Rehash · smackdown

Rehash: SmackDown 16th June ’16

Welcome to Thursday Night SmackDown! It’s the last show before Money in the Bank 2016, ostensibly the greatest Money in the Bank event ever, with several “WrestleMania quality” matches. Or so they keep telling us. How convinced am I? Not as much as I should be.

We open with Chris Jericho in the ring for the Highlight Reel. The way he’s telling us all to be quiet, I start to feel sorry for the poor, obviously hungover, wrestler, before I remember that this is just what Jericho sounds like when he’s grouchy. He brags a little more about how he invented Money in the Bank despite never having won, and then invites Dean Ambrose down to be his guest. Dean makes his way down the ramp holding what I’m pretty sure is a fast food soda cup that I have to assume is going all over Jericho and/or his $20,000 carpet, and we recap the events of the Shield reunion on RAW. My Shield feelings have still not recovered, so forgive me for not recapping this in more detail.

Dean is more interested in asking about Jericho’s carpet, which is much nicer than the weird shag rug that he uses for his show. Jericho demands that Dean watch the coffee, which is apparently what is in the cup, and not spill it all over his Serengeti yak carpet, before asking the important question. Why the hell did Dean bring a cup of coffee to the ring with him anyway? So he can drink in the gift of Jericho, apparently. That’s not what he means by that, Dean. That’s never what he means by that.

Jericho tells everyone that we’ve lost our Jeritron privileges because Dean is being a pain in the ass, which, I mean, fair enough. Of course, there’s a little reminder of Jericho’s feud with Dean; Jericho tells us over and over again that he had to remove 69 thumbtacks from his body, leaving 69 holes, none of which are as big as the hole in Dean’s soul that could only be filled by becoming Heavyweight Champion.

Kevin Owens’ music hits before we can get too much deeper on all the ways Jericho thinks he’s better than Dean Ambrose, and Kevin explains about how he’s going to be the one to win the Money in the Bank contract. Of course, he is subsequently interrupted by Alberto del Rio, whose rant is interrupted by Cesaro. Before he can even speak, he’s interrupted by Sami Zayn. Sami tries to tease a 3 on 3, before Cesaro yells at him to at least let him get a word in before interrupting.

Jericho calls them stupid idiots and tells them to shut up, and Cesaro demands to know what he called them because apparently he hasn’t watched RAW or SmackDown this year and is unfamiliar with the intricacies of Chris “stupid idiot” Jericho’s smacktalk. Before Jericho can get too far with his rant, though, Dean very carefully and deliberately pours his coffee on the carpet, which comes as a faint surprise because I assumed it would be either an “accidental” spill or an angry throw.

Things descend into a brawl, of course, and referees come in to interrupt them before we cut away.

MATCH: Kofi Kingston (with Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Big Cass (with Enzo Amore) vs. Luke Gallows (with Karl Anderson) vs. Aiden English (with Simon Gotch)

One member of each of the tag teams in contention for the tag team titles at Money in the Bank is set to fight it out here on SmackDown tonight! The Vaudevillains are already waiting as Gallows and Anderson make their way down to the ring, followed by Enzo and Big Cass. Enzo falls just short of explaining to us that you can’t teach being a certified G  and a bonafide stud when the New Day’s entrance hits and Kofi comes in on Big E’s shoulders. Xavier Woods and Enzo settle in on commentary as the match begins.

  • Immediately the competitors pair off, with Kofi and Gallows together and Cass and English together in the corner. Gallows whips Kofi into the ropes.

  • Kofi rebounds, ducking two assaults from Gallows and jumping up for a headscissors, however does not successfully manage to take the bigger man down. Kofi slips out and rolls out of the way of a leg drop, then kicks Gallows from the corner.

  • Gallows moves into the corner as Kofi slips out of the ring to double-team Cass with English. Cass takes both men to the mat with a double clothesline, then slams English and sends him out of the ring.

  • Gallows throws Cass out of the ring too, then both he and English throw Cass into the barricade. As Anderson and Gotch step up, all three members of the New Day approach, and the ref starts gesturing for them to cut it out as we go to commercial.

