November 23, 2015
From the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
We see clips from Survivor Series, where Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Title. HHH comes out to congratulate Reigns, who hits him with a spear. However, Sheamus runs in and hits Reigns with a Brogue Kick then cashes in his MiTB and covers Reigns for the win and the WWE World Title. Sheamus celebrates with HHH at the end.
The show starts with the Authority coming to the ring, with JBL referring to them as the “greatest power-couple in the world.” Stephanie welcomes us to the show then they take a dig at Reigns for letting opportunity slip through his hands as HHH reminds us that Reigns denied his offer of being the champion. HHH also talks about Reigns hitting him with a cheapshot as he is giving the fans every reason to cheer for Reigns with his promo. HHH then brings out Sheamus, a man who knows how to seize opportunity. Sheamus tells us how it doesnt get better than this while sarcastically thanking the disapproving crowd. A “you look stupid” chant breaks out but Sheamus will not let that ruin his moment. He tells us that while the Roman Empire lasted for 500 years, Reigns empire lasted for five minutes and fifteen seconds. He incorporates some history and gets a mild “what” chant from the crowd before reminding the crowd that he told them he was just one Brogue Kick away from the title. Sheamus then holds up the belt while chanting “who looks stupid now” as the crowd boos. Sheamus hugs the Authority then Reigns’ music hits as he comes through the crowd. Cole tells us that Reigns is about “getting up and fighting back” as he steps into the ring. Sheamus puts Reigns down for looking stupid and being the former WWE World Champion. Reigns, who is smiling, sarcastically quips “congrats champ” as the crowd chants his name. Reigns’ tone changes to a more serious one as he demands a rematch tonight. Stephanie comes over as the crowd breaks out in a “yes” chant as he asks Reigns how it feels to want and that he has lost the ability to make demands with them before ordering him to back off. Reigns then asks HHH if he is standing behind Stephanie because he is scared. Stephanie steps away as HHH and Reigns are face-to-face and have a staredown for a minute. HHH finally speaks and tells Reigns he will not get a rematch as Rusev runs into the ring and hits Reigns with a super kick. Sheamus follows with a Brogue Kick then the Authority, Sheamus, and Rusev are on the ramp as HHH tells Reigns he will get his rematch at the TLC PPV in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. Stephanie then tells Reigns he will face Rusev tonight. They went all out in trying to make Reigns come off as sympathetic and the Authority’s promos were all about making you boo them and cheer for Reigns so it worked in that regard. However, the underdog vs. Authority is a tired trope and its going to be tough to sell this all the way up until WrestleMania.
We get still photos of the Undertaker’s entrance and tag match from last night at Survivor Series.
Dudley Boyz vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
Before the match we get a promo from Bray, telling us that the Brothers of Destruction survived last night and as a result, the Dudleys will pay for their sins, promising to break them in half and to show us their insides. I thought it was incredibly stupid for them to have Bray start off the promo by mentioning how they were unable to deliver on their promise to put away the Brothers of Destruction. Harper attacks Bubba from behind to start. They go back-and-forth for a minute until Bubba hits a big boot and makes the tag. They hit Harper with a few double-team moves then Bray drags Harper outside as we head to commercial. The action returns with Bray beating on D-Von. He works a nerve hold as Cole brings up how the Wyatt Family is pissed over losing last night. D-Von fights out but Bray chops him and hits a suplex. D-Von rolls away from a senton as he makes the tag to Bubba, who unloads on Harper. The crowd is into Bubba. He hits Harper with an uranage then taunts Bray but ends up walking into a discus clothesline by Harper, who covers and gets the win (7:50) *1/2. After the match, Rowan and Strowman come in and beat on the Dudleys. Strowman’s bearhug on Bubba looked really weak, almost like it wouldnt hurt at all. Bray then hits D-Von with the Sister Abigail as the Wyatt’s stand over D-Von.
Thoughts: This came off as a basic house show match. This also came off as the Wyatt Family’s consolation prize for losing against the Brothers of Destruction. Its really tough to take them as any sort of threat after losing yet another top feud. It will be interesting to see what they do with the Wyatt’s as the company has a roster decimated with injuries to key guys and need all the talent that is over to any degree to appear strong. As for the Dudleys, I do not know what else you can do with them at this point. The Tag Division is really weak and unless they plan to promote a new team from NXT for them to work with and put over I do not see the point of them on the roster.
We get a video package on the career of the Undertaker.
