Smackdown – February 7, 2014

February 7, 2014
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
the main story this week is Randy Orton running the Elimination
Chamber gauntlet as he has to jump through another Authority hoop to
be the face of the WWE, whatever that means anymore. His opponent
tonight is Christian which should be fun given their past encounters.
Let’s get to it.

sequence, which we don’t get that often anymore.
Daniel Bryan to get things going. On Monday, the Authority said that
he would be the face of the WWE if he could beat Randy Orton, but
that’s not what Bryan wants to be. He wants to just be himself, but
it doesn’t matter because the Authority showed their true colors by
sending down Kane to chokeslam him after the match. We get a clip of
the end of the match with Bryan fighting off Kane and hitting the
running knee on Orton for the pin, only to be beaten down after the
says that he’s put up with Kane doing his corporate thing since he
joined the Authority but he can’t do that anymore. He wants Kane to
come out here right now and explain himself, so here’s the Devil’s
Favorite Libertarian In A Suit From Mens’ Warehouse. Side note:
Kane’s current look reminds me of Bull Shannon from Night Court.
Kane stops on the stage but Bryan says he can’t hear him so Kane
should come to the ring.
stays where he is and gives a scripted apology but Bryan cuts him off
again. He reminds Kane of the HELL NO days and I AM THE TAG TEAM
CHAMPIONS and hugging it out. That Kane was his friend and Bryan
wants him back. Get rid of the suit and tie, go put on your mask and
become the monster again. Kane says they do have history, but that’s
all it is. He’s turned in the undisclosed location for a corner
office and is glad the HELL NO days are over.
used to be friends and the old saying in wrestling is you can make
friends or you can make money, and Kane is doing well for himself
right now. Bryan says he’s doing well too, but that’s because he has
an arena full of friends right here. If Kane and Bryan aren’t
friends, why doesn’t Kane come down here right now so they can settle
this like people who aren’t friends? Kane declines but gives Bryan a
match with Antonio Cesaro.
announcers explain the Elimination Chamber.
vs. Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston
Reigns/Ambrose here with the home state boy Rollins on commentary.
Ambrose grabs a headlock on Kofi to start as the fans chant for
Rollins. Kofi trips him up and hits a quick splash for two before
it’s off to Ziggler for no reaction at all. Dolph ducks a
clothesline and punches Ambrose down before dropping the ten elbows.
He speeds the spot up by not getting to his feet after each elbow and
dropping them from only a foot or so, which is a smart change.
comes in and runs Ziggler down to take over before it’s quickly back
to Ambrose. Kofi gets the tag as well to speed things up again but
Dean trips him up, setting up a SWEET running dropkick from Reigns
where he starts on the floor and lands on the apron. That’s the best
I’ve ever seen that move look and it takes us to a break.
with Dean getting two on Kofi off a butterfly suplex and cranking on
a reverse chinlock. Dean tries it again from the middle rope but
Kofi knocks him down and hits a high cross body to get a breather. A
spinning kick to Ambrose’s head is enough to make the tag to Dolph
but Reigns is in as well.
starts cleaning house with dropkicks and neckbreakers but walks into
something resembling Cena’s spinning slam. Roman loads up the spear
but Dean gets caught trying to tag himself in. The distraction lets
Ziggler get two off a jumping DDT as Ambrose takes out Kofi on the
floor. Ziggler can’t hook the Zig Zag and it’s the Superman Punch
and spear to knock Ziggler into next week. Reigns tags in Ambrose
and lets him get the pin at 9:58.
C+. This was more about
storytelling but it’s getting more and more obvious that Reigns is
getting the huge push soon. They’ve even got signature spots set up
for him, each one more high impact than the previous. He’s a fun guy
to watch and that can help a lot when you’ve got a rocket strapped on
your back.
match the Wyatts show up on screen with Bray talking about how the
Shield is bickering like children. They believe Bray is a joke and a
facade. The hat comes off and Bray gets serious. If you could see
the evil behind his eyes, you would know what kind of a monster he
really is. Harper says those that will not follow them will be the
first to burn. Follow the buzzards.
vs. Ryback
open with a discussion on Sheamus possibly wearing steel toed boots.
Sheamus runs Ryback over with a shoulder block but a Curtis Axel
distraction lets Ryback get in some cheap shots. The rolling
fireman’s carry puts Ryback down and Curtis gets a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus gets back on the apron and tries the ten forearms but Ryback
pulls him inside to break it up. I don’t remember anyone ever
countering that move.
hits a splash for two and we hit the chinlock for a bit. Sheamus
fights up and gets caught in the over the shoulder Stunner followed
by Ryback going up top (?!?) but missing a splash. Sheamus comes
back with right hands and gets all fired up with a powerslam. The
Brogue Kick is countered into a powerbomb for two and Sheamus is in
trouble. That trouble is short lived though as he counters the Meat
Hook with the Brogue Kick for the pin at 5:43.
C+. How sad is it that Ryback
is a jobber to the stars less than a year after he was #30 in the
Rumble? This match could have easily been on Wrestlemania last year
and now it’s a surprisingly good match on Smackdown. Ryback looked
better than he has in months out there, because he was wrestling the
same style that had him main eventing PPVs in 2012 rather than the
whining that wastes his natural skills.
week’s sitdown interview with HHH talks about Orton running the
gauntlet to make him better. Also on Monday: Orton vs. Cena.
House promo.
Del Rio is in the back and we take a look at the brawl with Batista
from Monday. Del Rio wants
a piece of the Animal. The less talking in this feud, the better it
is for everyone involved including the fans.
Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro
grabs a front facelock to start but Antonio drives him into the
corner for some chops. Bryan comes back with knees and kicks to the
chest but walks into a European uppercut for two. Bryan bridges up
to block a pin and Cesaro can’t break it even by jumping on top of
Bryan’s body. Cesaro spends too much time shouting WE THE PEOPLE and
gets caught in a short arm scissors but Cesaro easily lifts him into
the air and drops Bryan down for the break.
pounds away in the corner and hooks a chinlock but Bryan comes back
with the running clothesline. A
top rope hurricanrana gets two on Antonio and there are some YES
Kicks but Cesaro counters the last one into a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker for two as we
take a break. Back
with Bryan in a chinlock before
a bit boot sends him
flying across the ring.
misses a charge and falls to the floor but Bryan’s knee off the apron
hits Swagger instead of Antonio. Back in and Daniel’s missile
dropkick is countered by an uppercut but he grabs the rope to avoid
the Swing. Cesaro loads up the Neutralizer but Bryan counters into a
YES Lock attempt. That’s countered as well but Bryan comes out of
the corner with a headscissors to drive Cesaro into the mat for the
YES Lock (think the original Sin Cara’s La Mistica) and the
submission at 10:39.
B-. Good stuff here with both
guys countering everything thrown at them. The ending was awesome as
well with Bryan not being able to get Cesaro into the YES Lock by
muscle so he used a quick stunning move to get it on instead. I love
thinking during a match like that and these two are great at it.
comes out post match and the distraction lets Cesaro hit a
Neutralizer on Bryan. A chokeslam leaves Bryan laying as well.
Orton says one loss to Bryan doesn’t make up for the losses Bryan has
suffered to him. He’ll win
in the Chamber and confirm that he’s the best in the world.
Ladd Black History Month video.
Rusev and Lana are coming.