  • When we’re back, Gallows and English are double-teaming Kofi. On commentary, Enzo assures us that when Cass gets back on his feet he will make himself known, while Xavier assures us that Kofi is a part of the New Day and will recover.

  • Gallows goes for a pin on Kofi, but is interrupted by English, who obviously wants the pin himself.

  • English goes for a pin on Kofi, but Kofi kicks out and English and Gallows start cooperating again, Gallows putting Kofi on his shoulders so English can assault him.

  • Cass climbs back into the ring, taking Gallows down with a kick and Kofi slipping away. English jumps from the turnbuckle at Cass, but is caught and then takes an elbow and a splash in the corner.

  • Cass whips English across the ring into a pendulum kick from Kofi.

  • Gotch climbs into the ring, and is thrown back out by Cass. Cass tries to rebound off the ropes, but his ankle is caught by Gallows. Cass fights both Anderson and Gallows at ringside, but Kofi leaps off the turnbuckle to take all three men to the ground.

  • Kofi ducks an assault by Gotch, and Big E steps in to take Gotch down as Kofi is dragged back into the ring by English.

  • English attempts a vertical suplex on Kofi, who slips out of the hold and lands on his feet. English lands a kick to Kofi’s midsection, then tries to rebound towards Kofi, who ducks it.

  • Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise for a successful pin on English.

Xavier on commentary is, of course, thrilled, while Enzo claims that if Cass had been able to be in the ring, it would have been a victory for him instead. As he keeps talking, though, all three members of the New Day have gathered in the ring for post-match twerking and celebrations.

Renee is backstage with Becky Lynch and Natalya, to talk about their upcoming match at Money in the Bank against Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Tonight, Natalya is going to be facing off against her rival, Charlotte, but she of course points out that if anyone knows what Charlotte is like, it’s Becky Lynch. Becky says that what she’s learned from Charlotte over their time together is that Charlotte can’t win a fair fight without assistance, and sometimes can’t even manage to do that. As Natalya tries to reflect on how they tried to convince Dana how untrustworthy Charlotte is, Charlotte and Dana walk in and deny that this is the case; Dana knows exactly what Charlotte is like and the terms of their partnership, but that they don’t have time for this discussion so Charlotte can prepare for her match against Natalya that night.

MATCH: Baron Corbin vs. Zack Ryder

Dolph Ziggler is on commentary for this match, because he and Corbin are apparently bitter rivals. Somehow I keep forgetting that, even though they get in each other’s faces every week and are having a preshow match at Money in the Bank this coming Sunday, so I suppose that tells you exactly how invested I am in their feud.

  • Corbin immediately takes Ryder to the mat with a kick, then drapes him over the ropes with pressure on the back of his head until they’re separated by the ref.

  • Corbin climbs out of the ring to confront Ziggler, giving Ryder time to hit a dropkick off the apron.

  • Ryder throws Corbin back into the ring then gets him in the corner with a series of strikes, then a Broski Boot to the head. Corbin kicks out the cover.

  • Zack Ryder pulls Corbin to his feet and takes a slap to the face. He gets his knees up to block Corbin’s splash, then tries to hit a dropkick and misses.

  • Corbin hits End of Days on Ryder, and Corbin gets a successful cover.

Corbin climbs out of the ring to get in Ziggler’s face as the match ends. Ziggler gets up and takes off his tie and unbuttons his shirt, but Corbin walks away before things get physical.

Lana is in the ring as we come back from commercial, to introduce her husband for his match against Kalisto. We get a recap of Rusev attacking Titus O’Neil from behind on his way to the ring, having to be separated from him by a number of referees. Kalisto makes his way down, but as he attempts to enter the ring by leaping the ropes, as he typically does, Rusev catches him and takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex, then a kick as Kalisto tries to rebound off the ropes. Rusev locks in the Accolade, when Sin Cara enters and attacks Rusev. Sin Cara is locked into the Accolade as well. Titus O’Neil comes in, and Rusev lets go and climbs out of the ring, but Titus attacks him from behind and sends him in the barricade. After some more brawling, Titus throws Rusev back into the ring, but Rusev rolls out and leaves with Lana.

