Smackdown – January 3, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
January 3, 2014
Location:
Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
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.

We
open with a recap of the end of Raw with Bryan turning his back on
the fans and joining the Family.
Here’s
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.
Shield
vs. Usos
Ambrose
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.
Jimmy
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.
Roman
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.
Off
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
12:03.
Rating:
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.
Before
Shield can get far in their triple team, CM Punk comes out for the
save.
Throughout
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?
Vickie,
six man tag, etc.
Fandango
vs. R-Truth
Xavier
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?”
Woods
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?
Dancing
ensues.
Video
on Tribute to the Troops.
Big
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.
Video
on Bryan joining the Wyatts on Monday.
Tag
Titles: Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Wyatt Family
Cody
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.
Rowan
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.
Back
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.
Rowan
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.
Rating:
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.
Miz’s
resolution is to be awesome.
Nikki
Bella vs. Aksana
This
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.
Rating:
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.
We
get the video package on Orton’s career from Raw.
Big
E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Non-title.
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.
Rating:
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.
The
Raw ReBound looks at Lesnar destroying Mark Henry.
We
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.
Time
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.
CM
Punk/Usos vs. Shield
Ambrose
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
head.
A
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.
Jimmy
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.
Punk
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.
Rating:
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.
A
video from Bray Wyatt talking about Bryan needing the Family to be
his home ends the show.
Overall
Rating:
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.
Results
Usos
b. Shield via DQ when Dean Ambrose interfered
R-Truth
b. Fandango – Little Jimmy
Goldust/Cody
Rhodes b. Wyatt Family – O’Connor roll to Rowan
Nikki
Bella b. Aksana – Torture rack backbreaker
Big
E. Langston b. Curtis Axel – Big Ending
CM
Punk/Usos b. Shield – GTS to Ambrose
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