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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Oct. 24, 2014): Go to Hell

WWE quite obviously made a mistake when it paired John Cena with Dean Ambrose and gave us damn near a month of petty bickering over who would ultimately get Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match at the pay-per-view (PPV) of the same name this coming Sun., Oct. 26, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. Ambrose was always the guy, of course, and by the time that was set and determined, the previously white hot feud had cooled off quite a bit.

They were essentially given all of one week and two episodes of TV to heat it back up.

They did an outstanding job of it on Monday Night Raw this week by bringing Mick Foley back to cut a classic Mick Foley promo to remind us all that, yes, these two once loved each other and, yes, they're about to tear each other to shreds inside a steel cage from which they cannot escape. Last night's episode of SmackDown provided the final opportunity to drive it home and while we've been disappointed in the blue brand more often than not this past few months, the creative team delivered here.

First, Ambrose did the best thing he possibly could in his opening promo clearly stating that while it's easy to draw comparisons between himself and Foley for all their collective insanity, there is one thing that separates the two that makes Dean even more dangerous.

Deep down, Foley was actually a nice guy.

Ambrose is not.

If that's true, and Foley went to the lengths he did in his Hell in a Cell matches without anywhere near the bad blood presented in this feud, how much does that say about Ambrose?

Lunatic fringe, indeed.

Later, it got even better:

They always needed to remind us of what started it all, of why they're at each other's throats to begin with. Rollins grabbing a chair and driving home that that's exactly what he used to shatter Ambrose's already fragile psyche was a beautifully timed gut punch.

The closing brawl was just plain fun. Rollins escaping away just long enough for his goons, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble, to take the fall for him was a delicious tease of what's to come. Mercury going through the first table thanks to Ambrose flying through the air with aplomb to send them both crashing through it with a surprisingly fluid elbow drop. The crowd begging for him to deliver the same fate to Noble and his obliging with downright glee.

And Seth, all alone at the top of the ramp, knowing what awaits him on Sunday. Like Ambrose told him at the start of the show: "At Hell in a Cell, we're going to burn together but you -- you're going to perish alone."

Grade: A


Quick hits:

  • The Big Show interview with Michael Cole was a great idea with even better execution but they took the wrong angle. His defense of the soldier rushing the ring was that he was defending the American flag against an evil Russian who, in turn, took advantage of the fact that the soldier was already restrained and kicked him in the face. They completely ignored the fact that it was entirely Big Show's fault that this happened to begin with and then made him look worse when Cole, who was booked to be a good journalist, asked how it would have been any different than Show tearing down the Russian flag. Show's baffling response was to bring up that he already apologized lots of times and also he has lots of Russian friends and he's just super passionate, you guys. You know, he only meant to disrespect Lana and Rusev when he did that, not an entire nation. That's actually what they scripted him to say. How amazing is that?
  • What's even more amazing is they could have simply had Show say "I thought it would be a fun way to poke at Rusev before our match to drop the American flag behind him. I didn't consider that he would try to tear it down and it created a truly unfortunate situation with an American soldier, whom I respect dearly. I'm truly sorry that my decisions helped create this chain of events and I promise I will make it up to that soldier by knocking Rusev out at Hell in a Cell." Simple. Show still looks dumb in this instance, but at least he's righteous.
  • Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler is a dope program that gave us something we rarely see: A match with a clean finish that felt right leading to a rematch that also feels right while both guys look great in the process. Cesaro is the strong challenger who proved he can come close to winning but we're unsure if he can take the final step to actually winning. Ziggler showed he's a resilient champion who can battle through adversity to retain the title he fights his ass off for. They up the ante with a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to really drive it home. Boom. How great is this? The best part is that it's all about wrestling. No stupid angles, no photoshop, no dropping poop, no dance offs, no arrests, no nonsense. Just wrestling over a title they both badly want because of what they both feel it represents. More, please.
  • The problem with Divas matches is that you're always, always, always left feeling like there could be so much more. Can you imagine if they gave AJ Lee and Alicia Fox 15 minutes? The last time they gave AJ that much time, she tore the house down with Natalya on Main Event.
  • They've been trying to fit that "Cinder-Bella" line in somewhere for a while now, haven't they?
  • The Miz & Damien Mizdow is the best tag team going today.
  • This may have been the show when the six-man tag jumped the shark, even though they revisited the super underrated "Bo Dallas owns Mark Henry" bit they were working a while ago.

This was a good show thanks to the main players (Ambrose, Rollins) delivering, the mid-card (Ziggler, Cesaro) doing the same, and lower mid-card acts (Miz & Mizdow) consistently entertaining.

Grade: B

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?

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