We open on Randy Orton being interviewed about his upcoming matches; he’s facing Alberto del Rio tonight, so naturally we’re talking about his match with Brock Lesnar. Del Rio wanders in to indicate that he is still relevant, mocking the RKO and threatening to break Randy’s arm.
We cut straight from this into the opening sequence, and I promise this is the last time I complain about the new theme song.
We enter the arena and are reminded immediately that we are now less than two weeks away from SummerSlam! But before anything else can happen, the screen fills with Wyatts and the arena fills with fireflies. Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan make their way to the ring, and as Bray blows out the lantern, Mauro reminds us that Bray lost to Dolph ZIggler last week in a match for Ziggler’s number one contendership, before Erick and Bray worked together to take down both Ziggler and Dean Ambrose.
Bray takes a microphone and tells us all that he did not lose to Dolph Ziggler last week – he was a victim. Ziggler sent him headfirst into an exposed turnbuckle out of desperation, and that while he might have caused Bray to black out and take a pin, he is not so easily defeated as he is a god. He announces that it is Bray Wyatt against the whole world, and that he doesn’t care about authorities or brands – and Dean’s music hits.
As Dean damply makes his way down the ramp, Bray throws off his jacket. Dean points out that this must be a new era, as now the Eater of Worlds is claiming to have been a victim, and coming off more like a baby than like a threat. Dean looks for a moment like he’s going to take Bray’s bait, though, and walk into the ring, when Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and he runs into the ring instead.
As Ziggler is taking a beating from the two men, Dean enters the ring as well and tries to come to his aid. He takes some big fists from Erick, but as he knocks Erick out of the ring, Bray catches him in Sister Abigail position. Ziggler tries to superkick Bray to save Dean, but instead hits Dean, and Ziggler eats a Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt instead.
Bray poses on the ramp, both Dean and Dolph laying motionless in the ring.
After a commercial break, Ziggler is clutching his head backstage. Dean gets in his face and tells him that he doesn’t believe the superkick was an accident, and that he didn’t need Ziggler’s help with the Wyatts. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon interrupt them before things get too heated, however, and tell them that they need to save their tension for SummerSlam because they’re going to be tagging together against Erick Rowan and Bray Wyatt later tonight.
MATCH: American Alpha vs. Mikey O’Shea and Mike Vega
American Alpha make their way down to the ring, while the local competitors are already waiting for them in the ring. Before things get started, however, more music hits and The Ascension, followed by the Vaudevillains, then the Hype Bros make their way down too.
- Gable and Vega start in the ring. Gable slams Vega then tags in Jordan.
- Jordan whips Vega to the ground, then tags in Gable; O’Shea enters the ring and takes a suplex then a double dropkick from Alpha as Jordan tags back in.
- Jordan suplexes Vega, then tags in Gable for their finisher.
Very quick match, but as it finishes, the other three tag teams enter the ring and there’s an all-out brawl; The Ascension taking down the Hype Bors and Alpha eventually taking down the Vaudevillains with suplexes. Alpha remain standing in the ring and their music hits; they’re ostensibly the top tag team in the division, and certainly that showing keeps them looking strong. I can’t help but notice a couple of tag teams unrepresented in that segment, however.
Renee Young is interviewing Miz and Maryse! Miz brags a little about how long his reign has been as Champion, and while Renee wants to talk about Apollo Crews, Miz wants to drape himself on the table and gaze at his wife. I don’t really blame him; I understand that a lot of people would rather look at Maryse than Apollo. We get a video package on Crews, and when we come back both Miz and Maryse are laying on the table while Renee tries to awkwardly interview them. Miz compares Maryse to a modern-day Aphrodite and then draws her in for a kiss.
I’m actually made kind of uncomfortable by their shows of affection because Renee has to sit there and watch them! But we cut away after they start kissing.
MATCH: Becky Lynch vs. Eva Marie
It’s a second chance at a first impression for Eva Marie, after having begged out of her match last week due to injury. Becky Lynch comes out first, followed by Eva; Eva poses on the ropes and blows a kiss to the crowd while Becky looks irritated.
Before the match can get started, however, Eva’s top comes undone and she starts screaming while holding it in place. Becky looks enraged, and when the interviewer comes out and suggests that she might be annoyed, Becky insists that she’s not leaving without a match because she didn’t come here to stand around and then walk to the back. Alexa Bliss comes out to take Becky up on that challenge, and says she wants the chance to prove herself by making her in-ring debut taking down Becky, the top female draft pick for SmackDown.
MATCH: Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
When we’re back from commercial, the match is already underway!
- Alexa has Becky against the ropes for several stomps, then goes for a pin for a two-count.
- Alexa puts Becky back against the ropes, pulling Becky’s hair and winding her through the ropes. She goes for two quick pinfalls, both for a one-count, then several more strikes, then a pin for a two-count.
- Alexa with a chinlock on Becky; Becky gets to a vertical base and breaks out with strikes.
