July 11, 2016
City: Detroit, MI
Venue: Joe Louis Arena
Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Spanish Commentary: Carlos Cabrera, Marcelo Rodriguez
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia
“The Night Remix” by CFO$/KromestatiK
The ring is filled with a bunch of guys ready for a battle royal. As Apollo Crews makes his way to join the crowd, The Miz (with Maryse) stands on the announce table and announces that the battle royal will determine the number one contender to the IC Title for a match at Battleground. Oh, and he also mentions that he’s awesome.
Intercontinental Title Number One Contender Battle Royal
Bubba Ray Dudley vs D-Von Dudley vs Jimmy Uso vs Jey Uso vs Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund vs Aiden English vs Simon Gotch vs Konnor vs Viktor vs Baron Corbin vs Goldust vs R-Truth vs Jack Swagger vs Curtis Axel vs Bo Dallas vs Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio vs Apollo Crews
(referee: Darrick Moore, Dan Engler, Jason Ayers, John Cone; guest commentary: The Miz)
Result: Darren Young survives to win the battle royal and is the new number one contender for the IC Title
Time: 10:17 (1 break)
|Elimination Order||Wrestler||Eliminations||Eliminated By|
|3||Curtis Axel||0||D-Von Dudley|
|6||D-Von Dudley||1||Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso|
|7||Simon Gotch||0||Dolph Ziggler|
|8||Jey Uso||1||Bubba Ray Dudley|
|9||Goldust||1||Alberto Del Rio|
|10||Bo Dallas||0||Apollo Crews|
|11||Jimmy Uso||1||Baron Corbin|
|12||Jack Swagger||0||Baron Corbin|
|13||Bubba Ray Dudley||1||Darren Young|
|14||Alberto Del Rio||1||Apollo Crews|
|15||Dolph Ziggler||1||Baron Corbin|
|16||Baron Corbin||6||Apollo Crews|
|17||Apollo Crews||3||Baron Corbin|
I like a good battle royal, and this was fine. I’m happy with the finish, but it seemed a little odd. I don’t remember ever seeing someone win without eliminating any of the last people in the ring.
Stephanie and Shane wonder why Vince is going to be at RAW tonight. Seth Rollins thinks maybe he wants to talk to him. He also has some footage that people need to see. Shane thinks it would be great for the “Ambrose Asylum.” Seth has a different idea, the first ever “Rollins Report.”
Zack Ryder approaches Rusev and challenges him face to face. Before Rusev answers, Sheamus attacks him from behind and reminds him about their scheduled match tonight.
Sheamus vs Zack Ryder
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Seamus wins via pinfall after a Brogue Kick
Pretty good match. Ryder came out fast and had Sheamus reeling, but Sheamus would survive the early flurry and take control with his power.
After the match, Rusev heads to the ring and puts Ryder in the Accolade as a way of accepting Ryder’s challenge.
Breezango vs Lucha Dragons
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Tyler Breeze pins Kalisto after a superkick in the corner
Good match! Fast-paced and competitive with a lot of fun moves from both teams. The only problem was a missed springboard by Kalisto when he got the hot tag, but Breeze helped to keep the match going. Breezango is really becoming a breakout team in my eyes. They better not break them up with the draft next week.
Seth Rollins heads to the ring for the first ever “Rollins Report.” Rollins has exclusive footage of an interview he conducted with Roman Reigns. When he shows the footage, it’s obviously been cut together from multiple different interviews that Reigns has conducted (he has the WWE title and the backgrounds are different).
Dean Ambrose comes out and compliments Rollins’ show. Rollins calls Ambrose a coward. He still wants a one on one match, but he says the triple threat at Battleground will ultimately be about who is the best. Ambrose gets serious and says that he is the backbone of the company. He gets worked up and says he’ll face Rollins one on one any time, any place. Rollins would rather have the match on his time, so he walks away.
** I liked this. It’s rare we see Ambrose be serious, and it looks good on him. I really hope he isn’t a transitionary champ. I really want to see the feud with Rollins (without Reigns) go on for a while. **
Sami Zayn heads to ringside to do commentary for the next match. In the back, Kevin Owens refuses to go to the ring until Zayn is removed, citing an “unsafe work environment.” Referees remove Zayn from the announce table, but as he’s heading up the ramp he and Owens trade some punches.
Renee Young welcomes Vince McMahon to the arena. Vince says he’s here to announce the new Commissioner of SmackDown Live.
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall after a TKO
Time: 8:48 (1 break)
Really good match. Both guys pulled out a few moves that they don’t often do. A very good, hard-hitting, strong style match.
After the match, Owens goes to the announce table to talk about how good he is. As he’s talking Sami Zayn flies in from the crowd and attacks Owens. Owens tries to get away but winds up in a Cesaro Swing.
Renee Young asks The Club how they feel going against Enzo and Cass. AJ Styles points out that John Cena isn’t here to back them up. So tonight, they should beat Enzo and Cass, then get on a plane and go beat up John Cena.
Heath Slater w/ Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel vs Titus O’Neil
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Titus O’Neil wins via pinfall after Clash of the Titus
Pretty good match. Titus showed a lot of strength by throwing Slater all around the ring for most of the match. Slater had a good bit of offense, but it was mostly because Titus got overzealous and ended up getting kicked by Slater in the corner.
