Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 5/26/16: Bankers Trust
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– With “Money In The Bank” season upon us, it was fresh to see that the opening video focused on that and the competitors thus far – Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Chis Jericho and Kevin Owens. They could’ve gone the “high road” and focused it on the feud between Seth Rollins and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, but they didn’t. Yay?
– The opening in-ring segment with Michael Cole, Ambrose, Owens, Zayn and Alberto Del Rio was good for your general “clash of the MITB folk” as far as that goes, but one wonders if Jericho and Cesaro were too good for the others, conspicuous by their absences. Ambrose and Cole set the tone before Owens came out and took over things , only for Zayn to come out and they bickered once more. It wasn’t a time-waster as they seem to get better with every week. Also liked that they established some tension between Zayn and Ambrose with the finisher teases, something that was cool to see. Del Rio’s interruption was sudden, but he had his own place since he was a former MITB winner and we found out that he’d fight Zack Ryder in a Qualifying match shortly. Wonder who’d win that. The slight physicality where Owens snuck-attacked Zayn was also well-done.
– Thanks to his “ultimate underdog” victory at WrestleMania to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion, it wasn’t hard to paint Ryder as someone who made the most of the opportunities he was given. Despite that, it was hard to buy the idea that he’d actually defeat Del Rio in the MITB Qualifier. They still put on a decent match where Ryder got in a few teases of glory, but it all came undone when Del Rio played possum and suckered him into the Cross Arm Breaker. No shocker there.
– Thank goodness for Enzo Amore and Big Cass. They’ve got charisma for days. As far as the in-ring segment with them and The Dudley Boyz, we got more of the same creative metaphors from Enzo and further established tension as it set up a tag team encounter for the following week’s Raw. The Dudleyz got some momentum with necessary heat for walking away and Cass got to call them “SAWFT.” Not their most memorable exchange, but it’ll do for a SmackDown.
– Creative finally has a head on their shoulders again to push WWE United States Champion Rusev as a brute force once again. His backstage promo where he hyped a Title defense against Kalisto was short, yet confident. Why would he feel threatened by someone he decisively defeated? His “Championships are for real men” line was t-shirt tagline material.
– The WWE United States Championship match between Champion Rusev and Kalisto was okay while it lasted, with the story that Kalisto came close to a surprise win, but was then downright manhandled by the Champ towards the end and the inevitable Accolade spelled his doom. Two birds were conked with one stone since we saw Rusev put away Kalisto (who’ll go back to teaming with Sin Cara?) and established a new challenger in Titus O’Neil, as per their in-ring interaction. Will their feud be the most exciting? Probably not, but it’s something different.
– Creative also gets it right when they show superstars talk about recent events. With this example, we had input from many others on the situation where WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte dumped her father Ric Flair on that week’s Raw. Some were for it and others were against it, but the point was that if it felt important to the locker room, then in theory, it felt important to the fans who watched at home.
– The Dana Brooke-Natalya match with Charlotte on commentary was ultimately too short, but it helped to see that even heel Jerry Lawler was disgusted by Charlotte’s actions, where he can take that route because of his “traditionalist” role. The match proved to be more of an angle, as Charlotte quickly rushed the ring to attack Natalya and we had a good old-fashioned heel beatdown. The “Naughty By Nature” team name with Charlotte/Brooke might take some getting used to, but it’s a good idea on paper.
– AJ Styles’ backstage promo was an interesting look into his mindset, with the perspective that it was an “uphill battle” to prove he belonged in WWE and he’d give up some pride, respect and even his friends to get as close to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as possible. Not a bad route to take and we had a cliffhanger line when he said he’d decide what was next for him now that he had to “live with his failures.”
– The only intrigue in the latest Golden Truth-Breezango offering was the “revamped” Golden Truth theme song, which was basically Truth singing new lyrics in his theme song to fit the team, to go along with Goldust’s awkward hip-hop moves. Thankfully, it was short and the heels won decisively with swift kicks. So much for that long-build to now tell a “losing streak” story for a team not many care about. Smart.
– The backstage segment with Golden Truth and Breezango was the same story they told last week – Goldust tries to convince Truth that they’re not losers and the heels walk past and laugh at them. We’re guaranteed for another match. Oy.
– Not sure what the point of the Rollins in-ring promo was besides to fill time, but it was a repeat of his Raw moment where he soaked in the return applause only to turn on the fans at the last second after he worked them up into a frenzy. The way he dropped the mic and walked out in laughter was “classic Rollins,” but again, nothing new here.
– The WWE Intercontinental Championship main event between Champion The Miz and Cesaro was entertaining in the way that only they can be, but it never felt like Miz was in danger of a loss here. That said, logical spots led the way to the loosened turnbuckle by Maryse which factored in the finish when Cesaro rammed his injured left shoulder into it to lead to the Skull-Crushing Finale for Miz to retain and clog Cesaro’s late offensive spurt. Nothing too eventful, but Miz continues to escape as the “coward Champion,” but he plays it so well, we don’t mind this one bit. In fact, we even want more.
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match – Alberto Del Rio def. Zack Ryder via submission
- WWE United States Championship – Rusev (Champion) (w/Lana) def. Kalisto via submission to retain
- Natalya def. Dana Brooke via DQ
- Breezango def. The Golden Truth via pinfall
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – The Miz (Champion) (w/Maryse) def. Cesaro via pinfall to retain
Posted on June 14, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Big Cass, Breezango, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Dana Brooke, Dean Ambrose, Enzo Amore, Golden Truth, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Lana, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Michael Cole, Natalya, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, Titus O'Neil, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.