Bella vs. AJ Lee
picks AJ up in a choke to start before hitting a nice slam. AJ
throws on a sleeper to put Nikki down before kicking her down into
the mat. Nikki comes back with a facebuster and a bad looking
backdrop before the seconds get in a fight on the apron. Tamina is
knocked to the floor and Nikki throws AJ into Brie by mistake,
setting up the Black Widow to give AJ the submission win at 2:40.
look back at Titus O’Neil turning on Darren Young last week to split
up the Prime Time Players.
interviews Renee Young (yes that’s right) but Titus won’t let her
talk, saying he could have won a lot more titles on his own while the
Players were a team. Young has nice hair but Titus looks better,
smells better and has a great smile. He sends Renee running along
when Darren Young jumps him from behind and beats O’Neil up, shouting
that he isn’t dead weight. Nice beatdown segment, but at the end of
the day he’s just Darren Young and there aren’t many ways around
vs. Bray Wyatt
inset interview from the Rhodes Brothers says they’re desperate and
will be taking more risks to get back where they belong. Goldust
tries the deep breath and gets kicked in the face. Bray leans upside
down in the corner and Goldust doesn’t know what to think. All Bray
to start as he runs Goldust over and hits some uppercuts from the
hit a nerve hold on Goldie but he fights up and nails a back elbow
off the middle rope to get a breather. A middle rope hurricanrana
sends Bray to the mat again and Goldust follows up with a
spinebuster. Wyatt bails to the floor and Goldust hits a running
flip dive to take him down. The Family goes after Cody as Bray gets
angry. He takes Goldust’s head off with a clothesline and Sister
Abigail is good for the pin at 3:55.
C+. Another good match here
with Goldust continues his comeback tour while Bray is just a freaky
dude when he turns it on. They’ve kept him looking strong since
he debuted and the character has worked far better as a result. Why
WWE insists on never letting people be kept strong is beyond me when
the results can be this strong.
pops up on screen post match and says yeah, they’ll full of pride
because they’ve earned the right to be. Rollins says they’re not
afraid and he’ll be scraping their beards off his boot. Reigns says
they could have been WWE Champion and it’s time for justice. Believe
in the Shield. Bray shouts that he’ll believe in the Shield when
their eyes are battered shut.
Orton vs. Christian
Christian hits a quick shoulder block to start but Orton comes back
with knees and fists to the head. Orton
runs into a back elbow and gets backdropped to the floor, followed by
a top rope cross body as we take a break. Back
with Christian trying to crotch Orton against the post but Randy
pulls his legs forward to send the Canadian into the steel instead.
is dropped back first onto the barricade for two back inside. A
few stomps have Christian in trouble and Orton whips him across the
corner a few times. We get a pose with a shot of the Wrestlemania
sign but Christian comes back with a right hand of his own. Orton
dropkicks him down again and hooks a chinlock as the fans think Randy
sucks. Christian belly to back suplexes him down and they slug it
out with Christian getting the better of it.
Canadian rains down right hands in the corner but Randy comes back
with a running clothesline. Christian clotheslines him right back
and hits a top rope cross body for two. A top rope back elbow to the
jaw looks to set up the Killswitch but Orton snaps off the powerslam
for another two count. Christian
is sent shoulder first into the post but he’s still able to counter
the Elevated DDT. He can’t hit the frog splash though and the second
attempt at the DDT connects. The RKO and Killswitch are countered
but Christian’s sunset flip out of the corner is caught in the RKO
for the pin at 11:53.
B. These two always have
chemistry together and I’ve yet to see them have a bad match. The
ending, while done before, still looks good as Orton can time that
RKO out of the air almost perfectly. Christian doesn’t have a chance
inside the Chamber but he’s a great hand and can make you believe he
could pull it out.
B. I’m
not sure what has Smackdown on this roll as of late but I’m not
complaining at all. It’s either Wrestlemania or the upcoming TV
deals but the show has been great for most of this year. There were
two big matches, good build towards the six man and Sheamus vs.
Ryback in a good match. What more can you ask for on a supplemental
b. Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler – Ambrose pinned Ziggler after a
spear from Reigns
Lee b. Nikki Bella – Black Widow
Bryan b. Antonio Cesaro – YES Lock
b. Ryback – Brogue Kick
Wyatt b. Goldust – Sister Abigail
Orton b. Christian – RKO
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Smackdown – January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014
Huntington Center, Toldeo, Ohio
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
past the Rumble now and two third of the Elimination Chamber are
already filled in. There’s a chance we might actually get something
to happen tonight with the final two spots being taken. On top of
that there’s the interesting case of CM Punk who has walked out on
the company which may or may not be a work. Let’s get to it.

open with a recap of Raw with Bryan/Cena/Sheamus defeating the Shield
thanks to the interfering Wyatt Family, earning themselves spots in
the Elimination Chamber along with defending champion Randy Orton.
Shield with something to say. Ambrose talks about how glad Randy
Orton is that the Wyatts interfered on Monday because the title would
be coming back home with the Shield at Elimination Chamber. Ambrose
and Reigns get in a mini argument about who would have won in the
Chamber but Reigns is cool with Ambrose trying to throw him out of
the Rumble because it was every man for himself. Rollins breaks them
up because they have someone more important to deal with right now:
the Wyatts.
talks about how great each member of the Shield is and how they had
the match won on Monday until the Wyatts got involved. If the Wyatts
want a new world, come get one at the hands of the Shield, and yes
that is a challenge. Instead they get Vickie Guerrero who promises
to make history, only to have HHH cut her off. HHH tells them to
drop it about the Wyatts but Roman gets in his face and says this
isn’t a request. The Wyatts vs. the Shield is made for Elimination
Chamber Qualifying Match: Antonio Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
this is an actually fresh match where either guy could win. Cesaro
hits a running dropkick for two at the bell before a standing sunset
flip gets the same. They trade rollups for two each before Ziggler
hits the Fameasser to send Cesaro outside. Back in and Cesaro hits a
quick backbreaker to take over and a big clothesline puts Ziggy
outside as we take a break. We come back with Ziggler in a chinlock
and a clip from the break of Cesaro on the middle rope and suplexing
Ziggler back in from the apron.
fights up and hits a nice dropkick for two before putting on the
sleeper. Cesaro fights out and loads up Swiss Death but Ziggler
turns it into a DDT for a very close two. Antonio is up first and
blocks the Zig Zag before putting on the Swing to a big face pop.
Ziggler is already done and it’s the Neutralizer for the win at 8:34.
C+. This was better than I was
expecting and Cesaro getting the win makes things even better. He
has no chance of winning inside the Chamber but it’s nice to see him
getting even a spot in a match like this. There’s always one guy in
there that can showcase himself and hopefully it’s Antonio this year.
vs. Xavier Woods
is on commentary and Woods now has no mustache. A quick slam puts
Xavier down but he comes back with a quick dropkick, only to be
caught in a wheelbarrow suplex for one. We hit the chinlock on Woods
but he fights up and counters another wheelbarrow suplex by rolling
forward and slamming Fandango face first into the mat. Woods comes
back with some strikes and a nice dropkick to send Fandango outside.
A nice flip dive takes Fandango down again as Emma is dancing in the
crowd again. Back in and Fandango hooks a quick falcon’s arrow for
the pin on Woods at 3:20.
D. Nothing to see here but man
alive I’m over these dancer vs. dancer matches. Woods is another guy
who is just taking up space on the roster while there are more
talented guys down in NXT. He’s not the worst in the world but I
really don’t see the appeal of his in ring work.
makes the save from a post match beatdown and dancing ensues.
Time Players vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
punches Darren to start and drives him into the corner. Off to
Ryback who throws Young out to the floor with ease. Back in and the
Meat Hook sets up Axel’s neckbreaker into a faceplant for the pin at
1:30. My goodness that was quick.
is bleeding from the mouth and Titus isn’t pleased. He’s about to
walk away but Darren says they’re family. Titus says they’re not a
family because this partnership is the first time that Titus has ever
been a loser. The only thing Titus is doing is dropping the dead
weight of Darren Young off his back. Titus kicks him in the chest
and stomps him to the floor, giving us a good old fashioned heel
turn. Young is either in line for a big gimmick change or he’s not
making it to the summer.
Roberts Hall of Fame video.
Rusev and his handler Lana are coming.
