August 9, 2016
City: Bakersfield, CA
Venue: Rabobank Arena
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, JBL
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Charly Caruso informs Randy Orton that he will be facing Alberto Del Rio tonight. How will he stay focused on Lesnar? Lesnar may be big and bad, but it “only takes one RKO to get to Viperville.” Alberto Del Rio walks up and calls Viperville a joke, like something from Disneyland.
** I still think Orton trying to force “Viperville” to get over is really dumb, but I’d visit it if it were at Disneyworld. Or a zoo or whatever. That actually sounds pretty cool. **
“Take a Chance” by CFO$
Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan make their way to the ring. Bray tries to make it clear that he was a victim last week. Ziggler cheated (by using an exposed turnbuckle). But Bray is a god, and you can never kill a god. SmackDown is his show now. There is no red, there is no blue, there is only Bray Wyatt versus the world.
Dean Ambrose heads towards the ring. He thinks it’s amusing that Bray is now claiming to be a victim. SmackDown doesn’t belong to Bray Wyatt, it belongs to the people and to the WWE World Champ. Bray asks Ambrose to enter the ring, but Ambrose hesitates.
Ziggler comes out, passes Ambrose, and runs into the ring. As Ziggler gets double-teamed, Ambrose slides into the ring. As the four brawl, Ziggler ends up kicking Ambrose and then takes Sister Abigail from Wyatt.
** I liked it. The kick from Ziggler to Ambrose looked good, and Bray Wyatt keeping himself involved in this story makes things very interesting. I like that Ziggler went in to fight when Ambrose didn’t. This whole segment showed different sides for these characters, especially Bray and Ambrose. Bray is claiming to be a victim, Ambrose used his brain yet hesitated in a fight. **
Ambrose tells Ziggler that he didn’t need his help and he’s pretty sure the kick wasn’t an accident. Ziggler says running in wasn’t about Ambrose. As they get in each other’s faces, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon tell them that they will be partners tonight when they face Wyatt and Rowan.
American Alpha vs Mikey O’Shea & Mike Vega
(referee: Jason Ayers; at ringside: The Ascension, The Vaudevillains, Hype Bros)
Result: Chad Gable pins Mike Vega after Grand Amplitude
Pretty much a squash match. It was fine for what it was. It was more about showing the tag division on SmackDown, which was cool.
After the match, the teams at ringside enter the ring and start a big brawl. American Alpha comes out on top.
Renee Young welcomes Miz and Maryse to the backstage pre/post-show table. Miz wants to look at Maryse, but Renee shows a video of Apollo Crews instead. She then asks Miz about his match with Crews, but Miz and Maryse pretty much ignore her.
Becky Lynch makes her way to the ring for a match. Eva Marie comes out next, but she has an off-camera wardrobe malfunction. The match is called off. Charly Caruso gets in the ring and asks Becky about Eva Marie. Becky’s frustrated and angry, and she challenges anyone to come fight her. Alexa Bliss answers the open challenge.
Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Alexa Bliss wins via pinfall after Twisted Bliss
Time: 2:36 (joined in progress)
Pretty good match. I like Alexa Bliss and she worked well with Becky Lynch, but they’ll have better matches later. This one was pretty short and there was a huge distraction from Eva Marie at the end of it.
Eva Marie tells Charly Caruso that she’s disappointed that she couldn’t compete tonight. She’ll be ready next week though. David Otunga says Eva Marie doesn’t smell right.
Randy Orton vs Alberto Del Rio
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Randy Orton wins via DQ when Del Rio hits him with a chair
Time: 9:14 (1 break)
Pretty good match. What could have been an exhibition for Orton turned out to be a pretty even match.
Heath Slater asks Rhyno to help him out in their upcoming match so he can get a SmackDown contract. Rhyno says he can’t help him.
Outside the Arena
Earlier today, The Miz is upset with Scooby Doo about having to take second billing to a dog. Scooby Doo locks The Miz in the Mystery Machine.
** That’s actually pretty dark, a dog locking a human in a hot vehicle with the windows up. I’m pretty sure that’s not legal. **
Heath Slater vs Rhyno
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Rhyno wins via pinfall after a gore
This was a fun match. Slater did some nice small things to keep it amusing, while Rhyno did what Rhyno usually does.
Bray Wyatt asks Rowan to prepare himself to give his life for the Wyatt Family. He wants Rowan to “destroy.”
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon prepare to sign Slater despite his loss, but Slater comes up in a fury and says that SmackDown doesn’t deserve him.
** This better not be the end of Slater. Hopefully he still shows up on both shows. **
Carmella vs Natalya
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Carmella wins via submission with the Code of Silence
Pretty good match. Natalya dominated and really showed off her arrogant attitude, while Carmella played the underdog and survived until she had a chance to win. I liked it.
Renee Young introduces a video recapping the history between AJ Styles and John Cena.
Baron Corbin beats up Kalisto for being number one contender.
Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose (WWE Champ) vs Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Dolph Ziggler pins Erick Rowan after a superkick
Time: 6:55 (1 break)
This was a lot about the story between Ambrose and Ziggler, but it was still a pretty good match. Ziggler looked a lot better than Ambrose did. Ambrose and Wyatt had a couple of awkward moments, and Ambrose nearly crashed hard on an attempted suicide dive. Ziggler and Rowan had some good exchanges though.
A pretty good show. I like the main event story, though I fear Bray Wyatt might be little more than a prop going forward. Hopefully he’ll get something out of this. The women’s stuff was much, much better this week. And I like that the tag teams all came out, but I’m much less enthused about the mention of a SmackDown tag title. They really, really don’t need one with only four teams. That’s a bit ridiculous.
Match of the Night
Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan
It wasn’t the best match ever, but it was solid and was fine in continuing the story leading into the title match at Summer Slam.