STORY OF THE NIGHT
A toss up between the former Shield members, this award goes to the same feud as it did on Monday night: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Despite an excellent story for Reigns (more on that later), the feud between the former “brothers” was once again a highlight of the show.
After Rollins defeated Kofi Kingston and started mouthing off about the Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match, Ambrose appeared on the titantron to tell Rollins that while he may be busy with Kane tonight, he would refocus on Rollins straight after. In a nice touch, Ambrose doubted Rollins claims of wanting to fight him – as recent evidence has suggested otherwise (even if it does go against his previous character) – and was once again the aggressor by attacking Rollins during his own match while Rollins was simply sat on commentary. This self-made distraction cost him the match with Kane and left him vulnerable for the Curb Stomp afterwards as Rollins again stood tall.
MATCH OF THE NIGHT
This award basically goes out by default this week. Due to most of the show featuring scraps of matches, with the exception of the short Rollins/Kofi and Ziggler/Barrett efforts, the main event handicap match – seeing John Cena, Sheamus and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro and Bray Wyatt – stood as the only exciting contest of length. In its defence, it told a good story for Roman Reigns, and made a good job of finding a way for the faces to overcome the odds without it looking too ridiculous or relying on the usual Super Cena.
STAR OF THE NIGHT
Roman Reigns was handled brilliantly on SmackDown, as WWE used the multi-man format of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match to utilise Reigns the way he was in The Shield. He was the only competitor during the opening promo to come across as exciting rather than the formulaic proceedings before him. Squaring up with Cena, then attacking and brawling with Orton truly put him as the focus.
Additionally, the main event handicap match gave him the same star treatment. As he was made to wait on the apron for a tag throughout the entire match, when Cena finally tagged him in the crowd went wild, and from there Reigns came in like a freight train – destroying everyone in his path and hitting Alberto Del Rio with the Spear for the victory.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Roman Reigns again, as he capped off his part of the opening talking by calling out the top dog, John Cena, and squared up to him. “I don’t care who you are, or who you think you are, there is not a man stood in this ring that will stop me now.”
SURPRISE OF THE NIGHT
Dolph Ziggler scored (what is sadly now) an upset win over Intercontinental Champion, Bad News Barrett. The result likely means both men will be in the Contract Ladder Match, as they should be, and may spiral onwards to a feud over the belt at the following month’s Battleground event.
WORST OF THE NIGHT
Titus O’Neil, demanding a rematch with Adam Rose. Watch for yourself:
NOD TO THE PAST
Sort of. JBL and Cole arguing over whether a face has committed a crime when they blatantly have. Just like the Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio car “stealing” vs. “borrowing” argument, this show saw them debate whether Roman Reigns had committed a crime or not due to “lack of evidence.” Just like with Sheamus, yes he has committed a crime. But WWE teach the lesson that if you’re popular, you get a free pass in criminal law. Which isn’t necessarily false.
Despite being light on actual wrestling, the show was actually quite good for progressing stories (within the limitations of being the secondary show). The Ziggler/Barrett and Rollins/Kofi matches were good efforts for their short time slots, and the main event was quite good – while the other matches were simply story moments for up-and-comers. Having said that, they were at least creative ways to do the usual squash matches.