WWE superstar Seth Rollins talks with Brian Fritz about WrestleMania 30, The Shield and being close with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, getting more offense in their matches lately, facing the Wyatt Family, joining the WWE and more.
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings last night in Birmingham, Alabama. The show will air on Friday night on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at last night’s tapings.
- The show opened with Michael Cole interviewing Triple H in the ring. They were seated in chairs for the sit-down interview. Triple H said six people were fired for setting up the production for Big Show. He noted that Show filed a lawsuit. He said Show is irrelevant and he remains fired and he can’t comment further.
- They spoke briefly of the Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena match and moved onto Daniel Bryan and Shawn Michaels. Hunter said Michaels will do the right thing. Daniel Bryan’s music hit. Hunter stayed in his seat. Bryan cut a promo saying he will prove Hunter wrong at Hell in a Cell. Bryan had a staredown and Triple H left to yes chants
- The Uso Brothers defeated Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt). Miz was at ringside and kicked Wyatt. Rowan chased Miz, and the Uso’s double teamed Harper and got the three count.
- A.J. Lee (w/Tamina Snuka) beat Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella). A.J. picked up the win with the Black Widow in three minutes.
- Los Matadores defeated Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre. Zeb Colter and The Real Americans watched the match from the stage. A quick win for Los Matadores. They are kinda over with the crowd. Zeb cut promo saying the Americans will prevail at Hell in a Cell.
- Backstage, The Wyatt Family had Miz chained up in a dark cage with “liar” painted on his stomach.
- Ryback and Paul Heyman defeated C.M. Skunk in a No DQ handicap match. Yeah, that’s right C.M. Skunk, a local jobber with skunk hair. The crowd really popped when Punk’s music hit, but it was merely a squash match for Heyman and Ryback. Afterward, Heyman cut promo on Punk, saying he is Best in the World. He absolutely had the most heat of the night thus far.
- Big E Langston told Vickie Guerrero that he wants in the main event match now that Miz is out. She agreed after he told her that she is nothing like Brad Maddox.
- Alberto Del Rio delivered a promo on the stage. Pretty standard mic work from Del Rio.
- The Great Khali (w/Natalya) fought Fandango (w/Summer Rae) to an apparent no-contest. Summer Rae slapped Natalya and they fought inside the ring, which led to the apparent no-contest. Khali chopped Fandango to end the segment.
- Daniel Bryan, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust defeated Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose in an eight-man tag. Bryan pinned Orton to win the match. A standard eight-man tag with near falls. Overall, a good match live.
Results from ProWrestling.net.
Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Kansas City, Missouri. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.
- Dean Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the United States Title
- Tensai, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella defeated 3MB
- Damien Sandow defeated R-Truth
- The Great Khali defeated Fandango
Results from WrestlingInc.com.
WWE Friday Night Smackdown tapings took place on Tuesday night from the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We released the full spoilers on Wednesday. If you didn’t see the spoilers, here is what took place on the show that airs tonight on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET.
- Big Show promo
- Alicia Fox, Layla and Aksana vs Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella
- Vickie Guerrero promo
- R-Truth vs Fandango in a dance competition
- Santino Marella vs Damien Sandow
- Michael Cole interviews Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel
- Alberto Del Rio vs Ricardo Rodriguez
- Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler
- The Shield vs The Usos and Doplh Ziggler
- The Cutting Edge featuring Edge, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan
WWE superstar Seth Rollings spoke with Eric Lopez of SportsTalkFlorida.com to promote Summerslam which is coming up on August 18 on pay-per-view.
He spoke about the quick success of The Shield along with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and the impact they have made in the WWE. Rollins shares his thoughts on some o the highlights of his career including coming up from FCW, being part of the Shield , debuting in the WWE at the Survivor Series in 2012, winning the tag team titles with Reigns against Kane and Daniel Bryan. Rollins also talks about how and why the Shield has worked so good together, the history of the Florida Territory in Wrestling, wrestling in Central Florida area, the new WWE Performing center in Orlando and a lot more.
Check out the interview at http://www.sportstalkflorida.com/wwes-seth-rollins-talks-path-to-stardom-and-future-for-the-shield/
Brian Fritz: WWE has ben putting in a little more for the Usos as of late to try and make them look like a legitimate threat to The Shield. But they really aren’t. I hope more is done with the WWE tag-team division but it has to be built around The Shield at the top and they need a long reign so it won’t end here.
World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton, Christian and Sheamus will compete to win a contract for a WWE Championship Match
WWE superstsars Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns of The Shield talk about the new Performance Center in Orlando, FL, some places they trained at when breaking into the business and their quick success in the WWE.