Chamber Qualifying Match: Christian vs. Jack Swagger
is Christian’s first match back after a lengthy absence due to
injury. Swagger gets the jobber entrance. We get a clip of Colter
slapping Swagger to fire him up on Monday. JBL gets Zeb to join in
on commentary, showing how important Swagger’s match is to him. Jack
throws Christian up and over the corner to the floor to start before
putting on a body vice. A Vader Bomb gets two and Swagger stays on
the ribs.
fights out of a superplex attempt and gets two off a tornado DDT. A
middle rope dropkick gets the same but Swagger comes right back with
the gutwrench powerbomb for two. Jack walks around for a bit to the
anger of Colter, allowing Colter to get his feet up to block another
Vader Bomb. He comes right back with the Patriot Lock but Christian
sends him shoulder first into the post, setting up the Frog Splash
for the pin at 6:00.
C-. Nice while it lasted but
this was more about angering Colter and getting Christian into the
Chamber than the match itself. I’m hoping this breaks up the Real
Americans as Swagger has dragged the team down since the day they got
together. He’s just been branded as a loser in WWE and that’s almost
impossible to escape.
is happy he won because his window of opportunity is starting to
Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston
inset interview with Sandow says this losing period is just his trial
by fire. Damien grabs a quick rollup for two but Kofi takes him into
the corner to slow him down. A standing sunset flip gets two more
for Sandow as Kofi rolls through and kicks Sandow in the chest.
Trouble in Paradise hits the ropes but a sloppy SOS is good for the
pin on Sandow at 1:57. Not a good match.
look at Heyman demanding Brock get a match with either Batista or
Orton but getting neither. As a result, Lesnar broke up the New Age
Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust on Raw.
his weekly sitdown interview, HHH announces Cody/Goldust vs. the
Outlaws for the titles on Raw in a cage.
Dogg vs. Cody Rhodes
has a bad arm coming in due to Lesnar’s attack on Raw. A quick
clothesline takes Roadie down as we hear about Brock being fined
$10,000 for attacking a referee on Sunday. Road Dogg goes after the
arm by wrapping it around the ropes and ramming it into the buckle.
Cody fights out of an armbar and both guys ram heads to put each
other down. Rhodes takes over with a kick to the ribs and a
springboard missile dropkick as Billy and Goldust get in a fight on
the floor. There’s a Disaster Kick to Gunn and a second one to Dogg
for the pin at 3:53.
D+. This didn’t do much for me
but it did what it was supposed to do for Monday. I don’t think the
Outlaws lose the belts on Raw which hopefully leads to a long overdue
Usos title reign. Road Dogg continues to look decent in the ring,
especially after being out of action for so long.
is out for the main event when the Wyatts appear on screen. Bray is
looking forward to the war, especially the Shield waving those white
flags. For once Harper actually speaks about the beautiful hill
Shield has chosen to die on. Bray says don’t invite the devil into
your back yard because he might like it and choose to stay.
vs. Sheamus/Rey Mysterio/Daniel Bryan
takes Rollins over with a headlock to start before a shoulder block
sends Seth into the Shield corner. We get the tag to Reigns and it’s
time for a big power showdown. The fans aren’t sure who to cheer for
but it’s Reigns running Sheamus over with a shoulder of his own.
Roman stomps on Sheamus in the corner but the pale one comes back
with a hard clothesline and a neckbreaker.
to Ambrose for some right hands but Sheamus drapes him across the top
rope, setting up the forearms to the chest. The spot is definitely
still over and Ambrose falls to the floor as we take a break. Back
with Bryan putting Seth in the surfboard with the dragon sleeper
before it’s off to Rey for a running kick to the chest and a two
count. A middle rope hurricanrana looks to set up the 619 but Reigns
tags himself in and throws Rey outside.
to Rollins for a lot of trash talk and a chinlock as JBL asks Cole
what he means when he calls Rollins the Architect of the Shield.
Apparently Cole means tactician, which of course is why he calls
Rollins the Architect. Rey sends Seth into the middle buckle and
it’s hot tag to Bryan as things speed up. He backflips over Reigns
in the corner and hits the running clothesline to set up the YES
is low bridged to the floor to set up the FLYING GOAT. Sheamus
catches Rollins in the Irish Curse but gets dropped with a Superman
Punch. The missile dropkick from Bryan sets up the YES Lock to
Reigns but it’s Ambrose with the save. Sheamus’ bad shoulder goes
into the post but you don’t need a good shoulder to Brogue Kick
Ambrose in the face. There’s the 619 to Rollins and Rey sets up one
on Reigns, only to have Roman pop up and spear Rey in half for the
pin at 12:50.
C+. Typically
good Shield match here with Sheamus looking like he hasn’t lost a
step. The fans seem to like him as well so at least there isn’t that
awkward phase where he gets back to what he was doing. He’s still in
need of a story and an actual challenge though. Bryan got a solid
reaction as always but didn’t really do much here.
B-. This
show addressed the main problem that Smackdown has been having for
several months now: something actually happened here. While it
wasn’t anything major, we had a tag team split up which we haven’t
seen in a long time. That’s a good thing as the division is growing
and the Prime Time Players were little more than jobbers in the
division anyway. On top of that we had a PPV match made and the
Chamber was filled in. It’s nice to have this show feel like it
means something for a change.
Cesaro b. Dolph Ziggler – Neutralizer
b. Xavier Woods – Falcon’s arrow
Axel b. Prime Time Players – Neckbreaker into a faceplant to Young
b. Jack Swagger – Frog Splash
Kingston b. Damien Sandow – SOS
Rhodes b. Road Dogg – Disaster Kick
b. Rey Mysterio/Daniel Bryan/Sheamus – Spear to Mysterio
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Smackdown – January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
John Bradshaw Layfield, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
the go home show for the Rumble and not a lot changed this past week
on Raw. Batista is back and apparently people are still interested
in him, meaning I can’t imagine anyone else taking the Rumble at this
point. Since it’s Friday, I’m guessing we’ll be getting a big tag
match to close out the week. Let’s get to it.

open with an in memory of George Scott graphic. Always nice to see.
sequence actually opens us up.
main event tonight is a ten man tag with the Usos/Rhodes
Brothers/Langston vs. Shield/New Age Outlaws.
Real Americans are in the ring to start with Colter ranting about Big
Show attacking him. Unfortunately his voice is better now and not as
awesome as it was last week. We get a clip from two weeks ago of Big
Show knocking Colter out cold which set up tonight’s tag match with
Show/Mysterio vs. the Real Americans. Colter doesn’t think Mysterio
is his real name either. Speaking of names, Colter comes up with
various names for Big Show/Mysterio: the Border Jumping Buddies,
Tacos Supremos Hold the Salsa and El Gordito and the Jumping Bean.
Americans vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio
charges at Big Show to start and is easily thrown down. Some
forearms to the back send Jack running to the corner for a tag off to
Cesaro who is thrown around as well. Show puts his foot on Cesaro’s
face and lifts him up by the arm for a kind of reverse curb stomp.
Cesaro is tossed out to the floor and Mysterio takes him down with a
seated senton off the apron. A kick to the face drops Swagger and we
take a break. Back with Cesaro holding a chinlock on Mysterio until
Rey fights up and gets two off a rollup.
doesn’t like being covered so he Swings Mysterio around for a few
seconds. Off to Swagger who counters catches a middle rope
hurricanrana in midair, only to be sent face first into the middle
buckle. Cesaro comes back in but the Real Americans get caught in a
double DDT, allowing for the hot tag to Big Show. The monster
hiptosses both Americans with ONE ARM. That’s very cool looking,
even if both of them helped with the throw. A 619 sets up the WMD
and the splash off Big Show’s shoulders for the pin on Cesaro at
C-. The match was formula stuff
but it made Big Show look good going into the showdown on Sunday.
Mysterio was just kind of there but it’s good to see him in the ring
instead of on the injured list all the time. He’s nowhere near what
he used to be but at his age and with his knees held together with
glue, it’s about as good as you can expect.
comes out post match and tells Big Show to enjoy his health while he
can, because there will be nothing to celebrate on Sunday. Big Show
did throw Lesnar around on Monday, but it’s only made Brock want to
hurt Big Show even more. Lesnar will be WWE Champion after dealing
with the giant.
