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April 24, 2015

WWE SmackDown rundown: Reigns and Ambrose reunite as we head to Extreme Rules

Wrestling WWE
042415_smackdown_AP Smackdown/WWE

Providence, R.I., played host to this week's SmackDown Thursday night.

The last show before Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view was Thursday night’s edition of SmackDown, which took place from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. We saw two-thirds of The Shield reunite and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion pinned. This happens all too often in WWE nowadays, but it still doesn’t surprise me.

Seeing Reigns and Ambrose standing tall together was good for #ThrowbackThursday, but seeing the WWE champion pinned for the first time since last August – on free television, no less – is not how I would have expected the booking to take them into Extreme Rules.

All things considered, the lineup for Extreme Rules could have been a lot worse. It looks like it’ll be a good show.

Here are some of the main stories coming out of SmackDown:

The WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, opened up the program with a promo inside the ring with J & J Security, just days after he asked Triple H to get him better security. What a boss that H is. It’s absolutely pertinent for Rollins to notify the viewing audience of everything that the main event of Sunday’s pay-per-view entails, including the RKO being banned from being used, Kane being the “gatekeeper” of the steel cage.

Rollins ran down the list of members of The Authority, saying he didn’t need the help of any of them to defeat Orton, adding that he “sure as hell” didn’t need the help of Kane, who he also called jealous. This brought Kane to the ring to confront Rollins – again. I’m starting to get a little sick of the tension between Rollins and Kane, and that’s simply because Kane is boring. He’s just like Big Show. I basically called Big Show a big, boring oaf in my Extreme Rules preview and last two Raw Roundups, and Kane isn’t far behind.

Even with Kane as the Big Red Monster, I still don’t think I’d be interested in his character since it’s undergone way too many changes during the course of his career in WWE since 1997. But at least Kane has the ability to be entertaining once in a while.

The man in charge wanted Rollins to repay him a favor, from last week, and for Rollins to lay down for him so he could pin him. He ordered a referee to the ring and the bell rang as Rollins went berserk. Corporate Kane, purple tie and all, bent over then smiled and told the champion he was just messing with him. Good joke, Kane.

After Kane made a Rollins/Dean Ambrose match, Luke Harper, who will meet Ambrose at Extreme Rules in a Chicago Street Fight, attacked Ambrose in the ring and all of the heels attacked before Roman Reigns made the save. This set up the SmackDown main event tag team match: Ambrose and Reigns vs. Harper and Rollins.

The good guys came out on the good side.

Bray Wyatt’s back with another promo, and he says he’s going to expose his target for the weakling they are. He said he will take the one thing from him that he cannot live without. What use is there for a butterfly with no wings? Wyatt’s getting too deep for me here lately. Stop making me think, Brayward. It wouldn’t surprise me if Wyatt is “targeting” Daniel Bryan and if they have to take the title off of him due to health reasons, Wyatt would be the logical choice to have as Intercontinental Champion. But that isn’t a given so hopefully this next feud for Wyatt has him coming out on the winning end.

We had another Ryback and Rusev match, and I’m at a loss for words as to why. This is a program that WWE could get a lot of mileage out of, and that’s already at least the third match both Ryback and Rusev have been in together. That’s a great programmed feud for television, and they’re just pissing it away. I don’t get it. Ryback’s lost all of his momentum that the company was able to get back to him around the Survivor Series, and Rusev needs to continue to look like a monster going after John Cena. Rusev and Lana’s promo before the match was great, but that’s about all that was great about that entire segment.

Will we have another No. 1  contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship after Sunday? The Prime Time Players sure hope so, as they’ve once again directed their attention to the champs.

While running down the card before the main event, the editors took out the screen graphic for the Bryan/Barrett Intercontinental Championship match. So either they’re still waiting on news, or they’ve decided not to clear Bryan in time for Sunday and won’t officially mention anything until then. Yes, the card is subject to change, but if they already know, why would they wait? Looks like the Intercontinental Championship match at Exreme Rules could be in jeopardy.

So, are you excited for Extreme Rules? It looks like it’ll be a solid pay-per-view, and I think each match has the potential to be good or even great. Whether the talent will step up and make Sunday night a night to remember remains to be seen. Check out my Extreme Rules predictions for Sunday night right here.

Match rundown

     • Dolph Ziggler and Neville d. Sheamus and Bad News Barrett by pinfall after Neville hit Barrett with the Red Arrow.

     • Naomi d. Natalya by pinfall after Naomi nailed Natalya with the Rear View.

     • Ryback d. Rusev by disqualification after Rusev attacked Ryback with the Russian chain and locked him in The Accolade.

     • Kofi Kingston d. Cesaro by pinfall after he nailed him with Trouble in Paradise.

     • Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose d. Seth Rollins and Luke Harper by pinfall after Reigns hit the spear on Rollins and pinned him.