Well, after the relatively sane, by WWE standards at least, NXT episode yesterday – it’s time to shotgun some codeine infused cough syrup and do the post-HR Review SmackDown 10/2/15.
If you need a refresher of how insane this week’s Raw was you can find that here.
I’m also on Twitter talking about wrestling most of the time, and will be tweeting during Live at MSG this weekend so feel free to follow me here.
SmackDown 10/1/15 Recap
We open with a promo video giving us just a taste of the hallucination-worthy “Kane HR Review” from Raw. I don’t need a refresher so we’re “live” (to tape) from Albany, NY. And immediately Seth Rollins is out and wants his music cut. Rollins continues his ranting like he’s that uncle that lives in the mountains that the family is really embarrassed about. Seth wants Kane to admit that he’s both Corporate Kane and the Demon. They say “The Demon” so many times in this segment I fantasy booked them talking about the WCW Demon and how great it would be if he appeared later, but I digress.
Corporate Kane is out and hobbling on crutches. Seth thinks Kane needs psychiatric help, but Kane feels that perhaps Seth does. I feared for a second that men in white coats were going to come out behind Kane and they were going to straight jacket Rollins. Thankfully, we’re not Heidenreich-ing Rollins today. Kane mentions in passing that Rollins has a match against John Cena for the U.S. title in a steel cage this weekend at Live from MSG. He also mentions that Rollins will be teaming with the New Day tonight to face the team of the Dudley Boyz and the Demon. Again, this would have been on par with the insanity from Raw if they managed to book the WCW Demon to come out in the main event. Rollins says he’ll compete in the match as long as Corporate Kane is seated at ringside. Kane agrees.
To a certain degree it would be kind of awesome if this whole “Demon Kane” thing literally was a figment of Seth’s imagination. Maybe somewhere down the road when digital effects are even better than they are now, they can do a feud like that. Go back and edit out one of the wrestlers from all of the footage and just show the “delusional” guy apparently doing moves on himself. But yeah, we’re not there quite yet and instead we get Kane trolling Rollins.
Match #1: Team Bella vs. Team Big Audio Dynamite
Sasha Banks gets the mic for some real talk where she asks if anyone really cares who started the Diva revolution. Good point, I sure don’t and that’s the main issue in the division right now. Anyway, this is a relatively standard six woman match between these teams. There’s a rough-looking spot where Brie Bella and Alicia Fox pull Naomi backwards through the bottom rope and drop her on the floor. A “We Want Sasha” chant builds up and Sasha is eventually hot-tagged in. The final sequence between Nikki Bella and Sasha is actually quite strong. Team BAD neutralizes Team Bella and Sasha is able to get Nikki into the Bank Statement and make her tap for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – This match was almost a thumbs in the middle, but the ending sequence made it a bit more compelling than the previous Diva revolution six woman matches we’ve seen. Sasha continues to look really dominant and has become the de facto leader of Team BAD. Hopefully they pull the trigger on her soon and we see her involved with Charlotte and the title in some capacity.
Next is a graphic saying that Bray Wyatt will be addressing Roman Reigns tonight.
Seth is wandering around backstage and encounters New Day. Rollins is still upset and ranting about Kane like a crazy person. The New Day try to cheer him up a bit with some positivity. Seth needs to “exercise that demon, like crossfit” because Seth likes crossfit of course. Eventually New Day wins over Rollins with an “I’m the man” chant in typical New Day style. As they leave, Kane crutches into frame smiling.
Jojo is backstage with Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Charlotte is as confused as we are with Paige lately. Paige appears and argues with Becky. Charlotte asks Paige whose side she’s on. Charlotte gives Paige an ultimatum of “you’re either with us or against us”. Paige turns and walks into Natalya who tells her to never pull a stunt like she did on Monday again. I’m still saying, if you’re not going to do the Aussie ladies faction in NXT, call up Emma and let’s have Team PEN as the “disillusioned women on the main roster the past few years” team.