Miz vs. Brodus Clay
the match, Wade Barrett’s podium rises up and he informs us that
while the ten man tag will be awesome tonight, this is going to be
one of the worst matches in WWE history. He starts the MIZ IS AWFUL
chant and bangs his gavel in place of the five clap sequence. That’s
really not something you should say on your programming, even for a
Miz match. Miz jumps Barrett while the crowd takes up the chant.
Barrett keeps taking jabs at the match, calling it one of the worst
things he’s ever seen and thinking the crowd wants milk and cookies.
He asks Clay to dance and the distraction lets Miz hits a DDT for the
pin at 1:22.
goes up to the podium but Barrett laughs down at him.
By The Numbers promo.
Lee vs. Cameron
AJ quickly takes her down but charges into a boot in the corner.
Cameron stops to dance a bit before dropping a leg for two. A
baseball slide puts Naomi down but she walks into a Shining Wizard
for the pin at 1:32.
match Tamina goes after Cameron but Naomi makes the save and lays AJ
out with a Bubba Bomb.
ReBound shows Batista returning and laying out Alberto.
says twenty seven other men are going to enter the Royal Rumble as
hungry dogs. Those other people can pretend they’re going to have a
chance but it’s just wishful thinking. All of the other men are
casualties and Reigns says he’ll win.
Axel vs. Los Matadores
thinks El Torito is a descendant of Mr. Ed. Ryback slams Diego down
for an early two before Axel comes in to ram Diego into the corner.
A nice running dropkick keeps Diego in trouble, causing Josh to say
Torito has a look of concern on his face. JBL: “HE’S A BULL!”
Back to Ryback who toys with Diego even more before jumping off the
middle rope into a pair of boots. Axel can’t break up the hot tag
attempt and Fernando comes in to clean house. A double arm DDT gets
two on Axel but Ryback makes the save and throws Diego to the floor.
Fernando throws Ryback out, only to get rolled up by Axel for the pin
at 3:20.
C-. I believe that’s Los
Matadores’ first loss, but thankfully they stayed undefeated for so
long because they haven’t been on TV all that much. They’re just not
an interesting team at all and I can’t picture them lasting much
longer without being relegated to Superstars. It’s nice to see Axel
get a pin as well.
match Torito IMMEDIATELY sends Axel to the floor and dives on him
Ryback so the fans won’t have their spirits crushed or something.
Punk to address Kane making him #1 in the Rumble. We get a clip of
Punk calling Kane a suck up last week, earning himself a chokeslam as
well as a clip from Raw of Kane apologizing and getting knocked to
the floor. Punk talks about the Authority’s lapdog making him the #1
entrant in the Rumble to stack the deck against him. That’s what he
expected from HHH and Stephanie but it just motivates him to become
WWE Champion again.
done a lot in the WWE but the one glaring omission is winning the
Rumble. Now that he’s #1 it might be the toughest match he’s ever
competed in, but that’s what you have to expect if you call yourself
the best in the world. On Sunday he’s going to punch the lion in the
face and do everything he can to be the last man standing.
brings out Kane who says that Punk has a .000000186 chance of
winning, or one in five hundred million. Maybe his odds are a little
better because he’s best in the world though. Punk says never tell
him the odds and that it’s sad to see what has happened to the
Devil’s Favorite Demon. Is he the Authority’s Favorite Statistician
now? Punk isn’t worried because the #1 entrant has won before and
he’s been the best since day one.
recap Bryan vs. Wyatt who have a match on Sunday. I’m actually
looking forward to that showdown.
Family vs. Prime Time Players
pounds on Young in the corner to start before kicking his head off
with a big boot. Off to Rowan who takes off the mask to reveal that
hideous face of his. Harper loads up a whip to send Rowan into the
corner but instead Rowan whips Harper into the other corner to take
out Titus. The discus lariat ends Young at 1:05 in a total squash.
gets Sister Abigail post match and Bray says he’ll change the world.
You can hear some Bo Dallas in his voice as he speaks, only to have
Daniel Bryan cut him off. Bryan says listen to these people because
they don’t fear fate, the reapers or burning with the saints. On
Sunday, Daniel will no longer be trapped in Bray’s madness, but Bray
will be trapped in Daniel’s prison. He’ll find out who the real
monster is as the fans chant YES.
vs. Kofi Kingston
the entrances we get an inset interview from Kofi who says that he’s
done some amazing things to stay in the Rumble, but this Sunday he’s
going to perform his greatest feat of all: win the Royal Rumble and
go on to headline Wrestlemania. Simple, to the point, ties into his
character’s history. I’d love these sort of promos to be more
shoulder block puts Kofi down and Fandango gyrates a bit. Back up
and Kofi throws him over the top and out to the corner (nice touch)
and we get an Emma sighting. Fandango
rams him into the apron to take over and something resembling a Pele
gets two on Kofi back inside. Kingston pops back up and sends
Fandango into the ropes for Trouble in Paradise and the pin at 2:57.
Just a match.
By The Numbers Part II.
recap of Cena vs. Orton.
Age Outlaws/Shield vs. Usos/Cody Rhodes/Goldust/Big E. Langston
and Rollins get things going with Seth stomping him down in the
corner. They run the ropes a few times until Jimmy stops to dance
and grab an arm. Ambrose
comes in and has his arm worked on for a few minutes before a right hand
gets two. Langston gets the tag and charges into Ambrose’s ribs in
the corner before hitting a series of backbreakers to keep Dean in
trouble. Dean gets a boot up in the corner and tags in Reigns for a
big running clothesline.
E. gets triple teamed for a bit but just powers Shield off and makes
the tag to Cody. Things speed up a bit with a springboard missile
dropkick and the Disaster Kick but Gunn comes in for a shot from
behind to take over. We take a break and come back with Cody sunset flipping Rollins for two before Seth takes him back down. Gunn
gets the tag and drops a knee for two. The heels continue their
tagging with Reigns hammering on his back and holding him in place
with a cravate.
comes back in with a spinning belly to back suplex for two but Cody
fights out of a belly to back superplex and hits the moonsault press
on the now legal Reigns. Goldust gets the hot tag to clean house and
even hits a top rope hurricanrana to blow everyone’s minds. A
powerslam gets two on Road Dogg and here’s Langston for the Big
Ending on Rollins but Roman makes the save with a spear.
superkicks Reigns down and Jimmy adds the Superfly Splash but throws
Dean to the floor instead of covering. The Usos load up the stereo
dives but Billy cuts off Jimmy and takes him down with the Fameasser.
Cody comes back in for the Disaster Kick but Roadie takes him down
with the pumphandle slam, only to have Goldust grab a rollup but
Shield makes a save as the match is thrown out at 13:20.
B-. This was an old formula tag
match but the very hot finish helped it out a lot. I’m a sucker for
the parade of finishers to set up the ending and when you have ten
guys it’s quite a long parade. The DQ ending is a smart move here as
you don’t want anyone doing a job going into the Rumble or a title
gets in and we get the traditional huge brawl with everyone else
announced for the Rumble (other than Batista of course) coming to
join in the fight. CM Punk comes out to a BIG pop to get in on the
brawl as the show goes off the air.
B. This is the show
they’ve been needing to have since the beginning of the year.
Tonight was about the Rumble match itself with people wanting to go
to Wrestlemania, which is the whole point of the show this Sunday.
The other matches got some nice build as well and for once I’m
excited for the entire show. Tonight wasn’t supposed to be about
good matches or the in ring action and it wasn’t the focus. Good
episode tonight which did its job.
Show/Rey Mysterio b. Real Americans – Splash to Cesaro
Miz b. Wade Barrett – DDT
Lee b. Cameron – Shining Wizard
Axel/Ryback b. Los Matadores – Rollup to Fernando
Family b. Prime Time Players – Discus lariat to Young
Kingston b. Fandango – Trouble in Paradise
E. Langston/Cody Rhodes/Goldust b. Shield/New Age Outlaws via DQ when
all three members of Shield came into the ring
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Smackdown – January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, The Miz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
main story coming off Raw is of course Daniel Bryan turning on the
Wyatts to a huge reaction. I thought Bryan was going to leave them
eventually though this was faster than I was expecting. Other than
that, the road to the Rumble started to pick up on Monday as people
names were added to the match to make it give it far more star power
than it had before. Tonight we should get a few more names added to
the match as the show is in nine days. Let’s get to it.

Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust
Cole recaps the turn on Raw and says he doesn’t get the suprise at
the Outlaws’ treachery. For once, he’s absolutely right. Roadie
does the intro and the PG issues get a bit muddled. Why can’t Road
Dogg swear on the way to the ring but can when he’s introducing
Billy? Goldust and Road Dogg get things going with Roadie suckering
Goldust in for some shaky punches. Goldust takes him into the corner
for some right hands of his own followed by a back elbow to the jaw.

comes in but is backdropped out to the floor, allowing for a tag off
to Cody. Why Goldust is exhausted already is beyond me as he was
barely touched. He powerslams Roadie down and tags in his brother to
a nice pop. Cody cleans house on Gunn but has to deal with Road Dogg
as well. A double springboard missile dropkick puts the Outlaws down
for two as everything breaks down.
and Roadie go to the floor as Cody avoids the Fameasser but has Cross
Rhodes countered as well. Billy gets two off a tilt-a-whirl slam but
still can’t hit the Fameasser. There’s the Disaster Kick….and
Vickie Guerrero interrupts. She reminds us that the Royal Rumble is
every man for himself, including brother vs. brother. The
distraction lets Billy roll up Cody for the pin at 4:43.
C-. Goldust’s cardiovascular
issues aside, this wasn’t bad until the stupid ending. It’s bad
enough that I have to put up with the stupid corporate stuff on
Impact but now I have to put up with it on Smackdown as well. I’d
love to sit down with the creative team and show them some old
matches so they can see other ways heels can cheat to win a match.
What do I have to do to get a cover with feet on the ropes around
Punk says he’s going to call out all three members of the Shield.
Literally that’s that entire interview.
Paul Heyman to brag about how amazing Lesnar is, focusing on
destroying Mark Henry. After that though, Lesnar was attacked by Big
Show who implied he could take Brock out. Heyman admits that Big
Show is intimidating but he’ll fall to Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.
talks about going through wars with Lesnar at his side, meaning he
has to fear no evil. Big Show may hurt Zeb Colter, but he won’t
won’t hurt Heyman to get to Brock, including on Raw when Lesnar
appears live. Big Show comes out and Heyman is in the crowd before
Big Show is all the way in the ring. Big Show shows us a clip from
Raw where Show threw Lesnar around, followed by Big Show promising to
knock Lesnar out.
Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio
the match Rey talks about Del Rio being afraid of Batista, sending
Del Rio into a frenzy to start. He wraps Rey’s arm around the rope
but gets sent outside for Rey’s sliding splash under the bottom rope.
Back in and Del Rio crotches Rey down to tie him up in the Tree of
Woe for a kick to the ribs as we take a break. Back with Rey hitting
a top rope seated senton, only to run into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
for two.
talks about George Washington for some reason as Rey rolls through a
sunset flip and kicks Del Rio in the head for two. The corner
enziguri brings Rey down from the top again but Del Rio can’t pin
him. Rey comes back with a tornado DDT for two of his own but Del
Rio hits the Codebreaker on the arm. The armbreaker is countered
into the 619 but the top rope splash hits knees. Del Rio loads up
the low superkicks but Rey counters into a rollup for the pin at
C+. This took time to get going
but the last few minutes were good back and forth stuff. It was a
nice change of pace for Del Rio to not be on the arm the entire way
through, even though he stayed on the arm as is his custom. This was
way better than their basic match on Raw, which is nice as they have
chemistry together.
match Del Rio jumps Mysterio and puts him in the cross armbreaker.
vs. Tamina Snuka
from Tamina hitting AJ with the Rear View on Monday. Emma is in the
audience doing her dance again. Miz reads a statement from Maryse
congraulating AJ on breaking her record for longest reigning Divas
Champion. Naomi jumps Tamina to start but is easily knocked down and
backdropped for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Naomi
comes back with some kicks to the ribs and a modified bulldog. A
Bubba Bomb puts Tamina down but the referee is looking at Cameron and
AJ. Tamina uses the distraction to kick Tamina in the head and hit a
split legged moonsault for the pin at 2:35.
on Mae Young. These are always saddening yet cool at the same time.
If there has ever been a woman more willing to do anything to
entertain a crowd, I’d love to see her.
of Bryan turning on Bray Wyatt Monday to a huge reaction.
Bray without his hat in person with something to say. I love that
you can’t see Harper and Rowan until the lights come on even though
they’re right next to Bray. He talks about wanting to be powerful
like his father as a child. Bray did his best to appease him and be
just like him but it was never good enough. His father was never
there for him and never entrusted Bray with his kingdom.
he cast Bray out amidst the sheep, forcing him to walk the earth
alone. But then Sister Abigail saved him by singing the sweetest
songs Bray had ever heard. Bray became obsessed with her beauty and
power, but Abigail told him that Bray would be betrayed again on his
path to righteousness.
was the moment that Abigail was talking about, when Bray knew he had
to sacrifice himself to be resurrected into the creature he was born
to be. You can’t hurt him because he’s already dead and he does not
bleed like we do. Daniel Bryan was given a chance to walk with the
reapers but now he will be forced to walk with the saints. More
creepy stuff here as Bray’s backstory is slowly filled in.
is going to call out the New Age Outlaws in addition to the Shield.
If that’s career suicide, consider it a gift to the Authority.
E. Langston vs. Fandango
as well. Langston hits a quick backbreaker to start and Fandango
bails to the floor. Back in and the dancer pounds away with right
hands but Langston runs him over with a shoulder block. Fandango
avoids a charge in the corner and kicks Big E. to the outside before
pulling Langston’s shoulder into the post. Langston is thrown back
inside and we hit the armbar for a few moments as the match slows
down. Big E. easily powers Fandango to the floor as JBL and Miz
argue over who was a bigger star. Fandango is suplexed down, setting
up the Warrior Splash, the running Vader Attack and the Big Ending
for the win at 4:16.
D+. Pretty boring match here
but Big E. getting clean wins on TV is the right idea for him.
Fandango got in some offense here instead of just being the sandwich
that Langston had for supper tonight. He’s not going to be a big
deal for a long time but it’s better than getting squashed.
thinks it’s the other 27 people in the Rumble that need to be worried
instead of the three of them. Ambrose says he wouldn’t throw Rollins
out but Rollins says Dean couldn’t do it anyway. Rollins would throw
Ambrose out, leading to an argument between the two. Reigns cuts
them off and says he’ll throw both of them out and go to
Wrestlemania, but they’ll still be a united Shield.
Warrior Hall of Fame video.
on the WWE Network.
look back at Kofi shocking Orton on Monday, leading to Orton
attacking Cena’s dad. HHH has promised to deal with Orton
Americans vs. Usos
is in a wheelchair to sell the attack on Monday. Cesaro and Swagger
do the hand over the heart but Zeb rolls down the ramp without them
holding him in place. Before
the match, Colter, with his voice muffled by the neck brace, says he
wants Lesnar to destroy Big Show at the Rumble before asking the fans
do say WE THE PEOPLE. Jimmy
has bad ribs and Jey has a bad shoulder due to the cage match on
throws Jey around to start and the injuries take their tole
immediately. Off to Cesaro for some shoulders to the ribs before
Swagger comes back in with knees to the midsection as well. Jack
launches Cesaro into a splash in the corner and Antonio follows up
with rights and lefts to the ribs as we take a break. Back with
Jimmy in the Cesaro Swing which still gets a nice reaction, months
after it was at its peak. Jimmy fights off the dizziness and kicks
the Real Americans in the face and stomach, finally allowing the hot
tag to Jey. The running Umaga attack gets two on Jack and a Samoan
drop gets the same.
is knocked to the floor but Jey gets caught in the Patriot Lock.
