WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 8

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 8

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at WWE SmackDown to recap the action, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    SummerSlam is fast approaching, but WWE still has to make sure its weekly shows are worth tuning in for. Unfortunately, much of this week's SmackDown fell short of hitting that mark.

    Two of the matches featured on the show were very entertaining, but it felt like there wasn't much effort put into the majority of the other bouts—most were too short, while some of the booking decisions were just plain embarrassing.

    Hopefully this recap will help you figure out what to skip on your DVR. Let's take a look at what went down on the most recent edition of SmackDown.

Brotherly Hate

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    The show opened with Dean Ambrose coming out to talk about what kind of stipulation he would pick for his SummerSlam match against Seth Rollins.

    Ambrose ran down a list of some funny options for different stipulations until Seth Rollins came out and told him that what he did last week was pretty clever, but it won't help him at SummerSlam.

    Ambrose revealed that his choice would be a Lumberjack match, which seemed like an odd choice until he made his case.

    He talked about how he and Rollins had made many enemies from their time in The Shield, therefore it would be those men who surrounded the ring to make sure nobody escaped.

    This was a solid opening segment, but it was Ambrose who really shined here. There is a confidence he possesses that most talents just don't have, which makes him very fun to watch no matter what he's doing.

    Many people have compared Ambrose to Brian Pillman due to their crazed personas, but the way Ambrose carries himself is more reminiscent of Steve Austin.

    Austin had that same kind of charisma that made you believe that he honestly didn't give a damn if you loved him or hated him as long as you were watching him. The good news is that the crowd really loves this guy.

    When he eventually turns heel again, Ambrose will be one of the best heels in the company, but watching him be a solo babyface is a fun ride for time being.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the segment:

    • Does anyone else think a "JBL's Cowboy Hat on a Pole" match would be hilarious? JBL didn't sound too happy about the prospect.
    • I am betting that most people thought Ambrose was making fun of Michael Cole when he said Coal-miner's Glove match because he used to call his fans "Cole miners." That is actually a gimmick match from the '70s that literally has two guys fighting over a coal-miner's glove with a metal bar across the knuckles. Props to Ambrose for knowing his stuff.
    • This segment did not get uploaded, so instead you get the SmackDown Fallout interview with Big Show and Mark Henry. Big Show does a funny impression of Hulk Hogan.

Size Matters

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    The first match of the evening saw RybAxel take on two of the largest men to ever step foot in a WWE ring: Big Show and Mark Henry.

    The bout didn't last too long, but it had a few brief moments of entertainment that made it fun to watch. Not every match has to be a clinic or a spot fest. Sometimes it's just entertaining to see something like this.

    Show and Henry picked up an easy win after both men simultaneously hit their respective finishers on Ryback and Curtis Axel.

    We need to come up with some team names for Henry and Big Show. Leave your best suggestions in the comments section.

    Grade: C+

    Some notes from the match:

    • Big Show made some kid's night at ringside by pretending to play tug of war over a shirt.
    • I never realized how much I missed Mark Henry's trash talking until he came back.
    • I could really get behind the team of Big Show and Mark Henry. It's pretty clear WWE has no idea what to do with these guys right now, so why not put the World's Strongest Man and the World's Largest Athlete together?

Immigration Reform

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    Damien Sandow came out dressed as a border patrol agent this week for his match against Sin Cara. Considering they were in Texas, it kind of makes sense.

    Sandow gave a pre-match promo that would have made Zeb Colter proud, but it didn't help him pick up a win over the masked high-flyer.

    Sin Cara got the win with a senton bomb from the top rope. The match was short and did not really allow either man to show off their skill sets.

    Grade: C-

Theft Is Not a Crime When You Steal the Show

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    Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins had a confrontation backstage that led to this match. Ziggler was mocking Rollins when Mr. Money in the Bank walked up and told Ziggler that his career was the bigger joke.

    Two of the most gifted wrestlers in the company having a match together is always going to produce a show-stealer. This is exactly what happened here.

