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.

Opening sequence.

There’s another Survivor Series match tonight with the Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons vs. the Wyatt Family. So yeah, they’ve built up the Dragons and now they’re feeding them to the Wyatts three days later.

Here’s MexAmerica to open things up. Colter talks about how there will be no hatred in MexAmerica. We don’t need borders in our lives because we will all be one great nation. There are black hearts out there who lie about hating at least one person in the world and they don’t belong. Viva MexAmerica.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Neville

Non-title. Del Rio starts with the kicks in the corner and another to the back for an early two. A quick headscissors takes Alberto down and Neville gets two of his own off a standing shooting star, only to have a Backstabber send him to the floor. Back from a break with Del Rio in control until Neville sends him outside for a moonsault to the floor. Neville slams him on the top of his head with a hurricanrana (intentionally, called a spike rana by Brennan). He tries a few too many flips though, allowing Del Rio to kick him off the top and into the Tree of Woe, setting up the double stomp for the pin at 9:46.

Rating: C+. Fun back and forth match here and I’m very glad that Del Rio isn’t using the superkick as often as he’s done before. It’s kind of odd that they would have that move get him the big win against Cena and then he goes with something else for most of his matches. Maybe the superkick is supposed to be his big finisher that he only uses for major matches?

Post match Del Rio hits the low superkick. So much for any rhyme or reason. Neville gets put in the cross armbreaker but Jack Swagger makes the save.

Usos vs. Ascension

Again the booking makes little sense. You can throw Ascension out here to job but you can’t put them out against the Dragons on Monday and sacrifice Barrett and Sheamus instead? Jimmy and Viktor start and after ducking Viktor’s leapfrog, it’s time to dance. Viktor doesn’t like dancing (there’s a Footloose joke in there somewhere) and sends Jimmy to the floor, followed by a catapult into Konnor’s spinebuster.

Booker talks about training the Usos in an interesting bit as we hit the chinlock. An enziguri gets Jimmy out of trouble and it’s the double tag as everything breaks down. Here’s the finishing sequence: superkick, double superkick, double superkick, Superfly Splash to Viktor for the pin at 4:14.

Rating: C-. I am so, so sick of superkicks. There are now at least ten people on the active roster that uses them in one form or another. I mean……do something else! The Usos looked good here and should be a nice set of challengers for the New Day. They’ve been out long enough that they feel fresh again and can certainly back it up in the ring.

We look at Bray’s speech and fireworks display on Monday.

Wyatt Family vs. Prime Time Players/Lucha Dragons

Survivor Series rules but they still don’t know if 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 is the traditional format. Rowan throws Young around to start and it’s off to Harper vs. Titus. We get the traditional reference to Lawler’s mini Kings as Bray comes in to destroy Young. With the situation well in hand, it’s back to Harper for a catapult into the bottom rope. The announcers bring up the idea that the Wyatts injured Orton’s shoulder for a nice surprise.

Bray hits Darren in the face to stop a comeback and it’s off to Strowman who has really cooled off in the last few weeks. Strowman chokes Young off on the apron but drops him at five, giving us a countout elimination at 5:13. Back from a break with Titus as the next designated victim. Harper takes him into the corner where Titus tries a comeback, only to get dragged to the bad corner again.

O’Neil finally escapes and makes the tag off to Cara as things speed way up. A suicide dive takes out Rowan and a hurricanrana gets two on Harper. Rowan breaks up another cover but Kalisto knocks him to the floor. The discus lariat knocks Cara out cold for the elimination at 12:54. Kalisto comes in for his kicks but walks into a half nelson suplex. It’s back to Rowan for his fist head vice for a bit before Kalisto manages to low bridge him to the floor.

Strowman pulls Titus off the apron, leaving Kalisto to kick Harper down. A handspring into an enziguri staggers Bray but Rowan gets in a full nelson slam to put Kalisto out at 16:01, leaving Titus alone 4-1. Rowan starts so Titus fires off right hands and a clothesline. The Clash of the Titus puts Harper down but Bray and Erick make the save. Strowman chokes him out and Sister Abigail FINALLY ends this at 19:59.

