Paul Heyman, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Ryback, Curtis Axel and Rob Van Dam promo
Heyman referred to Dolph Ziggler as the “perennial runner-up”. He said that Cesaro’s match with Ziggler could not take place, due to an eye injury Cesaro suffered at Raw. Heyman blamed Kofi Kingston, saying the injury was malicious. He said that Cesaro would be ready for the Intercontinental Championship battle royal at Battleground, but before he could speak further, he was interrupted by Ziggler.
Ziggler listed all his accomplishments, then pointed out that Cesaro hasn’t accomplished any of those things. He told Heyman to say whatever he had to say in order to get Cesaro to wrestle tonight, but Big E interrupted.
Big E continued with his new, preacher-like promo-style. He talked about being a former IC Champion, like Ziggler. He didn’t get to say much before Rybaxel came out.
Ryback mocked the men in the ring, calling them “cornballs”. Axel said he can’t wait to dominate the Battleground battle royal with Ryback.
RVD came out and talked about some of the things the other men have accomplished, but he had nothing for Rybaxel, except for the fact that Ryback stole his ring gear. He then said that none of them are “R…V…”, but before he could finish, a brawl broke out between the six men. The brawl ended when the three faces, Ziggler, Big E and RVD stood tall. This clearly the build for a six-man tag later tonight. Good enough for a one-night angle, but they need to do better as they continue to build to the battle royal at Battleground.
R-Truth and Xavier Woods vs. The Wyatt Family
Rowan got the win over Woods with a side slam. Woods and Truth got in a little early offense, much more than I expected. I’m very interested to see how Rowan and Harper are used in the next few weeks, with Bray appearing to head towards a match with Chris Jericho.
Stephanie McMahon backstage/The Funkadactyls vs. Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox
As the match was set to get started as a handicap match, Stephanie appeared on the Titan Tron and said she wanted to be fair to Nikki, so she gave her a tag patner. Fox came out looking insane, and Nikki didn’t look pleased.
As Nikki went to tag Fox in, Fox pulled her hand away, then kicked Nikki in the face, allowing Cameron to get the win. Her matches have been really short, but Nikki’s done a good job of selling the past two nights. She’s looked like she’s on her own without her sister.
Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio w/ Renee Young
Renee asked Sheamus about his open challenge to defend the United States Championship on the 4th of July edition of SmackDown. Sheamus said that he is proud to hold the US Title, and represent the country he has come to love. ADR came in and said that he is going to win the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground, and he is going to win the US Title on SmackDown, accepting Sheamus’ open challenge. He said this would give Sheamus and America an actual reason to celebrate.
Cesaro and Paul Heyman w/ Renee Young
Renee asked Heyman about keeping Cesaro out of his match tonight. Heyman said that Cesaro was forced to fight and he would rise to the occasion. He referenced Daniel Bryan and Bad News Barrett, who both recently forfeited titles due to injury. Heyman said that Cesaro would win the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground. Heyman said Cesaro’s victory speech would be in five different languages. Cesaro then said “Five” in five different languages, then Heyman and Cesaro repeated the word “Five” a few times, eventually causing Renee to break and crack a smile.
Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam and Big E vs. Rybaxel and Cesaro
With Ziggler and Cesaro as the legal men, RVD climbed to the top rope to dive to the outside on Rybaxel, but Cesaro threw him off the top rope. Before Cesaro could refocus on Ziggler, Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the win. Cesaro loses for the second straight night, and it feels like they are building him much like a “Mr. Money in the Bank”, where he will lose a lot, then win the Intercontinental Championship. Ask Ziggler how well that strategy works.
Good show. Disappointing to miss out on that Cesaro vs. Ziggler match, which would have been awesome, in all likelihood. They build an angle for SmackDown with Sheamus and ADR. They started rolling towards something for Harper and Rowan, and they continued Nikki Bella’s feud with Stephanie McMahon. Not an overwhelmingly important episode, but one that was built on storyline development, which is always good when compared to random matches and segments.