The New Kingpin: A Smackdown Recap

Tonight’s Smackdown comes to us from Tucson, Arizona.

Business as Usual

I know what you’re thinking.  How are they going to handle The Guy being suspended and off TV right until Battleground?  The answer so far is to just pretend like absolutely nothing happened.  As far as the audience is concerned, both arena and TV, We’re still getting that Shield Triple Threat at the July PPV.  How are they going to handle him not being there at all for the buildup or even for the draft?  Who Knows?

I think there’s one of three possibilities:

  1. They do the match with Roman being gone the whole month.  No mention is made on his absence.  This is the weirdest option.  Kids are going to notice one of their favorites being gone for an entire month without a kayfabe injury to recover from.
  2. They cancel the match, for now.  This match is happening, but maybe not for Battleground.  It’s entirely possible, with Smackdown being taped on Tuesday, that they weren’t 100% ready to rearrange everything.  I can’t really remember the last time Roman actually wrestled on a Smackdown and he hardly ever shows up.  I can see that they just went ahead with the show they’ve written/booked, only making some very minor adjustments if any at all.
  3. The do the match, acknowledging the suspension.
    Building off explanation #2, they perhaps haven’t had the time to figure this one out before taping Smackdown.  It’s very possible that they acknowledge the suspension and work it a bit into kayfabe.

No matter what happens, I feel like the chance that Roman wins the title back soon is hindered by this latest development.

Tyler Black Vs. El Generico

This isn’t the first time to the dance for these guys, but it’s the first time under these names.  Seth starts of Smackdown for an open challenge to prove to everyone that he’s still the man.  Sami accepts the challenge.

Dean-O feels left out.  The new Kingpin of the WWE comes out with his talk show set for an impromptu episode of the Ambrose Asylum.  It’s Dean being wacky.  I’m a big fan of it.  He’s clearly annoying the hell out of Rollins and it’s great.   There’s a possibility that the Battleground match ends up being just Ambrose Vs. Rollins and I’m totally ok with that.

The Main Event

A solid match.  It really made watching the rest of Smackdown worth it.  I stopped taking notes during this match.  It was entertaining as hell.  Just watch it.  And Ambrose on commentary was welcome after no real color commentary with Lawler’s absence.

The ending was shades of Roadblock.  Sami slide back into the ring into a Pedigree.  It wasn’t as smooth as the Triple H/Ambrose version but still pretty great.

After the match, Dean and Seth have a quick altercation with Dean unable to lock arms for the Dirty Deeds.  Seth runs to the back.

AJ Styles Vs. …Jimmy Uso?

You heard right, Uce.  AJ Styles Vs. Jimmy Uso.  Why?  Who the hell knows.  It was a weird choice for a match, really.

I’m not a fan of the Uso’s.  Like…at all.  If he wasn’t fighting The Phenomenal One, I would have just fast-forwarded through this one.  It was almost insulting how much offense Jimmy was getting in on AJ.  I would have hoped that it would have been more of a squash.  Like, how can Jimmy be booked stronger than Zack Ryder?

The Club came out from the crowd and attacked Jey Uso at ringside.  Jimmy dived out of the ring onto all four of them.  AJ took advantage of the distraction and hits a diving forearm on Jimmy.  He takes him back into the ring, hits another Phenomenal Forearm, and wraps up this bizarre Smackdown experiment with a three count.

The Boss is Back after a Garbage Women’s Match

Sasha Banks

Becky Lynch Vs. Dana Brooke

Since Wrestlemania, the women’s devision has been booked like garbage.  Tonight’s example is a super short one where Dana rolls up Becky after a small distraction from Charlotte.

The Boss comes out and chases Dana and Charlotte away.  As Dana tries to sneak back up on Sasha, it gets reversed into a Bank’s Statement.

It’s good to see Sasha back on TV, but I don’t have a whole ton of confidence on the direction of the Women’s Devision at the moment.  Perhaps they’ll call more women up and it will benefit from a deeper roster.  Let’s hope.

Cesaro Vs. Alberto Del Rio

Cesaro gets the win here.  There’s no real story told in the ring but it’s an entertaining match.

The really winner is Alberto Del Rio here.  I was convinced he was injured at Money In the Bank.  He was helped to the back of the arena before any of the other 5 even started to head towards backstage.  I’m glad it wasn’t anything to worry about.  He looked in great form tonight, no evidence of the brutal match from Sunday.  Cesaro, on the other hand, had a nasty purple bruise on the back of his leg.

And the rest…

Apollo Crews Vs. Sheamus

This was a brawl.  Sheamus got the victory here with a count-out after he Brogue kicked Apollo against the ring steps.  Looked brutal.

The Vaudevillians Vs. The New Day

Pretty much a squash match.  The Vaudevillians got a jobber entrance.  It’s clear that they’re going to flounder at least until the brand split.  Perhaps they’ll find a good spot on Smackdown.  How could they not go to Smackdown?

After the match, Bray interrupts via Titantron.  “Something, something, how dare you interrupt our return, something, something.”  Xavier is visibly upset.  Michele is excited about this strange rivalry.  Let’s see how this works out.

David Otunga on commentary

He’s this week’s replacement for the suspended Jerry Lawler.  Was Corey Graves or Booker not available?

What did I grade it?