Smackdown – July 18, 2014: Let The Battle Begin

Smackdown
Date: July 18, 2014
Location: Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final show before Battleground and we’re coming off a pretty decent Raw. The main stories tonight will be about the build towards Sunday and will likely focus on Ambrose vs. Rollins which was added with about twenty minutes to go before the end of Monday’s show. Granted the match is pretty much already set up. Let’s get to it.

Opening video.

Here’s Dean Ambrose to get things going. For the last two years, he’s heard about how smart Seth Rollins is. On Monday, Rollins knew he couldn’t beat Ambrose by himself so he had his buddies do his work for him. That attack on Monday isn’t going to keep him away, so is that all Rollins and the Authority have?

Ambrose wants Rollins right now but he only gets Seth on screen. Rollins talks about how insane Ambrose must be for wanting another beating. He’d love to come out there and curb stomp Ambrose again, but his knee isn’t medically cleared. Ambrose says the daddy line again but Rollins has already talked to HHH. The boss has made Ambrose vs. Kane for later tonight.

Fandango/The Miz vs. Sheamus/Dolph Ziggler

This is fallout from Miz and Sheamus trading wins on Raw and Main Event and Fandango’s women leaving him for Fandango. We start with the Battle of Cleveland and Dolph runs Miz over with a shoulder. Miz counters a dropkick and tries the Figure Four but Ziggler kicks him away. The threat of a right hand to the face sends Miz over to Fandango for a tag and it’s off to Sheamus as well. Sheamus pounds away before cranking on an armbar. Fandango gets sent to the floor and Miz follows him rather than getting punched or superkicked.

We take a break and come back with Fandango snapping Sheamus’ neck over the top rope but stopping to dance on the apron. Miz breaks up the forearms to the chest before coming in and stomping away in the corner. A boot to Sheamus’ face gets two and we hit the chinlock. Miz’s short DDT gets two and a dropkick from Fandango gets the same.

Fandango stops to dance though and gets caught with White Noise. The hot tag brings in Ziggler who cleans house and gets two on Miz with what looked like a Rough Ryder. Dolph gets the same off a running DDT and there’s a Brogue Kick to Fandango. The Zig Zag gets the pin on Miz at 10:34.

Rating: C. This was fine. A little by the numbers and not straying from the tag team formula whatsoever but still fine. I love that they’re actually building up to the battle royal on Sunday and forming some side feuds as a result. It’s almost like they’re paying attention to the midcard or something. That can’t be right though, can it?

Network plug.

Alicia Fox vs. Eva Marie

Nikki Bella is referee. After about a minute of Nikki breaking up everything the girls do, Eva gets in an argument with her, only to have both girls beat Nikki up for the no contest at about 1:30. Eva and Alicia pat each other on the back. I guess Fox isn’t crazy anymore.

Stardust talks about living in a parallel universe but needing a key to the cosmic door. Goldust says knock knock and says he’s right here. They’re heading into a dimension of sound, sight and bizarre (takeoff of the intro to Twilight Zone). Stardust blows dust at him and Goldust yells STOP IT.

Chris Jericho vs. Luke Harper

Before the match, Bray talks about Jericho lying about saving us all. Jericho should worry about saving himself from what’s coming on Sunday. Cole calls this a riddle because Cole doesn’t understand basic English. Harper shoves Jericho into the ropes to start but gets nailed by a running elbow. Luke comes back with pure power and knocks Jericho down in the corner. Jericho pops back up and knocks Harper off the apron as we take a break.

Back with Harper holding a chinlock but Jericho quickly escapes and hammers away in the corner. Harper’s shirt has been ripped open as he goes after Jericho’s arm to take over again. A small package gets two for the Canadian but Harper lays him out with a right hand for two of his own. They head outside and Bray is seen whispering something to Rowan. Back in and we get the Gator Roll before Harper puts on a chinlock. Jericho quickly fights back and runs to the top for an ax handle.

The Walls are countered but an enziguri drops Luke for two. Back up and a Michinoku Driver gets Luke another two. Jericho runs back to the top for a high cross body, only to get caught in an awesome sitout powerbomb for two. Harper misses a charge in the corner and the Lionsault gets two. The Walls go on and Jericho knocks Rowan to the floor, setting up a rollup for the pin on Harper at 9:43 shown of 12:13.

Rating: B-. This was better than I was expecting, even though Harper matches are becoming a treat. The idea of him being really athletic but needing Bray to focus him works very well and he was shining in there with a talented guy like Jericho. This again shows the benefits of lackeys: Jericho gets a win and Bray gets frustrated but Bray doesn’t take a loss.

Rowan attacks post match but the Usos run in for the save.

Here’s are Swagger and Colter with something to say. Swagger has a new shirt which is shows a hand going over the chest. Colter talks about how tired they are of hearing about how amazing Mother Russia is. While he’s a big critic of the US government, he’s an American with the right to free speech. He leads WE THE PEOPLE but gets interrupted by Rusev and a certain leggy blonde. Rusev starts a Russia chant and it turns into a battle of waving flags.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

We get inset interviews from both guys where they talk about wanting the Intercontinental Title. They’re nothing special but I like those things as they can help us connect to the wrestlers a little bit. Del Rio hits a quick enziguri to knock Kofi to the floor before putting on a chinlock. Some forearms to the head put Kofi down but he quickly sends Del Rio to the floor for a suicide dive.

