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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Oct. 10, 2014): That was special?

WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Oct. 10, 2014) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a taped show featuring the 15th Anniversary Special that also showcased all the latest build to the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) later this month in Dallas.

Click here to read the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all this madness:


- SmackDown is taped and edits can be made to fix up gaffes but let's safely assume that Johnny Laurinaitis actually made his triumphant return to WWE television and, despite standing across from a powerhouse promo and one of the strongest performers on the roster, not to mention his boss, Stephanie McMahon, he got through an entire segment without a single botch, or awkward pause, or anything. He delivered in exactly the way they asked him to and it was glorious.

- Meanwhile, Teddy Long, himself returning after a long absence -- one that included his getting legitimately fired by the company -- was drunk. Okay, he wasn't actually drunk but he totally might have been drunk. Maybe. A little bit. Bout a half cup of drunk.

- Playa playa playa.

- Finally, tip of the cap to Stephanie for being the best.


- It's so very rare that I watch a pro wrestling show and any one segment comes along that goes pretty much exactly how I would have fantasy booked it. Like, maybe it's happened three times in the history of my watching pro wrestling and one of those times was what they did with Adam Rose last night.

- Rose, you see, is an awful character for a variety of reasons and I've been patiently putting up with his bullshit in the hopes that one day he would run up against a much stronger force and said stronger force would absolutely bury him, hopefully in response to his being the awful character that he is. Lo and behold, he interrupts Stephanie McMahon, spits his lame catchphrase at her, she books him in a match against Kane, mocks his stupid dance routine and does it a million times better than he ever could even though she's mocking him, and then Kane just utterly squashes him. This is pretty much exactly how this should have happened, including Stephanie being the one to drop the hammer.

- All that said, I now eagerly await the Rose heel turn, possibly aided by the fact that, you'll notice, a lot of Rosebuds seems to sacrifice themselves to save The Bunny -- who was so damn over once again -- yet they didn't run in to help him until he was already beaten. Food for thought for later.


- When watching a show, and digesting a match or a story within said match, always consider what went into making it happen. Watch what they did with AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox above and imagine the writing that went into it. Doesn't it feel lazy to think that all they came up with for this show, the 15th Anniversary Special that they continually tried to tell you was worth your time, was "Fox beats on AJ, who reverses with Black Widow to win by submission; post-match, she fends off attack from Paige & Fox". That's it. Not only is that not a big angle, it's clearly filler and what's worse, we've seen this time and time and time and time and time again.


- This Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston match is a perfect demonstration of what AJ-Fox was not but could be. It's still filler, sure, but it serves a purpose to continue the storyline arc with a hugely important member of the roster, possibly the most important. Every major angle right now is centered around Seth Rollins and all he did on this show was work a singles match with Kofi freaking Kingston. So how did they get this right?

- For starters, they gave us Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury in their newfound role as henchmen for The Authority. While they've already been established, this helps further solidify their standing in this role. And it works really well, even when and maybe especially because they were totally unneeded for the match.

- They also stayed true to the fact that Rollins is a man up against it right now and he's eager to take his aggression out on someone but not anyone who poses a real, credible threat to him. This is a slithery little bastard who contantly escapes actually having to answer for his actions while talking the biggest game imaginable. Here, they position him against a clearly inferior foe so he can bolster his own argument by kicking the ever loving shit out of a guy he was always going to be able to kick the ever loving shit out of. It works.


- I love the idea behind booking Rusev the way they booked Rusev here. He's humiliated, he's eager to once again prove he's a force to be reckoned with, and he's hardly going to acknowledge that asshole Rock who made him look like a fool on Raw. Instead, he'll take things out on his next opponent, who was ... Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler?

- This is where WWE has to make a decision about just exactly what they want the Intercontinental title to represent. This wasn't a squash match by any stretch of the imagination -- Ziggler very nearly got a pinfall and Lana's reaction to it was pitch perfect -- but there was never any real indication that he was winning. If the Intercontinental championship is number two on the totem pole, shouldn't be respect the guy holding the title a whole lot more than we did here? It's matches like this that create that inability. It doesn't just make Ziggler look lesser, it makes the Intercontinental title look damn near meaningless. Rusev, rightfully, should be champion right now and even with the non-title stipulation on this match, the feeling is quite clear that he could easily win another with the belt on the line. That means he could be champion and the only reason he isn't is simply because he doesn't want to. What, then, does that say about Dolph? About the Intercontinental title?