Rating: D-. What the heck was the point of this? This is supposed to make me want to watch Survivor Series? A twenty minute squash where you knew what the lone high spots were Kalisto and Sin Cara doing their stuff before getting squashed as you knew they were going to be? Bad idea here in a match that should have taken half as long.

Ambrose talks about waking up this morning at 11am for a chat with the spirit of John Denver, who gave him a new song and told him that he would have a match tonight. Owens comes in to say Dean is annoying Renee and remind him of what he has to do tonight to be a champion. Tonight won’t be like the ten man circus on Monday. Dean: “John Denver warned me about that guy.”

King Barrett vs. Ryback

They’re on the floor in a hurry with Barrett posting him a few times in a row. A big boot gets two for the King and a Boss Man Slam gets the same. We hit the chinlock for a bit and Barrett even jumps onto his back, only to be moved over into the Shell Shock for the pin at 2:20. Raise your hand if you believed Barrett’s latest push was going to make it a month before falling apart.

Recap of Team Bad beating Natalya down last week.

Team Bad laughs at Natalya for getting annoyed at the attack last week. Natalya has gone nuclear and gone to FACEBOOK to challenge Team Bad’s leader. Sasha seems to think that’s her so I guess that’s our match.

Natalya vs. Tamina

This is decided after a brief argument between the other two. Tamina runs Natalya over to start and drops a knee. Booker: “When you need a job done, you call Tamina.” There’s a lot of truth in that. Fans: “WE WANT SASHA!” Tamina: “YOU CAN’T HAVE HER!” You know what they can have though? A superkick! Off to a chinlock for a bit before Natalya hits a quick discus lariat. Sasha’s distraction breaks up the Sharpshooter though and it’s a Samoan drop to put Natalya down again. The Superfly Splash hits knees though and Natalya grabs a rollup for the pin at 3:49.

Rating: D. Well she certainly did the job. I’m hoping this leads to the end of Team Bad and the teams in general as there’s has been no reason for them to exist for the last several months. Keep in mind that they’ve only been around for about three months now and I think you get the idea.

Recap of the Survivor Series match from Monday.

We get an inserted announcement of Rollins’ injury and the tournament.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens

Non-title because of course it is. This is another thing I don’t understand: assuming Ambrose doesn’t pin him here, why not make this a title match? Dean pinned him on Monday so why not do it here and potentially build to a rematch at the pay per view? Either that or don’t do this match here. Lawler: “Owens has been in the hospital several time for narcissism treatment. He keeps checking himself out.” Dang it why did that make me chuckle? They trade headlocks to start (Kevin: “My headlock is better than yours!”) and Dean armdrags him to the floor.

Back from a break with Dean cranking on an armbar before clotheslining Owens over the top. Kevin sends him hard into the barricade to take over though, followed by the backsplash inside. Owens takes too much time yelling at Lawler though, allowing Dean to get in a superplex. The standing elbow drop gets two and a missile dropkick puts Kevin down again. Owens superkicks him into the ropes for the rebound lariat (thankfully not called the Lunatic Lariat) but Owens claims a low blow off a kick and that’s a DQ at 13:47.

Rating: C+. I could see these two having a really good feud if they’re allowed to go off the rails a little bit with the promos and build. Then again it’s hard to say if the match is going to happen as these two are strong candidates for the upcoming tournament. Good enough here though and I liked the twist on the ending instead of Owens just walking out.

The replay shows that the kick was way above the waist. Dean goes after him but Owens bails into the crowd to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. That Survivor Series match really brought this show down as the rest of it was pretty good. As I said though, it’s really hard to know where Survivor Series is going as a lot of the show is going to be dedicated to the tournament, but there’s not much else they can do. Good enough show here though as Smackdown has been doing a bit better lately.

Results

Alberto Del Rio b. Neville – Top rope double stomp

Usos b. Ascension – Superfly Splash to Viktor

Wyatt Family b. Prime Time Players/Lucha Dragons last eliminating Titus O’Neil

Ryback b. King Barrett – Shell Shock

Natalya b. Tamina – Rollup

Kevin Owens b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Ambrose kicked him low

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