Match #2: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens (Intercontinental Championship match)
At first I was super excited that we were doing this match now. I’m already tired of this feud and feel Owens needs to move on to a different opponent. The match was about as good as you’d expect considering their past matches. Ryback starts off controlling the match and then Owens takes over. At one point, Owens mocks the “feed me more” taunt a bit too long and eats a belly to belly suplex in return. Ryback looks like he has the match won and gets KO up into the Shellshocked position but KO grabs the ropes forcing a break. They end up hitting each other with a double clothesline outside the ring. Ryback makes it back in to beat the count. Owens is up but decides not to go back into the ring to take the loss and retain the title in cheap heel fashion.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A decent match between these two that was evenly booked. Major points to Owens for looking great retaining as the cheap heel.
Post match, Owens attempts to apron powerbomb Ryback but ends up getting Shellshocked in the ring instead. My main fear is this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this feud and will have to endure at least one more match, or more, in this story line.
Next up is the Brock Lesnar / Big Show hype video for Live at MSG on the WWE Network.
Match #3: Neville & Lucha Dragons vs. The Cosmic Wasteland
One thing that I noticed when I went to SmackDown live a few months back is that the Lucha Dragons use a trampoline to launch into the ring. They hide it well on TV but it’s really obvious when they set it up for the live crowd. With that random factoid out of the way, we have this match again. I kept thinking it would somehow involve the returning King Barrett but beyond a few mentions from the announcers he does not factor in here. The match wasn’t terrible, but I’m already tiring of this match and would like to see The Cosmic Wasteland competing against someone else. At least there was a clean outcome as Kallisto hit the Salida del Sol on Konnor to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – A technically fine match, but I’m already over this feud so it did very little for me.
Bray Wyatt is out with the Fam to “address” Roman Reigns. Bray lets us know that the whole thing is a circle – “anyone but you Roman, anyone but you”. Before we can learn more about how time is a flat circle, Roman’s music hits. The following was one of the best things I’ve seen Roman Reigns do this year. There is this entire non-verbal thing where Bray gets Harper and Strowman to flank the ring but let Roman in. Roman then advances on Bray and the two have a stare down. Just long enough for it to feel uncomfortable. Bray tries to speak and Roman grabs the mic from him. Another stare down that lingers a little too long for comfort. Roman’s only words are “Hell in a Cell” *drops mic*. Leaves.
I think that is the first time in 2015 I’ve been impressed with a non-wrestling segment from Reigns. He and Bray just nailed the intensity and I feel a Hell in a Cell match could be a good culmination to this feud. Not bad.
Match #4: Seth Rollins & The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz & Dean McCain (or the WCW Demon)
Corporate Kane is already seated in a chair by the announcers, smiling, and clapping along with the New Day. Booker calls him the “Doo” – Director of Operations. The man has so many names. Anyway, a handicap match ensues because Dean McCain’s music hits but he doesn’t come out. Early in the match, Seth launches through the ropes to hit D-Von but also takes down Kane. A trainer immediately appears to help Kane to the back. This freaks Rollins out and he follows them up the ramp. Kane turns and gives Rollins the perfect troll smile and Rollins’ face drops.
Now we’re back to the match for another few minutes and then Hellfire and Brimstone: It’s Dean McCain! He’s all over Rollins and tries to chokeslam him through the announce table. Rollins escapes through the crowd. This brings me to something I forgot to bring up during the last part of Raw. With the weird “fan interference” stuff surrounding the former Shield guys lately, I was surprised that they let Reigns keep his entrance, let him brawl into the crowd on Monday, and let Rollins run through the crowd tonight. Seems almost reckless unless they’ve taken measures to try to prevent anyone from getting at them.
Anyway, Kofi is alone in the ring, and really this match has broken down at this point and the Dudleys hit a 3-D on him for the victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The silly Kane drama really distracted from the actual match going on. The Dudleys picked up the win ahead of the Live at MSG event so I’m not entirely sure they’ll walk out with the belts now. I’ll have to think on that one. The real focus was the Kane troll job on Rollins which was about as cringe-worthy and insane as most of their entire program has been so far.
Post-match Dean McCain then goes back into the ring and chokeslams both Dudleys, Big E and Kofi, and gives Xavier Woods a Tombstone piledriver. Kane holds aloft the much coveted WWE Championship and we’re out.
Well, at least I feel less hazy than I did after watching Raw. A *little* less hazy.
See you on Saturday for Live at MSG!