We get a recap of the John Cena/AJ Styles contract signing from Monday Night RAW. Cena offers AJ Styles two contracts, one allowing the Club to be present at ringside, and one that keeps them away. The one with the Club at ringside would cement AJ Styles as “Captain of the Bitch Club” but he would probably win, while the singles match will be a much harder fight for AJ, but either way will make him look strong. AJ Styles, of course, signs the contract for the singles match.

Renee is backstage with AJ Styles and the Club following this recap, of course, and asks AJ how comfortable he is. AJ is confident that Cena can’t beat him, even without the help of the Club. AJ assures everyone that he didn’t need Cena to taunt him, that he would have signed the contract anyway. The New Day interrupt at this point, and Xavier Woods throws some much-needed sass on AJ Styles’ haircut by comparing it to an emo teenager. I mean, I would have said soccer mum, but the point is made.

AJ retorts by drawing attention to the fact that Xavier Woods doesn’t really do much except play Francesca II and run his mouth, and challenges him to a singles match – no Club, no New Day. Xavier acknowledges that, yes, he doesn’t really do singles matches, and suggests that AJ wants to “PvP” him, and that he’s down for doing that right away.

MATCH: AJ Styles vs. Xavier Woods

AJ’s entrance is much as we’d expect, but Kofi Kingston and Big E accompany Xavier out onto the ramp despite AJ insisting that they not be present. However, they leave him to it after seeing him off.

  • AJ takes Xavier down with an armdrag to start things off, then twists Xavier’s arm while taunting him, “Everything I do is better than everybody”.

  • Xavier backs them against the ropes to get the ref to break them apart, then AJ hits Xavier with a forearm across the face.

  • Both men rebound off the ropes at each other, Xavier ducking under each of AJ’s assaults and then baseball sliding under the last one.

  • Xavier gets AJ in the corner with a series of strikes, and commentary helpfully reminds us that Xavier is a big-time gamer.

  • Xavier tries to whip AJ into the opposite corner, but AJ reverses it to send Xavier into the corner. Xavier jumps over AJ, but AJ gets him back in the corner. Xavier is clutching his knee and the referee creates space between them, yelling at AJ, “I’m going to ring the bell if you don’t stop, I gotta check on him”.

  • Xavier gets to his feet and confirms that he is able to continue, so AJ leaps straight back in and continues the assault on the supposedly injured knee. Xavier kicks him away with his other leg.

  • AJ hits a Pele Kick to send Xavier back down to the mat, but Xavier kicks out at two.

  • “New Day Rocks” chants as Xavier gets back to his feet and AJ gets him back in the corner for some knife-edge chops until the ref separates them.

  • AJ hits a corner clothesline and another cover, but Xavier kicks out at two again.

  • AJ with a chinlock on Xavier, who tries to struggle to his feet and eventually manages to get in position for a jawbreaker.

  • AJ locks in the chinlock again and drags Xavier back to the mat. Xavier appears to be struggling, and it takes him a while to get to his feet again, but when he does, he manages to get a couple of strikes in and break the hold.

  • AJ picks Xavier up for a suplex, but Xavier slips out and tries to get AJ in a rollup, but he kicks out. AJ hits a pendulum backbreaker on Xavier, then we cut to commercial.

  • When we’re back, AJ is setting Xavier up on the turnbuckle. Xavier fights him off with shots to the ribcage and a headbutt as he tries to climb to the top rope, and then gets to his feet on the top rope for a crossbody.

  • Xavier gets some real momentum going, hitting a clothesline, a kick to the leg, then a dropkick to AJ’s back. Xavier hits an inverted suplex, and then taunts AJ into the corner, but takes a kick to the face.

  • Xavier knocks AJ off the apron with an elbow, then dives after him, landing on him then throwing him back in. Xavier climbs back up onto the top rope for an elbow drop, but AJ manages to kick out of the cover just in time.

  • Xavier puts AJ up on the turnbuckle, but AJ counters the superplex then hits the Phenomenal Forearm.

  • AJ locks in the Calf Crusher, and Xavier taps out.

Commentary tells us that AJ Styles has “a PhD in winning”, which I suspect he did not get from an accredited university if I’m quite honest with you all. Xavier is still clutching his leg at the end of the match, but AJ kicks him out of the ring, then announces that what he just put Xavier Woods through is “just a taste” of what Cena will get on Sunday at Money in the Bank.