Just to catch up: If you missed Friday Night Smackdown this past week, then you also missed a pretty big development for one of WWE’s hottest acts. The Shield, who have seemed unstoppable since their debut last November, finally saw defeat.
Re-read that first paragraph. Summary: “If you missed Friday Night Smackdown, then you missed The Shield’s first loss.”
See, no matter how I word it, it still doesn’t sit right with me. Wasn’t this supposed to be a big freakin’ deal? Wasn’t WWE propelling these guys to bigger and better things? Doesn’t JBL call this group “the best faction ever” on a weekly basis? So why, then, would WWE give this important moment away in such a careless fashion?
Don’t get me wrong, the moment was handled perfectly fine on Friday night. Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and Kane celebrated their victory with a hot Greensboro crowd. Lilian Garcia even got back on the mic to make sure everybody knew this was the trio’s first loss as a three-man group. But from a big-picture perspective, this sucks.
These guys were positioned to lose on a big stage, to a big opponent. Our own Brian Fritz promoted his own fantasy booking scenario on the BTR Podcast where The Undertaker would return at Summerslam, team with Bryan and Kane, and finally give The Shield what’s coming to them. This sounded like great booking. It would sell a few more PPVs, give the babyface Undertaker his revenge, and further promote The Shield by losing on a big stage. Plus, there’d be little shame in losing to three veterans.
Instead, WWE creative got bored and decided to hot shot the angle.
There was little-to-no promotion for this three-on-three encounter. In fact, all the focus was on Sunday and the respective United States and Tag Team title matches (matches that, for the record, were booked just earlier this week). The hype train had us headed towards the PPV, not stopping off at the Smackdown station to see whether or not The Shield could remain undefeated.
I’m not saying that big, unexpected moments don’t have a place in the modern WWE – quite the contrary. Smart surprises should be staples of any pro wrestling organization. They keep things fresh for the fans, and give companies that much sought after water-cooler talk. I’d cite Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship win back in January as a perfect example. Being an established main-eventer, he didn’t need a huge build, and he was fresh into a face turn. Plus, WWE pulled the trigger on the title-change during the long void between TLC and Royal Rumble. It was a great way to create viewer interest.
But that’s not what happened on Friday night. Instead, when nobody was watching, and when nobody was told to watch, WWE gave The Shield its most damaging loss yet. And It left a lot of money on the table by doing so.
I’m not just counting potential Pay-Per-View buys of people hoping to witness the trio’s first loss. I’m including the credibility hit that these guys took as a whole. These guys had become must-see TV, both together and individually, because of the aura that surrounded them. Not even company demigod Cena could topple them. Now, they’re just another mid-card act, with mid-card titles, who have seen their greatest strength – being undefeated – completely vanish.
In all fairness, I have no perspective here on WWE’s big-picture. And what happens next with The Shield will depend mostly on how the creative team positions them coming out of Payback.
But this whole angle still feels like a giant missed opportunity, or at the very least, a rapid misfire. It’s simply not the way WWE should be handling the hottest group in pro wrestling today.
Payback Match Kickoff – Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
Brian Fritz: Sheamus is really caught in limbo right now when it comes to his place in the pecking order. While Sandow should win here and get a bigger push, I think Sheamus comes away with the win.
Steve Muehlhausen: This match will be on the kickoff portion of the show starting at 7:30 ET on basically every platform known to man. The feud has been scuttled as it is hard to believe what Shaemus is saying while Sandow has been carrying this feud. Sheamus doesn’t need the win here as Sandow wins in an upset.
Michael A. Wiseman: I think Sandow wins this match, though I think he cheats to win (or otherwise resorts to heel-like tactics). But I don’t expect much out of this one. WWE never gives their pre-shows matches much time to breathe, and this feud, despite the long(ish) build, is booked to be forgettable. Sheamus gets his revenge the next night on ‘Raw.’
Marshall Bowen: Sheamus wins this one to get the night started and get the crowd rowdy and energetic for the night to come.
United States Championship – Dean Ambrose vs. Kane
Brian: Dean Ambrose should retain the title. The Shield is the hottest act in the WWE right now and all of them have belts and rightfully so. Hopefully, Ambrose and Kane will be able to crank it up more than their recent match on Raw.
Steve: They had a lackluster match on Raw with Kane winning by DQ, which was the reason Vickie Guerrero gave Kane a rematch. Ambrose will retain here as they should have more time here.
