This week's episode of SmackDown, airing on the SyFy Network on August 6, 2015, comes from Sacramento, California. The WWE is nearly two week away from its annual SummerSlam pay-per-view and this show continues the build towards the company's second biggest event of the year. For full results and the live blog click here.
Here we go.
The Big Dog versus The Super Athlete
This week, Roman Reigns opened the show with an in-ring promo, specifically to talk about his recent dealings with Bray Wyatt. He brings up family and says that Wyatt used Battleground as a family reunion of sorts when Luke Harper returned to the Eater of World's side. Reigns talks about knowing family and stating that he will bring his psychotic brother (really, et tu, Roman?) to challenge what is left of the Wyatt Family at Summerslam.
Reigns' opponent for the night, Rusev, appeared with Hot Summer on the top of the ramp to interrupt Reigns. Rusev states that Reigns should not be worried about Wyatt as he has to face the Bulgarian tonight. Then, quite the cute/funny exchange occurs. Reigns stands up for women everywhere (or maybe just me) with this storyline by telling Rusev straight to his face that he is creepy for dressing his new girlfriend like his ex-girlfriend then, after Rusev calls him Lana because he is as arrogant as she is, Reigns calls him a sexist freak. Yea, sounds about right.
This may never go anywhere after this (which is disappointing) but I rather enjoyed seeing a WWE Superstar calling out Rusev for his behavior with no motive behind their words, unlike
Dog Dolph Zigger. I could see Reigns being the guy who just goes to Summer Rae and asks her what is she doing and doesn't she think she's worth more than to be a "Better Lana" without trying to see what type of underwear she wears. This. This is how I would have preferred the whole Lana/Rusev/Ziggler story to go. A good guy just sick of seeing someone being mistreated and speaking up. But enough about my fantasy booking.
Rusev versus Roman Reigns was a decent main event. Nothing really blew me away but the action was solid nonetheless, which gives me hope that maybe these two cross paths on a pay-per-view down the road. Rusev was brutal with the offense but Reigns continued to fight back at every turn. Rusev was in control and possibly on his way to victory after stamping out Reigns' comeback when Lana strutted to the ring and attacked Hot Summer. This distraction ultimately lead to Reigns hitting a Spear out of nowhere (the best kind) for the win.
While Reigns was celebrating being only the third person to pin Rusev clean since his debut (John Cena and Cesaro are the two others), Wyatt appeared on the big screen to accept the Big Dog's family challenge, telling Reigns that his hands will be the ones to bring down the Roman Empire.
Okay, so, I totally understood the other times Lana has attacked Summer Rae. She had either been slapped first or was the target of embarrassing and cruel jokes. Being called a cold fish is sexist and it is not funny and I do not blame Lana one bit for that reaction. But this attacked was unwarranted and it continues to make her look just as attached to Rusev still as he is obviously attached to her. I am starting to feel like the WWE does not want fans to root for anyone and just to enjoy the crazy. My only question is: What becomes of Rusev's career once the ridiculousness of this wears thin?
And even though I'm not that into the Reigns/Wyatt feud as I should be, I am so looking forward to Leftover Shield versus Leftover Wyatt Family. Also, is it just me that hears the lyrics to Reigns' theme music now whenever it plays? Oh, it is? Carry on then.
Revolutions Take Time
Just like the NXT Women's Champion, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch in previous weeks, Charlotte got a segment highlighting her career in NXT. I only have one thing to say about Charlotte versus Naomi: It happened and we all let it happen.
Fortunately, the matched ended in a disqualification then Charlotte/Becky Lynch versus Sasha Banks/Naomi happened. It is of my humble opinion that Naomi should do strictly tag team matches for a while, most of which she should be on the apron, watching her partner work. Hey, it worked for Reigns. I also do not like Charlotte doing a spear because she does not do it well. And yes, that is the only reason.
The end of the match was harsh, to be honest. The commentators did not know if Naomi had made the tag plus the pin was not clear. All in all this was a decent match. I feel like all the women rush spots and the overall chemistry of the eight (Tamina never really wrestles) is not where it should be. But the template that has been set thus far is a massive improvement from even six months ago. Solid match with a head scratching ending that was not executed well.
Every Day is a New Day
The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry took on all three members of New Day. This was a nice, long six man tag team match up. Each man played their roles well. Much is mentioned of Titus O'Neil and his hot tag action but Darren Young is pretty good as a face in peril. New Day has pretty much perfected their team offense at this point. The end spot where Titus throws Xavier Woods into Henry's arms for the World's Strongest Slam was nice. I wonder if they practiced that spot.
New Day lost and their after match promo was great. Awesome even. These guys continue to add little things to their gimmick to . . . . keep it tight. Love, love, love that most people in WWE management probably have no clue who they're biting off of with their new chant.
Heeeeeeeey, we want some NEW DAY!
Be My Villain, Stardust
Stardust took on Zack Ryder in quite the entertaining match up. I enjoy Ryder in the role of a jobber who actually puts up a pretty good fight before losing. Stardust had some unique offense and ended up with the victory. Afterwards, he talked up Steven Amell coming to RAW this Monday. The commentators really drove home the fact that Cody Rhodes believes he is Stardust. Yes, we get it. Most of us got it during the failed Stardust/Goldust feud earlier this year. I do not know where this crazy train leads, probably off the rails, but I will bite. I think a Neville/Stardust Summerslam match will be great.
But what will become of the comic book theme after that event? Stardust should go after other heroes in the WWE. I could give him a few names to terrorize and confuse.
There was also a Big Show promo. It happened and the WWE let it happen. No one else will take the fall for that one.
Another really average show with some good parts. Or maybe I'm just cranky because most of the clips shown on the show involved the Undertaker/Lesnar feud. We get it. All the WWE jobbers had to hold them back from killing each other. Everyone has seen the brawl. Move on, WWE. Please.
That's all for this week, Cagesiders! What are your thoughts on the show? Let me know what you thought in the comments.