Matt’s Smackdown Recap 7/25/14

Chairs, kendo sticks, and chinlocks. Oh my!
Chairs, kendo sticks, and chinlocks. Oh my! [Photo Courtesy of WWE.com]
WWE: Smackdown
July 25, 2014
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena (6/29/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz (7/20/2014)
WWE U.S. Champion: Sheamus (5/5/2014)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/30/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)

Stephanie McMahon got arrested for ‘battery and resisting arrest’. BROCK LESNAR IS BACK. Business just picked up.

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

–      Non-title match: WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Rybaxel

Ryback beat Jey Uso on Main Event, so here we are. Will Rybaxel be the challengers of the month for the Usos? I really couldn’t buy them as title contenders after the Usos beat Harper and Rowan at Battleground in 2/3 falls. To turn the tide, Jimmy gets dumped out on the floor by Axel to take us into commercial. Back from break, Jimmy tries fighting out of the Rybaxel corner only to be shut down at every turn. Chinlock by Ryback, Jimmy escapes and hits him with an enziguri to set the hot tag to Jey. Buttalanche and Samoan Drop to Axel gets two. Ryback gets taken out with a plancha by Jey. Axel dropkicks Jey off the apron and as Jimmy goes to check on his brother, Axel tosses in the wrong brother. Not knowing any better, Axel is surprised with an inside cradle by Jimmy for the win. (8:00 shown) Well, I guess that takes care of Rybaxel. Who’s next? When will the Ascension debut? Only time will tell, I suppose. Pretty standard tag match with the twin switch finish. Seems kind of a hokey thing for the tag team champions to do though. **

Backstage, the *new* WWE Intercontinental Champion/movie star the Miz signs an autograph for a kid. I guess that’s the new heel these days; being the nice guy with a smile who signs autographs for children.

Time for MizTV. He wants to give us an acceptance speech for regaining the IC title. It was an honor just to be nominated for the Battleground Battle Royal. He thanks everyone from his branding team to his social media people. He even thanks his mom and dad who were flown in just for this one moment. I wanted to make a joke about how in love those two looked as they are standing about five feet away from each other in the front row, but then I remembered they got divorced when Miz was just a kid, and that’s not funny. Miz jumps the rail to interview them. His mom puts him over until she admits that her favorite WWE superstar is Roman Reigns. Oh, and his dad doesn’t even get any mic time. Miz thanks his wife Maryse, his pets, and all his fans. Most importantly, he thanks the most powerful influence in his life. He points up to the heavens, but then motions to his face. You know, the money maker. This continues on until Bo Dallas interrupts. Bo does either a victory lap for himself or the Miz. Bo thinks Miz won the IC title battle royal because he BO-lieved. Miz says he’s a huge fan of Bo Dallas and wants to set up a lunch date. Here comes Dolph Ziggler. If you’ve seen the Battleground Battle Royal, you’d understand why Ziggler has a beef here. Dolph thinks both of these guys are full of crap. Just BO-lieve, Dolph. He attacks both Bo and Miz, but gets nailed from behind by Dallas. Boy, Bo’s mood changes immediately as his face turns to serious business.

–      Dolph Ziggler vs. Bo Dallas

After a short break, this match begins. This is probably the first time Bo Dallas’ win streak could be in jeopardy. Miz joins us on commentary to talk about himself and talk junk about Ziggler. Dolph sells the shot from Dallas. Bo capitalizes with knee drops to the head and short-arm clotheslines. Ziggler reverses a cross-corner whip on Dallas and delivers the jumping DDT for two. Out on the floor, Ziggler scares Miz out of his seat by faking him out with a superkick. Back inside, Dallas avoids the Famouser and rolls up Ziggler for two. Dolph gets the Famouser anyways for 1-2-NO! Miz regains his composure and distracts Ziggler from the apron, allowing Dallas to sneak an O’Connor rollup on Ziggler with a handful of tights for the upset win. (4:30) After Bo’s victory lap, Ziggler drills him with a superkick. Pissed off, Miz runs Ziggler into the post. Looks like we’ve got a Bo-Miz or Miz-Bo thing happening here. **

Renee Young meets with Roman Reigns. It’s Roman Reigns against the world! As for Alberto Del Rio, he better have a plan, because Roman has the punch. Believe dat.