Michael: Dean Ambrose is the obvious pick here. I expect an entertaining product from these two – Ambrose can go in the ring, and Kane is a very capable veteran. The fact that this match was added less than a week out says that creative isn’t taking the possibility of a title change seriously. Also, WWE would be foolish to start breaking down The Shield just one month after they regained a lot of momentum. Then again, the company isn’t know for putting a lot of thought into these decisions.
Marshall: Kane is Ambrose’s monster to prove himself with in his young U.S. title reign and will prove the dominance that The Shield will continue to have over the summer.
Divas Championship – Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee
Brian: For a few months now it seems that AJ would eventually win the Divas Championship only for it not to happen. That should end here with AJ finally get a title to match her Ziggy’s. She’ll probably get some help from Big E at ringside but AJ finally get the Divas championship.
Steve: We have seen this story play out over the last month as the secret admirer storyline has started. A great promo on Monday’s Raw by Lee as Big E Langston came to reveal he was the secret admirer. It ended up being a ruse with Lee behind the ruse. Lee should win the title here but I feel Kaitlyn will win here to advance the feud for another month.
Michael: AJ wins cleanly and finally takes home the Divas Championship. Her promo this past Monday on Raw was money, and she is primed to be the spark the Divas Division so desperately needs. The storyline coming out of this Sunday will be that the numerous distractions cost Kaitlyn her championship.
Marshall: AJ takes this one with some help from Dolph and Big E. AJ has been building to this moment for well over a year now and this is finally the time to pull the trigger.
Intercontinental Championship – Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
Brian: With Curtis Axel being inserted into the match for Fandango who is sidelined with a concussion, it makes sense that the latest Paul Heyman guy win the title here. I think Axel will win the title but I wonder what this means to how he is perceived in the company. Rather than being a main-event level guy, I think he is a notch down. By the way, I think his feud with Triple H is over already with Hunter having bigger things to deal with.
Steve: This match was supposed to be a three way with Fandango in the match but he suffered a concussion about two weeks during a Smackdown taping. Surprised WWE inserted Axel in the match considering where he has been positioned so far. Have Axel winning the match here as it will build him up more and be like his father in winning the IC Title.
Michael: Most people seem to be in agreement that Curtis Axel was added to this match so WWE could immediately quickly build on his hot debut with an Intercontinental Championship reign. And while I agree, I think it’s the wrong decision. Axel has been hanging around the upper mid-card since his debut, so this feud just feels like a step back. Hopefully they give him a real storyline coming out of Sunday.
Marshall: I’m going out on a limb and saying Curtis Axel gets the win and the 2-0 for the night for Paul Heyman. Part of this prediction comes from the rapid fire re-debut Axel has had in these past few weeks.
WWE Tag Team Titles – The Shield vs. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan
Brian: The obvious thing to happen here would be The Shield retaining the title and Orton and Bryan having issues during the match leading to a feud between the two. I’ll go with that scenario because I believe sometimes the obvious thing to do is also the right thing. Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s wrong and too bad if the audience sees it coming as long as you still make it entertaining. The real question will be is Orton or Bryan turning heel or could neither and they feud as babyfaces.
Steve: This was the last match I was expecting going into Raw last week. Seemed like WWE was heading towards an Orton/Bryan showdown. WWE flipped things and decided to go this route. This should one of the two best matches on the show considering the workers in the ring. The intriguing part will the Orton/Bryan dynamic. Have Reigns and Rollins retaining with Orton turning on Bryan.
Michael: Orton and Bryan have no business winning the titles. That’s exactly why I’m going to predict that they win here. WWE seems to like Daniel Bryan in this position, and the company has always found success with the oddball pairings. While I don’t think they’ll hold the championship for very long (maybe not even past the next night on Raw), I think Orton finally cements his heel turn whenever they lose the titles back in the eventual rematch. On the down side, creative seems to be cooling on The Shield.
Marshall: The Shield retain against the former champ and his new partner, the combination of Bryan and Orton is not as fluid as a team as Rollins and Reigns.
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Brian: I think CM Punk wins the match but there are a lot of different directions they can go here when it comes to Punk, Jericho and Heyman during and following the match. Punk should get a hero’s welcome by the hometown crowd for what should be the best match on the card.
Steve: This should be the match on the card. Everytime these two step into the ring, the matches are top notch. Like how the match has been built with Paul Heyman representing Punk. WWE did a good job here in not bringing Punk back until Payback. Jericho wins the match as Heyman will accidentally cost Punk the match as the build will start of the breakup between Punk and Heyman.
