By Steve Khan, WrestlingObserver.com
– Air Date: July 16, 2015 (July 15 in Canada)
– Location: Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL
The Big News: Cesaro became the second man to pin Rusev.
Roman Reigns came out to start the show. He said Bray Wyatt has interfered in every match he’s been in since screwing him at Money in the Bank. Bray can’t get in his head which is why he beat up Bray on Monday. Reigns said he would team with his brother Dean Ambrose to beat Sheamus and Big Show tonight.
Bray showed up on the big screen, calling Reigns the perfect combination of brains and brawn. He can see why “they” chose Reigns because he represents everything that should be good in the world. Bray called Reigns a stone statue, but he would bring the hammer down and turn the statue to pieces.
Reigns asked Bray if he was going to stay on the TV all night or come to the ring. Bray said Reigns holds no power over him. Bray said that he was back here with the people Reigns cares about and he’s capable of terrible things. (I have no idea what he meant by that.)
Reigns said the face of fear run away on Raw. Bray told Reigns to go home and hug his family because they wouldn’t be seeing him again. This started out alright but I was confused by the end.
They plugged Natalya for Tough Enough next week. She was billed as a reality TV star and WWE diva.
Kofi Kingston & Big E (w/Xavier Woods) beat Lucha Dragons via pinfall
The Prime Time Players were on commentary. They didn’t say much, but did put over the importance of being champions. Titus did most of the talking. Kalisto made a hot tag and had the match won after Salida del Sol on Big E, but Xavier distracted him on the apron.
Sin Cara took out Woods and Kingston took out Sin Cara. Big E caught Kalisto in the air and they hit him with Midnight Hour for the win. Basic match. If you need more proof that losing can kill an act, New Day has lost a ton since dropping the tag belts and their heat has died down considerably.
After the match, New Day said they would win back the tag titles. Titus and Darren jumped in the ring but New Day bailed.
Backstage, Ambrose told Reigns that Bray is lucky they didn’t do worse to him on Monday, which is interesting given that Ambrose didn’t do anything. Reigns and Ambrose agreed to take out Sheamus and Show tonight while keeping an eye on Bray. Ambrose yelled, “I hate everyone!” and left.
King Barrett beat Jack Swagger via pinfall
Barrett won pretty quickly with a Bullhammer elbow. Afterwards, R-Truth came out for comedy, but Barrett cut him off and proceeded to cut a pretty damn good promo. Barrett reminded us that he’s the king because he beat three men in less than 24 hours in a tournament Truth entered but failed to win.
Since then, Truth has tried to make a mockery of the crown, but Barrett said King of the Ring was one of the most prestigious accomplishments in WWE, held by some of the all-time greats, including himself. Barrett said he would put an end to all the fun and games at Battleground. Truth, the babyface, had no response. He just nodded and left.
They showed Cincinnati Reds player Todd Frazier holding a WWE Title after winning the Home Run Derby. A video package for Rollins vs. Lesnar followed. Phillips announced that Kane has a broken ankle.
Cesaro walked through the backstage area and bumped into Kevin Owens who told him, “Good luck, buddy.” Owens was being sarcastic.
Cesaro beat Rusev (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall
Cesaro continues to wear an armband supporting Tyson Kidd. Cesaro used a vertical suplex and even more impressive looking German suplex, but Rusev countered with a big fallaway slam. They went back and forth after a break, leading to Rusev hitting a superkick.
Rusev didn’t go for a cover for some reason, instead trying the Accolade, but Cesaro got to the ropes. Cesaro tried a running uppercut on the outside but Rusev caught him with another superkick.
Back in the ring, Rusev went for a splash off the top, but Cesaro hit him with an uppercut (which didn’t really connect) and the Neutralizer for the surprising win. This was good, and Phillips immediately put over that John Cena is the only other man to pin Rusev.
Backstage, Sheamus told a male interviewer that he’s going to beat Randy Orton or whatever.
Neville beat Stardust via pinfall
They recapped the match these two had on Raw, except they used comic book graphics to tell the story. It was definitely different. Neville hit a springboard moonsault on the outside. Cody Stardust tried to get the pin while holding the ropes but the referee saw. Stardust argued, so Neville rolled him up for the win.
Backstage, male interviewer caught up with Neville to ask what his strategy was. Neville said it was the same as always, look for a window of opportunity and hit Red Arrow. (That’s not what happened.) Stardust attacked him from behind and yelled “Altitude Era? Well, there’s going to be turbulence!” That was funny.
They recapped the angle involving the women on Raw. Backstage, Jo-Jo interviewed Naomi, Sasha Banks (with her title belt) and Tamina. Naomi put over Banks as the NXT Women’s champion. Banks said The Boss was here and ran down the other six women. Naomi called their team “B.A.D.”, Best At Dominating. Naomi and Banks were good here.
Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns beat Big Show & Sheamus via DQ
Ambrose knocked Sheamus out of the ring after a clothesline. Show checked on Sheamus so Reigns hit them both with an apron dropkick and Ambrose followed with a diving elbow. After a break, the heels got the heat on Ambrose. Show missed an elbow drop and Ambrose made the hot tag to Reigns.
Reigns hit clotheslines and a Samoan drop on Sheamus. Show distracted Reigns and Sheamus hit White Noise, but Ambrose broke it up. Ambrose kicked Show off the apron and tried a suicide dive, but Show caught him. Show tried a chokeslam but Ambrose countered with a DDT, putting them both through the announce table.
Back in the ring, Reigns hit Sheamus with a superman punch and got ready for the spear, but Bray Wyatt jumped in out of nowhere for the DQ. Bray tried Sister Abigail but Reigns knocked him out of the ring with a superman punch and laid out Sheamus with a spear.
Pretty much your average SmackDown show, with Cesaro/Rusev as the highlight. The main event was fine, but for the third straight week the SmackDown main event ended in a DQ or countout. The rest of the show was mostly filler.