By Steve Khan, WrestlingObserver.com
– Air Date: August 6, 2015 (Aug 5 in Canada)
– Location: Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA
The Big News:
After Charlotte submitted champion Nikki Bella on Raw, Naomi pinned Charlotte tonight. Also, Roman Reigns pinned Rusev clean.
SmackDown opened with the Roddy Piper tribute graphic and video, greeted with cheers from the crowd.
Roman Reigns came out as they announced Reigns vs. Rusev for tonight. The first thing Reigns did was shout out to Sacramento. Reigns said he thought he’d be getting Bray Wyatt one-on-one at Battleground but Wyatt decided to have a family reunion with Luke Harper.
Reigns is cool with having family vs. family and challenged them to a tag match at SummerSlam with his “psychotic brother” Dean Ambrose. Reigns said Wyatt would be picking teeth out of his beard if they accept.
Rusev and Summer Rae interrupted, staying on the stage. Rusev told Reigns to get out. Reigns said nobody wanted to hear Rusev talk about Summer, who he dresses up like Barbie doll. That was funny, but the rest of Reigns’ promo was pretty dumb. Reigns said that we’re in America, which means we can’t understand what Rusev was saying, and called him a sexist pig.
They announced Charlotte vs. Naomi.
The New Day was walking backstage towards Gorilla. Big E saw a stagehand and made him do the clap. As the guy did this, Xavier Woods held up a toy basketball net over his head and Kofi Kingston dunked on him. Big E and Woods joyfully screamed and carried Kofi away he looked on proudly. This was amazing.
Mark Henry & Prime Time Players beat The New Day via pinfall
Darren Young hit an apron backdrop on Kingston and gave Woods an overhead belly-to-belly on the outside. After a break, the good guys worked over Kingston until he was able to tag Big E and the heels got the heat on Young from there.
O’Neil got the hot tag and ran over everyone. Young took out Big E with a neck breaker, O’Neil knocked out Woods with a pounce, and Henry used the World’s Strongest Slam on Kingston for the win. Good match. New Day work really well as a team and this probably wasn’t the time for them to lose.
Backstage, New Day complained about Mark Henry’s continued existence. Rich Brennan asked about their loss. They were all fired up and pissed that Henry was even in there, because he’s not a tag team champion, and should’ve retired a long time ago.
Big E referred to Brennan as Rick Bronson (I think) and told him to stop pointing the finger of negativity at them. They went nuts saying they would remain positive. They also started singing a new song, which I hope we see on Raw.
As they sang, Kingston grabbed the mic from Brennan who exited the frame. Kingston then tried to take the mic away as they left, but the mic wire was connected to Brennan who was pulled back onto camera. He looked on in disbelief as New Day left, still singing. This was amazing.
Charlotte video package. Charlotte thinks she can be the biggest star in the company and will main event WrestleMania, comparing herself to Ronda Rousey.
Charlotte (w/Becky Lynch) beat Naomi (w/Tamina & Sasha Banks) via DQ
They traded some athletic counters as the commentators talked about Rousey’s win. Charlotte quickly applied the Figure Eight, but Sasha interfered for a DQ. Lynch made the save and the referee announced via The Authority (or the ghost of Teddy Long) that the match would be restarted as a tag match. Commercial break.
Naomi & Sasha Banks (w/Tamina) beat Charlotte & Becky Lynch via pinfall
This was the top of the hour segment. Lynch and Charlotte were in control but Tamina interfered and Team B.A.D. got the heat on Charlotte. Lynch got the hot tag and hit a T-bone suplex on Naomi, but Banks broke it up.
The heels got the heat again, this time on Lynch, and went to commercial. Charlotte got the hot tag and hit a spear on Banks but Naomi broke it up. Naomi just continued in the match even though she wasn’t legal and the commentators acknowledged this. Charlotte tried a rollup but Naomi reversed into a rollup of her own for the win. The crowd seemed into the faces but the finish fell flat.
They recapped the Rollins/Neville match from Raw and plugged Stephen Amell for Raw.
Stardust beat Zack Ryder via pinfall
Stardust won with Cross Rhodes/Queen’s Crossbow. After the match, Stardust called out Amell and told him not to let him down like Neville did.
They replayed some of Paul Heyman’s promo from Raw.
Big Show did a good little promo backstage, mockingly comparing Ryback to Rocky Balboa, while doing a Rocky impression. Show said Ryback’s next movie would be “Vacation,” and that Miz only has a part-time role in this match. Show said beating them would be a movie worth watching.
Roman Reigns beat Rusev (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall
Jimmy Uso said Reigns has aligned with someone who he knows will watch his back in Dean Ambrose (unlike his cousin Jimmy Uso). Rusev had control through a commercial break but missed a diving headbutt.
They traded punches and Reigns hit a clothesline. Reigns used a clothesline in the corner, followed by a clothesline, and then another clothesline, and then nine clotheslines in the corner, followed by a punch and apron dropkick.
Rusev came back with a spinning heel kick for two. Rusev used knees in the corners but Reigns hiked him up into a sitdown powerbomb, which was pretty impressive. Rusev hit a superkick but Reigns followed with a superman punch and they both collapsed.
Summer got on the apron and Lana ran out to a big pop. Lana slapped Summer, laughed and walked away. This distracted Rusev so Reigns used a school boy but Rusev kicked out and followed with a superkick. What a fighter. Unfortunately for Rusev, Reigns was able to come back with a spear for the win.
This was fine, although it’s too bad Rusev is losing now that he’s better than ever.
As Reigns celebrated, Wyatt appeared on the screen. Wyatt said he warned Reigns that he would bring down Roman’s empire and accepted his challenge for SummerSlam. “I welcome this war.”
The SmackDown crew appears to be getting lighter every week. Reigns and Rusev were really the only “top” level guys on the show, and they were both used in the beginning and end of the show. The New Day really stole the show as a result.
I didn’t like the booking of the women’s match. They announced Charlotte vs. Naomi near the beginning of the show, but the match ended quickly after a DQ. The tag match was given time, which is good, but from beginning to end the whole thing felt like it was being drawn out, another result of the light crew. And after all that, Charlotte lost after sort of getting screwed. There’s no reason she should’ve lost at all.