Back in and Kofi speeds things up with dropkicks and a clothesline. A quick chase on the floor allows Del Rio to kick him in the face but the armbreaker is countered into the SOS for two. Del Rio knocks Kofi off the top rope, tying Kofi’s legs in the rope as a result. A top double stomp to the chest is enough for the pin at 4:45.

Rating: C. This was the typically decent match between these two even though it was pretty short. Kofi will get to do his fun spot on Sunday and then get eliminated after giving some fans false hope of a win. They’re doing a good job of making the title look important with Sunday’s match. I don’t expect it to last but the match should be fun. Del Rio has no chance to win of course.

Fandango offers to take both Layla and Summer once he wins the title on Sunday. Summer shows why she scripted promos are bad as she says “little did we know you were two timing both of us.” I’ve heard her on some of the documentaries and she sounds like far more intelligent than that line gives her credit for. They call him a flamenco dancer and flip their hair at him as they leave. Bo Dallas comes up for a pep talk and praises Fandango’s pants.

AJ Lee/Paige vs. Summer Rae/Layla

Summer dances at AJ to start but stops to do the splits, allowing AJ to kick her in the back of the head. It’s off to the two British girls with Layla kicking Paige in the face for two. A choke on the ropes from Layla sets up a running flip splash from Summer for two. Paige kicks both girls down but AJ tags herself in and the Black Widow makes Summer tap at 2:20.

AJ and Paige hug it out post match.

We recap the Usos saving Jerico before going to the Usos drinking frozen drinks from Sonic. Hornswoggle comes in and drinks both of them at once, getting a brain freeze. Another commercial.

Video on the fourway on Sunday.

Rollins is in the back when Kane comes in. Seth tries to get the monster and Orton on the same page after the RKO to Kane on Monday, but tonight is about getting rid of Dean Ambrose. Kane hopes Orton is watching tonight because Ambrose is going to be a preview of what Kane does to Orton. The monster also warns Rollins not to try cashing in on Sunday.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

Dean jumps Kane as the fire comes from the post and we get the opening bell. Kane shoves him away and knocks Dean out of the air with an uppercut. A much louder uppercut has Ambrose in trouble and Kane goes after the bad shoulder. Off to a kind of short arm scissors but Dean punches him in the head to escape.

Kane runs into two boots to the jaw and a tornado DDT from Dean puts both guys down. A pair of dropkicks drop Kane again and Ambrose sends him to the floor for a suicide dive. Ambrose’s injured shoulder flares up again though and Kane sends him into the steps to make it even worse. Kane can’t hit the tombstone on the floor but Rollins comes out for the DQ at 5:15.

Rating: C-. This was angle advancement disguised as a match. Rollins’ knee appears to be fine which is good news coming out of Monday. Watching Dean go nuts on Sunday is going to be very fun and I’m sure they’re going to get another match out of it. Kane is there to give Cena someone to pin on Sunday and that’s just fine.

Kane chokeslams Dean and throws in the steps. Rollins hits a curb stomp to send Dean head first into the steps to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was one of the better Smackdowns in a few weeks as everything that got some time was either decent or good and the short matches weren’t long enough to be that bad. We got a nice refresher on Ambrose vs. Rollins and Battleground is looking better. Tonight focused on the stuff besides the main event and that’s what we were needing. Good show this week.

Results
Sheamus/Dolph Ziggler b. The Miz/Fandango – Zig Zag to Miz
Alicia Fox vs. Eva Marie went to a no contest when both girls attacked Nikki Bella
Chris Jericho b. Luke Harper – Rollup
Alberto Del Rio b. Kofi Kingston – Top rope double stomp
AJ Lee/Paige b. Summer Rae/Layla – Black Widow to Summer Rae
Dean Ambrose b. Kane via DQ when Seth Rollins interfered

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6 comments

  1. Killjoy says:

    With what’s happened today, I feel Rusev might lose on Sunday. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have a problem with him losing.

    [Reply]

  2. $Mr. 100% says:

    I agree Rusev needs 2 lose 2 set up a long term feud btwn swagger and rusev.

    [Reply]

    Rocko Reply:

    ?

    [Reply]

  3. Cockadoodledoo says:

    im glad theyre giving the divas some focus, thats cool and all, but they are soooo boring. i really dont care about any of them at all. i was more interested in the Usos plugging Sonic than all the 4 divas storylines put together

    [Reply]

    Rocko Reply:

    Well this might be something we have to sit through for awhile if they are serious about using the divas more. It might take awhile for them to become interesting.

    [Reply]

  4. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    At least we are getting multiple Diva Storylines for the first time in a long time. Its better than one Feud and the rest are doing nothing but floating.

    [Reply]

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