WWE Smackdown Results 7/25/14

We have results and our analysis of this week's Friday Night Smackdown...

Dean Ambrose and Cesaro haven’t touched in months, if ever. They had a spat on Monday Night Raw, and were instantly booked in a no disqualification match for Smackdown on Friday night.

Wait, what?

If this were 20 years ago, it would take six weeks to go as far as WWE’s booking went in six days.

They don’t need to slow things back to a 1994 pace, but for no disqualification matches to have a bit more meaning, they do need to slow down the storytelling on the show. The fast-paced nature of the product is becoming too hard to follow. If you miss a show, forget it, you’re out of the loop.

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No disqualification matches need to carry more meaning than just a throwaway match on a canned Smackdown. It’s the same inherent problem with themed pay-per-view events. Hell in a Cell, Tables, Ladders and Chairs and other themed pay-per-views hurt the impact these types of matches can have.

Just because it’s May, we have to have an Extreme Rules match, even if the feuds don’t warrant it? Well, it’s October! Looks like whoever is feuding for the WWE Championship will have a Hell in a Cell match, because, well, it’s October! That’s why!


Bring back the squashes!

There are plenty of ways to slow down the booking. One way is squash matches. Remember those? Joe Schmo, a blubbery pasty-looking wrestler with a mullet and a mustache, would take on one of your stars, get beaten within an inch of his life, take the star’s finishing move and lifelessly get pinned to the mat, 1-2-3.

These types of matches vanished during the Monday Night Wars, when WWE and WCW were battling for ratings and needed star power in each quarter-hour segment, lest they feel the wrath of their advertisers.

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But that problem is gone. WWE needs to be worried about viewers changing channels, but most wrestling fans are wrestling fans, and they’ll keep on the show. If you’re watching a baseball game, and the pitcher comes up to bat in the nine spot, you pretty much know he’s going to get out. Do you turn the channel and wait for his at-bat to be over? I don’t.

Take Bray Wyatt’s win over R-Truth last night. It was a squash match. Wyatt easily, and cleanly, disposed of R-Truth in just over two minutes. Wyatt got his big moves over and picked up an easy win. That’s literally what a squash match on Superstars would have looked like 20 years ago.

But the match kills R-Truth. He can be rebuilt, but how many quick jobs like that can he do before the damage is practically non-repairable?

The same goal could be achieved by bringing in a non-contracted local talent, give him a quick $500 payoff, and squash him on television. It protects the contracted guys.

Now, with WWE looking to cut $20 million from its budget, it probably means more fringe guys like R-Truth could find themselves released, but that might not be a bad thing for the talent, either. A steady paycheck is always great, but AJ Styles has made more money, and a bigger name for himself, working the Indy scene and in Japan than he would have made in TNA this year.

Instead of being invisible within WWE’s universe, never seeing the bright lights of television, these guys might have a chance to go out and make a bigger name for themselves.

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What’s better: a steady paycheck where your career – and drawing power on the Indy scene when you’re eventually released anyway – is being ruined by doing quick jobs on television week after week? Or, is becoming a top-guy on the independents a better way to invest in your character? I’d choose the latter.

Quick Strikes

– The Usos match with Rybaxel had some old-school booking to it. Ryback beat Jey on Main Event Tuesday night in a singles match, setting up a tag-team match where the announce team could speculate, with some confidence, that a win for Rybaxel would earn them a title shot. The Usos won, but the finish was sloppy. The Usos pulled the twin switcheroo, which is a heelish thing to do, and I was really high on the build of the division after their match at Battleground just five days ago. Your tag-team champions needed to pull “twin magic” just to beat a midcard team? That’s sad. Bad booking.

– There was a MizTV segment, where the new Intercontinental Champion was gloating about his win at Battleground. Bo Dallas interrupted and said Miz won because he “Bo-lieved,” and the two heels seemed to get along in the ring, complimenting each other. Dolph Ziggler then came from the back, cutting down the two heels on the microphone before Miz and Dallas roughed him up to end the segment. Sometimes pro wrestling overdoes it with talking segments, but if it gives guys like Dallas and Ziggler a chance to develop their characters and talk more, I’m all for it.

The Finish

I didn’t enjoy this show. The match finishes, especially early in the show, were lazy and whoever booked the finish to the Usos-Rybaxel match needs to be scolded for taking a hot act down a notch with a poorly-placed, heelish finish for a babyface team.

Match Results

Tag-Team Match: The Usos def. Rybaxel

Singles Match: Bo Dallas def. Dolph Ziggler

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No Disqualification: Dean Ambrose def. Cesaro

Singles Match: Paige def. Naomi

Singles Match: Bray Wyatt def. R-Trth

Singles Match: Roman Reigns def. Alberto Del Rio

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