Michael: Punk has to win here. It’s unfortunate for Jericho, who rarely ever seems to string together more than two victories in a row, but Punk’s hometown crowd would likely riot if he failed to win. I’m more curious to see how the company positions Punk coming out of this match. Is he coming back to stay? I’m not sure. I do think, though, that his turn against Paul Heyman starts this Sunday.
Marshall: In his return to Chi-Town Punk defeats Jericho to kick off his summer as one of the top heels.
World Heavyweight Championship – Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
Brian: This should be a very good, under the radar match with Ziggler retaining the title. I hope he gets a pinfall victory rather than there being a cheap DQ finish to the match and the feud continuing. It’s time for both parties to move on even though Ziggler was sidelined with a concussion. They both need fresh feuds at this point.
Steve: A late add to this event since Ziggler was only cleared about 10 days ago to return to the ring. Ziggler had been out since May 7 when he suffered a concussion. Del Rio became the number one contender when he defeated Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules last month. Hard to build a match with this short notice but a story is there for the match. Ziggler should go over here to help build him through the summer.
Michael: Alberto Del Rio has been the unfortunate victim of circumstance here. While waiting on Ziggler to return, he’s been given very little to sink his teeth into. These two will put together an entertaining 12-15 minutes (if WWE gives them that long), but Big E will distract and the champion will retain. I think Ziggler moves on to a bigger challenge from here (Sheamus or Punk) while Del Rio finds himself back in the mid-card.
Marshall: Dolph wins this match, Del Rio will be the step in his title reign that really helps to establish his reign and guarantees a great match for the crowd and the audience.
WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Ryback (Three Stages of Hell match)
Brian: As much as the WWE has tried to make Ryback into a monster, it really hasn’t caught on. And this match just doesn’t have the feel of a scary, crazy match. Instead, it feels like the next step in a feud that has been pretty pedestrian. Cena walks away the title here and I hope he walks away from this feud although I could see it going one more month. But this should be the end.
Steve: This match is a three stages of hell match with the first match being a lumberjack match, the second being a tables match and if it goes to a third fall an ambulance match. This is coming off an actual pretty good match they had at Extreme Rules. It will be hard to take this match as three stages of hell considering none of the matches are that brutal. It will be interesting to see how Ryback does here as this match should go between 40-45 minutes. This match will go all three falls as Cena will win the first fall, Ryback the second and Cena will win the third fall to retain the WWE championship.
Michael: Let’s get this out of the way: Cena wins. He pins Ryback in the Lumberjack Match, Ryback evens the score with the Table Match, and Cena finishes things off in the Ambulance Match. I don’t see a scenario where Ryback walks out with the championship (or why WWE would even want Ryback, a man who has to be prompted to finish his sentences, as their top guy). Unfortunately, there’s not much to get excited about with this one. The stipulations suck, the feud has been tame, and the outcome doesn’t seem in doubt at all. Think about this: CM Punk hasn’t been on WWE Television since the night after Wrestlemania, but his match this Sunday feels like a much bigger deal. Oh well.
Marshall: This match will go to John Cena after going through all three stages of the match. Ryback still isn’t established enough for the championship and seems like he’s there to be the giant Cena decimates in this current title run.
Although the build was terrible heading into ‘Extreme Rules,’ WWE put together an entertaining three-hours last night. While no match was an instant classic, the intensity throughout the last hour of the Pay Per View plus a few stand-out performances created a solid pro wrestling event.
Chris Jericho def. Fandango: This rivalry was decent, and took a turn at Wrestlemania with Fandango’s surprising victory. The back-and-forth in this match was exciting. Chris Jericho does more to put over young superstars than anybody else in the WWE, but I’m happy to see him win here. Plus, his Codebraker from the top rope looked sweet.
Dean Ambrose def. Kofi Kingston for the U.S. Title: Really liked that Ambrose sent his “hounds of justice” away so he could win this one on his own. These guys put on a fun, fast-paced match, and the crowd was solidly behind Kofi. No doubt this is good for Ambrose.
Sheamus def. Mark Henry in a Strap Match: While this match slowed down the pace of the PPV, I liked the placement on the card (after two exciting matches), and thought Henry and Sheamus used the gimmick surprisingly well. Going around the outside of the ring was creative, as was Henry picking Sheamus up (and having Sheamus tag the corners without Henry knowing). Overall, while I always hate seeing ‘the world’s strongest man’ lose, I’m glad they ended it the match in a direct fashion – Sheamus brogue-kicking Henry and tagging the last turnbuckle gave the fans something to cheer about.