- Alexa rebounds off the ropes then eats a series of lariats from Becky and then a leg lariat.
- Becky screams “straight fire!” and then hits a corner clothesline, then an exploder suplex.
- Eva Marie makes her way back out, and Becky looks outraged and confused, allowing Alexa time to hit Becky from behind then go to the ropes for Twisted Bliss.
Alexa celebrates her victory while Eva Marie takes the microphone and tells us that she tried to fix her wardrobe as quickly as she could but obviously Bliss beat her to the punch.
Becky and Alexa’s match went for only approximately three minutes, and while the whole segment was a bit longer, I’m not sure how much longer I’m happy to watch women’s matches that don’t happen or don’t get a decent runtime.
MATCH: Randy Orton vs. Alberto del Rio
Randy Orton makes his way out to the ring first, posing on the turnbuckle as he is inclined to do. We get a brief recap of him RKOing Brock Lesnar on last Week’s RAW, then taking an F5 from Lesnar during his match against Fandango last week on SmackDown. Alberto del Rio makes his way down next; my friend I am watching with complains about him flexing his pecs, and I can’t really argue with her.
- The two men circle each other. The crowd is already chanting “RKO!”
- Collar and elbow tie-up, quickly broken. Another collar and elbow tie-up; Randy with a headlock, broken by rebounding from the ropes.
- Del Rio on the apron, eyes off Randy for a moment, before climbing back in. Del Rio gets a kick to Randy’s legs, then a few strikes and throwing Randy into the turnbuckle.
- Randy with the upper hand, throwing del Rio into the turnbuckle then hitting a stiff European uppercut before whipping del Rio into the opposite corner.
- Randy on the second rope, strikes to del Rio’s face; del Rio slips out under his legs, but Randy takes him down with a clothesline.
- A kick from Randy to keep del Rio down, then catapulting del Rio into the bottom rope. He goes for a pin, but del Rio kicks out at 2.
- Del Rio back in control; he hits something that looks very nearly like a low-blow, but Randy sends him over the rope and to the floor as we cut to commercial.
- When we’re back, Randy is stomping del Rio, then hits a knee drop and more stomps. Del Rio kicks out of the cover at 2.
- Randy goes for a clothesline, but del Rio ducks and hits a backstabber, then throws Randy into the turnbuckle shoulder first.
- Del Rio capitalizes on the hurt shoulder throwing Randy into the steel steps then back into the ring, going to the turnbuckle for a flying right hand.
- Del Rio putting more pressure on Randy’s shoulder on the ground; Randy gets to his feet as the crowd chants for him, then hits a dropkick and positions del Rio on the turnbuckle.
- Del Rio transitions this into the cross armbreaker over the rope; he breaks the hold before the ref’s count, but Randy is looking in bad shape.
- Del Rio back on the turnbuckle, but Randy knocks him off his feet onto the rope.
- Randy superplexes del Rio, and the crowd chants “RKO!” again as both men recover from the impact.
- Strikes back and forth, but del Rio goes down to a series of clotheslines and then a scoop slam from Randy.
- Randy sets up for a DDT, but del Rio counters; del Rio tries to transition into the cross armbreaker, but this is also countered.
- Randy goes for the RKO, but del Rio slides out of the ring. Randy throws him over the barricade then clears the announce table.
- Before he can get a hold of del Rio, del Rio hits him with a chair and the ref calls for a disqualification.
Del Rio gets in another chairshot, then throws Randy shoulder first into the ringpost a few times. Randy hits an RKO, even with the bad shoulder, and his music plays as he celebrates.
Heath Slater is here for some reason. Oh, that’s right, he has to fight Rhyno for a SmackDown Live contract. Slater claims that he needs the job for his two kids, then for his four kids. Rhyno does not seem to be impressed.
There’s an “earlier today” segment with the Miz, talking to Scooby Doo. He has major issues with the fact that his face is not on the Scooby Doo movie cover. Scooby Doo entices the Miz into the Mystery Machine with promises of gluten-free scooby snacks, then steals The Miz’s Audi? This was a weird segment.
MATCH: Rhyno vs. Heath Slater
Very quick intros, and then we’re straight into the match. I’m still recovering from that Miz segment.
- Slater with a go-behind, then reversed by Rhyno into a wristlock. Rebound off the ropes, then Slater down with a shoulder block.
- Knife-edge chops from Rhyno in the corner, then Slater breaks free and whips Rhyno into the corner, then a clothesline. Rhyno kicks out at two.
- Another cover, then another, both for a two-count.
- Slater with a headlock on Rhyno; Rhyno to a vertical base, but Slater knocks him back to the ground by pulling his hair. Another unsuccessful cover.
- Another headlock, Rhyno powers out then hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Slater.
- Rhyno sets up to take Slater down with the Gore, but Slater avoids it, sending Rhyno into the ring post. He goes for a cheeky roll-up, but puts his feet blatantly on the ropes and the ref calls him out on it.