Renee Young asks Sasha Banks if she’s ready to face Dana Brooke. She is, she’s been thinking about hitting Dana all week.
New Day fights the Wyatt Family at their compound. Bray Wyatt nearly kills Woods with an ax or something, then carries him away. New Day is getting beat up and Strowman is about to jump on someone when Woods comes back from wherever he was. New Day fights back and gets Bray down on his knees. Then a whole bunch of lights and people with sheep masks show up. Then the movie ends and the commentators are dumbfounded.
** I kind of hated this. If I want to watch a movie, I’ll watch a movie. And as a movie, this wasn’t a good one. It was shot in a way where there was no possible way it could be real, it was edited in a way that you couldn’t tell what was going on most of the time, and it had some terrible filter that made it look like film that had been dragged through a (used) toilet. This wasn’t a good payoff to anything, it completely broke suspension of disbelief, and it felt very much like an unnecessary imitation of “Final Deletion” that the Hardys did recently. Awful. I hope this is just a failed experiment and stuff like this goes away. The New Day/Wyatt feud has the potential to be fantastic, but this is the wrong direction to go in.
If WWE wanted to acknowledge “Final Deletion,” then here’s an idea. Have The Miz get into a feud with someone and build up to a match at The Miz’s mansion or a movie set or something. Have Miz show up one week with footage of the “match” and give it to whoever is running RAW or SmackDown or whatever. They start showing the footage on TV, but stop it part of the way through, pointing out how ridiculous it is and how it was obviously shot and edited like a movie. They point out the idiocy of trying to pass off close-ups and reverse angle shots as something that actually happened in real-time because it’s physically not possible. Miz and the guy he’s feuding with are then exposed as working together the whole time to make the Miz look good. They were both acting the entire time, from the very start of the feud. Maybe Miz promised the guy a role in one of his movies or something.
I think doing this would have worked for a number of reasons. One, because Miz is a movie guy and it makes sense. Two, because it would have allowed WWE to point out how utterly ridiculous and stupid it is to try to pass off something like “Final Deletion” or the New Day/Wyatt “match” as an actual match. Three, they could have had guys riffing on the footage Miz produced as a proxy for blasting the idiotic stuff that the Hardys did. Four, it would make for some interesting heel heat for Miz, and not boring heel heat like he’s currently accumulating.
Pro wrestling is about suspension of disbelief. I know the show I’m watching isn’t a real sporting event, but I want to be able to believe that it is. It has a certain style that helps to convey that realism. Multiple camera film sets are not part of that style. It just doesn’t work on any level.
WWE has had problems like this in the past though. I remember the Half Time Heat match between The Rock and Mankind where they’re fighting through an empty arena. It was fine until the very end, when there was a POV shot of The Rock inserted into it. It completely killed my willingness to believe that two guys were actually fighting and a guy was recording it as it happened (selling a bag of popcorn didn’t help much either to be honest).
But even as recently as last week, in the 4th of July food fight, they had to insert some random shot of a pie coming from… I guess the camera? It was another POV shot straight on Owens as he was pied in the face, even though none of the rest of the scene was filmed like that. It was weird and made no sense. I noticed that they even aired a tweet in the crawl at the bottom of the screen of someone wondering who pied Owens. The film editor pied Owens, and I feel like this whole movie-style thing (which I hope doesn’t become a trend) is just a big pie in all our faces. Stop it. **
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows w/ AJ Styles vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Enzo & Cass win via DQ when AJ Styles attacks Big Cass
Time: 7:16 (1 break)
Pretty good match. Typical stuff for Enzo and Cass (Enzo got beat up a lot). The ending wasn’t great, but it was done for a purpose.
After the match, The Club looks to gang up on Enzo, but John Cena shows up to make the save.
Dana Brooke w/ Charlotte (Women’s Champ) vs Sasha Banks
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Sasha Banks wins via submission with the Bank Statement
Time: 8:08 (1 break)
Good match. A nice buildup for Sasha.
Charlotte gets on the mic after the match and insults Sasha’s hair. She then challenges Sasha to face Dana again on SmackDown.
Shane, Stephanie, and Vince each head to the ring. Vince asks who Steph is because she’s been too nice lately. He also thinks Shane needs to be more vicious. He wants them both to convince him who should run SmackDown. Steph calls Shane a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Shane goes the positive route and talks about breaking glass ceilings and saying what he thinks to Vince without kissing his ass. He goes to the audience, who approves of Shane. Steph calls the audience children.
Vince names Shane the commissioner of SmackDown Live. He also removes him from RAW and gives total control of RAW to Stephanie. Vince wants real competition between the two of them. Also, next week they’ll both have to name a GM for their show.
Vince leaves, then Steph gets in Shane’s face. Shane tells Steph that she’s scared, then she slaps him. As she leaves the ring, Steph nearly trips in her heels. Shane then thanks the crowd and leaves.
I thought this show was okay. The New Day/Wyatt thing hurt it a lot, the main event was an unsurprising talking segment, and not all of the matches were that great, but I liked the Battle Royal, the Lucha Dragons vs Breezango match surprised me, and Owens versus Cesaro was really good. I’d give this show thumbs in the middle.
Match of the Night
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
A good match that we don’t see often enough.