Smackdown – July 14, 2016: Going Out Smackdown Style
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
This is the end of an era as we’re at the final taped episode of Smackdown before it moves over to the live world of Tuesday nights on USA. We’re also closing in on Battleground but we can’t actually do much about the main event since Roman Reigns is still suspended. That sounds like fodder for a tag match. Let’s get to it.
Earlier today, Kevin Owens found a birthday card for his son from Sami Zayn. All Sami gave his son was $20 Canadian. That money goes in Kevin’s pocket and tonight Dean Ambrose is going into the hospital.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke get out of a limo and promise to have Dana take care of Sasha Banks tonight.
Miz is ready to make Darren Young great Again on MizTV.
Dean Ambrose might be leaving Smackdown due to the Draft but tonight he’s going out by destroying Kevin Owens one last time.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Sasha has already beaten Dana once but she has to do it again to get a title shot at Charlotte, who is in Dana’s corner. Banks starts fast with a rollup for two before being sent outside where a Charlotte distraction lets Dana take over. The Samoan Driver (still needs a name) is broken up and Sasha’s high cross body gets two. Dana tries a rollup but gets caught in the Bank Statement for the tap at 3:48.
Rating: D+. This was mainly rollups and uninspired brawling though Sasha’s high cross body looked good. I’m not quite sure what’s gained by having Sasha beat her twice in a week but at least we’re not heading for a rubber match or anything ridiculous like that. I’d assume we get Sasha vs. Charlotte at Summerslam as Sasha in Brooklyn is going to work so well.
We see Shane McMahon being named Smackdown Commissioner. He’s already picked his General Manager.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Non-title. Ziggler takes it to the mat to start but Rusev runs him over and we take a break. Back with Ziggler fighting back with right hands but getting dropped with ease all over again. A powerbomb gets two on Ziggler and it’s time to stand around a bit. Ziggler grabs a sleeper for a few moments before realizing that his running DDT and the Fameasser might do some more damage. Rusev gets in his superkick but here’s Zack Ryder for a distraction, allowing Ziggler to roll Rusev up for the pin at 8:57.
Rating: C. This would be your weekly meaningless midcard champion loss unless there’s a big surprise with Ziggler being added to the title match, though I can’t picture that happening. Above all else though, it makes me wonder what the point was in having Sheamus beat Ryder clean on Monday. Who does that benefit and how does it make me want to see Ryder get a title shot at Battleground? Either don’t do the match or have Ryder win again, especially if there’s nothing for Sheamus to do.
We see the New Day at the Wyatt Compound from Monday.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. AJ Styles/Karl Anderson
Enzo and AJ get things going but it’s quickly off to Cass to clean house. AJ gets backdropped and a running clothesline puts Karl on the floor. The big toss sends Enzo over the top and onto the Club as we take a break. Back with Anderson getting a shot to Enzo’s throat and it’s time for the beatdown to begin.
AJ starts going after AJ’s knee with a springboard stomp as the leg is over the ropes. Amore breaks up a springboard but Karl dives over to break up the hot tag attempt to Cass. A shot to the face drops AJ but it’s Gallows breaking up the tag on the floor. That earns him a big boot to the face from Cass, only to have AJ grab a Calf Crusher for the submission on Enzo at 10:53.
Rating: C+. Just a glorified preview for the six man at the pay per view and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m really glad that they went with Styles instead of Gallows here as it can get really tiring seeing the same match over and over again, especially with Gallows and Anderson who were run into the ground against the Usos. Finally, it’s a really good sign that Cass has Enzo around to take the losses. Cass has potential and a bunch of tag team losses would hinder that.
According to spoilers, there was supposed to be a Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio match at this point but there’s no mention of such a match.
Kalisto vs. Tyler Breeze
Kalisto starts fast of course but a Fandango distraction lets Breeze drop him throat first across the top rope. We hit the chinlock on Kalisto for a bit before he makes his quick comeback with the kicks to the chest and the corkscrew cross body. Tyler gets two off a kick but the Salida Del Sol is good enough to put Tyler away at 3:15.
Rating: D+. I’m not entirely sure where this is going and I’m glad Kalisto got a pin, even though I’m a Breeze fan and would love to see him go somewhere. At least the tag team has given him something to do, even if it’s a low level act. A feud with the Lucha Dragons, who are just as worthless, is at least a step up over Golden Truth.
It’s time for MizTV with guests Bob Backlund and Darren Young. Miz shows us some Backlund clips from the Network. The fans give him an ovation so Miz is ready with a Darren Young video package. That would be a test pattern though because Darren hasn’t had any highlights. Darren is fine with that because his highlight will be winning the Intercontinental Title. Backlund says Miz can never be a great champion because he isn’t a role model. Miz rips on Backlund for sounding like Forrest Gump but Darren won’t stand for someone disrespecting his life coach. A brawl is teased but doesn’t go anywhere.
Sasha Banks is getting a concussion test (an hour and a half after her match) when Charlotte and Dana come in. Charlotte says not yet on the title shot so Sasha should find a partner if she can.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Non-title with Seth Rollins on commentary. And pretty much never mind as Rollins interferes for the DQ at 33 seconds.
Sami Zayn runs out and I smell a tag match.
Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose/Sami Zayn
The match has been announced during the break by someone not mentioned. But then again we need a GM/Commissioner/whatever else they’re going to change the name to a few months after the Draft. Owens attacks Ambrose at the bell and takes him outside for a beating. Back in and Rollins cranks on the neck before it’s off to Owens to miss the backsplash. Sami gets in a tag and we have a double dive to take the villains out.
Back from a break with Sami in trouble in the corner but he pretty easily gets away for the tag off to Ambrose. The standing elbow drop gets two on Owens and everything breaks down. Seth misses his springboard knee and gets taken down with a neckbreaker for two. Sami chases Owens to the floor with the threat of a Helluva Kick but Kevin catches Dean’s suicide dive. Back in and Sami counters the Pedigree into a good looking tornado DDT. The Helluva Kick mises though and now the Pedigree is enough for the pin on Zayn at 13:18.
Rating: B-. Well that’s a perfect way to go out for Smackdown if there ever was one. The match doesn’t really change anything but it was a fun little match with the best possible combination for the pin. Sami losing doesn’t change anything and it keeps the World Champion from taking a pin.
Ambrose saves Sami from an apron powerbomb and brawls with Rollins to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I would tell Smackdown to never change but that seems a bit stupid at this point. If nothing else, Smackdown went out like it always does: with nothing too bad and enough good wrestling to warrant glancing at it while it’s background noise the rest of the time. Not too bad for the final taped show, but hopefully it gets some better treatment live.
Sasha Banks b. Dana Brooke – Bank Statement
Dolph Ziggler b. Rusev – Rollup
AJ Styles/Karl Anderson b. Enzo Amore/Karl Anderson – Calf Crusher to Amore
Kalisto b. Tyler Breeze – Salida Del Sol
Dean Ambrose b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Seth Rollins interfered
Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins b. Dean Ambrose/Sami Zayn – Pedigree to Zayn
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