    The first half before the commercial break felt like a relatively standard bout, but they really picked up the pace in the second half and put on an exciting performance.

    The only real surprise was that Rollins got a clean, decisive win. It's safe to say that a lot of people expected Ambrose to come out to distract Rollins, but he put Ziggler down with a Curb Stomp for the pin and the win.

    Both men have big matches coming up at SummerSlam, which is why it was a bit of shock to see Ziggler lose clean so close to his title match with Miz. Regardless, it was a really fun match.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the match:

    • It was awesome to hear Ziggler call Rollins' ring gear a "superhero costume." It really does look like something out of X-Men.
    • I'm still lobbying for Ziggler to use his snap DDT instead of the Zig Zag as his finisher. It just looks better.
    • I never thought I would say this, but SmackDown needs a GM again. There needs to be some kind of authority figure to make these matches instead of Rollins just saying that Triple H would be fine with it.

England vs. Canada

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    Paige defeated Natalya in a quick match using her PTO submission hold. The early moments of the bout made it look like we could see a good wrestling match here, but it ended way too fast.

    Making Natalya tap out was definitely a way to make Paige look strong heading into her title match with AJ at SummerSlam, with JBL making sure to mention how making a Hart tap out was something to be proud of.

    It's not often that a Divas match leaves you wanting more, but that is exactly what happened here.

    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • It just dawned on me who Paige looks like. She has a similar facial structure to Keira Knightley, which is kind of funny since they are both English. I think it has something to do with the way they smile.

Big E Has Big Problems

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    This was yet another match that was way too short, but at least there was logic behind this instance. Rusev put down Big E so easily in order to look like a dominant monster heading into SummerSlam.

    The downside, however, is that not only was it not very entertaining, but it made Big E look very weak. A guy who looked like he might end Rusev's streak a couple of months ago is now jobbing to the Bulgarian Brute.

    Grade: D

    Some notes from the match:

    • It looks like WWE already ditched the stable with Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Big E came out solo and seemed to be acting like a babyface again.
    • Rusev screwed up a few times in this match. He is usually pretty good, but he looked kind of sloppy in this one.

A Few Apples Short of a Bushel

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    Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose have had enough matches together to build up a good chemistry inside the ring. They managed to close out what had been a mostly mediocre show with some quality wrestling.

    Orton focused on the bandaged shoulder of Ambrose throughout the match, ripping off the bandage and sending Ambrose into the steel steps at one point.

    Seth Rollins caused a disqualification when he pulled Ambrose out of the ring right before he could pin Orton following Dirty Deeds.

    Ambrose did his best against the two members of The Authority, but an RKO, a Curb Stomp and a cup of soda were just too much for the Lunatic Fringe.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the match:

    • The nickname "Lunatic Fringe" is not very good. Let's come up with something better. Leave suggestions in the comments section for a new nickname.
    • When did it become a regular thing to steal drinks and use them against your opponent?

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This week featured two very entertaining matches, but everything else felt rushed, sloppy or was just plain uninteresting.

    A lot of SummerSlam coverage took place during the show, which should be no surprise this close to the event, but it felt like too much time was spent talking about upcoming matches and not enough time spent talking about what was actually happening in the ring.

    Ziggler and Rollins stole the show with their bout, but Ambrose and Orton weren't far behind with their main event performance.

    We're just over a week away from SummerSlam, but WWE still needs to put effort into the shows leading up to it. Hopefully the go-home show next week is better.


    • Mark Henry and Big Show will keep teaming up for the time being.
    • A tag title match will be added to SummerSlam next week.
    • John Cena will get the better of Brock Lesnar on Raw next week.
    • Sheamus will either be added to the Intercontinental title match at SS or a U.S. title match will be made.
    • Since Raw is in Portland next week, Damien Sandow will likely appear as one of the Trailblazers.
    • Sting will make a surprise appearance during Hulk Hogan's birthday celebration on Raw.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.