Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. Cesaro
Did we travel back in time a couple of months? Remember when these two were feuding and then just kind of stopped? It happened. Oh, yeah, remember when Cesaro looked to be heading straight to the main event until his momentum was killed after he was teamed with Paul Heyman? That also happened. Wow. So much can change in so little time.
Cesaro and Swagger have good chemistry together. That’s why I was hoping their feud would continue longer. When you team with someone for a while, you get to know what they feature and spots come naturally and easily. The two wrestle a good match. It’s not going to make many highlight reels, but it showcased both men well. After a lengthy bout, Swagger manages to get Cesaro to tap to the Patriot Lock. When was the last time Cesaro won a match (without a DQ)? Back in early June. Wow.
Match Rating: ***
Lana and Rusev come out after the match to challenge Swagger/Colter to a flag match at SummerSlam. That makes sense. And, hey, Rusev can lose without being pinned. That’s something. The match will probably suck, but it’s a logical match.
Randy Orton is out after the commercial break to complain about not being in the championship match at SummerSlam and then to challenge Roman Reigns to a match at the PPV. We all saw that coming.
R-Truth vs. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas’ undefeated streak was broken on Raw, so now we’re getting a rematch. Guess what? Dallas loses again, after a rather mediocre — but not terrible –match. This time, he refuses to stop punching R-Truth after being given a five count and is disqualified. He then beats down R-Truth after the match.
Match Rating: **
Rosa Mendes vs. AJ Lee
Is Rosa Mendes the worst Divas wrestler in the company? It’s entirely possible. I don’t think she’s ever even had a decent match. But she’s going to be on the next season of Total Divas (why??????) so we’ll probably see more of her. Boo.
AJ squashes Rosa. AJ kicks her and then locks in the Black Widow to pick up a submission victory.
Match Rating: *
It looks like the segment is a complete waste, but as AJ celebrates on the ramp, Paige blindsides her and pushes her off the stage. One of the biggest Divas bumps in a while. Paige then mockingly offers encouragement and pushes how big of “friends” they are as officials tend to AJ. I like this feud. I really, really do.
Ambrose cuts a Titantron promo before this next match. He talks about how bad the Authority is and how stuff and things are keeping him down.
Kane and Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Kane and Rollins dominate most of this match. Ambrose eventually gets fed up with the handicap stipulation, grabs a steel chair, and hits Kane with it. Ambrose loses by DQ.
Match Rating: **
Rollins escapes the ring at this point and Ambrose beats down Kane with the steel chair, because he’s Kane and that’s what gets done to him whenever the current storyline doesn’t require him to be an unstoppable monster.
Chris Jericho is interviewed backstage by Renee Young after the match. He hypes up the feud against Bray Wyatt. He also hypes his match against Erick Rowan tonight, which if he wins, will ban Rowan from ringside for the Jericho/Wyatt match at SummerSlam.
A Goldust/Stardust promo follows the commercial break. Please, WWE, give these guys another match.
Fandango vs. Diego (with Layla, Summer Rae, and El Torito)
Another Raw rematch. Fandango loses after the women distract him. Diego hits a backstabber and gets a pinfall victory. It’s basically the same thing that already happened. The storyline isn’t furthered. It’s filler. It’s not terrible filler — Fandango and Diego aren’t terrible, after all, sometimes — but it’s just filler.
Match Rating: *1/2
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
The Miz is on commentary. This had the potential to be a really strong match. It was good, although not great, for the most part. Eventually, though, The Miz stands on the commentary table and interrupts the match. He starts thanking everyone for being able to win the Intercontinental Championship. Eventually, Ziggler goes after him, but Miz escapes into the crowd. Del Rio ambushes Ziggler as he’s getting back into the ring, locks in the Cross Armbreaker, and gets the win.
Match Rating: **
A Bray Wyatt promo precedes the main event match. Wyatt does his usual stuff.
Erick Rowan (with Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt) vs. Chris Jericho
Has Rowan ever had a really good singles match? Like, not just a good one, but a noteworthy good one? One that is actually worth paying attention to? I can’t think of one. This isn’t it. Rowan gets to dominate for most of the match, because he’s the monster and having Jericho dominate, while hilarious, would look silly. Harper gets ejected from ringside part way through. Jericho eventually wins with the Codebreaker. It’s a slow match and it’s not very enjoyable. Rowan just isn’t an exciting Superstar, and even someone like Chris Jericho can’t get a good match out of him.
Match Rating: **
Smackdown ends with Jericho looking strong in the ring and Wyatt going up the ramp.
The Good: Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro.
The Bad: Truth vs. Dallas. Mendes vs. AJ. Fandango vs. Diego.
Match of the Night: Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro.