberto Del Rio
For some reason, AJ comes out and punches the steps, which just seems like it’d hurt, and then Del Rio comes out in leather-look trunks which are just offensive to my eyes. Really offensive.
- Mauro calls this ‘mouth-watering’. Okay
- Starting in the corner, Del Rio pushes AJ into it and shoves him around
- Quick clothesline from Del Rio to AJ
- Del Rio’s using his aggression early on, but Styles starts to get momentum
- HUGE dropkick from AJ Styles, Del Rio rolling out and Styles dropping off the ropes with a knee to Del Rios face
- Pin for a one count, Del Rio kicking out easily
- Headbutts from Styles to Del Rio’s stomach
- Huge boot from Del Rio into Style’s, and then a dropkick to the back
- Del Rio shoves AJ over the edge of the bottom rope and throws him into the barricades
- Huge double axe handle from Del Rio from the top rope, slamming Styles into the ground
- Del Rio thrown into the ring post, stunned there for a moment
- Snap suplex from Styles, cover for one
- Jabs from Styles in the corner, before the ref moves him away
- Runs to the corner, Del Rio pushes Styles out of the ring and hits him with a lovely enzuigiri
- Beautiful dropkick from Del Rio through the second rope – hang on, is AJ Styles making a match with Alberto Del Rio bearable?
- Headlock from Del Rio, Styles powering out
- Headbutts and punches from Del Rio to Styles in the corner
- Styles sends Del Rio face-first into the top turnbuckle, but he dodges as Styles runs forwards, bouncing himself off the same turnbuckle
- Del Rio comes back with another huge enzuigiri to Styles’ face in the corner, but Styles dodges
- Clothesline from Styles to Del Rio, followed by a forearm, and a kip up, before a corner clothesline
- Fireman’s carry, then a neckbreaker – Ushi Goroshi – beautiful move from Styles
- Del Rio swings around into the backstabber, leaving Styles on the floor with a sore lower back
- Del Rio goes for a huge kick, Styles spins out with a Pelé kick, pins Del Rio, but Styles kicks out at two
- AJ limps to the corner, going up, but Del Rio comes up from behind and takes him down… we’re going for a double stomp set up, aren’t we?
- Styles fights out of it, grabbing Del Rio’s leg as he tries to climb through the ropes
- Del Rio climbs up behind Styles, taking him back off the ropes in an inverted superplex, pinning Styles for two – but not three
- Del Rio swings Styles into the corner and swings him into the ropes, setting up for the double stomp
- He takes forever setting it up, as per usual, and Styles moves out of the way
- AJ ends up outside the ring, and rises up on the ropes, but Del Rio dodges
- AJ rolls up Del Rio, Del Rio reverses, AJ reverses…. And takes the win.
Everyone’s very happy to see our #1 contender win out against the vicious Del Rio, and god that match was long. AJ looks in a lot of pain as Del Rio argues with the ref that it wasn’t three at all, and he shouldn’t have lost.
Oh god. R-truth and Goldust, R-Truth upset that Goldust isn’t answering his texts, and apparently isn’t going to do a match with him? Instead, Fandango and Goldust are going to be entering as the team for the #1 contendership. I mean, I guess that’s fine? I suppose.
GOLDANGO. The two of them gyrate and my Wrestling Virgin is like ‘what is happening?’ So I had to explain Goldust. It took a while.
MATCH: Goldust & Fandango vs. The Vaudevillains – Tag Team Tournament
The Vaudevillains entrance still makes me so happy, I love it, it’s brilliant. There’s also a Dad Ambrose sign. “Is this the match of weird gimmicks?” asks the Wrestling Virgin. Pretty much, yeah.
- English starts us off against Goldust
- Gotch in, and the fists up for a little fisticuffs
- Elbow drop from Gotch, English joining in
- Countered swinging drop from Goldust, taking both men down
- We’re both just busy being really upset that English and Gotch aren’t English, frankly
- Fandango tagged in and some lovely kicks to English, Gotch tagged in soon after
- English and Goldust on the outside, Gotch and Fandango on the inside
- Swinging neckbreaker from Gotch to Fandango
- And pin for the win!
Pretty quick throwaway match, we knew we weren’t going to let the Vaudevillains get buried under Goldie and anyone, never mind Fandango, but can we PLEASE let Golden Truth die now? Please? I’m so, so tired of these segments. Please, just let it die, it’s not funny, no one cares, and frankly, if they’d tried to bury Gotch and English under Goldust and Fandango, I think you might have found the place was later on fire.
Jericho’s busy looking sparkly, ready to face Sami Zayn, but first, he’s got to tell us all about something. We get a recap of Raw and Jericho being a crosspatch about it all. Jojo is here to say that Jericho seems to be having a lot of fights lately. Jericho says you can’t call the men he’s beating men at all, and calls them all amateurs, hoping we don’t know that AJ Styles has fought all over the world and is also only seven years Chris’ junior, and that Dean’s been wrestling for years…. It’s all very silly. He’s a crossman. Apparently Dean is stupid and needs to respect him. We lose all respect for Jericho because he shouts at poor Jojo, and then tells San Diego it’s a dump. Would’ve got greater heat if he’d just said LA was awesome.
Jericho says he’s going to teach Sami a lesson, and then rhymes Zayn with pain. Well, okay poppet. You have a sit down, darling, you’re getting old.
