Smackdown – December 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 17, 2015
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Booker T., Rich Brennan

It’s kind of amazing to see how fast things have gone from boring to a lot more entertaining in the span of a few days. Going into Sunday’s pay per view, things were ice cold and had nowhere to go but up. Now things are hot again with a new World Champion in Roman Reigns as we’ve hit the road to the Royal Rumble running. Let’s get to it.

Of course we start with a recap of Reigns beating down HHH on Sunday, setting up his World Title win on Monday night to really stick it to the Authority again.

Here’s Reigns to kick things off. Reigns talked about how big a deal Monday was but what made it really special was doing it on his daughter’s birthday. That meant he could take it home and show his family what he was working for. However, his days in WWE are probably numbered after he speared HHH and Superman punched Vince McMahon (Lawler: “WOO HOO!”). The repercussions won’t come until Monday because this is Smackdown. So we’ve finally reached the point where the champion is admitting that nothing happens on Smackdown.

Here’s Sheamus to interrupt. He’s happy that Reigns got his moment and this time he even lasted more than 5:15. It won’t be lasting much longer though because that title is coming back around his waist. Reigns says anytime fella but Sheamus brings up all the people Reigns has hurt over the last few days. The Authority has launched an official investigation and Reigns is on the sidelines, meaning he can’t fight or even appear on WWE TV. Wait are they ripping off TNA’s stupid storyline now??? Sheamus asks him to leave right now but Reigns says come make him. Security tries instead and only earn themselves a beating.

Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio

Say it with me: non-title, though in this case it makes a bit more sense as Ryback lost on Sunday. They actually start with some amateur stuff as Ryback takes him to the mat and works on a wristlock. Del Rio tries some right hands in the corner and has to escape a powerbomb attempt.

They botch what looked to be the Thesz press so Ryback throws him down with a gorilla press instead. Ryback gets a bit too cocky though and Del Rio grabs the armbreaker over the ropes to take over. We take a break and come back with Del Rio hitting the chinlock. A FEED ME MORE chant gets Ryback to his feet and a slingshot belly to back suplex breaks the hold.

The Warrior splash gets no cover for some reason but the middle rope dropkick gets Ryback two. He’s getting better at that move. The Meathook misses and Del Rio grabs a German suplex for two of his own. Ryback loads up the Shell Shock but here’s the League (including Barrett) for a distraction. Del Rio grabs the armbreaker for the submission at 10:37.

Rating: C-. This was the same standard trading of spots that we’ve seen from these two for weeks if not months now. Ryback vs. the League could be interesting and gives both of them something to do. The League always came off like a midcard stable more than a big deal and a feud with Ryback and friends would seem a lot more up their alley.

The League beats Ryback down post match.

Summer Rae is doing Tyler Breeze’s hair as he talks about facing Titus Uggo Neil later. Titus is going to need those millions of dollars for reconstructive surgery on his face. For some reason Goldust is watching and sneaks up on them. This is where Tyler has already fallen to? Summer sprays hairspray at Goldust to get him to leave.

Tyler Breeze vs. Titus O’Neil

Titus charges into raised boots to start as Lawler asks Summer for a grape. Breeze hammers away in the corner and here’s Goldust to take pictures with Summer against her will. Titus comes back with a big boot to the face followed by the throwaway slam. Lawler declares hijinks in the VIP section as Goldust gets up for a picture with Tyler. The Clash of the Titus gives O’Neil the pin at 2:51.

We look at Kevin Owens beating up Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler on Monday.

Ambrose doesn’t think much of Owens’ plans to put him in an asylum in order to get the Intercontinental Title back. Owens can powerbomb him as many times as he wants because Ambrose will scrape himself up and mail himself to Owens for another fight. Being Intercontinental Champion means being willing to fight every day of the year and Owens is going to need a better plan than to drive Dean crazy.

Stills of the tables match on Sunday and the extreme rules match on Monday.

Bray Wyatt talks about going to the extreme not being enough. Harper says pain is temporary but fear lasts forever. Rowan talks about how you can search for the light but all you’ll find is darkness. Strowman finds solace in the muffled screams of those who take their last breaths in his arm. The Family doesn’t obey this world’s rules so sleep with one eye open and know that they are everywhere. They cannot stop so run.

New Day vs. Lucha Dragons

Non-title with Big E. on the floor. Before the match, Woods and Big E. blame jealousy for the Usos and Dragons’ denial of friendship on Monday. We get a unicorn horn and Kofi declares themselves fashion icons. The celebration from Sunday are for them and them alone though, which the fans just don’t seem to get.

