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Smackdown 885 Recap

Editors Note: This should be a proper recap show and less of a play by play. I got lazy for Raw last night, sorry.

Show Opening

WWE used the opening to hype the Lesnar/Orton feud as well as to again remind us of how amazing the RKO is. It only takes one RKO to take down The Beast guys, don’t you know?

Also, they announced a New Era Triple Threat match between Baron Corbin, Apollo “Creed”, what a slip of the tongue by Daniels here, so good…oh yea, and Kalisto. I didn’t realize he was part of the New Era, considering how long he’s been on the main roster and that he's held the US Title. The winner of the Triple Threat match gets a match with The Miz at Summer Slam. 

The intro was decent. Main point: Summer Slam is going to be crazy good.

Dean Ambrose

Dean’s speech wasn’t anything special but he did call Ziggler out to the ring for a ‘chat’. During the chat Ziggler tried to be nice but Ambrose kept reminding him how much better he is than Ziggler. I feel a heel turn from Ziggler coming, which would be fun. Also, I’m not really a fan of this overly cocky version of Ambrose. 

Ziggler’s response was really good. Passionate, accurate, and well delivered, despite the fact that he stole Triple H’s ‘because I’m that damn good!’ finishing line. I liked it though, glad to see Ziggler getting a push again.

As soon as Ambrose left the ring the lights went out, Bray Wyatt’s lead-in video cued up, and then when the lights came back on Wyatt delivered Sister Abigail on Ziggler. Wyatt then challenged Ziggler to a match for the #1 contender spot. I don’t like this because I’m afraid Ziggler is going to lose to Wyatt (who for the record does deserve a push) and find himself in the exact same spot: fighting for mid-card relevance. The brand extension was supposed to give guys like Ziggler and Wyatt the opportunity to increase their roles but not at each other’s expense. We’ll see how this plays out. 

Triple Threat Match: Kalisto vs. Baron  Corbin vs. Apollo Crews

(With The Miz and Maryse at ringside)

The beginning of this match was pretty basic, I wasn’t bummed when a commercial hit. After the break though, Kalisto jumped off of Crews' back into a Hurracanrana on Corbin, sending him through the ropes. Really nice move. 

The match itself was pretty forgettable but the aftermath was the whole story here. Corbin attacked Kalisto, Crews came back to the ring to help Kalisto, then The Miz came in and delivered a Skull Crushing Finale on Crews. Corbin then delivered an End of Days on a gloating Miz. This series was good because it reinforced The Miz’s cheap shot personality, Crew’s babyface character, and that Corbin is the real power here. Hopefully this feud will be be booked well.

Becky Lynch vs. Eva Marie

Let it be known that JBL has taken over for Corey Graves as the announcer who unabashedly gushes over Eva Marie. 

Eva Marie “injured” her knee/hamstring coming down from the 2nd rope. 

Renee Young’s Awesome Interview Desk/Set

Renee was trying to talk to Carmella but was interrupted by Natalya, who is of course still trying to come off as a heel and failing. She name-drops Bret Hart, again, and says that she’s been carrying this division and deserves to be the one who is interviewed. 

Best part of this interchange was Carmella telling Natalya to “go put on your crazy cat lady outfit”. It seems that Carmella and Natalya are now feuding, which leaves….who for Becky?

The Vaudevillians vs. American Alpha

This was Alpha’s main roster debut. I love these guys. I hope they tear through the division.

The beginning of the match went as expected, Alpha dominating with flair. The mid-match also went as expected, Gable gets slowed down, hot tag to Jordan who clears house. The end came sooner than I expected though, so that was a nice surprise. 

Like I said, I love American Alpha. Lots of talent, lots of fun, crazy amounts of charisma. The only complaint I have is that 90% of their matches in NXT we’re booked this exact same way: early domination, Gable gets in trouble, hot tag to Jordan, big finish, win. There isn’t anything wrong with this formula but with Alpha it has become routine. I’d love to see WWE mix up Alpha’s matches more, I don’t want predictability to ruin a great thing.

AJ Styles’ Message for John Cena

Before Styles could say anything Cena’s music hit and he crashed the party. 

Quick aside, AJ Styles’ blue gloves and blue boots still don’t match. Come on man. Also, AJ got a “Soccer Mom hair” chant, so, so, so good. 

