Smackdown – December 27, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
December 27, 2013
Location:
American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the final blue show of the year and I don’t remember anything being
announced on Raw. The main story from Monday was Big E.
Langston/Cena/Punk running off the Shield after being them for the
DQ, meaning it’s payback time tonight. We’re getting closer to the
Rumble and have less than 100 days until Wrestlemania so the times
are getting exciting. Let’s get to it.

Here’s
Cena to get things going. After looking at a clip of the end of Raw,
Cena says the last Smackdown of the year is even more important than
that. Tonight the WWE Universe is going to ring in the new year so
we need NOISE. They have to have fun tonight because after the new
year everyone has to worry about new year’s resolutions.
Cena
would like to give a bear hug to a real bear or star in a 1-800-Fella
commercial or land the lead role in a musical production of No Holds
Barred (dead silence on that line) or make a hip hop album with Great
Khali (lukewarm) or reboot an animated Manimal series with Michael
Cole in the lead role or, and only if he has time, get started early
on his XFL fantasy team (nice chuckle).
There’s
one other thing he wants to do: gain forty pounds. Luckily for him
he doesn’t have to wait for the new year because the WWE World
Heavyweight Championship weighs about forty pounds and he has a
rematch clause. If Orton is listening he can get out here right now
but instead here’s Shield. They surround the ring and easily take
Cena down but here’s Mark Henry for the save. When that doesn’t
work, Big E. Langston comes out for the real save to clear the ring.
Kane comes out on stage and makes three singles matches for tonight:
Langston vs. Ambrose (non-title), Reigns vs. Henry and Rollins vs.
Cena.
Usos
vs. Wyatt Family
Before
the match we get a clip of the Family throwing Bryan off a ledge last
week. The Usos send the monsters to the floor and Jey takes Rowan
down with a dive. Jimmy gets two off a rollup to Harper and a
Whisper in the Wind gets the same. Rowan makes a blind tag and takes
Jimmy’s head off with a clothesline. A splash is enough to pin Jimmy
in just 1:10.
Post
match Bray gives Jey Sister Abigail.
Renee
Young asks Randy Orton if he has any new year’s resolutions. Orton
says he’s beaten everyone else in the company so maybe he’ll win the
Royal Rumble so he can spend Wrestlemania in a skybox writing his
Hall of Fame introduction speech. Ziggler comes up and says he’ll
shut Orton up tonight. Orton promises an RKO until Kane comes in to
make the match for later. Ziggler leaves and Kane says backstage
must be a safe zone, but out there anything goes.
Cody
Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro
Colter’s
sign this week: “Press 1 for English, press 2 for INS.” Cesaro
is now residing in the US. This is fallout from Main Event when Cody
went after Cesaro for interfering in a Swagger vs. Goldust match.
Cody grabs a headlock to start as the announcers talk about Kane
being the eyes and ears of the Authority tonight. Cody takes Cesaro
to the mat and then out to the floor where Goldust gives Antonio a
deep breath.
Back
in and Cesaro punches Cody in the jaw and kicks him out to the floor.
After a Goldust staredown leads nowhere, Cesaro takes Rhodes back
inside for a pummeling in the corner. Cody quickly breaks out of a
chinlock and comes back with a front suplex for two but a Swagger
distraction lets Cesaro get in a cheap shot and a rollup for the pin
at 4:11.
Rating:
D+. Another match that changes
nothing as we wait for the title match that may never come. I’m not
a fan of champions losing but at least this was a singles match
instead of yet another tag loss. On the good side though, Cesaro
getting a pin in a singles match is a nice thing to see and hopefully
the first of many.
Prime
Time Players vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
I
refuse to refer to them as “Rybaxel.” Ryback pounds on Young to
start but Darren scores with a right hand to the jaw and a dropkick
to the knee. Off to Titus for the front suplex to Darren onto Ryback
for no cover. A hard shoulder puts Ryback down but Axel gets in a
knee to O’Neil’s back to take him down. Curtis chokes him in the
corner (“BARK LIKE A DOG!”) before it’s quickly back to Ryback
for a front facelock.
