The first ever LIVE Smackdown took place on Tuesday, 7/19/2016 with the first draft in years from the DCU Center in Worcester, MA!
During the pre-show leading up to the draft, we do know that Dean Ambrose is STILL The WWE Heavyweight Champion despite the false finish and the controversial way they ended things and we’ll have the opportunity to hopefully see a decisive finish during tonight’s show as a rematch takes place against “The Architect” Seth Rollins! John Cena will see singles action against one third of the Club in Luke Gallows as well! Should be a quality broadcast for fans of the WWE Product and look for multiple sources covering the show on behalf of The Scrum Sports!
Also during the pre-show they booked a 2 on 1 handicap match which will see “The Boss” Sasha Banks competing by herself against the Women’s Champion, Charlotte, and Dana Brooke! Xavier Woods of the world tag team champions, The New Day, will also see singles action against the leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt! Shaping up to be an action packed show!
Stephanie McMahon trots out during the pre-show looking stunning as always in a Raw dress. That is legit. She is followed by the new GM, “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley! Shane McMahon heads out to a great reaction and of course, the place comes unglued for the new Smackdown GM, Daniel Bryan!
The first pick of the night belongs to Raw and of course, it’s “The Architect” himself, SETH ROLLINS! What a star to build a flagship show around and I must say, it’s no surprise at all!
Shane calls Seth crossfit Jesus and he announces the second pick of the draft and the first for Smackdown and it is the current world heavyweight champion, “THE LUNATIC FRINGE” DEAN AMBROSE! Wow! I did not expect he and Seth to be on seperate brands!
The second pick of the Raw brand is the WWE women’s champion, CHARLOTTE! Very sound choice and great to see the daughter of the legendary Ric Flair and a tremendous athlete going second overall to Raw! What a title reign so far!
The second pick for Smackdown is AJ STYLES! The leader of “The Club” going early and rightfully so! Absolutely crucial reason for me to enjoy Tuesday Nights!
The third pick for Raw is “The Demon” FINN BALOR from NXT! Too sweet indeed! Great to see another reason to continue enjoying Monday nights, but I suppose that means we won’t be enjoying a heated feud with AJ Styles anytime soon.
DOO DOO DOO DOO! no, the 15 time former world champion isn’t the next pick, but John Cena is headed to the ring for singles action against Luke Gallows of the Club. Gallows is out to a decent reaction and Smackdown live starts off with a bang and this singles bout will be the first of the new era!
John Cena vs. Luke Gallows
Before the action can get underway, Gallows being flanked by the Club leads to Enzo Amore and Big Cass coming out to join John Cena. They allow the Mass fans to enjoy their tremendous vocal gifts as the bell sounds. Gallows with some quick power offense as they head to the first commercial break. Upon the return, John Cena is caught and slammed by Gallows after a flying body press attempt. Cena with a back suplex and then Gallows eats the five knuckle shuffle. Cena into the ropes and he eats a huge boot from Gallows. Enzo and Big Cass and The Club on the apron as a faceoff occurs and the atmosphere is tense. The heels are thwarted and Cena hits the attitude adjustment for a victory over Gallows to keep the faces looking strong heading into Battleground.
Winner: John Cena
The commentators talk about Triple H tweeting about the picks and up next it’s a champions vs. challengers match as we’ll see The US champ, Rusev, teaming with the IC Champ, The Miz against Darren Young and Zack Ryder.
Before the tag team match, Raw announces it’s fourth pick and it’s going to be ROMAN REIGNS! The crowd is booing like crazy, but it’ll be good to see “The Guy” engaging fans and foes on Raw on his road to redemption.
Smackdown’s fourth pick will be JOHN CENA! Yes! That John Cena and AJ Styles feud is red hot and I’m glad we’ll get to enjoy the face that runs the place on Smackdown.
The fifth pick for Raw announced by Steph will be “THE BEAST” BROCK LESNAR! The nightmare of suplex city will be a member of the Raw roster! “Suplex City” chant!