- This was a 16-man tag team match (PLAYA PLAYA PLAYA) and it was a match that happened. Simple fun for the crowd with some cool spots but little that has an effect on the larger picture. I wanted to like Sheamus' forearms spot with Cesaro, Stardust, and Heath Slater so much more but it's so hard to buy in to guys just waiting to get hit while their arms aren't actually tied up in the ropes they way they're supposed to appear to be. It was just bad. Cesaro did, however, bring back the Giant Swing for a show fitting 15 rotations.


Well, John Cena went back to being John Cena. He listened to Dean Ambrose make yet another well reasoned argument for why he's got so much strength in his convinction to go after Seth Rollins and responded by doing that thing only John Cena does, spending an entire promo putting Ambrose over as a John Cena approved guy. What's more, he co-opts the so-called WWE Universe, another annoying trait of his, so that he's positioned to speak for you, the fan.

He also broke out two baseballs to symbolize "what it takes to be successful in this business" (so I guess all the women are shit out of luck, huh?), remarking that Miz doesn't even know what they are but Ambrose has them.

Here's the promo:

"I'm impressed. The WWE Universe is impressed, and I'm not just talking about being left unconscious on Monday Night Raw. I watch everything that goes on in this ring and I listen to every single sound the Universe makes, and ever since you stepped foot in WWE, the little decision makers behind the curtain, oh they been worried about you. Oh yeah. 'Unstable' is what they call you. You know why? Because give you a microphone and they don't know what you're going to say. You'll say whatever the hell you want. You'll do whatever the hell you want. And if somebody stands in your way, you will scratch, fight, and claw to get what you want because you love this business and you will not stop until your a success. And groups like The Authority waste so many precious resources on all the BS to look for the next guy who has 'it'. Well, Monday, by leaving me unconcious, you proved that you got 'it'. I've just got my own definition for 'it' -- these. This is what it takes to be a success in this business.

"Congratulations, Mr. Ambrose; you impressed me. It's what I want to see and quite frankly, it's what they want to see. Because for years and years and years of bringing in past Hall-of-Famers or mercenaries for the outside they want to see somebody with a set of these that's gonna step up to me and say 'I don't give a damn if you're John Cena, I'm going to knock you down right where you stand'. All that means? At Hell in a Cell, you're going to make me earn it. Just remember, when you step into that ring for that No Holds Barred match at Hell in a Cell we don't see eye-to-eye but you're damn sure going to be looking into a mirror. We are cut from the same cloth. I've been to Philadelphia for the past 12 years and there is a reason, night-after-night, opponent-after-opponent, match-after-match, I can walk down that ramp into this ring with my head high and a fighting smile on my face because I proved to the entire WWE Universe that after 12 years in this world I've got two things: these and my word and I don't break 'em for nobody. Bring your 'A' game at Hell in a Cell. You may not give a damn who I am now but after that match you will know my name. I like my chances."

There is literally no point to almost 95-percent of this promo. He's just saying things that are already evident to anyone paying even a little bit of attention. It's one of the reasons his character is so utterly unbearable to so very many fans. This guy wasted half his promo telling Dean Ambrose who Dean Ambrose is. What's the point of that? To say he's impressed by who he is, I suppose, but why does that matter in the slightest based on the story being told?

This was that weird shoot style interview where he makes subtle nods to a whole lot of reality but it's nowhere near as good as what you may have seen or heard from, say, CM Punk because Punk would have bothered to keep the story at the forefront.

Here, though, Cena totally loses sight of the fact that, remember, his entire focus isn't Ambrose but going through him to get to Rollins. That's what the story has been and it's been interesting because of what it's made Cena do and the way he's reacted to the situation he's found himself in. Suddenly now he's back to championing his opponent while talking about how he's got big balls and he's been around a long time.

Here's a sample of what Ambrose said to make clear he's all about the story:

"Seth Rollins crossed me. He was my brother and he stabbed me in the back. I can't live with myself until I set that right. Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell belongs to me. John Cena is coming dangerous close to stealing that from me. John, nobody steals from me, I don't care how high up on the food chain you are."

See that? That's all about the story. It's got nothing to do with how the fans react to Cena both positively and negatively and how he's paying attention to that, or how he's impressed with Cena for being a real trooper for all this time, or saying Cena is totally his equal and the company must like that, and the fans must like it too. Because none of that has anything to do with anything here. That's all nonsense that shouldn't be coming from someone within this story.

Cena's arc since Night of Champions has been fascinating to watch. This was a huge step back.


This was a fun show, though that closing promo from Cena hurt quite a bit.

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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