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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (July 4): Independence Day

WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (July 4, 2014) from Newark, New Jersey, with a taped show featuring all the continued fallout from the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Boston. That includes Dean Ambrose stealing the show.

Let's get to reacting to it:


Sick o' my bitchin' falling on deaf ears

Bray Wyatt, by and large, is a failure. Nothing he's said has come true in so much as he's promised so much to us and never once delivered on any of those promises.

At least not this year.

The problem, of course, is they rushed him into a John Cena feud he was never going to come out on the right side of. Essentially, WWE took the main antagonist in a three hour epic film and fast forwarded to the final scene.

This is where we hit rewind. This is where he really establishes his name, paving our streets with the blood of the Chris Jericho's of the world.

This is what he always needed, isn't it? A serial killer isn't a serial killer if his list of victims is one long. But as the list grows, and the names get bigger, that's when you treat the killer like the tyrant he is and send in the big guns to do away with him.

Sadly, the big gun came in first and did the job before anyone got any color.

Thankfully, Jericho jumped at the chance to work a big summer program with Wyatt and we're seeing the start of it here. Maybe he couldn't make Fandango or Ryback during his last run but he's got a lot more to work with here.

Plus, this makes two consecutive segments they've straight up buried The Miz.

That ain't not bad at all, folks.

Segment grade: B


I've felt the hate rise up in me

Here's what I like about this Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose feud and why I think it's got such legs: Rollins broke away as the heel who claims to be the mastermind of the operation, right? They call him 'The Architect' and align him with Triple H so he can get over, then they go the full nine by giving him the Money in the Bank briefcase for a guaranteed title shot. He proves he's good by winning, even though he's doing so with all the assistance he can get from "The Authority".

So, of course, it's all bullshit, right?

Roman Reigns is proving it wrong by turning into the modern day John Cena, which is fine. He's off in his own world now, even if he sometimes remembers where he came from.

But it's Ambrose who is doing the most damage from the inside, and he's doing it in just the most Dean Ambrose way.

Watch Rollins in the clip above, especially at the beginning. Ambrose's brand of crazy, that relentless insanity that regular folks like you and I are terrified by, is slowly but surely wearing on Rollins. He's cracking under the weight of the unyielding pressure Ambrose has promised, not just because he's said it and it's worrisome but because Seth knows Dean will absolutely go through with it.

That's what we have to look forward to. Rollins slow descent into madness as he's made to sink into the abyss, a cesspool of crazy only occupied by Ambrose himself.

This is awesome.

Segment grade: B


But not least:

  • Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio usually have fun matches and work well together but what a weird pairing for this show, right? As our friend Lady J said on Twitter: "An Irish fella is defending the US championship against a Mexican guy on the Fourth of July."
  • 12 and BO! 12 and BO! 12 and BO! Do we think they're going to bring up Undertaker when he gets to 22? And can he get heat by body slamming El Torito all the times? Good to see Diego getting work with Fernando out, though.
  • Stardust and Goldust can name themselves whatever the hell they want, I just need more of them in my pro wrestling life.
  • AJ Lee is right up there as one of the top female workers on the WWE roster and even she couldn't get a serviceable match out of Eva Marie who, to her credit, did well heeling it up early on. All was going fine, actually, until that clothesline that looked like she was scared to death of delivering. You know, the move where you just stick your arm out and your opponent runs into it. Amazing.
  • This AJ-Paige feud has so much potential. We know they did a double turn on Raw -- Eva heeling so hard was evidence of that -- but I have no idea what Paige is doing, much like AJ didn't. I'm happy about that too because it means they aren't rushing this. We've had two matches between these two and both lasted maybe a combined minute. We're past due for the ladies to get like 20 minutes on a PPV. Considering the roster, there's no reason not to give them that at Battleground or, better, SummerSlam.
  • Cesaro Sagat is gone already, which is unfortunate. But Cesaro-Big E was a very nice little hoss brawl that deserves more time down the line.
  • Damien Sandow successfully pulled off The Boss. I believe this means all those who complained before must cease all complaints going forward.
  • I didn't get the chance to rail on Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger turning babyface simply because they decided to run up against Lana and Rusev on Raw this week, but I'll just say that while it makes sense within the story, WWE still should have written Zeb to cut a promo actually bothering to turn babyface. He's still the xenophobic stereotypical worst representation of America. The fact that the fans turned so quickly in their favor when they started shouting "Murica!" and ran up against the Russians more or less proves Lana right. Still, the chemistry between Zeb and Lana is off the charts and the Real Americans always should have been a babyface team, what with the babyface "we the people" crowd pop. Plus, there's no way Swagger injures Rusev, right?

This was your usual episode of SmackDown.

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?

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