The fifth pick for Smackdown will be “The Viper” RANDY ORTON! Daniel Bryan winning points with fans as he announces the Smackdown return of the master of the punt kick.
The sixth pick for Raw are the world tag team champions, THE NEW DAY! Woods, Kofi and Big E. will stay together in their entirety and that’s a great call!
They head down to the ring as Rusev’s music plays and they lead into the tag team match.
Champions vs. Challengers Tag Team Match:
Rusev (w/ Lana) and The Miz (w/ Maryse) vs. Darren Young and Zack Ryder
The heels working over Young early with vicious stomps and corner assaults. Young with a comeback and a big scoop slam and Zack Ryder is in. Ryder working over the Miz and he shoots him into the corner. Ryder distracted by Rusev as Miz takes charge and quickly grounds him. Ryder with a comeback try, but he eats the Reality Check from the Miz. Haven’t seen that in a while. A “We Want Lana” chant quickly transforms into a “We Want Backlund” chant. Very funny stuff. Rusev is in and he keeps Ryder grounded while mocking his title aspirations. Ryder with a hangman’s neckbreaker counter as he looks for the tag to Young. Young lights up the Miz with right hands and then an overhead belly to belly suplex. Young hits the Gut Check on the Miz, but the pinfall is broken up. Gutwrench suplex by Rusev on Young. Ruff Ryder by Zack takes out The Miz. Missile dropkick from the apron on The Miz and it’s fast and furious. Young slaps on the Crossface Chicken Wing as the crowd goes bonkers and Miz taps out! Young was impressive. That was fun.
Winners: Darren Young and Zack Ryder (Via Submission)
Xavier Woods vs. Bray Wyatt is announced as the next match, but I assume we’ll have the next set of picks before that action takes place.
Bray Wyatt vs. Xavier Woods
I stand corrected, Bray is headed to the ring for singles action against Woods, who is flanked by Kofi and Big E. Woods looks frightened as the bell sounds and the match is underway. Rowan and Strowman are at ringside as well. Bray starts off in the corner, but he pushes up and readies for his foe. The Level 21 pokemon trainer, now level 23 if I saw his twitter correctly, is unnerved as Wyatt does the Exorcist crawl. Bray invites Woods to attack him, but Woods is in a trance. Wyatt viciously assaults Woods with right hands, and then it’s a furious assault in the corner. A clubbing blow puts Woods down as Wyatt fish hooks the nose. Mauro Ranallo is so refreshing on commentary by the way. I dig JBL and respect Cole, but it’s great to hear someone calls moves what they are. Woods is still grounded as Wyatt hoists him up and drives him down viciously with a uranage. That was insane. Running senton splash across the abdomen of Woods as Wyatt is firmly in control. Woods trying to get to a vertical base. He does and rallies with several right hands as Wyatt staggers back. High knee to the jaw and Bray is down! Woods moves in again, but Bray exorcists walks and quickly turns and nails Woods with the Sister Abigail and that’s all she wrote. Wyatt looking strong as the heels head towards a six man tag against The New Day at Battleground.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
After a commercial break, the devil’s favorite Demon, Kane, is standing in the ring and he’ll be competing against Kevin Owens! Hopefully this means we’ll be getting more picks after the action as I look for Owens, Zayn, The Wyatts and others to go quickly. Kane and KO don’t even get to get after it as Zayn heads down the ramp and he and KO get into it. Fast and furious shots leads to KO shooting Zayn towards Kane. Kane takes KO and chokeslams both men and the match doesn’t even get underway. That seems foolish to put over Kane at the expense of both these great stars as much as I respect Kane for his hard work over the years.
The seventh pick for Raw is finally announced and it’s the underdog from the underground, SAMI ZAYN! Despite eating a chokeslam, Zayn will be featured prominently on Raw!
The sixth pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s BRAY WYATT! I love it! The face of fear will be the face of Tuesday Nights!