There’s another “Make Darren Young Great Again” video, and I’m not sure I have to recap this because if the last few SmackDowns have taught me anything, it’s that this same video will be aired on Monday on RAW. But, I’ll try to hold back my cynicism. This time, Darren Young is talking about how he’s been reading a lot of poetry and has been trying to apply the lessons he has learned to his own life. Coach Backlund tells him not to take advice from anyone, which Darren is confused about because surely the point of a life coach is to take advice, but if his life coach’s advice is to take advice from no one, then… This gets paradoxical very quickly, if I think about it too hard, but Backlund apparently doesn’t give advice, he gives orders. And that’s different.

MATCH: Natalya (with Becky Lynch) vs. Charlotte (with Dana Brooke)

Natalya and Becky are already waiting as Charlotte and Dana make their way down to the ring. We are reminded that Charlotte lost clean to Paige on RAW this Monday, which I’m not sure is exactly an advertisement for the current women’s champion.

  • As the bell rings, the two women move towards each other very quickly. Charlotte locks in a side headlock, into a snapmare takeover, but Natalya reverses into headscissors.

  • Charlotte manages to get to her feet and shows off the Flair strut, but Natalya is back up after her and the two women circle each other until Natalya gets in with a strike to the midsection. Natalya blocks Charlotte’s kick and gets her into a surfboard stretch.

  • Charlotte gets an arm free, so Natalya releases the hold, kicking Charlotte down and then hitting a basement dropkick.

  • Natalya attempts to lock in the Sharpshooter, but Charlotte grabs for the ropes and rolls out of the ring. Natalya hits a baseball slide dropkick and throws Charlotte back into the ring, but Charlotte slides out again immediately. Natalya tries to follow her, taking a boot from Charlotte.

  • Charlotte drags Natalya back into the ring for a cover, but Natalya kicks out at two.

  • Charlotte drags Natalya back to her feet, then hits several strikes. Natalya rallies and hits a leg sweep then a German suplex. Charlotte kicks out of the cover.

  • Natalya catches another kick, then hits Nattie-by-Nature for another two-count cover.

  • For some reason, the commentators are arguing about video games. Apparently Mauro has referenced too many over the course of the show, and Lawler thinks the only video game he should be referencing is WWE 2K16.

  • None of that is relevant, however, to the fact that the two women in the ring are still fighting, strikes back and forth and Charlotte tries to climb up on the turnbuckle for a moonsault, but Natalya disrupts and picks her up for a sit-out powerbomb.

  • Charlotte kicks out just in time. Dana taunts Natalya with the championship, so Becky attacks her. Dana and Becky roll into the ring, distracting the ref with their brawl allowing Charlotte to get in a cheap shot on Natalya and locking in the Figure 8 Leglock. Natalya taps out.

The match in all was approximately five minutes in length, which is an improvement over some recent women’s matches, certainly. Dana and Charlotte leave victorious together, while Becky comforts Natalya in the ring.

A video package advertises the World Heavyweight Championship title match at Money in the Bank. Roman and Seth were like brothers in the Shield, until Seth tore it apart by hitting Roman and Dean with chairs. Seth became the holder of the Money in the Bank contract, cashing it on on Roman’s championship match at WrestleMania 31. Seth had to give up his championship after his knee injury, and Roman eventually picked up the championship for himself at WrestleMania 32. Now Seth is back, after seven months, to try to reclaim the title he never lost. Their destinies are intertwined, it’s a championship match “two years in the making”, and I heard a rumour there was a third member of the Shield too. No, I’m not bitter at all about Dean being the only former Shield member without a World Heavyweight Championship reign under his belt, why do you ask?

MATCH: Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn & Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Alberto del Rio & Chris Jericho

Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring first, and we cut to commercial. When we come back, Sami, Cesaro, Kevin and del Rio are already in the ring, and Chris Jericho makes his way out too. He is still wearing a ridiculous scarf, which is apparently Serengeti yak hair much like his carpet was. Put me with Ambrose on this one, it’s nice and all, but I don’t know what’s so special about Serengeti yaks.

  • The bell rings while all six men are eying each other off in the ring, and they immediately all move in to fight. Sami and Kevin, Dean and Jericho, Cesaro and del Rio.

