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June 25, 2015

Your WWE SmackDown rundown: The Authority doubles down, destroys Dean Ambrose

Wrestling WWE
062615_Smackdown-WWE Smackdown/WWE

This week's SmackDown came to us from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.

SmackDown emanated from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio this week, and we had the privilege of seeing another great main event between two of the hottest superstars in the industry, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these two going one-on-one.

But this time, it would be The Authority that had the last laugh. They now have destroyed, as a unit, Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in one week of television. Talk about getting their momentum back. I think we’ve just seen the renaissance of The Authority.

And we have a Jimmy Uso sighting! Uso helped with commentary duties Thursday night as Byron Saxton was on Tough Enough duty, according to Tom Phillips. Uso said after the show he would be commentating on SmackDown all summer long.

I always enjoy having a wrestler who is either injured or not doing anything on commentary, because they sometimes come up with gems. While it was small, Lawler asking Uso if he was impressed from the eight-man tag match and being met with a rather disinterested, “Yes, sir,” and then acting on camera like it was the best match he’s ever seen made me forget all about D’Angelo Russell going to the Lakers.

OK, it didn’t make me forget. It still stings. I wanted Russell. Anyway, here are the main stories coming out of SmackDown:

Coming off a Monday night where they absolutely demolished the Beast Incarnate, The Authority came down to the ring for an opening promo. Shocking, right!? After a four and a half minute opening video package of what happened on Raw, we got to hear more of The Authority, and more importantly, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, boasting about what they did to Lesnar as Raw went off the air. Giving a nod to the legitimately injured Jamie Noble was a good touch, and giving Kane a lot of the credit for destroying Lesnar was something that’s been missing from Rollins’ character the last few months. He’s finally realized he needs The Authority, and that’s because of the return of the Beast Incarnate.

While I would like Rollins to continue to build his stature on his own, the fact that Lesnar is now back on television doesn’t allow him to do that. A heel should not take on someone like Lesnar straight up, so having Rollins and The Authority back on the same page is pro wrestling 101. And how about a flashback to last June when Rollins turned his back on The Shield? That little moment was awesome to relive!

Ryback made his way out to the ring, summoned by Kane, and indirectly set up the night’s main event between the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the Lunatic Fringe. He said the wrong thing, and Rollins offered the challenge to face Ambrose in the final match, so we all win.

The Authority once again stood tall to end a television program, slowly building more and more momentum towards world domination. Lesnar should be afraid. Very afraid. [He’s not.]

After finding a paper in his vest, undoubtedly put there by either Bray Wyatt or one of his anonymous followers, Roman Reigns finally said enough was enough and decided to go looking for the new Face of Fear.

Kane, still the Director of Operations, ran into Reigns during his search for Wyatt and ejected him from the building after confronting an employee and telling him to call in his headset to find out where Wyatt was. Reigns didn’t exactly do much to warrant being ejected, but Kane said he was reckless and compulsive and he’s become a liability.

I really don’t understand this, because we’ve seen a lot worse, and even during this program with Show attacking Ryback. I get the whole, “They’ve gotta be heels,” thing, but the ejection of Reigns makes literally zero storyline sense. We haven’t even seen Reigns punch a wall, much less an employee; how he’s creating an unsafe work environment is beyond me. But, hey, at least it continues the storyline between Reigns and Wyatt.

We finally also got some continuity regarding Big Show, who is supposed to be a part of The Authority but hasn’t been around them in a long time. Kane mentioned Show would not be there due to an attack from Ryback Monday night, even though he was just defending himself from an attack by Show. Of course, this was misdirection, as Show appeared before the Ryback-Kane match even began and attacked the Intercontinental Champion on the ramp. The match still went on, but Show interfered and both he and Kane chokeslammed Ryback, leaving him incapacitated in the ring.

Speaking of continuity, I feel really bad for the Divas division. Continuity doesn’t exist over on that other side of WWE. The Bellas are heels one week and faces the next. Alicia Fox hates Paige, who’s supposed to be a face but is playing the role of face this week alongside the Bellas. Naomi and Tamina are still heels. So, at least there’s that. There’s still plenty of room for improvement for the division, and we’re just waiting until those NXT women come up to the main roster.

The New Day was on the losing end, again, but took to some clap therapy after their match. However, they couldn’t get their partner, Bo Dallas, to join in.

I enjoyed SmackDown’s angle between Rusev and Lana, if only because we got to see Rusev flip out once again, screaming what I wish were obscenities in Russian. Or Bulgarian. It didn’t help Dolph Ziggler any, as he was fed to the Money in the Bank winner, Sheamus.

Match rundown

     • Sheamus d. Dolph Ziggler by pinfall via the Brogue Kick.

     • Alicia Fox d. Naomi by pinfall via a schoolgirl. The Bellas were in Fox’s corner and Tamina was in Naomi’s. At one point, Tamina hit the Bellas with pretty sick superkicks.

     • Ryback d. Kane by disqualification after Big Show interfered. Show attacked Ryback before the match, but the match still went on. Both Show and Kane chokeslammed Ryback and left him lying in the ring.

     • Prime Time Players (c-Tag) and Lucha Dragons d. The New Day and Bo Dallas by pinfall after Kalisto hit a 450 splash on Xavier Woods.

     • Non-Title: Seth Rollins d. Dean Ambrose by pinfall via the Pedigree. Joey Mercury distracted Ambrose, allowing Rollins to hit him with the Pedigree.