Smackdown – February 25, 2016

Smackdown
Date: February 25, 2016
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’re getting close to Wrestlemania in a hurry and things are really starting to change. This past Monday saw the return of Shane McMahon and the announcement of his match against Undertaker of all people inside the Cell at the biggest show of the year. Other than that we have what seems like the face HHH vs. the heel Roman Reigns for the World Title coming up. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 28, 2016

Smackdown
Date: January 28, 2016
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’ve got a main event for Fastlane now, which means we’ll have a main event for Wrestlemania in just a few weeks. This past Monday on Raw, it was announced that Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar will face off for the World Title shot at Wrestlemania against HHH, which doesn’t make a ton of sense but should be a good match. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 21, 2016

Smackdown
Date: January 21, 2016
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and Roman Reigns is already in trouble tonight with a handicap match against the entire League of Nations. This show is almost destined to end with a big brawl between most of the different major factions in the Rumble and it wouldn’t feel right if things ended any differently. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 31, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 31, 2015
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

We’ll wrap up the year here with a Smackdown that not a lot of people are going to watch because most people aren’t at home from 8-10pm on New Year’s Eve. The big story coming out of Monday continues to be Vince vs. Roman with Reigns defending his WWE World Title against Sheamus this coming Monday. Therefore, I think you know what to expect here tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Tribute to the Troops 2015

Tribute to the Troops 2015
Date: December 23, 2015
Location:
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

It’s the annual holiday special with the WWE putting on a show for the military. This is also going to include some comedy and musical performances, plus a few appearances from various celebrities. WWE treats this like a big deal and it’s the big finale to WWE Week every year. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 22, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 22, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

This is the special live show that follows the age of rule of “don’t have a show on Christmas Eve”. It’s also a stacked show as WWE tries to get some more attention on Smackdown before the move to the live broadcast just after the new year. Therefore we have two title matches as Dean Ambrose and the New Day defend their titles. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 10, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 10, 2015
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler, Booker T.

It’s the go home show for Tables Ladders and Chairs and the show isn’t looking like the most interesting in the world. Most of the card is set though and that means tonight is all about the build. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more about the main event, which is a bit of a shame as Smackdown was getting good about building up the midcard. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 3, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 3, 2015
Location: Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

Things started to pick up a bit on Monday as we saw the formation of a new team in the League of Nations. This gives Reigns some more odds to overcome (again) as he gets ready for his second shot at Sheamus in a week and a half at TLC. The only match tonight is Bray Wyatt vs. Bubba Ray Dudley. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 26, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 26, 2015
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Booker T., Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving. We’re in a strange period at the moment as we’re waiting on TLC and the fans don’t seem to be thrilled. Sheamus is World Champion again as Roman Reigns somehow managed to get screwed out of the title again. Those five minutes he held the title were the only five minutes a true good guy had held the title since Summerslam 2014. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 12, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 12, 2015
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

For the first time in a long time, there’s actual important stuff going on tonight. We’re getting the final three first round matchups in the WWE World Title tournament, which hopefully is the start of a shift back to making Smackdown mean ANYTHING. Then again it could just be laying the groundwork for the move to USA in January so they can pretend it means something and then drop it back to reality. I’ll take what I can get though so let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 5, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 5, 2015
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

As inconsequential as Smackdown is most of the time, this show is even moreso than usual. Last night at a house show in Ireland, Seth Rollins ripped his knee to shreds and is out until next summer. The title has been vacated for a tournament at Survivor Series but this show was already taped in advance so most of this isn’t going to matter. Let’s get to it.

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NXT – April 4, 2012

NXT
Date: April 4, 2012
Location: Orlando Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re done with Wrestlemania now and NXT is still going. Tonight we’re supposed to find out what happened to Striker as I think we’ll get the list of demands from the kidnapper. I would complain about Striker being on the Wrestlemania pre-show doing commentary, but I don’t think enough people know about the angle going on here anyway. Let’s get to it.

Tyler Reks vs. Percy Watson

Reks and Regal have been having a Twitter war and Regal apologizes because it’s been bullying on his part for how dominant he’s been in it. Reks takes him to the mat but Watson wrestles out of it. A one footed dropkick sets up an armdrag to send Reks to the outside. We actually get a Percy Watson chant. Back inside Tyler pounds him down and stomps Watson in the corner.

Reks keeps him down with knees and chinlocks. This match is going by quickly but I can barely remember anything about it. I don’t know what it is about Reks but he’s very forgettable. Watson gets his feet up in the corner to stop Tyler’s offense, allowing Josh to say that Percy is building momentum. Watson uses those good jumping abilities for some clotheslines but won’t cover. It doesn’t really matter though as he rolls up Reks out of a backdrop for the pin at 6:09.

Rating: D+. I have no idea what they’re going for with Watson as he’s been having the same match for months now. I think they’re trying to push him as a Shelton Benjamin type incredible athlete but it’s only kind of working. Watson needs a story to keep people interested in him, and that’s not going to happen here because his name isn’t Derrick Bateman.

Reks and Hawkins get ready to beat up Watson but Regal says cool it. If they attack Percy, they’ll be suspended for six weeks.

McGillicutty comes up to Natalya in the back and says if he beats Bateman tonight, he gets a rematch with Kidd. He hits on her and Natalya cuts him off. This goes nowhere but at least there’s no Natalya “comedy”.

Natalya vs. Kaitlyn

New music for Kaitlyn and Kidd is on commentary. Nattie takes her down and Kidd says there’s nothing going on with them. Bridging rollup gets two for Natalya. I think Natalya is a face here but I really have no idea. Kidd admits that he isn’t a Hart, which ticked him off when McGillicutty rubbed it in his face weeks ago. Natalya works on the arm and uses more holds on whatever part of the body she picks. Kaitlyn’s first offense is a cross body but Natalya laughs it off and the Sharpshooter gets the submission at 3:30.

Rating: C-. This was a squash for Natalya as she picked apart Kaitlyn with ease. I’m so glad they’ve dropped that idiotic gimmick she’s been using for the last few months as she’s very talented and can make even someone like Kaitlyn look good. I’m still not sure if she’s a face or a heel though, but I doubt WWE has put any thought into it either.

Young says he doesn’t need Titus’ help with Tamina. He’s gotten her a coconut tree. Tamina and Alicia come up and Young hits on her with some really corny lines and she walks off. Young: “Tamina where you going? I’ve got reservations at McDonalds!” That’s the first funny thing Young has said in almost three years.

Titus O’Neil/Darren Young vs. Usos

Young and Jimmy start things off with Young grabbing a headlock. Jimmy speeds things up and Young tags out. Titus kicks Jimmy’s head off in a great looking shot. Back to Young for about two seconds before O’Neil comes back. They tag again and then a fourth time in the span of about fifteen seconds.

A fifth tag results in a belly to back suplex by Young for two, followed by a chinlock. Jimmy gets up and comes back with a powerslam and there’s the tag to jey. Titus comes in as well and everything breaks down. O’Neil yells at Young and walks into the Samoan Drop and Jey hits the Superfly Splash (cross body according to Josh) for the pin at 4:20.

Rating: C. Pretty good fast paced match here and hopefully this wraps up the Tamina/Young story because stories like that one are so repetitive on this show that they lose any interest at all. Hopefully the Usos get another tag title match soon and maybe even get the belts as they’ve got nothing left to do here.

Raw ReBound is all about Lesnar’s return.

Bateman and Percy tell Kaitlyn they still think she’s awesome. Maxine pops up on her phone shouting about needing something. She’s eating a doughnut when Curtis comes up. Everyone else leaves and Curtis says he’s got a message from the kidnappers, saying meet us in the basement. Bateman is still there apparently and says this is getting weird. Curtis: “That’s my line.” Bateman: “That was my fiance.” Maxine and Curtis leave when Kidd comes up to talk to Bateman. He wants Bateman to be ready for his match tonight. Not much to say by Kidd but I’m liking these rapid fire backstage scenes.

Curtis and Maxine are in the basement/boiler room when Reks and Hawkins pop up and Reks chokes out Curtis. Hawkins: “Reks and I are the kidnappers.” They did this to get Regal off their backs and they’ll frame Maxine/Curtis if they don’t get Regal off Hawkins/Reks’ backs. They leave and Curtis says it gets real weird next week. Dang it they had a good story going and they use it on the same people AGAIN.

Derrick Bateman vs. Michael McGillicutty

They exchange chops to start and then they exchange harder chops. Regal talks about Maxine’s mother coming up to accuse him of having an affair with Maxine at Wrestlemania. There’s no followup there. It just happened apparently. Bateman sends him to the floor and hits a flip dive from the apron to the floor as we take a break. Back with Bateman still in control.

McGillicutty gets in a knee to the ribs and takes over. Off to a chinlock which Derrick breaks, only to be sent into the ropes again. Dropkick gets two. We get the sequel to the chinlock but Bateman breaks it up again. A Russian legsweep sends the back of Michael’s head into the middle buckle and both guys are dazed. Now Bateman goes after the knee and hits a move that I don’t think would really hurt.

He gets McGillicutty in a DDT position but shoved McGillicutty forward. I think it was supposed to slam Michael’s head into the mat but it didn’t come close. There wasn’t a cover so it doesn’t matter but it was really different. Bateman hits the flipping neckbreaker that Morrison used to use for two. He really likes those falling forward moves. Derrick goes up but misses a top rope crossbody. McGillicutty tries a Sharpshooter but Bateman breaks it up. It doesn’t really matte though as the McGillicutter gets the pin at 8:30, earning McGillicutty a rematch with Kidd.

Rating: C. This was ok but I think it was more lengthy than good. I really don’t like Bateman’s in ring style as he uses some very weak looking moves such as the falling bulldog and that ridiculous looking reverse DDT. The match was ok and it sets up another step in the McGillicutty vs. Kidd feud which is good, but at the end of the day it’s another respect feud.

Overall Rating: C. This show had some ok stuff on it as far as the in ring parts, but I’m really disappointed in the culmination of the Striker kidnapping thing. Hawkins and Reks are so uninteresting as heels because their story has basically been this: they whine, Regal does something, they whine some more, Regal does something else. Nothing ever changes from that and it gets really boring really fast. And that’s what we get after a few promising weeks. I can’t say I’m surprised though, because this is the land of broken hopes.

Results
Percy Watson b. Tyler Reks – Rollup
Natalya b. Kaitlyn – Sharpshooter
Usos b. Darren Young/Titus O’Neil – Superfly Splash to O’Neil
Michael McGillicutty b. Derrick Bateman – McGillicutter

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