The
heels take turns on O’Neil in the corner with Axel slapping him in
the back of the head, only to run into a big boot. Darren gets the
tag and scores with an overhead belly to belly on Axel before getting
two off a northern lights suplex. Everything breaks down and Ryback
is clotheslined to the floor, allowing Young to pin Axel at 4:51.
Rating:
D+. The underlying problems
with the tag division continues: it doesn’t matter if you build up
teams if the teams are boring and keep trading meaningless wins with
no advancement in sight. This match doesn’t change anything for
either team and doesn’t move the Players up towards a title program,
at least not anytime soon.
We
get a clip from the 50 Years of WWE DVD focusing on Saturday Night’s
Main Event.
Randy
Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Another
non-title match. Ziggler now has a streak of pink hair which leaves
JBL stunned. Dolph gets taken into the corner but comes back with a
shot to the jaw to send the champion out to the floor. Back in and
Orton headlocks him down and takes Ziggler’s head off with a
clothesline. Dolph comes back with right hands in the corner and the
big jumping elbow for two. I guess the ten elbow drops spot is long
gone.
Orton
pulls Ziggler face first into the middle buckle to take over again
and walks around very slowly. He walks around too long though and
Ziggler gets in a dropkick, sending Orton to the floor and us to a
break. Back with Orton stomping away on a fallen Ziggler. Randy
puts on a reverse chinlock for a bit but Ziggler gets out with a
jawbreaker. Dolph pounds away in the corner and scores with a
neckbreaker before getting two off a neckbreaker.
The
Fameasser misses but Ziggler avoids the powerslam and gets two off a
jumping DDT. Dolph gets crotched on the top but breaks up a
superplex attempt. A bad looking missile dropkick gets two and Orton
is sent shoulder first into the post (same thing Orton did to him
during a break). A bulldog gets two for Ziggy but Orton pokes him in
the eye and RKOs Ziggler for the pin at 13:20.
Rating:
B-. I like the ending with
Orton taking the easy way out again, just like Cena accused him of
doing leading up to TLC. The match was the usual good stuff from
these guys as they’ve shown that they have chemistry. Ziggler
getting to show off a little bit is much better than seeing him in
nothing matches against Fandango.
Post
match Orton takes Ziggler outside and gives him the Elevated DDT off
the barricade.
Shield
says they’ll win all their matches tonight. Cena vs. Rollins sounds
promising.
Daniel
Bryan vs. Damien Sandow
JBL
wants to know why there was a good Santa and a bad Santa on Monday.
Cole: “That’s the way the story was written?” JBL: “WHAT KIND
OF AN ANSWER IS THAT???” Bryan fires off some kicks in the corner
to start followed by some knees to the ribs to put Sandow down.
Damien comes back with some forearms to the back and sends Daniel out
to the floor. The Russian legsweep sets up the Wind-Up Elbow for two
and we hit the crossface chickenwing. Back up and Bryan hits the
running clothesline and dropkick in the corner to set up the top rope
hurricanrana. The YES Kicks set up the running knee for the pin at
4:01.
Rating:
D+. Just a quick win here for
Bryan in the kind of matches I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. Well,
more of as long as the opponents change every now and then and we
don’t have to sit through the same pairing every week. Sandow
doesn’t lose anything here as he’s not ready to beat someone on
Bryan’s level so there’s nothing bad in this whole thing.
Post
match Bray appears on stage and says he realizes that Bryan is the
one the people want. That means Bray has to destroy him.
Dean
Ambrose vs. Big E. Langston
Neither
title is on the line. In addition to the other Shield members, Cena
and Henry are both at ringside as well. Langston shoves Ambrose into
the corner to start and drives shoulders into the ribs but gets
clotheslined down. Dean pounds away with rights and lefts on the mat
before hitting the running dropkick against the ropes.
We
hit the chinlock for a bit before Ambrose goes up top, only to be
slammed down like a ham sandwich being thrown off a cliff. A belly
to belly puts Ambrose down again but he sends Langston to the floor
for a standoff. No brawling ensues and Ambrose throws Langston back
inside, only to have the big man run Dean over, setting up the Big
Ending for the pin at 2:46. That was close. I thought they wouldn’t
have Ambrose job clean again before the year was out.