Woods and Kalisto get things going with the masked man armdragging Woods to the mat. Cara slams Kalisto onto Woods and it’s time to work on the arm. Big E. is giving Booker lines to read to praise New Day, referring to them by such monikers as the gaggle of groove. Cara monkey flips Kalisto into the 450 as this is very one sided so far. Woods finally forearms Kalisto out to the floor and we take a quick break.

Back with the Unicorn Stampede on Kalisto as Big E. can’t play the trombone. A slingshot stomp gets two for Kofi and he slows things down by cranking on Kalisto’s arms. As Lawler talks about Woods’ boots being curled up like the Iron Sheik’s, Kalisto gets two off a middle rope cross body. Big E. breaks up the hot tag though and it’s time for everyone to dance. Cara uses the distraction to knock Woods off the apron and onto Big E., allowing Kalisto to roll up a shocked Kofi for the pin at 11:44.

Rating: C. Mostly standard formula tag match here which is all you need more often than not. It makes sense to have the Dragons and the Usos gets individual title shots now but I’m still from the generation where you have singles matches to build up to a big multi-team gimmick match. Not in modern wrestling though, but at least this match was fine.

Ziggler talks about being collateral damage for years now and how sick he is of everyone treating him like the guy who keeps getting so close but never pulls it off. No one can follow him though because he gives it everything he’s got every single night. Owens will learn that tonight. I’d buy this if I hadn’t heard it a dozen times.

Brie Bella vs. Becky Lynch

Another Twitter feud due to Brie yelling at Becky for getting a submission on Monday due to Ric Flair interfering. I still have no idea if Brie is a face or a heel. Team BAD is in the front row again, having bought tickets to watch one match and then leave like so many other fans do. The fans want Sasha as Becky gets kicked to the floor to start. We hit a chinlock on Becky but here’s Charlotte to cheer her on. The middle rope dropkick sets up the BRIE MODE knee for a near fall. The Bella Buster is broken up and Charlotte trips Brie down (with Becky seeing her), setting up the Disarm-Her for the tap at 2:40.

After a break, Becky isn’t happy with the way they’re winning lately. Becky thinks Charlotte believes Becky can’t win without her.

Kevin Owens doesn’t care about Ziggler wanting revenge because he wants his Intercontinental Title back. Just like the cockroach that he is, Ambrose can survive almost anything but he can’t survive Kevin Owens. As for Ziggler, instead of going to an asylum, he’s going to the hospital tonight.

New Day will defend against the Lucha Dragons on Tuesday’s live Smackdown.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens

Owens stomps him down and throws him out of the corner for early control. An elbow drops Ziggler again and they head outside where Ziggler sends him into the barricade. Back from a break with Owens slapping on a chinlock and demanding that the referee ASK HIM. The backsplash gets two and we hit a chinlock with a knee in Ziggler’s back. As usual, the announcers keep calling Owens a prize fighter, suggesting that he’s not doing the same thing as EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COMPANY.

Back up and Ziggler avoids a shoulder in the corner, sending Owens into the post. Dolph makes his comeback with the exact same stuff he always makes his comeback with until Owens gets two off a belly to belly. A German suplex and the Cannonball get two each on Ziggler but he holds the ropes to avoid the Pop Up Powerbomb. The superkick gets two on Owens (with a nice delay between two and three) but he backdrops Dolph out to the floor for a nice crash. Ziggler is holding his shoulder so Owens throws him over the announcers’ table for the DQ at 13:20.

Rating: C+. This was more storyline advancement than a match which is a good idea this early into Owens’ new character. I’m liking the idea of Owens being all violent and beating people up until he gets his title back. Basically you build him up as an unstoppable monster who runs over everyone until the one that got away is the only one left. Simple story that’s going to work every time.

Ziggler fights back but gets shoved into the steps. Ambrose runs out for the save and Owens runs from the threat of Dirty Deeds, only to superkick Ziggler for a consolation prize. Ambrose tries to help Dolph up and eats a superkick of his own. Owens smiles at everything to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Totally run of the mill Smackdown here with watchable wrestling and some story advancement. At least this is the last one for a little while as we have the live show on Tuesday and probably something special for New Year’s Eve, followed by the USA debut. As for this show though, if they actually take Roman off the air and don’t have him do guerrilla style attacks or something like that, I’ve lost the little hope this company gave me in the past week. They couldn’t be that stupid. Like, they couldn’t be.

Results

Alberto Del Rio b. Ryback – Cross armbreaker

Titus O’Neil b. Tyler Breeze – Clash of the Titus

Lucha Dragons b. New Day – Rollup to Kingston

Becky Lynch b. Brie Bella – Disarm-Her

Dolph Ziggler b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Owens threw him over the announcers’ table

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