June 6, 2014
U.S. Bank Arena
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan (4/6/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Bad News Barrett (5/4/2014)
WWE U.S. Champion: Sheamus (5/5/2014)
WWE Divas Champion: Paige (4/7/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)
Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL.
Understandably so, we open up with COOHHH and Seth Rollins. Here’s a little editorial for you. I hate heel turns like this. How does an individual go from (spoiler!) taking a Pedigree on a chair and diving onto his opponents off the Payback PPV set one night and then just 24 hours later turn on his teammates and join up with the opposition he’s been fighting with for over a month now. He shows an incredible drive, determination, and a daredevil attitude one day with the mission to try and rid the WWE of Evolution, to hanging out with Triple H the very next night. It makes no logical sense whatsoever. Why would Rollins have even let his enemy get that close to him to make a deal in the first place?
A great example of a heel turn is Hulk Hogan in 1996. Here is a guy who went away for a while and then came back to turn on the good guys after being off TV – for THREE months. We don’t know if Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had been talking to the Hulkster. It’s also a heel turn with substance. If you understand the context of what Hogan’s career looked like in early 1996, his turn provides a ton of answers without much explanation at all. Now I’m not saying every heel turn needs to be this monumental and historically relevant, but there needs to be something there. With this heel turn, there weren’t even any subtle hints that Seth Rollins wanted to split from the Shield. I know the Shield had their problems earlier in the year, but Seth Rollins was the glue that kept the crew together. What’s even worse is it doesn’t even make Seth Rollins out to be as big a villain as it does Triple H because COOHHH is the “mastermind” behind the whole deal. He’s the one who got to Seth Rollins. If it wasn’t for Triple H, Seth Rollins would still be with the Shield and everything would be right with the world. As I said before, I hate heel turns like this because they are so flimsy and weak. A turn of either kind – heel or face – should happen after you’ve planted some kind of seed that makes the people want to see a change. The shock of a turn is fleeting. Once the shock is over, there has to be something there to keep the people interested.
Onto the segment, Triple H and Seth Rollins smile a lot and literally tell us nothing. When HHH asks Rollins to explain his actions, Rollins says his reasons for turning on the Shield are totally none of our business. WHAT. Dolph Ziggler interrupts and scolds Rollins for what he’s done. He tells Rollins that he’s sold out. You can imagine what the crowd is doing next. COOHHH agrees with Ziggler and tells him that “selling out” is something Ziggler will never do. He’s talking about selling out arenas, of course. Zing! Triple H makes Dolph face Seth Rollins in a match – NEXT!
– Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Rollins beats on Ziggler for a bit and pulls on his hair to show he’s a “heel” again. Ziggler fights back with a crossbody block and clotheslines Rollins to the floor. Back inside, Rollins returns to heel offense. Ziggler surprises Rollins with a Sleeperhold, but Rollins quickly counters with a jawbreaker. Rollins boots Ziggler off the apron to take us into commercial. When we return, Rollins is still in control. COOHHH talks to JBL about how amazing Seth Rollins is. Ziggler hits Rollins with a jumping DDT and wins a slugfest. He mounts Rollins in the corner for the ten-count punch and delivers a swinging neckbreaker for two. Rollins tries to fend off the Famouser, but Ziggler catches him anyway for a nearfall. Ziggler stops Rollins up top and brings him down with a face slam off the top rope. Cover, 1-2-NO! Zig Zag fails, and Rollins delivers the jumping enziguri. Buckle Bomb sets up the Curb Stomp to give Rollins the win. (11:00 shown) Despite what I think about the Rollins heel turn, this was a fun little match to re-establish Rollins as a heel. Ziggler was a good choice because he’s great with those gasp-worthy nearfalls and sympathetic selling. **½
Renee Young meets with the IC champ Bad News Barrett. Tonight, he has to face both Rob Van Dam and Cesaro in a triple-threat match with his IC title on the line. Barrett naturally thinks this match is unfair despite feeling that neither man is even in his league.
Backstage, HHH and Randy Orton welcome Seth Rollins to the “dark side”. Rollins responds that he never left. Next thing we know, this threesome walks into the Big Show. He calls Rollins a piece of trash and wishes he would try to do to him what he did to Dolph Ziggler earlier, and promises a different result. COOHHH laughs it up and puts Show in a match with Orton for tonight’s main event.
– Non-title match: WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Rybaxel
This quickly degenerates into a heat segment on Jey. Ryback dumps out Jey so that Axel can nail him with a clothesline off the apron. Back inside, Jey fights out of a chinlock only to run into a spinebuster from Ryback. Jey avoids a double-team and superkicks Ryback out to the floor, but turns around into a knee strike from Axel. He catches Jimmy napping in the corner and dropkicks him down, but then comes off the top into a SWEET superkick from Jey. I always love stuff like that. Hot tag to Jimmy, he hits the Samoan Splash for the win. (3:00) Usos get back a little steam after losing to Harper and Rowan this past week on Raw. An action-packed three minutes, but I think it should have went longer. **
– Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Xavier Woods
Lana comes out and talks up Russian society again. Why can’t Russia be great and American be great, too? Does xenophobia still sell tickets? Rusev waves the Russian flag as the gold star medal he received from the “Russian Federation” this past week on Raw hangs from his neck. Xavier Woods channels the spirit of Consequences Creed looking all patriotic tonight. Lot of effort in his appearance here, but it means nothing in the ring as Rusev dominates and puts away Woods with the Accolade in :40.
– WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman)
RVD dominates to start hitting monkey flips and Rolling Thunder on both men. Barrett dumps him out and beats on Cesaro, but then turns into a kick from Van Dam and receives the Split-Legged Moonsault. Cesaro yanks RVD off the cover and pulls him to the floor as we take a commercial break. When we return, it’s just Barrett and RVD in the ring. Cesaro took a nasty spill into the steps while we were away. Van Dam sends Barrett to the floor and wants a suicide dive, but Cesaro stands up and nails RVD with a European uppercut as he sticks his head through the ropes. Cesaro then drops Barrett on the barricade, but then gets hit with a moonsault press off the apron by Van Dam. With Barrett already in position, RVD delivers his spin kick off the apron as well. Vintage RVD. Back inside, Cesaro brings Van Dam off a cover with a gutwrench suplex. Winds of Change from Barrett to RVD gets two. Van Dam comes back with the springboard kick and hits Barrett, which allows Cesaro to capitalize and deliver the Everest German Suplex to RVD for 1-2-NO! Barrett stops the Dead Lift Superplex by snapping Cesaro’s neck off the top rope. Cesaro falls backwards into position for the Five Star Frog Splash. As Van Dam stands back up, Barrett drills him with the Bull Hammer to retain the IC title. (7:00 shown) I just can’t get into Rob Van Dam anymore. I’m glad he’s putting over talent and taking losses to the younger guys, but his offense never changes, and there was just too much Van Dam offense in this match to make it really interesting in my opinion. **¼
Bray Wyatt makes his first appearance since John Cena left him in a box at Payback. He tells us that while he laid in that box, his memories began to haunt him. It made him think about death, but death will help you find rest. He now feels reborn and reflects back on what Sister Abigail used to tell him. Now that he has been reborn, he will grow stronger and will lead the lost. He then finishes by saying that there is nothing left to fear because he is reborn and invites us to join him. It’s just more of the same with this character. Every time he loses, he has some big realization that goes nowhere. WWE can be very clever at times, but most of the time it feels like they have no vision outside of the main event scene. They just sort of fall into something that gets over and have no idea where to take it next.
Highlights from the Charlotte/Natalya match from the NXT Takeover show airs. Still haven’t watched it, but I’ve heard good things. You had to think Reid Flair was in the front of their minds booking that match.
– Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
Alicia goes into full crazy train mode tonight. She kicks away a Sharpshooter, but Natalya lands on top of Alicia when countering a tilt-a-whirl slam for the win. (3:30) Of course afterwards, Alicia throws one of her tantrums. Vintage Alicia! ¾*
– Bo Dallas vs. Santino Marella (w/Emma)
JBL says he got some inspiration from Bo Dallas as he prepares for some big charity cricket match. JBL playing cricket. Yep. Santino doesn’t seem to mind Bo’s condescending attitude. Maybe he’s just too dumb to notice it. Who knows. They both take victory laps after the simplest of moves. Bo makes Santino pay with a series of short-arm clotheslines. The Bo Dog is enough to send Marella to the showers. (2:00) I’ve said it over and over again: they really need to go back to the six-match format. *
Renee Young talks with the Big Show backstage. He tells us his life story before balling up his fist for the camera. I wonder what he’s going to do with it! Beware, Randy! Beware.
After the break, Byron Saxton meets with Randy Orton. Tonight, he’s just here to TCB. Of course, you never know when crazy things will happen in the ring. Just ask Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
– The Big Show vs. Randy Orton (w/Triple H)
Orton can’t handle the Big Show to start. In fact, he heads out to speak with HHH on the subject to take us into commercial. When we return, Orton now has the Big Show grounded with a chinlock. As Show gets to his feet, Orton jumps on his back only to be squashed by a collapsing giant. Here comes Show, but he’s cooled off with a dropkick. Orton kicks at Show while he’s got him on the apron to the point Randy can score the Hanging DDT on the big guy. Show shoves away the RKO though and spears Orton down. He calls for the KO Punch, but HHH hops up on the apron. Show grabs Triple H and grabs Orton as well. While they’re being choked, Seth Rollins appears and springboards into action with a knee strike to the Big Show. That’s enough to knock him down for the DQ. (4:30 shown) Afterwards, Orton delivers the RKO to Show so that Rollins can give him the Curb Stomp on a chair. The New Evolution stand victorious over Show as this week’s Smackdown comes to a close. *½
Oh yeah, and Boo-tista quit. Again. I’m actually going to miss him. He’ll be back though.
Until next week, so long for now.