-HHH is introduced to start the show, and immediately I’m reminded of the Raw last year from Milwaukee where HHH teased retirement and shed a tear to get some of that sympathy from fans that he’ll never get. Anyhow, HHH welcomes the fans to the show and calls out certain wrestlers for blaming management for their failures. HHH pats himself on the back for the main event from Raw, and we get the subsequent clip. The Miz comes out to interrupt HHH at this point. HHH throws some dirt on Miz for failing on his opportunities. We get some clips of Orton giving him the business, and then HHH moves onto The Miz getting knocked out by The Big Show. HHH offers The Miz to fight Randy Orton again…and offers to get Miz’s parents up to Milwaukee before the match.
R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio
Oh hey, Brock Guy is in the crowd tonight. They trade some right hands to start and brawl around the ring for a bit. ADR misses a corner charge and takes a kick and a couple of clotheslines. Truth gets a suplex into a stunner and gets two. Truth misses a corner charge and gets the Si Kick for the quick win. ADR got some color, most likely biting his own lip on the stunner. Del Rio tosses on the cross armbreaker after the match. RVD runs in and gets a steel chair and beats down ADR, dropkicking it into Del Rio as ADR lie in the corner. In the back, Vickie and HHH agree to make the PPV match a “Battleground Hardcore Rules” match.
Final Thoughts: I’m not sure what to say here. But, it’s nice that they’re going to attach a gimmick to the WHC match.
-On their way to the ring, Prime Time Players stop to teach a couple of backstage workers their signature dance.
The Real Americans w/Zeb Colter vs. Prime Time Players
Jack and Titus begin the match; and Swagger gets some knees in the corner. Titus floats over out of the corner and gets a shoulderblock. Swagger dodges a corner charge and gets a hard whip before exchanging a couple of tags with Cesaro. Swagger keeps Titus in the corner and in comes Cesaro. Cesaro does the GIANT SWING on TITUS! Cesaro is such a badass. Titus comes back with a desperation slam and gets Darren in on the hot tag. Darren hits the belly to belly and gets two from a northern lights suplex. Antonio answers back with a uranage that is broken up by Titus, who gets dumped. Blind tag to Swagger, who catches Young with the Patriot Lock after Darren hits Cesaro with the stomach buster. Young taps out to end this quick, fun encounter.
Final Thoughts: **. This was pretty fun stuff, with the added comedy of Titus being dizzy through the latter part of the match. It’s only a matter of time before Cesaro can toss the UFO into a match.
Bray Wyatt vs. Zack Ryder
Before the match, WWE cuts off Bray’s badass entrance. WWE: Because fuck you, that’s why. Rowan and Harper send Ryder quickly into the ring. They slug it out, but Wyatt hits the crossbody to flatten Ryder. Bray goes to the chinlock, but Ryder fights back with a facebuster and gets the Broski Boot for no even one. Bray dodges the Rough Ryder and hits Sister Abigail’s Kiss for the win.
Final Thoughts: Squashy squash. It’s sad that Ryder had as much of a hope spot as Ziggler.
United States Championship Match – Dean Ambrose © vs. Dolph Ziggler
To even the odds on the outside, Dolph has brought Rob Van Dam and Kofi Kingston with him. Ambrose gets Dolph in the corner to start and slugs away. Dolph gets the boot up on the whip, but gets a clothesline and a hard whip into the corner. Dolph gets the elbow up in the corner and gets a clothesline. Ziggler gets a flurry of punches in the corner and flips out of a back suplex to hit the standing dropkick. Dolph gets a clothesline that takes them out. The Shield interferes and it turns into a brawl for a DQ. HHH comes out and turns this into a six man tag team match.
The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam
We come back with RVD hitting the big monkey flip on Seth and following with a standing moonsault for two. Rollins gets kicked into the corner and gets brutalized. Rolling Thunder gets two for Van Dam. Rollins works at RVD’s injured arm and brings in Dean. Ambrose focuses on the arm. RVD fight back and gets a spin kick before tagging Dolph in. Ziggler gets a crossbody and goes for the elbows. He gets to five before a distraction from Rollins leads to a spinebuster. In comes Reigns. Ziggler battles out of a chinlock, but takes a palm to the face for two.