Sasha Banks w/ Team BAD vs. Becky Lynch
Charlotte is not out here for this match. They start off the match by feeling each other out. Sasha lands some mounted punches then rubs Becky’s face into the mat. Becky fights back but Sasha puts her across the ropes in the corner and takes her down with a double knee drop. Sasha chokes Becky out against the middle rope then stomps her in the corner. More choking from Sasha then Tamina punches Becky as the referee was tied up Sasha works a surfboard. Becky fights back and takes Sasha down with a clothesline. Becky hits a T-Bone suplex for two then shortly after that puts on the Disarmer. Tamina distracts the referee, allowing Naomi to drag Sasha to the ropes. Becky is upset and yells at Team BAD, allowing Sasha to roll her up and grab the tights for the win (4:07) *.
Thoughts: There wasnt much to this at all. The match was too short and the only story here was how Charlotte was not looking out for Becky. Sasha did all basic heel work here. It came off fine I suppose. Poor Becky is booked as an afterthought.
Immediately after the match, Paige interrupts Cole from backstage. Paige tells Cole she gets her rematch first before yelling at Cole to never cut her off again. Paige then tells us how Charlotte cheated to regain her Divas Title last night as we see footage of Charlotte’s arms underneath the ropes during her Figure Eight attempt. And she was right. Paige calls Charlotte a “dirty player” and an “embarrassment,” just like her father. Decent heel promo from Paige.
Now, we get the New Day’s “First Anniversary Country Music Jamboree & WWE Tag Team Championship Open Challenge. The New Day come out as Kofi has the front of his hair to resemble an unicorn horn while Big E has on the Woody from “Toy Story” cowboy hat. They all come out with unicorns on a stick. They are all disgusted to be in Nashville due to the fact it is the capital of Country Music. Kofi also tells us flat-out that country music “sucks” as the trio make fun of country music stereotypes with Xavier on trombone. Big E flips out over songs about tractors, something he did a few times here. They then show us what country music should sound like and it wasnt very funny but the Lucha Dragons interrupt. Kalisto interrupts to tell us that the New Day does not rock but “runs,” as he tries and fails to get a “New Day Runs” chant over. They are in the ring but the New Day attempt to leave. The Usos come out as the New Day stays as Xavier talks to them like they are dogs before saying they do not deserve a title shot. When asking about the open challenge, New Day said it does not apply to them but was just a figure of speech as Sin Cara decides it should be a triple-threat match. Big E flips out that is Jamboree was ruined while Kofi shames the other two teams. They then declare no one gets an opportunity as Xavier said the open challenge has been cancelled. The other two teams attack them after that. This started off as funny but ran out of gas and by the end really overstayed its welcome. The problem is that the New Day are by far and away the most entertaining act in the Tag Team Division…………but they are heels. And when the fans love and get into their comedy and you have the babyface team come out with really lame material in an attempt to put them down, its met with silence by the crowd. The crowd didnt seem to care about the other two teams here and this sets up for a probable triple-threat Tag Title Match at the PPV.
Renee Young is with Charlotte, who will be defending her Divas Title against Paige. Charlotte addresses Paige’s promo from earlier and says she still respects Paige but knows how she is and no matter how much Paige cries and politics, she will be facing her tonight. The interview ends with her wooing. Charlotte stumbled out of the gate and this promo was nothing special at all. She didnt even mention the shots Paige took at her dad. Whoever is writing her scripts are failing her as its tough to get over with a character like this.
Mark Henry vs. Neville
Cole puts over the athleticism of Neville, even mentioning how Henry felt the same way on social media. Henry tosses Neville in the corner and takes him down with a few headbutts. Neville fights back as Henry picks him up but gets tossed back into the corner. Neville then gets thrown across the ring as Henry leans on the ropes, almost looking disappointed. Neville comes off the top as Henry catches him and goes for the Worlds Strongest Slam but Neville floats over. Neville knocks Henry down with a kick then climbs up top and connects with the Red Arrow for the win (2:24) 1/4*. After the match, Neville celebrates ringside until he walks in front of Henry, who extends his hand. Neville accepts as Henry puts him over before leaving. The announcers all put over Neville’s ability.
Thoughts: I have no idea what this was about. Henry seemed to not want to hurt Neville, who the announcers were putting over like crazy. This was a weird segment.
Stardust is backstage spazzing out while talking about Cesaro. He then talks about his brother, Goldust, until Titus O’Neill interrupts. He admires Stardust’s setup then distracts him enough to scare him by barking like a dog in his ear. This is to set up the Goldust & Prime Time Players vs. Cosmic Wasteland match coming up next. I have no idea how that would make you want to see this match.