The Shield: After languishing as main-event filler for the last few weeks (months?), it’s good to see them with forward momentum again. This felt like a logical next-step for this unstoppable team, and I think it opens up a world of possibilities as far as title-defenses and new matchups are concerned. Let’s just hope this turns out better than The Nexus…or Nexus 2.0… or The Corre…
Randy Orton def. The Big Show: Started off a little slow, but really picked up towards the end. Had a good, attitude-era “hardcore” feel to it. I liked seeing Big Show break two different Kendo sticks to really emphasise his power, and was happy to see the return of Randy Orton’s punt (even if it is a heel move). He really played to his hometown crowd here, and the fans went nuts with the win. I would be happy to see him step up into the main-event picture.
John Cena vs Ryback ends in no-contest: I was happy to see a little more offense from Ryback, even though it was mostly more power slam variations. He seems a lot more confident in the ring, and his presence is growing. I still argue he isn’t ready for this heel persona being pushed down our throats, but he and Cena turned a lackluster build into a fun match. This is the kind of brawl these two thrive in.
Now, about that finish – I really liked the visual of seeing them plow through the stage, and the surprise of it all. However, doesn’t this (yet again) completely undermine the gimmick? I’m pretty sure I saw Ryback walk away, so shouldn’t he win? On the positive side, I guess it keeps Ryback looking strong without moving the championship. But, when Cena comes out tomorrow night and delivers his preacher-man speech, and eventually pins Ryback next month at Payback, this will all be for naught.
Brock Lesnar def. HHH in a Steel-Cage Match: Let me get this out of the way: I love the new steel cage. The previous one looked outdated, and compared to the size of TNA’s, looked really small. This one looks major league.
Triple H surprising Brock Lesnar from behind was a fun way to start the match, and I thought both of these guys brought an intensity that’s hard to find in WWE these days. Brock Lesnar sold an early knee injury, and it allowed them to tell an interesting story in the ring. Really liked the hidden sledgehammer. And although Paul Heyman interfering undermines the gimmick, it made for a great moment in the match with the pedigree. Glad to see Lesnar get the win via pinfall, and feel like this was a great way to end the feud.
While I’m not normally a fan of WWE Championship matches coming before a different main event, I think this match deserved to go on last. It had the best build, the best intensity, and truly felt like the final chapter in a 10-month long feud.
The Miz def. Cody Rhodes: This isn’t here because of the quality of the match (which, because of the technical issues, I can’t comment on). Instead, the fact that Cody Rhodes and The Miz have been delegated to what is essentially “Superstars” duty drives me crazy. Two years ago, these guys both had major wins at Wrestlemania 27 – and now WWE can’t give them a real storyline, much less get them on a minor PPV card? Groan.
Alberto Del Rio def. Jack Swagger to become Number One Contender: This match really wasn’t that bad – however, it came in the middle of the card, and seemed to lack that intensity all the other matches had. It felt kind of slow, and put the crowd to sleep. I think the “I Quit” gimmick hurt it, because the ref intervening every little bit really slowed down the pace. And while I liked the Coulter swerve of throwing in Del Rios towel, I think it was better played for laughs than as a legitimate means of ending the match, After all, isn’t saying “I Quit” the whole point of the match? I would have enjoyed this match a lot more on Raw or Smackdown.
The Shield def. Team Hell No for the Tag Team Championship: This is not about the OUTCOME (see above) as much as is it the match itself. I’m never crazy about a Tornado match, because it evokes the same chaos of bad triple-threat for fatal-four-way matches. Also, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns botched their finisher. This one felt hard to follow, and took me out of the moment.
The Use of Instant-Replay: I know this was included to capitalize on the recent baseball controversy, but it sets a bad precedent for WWE. Not that I expect them to follow up with this again, but for fans who watched the match, we now know WWE monitors everything. Why would they EVER let somebody cheat again? Seems false in a business where lying, cheating, and stealing are the norm.
Mid-card Title Situation: Both titles have changed hands TWICE since the Wrestlemania pre-show. It made sense to have two titles when there were two brands, but now they feel even cheaper than TV championships. Where’s the prestige?
Jack Swagger on the Mic: Imagine you’re a professional wrestler, whose job it is to speak intensely and sell matches, and you’re given a manager because you fumble around on the mic and people don’t find you interesting. Now, imagine the only thing you’re ever allowed to say is, “We, the people.” Welcome to Jack Swagger’s world.
Kaitlyn’s Secret Admirer: It’s probably The Great Khali or Hornswaggle. Painful either way.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think! Follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman