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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Aug. 1, 2014): Slow motion

WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Aug. 1, 2014) from Corpus Christi, Texas with a taped show featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) that is now just over two weeks away from taking over Los Angeles.

The show continued its run of not offering a whole hell of a lot of bang for your two-hour buck, so we'll continue in the new format from last week. Click here to get complete results and the live blog.

  • They ditched the air raid siren in favor of the European ambulance siren on the front end of Cesaro's entrance music. While this might make sense thematically, it sounds awful.
  • If you had sat down at the close of WrestleMania 30 and been told Cesaro would be doing curtain jerking jobs to Jack Swagger on SmackDown with little to no creative direction, you would have cried "LIAR", right? Yet here we are, and it feels wrong, doesn't it? They set him up with Paul Heyman on a show that would see it received well (the post-WrestleMania Raw), which seemed like a grand plan considering he was getting over as a babyface on his way to breaking up with Jack Swagger. Then they ran that feud like they didn't actually want Cesaro to turn, so crowds had no clue how to react. When they decided to make him heel, which made no sense other than his pairing with Heyman, they took the Swing away. It should be said the Swing was the most over move in wrestling at the time. Now? No one really cares. But now he's still working heel but without Heyman as a manager and, as mentioned, he's jobbing to his old partner to open a meaningless SmackDown show. Such an awful, unnecessary fall.
  • Lana's body language was markedly improved here.
  • Let's be real: Flag matches suck.

  • Randy Orton has never been a great promo and there wasn't anything all that inspiring here. He's got some fire back in him, sure, but that's not exactly a plus when his best character work in years has come as an insecure lackey to The Authority who just wants to please his masters enough to hold onto the WWE world heavyweight championship. The return of The Viper isn't exactly welcome.

  • Here's an idea: Why not have Bo Dallas start a new streak, this time losing every match something like he did here with R-Truth. When he always found a way to win, there was no hint of this new mean streak of his. We saw flashes, and now that he's lost, he isn't sure how to deal with it, so he flips his lid at every turn. Maybe he's delusional and the BOLIEVE message is his reality and when it doesn't work out for him, his entire world is shaken and he responds with great anger and furious rage. Let's get to 0-17 before he wins and reverts back to his old self again.

  • Rosa Mendes survived budget cuts thanks to a spot on the season three cast of Total Divas but that hasn't translated to WWE television. If you're going to do jobs, though, submitting to a champion they're pushing as one of the greatest ever isn't the worst thing.
  • Paige has never been better than she was here. If you've been a vocal opponent of this "frenemies" angle they've been running, this will definitely turn you. After tossing AJ Lee from the ramp, leading to a stretcher job, Paige, deliciously evil as she's become, demands the medics be careful with her best friend while telling AJ to give her a call whenever she's feeling better. Definitely a best thing.

  • Booking a 2-on-1 handicap match pitting Kane & Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose was the right play here to work the angle that Rollins is the cowardly lion who doesn't actually want Ambrose in a one-on-one situation. Seth, after all, works best as the slithery snake who strikes at the opportune moment. But they may have given away too much when the two finally did square up at the end of the match. The idea was to tease the eventual encounter, and based on how this was brought across you have to wonder if they aren't thinking about a steel cage stipulation so neither man can escape. Either way, I'd rather they hold out on any further in-ring interaction between the two until SummerSlam. Save the good stuff for the big show, don't waste it on a show like this.

  • How dumb can Fandango be? He never learns.

  • Can we take it as a sign that the powers that be aren't completely down on Dolph Ziggler anymore that he was totally distracted by The Miz's interruption from the commentary table and went about wrestling as though nothing was happening, at least at first? Kind of nice to see considering what just happened with Fandango.
  • That said, Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio is usually a guaranteed fun match but this one fell short. That was a theme throughout the night, actually.
  • The Miz was a blast on commentary and his acting like the arena was a movie set qualifies as a best thing. His short break and turn as Hollywood Miz is proving to be exactly what he needed to revitalize a stagnant career that was going nowhere fast. Here's to hoping when Batista comes back, he goes all Drax the Destroyer on Miz's moneymaker.

  • I like the angle on the Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt story. I like the material it gives the latter, though the former hasn't exactly been making the most of his opportunities when a microphone is put in front of his face. I'm not sure how many times I can hear him call Bray a spider before he inadvertently turns heel. At least Wyatt wows you with his delivery.
  • Did anyone else feel less than excited at the idea of a Jericho vs. Erick Rowan match? The booking was fine, and the stipulation welcome, but the prospect of the actual match left me wanting. The match itself justified this. Far be it from me to accuse Jericho, one of the best who ever did it, of holding back but it felt like they were moving in slow motion. We will never outrun the hands of time and all that.

All told, this was an entirely forgettable episode of SmackDown despite a couple important considerations for future shows. That's never a good thing.

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?

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