  • All six men climb out of the ring, but Cesaro and del Rio climb back in first so I assume they’re the legal men. Cesaro starts an uppercut train on del Rio.

  • After some struggles back and forth, Cesaro tries to pick up del Rio for a Cesaro Swing, but del Rio grabs the ropes and slides out. Cesaro hits a cannonball off the apron on del Rio, then hits Kevin Owens, then Jericho, with uppercuts.

  • Another uppercut lands on del Rio, then Cesaro throws him back into the ring and climbs up on the top rope for a crossbody. Del Rio kicks out at two.

  • Cesaro picks del Rio up for a Cesaro Swing. When Kevin enters the ring to interfere, Cesaro drops del Rio and picks Kevin up for a swing of his own. Jericho obviously feels left out, because he climbs in for one too.

  • Cesaro locks in the Sharpshooter on Chris Jericho, who taps – but as Jericho wasn’t the legal man, this doesn’t actually mean anything.

  • Del Rio superkicks Cesaro, for an unsuccessful cover, and we cut to an ad break.

  • When we come back, Cesaro is in the ring with Jericho, who I assume actually is the legal man now. Jericho hits a dropkick, then tags in Kevin.

  • Both Jericho and Kevin kick Cesaro until Kevin shoos Jericho away and backs Cesaro into the corner for some more kicks. Dean climbs into the ring to try to interfere, but is pushed away by the ref as Kevin drags Cesaro into his corner and tags in Jericho to kick Cesaro in the corner. Del Rio tags himself in and gets in some more kicks and strikes on Cesaro, then hits a step-up enzuigiri.

  • Alberto del Rio goes for a cover, but Cesaro kicks out. Cesaro puts del Rio on the turnbuckle, then hits a standing dropkick, but apparently this used the last of his energy as it seems to be a real struggle to get to his corner to tag in Sami.

  • Jericho and Sami both tag in, and Sami hits Jericho with a clothesline, then a kick. Jericho whips Sami into the corner, but takes a back elbow then a kick from Sami in the corner. Sami climbs up for a crossbody, but Jericho kicks out of the cover at two.

  • Sami drags Jericho to his feet and picks him up for a suplex, but he slips out of the hold, and he manages to get Sami in the corner for a series of elbows to the head.

  • Jericho is either whispering something to Sami, kissing his ear, or attempting to bite him in the corner before attempting to whip him across the ring. Sami reverses, but walks into Jericho’s boot.

  • Sami rallies into a Blue Thunderbomb, and Sami crawls to tag in Dean as Jericho manages to tag in del Rio.

  • Dean hits a series of clotheslines on del Rio, then a crossbody, and a series of strikes to the head. A running bulldog on del Rio takes him to the mat, and Dean turns to push Kevin off the apron, then jumps after him to keep him down, giving del Rio time to get to his feet.

  • Dean climbs back up onto the apron as del Rio rebounds off the ropes, but dodges del Rio’s kick, which sends del Rio out of the ring.

  • Dean dives after del Rio, then drags him back into the ring, climbing up onto the turnbuckle, but takes a roundhouse kick on his way through the air.

  • Del Rio hits a backbreaker on Dean for an unsuccessful cover. As Dean gets to his feet, del Rio eyes the briefcase. Dean tries to get Dirty Deeds, but is blocked, taking del Rio down with a clothesline instead. A cover is interrupted by Jericho, so Cesaro leaps in to help.

  • Kevin climbs in to help as well, and Cesaro hits Jericho, then Kevin, then Dean with uppercuts. Kevin gets back to his feet and throws Cesaro, then is thrown out of the ring himself by Sami Zayn.

  • Sami launches himself over the ropes, landing on Cesaro, before being thrown into the barricade by Kevin.

  • Kevin is tagged in, but hits both del Rio and Jericho with superkicks, before turning around into Dirty Deeds from Dean Ambrose.

Dean is the only man left on his feet after that match, pacing around the ring and looking up at the briefcase speculatively, before climbing up to sit on the turnbuckle to celebrate his victory. He points to the briefcase as we fade out, because you have to point at something before a pay-per-view.

See you on Sunday for the allegedly best Money in the Bank of all time!