–      No-DQ Match: Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose

Think we will see a Brock Lesnar vs. Cesaro match if Paul Heyman starts giving Cesaro a lot less attention now that his client Brock Lesnar who conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania is back? Anyways, this match ended in a DQ on Raw to explain tonight’s stipulation. Ambrose pounds on Cesaro and punishes him with a suplex so he can go grab kendo sticks and chairs. Wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts. Cesaro boots Ambrose off the apron and goes to whack him with a kendo stick, but Ambrose ducks and Cesaro hits the ringpost. They brawl at the timekeeper’s table where Cesaro gets nailed with the ringbell. Ambrose jumps off the announce table swinging the kendo stick, but Cesaro catches him in the gut on the way down. Commercials! When we come back, Cesaro is using a kendo stick to get amazing torque on a chinlock. When Ambrose starts to fight up, Cesaro knocks him down with the kendo stick and slams him on a couple chairs. Cover, 1-2-NO! As if the chinlock wasn’t bad enough, now Cesaro uses a chair and a kendo stick to make a camel clutch look pretty painful. Now Cesaro is whacking the taped shoulder with the kendo stick. Ambrose fires back with the McGuinness Clothesline. Sandman Legsweep gets two. Matters get worse for Cesaro as Ambrose gives him a suplex on an unfolded chair for 1-2-NO! Ambrose now comes off the middle rope and smashes a chair onto Cesaro’s right shoulder. Regardless, Ambrose misses a corner charge and runs into a chair. To continue damaging the shoulder, Cesaro runs him into the ringpost. He wants to smash a chair into Dean’s shoulder, but misses and receives a tope suicida. Ambrose gets crazier by tossing in over a dozen chairs into the ring ECW-style. After tossing Cesaro back inside, Seth Rollins appears out of nowhere and jumps Ambrose. However, Ambrose comes right back and clotheslines Rollins over the barricade. Back on the apron, Cesaro delivers the No Leverage Superplex onto the pile of chairs! Slow cover by Cesaro, 1-2-NO! Cesaro picks up Ambrose again, but gets caught in a small package for the three-count. (11:30 shown) That small package sure seems to be curtains for Cesaro every time. Afterwards, Cesaro leaves Ambrose laying with the Neutralizer so that Seth Rollins can Curb Stomp his face. Loved what Cesaro did with the weapons here. Sometimes when you see someone thinking outside the box on using weapons, it can be a little corny. This seemed violent, yet calculated and effective. The superplex on the chairs should have been the finish. I don’t know why they won’t pull the trigger on Cesaro. Even with the crazy finish, you could still say that Rollins cost him the match. ***¼

–      Paige vs. Naomi 

This is some weird passive aggressive stuff going on here! Paige skips to the ring and reminds us that she likes AJ. Paige says she even likes Naomi. Well, now we know she’s lying. Naomi is thinking that all these white people are crazy. Cameron immediately comes out onto the stage to distract Naomi, which gives Paige a moment to blast her from behind. The 1-8-7 cradle DDT and the Paige Tap Out is all Naomi can handle in just :30. After the bell, Cameron “makes a statement” all over Naomi. Girl, bye. ¼*

Elsewhere, the Dust Brothers get weird backstage. No reason to try and summarize what is happening because you have to be on drugs to understand any of it. To be fair, I did enjoy Michael Cole’s Ace Ventura impression at the end.

–      Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. R-Truth

I’m surprised R-Truth wasn’t part of the recent cuts. Truth probably didn’t feel too good after that body block. AND THAT’S THE TRUTH. The avalanche and Sister Abigail ends R-Truth in 2:00. Where is Jericho when Truth needs him? You are no savior, Chris Jericho, but Bray is. Save us, Jericho. End scene. ¾*

–      Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio

Reigns gets pissed off when Del Rio tries working on his arm. Del Rio tries the Cross Armbreaker and gets tossed out to the floor to take us into commercial. When we return, Reigns gets posted and Del Rio goes back to punishing the arm. Over in the corner, Del Rio avoids the ten-count corner punch and double-stomps Reigns. Del Rio bars the arm for a bit, but then Reigns headbutts and shoves Del Rio back into a corner. Reigns gets caught in the Cross Armbreaker over the ropes, but then punches Del Rio down to the floor. We get some ringside violence until Del Rio heads back into the ring. He catches Reigns charging at him in the corner, but he can’t keep up with Reigns and eventually gets blasted with a clothesline. Reigns looks for the Sliding Dropkick on the apron, but misses and eats a dropkick through the ropes by Del Rio. Back inside, Del Rio can’t hit the charge in the corner, which allows for Reigns to hit the Sliding Dropkick after all. Looks like Del Rio’s head hit the post! Superman Punch and the Spear is enough to put Del Rio away. (9:30 shown) Well, Del Rio had a plan, but it just wasn’t good enough. I’m still not convinced Reigns has what it takes to main event this coming year’s WrestleMania. And honestly, as of right now, I don’t think I have enough faith in WWE’s booking to make a Reigns-Lesnar angle interesting. I hope I’m wrong though! **½

Love that we got the six-match show formula back. Hope they stick with it. Until next week, so long for now!

Author: Matt Peddycord

Matt is a lifelong wrestling fan and has been writing reviews since 2004. He first partnered with Scott and Justin of the 'Place to Be Podcast' back in 2008! Matt has his own site (PDRwrestling.net), has also been featured on 411mania.com, and thehistoryofWWE.com, and is regularly used as a point of reference on the 'Where the Big Boys Play Podcast'.