Apparently AJ Styles doesn’t want John Cena in the WWE anymore because he doesn’t belong in the ring with AJ. Mmmmmmm, not sure about that logic. Essentially, AJ is a heel because he’s jealous of John Cena’s stature and popularity with the fans…so he’s a bad guy because he’s insecure. I mean that’s real but that’s the best we can do with these two? They’re both absolute beasts, give them something more substantial than AJ being jealous of John. It doesn’t make sense that someone of AJ’s talent and pedigree would get booked as such an idiot. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that John’s response to AJ’s question, “Why are you still here?”, was absolute perfection. If you haven’t watched it, go watch it. If you did watch it, go back and watch it again. That is as real as it gets and that is what this feud should be about, not AJ being jealous, but two guys who love their jobs so much that they have to be the best. That’s real and worthy of these two gentlemen. This segment blew the Raw Lesnar segment out of the water in every way possible, up until AJ mocked him with a dumb clap. 

Bottom line, Cena vs. Styles at Summer Slam, which is what I expected. I’d love to see this match somehow bring these two together, not in a faction, but bury the hatchet and let Styles soar without this dumb crybaby attitude. I’m fine with him as a heel, just please stop making him act like a 12 year old, it’s demeaning. 

Fandango vs. Randy Orton

Why? Just to get Orton out in the open? Also, Viperville vs. Suplex City….so lame. 

This match was fine, nothing special, but not bad. Very clean. 

Big surprise, Lesnar shows up and gives Orton an F5. I think everyone saw this coming (How does Lesnar get to ringside? How dumb are we supposed to be to believe this is possible?). I genuinely don’t know why this is happening. How does this in anyway help the match at Summer Slam? We already know that both of these guys are great. We don’t need something clearly scripted and easy to remind us that it’s going to be a great matchup. Both Orton and Lesnar are above this sort of booking. 

Heath Slater Sighting

This has been a lot of fun in recent weeks. That being said, we’ve got another Rhyno appearance. Heath Slater will face Rhyno next week for a Smackdown contract. I bet Heath wins, because what other outcome is there? This sort of stuff drives me crazy. 

Natalya vs. Carmella

Natalya attacked Carmella while Carmella was walking to the ring and stuck her in the Sharpshooter for an unnecessarily long time. Squash. Waste of time. 

Dolph Ziggler vs Bray Wyatt

(#1 Contender Match with Dean Ambrose at ringside…for absolutely no reason)

2 things: Dolph Ziggler is fluent in American Sign Language and he’ll be on Sportscenter tomorrow night…so he’s going to win. Why tip your hand for the main event?

The beginning of the match was actually pretty good. Dolph started quick with a drop kick and then Wyatt leveled Ziggler with a huge clothesline outside the ring. Cue untimely commercial break.

OK, I don’t want to play conspiracy theorist here, but on return from the commercial break Mauro said “WWE World Champion Dolph Ziggler joining us ringside”…what to do with this? Honest mistake? Foreshadowing? The weird thing, no one corrected him. That’s odd. 

The middle of the match was ok. I got real tired of Ambrose switching tunes and praising Ziggler. You can’t let him berate Ziggler at the beginning of the show and then praise him later on, doesn’t compute.  

Ok, conspiracy theory confirmed. Bray Wyatt was loosening a turnbuckle pad and Ziggler hit Wyatt with a Zig Zag but Maruo called Ziggler, Dean Ambrose. What is happening? Are we being brainwashed? Where is my tinfoil?

Towards the end of the match Wyatt went for Sister Abigail and Ziggler countered into a roll-up, I  thought this was genius. What I didn’t see coming was the crazy strong Rock Bottom that Bray delivered right out of the previous pin. Nice. 

Ziggler kicks out because he’s going to win. Ambrose is still a Ziggler fan despite the beginning of the show. Serious lack of consistency here. 

Winner: Dolph Ziggler. 
I’m glad that this was the result. I’d love to see Wyatt get a title push but this was the right result for this show. 

Also, Rowan showed up and made problems. For some inexplicable reason Ambrose came to Ziggler’s defense. Seriously what is happening here? Is the Wyatt family still a thing? Why does Ambrose insist on changing his mind about Ziggler?

Overall Rating

On par with Raw.