Jimmy superkicks Swagger for the save before chasing Antonio to the
floor. Cesaro hides behind Colter’s wheelchair before missing a
charge into the barricade. Jimmy shoves the wheelchair into Cesaro
for a big crash as Jey hits an electric chair drop on Swagger. Jey
drops the Superfly Splash for the pin at 9:16.
C. The idea was fine here with
the Real Americans working on the injuries but we’ve seen these teams
fight so many times now that it’s hard to care anymore. Colter is so
good on the mic but he needs someone better than these two losers to
get anywhere. Swagger is in such desperate need of repackaging it’s
Punk for the big call out to end the show. Punk says he’s out here
because he’s not a coward like the Authority. He doesn’t need an
army of people to fight his battles for him, but maybe he’s insane.
Yeah he might get slaughtered by Shield and the Outlaws so why not
also call out the In Laws, the Ultimate Warrior, the Dingo Warrior
and the Road Warriors?
thing is, people listen to him when he talks and that’s real power.
Punk talks about HHH abusing his power to satisfy his own agenda
while hiding behind his wife. Shield’s music cuts Punk off before he
can get too far into that though, which is a nice touch if it was
intentional. The Outlaws come out before Shield can get to the ring
and Punk is surrounded.
holds up the microphone as his weapon but Kane’s pyro goes off and he
orders everyone to stand down. He gets in the ring and says the
Authority doesn’t want it this way. Punk’s anger is displaced and
his paranoia is getting the better of him. The Authority wants Punk
to main event Wrestlemania, which is why they entered him in the
fact, Kane’s new top directive is to treat Punk with the respect that
he deserves. Punk looks confused as Kane leaves so he asks if he has
Kane’s word. Kane nods but Punk doesn’t buy it because Kane is a
seven foot suck up. Kane says get him before catching a distracted
Punk in a chokeslam to end the show.
C-. This is another
show that didn’t need to exist. The wrestling wasn’t bad, the promos
weren’t bad and the ending advanced very little, but the show isn’t
actively bad. That’s the best way to describe Smackdown as a whole:
not much happens, but it’s better than having your face carved up
with a branding iron. In a way though that’s the worst kind of show
as it’s not bad enough to make fun of but it’s not good enough to be
worth seeing either. In a word, Smackdown exists and that’s all
there is to say about it.
Age Outlaws b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Rollup to Rhodes
Mysterio b. Alberto Del Rio – Rollup
b. Tamina Snuka – Split legged moonsault
E. Langston b. Fandango – Big Ending
b. Real Americans – Superfly Splash to Swagger
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Smackdown – January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
isn’t much to talk about coming into this show. Monday was Old
School Raw and the biggest story to come out of that was the
surprising return of Jake Roberts who looked better than he has in
years. Talk has turned to the Rumble though as we’re now just over
two weeks away. Things can start to get very interesting very fast
around this time so hopefully the pace picks up. Let’s get to it.

open with a Wyatt Family promo and Bray talking about Daniel being
lost and needing his guidance.
vs. Wyatt Family
Harper and Rowan with no Daniel or Bray in sight. Harper overpowers
Jimmy to start by driving him into the corner, only to have Jey make
a blind tag and sneak in with a kick to Harper’s ribs. That’s all
good with Luke as he takes Jey down with ease before bringing in
Rowan who gets kicked in the chest to change control again. Rowan
runs him over with a shoulder and puts Jey on the corner for forearms
to the chest from both monsters.
stays on Jey but gets kicked in the head, knocking him back into the
corner for a tag back to Harper. Luke kicks Jimmy off the apron to
break up a tag before it’s back to Rowan for some face pulling. Jey
tries to fight back but gets caught in a fallaway slam for no cover.
Harper comes back in and breaks up another tag attempt with a shot to
the ribs and another to the jaw.
catapult sends Jey throat first into the middle rope and we hit the
Gator Roll. Back to Rowan for the fist head squeeze until Jey fights
out with a jawbreaker and Whisper in the Wind. Harper and Jimmy come
in off the hot tags with Jimmy speeding things up but not moving as
quickly as he usually does.
Samoan drop puts Harper down but Jimmy has to superkick Rowan, only
to walk into a Michinoku Driver from Harper. Everything breaks down
and Jimmy rolls Luke up for two. Harper is sent to the floor so
Jimmy can hit a big dive to put everyone down. Rowan runs Jey over
as Harper comes back with the discus lariat, leading to the double
countout at 9:45.
C+. The match was entertaining
but we’re getting very close to the maximum amount of times these
teams (or Usos vs. Shield) can happen with the fans still caring.
It’s been the same match over and over for months now and it’s losing
its interest every week. It also doesn’t help that the Usos have
been in the same spot in the division for months now with wins and
losses meaning nothing for them.
match the Wyatts get ready to destroy Jey but Jimmy makes the save
and gets them out of there. They get up the ramp but Bryan and Wyatt
jump them from behind and it’s a 4-2 beatdown. There’s the running
knee to Jey and Bryan stares at the announcers with his tongue out.
Jimmy gets Sister Abigail and all four Wyatts pose. For some reason
this was on a wider camera shot.
Orton comes into Vickie’s office and demands to see HHH and Stephanie
but they’re not here tonight. Randy is in a match tonight but hasn’t
been consulted like he’s supposed to be. Vickie loads up the Best
for Business line but Orton doesn’t want to hear it. He’s going to
give the Authority a piece of his mind on Raw because it’s best for
Randy Orton.
MizTV with special guest the Big Show. Before Show comes out we look
at Lesnar breaking Mark Henry’s arm on Monday before Big Show came
out and threw Lesnar around. Miz recaps the story again and asks Big
Show why he did what he did. Big Show puts it simply: he doesn’t
like Brock Lesnar and never has. He’s not happy that Brock Lesnar is
back and doesn’t like it when everyone who stands up to Brock Lesnar
is left laying.
Show challenges Lesnar to a fight and here’s Heyman to answer.
Heyman calls Lesnar the Ultimate Fighter of WWE and asks if Big Show
wants to fight Brock right now. Big Show is ready and Heyman does
his always great fake out, saying Brock will fight when Heyman says
so. Heyman throws out an offer for a match at the Royal Rumble and
says Brock will not be a hard man to find before then.
is still coming.
on the Network announcement. I drool more every time I hear the
Axel/Real Americans vs. Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara/Los Matadores
sends Axel into the corner but Axel knees him in the ribs and takes
over. They run the ropes until Diego stops to shout OLE! Axel sends
him into the corner for something like Ultimo Dragon’s headstand
until Diego takes him down with a headscissors. Off to Fernando who
gets taken into the corner for the tag to Cesaro. Fernando nips up
off the mat into a headscissors and it’s back to Diego to chop
Swagger in the head.
comes in immediately and gets dropkicked by Sin Cara, sending him
into the corner for a tag off to Ryback. A few dropkicks have Ryback
in trouble but he bails to the floor before Rey can hit the 619. The
good guys are in control as we go to a break. Back with Swagger
driving a knee into Rey’s ribs and elbowing him in the face.
Vader Bomb hits feet and Rey kicks him in the head for two as
everything breaks down. Torito dives on Axel as Rey rolls out of the
Patriot Lock but the 619 is caught, only to have Cara break up the
pin. Sin and Axel take each other out to the floor, allowing Rey to
hit the 619 and Drop the Dime for the pin on Jack at 4:40 shown of
C. I guess they have to put all
the Hispanic guys together since they put all their dancing black
people together. We’re just an Aces and 8’s invasion away from GANG
WARS 2! This took some time to get going but the ending was very
fun. Sin Cara looks like he has some potential….which is why Del
Rio beat him in two minutes on Raw I guess.
on Cena vs. Orton.
