WWE Thursday Night Smackdown – April 30th, 2015
Moline, Illinois hosts the WWE as Smackdown brings its bright lights and big gritties to town.
Tonight we are treated to a match which marks a return to the hottest feud of 2014, as Dean Ambrose goes one on one with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. The Tag Team Championships are also up for grabs as the New Day defends against Cesaro & Tyson Kidd in a rematch from Extreme Rules.
- Cold open on backstage feed of Seth Rollins bickering with Kane. Kane informs Rollins his opponent in the main event is Dean Ambrose, and Rollins attacks Kane’s ability.
- Roman Reigns cuts in-ring promo on Seth Rollins, then Kane comes down and begins a match with Reigns.
- Roman Reigns vs Kane: Reigns goes for spear but Kane escapes and counts himself out.
- Damien Sandow vs Curtis Axel: a big boot and a You’re Welcome lands the win for Sandow.
- backstage: Ryback cuts promo on Bray Wyatt.
- Ryback vs Luke Harper: Ryback wins with Shell Shocked. Bray Wyatt attacks with slam, punches and Sister Abigail.
- Tag Team Championship Match – The New Day (c) vs Cesaro & Tyson Kidd: back and forth match ends when Xavier Woods causes disqualification. Cesaro & Kidd win match, New Day retains titles.
- backstage: Cameron gossips with Summer Rae about Naomi’s attack on Brie Bella from Raw, Nikki Bella challenges Cameron to a match.
- Nikki Bella (c) vs Cameron: Nikki wins with a stiff forearm and Rack Attack.
- Prime Time Players cut a funny promo.
- backstage: Rollins asks Dean Ambrose to walk away from the match. Ambrose does not.
- High-lights are shown from the King of the Ring tournament. Bad News Barrett is the King.
- Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins (c): Kane gets involved, shmoz and confusion, Rollins hits spike drop for the three. Beatdown ensues on Ambrose, Reigns clears house to close the show.
- I’m not sure where this Rollins/Kane conflict is going, but I’m starting to hope it blows up soon. You would have thought the final straw would be Kane chokeslamming Rollins at Extreme Rules, or perhaps when he struck him on Raw, costing him the match, but they were right back at it at the start of the show.
- When Roman Reigns opens the show, I take comfort in the knowledge the opening talking segment will be brief.
- Kane continues the solid, albeit slightly sluggish work he’s been doing lately in the ring. Like his match with John Cena last week, he dominated much of the match and showed shades of his formidable old self, before getting bested by a late rally. This time, however, he spared himself from doing the job and instead walked away. This will no doubt give Rollins ammo to use against him later, and it’s a wonder he didn’t start in with it right away.
- Damien Sandow followed up his heartfelt address to the WWE Universe on Raw by coming out to new peppy music and sporting a new look. I began to groan inside when he mimicked Jojo the ringer announcer, thinking that he was going to beat this imitation gimmick to the ground. But his mockery of Curtis Axel picked me up again. As I watched the match and Sandow used his mimicry as a method through which to attack Axel, I began to see the potential. I am now thinking, Sandow might be on to something. What if he makes being a mimic his gimmick? What if he took on the mannerisms and moves of whomever he fought? It would allow him to keep his shtick fresh, entertain and cause some funny spots, but he would still be fighting and (hopefully) winning matches. It just might play. It certainly is original, as no one has tried it yet.
- Harper is on a terrible losing streak for some reason I can’t fathom, and I hope it does not continue much longer. I suppose it’s difficult to find a substantial rivalry for a man who doesn’t seem to care much about anything at all. Still, this is the latest in a series of matches these two big men have had with each other, and as such it was a pretty damn good fight. Ryback is still prone to having off nights, and Harper can be stiff to work with, so there were a couple awkward spots. There was still enough surprises to keep the fans interested, although the arena got pretty silent at times. The Bray Wyatt attack after the bell was slightly more extensive, adding a slam and punches before hitting Sister Abigail. Time will tell if this feud will end up being more like Wyatt vs Daniel Bryan (good), or Wyatt vs Chris Jericho (who cared?).
- The newly crowned tag champs and the former title-holders gave the best match of the night. It began with Cesaro and Kidd flat out out-classing Kofi Kingston and Big E, not allowing them to get a foothold. It looked like it was going to be a squash, but then New Day gained the upper hand on Kidd and kept him isolated for a good spell. Once the hot tag was made, Cesaro ran wild and there was a shmoz, one broken pin apiece, more shmoz, confusion, and finally Xavier Woods got involved and caused the DQ. The last five minutes of the match were really exciting, and New Day is finally hitting their stride as a team. It will be interesting to see what they can do with another team, because Cesaro and Kidd are just so damn good.
- Nikki looked fantastic in her match with Cameron – like a real pro. She is so improved in the ring since winning the title, and despite bouncing between face and heel so often and inexplicably that audiences are just not sure how to react when she comes out, she deserves to be where she is. Cameron, on the other hand, is far from perfect. She’s found her character, and she is great at generating heel heat, but as a wrestler she is lacking the ability to tell a story. This match gave a great example of a rookie mistake: at one point, Nikki takes a bump and sells her knee hurting. Cameron responds by kicking her in the back. Nikki further sells the knee, and by now the announce team is mentioning they believe she might have hurt her knee. Now Cameron finally notices, and even screams at Nikki, “Aw, did you hurt your knee?” in gloating heel fashion. But what does she do next? Slams her head and neck around, kicks her in the ribs and back, and applies a headlock. Does she not know how to work the knee? Did anyone teach her ring psychology? Oh well. Nikki looked like a champ and Cameron gained some valuable experience by losing.
- Ambrose vs Rollins would normally make me excited. But the fact is that I didn’t want anybody to lose this match. Why were they fighting each other anyway? Oh yeah, because Ambrose is Roman Reigns’ friend, and it would give him a reason to get involved. Motivations aside, the two men know each other so well I don’t think they can have a bad match. They sold each others top spots, they innovated on old favourites, they put on a proper show and involved Kane and that whole sordid storyline into it as well. I’m not happy about Ambrose getting pinned, I thought the more merciful thing to do would be to count him out of have it go to a no contest, but I’m glad the champ didn’t job again. Rollins needed a victory to make up for his latest debacles. It’s unfortunate it had to come at Ambrose’s expense, but he’ll survive.
Photos courtesy of WWE.COM