Smackdown – December 26, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
December 26, 2014
Location:
Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, Iowa
Attendance:
4,000
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
the show after Christmas which means that Hulk Hogan is still in
charge tonight. All that means is he’ll make a match and say BROTHER
a lot, but that’s at least better than some of the previous bosses
this company has had. Other than that we’re still in the dull period
before they start caring about the Rumble so let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Hogan walking through the same Christmas set from Raw to open things
up. I really wish they would mix those things up a bit more often.
Anymore it’s just the same set from Raw but with blue as the main
color. Switch things up a bit and make Smackdown feel more unique.
Maybe they’ll do that when the show moves back to Thursdays.
Anyway,
Hogan has something to tell us brother (1), he’s in charge tonight
brother (2). We hear some of his fondest memories from being on
Smackdown, including winning the Tag Team Titles with Edge, who will
be hosting Raw with Christian on Monday. That’s another thing I
wouldn’t mind seeing more of: plug those announcements. It’s simple
and quick yet gets the word out there.
Hogan
is about to go on but Rollins and the Stooges cut him off. Seth
calls him a champion, a Hall of Famer and the embodiment of
Wrestlemania. He asks for and receives a handshake before saying if
Hogan keeps it up, they might start calling him the Seth Rollins of
the 80s. Hogan may have been great, but he doesn’t belong in
Rollins’ ring anymore. That’s a bit too far for our American hero,
who says he’s running Smackdown tonight. Hogan: “So if you don’t
mind brother (3)…” Rollins: “Well I do mind brother. AND
DON’T YOU BROTHER ME!”
Seth
talks about how great the Authority was for business but now they’ve
been replaced by a sideshow act like Hogan. As the future of WWE,
this is Seth’s business and he’d like Hulk to officially endorse him.
After that, Hogan can get out of this ring because it’s almost 2015.
Hulk isn’t sure Rollins is getting out of this ring alive if he
keeps talking like that. He can think of several people who could
lead this company into the future, like Dolph Ziggler for instance.
Cue
Dolph, who calls Rollins the future. If you don’t believe that, just
ask Seth because that’s all he talks about. Rollins says Ziggler
just doesn’t get it. The future isn’t just a popularity contest and
Rollins should just Curb Stomp him right in front of Hogan. How does
that sound brother? Ziggler has been curb stomped before and keeps
getting up, so what does Seth want to do about it brother?
Here’s
Big Show to say that sometime you have to just use force, so now he’s
going to come out here and knock out Hogan and Ziggler. This brings
out Reigns who tells Show not to come through those ropes unless he
wants to get hit in the mouth again, right in front of his wife and
kids. Hogan makes the tag match main event and actually doesn’t drop
a ninth brother (yes I counted) of the segment.
Kane
vs. Ryback
Jobber
entrance for Kane. We see Ryback sending Rusev running on Monday
before things get going. Ryback fires off to start but runs into a
boot to the…..shoulder I think to put him down. So Kane can’t even
sell for ten seconds now? Cole crushes several dreams by confirming
that Rose and the Bunny have split, partially due to the tombstones
from Kane. Ryback grabs a spinebuster and loads up the Meat Hook but
we’ve got Russians. He’s still able to escape the chokeslam though
and hits the Meat Hook and Shell Shock for the pin at 2:10. Now THAT
is what Kane should be used for more often than not.
Rusev
gets in the ring for a staredown but Kane comes back in to chokeslam
Ryback, setting up the Accolade. I’m still not sure who wins this
feud, even though it should be obvious. That’s always a good sign.
After
a break, Hogan runs into the Russians to tell Rusev that the US Title
is on the line tonight. Giving champions almost no notice to defend
their titles is the American way you see, BROTHER. And SISTER!
Alicia
Fox vs. Naomi
They
start fast with Naomi nipping up, only to eat a kick to the face for
two. More speedy kicks get two for Naomi as Miz is watching from the
back. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Alicia and we hit the
chinlock. That goes nowhere so Naomi heads to the apron for a kind
of Twist of Fate onto the top rope. Naomi gets tired of carrying Fox
and kicks her in the head, setting up the split legged moonsault for
the pin at 3:18. She even throws in counting the pin along with the
referee because she’s kind of awesome.
