WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (June 20, 2014) from Columbus, Ohio, with a taped show featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Boston. That includes a 4-on-3 handicap match featuring all the participants in the WWE title match.
Go back and check out full results with the live blog by clicking here. Let's get to reacting to the show.
The changing of the guard
It's time to realize, my friends, that we may be looking at the start of a seismic shift. The power structure within WWE creatively is changing, though it's a slow process, and the layout of the talent roster is getting younger across the board.
But we may actually have witnessed the birth and rise of "The Chosen One".
And his name is Roman Reigns.
His time with The Shield was to groom him. He needed help to grow into what he is today, a charismatic big man who exudes a powerful confidence and quiet sense of leadership through mere presence. When he's in the room, you know he's in the room and you're drawn to him.
He's become exactly what WWE always hoped he would, and now it's time to establish that.
No matter how deep the roster may or may not be, there's only room at the top for one guy. Right now, that guy is John Cena. When Reigns climbed in a ring holding Cesaro, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Cena, he ignored the first three while stepping right up to the face of WWE to say "I don't care who you think you are, there's not a man standing in this ring that's going to stop me now".
Cena's response was just as effective. He looked surprised, and somewhat taken aback, but ready for a fight he knows is coming. This wasn't Del Rio popping off at the mouth when Cena has disposed of him multiple times, nor was it Sheamus, who never quite reached Cena's level, nor was it Cesaro, who hasn't yet tasted what it's like to run with the big dogs in the main event.
No, this was Roman Reigns, the symbol of excellence. He's a big, big dog who has been patrolling the other side of the yard but he's ambitious. And now that he's on his own, he wants to mark his territory by winning the WWE world heavyweight title, sure, but more importantly by establishing his dominance over all those who may oppose him.
You don't do that going after the pups playing near the fence. You go after the biggest dog who's been running the biggest chunk of the yard, and you take it from him.
If you noticed, when it was time for the hot tag in the main event handicap match, it was Cena tagging to Reigns, who then cleared house and Speared Del Rio out of his shoes to get the pin and the win for his team.
That's been Cena's spot for years.
It's almost time.
Segment grade: B
I Bolieve in a thing called love
Although intitially the idea of a love triangle involving Fandango, Layla, and Summer Rae was juicy and intriguing, the execution has been so cheesy and juvenile, it's become unbearable.
Plus, who are we supposed to cheer for here? The entire situation is borderline offensive.
Thankfully, they played this about the best way they could last night when by having Layla snap after seeing Summer sneaking kisses on Fandango, who thought she found her way back in, only for Fandango to try to place peacekeeper and pay the price for it.
But the real genius was in Bo Dallas, who is just such a delight it hurts.
Because the entire angle is ridiculous, it took the equally ridiculous Dallas to make it worthwhile. How delicious was it when Bo picked Fandango up to console him, realized he was in perfect position to hit the Running BoDog, and capitalized on it to get the victory to continue his (now bogus) win streak?
This guy's amazing.
To cap it off, he tells Fandango, who may actually be the innocent one in all this, if there is such a thing, that there's plenty of fish in the sea and all he has to do is Bolieve.
I want Bo Dallas to win the WWE world heavyweight title and never lose it because he Bolieves more than anyone else except maybe JBL, who has an orgasm every six seconds Bo is on TV.
Segment grade: A
But not least:
- Sheamus saw Alberto Del Rio in the ring when he came out with the microphone so his entire promo consisted of saying "Bertie" and "fella" like eight times. The sooner he turns heel the better.
- I enjoy watching Seth Rollins pro wrestle and what not but that new ring gear is distracting. Was anyone else watching and patiently waiting for him to split his pants? Somehow they're impossibly tight but loose enough that his underwear was popping out. Why yes, this is what I do for a living.
- Grease Ambrose has already established himself as a singles star because he stands out from the crowd. They've got him working -- and jobbing -- to THE DEMON KANE but he makes it look good with the white wife beater he perfectly fills out and that forever snarl of his. He was a man after my own heart when he responded to Rollins' acting tough by saying, "Shut up, don't do that. I don't believe that." He actually threatened to send Seth and Kane STRAIGHT TO HELL and it wasn't cheesy. That's talent, y'all. Soak it in.
- Dolph Ziggler's been needing for a long time to get away from the character he built that "steals the show" but never actually wins his matches. How about he continues doing what he did last night and starts cutting promos about how he steals victories? Bad News Barrett, the Intercontinental champion, mind you, had him dead to rights and Ziggler outmaneuvered him and scored a win. Run with this, please.
- I'll be damned if I wasn't entertained by the Adam Rose-Titus O'Neil interactions. I mean, this is some straight up bury a guy type nonsense O'Neil is going through but at least it's entertaining. Tell me the entire sequence wasn't something one of us would have come up with while being a smartass right here on Cageside with the comment earning 50 recs.
- We're to the point where Zeb Colter is now accusing Big E of being in cahoots with Lana and Jack Swagger is doing jobs in one minute because they've given up this much on The Real American gimmick. We might have to consider the possibility they're still being used just so Vince McMahon can hear the fans chant "we the people" at Zeb's prompting.
- Credit to Bray Wyatt for finding a new and interesting way to say the same thing on 59 shows in a row.
This was your typical episode of SmackDown, though most of the matches felt short changed in favor of the longer main event.
Overall 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?