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August 21, 2015

WWE SmackDown rundown: A huge eight-man tag team main event whets the appetite for SummerSlam

Wrestling WWE
082115_Smackdown_WWE SmackDown/WWE

The Resch Center in Green Bay, WI hosted the final WWE show before Sunday’s blockbuster SummerSlam event.

While the real go-home show to SummerSlam was Monday night, SmackDown on Thursday night still furthered some stories. We had a few good matches, including a huge eight-man tag team main event, and any show that features The New Day in action is a good show. That’s exactly what happened Thursday night.

The Resch Center in Green Bay, WI hosted the final WWE show before Sunday’s blockbuster SummerSlam event, and the Cheeseheads were out in full force. I’ll give WWE superstars credit – they try not to just go through the motions in a lame duck show before the big one. SmackDown was entertaining and did a really great job hyping up SummerSlam with Cena-Rollins and Lesnar-Undertaker highlights. Nice work.

Here are my predictions of what I think will go down at SummerSlam on Sunday night.

Here’s what happened Thursday night on SmackDown:

Backstage before the main event, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton all talked about how much pain they were going to put their adversaries through on Sunday night. Then Cesaro entered.

“Wow, you guys are messed up. I mean, I just want to beat Kevin Owens at SummerSlam and, you know, maybe get a new shirt, you know, like, ‘Lose, Owens Lose.’ I guess the blowtorch is a nice touch.”

There’s no way Cesaro isn’t connecting with the audience now. Let’s hope Vince McMahon realizes that.

This match was what it was. That’s the best line you’ve ever heard about a match, isn’t it? Anyway, I liked that all of the SummerSlam storylines involved in this match came to a head, and hopefully that leads to some great matches on Sunday. Ambrose got the pin on Harper, who hasn’t seemed to improve at all since rejoining Bray Wyatt.

But, the visual was fun and really set the stage for SummerSlam.

The New Day gained even more heel heat by dominating a little person, El Torito, during their six-being tag team match. After taking care of Fernando and Diego of Los Matadores, Big E hit Torito with a gutbuster and a huge splash. Xavier Woods then tagged in and pinned Torito for the biggest win of the trio’s career.

Of course, this all happened after Torito looked like a million bucks against all three members of The New Day. This puts my prediction of New Day winning back the Tag Team Championships on Sunday in question. Yikes.

The Prime Time Players, the current WWE Tag Team Champions, had something to say about The New Day in a exclusive.

After walking away from the Intercontinental Champion on Raw, the Big Show took on The Big Guy in the SmackDown opener Thursday night. The match was, well, a match. It had no finish, and I would agree with that booking. I expect Ryback to keep his championship after Sunday night, but this match was an OK appetizer for what awaits at SummerSlam.

Despite a poor promo to hype the match, the Divas once again delivered a good match Thursday night. A Triple Threat Match pitted Brie Bella against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. It’s kind of surprising Brie won this one, especially with Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in the match, but since Sasha made Nikki tap to her submission hold on Monday’s Raw, I think it was necessary for Team Bella to get some heat back.

After SummerSlam’s monster three-team elimination match, it’s time WWE creative gives us some character development for Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. We need reasons to care about them now, and a legitimate revolution. The time is now.

Dolph Ziggler and Lana came to the ring for a promo talking about Ziggler’s injury that kept him off WWE television for the last month [he was filming a movie]. I was so high on this angle when it started and now I’m really low on it. I’m just not into it. I don’t care much about Ziggler or Lana, and Rusev, whose character I used to love, has really become another comedy act that people can’t take seriously.

I think the match on Sunday will be good. It really should be a mixed tag match, but maybe they’re saving that for September’s Night of Champions. Boy, was the ball dropped on this angle.

Stardust and “Cosmic” King Barrett – who looks like a new age Shredder – bring some awesome promos with them, as Monday night on Raw and Thursday night on SmackDown has shown. I still have no idea what to think about the tandem of Stardust and Barrett and their weird promos, but consider me sold on them. I wouldn’t mind these two becoming a formidable tag team in the future, either.

As for Neville and Stephen Amell, well, enjoy the win at SummerSlam.

Match rundown

Non-Title: Ryback (c-IC) vs. Big Show ended in a double countout after Ryback hit Big Show with a Meat Hook clothesline through the security wall.

The New Day d. Los Matadores and El Torito by pinfall after Big E hit Torito with a big splash and tagged in Xavier Woods to pin him.

Neville d. Bo Dallas by pinfall via the Red Arrow. Stardust and “Cosmic” King Barrett appeared on the Tron after a match and gave a promo on Neville and Stephen Amell.

Triple Threat Match: Brie Bella d. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks by pinfall after Brie held Becky’s tights for the pin.

Eight-Man Tag Team Match: Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Randy Orton/Cesaro d. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Sheamus/Kevin Owens by pinfall after Ambrose hits Harper with Dirty Deeds.

Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickpiccone

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