Reigns
comes in for the showdown with Langston but Henry moves Big E. out of
the way.
Mark
Henry vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns
wants a test of strength to start but headbutts Henry instead. A
hard clothesline sends Reigns to the floor and a headbutt from Henry
puts him down. Back in and a big boot to the jaw puts Reigns down as
the slow pace continues. Roman snaps Henry’s throat across the top
rope and gets two off the Superman Punch. We hit a chinlock on Henry
for a bit but he comes back with the JYD headbutts. Reigns will have
nothing to do with that jive turkey nonsense and lifts Henry up for a
Samoan drop. Another Superman Punch and the spear are good for the
pin on Mark at 4:01.
Rating:
D. Reigns looked good but he
had to work through a lot of Mark Henry suck. It’s a good sign that
he’s pinning former world champions clean in four minutes though.
There’s a BIG future for Reigns and the fact that these wins are
becoming more and more natural are telling signs for him.
John
Cena vs. Seth Rollins
There’s
a lot of time left for this. Cena quickly takes him down and works
on a hammerlock. Back up and Cena sends Seth to the floor with a
hiptoss for a meeting with Shield. Back in and Rollins gets in some
shots to knock Cena into the corner. Rollins blocks a bulldog and
drops a knee for two before putting on a cobra clutch of all things.
Cena tries to fight out and gets caught in a one arm camel clutch,
only to fight up and drive Rollins into the corner to escape.
Rollins
gets a boot up in the corner to stop a charging John and gets two off
a neckbreaker as we take a break. Back with Rollins firing off right
hands to the jaw. Cena is sent into the corner but he reverses a
whip into the corner to put both guys down again. John tries a
comeback but gets caught in a quick Downward Spiral into the middle
buckle. Rollins does You Can’t See Me but Cena counters a
neckbreaker into the ProtoBomb and hits the Shuffle. Rollins flips
out of the AA and hits a Buff Blockbuster (that’s a finisher that
needs to be pulled out of mothballs) for two.
Cena
gets taken down by a Stinger Splash but avoids the second attempt.
He grabs a half nelson and lifts Rollins up before spinning into what
was supposed to be a neckbreaker. Cena landed a foot or so away from
Rollins but luckily the move could have passed for a half nelson
slam. Rollins kicks out at two so Cena goes up, only to get knocked
down to the mat.
The
standing Sliced Bread #2 gets another near fall for Seth but Cena
comes back with a Batista Bomb (not gimmick infringement just yet)
for two. Cena tries to pull Rollins away from the ropes but Seth
lands on his feet again and hits a jumping enziguri for a VERY close
two. Rollins gets the same off a top rope knee to the face and the
frustration sets in. The Black Out (running curb stomp) is countered
in the STF but Rollins is into the ropes before too much damage can
be done.
Ambrose
tries to come in but gets picked off by Langston before he can make
any contact. Dean is thrown over the announce table but Reigns hits
a running clothesline to drop Langston. Henry throws Reigns onto
Ambrose as Cena rolls through Rollins’ cross body into the AA for the
pin at 17:40.
Rating:
B+. I was digging the heck out
of this match and I was so glad that the ending wasn’t a DQ. Rollins
looked outstanding in there as he continues to prove his worth once
the Shield breaks up. I could see him being the next Kofi Kingston,
having awesome matches with anyone they put him out there with but
never getting the big break. That’s not a bad career to have at all.
Overall
Rating:
B-. This took some time
to get going and the main event was by far the best part of the show.
The first half of the show is only ok but the Orton vs. Ziggler
match along with Rollins vs. Cena more than make up for it. This was
using the old formula of wrestling on Smackdown and that’s what was
needed after a more entertainment based Raw. It’s a nice way to
close out the year and hopefully a good way to get us into 2014.
Results
Wyatt
Family b. Usos – Splash to Jimmy
Antonio
Cesaro b. Cody Rhodes – Rollup
Prime
Time Players b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Rollup to Axel
Randy
Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO
Daniel
Bryan b. Damien Sandow – Running knee
Big
E. Langston b. Dean Ambrose – Big Ending
Roman
Reigns b. Mark Henry – Spear
John
Cena b. Seth Rollins – AA
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