Orton vs. Big E. Langston
of course. Langston takes him down with a shoulder block but Orton
rolls to the floor before a cover. Back in and a headlock sets up
another shoulder block sends Orton to the floor again. Orton comes
in again and punches Big E. down, only to walk into a headbutt for
two. Langston sends Orton to the mat with a single right hand to the
ribs before slapping on an armbar.
fights up again and pounds on Big E., only to get caught in a
backbreaker. A second backbreaker gets two and Langston is getting
in a zone. Randy escapes the Big Ending and bails to the floor as we
take a break. Back with the chinlock until Big E. powers out, only
to get kneed in the ribs for two. Back to the chinlock but Big E.
fights up again.
comeback is short lived again though as Orton sends him through the
ropes to the floor. Langston is sent into the steps twice in a row
for two before we hit the chinlock again. Big E. fights up one more
time and runs Orton over twice in a row, followed by a belly to belly
suplex. The Warrior Splash gets two but Orton hits his backbreaker
to get a breather. The RKO is countered with a splash in the corner
but Orton pokes Big E. in the eye, setting up the RKO for the pin at
C+. I missed pokes to the eyes.
They’re such a simple heel move but they can be just what you need
to get a heel through an ending. This match worked for the most part
but it could have had a few minutes of chinlocks taken out. It’s
good that Langston gets to look like he can hang in there against top
guys. There’s a future there if he’s used properly.
Wyatt talks about fate being a dangerous beast. She tears you apart
with her teeth while tearing you apart with her eyes. Bray wants to
know if he cuts an Uso, will the other bleed? He asks about the lies
of the world, making Daniel scream LIE. Daniel rants about the lies
of the world making him want to ram his head into a wall until he
breaks something.
Woods vs. Fandango
is a result of Fandango interrupting and costing Truth and Woods a
match on Main Event. Truth joins commentary and says he and JBL are
down like four flat tires. Woods takes him down with a headlock to
start but Fandango sends him out to the floor. Xavier slingshots
back into a rollup for the pin at 1:25. It’s as fast as it sounds.
match Summer Rae goes into the ring to yell but the Funkadactyls take
care of her. Truth beats up Fandango for fun.
Usos promises to show the Wyatts pain on Monday.
Raw ReBound recaps most of the show.
comes to the ring for the main event. Reigns declares himself the
new best in the world after pinning Punk on Raw. Ambrose says
there’s no reason for someone to own a ten foot python and it gave
him nightmares. He goes into a rant about choking the snake but
Rollins takes the mic and says tonight is about the future, meaning
it’s not about the New Age Outlaws. They’ll break Punk like they
always do because they are the future.
vs. CM Punk/New Age Outlaws
Outlaws haven’t wrestled on Smackdown in nearly 13 years. Naturally
the Philadelphia fans are WAY into Punk. Ambrose and Punk get things
going with Dean headlocking Punk to the mat, only to get caught in a
headscissors. Off to Road Dogg who works on the arm for a few
seconds before handing it off to Billy for more cranking. Cole
screws up history by saying the Outlaws debuted as part of DX as
Billy puts Rollins in an armbar. The Outlaws take turns on the
armfor a bit before Punk comes in with a top rope elbow to the arm.
gets in a shot to the jaw and tags in Ambrose, only to have Punk take
him down into an Indian Deathlock. Punk misses the high kick and
Dean bails to the floor as everything breaks down. Shield is sent to
the floor to regroup as we take a break. Back with Ambrose working
over Road Dogg until Roadie comes back with the shaky right hands.
Rollins comes back in with a knee to the head for two before it’s
back to Reigns for some corner stomping. Back to Ambrose who does
the Road Dogg arm wiggle, only to have Road punch him in the face.
will have none of this selling for old guys and knees Dogg in the
ribs before tagging off to Rollins for a chinlock. Road Dogg is
taken back into the corner for more triple teaming before Reigns
comes back in for a chinlock. Reigns lets him go and ducks his head,
allowing Road Dogg to put him down with a DDT. Ambrose can’t break
up the hot tag attempt and it’s Punk in to clean house.
hits his usual stuff on Ambrose but can’t get the GTS. Both guys hit
cross bodies to put each other down and it’s a double tag to bring in
Billy vs. Roman. Everything breaks down with Gunn cleaning house and
getting two off a Jackhammer to Rollins. Punk hits a suicide dive to
take out Seth but Billy takes too long setting up the Fameasser,
allowing Reigns to spear him down for the pin at 14:25.
C-. This feud has lost its way.
Punk beat Shield on his own, so why should I want to see him fight
them with a variety of partners? I have no problem with the Outlaws
getting a match on Smackdown as they still looked fine out there.
They were never my favorite team though and it’s not like they were
known for their in ring work in the first place. The match wasn’t
bad but it was little more than fine.
D+. I remember reading
something like same Smackdown, different week and that’s about as
accurate as it gets. There’s just nothing on these shows that you
need to see and we’re not even getting a great match every week
anymore. The show is back to being a supplement to Raw and that’s
not something I need when Raw is as bloated as it is.
Family vs. Usos went to a double countout
Mysterio/Los Matadores/Sin Cara b. Real Americans/Ryback/Curtis Axel
Orton b. Big E. Langston – RKO
Woods b. Fandango – Rollup
b. CM Punk/New Age Outlaws – Spear to Gunn

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Smackdown – January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

coming up on the Rumble and there are two major stories coming out of
Monday: the return of Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan joining the
Wyatts. The main reaction seems to be that Bryan joining is a slap
in the fans’ face and I’m not sure where this idea is coming from.
The first thing I thought when he agreed to join was that it was a
plan by Bryan to infiltrate the Family and take them apart from the
inside. I can’t imagine this doesn’t end with anything other than
Bryan doing something to cost the Wyatts big, setting up a showdown
between Bray and Daniel, perhaps in the Rumble? Let’s get to it.

open with a recap of the end of Raw with Bryan turning his back on
the fans and joining the Family.
the Shield in the ring to open the show. Ambrose says they’ve heard
all the stories about the Shield crumbling from within and that some
egos (with an arm around Reigns) are out of control. All of those
rumors are dead wrong and if CM Punk thinks he can take down the
Shield he’s in for a surprise. Reigns thinks the weak link in the
team is obvious (with a look over at Ambrose): there isn’t a weak
link. Rollins says the setbacks are temporary because the Shield
will come together and dominate WWE.
vs. Usos
is the odd man out and sits in on commentary. Reigns gets things
going with Jimmy and headbutts him in the corner. Jimmy gets taken
down to the mat and stomped by Roman before it’s off to Seth who
walks into a clothesline. Off to Jey for the first time and a back
elbow to the jaw for two. The Usos get two more off a double elbow
drop as Ambrose talks about taking over the WWE and closing down
every bar and saloon from Dallas to Singapore. I miss wrestlers
implying that they associate with each other off television.
gets two off a backdrop before it’s back to Jey for an armdrag into
an armbar. An uppercut stops Seth’s comeback and a clothesline puts
him on the floor. The Usos hit stereo kicks to Reigns’ ribs to send
him outside before backdropping Rollins on top of him. We take a
break and come back with Jey holding Rollins in a chickenwing before
Seth takes him into the corner for a tag to Reigns.
takes Jey down with an elbow to the jaw as Shield takes over. Seth
comes back in off the top with a right hand to the ribs. The
announcers actually talk about unifying the midcard titles, meaning
it might be a real possibility at the moment. Cole asks Ambrose if
he’d like to face Langston. Ambrose, partially in song no less, says
no and asks Cole to stop bullying him and “BE A STAR.” Can we
just get Punk and Ambrose to do commentary on random matches? I’d
buy the Network for that alone.
to a cobra clutch by Rollins before Reigns comes back in to bend
Jey’s arm around the rope. Ambrose keeps spinning around in his
chair at commentary. Reigns misses a charge and falls out to the
floor. Seth can’t make a diving save so Jey makes the hot tag off to
Jimmy. Everything breaks down and Rollins gets Samoan dropped but
rolls to the floor before the Umaga attack can connect. Reigns is
sent outside as well but Ambrose runs in for the DQ at 9:03 shown of
C+. These teams are reaching
the point where they could have good matches in their sleep. The
Usos are becoming the Kofi Kingstons of the tag division as you’re
guaranteed a good match but they’re never going to go anywhere beyond
where they are now. Hopefully they can break that mold and
eventually get the titles that they’re long overdue to win.