There’s a Primo and Epico segment again, with lots of beaches and bikini bodies. Look, I’m not ready for summer yet, give me a few more months to get my belly ready for beach season, okay? I’ll get there, I just need you to delay summer for a bit longer. Anyway, we also go scuba diving, and look and all the pretty beaches. Wrestling virgin says “Amazing, it’s like Puerto Rico is the only place in the world with a coast.” Which, who knows, it may well be.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho
Sami enters and bobs his head to his own theme, and I have to explain to wrestling virgin that Jericho’s gimmick is based on Y2K, yes, he’s that old. We get some close ups on Zayn looking pensive but self-assured, as Jericho stalks through the ring and scowls at the crowd.
- Wrestling Virgin says “Look at this young, limber Canadian about to break this old man in half.” I point out that Jericho is also Canadian
- Jericho starts off aggressive, shoving Sami into the corner, then coming apart, with a huge backhanded chop from Zayn
- Deep arm drags from Sami, shoving Jericho down, he stalks to the announcer’s table and throws a chair, before storming up the stairs and shouting at the ref
- KEVIN OWENS IS HERE
- Sami pauses like he’s waiting to be shot, staring over the ropes and trying to look between Jericho and Owens
- DEAN AMBROSE IS HERE
- Wrestling Virgin is upset there’s no potted plant
- Dean’s handing out flyers for his show, and Jericho looks really upset about this
- The match comes back into it, with Jericho open-handedly slapping Zayn in face
- Dean and KO have joined us on commentary, with KO and Dean talking over each other, and everyone else
- Eye poke from Jericho!
- The match is being all but forgotten, with Mauro trying to call moves but his mic is clearly turned way down
- Jericho dropkicks Zayn out of the ring and raises his hands, shouting at Dean
- Suplex from Jericho to Zayn over the ropes, as Dean tells us he doesn’t like to be touched – there’s going to be a lot of fangirls who are pretty upset about that, buddy
- Ambrose says Jericho is legendary in the ring, and Jericho turns to shout at him and call him
- Big kicks from Jericho to Zayn
- KO is mostly mocking Mauro and Byron, mostly not letting Byron talk
- Dean wants to know the story of how KO and Sami split up, and Kevin says Sami was ‘a huge jerk’ to him, and it’s so playground it makes me tired
- Headlock from Jericho to Zayn as Owens says he doesn’t want to go on Dean’s show, because dean called him a petulant child, and Dean says he wasn’t invited anyway – IS THIS AN ACTUAL FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE?
- Lovely dropkick from Jericho, pinning Sami for two
- Slaps from Jericho to Zayn again
- Huge lariat from Zayn to Jericho
- Springboard cross-body from Zayn to Jericho
- Backbreaker from Jericho to Zayn, pin for two
- The commentary for this is just too lovely, and it’s great, I can’t deal, but it does make it hard to recap!
- Dean says he didn’t want to host a show, he walked in at 4pm and people were handing him signs and potted plants, and he sounds so genuinely distressed about it all
- Jericho takes it to the top rope, telling Dean to watch, and Zayn dodges it
- DDT from Zayn off the second rope, and a huge move, with a pin for two
- SAMI ZAYN chants, and Dean’s happy about that
- Jericho goes for the Walls, and Sami twists him out of it
- Running Bulldog by Jericho, Sami’s face straight into the mat
- Lionsault from Jericho right into Zayn’s knees, OW
- Zayn in the corner, goes for the Helluva Kick, but Jericho dodges, goes for Walls of Jericho again
- Sami looks like he’s trying to crawl out, Jericho dragging him back into the middle of the ring – and he makes it to the ropes, breaks it
- Zayn rolls almost out of the ring, huge punches to Jericho
- Sami tries to come over the ropes, and takes a huge hit from Jericho, before he’s sent flying into the announce table, to be glared at by five men like it’s an exam board and he’s forgotten to do his prep
- Dean asks Sami if he’s okay, leaning forward, and then Jericho surges forwards and knocks Dean’s chair over backwards, slamming his head into the barricades
- Jericho drags Dean’s hoodie over his head and throws him around a bit, for funsies
- Sami lifts Jericho and throws him into Kevin Owens, who was just minding his own business!
- Zayn throws Jericho back into the ring, but climbs in to a dropkick to the face
- Jericho yells a lot about Sami being an idiot, and ‘do you see it?’
- Suplex from Sami to Chris!
- Owens is in the ring! The bell rings for DQ as Owens takes down Sami and puts the boots to him
- Kevin Owens just punches Sami, Jericho coming in to help
- Dean’s here to take Jericho apart in the corner, and now we’ve got two rivalries going on in one ring!
- Dean goes for Dirty Deeds on Jericho, Owens comes and breaks it up, then a Helluva Kick from Zayn takes Kevin Owens out of the ring too
- Zayn hung up on the rope, but he and Dean are still in the ring, shouting at their buddies, and Dean pats Sami on the arm in congratulations
- “Those two should be best friends now,” says Wrestling Virgin
We end out SmackDown on an angry Jericho in the crowd shouting PG abuse at Dean, Kevin Owens retreating up the ramp rubbing his eye, and Dean and Sami in the ring, looking very proud of themselves as Sami’s music plays. I would be SO up for an Ambrose/Zayn alliance, wouldn’t you? (ZANBROSE)