Blue Brand Summerslam Go Home – A Smackdown Recap (8/16/2016)

Tonight’s Smackdown comes to you from the mean streets of Austin, TX.  Streets that are apparently jam-packed with traffic.

Hit my music!  It’s great to be back after a one-week hiatus.  I had those gimmicks that come in the mail called bills that I needed to take care of.  I couldn’t miss the Smackdown before the second biggest (WWE) show of the year.

Revenge of Teddy Long’s Ghost

Or, why do we have a 12-Man tag match?

Yeah, I know Teddy Long isn’t dead but how else do you explain a 12-Man tag match pitting the entire tag team devision against each other?  Everyone At least, to Matt’s delight, we get the Hype Bros.  And as much shit we give to the Usos here at the Dark Match, it’s good to see that the injured one got over his minor injury.

Everyone got a little bit of everything in here.  We had a Hype Ryder, we had Usos diving about.  We had American Alpha being awesome.  Vaudevillians being dastardly.  You get the picture.

Oh, and the Ascension were there too.  To their credit, they looked somewhat credible in this match.  It doesn’t help that they’re on the same show with JBL, the announcer that effectively buried them.

American Alpha get the easy win here with a Grand Amplitude.

Where’s the Championship?

Presumably, we are getting a championship at Backlash.  No Mercy at the absolute latest.  Matches like this, however, make it painfully obvious that they’re just spinning their wheels.  At least with the women’s devision, they’re making it amusing with the Eva Marie thing while they waste time.

The other problem is that no team looks like a credible threat American Alpha’s inevitable reign.  I love Jordan and Gable.  But what I love more is conflict and drama.  Make me believe that there’s a chance they might not win it.  Make me excited about the inevitable matchup.

The Eva Marie Show

Jumping to the other devision just sitting around and killing time, we have a scheduled match between Naomi and the eternally beguiling one.

Naomi has a completely nuts new entrance that needs to be seen to be believed.

If you watched that full clip, yes, Smackdown and Eva Marie trolled us once again.  This time she got caught up in traffic and couldn’t make it to the arena on time.

That wasn’t the only Women’s match that evening.  Later on, we got BeckMella Vs. Natalya Bliss.  Like the 12-Man match, it wasn’t a bad match at all.  It’s just obvious to everyone that’s watching that they’re wasting time.

Eva finally comes out to the ring, presumably as soon as she got there.  Naomi was waiting and starts chasing her around the ring.  This distraction allowed Natalya a chance to roll up Becky but it backfired and was easily countered into a Dis-Arm-Her for the win.

Delberto Del Rio Vs. John Cena

Hell in a Cell Rematch
I know I’m jumping ahead a little bit but I want to keep all the WWE World Championship stuff together.
The one thing we knew about tonight’s broadcast was that it would be headlined by Del Rio Vs. Cena, their first meeting since Del Rio stripped the US Championship from Cena at October’s Hell in a Cell.

Avert your eyes Ce-Nation, I’m about to give you an Attitude Adjustment: the match was kind of sloppy.  Cena felt rusty to me.  Perhaps it’s just a lack of chemistry with Del Rio, something I suspect is true from watching their last encounter live in LA, but the problem in this show appeared to be Cena.  In one particularly bizarre spot, Cena climbs the top rope with Del Rio on the complete opposite side of the ring.  There’s no way he would have ever made that.  It was only so Del Rio could kick him in the head.  The ring psychology was terrible.  Lots of the counters felt poorly connected.

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood.

You can judge for yourself.

Cena got the win with an AA, picks up the win, and immediately gets hit with a Phenomenal Forearm.  Did I forget to mention that AJ was on commentary this whole time?  I’ve just been tuning out the commentary in general except when JBL called ADR Delberto Del Rio.

AJ teases a Styles Clash but gets countered into an AA.  This is a more fluid Cena, so I’m guessing my earlier theory was correct.

Big John wasn’t done.  He took advantage of SD’s announce table location and decided that AJ needed to go through it.

Miz TV with Special Guests Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler

Superkick Surprise

On the Stone Cold Podcast last week, Dean talked about being the sleazy one in the shield, the one that always teased turning heel.  With the eventual, Seth Rollins chair shot, they managed to surprise everyone.  The unexpected result is that they had the “babyface they didn’t want” in Dean Ambrose.

Tonight he brought back the sleaze, forever teasing heel.

What I took away from tonight is that Dean really is the only good tweener on either roster.
In tonight’s case, he really fired up Dolph.  Logically, I think Dean holds onto the title for a few more months.  When I watch these promos, however, I can’t help believing that Dolph has a chance. And just one month ago, the idea of that is an incredible victory.  I’m looking forward to a show stopping (and show stealing) match on Sunday between these too.

And Miz does a solid job here too.

What’s really a surprise is the Superkick that I didn’t see coming.  Judging from Maryse’s reaction, she didn’t either.  It really did come #outtanowhere.

But don’t get too excited about Dolph.  After the show ended, he and Miz shot what I’m assuming is going to be a cringe-worthy commercial for KFC.

The On-Going Saga of Heath Slater

I’ve already professed my love for this.  No need wasting words.  First, he had a match with Randy Orton, which ended in a DQ.  This gave Heath Slater the first win in I don’t know how long.

It also gave us some great Orton-Lesnar trolling after he delivered multiple German suplexes to Heath.

Afterwards, the offering of the contract didn’t go so well.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about them pretending Heath has memory loss next to a dude who had to retire from too many concussions.

But don’t think about that too much.  You know Creative didn’t.

Final Thoughts

I don’t think there’s any real way I can be objective here.  That being said, I think this was a stronger show than Raw.  I’m more interested in

I have a feeling that the bookers and creative team have regressed a bit back to 50/50 booking.  I think there’s a big chance they’re allowing some wins for certain wrestler’s egos because they’re going to do the favors on Sunday.  I think that’s what house shows are for but I digress.

Overall, it was a solid show, especially when you compare it directly to Raw this week.

Some Other Things Happened:

  • Dean Ambrose Vs. Erick Rowan:
    Dean got a pretty good match out of Erick with Bray sitting at ringside.  Bray literally turned his rocking chair on Rowan following the match.  He eventually left, leaving Rowan’s mask behind.  I think this is the end of the Wyatt family guys.
  • They really hammered home that Del Rio doesn’t have a match on the Summerslam card.  It kind of felt petty and mean.  I don’t even know what lame match you shoehorn him into.
  • Baron Corbin assaults Kalisto backstage.  Nothing of real consequence happened.  Basically they have nothing planned for either of them.  Corbin just comes off as a middle school bully here.
  • Apollo Cruz came out to confront The Miz during a commercial break.  Apparently the challenger to the Intercontinental Championship isn’t worthy of TV time while the challenger to Raw’s US Championship gets the main event (long) match in last night’s broadcast.
  • The commentary is still hot garbage.  I love JBL and Mauro in the right situations, but the chemistry is all wrong.  And Otunga is forgettable as The Ascension.
  • Curt Hawkins is coming soon.  I’m not really aware of who that actually is but apparently they’re promoting him