Rating:
C. I’m
so glad that Naomi is getting an actual story instead of the usual
stuff we’ve been seeing with the Divas for years. She’s an athletic
freak and, in a description I wish I had thought of, the female
Shelton Benjamin. No one in the division can keep up with her and
unfortunately it means that WWE doesn’t know what to do with her.
It’s good to see that
they’ve given her some kind of a story though, because far too often
the Divas’ stories revolve around just wanting the title or some
catty story that makes them all look ridiculous.
We
recap the matches Hogan set up on Raw.
Jimmy
and Naomi have a badly scripted conversation about Jimmy beating Miz
later tonight.
R-Truth
vs. Adam Rose
Rematch
from Monday where the Bunny was
beaten up by Rose after he lost to Truth. Therefore,
Rose comes out sans Bunny and doesn’t even do the fall, waving the
Rosebuds off instead. Rose
is much more aggressive here and takes Truth into the corner for some
mule kick stomping. A nice
snap suplex gets two on Truth and we hit the chinlock.
Phillips
tries to bring up the incident on Halloween where Truth said the
Bunny was the star of the team to set up this mini feud. Since
that’s doing his job and keeping up continuity, JBL just buries him
in response, saying how stupid the whole thing is. Back
up and Truth makes his comeback, only to be sent into the post to set
up the Party Foul for the pin at 2:07. Rose actually plays a decent
heel, but his in ring work is still average at best.
Here
are Rusev and Lana for a chat before the title defense. It’s
a short one this time, basically saying Rusev will crush anyone
before he faces. Cue his opponent.
US
Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev
It’s
kind of amazing how Ambrose keeps getting these major matches despite
barely ever winning anything. They
take turns stomping each other down in the corner to start until Dean
ties him in the ropes for chops and the running dropkick. A
suicide dive drops Rusev again and Dean grabs a jackknife cover of
all things for two.
The
fans chant USA as Rusev runs Dean over and drops rapid fire elbows
ala Hulk Hogan back in the day. You would think that the Russian
imitating an AMERICAN would satiate the fans chanting USA but it
doesn’t quite work that way. A
chinlock stays on even shorter than usual but Rusev ties him in the
ropes and hits a running Vader clothesline to the back knocking him
out to the floor as we take a break.
Back
with the champ holding a nerve hold before the fall away slam gets
two. Ambrose actually
escapes the Accolade attempt and avoids a charge, sending Rusev head
first into the post. The
Rebound Clothesline sets up the standing elbow (love that move) for
two and Ambrose’s tongue is hanging out. They
head outside with the champion going into the barricade, only to have
Wyatt interfere for the DQ at 13:00.
Rating:
C+. These matches are like a
vacation: they’re fun while they last but you know you’re going to be
disappointed by the ending. There was no doubt that it was going to
end by countout or DQ because that’s how these things end in WWE.
It’s a problem with how the company books its shows anymore but
unfortunately it’s something you have to live with. As usual Dean
looks good, but when was the last time he had a fall on a show that
actually mattered? And no, Tribute to the Troops doesn’t matter.
Rusev
leaves and Bray throws Dean over the timekeeper’s area, only to have
Dean come up throwing chairs. About five are thrown into the ring
and Bray bails as well. I have no idea where they’re going with
this, but it’s modern WWE and a major gimmick match doesn’t end
anything anymore.
Miz
vs. Jimmy Uso
Cole
plugs a new app where you’re a backstage assistant in WWE and solve
problems which have nothing to do with anything happening in the
ring. Levels include identifying a spot as fatty tissue, yelling at
someone for not memorizing a script, trying to figure out what the
heck the commentators are talking about and finding stronger ear
plugs so HHH doesn’t hear the BORING chants.