The eighth pick for Raw is announced and it’s “THE BOSS” SASHA BANKS! Fantastic pick by Foley after he takes a cheap shot at Shane O’Mac and Daniel Bryan not picking women.
The seventh pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s “THE LASS KICKER” BECKY LYNCH! I appreciate the pick, but how does that work with no title belt on the show?
The ninth pick for Raw is announced and it’s The ayatollah of Rock N’ Rolla, CHRIS JERICHO! I do love Y2J! He is my second favorite wrestler of all time only behind “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels! After the break, we’ll be watching the Handicap match which pits “The Boss” against Charlotte and Dana Brooke!
2 on 1 Handicap Match:
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
-The heels make their way out to the ring and Charlotte is all grins. “The Boss” Sasha Banks makes her way out next. Had a dream, I had made it! I love that song. That CFO$ who does the WWE theme music is fantastic. The crowd gives her a very warm reaction. Sasha is rockin’ the Raw shirt as is Charlotte and they are ready to get after it. Sasha and Dana will start things off as Charlotte holds the tag rope. I do respect traditionalists who appreciate the little things. Holy crap! After taking Dana down early, Sasha comes off the apron with double knees on Charlotte that plant her! That was the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen! Not to be outdone, Dana Brooke FLOORS Sasha with a lariat that would make Satoshi Kojima take notice. Sasha gets back in control when she and Dana are back in the ring. Sasha tries for the backstabber, but Dana holds on. Dana is about to be put into the Banks statement but Charlotte nails the Natural Selection and seemingly, for the first time that I’ve seen not including Wrestlemania, Sasha Banks is pinned.
Winners: Charlotte and Dana Brooke
The tenth pick for Raw is announced and it’s the US Champion, RUSEV, along with LANA! Good pick and a guy that I’m a big fan of and a woman who everyone is a fan of!
The eighth pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s the IC Champion, THE MIZ, along with MARYSE! The Miz has always been a great mic worker and a good hand and it’ll be tremendous to have the IC Title on SD!
The eleventh pick for Raw is announced and it’s the prizefighter himself, KEVIN OWENS! Funnily enough, he and Zayn are on the same show. Owens has to be considered as one of the next world title contenders or it’s an absolute crime. But still, he and Zayn are still on the same show despite how they are marketing things. Rip.
The ninth pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s the Lone Wolf, BARON CORBIN! I’d love to see him booked better because he’s easily disliked and easy to get behind as a heel.
The twelfth picks for Raw are announced and it’ll be two men who are anything but S-A-W-F-T and it’s ENZO AMORE AND BIG CASS! Fantastic picks for Foley and Steph and they’ll both be major players for the future of the predominant brand.
After the break, we’re told that we’ll have the pleasure of enjoying singles action as we’ll see Chris Jericho, now a member of the Raw roster, taking on the “Swiss Superman” himself, Cesaro!
Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro
Jericho is headed to the ring to his classic theme song and we’ll be allowed to “drink it in, man”. They plug his highlight reel segment at Battleground with “The Viper” as the crowd gives a proper reaction to both men as Cesaro is already in the ring. A “stupid idiot” chant breaks out as Cesaro quickly disposes of Jericho and then with Y2J on the outside, Cesaro nails a cannonball splash and then a beautiful European uppercut that nearly decapitates Jericho. A diving crossbody gets a very long two count for Cesaro. Jericho counters Cesaro into a victory roll for two. Inzaguri by Jericho and Cesaro kicks out at two. Snapmare by Jericho and a grounded headlock as Jericho clamors for the ref to ask Cesaro if he’s submitted. He hasn’t. Seesaw pinning predicaments lead to several near falls for the two men as Cesaro eventually finds himself crotched on the top rope as Jericho nails him with repeated chops. Mamma Mia! I quote Ranallo as Jericho pulls off a brilliant hurricanrana that would make Rey Mysterio applaud the crafty veteran’s effort. Cesaro able to comeback with repeated uppercuts and Cesaro is gracious to treat the Mass fans to an uppercut party. Cesaro with a brilliant counter to an attempted lionsault as Cesaro nails a second rope russian leg sweep. Big swing by Cesaro and then a double stomp. Cesaro springs off the ropes, but he eats a Codebreaker for the three count after a fine match!