Cosmic Wasteland vs. Goldust & Prime Time Players
Goldust and Stardust start things off…….but Stardust tags Konnor instead. Viktor then tags as he backs Goldust into the corner. Goldust comes back with an arm drag then tags Young, who hits a slam. Viktor gets worked over for a bit until he catches Young with an elbow smash. Stardust tags and beats on Young, who tries a comeback until Konnor stops that with a kick to the face. Young is in the opposing corner as Konnor gets a nearfall. He grabs a chinlock as the crowd gets behind Young. They cut off Young from making a tag as he is back to getting worked over in the corner. Young catches a charging Stardust with a boot as the fans get behind him. Young finally tags his partner as Titus cleans house. Konnor comes off of the top but Titus catches him and hits the Clash of the Titus for the win (6:25) *.
Thoughts: Boring match. I really do not know what else to add other than that.
And now, we get the “State of MexAmerica Address.” Zeb Colter first wants to make it clear that just because Alberto Del Rio did not win the title last night does not mean MexAmerica is a failure. Colter then talks about MexAmerica being a young country, like the U.S.A., then says they jumped ship because the U.S.A. was sinking like the Titanic. Colter calls out the people for being “haters” due to their complaining on social media. Del Rio cuts a promo in Spanish while Colter nods with approval. Colter then announces that they will not help anyone else as Del Rio says the borders of MexAmerica are closed forever. Colter puts down the crowd for not being brave then Jack Swagger interrupts. Swagger is on the ramp as a “USA” chant breaks out. Swagger tells Colter he cannot believe what he is seeing and how, like the people, looked up to him. Swagger calls Colter old, bitter, and out of touch as Del Rio screams at Swagger for being a “stupid American.” Swagger then talks about swearing to protect America from all enemies before heading out to the ring. He stares down Del Rio, who lifts up the U.S. Title before ducking outside to exit with Colter. As they head up the ramp, Swagger stops them and asks the crowd to stand up and say “We The People” as they follow suit. Although Colter spoke for too long, the angle at least makes sense. And the fans dig the “We The People” chant. However, Swagger has been treated as a complete nothing for over a year and it will be hard to sell fans that he has a legitimate chance against Del Rio in a match.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Paige vs. Charlotte (c)
Match starts with both girls fighting over a lockup. Paige cheapshots her which triggers a slugfest. Charlotte works a front facelock on the mat then switches to an armbar as Paige is able to put her foot on the rope. Paige takes a breather on the apron behind the post, yelling at the referee who was telling her she needs to come back inside. Charlotte yanks Paige back in and hits a knee before doing the Ric Flair strut. Charlotte works a figure four neck lock then rolls Paige around on the mat while maintaining the hold. Charlotte heads up top but Paige yanks her off then hits a bunch of stomps in the corner. Paige puts Charlotte in a modified bow-and-arrow lock but Charlotte is able to finally reach the rope. Charlotte tries to fight back but gets kicked in the midsection then Paige hits repeated knee strikes to the face. Paige lands a few nearfalls before putting on a figure four necklock of her own. Paige then suplexes Charlotte into the ropes then stretches out her leg. Paige gets a nearfall with a kick to the face then suplexes her into the ropes once again. Charlotte fights back and takes Paige down but Paige rolls on top and gets a nearfall. Paige then stretches Charlotte’s leg out again then switches to a chinlock. Charlotte tries to fight back then they knock each other down with kicks as we head to break. We return with footage from the break as Charlotte connected on a super kick. Paige takes Charlotte down then does a kip-up while mocking Charlotte with a tongue wag. Charlotte comes back with a nearfall then uses a rear choke until Paige gets her feet on the ropes. Charlotte then spears Paige to the floor and falls out with her. Well, it was supposed to happen that way but Charlotte splattered first. The referee is counting as Paige prevents Charlotte from entering and shoves her into the guardrail as the match is ruled a countout (14:57) ***. Paige inflicts more punishment then puts Charlotte in the PTO while standing on the table until a few referees pull her away.
Thoughts: Good match. The end looked terrible but the rest was rock-solid. This all sets up for a blowoff match at the TLC PPV.
Replay of Rusev attacking Reigns to hype their match later tonight.
Next Thursday on Smackdown we will see Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio
Heath Slater is in the ring with a mic and a guitar. He says there is too much country here and wants to show us what real music sounds like as he promises to play some rock & roll. He demands total silence while clearing his throat then does some warm up exercises that was meant for humor but certainly wasnt funny. This ends when Ryback comes out for “feeding time.” Slater is pissed and hits Ryback with the guitar from behind. However, Ryback doesnt sell the move as he stares down a petrified Slater. Ryback catches him with a spinebuster and gets the crowd going before hitting the Meathook then the Shell Shock. This was just filler and a testament to the lack of depth and creative ideas in this company. There have been far too many “nothing” segments on this show. They have no one of value to use on TV and those that are creative seems to be failing.