Miz
kicks him down to start but we get a quick chase scene around the
ring. JBL, of course, is talking about fast food mascots. Jimmy
can’t hit the running Umaga attack but eats a right hand from Jey.
Naturally, that’s not a DQ. Back in and Miz begs off to offer more
mainstream connections. The fans aren’t really happy with the match
stopping for nearly a minute of Miz standing there with his hand out
saying “come on let’s be Usos”, so Jimmy hits two superkicks and
the Superfly Splash for the pin at 3:08.
Rating:
D. I’m liking the idea of the
Usos having some singles matches. Of course it shouldn’t lead
anywhere because splitting them up for singles runs would be a
terrible idea, but I like that they’re not just doing the same tag
match every week. Imagine that: trying something else to keep things
fresh for the bigger shows. There’s so much in WWE that is going
right but at the same time the big problems are just so wrong.
Ascension
is coming next week.
Goldust
looks at an electric orb and sees that the new year will
be……something we don’t get to hear as the ball shocks him.
Stardust comes in to say it’s going to be his year.
Seth
Rollins/Big Show vs. Roman Reigns/Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
and Rollins get things going as Cole recaps Survivor Series gets an
achievement for recapping Survivor Series for the 200th
time. A quick hiptoss has
Rollins down so it’s off to the power guys. Reigns can’t get things
moving too fast thanks to a shoulder from Big Show. Like the
masterful heel that he is, Rollins comes in when Roman is down to
stomp away. Reigns is able to get back up though due to the power of
wetter hair, allowing for the hot tag off to Ziggler.
The
Stooges get involved, and somehow don’t get caught, by tripping up
Ziggler as we take a break. Back with Dolph fighting out of a
chinlock, only to be catapulted into the corner. The fans display
their ventriloquism skills by chanting BIG SLOW without moving their
mouths….or anything else
for that matter. Reigns
smiles at Show as the chant is getting annoying in a hurry. A
few fans chant for Reigns but they’re quickly drowned out by BIG
SLOW.
Show
misses a charge and eats a Fameasser, setting up the hot tag to
Reigns. Mercury breaks up
the Superman Punch and Seth nails the low superkick for two. The
fans chant for Reigns (again with the ventriloquism) and he backdrops
out of a buckle bomb attempt. The chokeslam doesn’t work either and
Dolph levels Big Show with a superkick, setting up the spear for the
pin.
Nah
I’m kidding. You know Big Show isn’t going to get pinned when
there’s some hotshot with a future to take the fall for him. Rollins
sends both opponents to the floor and suicide dives Reigns. Back in
and Ziggler breaks up the springboard knee, setting up the spear to
Rollins for the pin at 13:13.
Rating:
C. The
match was your standard main event tag (with another bad ending but I
guess that huge fall over Show is supposed to make Reigns) but the
chants were the most interesting part. Of course they were piped in,
but I find it interesting that they seem more interested in playing
down Big Show than playing up Reigns.
They
were similar to the LET’S GO CENA/CENA SUCKS chants: yeah they’re
against Cena, but they’re not for his opponent. The chants made this
sound like it was all about Big Show with the few Reigns chants only
lasting a few seconds compared to the near minute of Show chants.
I’m not sure what to make of
that.
Overall
Rating:
C-. Yet another
worthless episode of Smackdown with
whichever main eventers we have on hand being thrown into a tag team
main event. The Ryback vs. Rusev showdown still looks good, though
I’m not sure they can stretch it out for another four weeks. Other
than that, there really isn’t much to talk about here. It’s another
basic episode of the same show they’ve done every Friday for weeks
now and I get less and less enthusiastic about it every time. Oh
wait Kane actually took a fall. He’s been getting a bit better about
that.
Results
Ryback
b. Kane – Shell Shock
Naomi
b. Alicia Fox – Split legged moonsault
Adam
Rose b. R-Truth – Party Foul
Dean
Ambrose b. Rusev via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered
Jimmy
Uso b. The Miz – Superfly Splash
Roman
Reigns/Dolph Ziggler b. Big Show/Seth Rollins – Spear to Rollins
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