Winner: Chris Jericho
After the break, Becky Lynch attacks Natayla as Natayla was apparently headed to the ring for a match. The two women really tear into each other and I suppose we’ll never know whether or not Nattie was going to beat Alicia Fox! Poor Foxxy! Becky and Natayla are seperated as they prepare for singles action at Battleground and it should be a good matchup!
Raw is back with it’s thirteenth pick and it’s THE CLUB! Well that’s something to keep your eyes on. Looks like it will be the Balor Club after all. Anderson and Gallows are incredible athletes and if this means that Finn will be debuting as a heel or turning heel quickly, then I’m okay with it. Curious as to their play to be honest.
The ninth pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s AMERICAN ALPHA from NXT! Oh my gracious! What an absolute coup for Smackdown and the crowd is absolutely bananas and so am I! I was in shock that they broke up The Club, which may be aptly renamed as the BALOR CLUB in short order, but what a fantastic pickup! Gable and Jordan are insane! Jordan is probably one of the most likable guys in the fed and the perfect comeback man, rivaling Big Cass are far as fan support. Gable is an absolute technician and I cannot wait to enjoy these guys on Tuesday’s! I’ll be Ready, Willing and Gable!
The fourteenth pick for Raw is THE BIG SHOW and the veteran will certainly help take the young kids by the hand.
The tenth pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s DOLPH ZIGGLER! The showoff will have an opportunity to entertain fans on Tuesday Nights!
The fifteenth pick for Raw is announced and it’s the absolutely dominant NIA JAX from NXT! She is something to behold. She is still quite green, but she is damn dominant and that’s a quality pick for Raw and one I picked. After the break, we’ll have the rematch for the world title and it’ll be Seth Rollins competing against the current world champion, Dean Ambrose!
After the break, the sixteenth pick for Raw is announced and it’s NEVILLE! The man that gravity forgot will make a major play for the Cruiserweight title that’s been heavily rumored to be featured on Raw!
The eleventh pick for Smackdown is announced and it’s NATALYA! She and Becky Lynch will continue their hard-hitting feud and carry it over to Tuesday Nights.
The seventeenth pick for Raw is announced and after some playing to the crowd, Foley announces CESARO as the next Raw pick! Great stuff! Cesaro is so gifted.
The twelfth and final live pick for Smackdown and it’s ALBERTO DEL RIO! I think that is a fantastic pick to close the show, because it’ll give “El Patron” an opportunity to entertain fans with a fresh start.
The eighteenth and final pick for Raw is “The Celtic Warrior” SHEAMUS and I can only assume the other three NXT picks will be young lions or main roster fodder, but I suppose we’ll see. I figured we’d be enjoying more new era stars instead of focusing on “old hands” who could have easily gone in the supplemental draft, but I suppose we’ll see how that all plays out. Great to see Balor, Jax and Alpha from NXT, but it’s criminal that Bayley hasn’t been called up yet. Nakamura and Joe staying in NXT to entertain fans with their world title feud makes sense as do Dash and Dawson, but let’s see where guys like Aries and the like fall.