Kevin Owens & Tyler Breeze w/ Summer Rae vs. Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose
Ziggler and Breeze start things off first. Breeze works the arm but Ziggler takes him down and works the leg. Owens tags and beats on Ziggler, who tags out, then Owens runs over to tag Breeze. Ziggler is back in working over Breeze, who comes back with a kick to the face. Owens tags and stomps away before getting two off of a senton. He talks trash then tags out as the heels are taking turns beating on Ziggler. Owens stops Ziggler from making the tag but gets caught with a dropkick. Both men are down as Owens grabs his leg but Ziggler escapes and makes the tag anyway. Owens tags out as Ambrose beats on Breeze. He tosses him outside and follows out with a tope. Back inside, Ambrose hits a missile dropkick then chases Owens off of the apron. Breeze gets two with a reverse rollup then on the outside, Owens tosses Ziggler into the barricade. Ambrose gets upfirst then hits Breeze with the Dirty Deeds for the win (5:26) **. After the match, Owens has his IC Belt over his shoulder as he stares down Ambrose.
Thoughts: Looks like they are indeed going with an Owens/Ambrose feud, which should be fun. I am looking forward to them going back-and-forth on the mic.
We get footage from earlier tonight with Torito, Mark Henry and JBL arguing over what food to order. This leads to Henry having a dream sequence about all things Tex Mex, including Torito coming out to JBL’s entrance music. This ends with a man giving Henry the Tex Mex burger from Carl Jr’s. A weird product placement piece.
Clips of last night’s main event from Survivor Series.
Rusev w/ Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
Cole let us know that Sheamus will be on SportsCenter tomorrow night. Rusev attacks Reigns to start and works a front facelock. Reigns fights back and hits a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall as the announcers talk about Reigns. Rusev stops corner mounted punches by Reigns after he ducked underneath and tossed Reigns in the air. Rusev targets the back until Reigns knocks him down with a big boot. Rusev ducks outside where Reigns meets him and rams Rusev into the barricade. Reigns then jaws with a smiling Sheamus as we head to commercial. We return with the action in the ring as Rusev works a chinlock. Reigns tries to fight out but Rusev tosses him to the floor. Sheamus knocks down Reigns then sits back down as Rusev tosses Reigns back inside. Rusev once again targets the back as the announcers put over the Reigns vs. Sheamus match at TLC. The crowd gets behind Reigns as he mounts a comeback. Sheamus trips up Reigns then the referee tosses him out as he heads to the back. Reigns then rolls up a distracted Rusev from behind for a nearfall. Reigns follows with a Samoan Drop as both men are down. They get up and slug it out as Reigns wins that. Reigns hits ten clotheslines in the corner but ends up running into a spinning heel kick. Rusev gets up and climbs up top but Reigns meets him up top. Rusev shoves Reigns off and hits a diving headbutt for a nearfall. Rusev stomps the back of Reigns then sets up to run over but Reigns pops up and hits the Superman Punch for a nearfall. Both men are down on the mat but Reigns is up first. Rusev rolls outside and Reigns chases only to run into a super kick. Rusev smashes Reigns heads off of the announcers table but Reigns catches Rusev with knee smashes from inside the ring. He sends Rusev to the floor then hits the Drive By but after that Wade Barrett runs out and hits the Bullhammer for the DQ (18:48) ***1/4. Barrett slides a chair into the ring but Reigns grabs hit and whacks Barrett. Rusev attacks Reigns and tries to use the chair but Reigns decks him and beats him down with the chair. Sheamus tries to run in as he also gets hit with the chair and bails while Reigns stands tall in the ring with the chair in his hand.
Thoughts: Good match and they finally did what they needed to with Reigns, which was making him look strong and standing tall to end the show. It looks like Sheamus is having a European stable with him (Eurothority?) and I am fine with that. Barrett loses all the time and can be the guy eating pins while Rusev still has some credibility left and looked good in his return.
Final Thoughts: Overall, there was just too much filler here. A lot of lower card comedy segments happened. I know the roster is currently ravaged with injuries but they can at least make an attempt to be creative with the lower card guys or focus on the best they guys have right now. As cliche as it sounds, they did not have enough to fill three hours tonight. Alomst every segment seemed stretched out just to fill time. The road to rehabilitating Reigns got off to a good start but I dont know if every city will be as accepting as the Nashville crowd. And using the Authority storyline is going to be a tough sell for everyone. They got their main event for the TLC PPV and have a few more matches they can make based off of tonight’s show as well.