It’s the last Smackdown before the Hell in the Cell PPV. I am expecting good things from this years Hell in the Cell due to the fact that the WWE seems to be pushing the ‘attitude envelope’ more and more in recent months. This could possibly be the event that shows a less PG angle of the WWE this year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting anything like Mankind and Undertaker, but I do feel with the lead up to the Punk and Ryback match and the mean streak of Alberto Del Rio we could be looking at much more aggressive event this year.
The show opens with Michael Cole inviting Triple H down to the middle of the ring for an interview. Triple H tells the WWE universe that a lot of people have been fired over the last week for going against the orders of the Authority. Anybody that has assisted The Big Show in recent weeks against Stephanie or Hunters wishes has been fired.
Triple H tells us that he can’t wait to see John Cena return to the WWE and he can’t wait to see Alberto Del Rio defend his World heavy Weight title this Sunday.
Triple H says he is confident that Sean Michaels will do the right thing on Sunday. Michael Cole asks him what the right thing is. Before Triple H can respond Daniel Bryan’s entrance music plays and he makes his way to the ring.
Daniel Bryan says the right thing is to ensure that nobody enters the cell and nobody gets out until there is a definitive winner. He tells Triple H that he is going to prove him wrong by becoming the WWE champion and the new face of the WWE.
Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (with Bray Wyatt) vs. The Usos (The Miz on commentary)
The first match of the night and it should be a good one. The Wyatt’s dominate offence in the beginning with Harper delivering a big kick followed by a splash in the corner. The Usos soon retaliate by throwing the Wyatt’s to the outside, which is followed up with a suicide dive over the top rope.
Bray Wyatt gets up from his rocking chair and approaches the ring. The Miz gets up from the commentating area and attacks Bray Wyatt with a kick but then cowardly runs away. Erick Rowan chases after him up the ramp. Meanwhile back in the ring Luke Harper receives a double team Super Kick and the Usos pick up the win.
Not a great match but a good win for the Usos. The Wyatt’s managed to lose without looking particularly bad. Not much of a technical match, but I suspect it’s just a vehicle to continue this beef between the Wyatt’s and The Miz. I’m pretty sure Bray will not be happy with the Miz’s antics so it will be interesting to see what type of punishment he dishes out.
AJ Lee (with Tamina Snuka) vs. Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella)
We have seen a lot of Brie Bella over the last few weeks so I took this opportunity to really check out if Nikki was any better than her sister. The match starts with Nikki on offence jumping on AJ and banging her head against the mat. AJ exits the ring and quickly re-enters the ring and turns the tables for a minute or so.
Nikki fights back with a Clothesline and then starts tossing AJ around like a ragdoll. There is no real finesse to Nikki’s style and there is a lack of timing and attention to what she is doing. Nikki attempts a charge into the corner but AJ avoids the kick by rolling out the way.
Outside the ring Tamina foils any attempt of an attack from Brie by throwing her into the steel stairs. Back in the ring AJ locks in the Black Widow (one of my favourite submissions) and Nikki taps out. AJ Wins.
This match was passable at best. The one thing other than the lack of talent that I believe is not helping anybody get over is the fact that it’s not clear who the heel or faces are in this feud. The crowd seem more confused than uninterested and have no idea if they are supposed to be cheering the Bella’s or AJ. This needs to be addressed quickly before AJ loses what’s left of the heat she has built up over the last six months.
Bray Wyatt Promo
The Wyatt family show us that they have captured The Miz. They have him tied up in some kind of basement and have written the word Liar across his chest. Bray Wyatt tells us that now we will truly see the meaning behind ‘follow the buzzards’.
Los Matadores vs. Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater
Before the match begins the Real Americans make their way out to the top of the ramp. This was a very quick but half enjoyable match. Not really a squash match but 3MB’s offence was limited.
After the match the real Americans taunt Los Matadores from the ramp and Jinder Mahal makes his way into the ring for a little comedy bit with El Torito.
Los Matadores celebration is cut short when Zeb Colter gets on the microphone. He tells them that the only type of individuals that would kidnap a little man and put him in a bull costume are men that part take in deviant behaviour. The type of behaviour they are going to get rid of at Hell in the Cell.
Ryback and Paul Heyman vs. CM Skunk
Ryback and Paul Heyman in the ring. Paul Heyman tells us that we will now witness a preview of what will happen to CM Punk on Sunday. He introduces CM Skunk to the ring for a two on one handicap match. A CM Punk imposter with a white skunk like Mohican makes his way down to the ring for the squash match of his life.
