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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NXT – March 28, 2012

NXT
Date: March 28, 2012
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Who would have thought that when we started this season that it would run through Wrestlemania 28? That’s the point we’re going to reach unless there’s some divine intervention and this season ends after today. Now the good thing is they have an angle that has a mystery to it after last week with Striker disappearing. Let’s get to it.

Hunico vs. Derrick Bateman

Bateman controls to start but gets backdropped into the corner as Hunico takes over. Elbow drop gets two. Oh make that one. Regal explains why Camacho hangs out with Hunico, which is apparently due to a gang attack that Hunico bailed him out of, resulting in a stab wound which is why Hunico wears a shirt in the ring. See how easy a story that was to explain?

Bateman gets beaten down for awhile until he comes back with a cross body. Hunico hits one at the same time though and both guys are down as we take a break. Back with Hunico chopping and pounding on Bateman. His shirt is torn now too. Hunico goes up but jumps into a dropkick as Bateman gets a breather. He launches Hunico over his head and into the buckle chest first.

Hunico pounds down on him again as Regal is talking about WCW. He seems to think it was funny and I can’t say I argue. Bateman tries to suplex Hunico in from the apron but Hunico falls on top. Bateman rolls through for two but stops to go after Camacho. The distraction allows Hunico to hit his modified Angle Slam (it’s the Angle Slam but he hooks the other guy’s head, almost like a torture rack) for the pin at 7:00.

Rating: C-. I wasn’t really all that into this. I’ve been liking Hunico more lately but this was a miss for him. Granted that could be because Bateman is a waste of time and space but maybe that’s just me. Nothing that great here as they went back and forth, but there wasn’t much selling in between.

Video on Rock vs. Cena from Once In A Lifetime, which wasn’t bad.

Video on HHH vs. Taker, which I think is the same one from Raw.

Video on Punk vs. Jericho, which I don’t think has aired before. It’s about Punk’s rise to the top of WWE over the years and then shows Jericho exposing Punk’s family history.

Maxine is on a phone and wants a list next week. Curtis comes up and apparently the list is about Regal, who is into some freaky stuff. This is news? Maxine gets off the phone and Curtis says that the company has been trying to keep Striker’s whereabouts on the DL. It happened on NXT. How much more DL can you get?

Maxine yells at him because Curtis hasn’t found out anything about Striker. Watson and Riley pop up and Watson yells at her for taking the spotlight during his match by rubbing Regal’s feet. Maxine asks how mad Watson is at her in a strange bit. They go down the hall and run into Natalya and Kidd. They’re talking about the economy. Ok then. The walk continues and they run into Gabriel. I think they’re looking for who stole Striker.

Now they run into Titus and leave, but the camera stays on Titus. Young comes in with a flower pot which Young says is for Tamina. O’Neil says take her to McDonalds. Young says he lies, cheats and steals in the ring but he can’t do that with Tamina. I’m not the biggest Eddie fan ever, but NO WAY does Young deserve to be able to say that.

Curtis and Maxine pop up again and accuse Titus of the kidnapping (they haven’t actually said those words yet, but rather “it was you” every time). Titus tries to kiss her for some reason but Curtis pulls her away. Young and O’Neil leave and Maxine gets a text. The kidnappers say that after Mania, she’ll give them what they want and they’ll get Striker back. LONG backstage segment here but it covered a few things which is good.

Video on the Divas tag, I think from Extra. I have no issue looking at Maria Menunos.

Titus O’Neil vs. Jey Uso

Young and Jimmy Uso are on commentary. So I’m assuming we’re not going to talk about the Striker stuff on commentary are we? Josh points out that the Usos aren’t that successful when they’re in singles action. Jimmy says that’s true, because they’re a team. Simple yet true. This is your usual power vs. speed match with Titus controlling early but Jey taking him down. He goes up but Titus rolls to the floor before the jump and we go to a break.

Back with Titus hammering on him, using the clubbing forearms. Jey gets in a shot and comes off the top with a cross body for two. Titus runs him over with another clothesline for two. Off to a chinlock to eat up some time as Jey comes up with exactly the same kind of offense you would expect from him. The Umaga attack hits in the corner as does the Samoan Drop. The Superfly Splash hits knees though and the Clash of the Titus ends this at 6:22.

Rating: C-. I wish I could care about this feud, but it’s just not happening. The problem in modern WWE for guys like the Usos is that the tag titles are never defended and the champions are basically jobbers when you need to get bigger names over as singles guys. Titus is a heel now but he’s the same guy he’s always been, just with a sneer now. Nothing match but technically it was fine.

Tamina comes out to check on Jey and glares at Young for some reason.

Overall Rating: D. The problem here is that this show was a commercial for Mania with a backstage segment and about 15 minutes of wrestling to fill in some gaps. That’s totally understandable as well as no one is going to care about anything with four days before the biggest show of the year. Not a good show or anything, but this had zero expectations coming in so it’s fine.

Results
Hunico b. Derrick Bateman – Spinning Torture Rack Slam
Titus O’Neil b. Jey Uso – Clash of the Titus

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