- Rhyno hits the Gore, and a successful pin on Heath Slater.
Heath Slater looks disappointed. I’m not surprised.
Another Wyatt promo! They look very spooky, and when Erick Rowan tells me to run, I really want to.
Daniel Bryan is talking to Shane McMahon, saying he wants to sign Slater despite his loss, because he embodies the SmackDown spirit. Slater bursts in and screams about how he and his seven kids don’t need SmackDown.
MATCH: Carmella vs. Natalya
Carmella makes her way down to the ring, promising to slap Natalya so hard she’s going to go blind. Natalya comes out before she has finished talking to attack her from behind again, but Carmella fires back. They tumble into the ring and the bell rings with barely a break in the action.
- Carmella with strikes on Natalya, then drapes her over the ropes. The ref creates distance, and Natalya reverses, leaning on Carmella’s shoulder over the ropes.
- Sidepress from Natalya for a two-count.
- Snap suplex from Natalya, then another.
- Carmella gets to the corner to pull herself to her feet; Natalya boots Carmella in the midsection until the ref creates separation. Takes a kick from Carmella when she tries to go after her again, but Natalya able to keep the upper hand.
- Natalya with her knee on Carmella’s spine until Carmella is able to power out.
- Natalya postures to the crowd and Carmella tries to get a sneaky roll-up, but Natalya kicks out at two.
- Natalya tries to simply sit on Carmella’s chest for a cover, but Carmella kicks out.
- Abdominal stretch by Natalya on a shrieking Carmella. Carmella tries to power out with elbows.
- Natalya whips Carmella into the ropes and hits Nattie-by-Nature; Carmella just manages to kick out.
- Natalya sets up for the Sharpshooter, but Carmella reverses into the Code of Silence; Natalya taps out.
Another three minute women’s match, this one just a little longer. I’m happy to see that they’re wrestling matches this week, unless last week, but still!
Renee Young backstage to talk some about SummerSlam; we get a video package on AJ and Cena, because neither men are in attendance as they’re on the New Zealand/Australia tour. They yelled at each other quite a bit last week about how much they love the WWE. They’re going to fight at SummerSlam. There’s not much new to add!
Backstage Baron Corbin is beating up Kalisto, because he blames him for costing him his chance at the Intercontinental Championship.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan
Despite that he’s facing Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam for the championship, Dolph Ziggler has to put his differences with Dean aside tonight so they can fight the Wyatts. I feel like I’m about ready to fall asleep even though the wrestling airs in the middle of the day for me, so I don’t know how I’m going to manage this match!
- The bell rings before their partners are out of the ring, and Bray is immediately on Dean, backing him into a corner.
- Dean ducks a clothesline then takes Bray down with a lariat for several strikes.
- Ziggler tags himself in and both Dean and Dolph hit Bray until the ref motions for Dean to get out of the ring.
- Bray grabs Ziggler by the hair and then rebounds off the ropes for a clothesline, but takes a dropkick.
- Bray ducks Ziggler’s clothesline, and Ziggler runs into a lariat from Erick Rowan on the apron.
- When we’re back from commercial, Ziggler and Bray are trading strikes back and forth until Bray hits a full body slam on ZIggler, but misses with a senton to follow.
- Ziggler makes a hot tag to Dean, who takes Bray down with a clothesline.
- Attempted whip by Dean, reversed by Bray, into a clothesline and a running bulldog by Dean.
- Dean jumps out of the ring to attack Erick Rowan, sending him into the announce table before climbing back into the ring. Bray levels him with a clothesline, then tags in Erick Rowan.
- Rowan splashes on Dean, then drapes Dean over the top rope for strikes.
- Dean falls to the ground outside the ring; Ziggler comes over to check on him. Erick tags in Bray.
- Dean sends Bray into the barricade then climbs onto the apron for a strike; Bray hits him with an uranagi on the apron.
- Both men back in the ring, and Bray taunts Ziggler and Dean by leaning backwards from the turnbuckle.
- Dean tries to get Dirty Deeds but is countered; Bray still goes down to a swinging neckbreaker and both men tag in their partners.
- Ziggler hits a neckbreaker on Erick Rowan then knocks Bray off the apron.
- DDT into a sidepress, but Rowan kicks out.
- Rowan blocks Ziggler’s superkick and hits a spin kick on ZIggler, for a two-count.
- Ziggler almost gets pinned by Rowan, but Dean breaks up the pin; Bray climbs in and tries to hit Sister Abigail, but both Dean and Bray go tumbling out of the ring.
- Ziggler hits a superkick on Erick Rowan, for a successful pinfall.
Dean climbs back into the ring and Ziggler pats him on the shoulder in celebration. Dean counters by kicking Ziggler and landing Dirty Deeds on him. The crowd leads a huge “Yes!” chant as Dean drapes his title over his shoulder and makes his way up the ramp while his music plays.
That’s it for SmackDown this week! We’ll see you again for NXT and Cruiserweight Classic later this week!