Shield can get far in their triple team, CM Punk comes out for the
the night we’re going to get New Year’s Resolutions from Superstars.
Up first are the Prime Time Players who want to use their talents to
do more good and…..get a macaroni recipe?
six man tag, etc.
vs. R-Truth
gets in on commentary as Fandango pounds Truth into the corner.
Truth does his backflip to the middle of the ring and hiptosses
Fandango down. Woods brags about getting a PHD and being the only
man in history to be a doctor and work for WWE. JBL: “What about
Dr. Jerry Graham and Dr. Tom Pritchard?”
sums up the connection between he and Truth: they’re friends and
Truth got him into wrestling. Works for me. Fandango comes back
with a quick spinwheel kick to the jaw for two and we hit the reverse
chinlock. Truth fires off right hands but runs into a boot. Woods
calls out the Funkadactyls and gets on the table (wearing JBL’s hat)
to dance. The distraction lets Truth hit Little Jimmy for the pin at
2:52. Have we reached the point where the distraction is someone’s
official set up move? Also shouldn’t that be considered a heel move?
on Tribute to the Troops.
E. Langston talks about Brock destroying his friend on Monday and
says he wouldn’t want to be Brock Lesnar right now. Curtis Axel
comes in and says he’s sorry for what happened to Mark but he’ll be
laughing all the way to the bank after beating Langston tonight. Big
E. says no one will be laughing after the match.
on Bryan joining the Wyatts on Monday.
Titles: Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Wyatt Family
and Goldust are defending but there’s no Bray and/or Bryan. Goldust
and Harper get things going with Luke driving him into the corner.
The crowd is very quiet tonight for some reason. Harper is taken
into the corner and a double suplex gets a one count for Luke. Back
to Goldust who gets fingers in his eyes before it’s off to Rowan.
The monsters make some quick tags to take over on Goldust but he
comes back with right hands in the corner.
is knocked to the apron but Luke clotheslines Goldust down and puts
on a chinlock. Goldust fights up and gets a quick two off a sunset
flip. The hot tag (kind of as the crowd is still barely responding
at all) brings in Cody for a knee lift and the Disaster Kick to send
Harper to the floor. Cody follows him out but gets sent into the
barricade and steps as we take a break.
with Rowan firing off more right hands put Cody down as we look at
the empty rocking chair. Back to Harper for a running elbow in the
corner to knock Cody down again. There’s the Gator Roll followed by
another chinlock but Harper lets go of the hold to knock Goldust off
the apron.
comes back in but gets sent to the floor, only to have Harper knock
Goldust down again. A BIG sitout powerbomb gets two on Cody as
Goldust makes the save. Everything breaks down and Harper kicks Cody
in the face to knock him silly. Cody breaks up what looks like a
belly to back superplex and hits the moonsault to a standing Harper.
Goldust makes a blind tag and grabs an O’Connor roll for the pin on
Rowan at 12:25.
B. I’m more and more impressed
by Goldust and Cody every time they go out there. There’s that
natural chemistry that you get with brothers that you just can’t
teach and it’s taking these guys to another level. The Wyatts get
better in the ring with every match they have as well with Rowan more
than holding up his end of the team.
resolution is to be awesome.
Bella vs. Aksana
is fallout from Aksana pinning Nikki on Monday in the ten Diva tag.
They shove each other to start until Nikki hiptosses her down and
drives shoulders in the corner. Aksana rolls outside and grabs
Nikki’s arm to slam it into the post. The announcers are comparing
Aksana to Hannibal Lecter for some reason as she gets two off a side
slam. Off to an arm lock on Nikki but she fights back with
clotheslines and dropkicks. Aksana comes back with a kick to the
ribs and forearms in the corner, only to get Racked. Nikki drops to
her knees (that move HAS to be a rib somehow) into a backbreaker for
the pin at 4:00.
D. The girls both look good in
tight outfits but they have no business in the ring. If nothing else
this makes Brie look that much better as she’s miles ahead of Nikki
as far as wrestling skills go. Aksana is there as eye candy, which
makes me wonder why they had get the pin on Monday.
get the video package on Orton’s career from Raw.
E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Axel gets in some right hands to start but gets his head taken off
by a clothesline. Big E. charges into a boot in the corner but
knocks Axel out of the air with a shoulder block for two. Curtis
comes back with some right hands and knee drops before hooking an
armbar. Langston pops up and hits a quick belly to belly followed by
the Warrior Splash. Axel escapes the Big Ending and snaps Langston’s
throat across the top rope but walks into the Big Ending for the pin
at 3:55.
D+. This was just a step above
a squash for Langston and there’s nothing wrong with that. He needs
to keep racking up wins like this to make him feel like an
unstoppable force before someone knocks him off for the title so Big
E. can move to the main event. It worked for Warrior and it can work
for Langston.
Raw ReBound looks at Lesnar destroying Mark Henry.
get a sitdown interview with Heyman who says Brock is back because
there’s one WWE Champion. Brock wants to be the one and only
champion and it doesn’t matter who comes out of the Rumble with the
title. Heyman says Brock is looking to do something Old School next
week, meaning he’ll be on Raw.
for Bad News Barrett with his nifty rising podium. The bad news
tonight: no one is going to keep their new year’s resolutions so this
time next year, everyone will be just as fat, unhealthy and
unproductive as they are now.
Punk/Usos vs. Shield
and Punk get us going with CM being driven into the corner, only to
have Punk whip him over to the other Shield members. Off to Rollins
who grabs a hammerlock but Punk counters into a headlock so he can
loudly shout spots in Rollins’ ear. A neckbreaker puts Seth down for
two and it’s off to Jey for a running headbutt. He puts Seth in a
Boston crab as the now legal Jimmy drops a leg on the back of Seth’s
leg lariat puts Seth down and it’s back to Jey for a superkick to the
chest. Ambrose is sent to the floor but Reigns blocks a big dive
from Jey as we take a break. Back with Reigns driving a headbutt
into Jimmy’s chest and getting two off the Superman Punch. Rollins
comes in with a backsplash for two and we hit the neck crank. Seth
goes up but gets crotched down, only to have Ambrose come in to break
up the hot tag attempt.
breaks a chinlock with a jawbreaker and elbows his way out of a belly
to back superplex attempt. Reigns comes in with Jimmy still on the
top and gets taken down by a top rope cross body. Rollins knocks Jey
off the apron but can’t stop the tag to Punk. CM comes in with a
springboard clothesline and the running knee in the corner. Ambrose
distracts Punk from dropping the Macho Elbow and Rollins crotches him
on the top.
rolls through a crossbody to put Rollins in the Anaconda Vice but
Reigns makes the save. Another Superman Punch puts Jey down and we
get down to the legal Punk vs. Rollins. Seth crawls over and tags in
Dean who hits a butterfly superplex on Punk for two. Punk comes back
with a GTS attempt but drops him before Reigns can launch the spear.
A double superkick drops Roman and Seth gets backdropped to the
floor. The twins hit stereo dives and the GTS ends Ambrose at 12:42.
B-. Good stuff here as you
would expect, even with Ambrose taking the fall again. I’m assuming
they’re building up to Reigns calling Ambrose out for all of the
losses but get the title off of him if that’s where they’re going.
If nothing else Shield hasn’t turned into a joke and they’re
potentially splitting while still having awesome matches.
video from Bray Wyatt talking about Bryan needing the Family to be
his home ends the show.
C. They focused on the
tag stuff again tonight but the taping schedule messed a few things
up. It’s annoying that we have to wait for Monday for anything on
Bryan but it’s better to do it on a big Raw than on a regular
Smackdown anyway. This is another show that you didn’t need to see
but it was a fine enough way to spend two hours.
b. Shield via DQ when Dean Ambrose interfered
b. Fandango – Little Jimmy
Rhodes b. Wyatt Family – O’Connor roll to Rowan
Bella b. Aksana – Torture rack backbreaker
E. Langston b. Curtis Axel – Big Ending
Punk/Usos b. Shield – GTS to Ambrose
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