Ryback pummels him with big moves and unleashes an awesome powerbomb before tagging in Heyman. Heyman gets a kendo stick before entering the ring and punishes CM Skunk with it. Ryback delivers the Shell Shock and tells Paul Heyman to pin him. Paul Heyman and Ryback Win.
After the match Paul Heyman tells the WWE Universe that Ryback is going to destroy CM Punk on Sunday, and when he no longer can move, Paul Heyman will enter the cell and pin CM Punk to prove that he is the best in the world. I was surprised that Punk didn’t make his way down to the ring this week to break up the assault on CM Skunk.
Big E Langston is backstage with Vickie Guerrero. Big E says to Vickie that now The Miz is out of action, he wants to take his spot in the main event tonight. Vickie is reluctant at first but after a little reverse psychology that even a five year old would not have fell for, Vickie agrees.
Alberto Del Rio cuts a promo at the top of the ramp and tells us that John Cena has no chance of beating him at Hell in the Cell. He says this Sunday he is going to put Cena in the Cross Armbreaker and never let go.
The Great Khali (with Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Fandango attempts a couple of chops on the Great Khali, which does not go his way. Khali returns with a chop of his own. Khali hits Fandango with a couple of big Clotheslines before he is distracted by Summer Rae standing on the apron. This allows Fandango to attack Khali’s leg from behind.
Outside the ring Natalya confronts Summer Rae but gets a slap for her troubles. Summer Rae runs and Natalya chases after her into the ring. The referee calls for the bell. Khali delivers a Big Chop to the head of Fandango to finish the match.
Main Event: Daniel Bryan, Big E Langston and The Rhodes vs. Randy Orton and The Shield
Cody starts the match with some good offence against Dean Ambrose. He shortly tags in his brother Goldust who continues the attack. Goldust tags Cody back in and he throws Ambrose to the outside as we head to a break.
We come back from the break to find Rollins and Langston in the ring. Rollins attempts a couple of chops before getting a Belly to Belly Suplex from Langston. Langston tags Cody in, who eventually loses control of the match and allows Rollins to tag in Reigns. Reigns throws Cody into the corner but gets countered with a kick to the face. Cody tags in Daniel Bryan who hits Reigns with a series of kicks followed by a leg takedown.
After a quick tag to Langston and then another tag to Goldust it isn’t long before Cody is tagged back in. He delivers his drop uppercut but then quickly loses offence to The Shield. Randy Orton is tagged in and the momentum between Cody and Randy goes back and forth until Cody takes control and tags in Goldust. He delivers a quick attack and then tags his brother back in. Orton eventually throws Cody to the outside and tags in Ambrose to continue the assault.
We return from the break to find The Shield in full control. Cody is desperately trying to reach his partners in his corner. He eventually gets to tag Goldust who storms in but his success is short live because The Shield quickly regains control. Reigns and Rollins try to double team Goldust by throwing him into the corner but they get countered with a springboard double elbow. Goldust tags in Bryan who rushes in and delivers two big drop kicks to send Rollins and Reigns to the outside.
Bryan turns his attention to Ambrose; he hits him with a big kick then dives to the outside to hit the Flying Goat on Orton. Bryan returns to the ring and lands a Missile Drop Kick to Ambrose followed by his trademark kicks and then the Yes Lock. Reigns breaks up the submission and everybody get in the ring. Eventually it’s just Ambrose and Bryan left in the ring. Bryan attacks with his running drop kick but attempts a second one and misses. Ambrose tags in Orton who hits Bryan with the DDT and sets him up for the RKO. Langston interferes and Bryan hits Orton with his running Knee to win the match.
I really enjoyed the main event this week; it featured lots of quick tags, really good offence and great selling from everybody involved. It reminded me of a good Survivor Series Match minus the Elimination process. With Survivor Series just around the corner maybe this is a taste of things to come.
I thought this week’s episode was poor considering the talent involved. It was not an A class card, but there was certainly enough talent to pull off a decent show. For me it failed to hit the mark. The main event was entertaining. It was somewhat predictable but enjoyable overall, which is more than I can say for the rest of the card. I’m still looking forward to Sundays Hell in the Cell but I was hoping for a little more of a build up going into it.
– By Sebastian Bowen