Dean is back in and he wears Dolph down before tagging in Roman. Ziggler tries to escape but instead gets slammed with authority. Ziggler is able to come back with a leaping DDT. Seth cuts off the hot tag. Ziggler gets a back body drop and brings in Kofi, who takes aim at Ambrose. He gets the Boom Drop and misses the TiP. Kofi comes off with a crossbody. Rollins interrupts, and takes a Fameasser. Dolph gets a spear, and RVD takes Reigns outside. Reigns returns but gets a Trouble in Paradise. Rollins runs in and hits the curbstomp (sort of) to help Ambrose get the pin.
Final Thoughts: **1/2 or so, I’m not sure. This was pretty good at the end, but still frustrating with how predictable a six-man encounter would be shoehorned into the show.
-Renee Young is backstage with The Big Show. She asks how he is holding up. Big Show almost cries, declaring himself a wreck. HHH pops up to say that if Big Show can’t cut it, he can help him find a job as a baggage handler. HHH feigns crying and bullies Big Show a bit more.
Cameron w/Naomi vs. AJ Lee w/Tamina
Well, I enjoy Naomi’s outfit. I thought that Bayley from NXT was supposed to be AJ’s backup. Oh well. AJ slugs Cameron down to begin and gets a snapmare. There’s a hairtoss. AJ whips her in but misses a splash. Cameron nearly completely botches a school boy. Cameron gets a couple of awful clotheslines and a dropkick (also, bad). Cameron gets a crossbody from the second rope that nearly breaks AJ’s neck. AJ dumps Cameron outside after a kick to the midsection and calls her useless. Naomi gets in AJ’s face and takes a clothesline. Cameron gets a school boy (a bit better this time) and AJ finishes with the Shining Wizard for the win.
Final Thoughts: In three years, that’s the best that Cameron has. Meanwhile, someone who has improved like Kaitlyn has is off of television.
-Paul Heyman comes out to gloat about beating CM Punk again. He just recaps things and riles the crowd up a bit. He get to see the beatdown from Monday again, where Ryback tossed CM Punk through a table and probably injured him. This is just filling time and setting up a match between Ryback and Punk.
Heath Slater w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre vs. Santino w/Hornswoggle and The Great Khali
Heath gets a right hand and stomps away. Santino hits some rights and the hip toss. Slater gets the knees up on the diving headbutt and gets two. Slater goes up, but gets crotched on the top rope. Santino goes for the Cobra, but Jinder pulls out a flute and charms that Cobra…and Khali does it as well. Hornswoggle breaks Jinder’s flute and then Khali charms the thing again leading to a Santino win after all of this unfunny bullshit.
Final Thoughts: What the hell was that?
Randy Orton vs. The Miz
The Miz gets some left hands to start and gets Orton into the corner. The Miz clotheslines Orton outside and follows. Miz bounces Orton off of the steel post. Back inside, Miz punches away at Randy and gets a grounded big boot. Orton dodges the corner clothesline and Miz hurts his shoulder, apparently. The doctor checks on him, and Orton grabs him and hits the hanging DDT. Orton pulls the referee away from Miz and punches away, getting the DQ. The bell rang before the referee even signaled for it.
HHH shows up and restarts the match with No DQ rules, because he’s the star of the show. Orton tosses Miz over the announce table and puts him into the stairs and the barricade. Michael Cole ramps up the intensity in his announcing, but it’s terribly forced. The Miz gets in some token chairshots before Orton gets a boot up. Orton hits the hanging DDT from the barricade. Orton rolls Miz back in and takes his time before hitting the RKO for the win.
Final Thoughts: There’s no point for any type of rating on this, as it was really an angle. The beatdown was fine, but I certainly didn’t care about any of it.
–Smackdown is usually a good, solid wrestling show. I have no idea what the main storyline is now. I think it’s just HHH talking and doing things while they figure out where they’re going next. It’s about that time of year when WWE stops caring and goes into auto-pilot before they figure out, roughly, what is happening at WrestleMania. I’m displeased with the company moving away from Bryan/HHH after HHH latched onto his heat, just like he did Punk two years ago. I guess they were moving storylines forward with this show, but I didn’t feel that anything was really happening.