WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (June 6, 2014) from Cincinnati, Ohio, with a taped show featuring all the fallout from the Payback pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Chicago, Illinois, but more than that the fallout from this past Monday's Raw when Seth Rollins turned on The Shield.
Go back and check out full results with the live blog by clicking here. Let's get to reacting to the show.
Am I evil? I am man, yes I am
We knew we weren't going to get any real answer to any question any of us had coming out of Raw when Seth Rollins walked out with Triple H. They were always going to hold out until next Monday night so for the flagship show, and that's fine. This was just about intrigue, and maybe a nugget or two.
Our nuggets included:
1. Rollins emphasis on the word "brothers"
2. Rollins saying he doesn't owe anyone an explanation
3. Rollins responding to Randy Orton's welcome to the dark side by saying "I never left".
I could sit here and attempt to analyze this in depth and come up with a million different interpretations of that but I won't because it wouldn't be anything more than throwing a dart in the dark.
And that's why this story works, at least right now.
None of us have clue one why any of this was done.
In reality, Vince McMahon could be booking on the fly in response to low ratings, but in the story there are too many branches on the tree and I can't find which one the squirrel scurried off to. I just know I can't stop looking for him and wondering why he ran off to it to begin with.
So WWE did its job here.
Also, Rollins had an awesome match with Dolph Ziggler to open the show that felt like it should have been the main event. This is what we're in for with "Seth Rollins Main Event Player". Hate him all you want, this man can professional wrestle with the best of 'em.
Segment grade: B-
I'm born again (with snakes eyes)
More than Seth Rollins speaking for the first time, Bray Wyatt's return was promoted as a big deal by WWE. It would be the first time we saw him since he was soundly defeated by John Cena in their Last Man Standing match at Payback, after all, and, well, we needed an explanation from him too.
Here's what we got:
"At Payback, John Cena locked me in a box. And as I peered into the darkness, my memories began to haunt me. And I felt the cold hand of the reaper breathe down. I was afraid. But then I began to remember her face. And how she used to warn me about this evil place. And how she said that 'they're going to circle you in the water, Bray, just until they see red. But those sharks, they're the ones who are going to help you realize that death is real. And in death, Bray, you will find your rest. But in your rebirth, you will grown much stronger and you will learn to accept these new great responsibilities. You will become their leader,' she said. 'Your voice will soothe their ears and your hand will lead their armies. For you are the way into the City of Woe. You are the way to go among the lost. Beyond time, Bray, you stand.' There's nothing left to fear. Brothers and sisters... I am reborn. Join me."
So the idea is he ran up against a force greater than him but it was vital to the process because he needed to be set down so that he may be reborn to realize his true potential. Essentially, a more sinister version of a message John Cena himself might send: What kills you only makes you stronger.
Is Sister Abigail really just becoming a creative crutch?
Segment grade: C+
(We are) Bipolar gods (We are) You know what we are
There is no one thing in pro wrestling that causes just as much fear as excitement than a fresh new character. We won't ever fully trust the creative brain trust at WWE to properly handle subtle nuance, at least not while Vince McMahon is still around.
With that said, they're taking all the right steps with Bo Dallas.
So here's this overbearing asshole who maybe doesn't realize he's an asshole who can't stop spouting off about inspiration. He's high and mighty, giving pep talks to his opponents mid-match. He's holier than thou popping off about a winning streak when it's only up to five. He's overwhelmingly positive and cheerful and optimistic and it's the worst.
But what does he do when he runs into someone similar?
He snaps and beats the ever loving shit out of that someone.
And it's glorious.
Look at him snap out of his haze of psychotic aggression in favor of massaging his ego and inflating his own sense of self-importance. This guy is so full of shit he might as well be leaving skid marks all over the ring.
Segment grade: A-
But not least:
- GET BIG SHOW AWAY FROM THIS SHIELD ANGLE RIGHT NOW HE RUINS EVERYTHING MAKE HIM GO AWAY PLEASE.
- No, really, why is Big Show taking up for Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose? It was annoying and out of place when he was doing it for Daniel Bryan -- remember Orton vs. Show at Survivor Series? -- but at least Bryan was getting screwed over at every turn. If there's any member(s) of the roster who don't need anyone taking up for them, it's The Shield.
- Have to say it one last time, get Big Show away from this entire program. Let's hope his taking two Curb Stomps from Rollins last night was the last we'll see of him and he was just the "Big Guy Who Gets Beat Up So Heels Can Send A Message".
- The Alicia Fox freak outs are still entertaining enough, but at what point do we think: "Okay, but what else?"
- Bad News Barrett, Cesaro, Rob Van Dam, and Sheamus is the current mid-card right now and based on that triple threat match we got last night, this is not a bad thing.
- The Usos and Rybaxel are the tag team division anymore and based on the match we got last night, this is a troubling thing.
- I like to think the writer's room through around no less than 15 great ideas for a direction to go in with Rusev and Vince McMahon overrode them all with "just have him keep squashing the same guys only this time drop a Russian flag over the ring when he wins".
This was mostly a set up show, in that I probably could have skipped it but I'm glad I didn't because it created more anticipation for Raw next week for the major angles. Mostly forgettable otherwise.
Overall grade: C+
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?