World Heavyweight Title Match:
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins
After a break, the bell sounds and Rollins is all over Ambrose. He assaulted him before the break, but Ambrose said he was ready to go. Rollins utilizes a rope choke and then he boots Ambrose in the side of the apron while on the apron. Penalty kick to the back by Rollins as he tears into the face of the world champion. Rights and stomps in the corner by Rollins. Rollins shoots Ambrose into the corner and catches him on the rebound with a back suplex into a backbreaker. Ambrose tries to mount the comeback on the outside. Ambrose crashes and burns as he misses a high risk maneuver off the announce table. Rollins, back inside the ring, nails a high knee for a two count as they head to the final commercial break. After the return, we have Rollins with a buckle bomb and then he misses a frogsplash. Ambrose with a near fall after a La Magistral cradle. Ambrose tries for the Dirty Deeds, but he is poked in the eyes and Rollins tries for the pedigree but he’s dumped over the top rope to the floor. Topei suicida by Ambrose and Rollins is nailed! Ambrose to the top rope and he nails the elbow down onto Rollins on the floor. For the allotted time, these two are really getting after it again. Ambrose on the top rope again as Rollins nails the superplex off the top rope. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose and he gets the three count and a decisive victory heading into Battleground! Shane O’Mac and Daniel Bryan are down to celebrate with the champ as the show heads off the air and over to the WWE network! I’ll continue the coverage there!
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Highlighting the other 30 picks on the WWE network, I will simply group them along with their respective brand name in deferrence to time. I’ll have a few comments at the very end.
RAW: The Golden Truth, Titus O’ Neil, Paige, Darren Young, Sin Cara, Jack Swagger, The Dudley Boyz, Summer Rae, Mark Henry, Braun Strowman, Bo Dallas, The Shining Stars, Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke, Curtis Axel
Smackdown: The Usos, Kane, Kalisto, Naomi, The Ascension, Zack Ryder, Apollo Crews, Alexa Bliss, Breezango, Eva Marie, The Vaudevillians, Erick Rowan, Mojo Rawley, Carmella
Cesaro was backstage with JoJo and he OWNED that segment. He basically crapped on a question about how Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon will coexist. He said does it matter? Should we care? He says they need to be there to mediate and the focus needs to be on the superstars themselves. He points over Balor, Rollins and The New Day and says he can peak, formulate thoughts and he speaks the language that the WWE universe loves and that’s the language on the in-ring product. That was sensational.
Speaking of sensational, Alexa Bliss of NXT going to Smackdown. That was the fourth NXT pick and one that I called as the dark horse pick of the NXT roster. Alexa is a tremendous hand and she is going to shine because she’s great on the mic as well. Very pleased to see her heading to Tuesday Night’s. Eva Marie was also picked to Smackdown. Dunno if they considered her an NXT talent or what, but if so, she’s number five. It’s like they are trying to split up their couples. Eva Marie is dating Neville and Paige is dating Alberto Del Rio. Is part of the draft killing couples by putting them on different shows? Mojo Rawley goes to Smackdown to team with Ryder, another pick I called. Sadly, no Bayley. I had a feeling she wouldn’t be called up. Carmella got called up to Smackdown, but seriously, who writes this crap sometimes? Why in the blue hell would you NOT pair her up with Enzo and Cass? It’s not like she didn’t spend a quality amount of time with them in NXT. That’s something for others to break down, but that’s baffling to me. Speaking of baffling, I was speaking with Trevor on the phone and mentioned the only man not picked was Heath Slater. They cut the show off with him sitting all by his lonesome in a room and they turned the lights off on him. Hopefully that’s a gimmick he can run with. That’s all she wrote folks. Thanks for tuning in for the recap!
- Disappointing Homecoming for Vasilevskiy as Bolts lose 4-2 November 30, 2023
- Rocky Mountain Low for Bolts in Denver November 27, 2023
- He’s Back! The Successful Return of Andrei Vasilevskiy November 24, 2023
- No Overtime Luck for Bolts Tonight as Jets Win 3-2 November 22, 2023
- Measuring Stick Game for Lightning Comes Up Huge November 20, 2023
- Amalie Again Proves to be Sweet Home as Bolts Win 6-4 November 18, 2023
- Scoreless drought and losing streak come to an end in 4-2 victory November 16, 2023
- Stalwart Blues defense hand Lightning consecutive shutout losses November 14, 2023
- Saturday Night is Not Alright for Listless Lightning November 11, 2023
- Bedard, Blackhawks End Lightning Home Point Streak November 9, 2023