Smackdown – December 17, 2021

Smackdown
Date: December 17, 2021
Location: Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

We’re rapidly approaching Day One and the big main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns is all set. That should open a few interesting doors this week, but there are some other matches that need some work of their own. Hopefully the build keeps working so let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of last week, with Paul Heyman not liking the friendlier Brock Lesnar and seemingly snapping him back into Beast Mode. Roman Reigns might not be pleased though.

Toni Storm/Sasha Banks vs. Shotzi/Charlotte

Fallout from Storm becoming #1 contender to Charlotte last week when Charlotte kicked her face in. Storm takes Shotzi down with a headlock to start and then kicks her in the chest. Banks, in Spider-Man gear, comes in for the showdown with Charlotte, who gets taken down with a running hurricanrana. It’s back to Storm, allowing Charlotte to kick Banks in the face. Shotzi knocks Storm outside as well and we take a break.

Back with Banks blocking Shotzi’s kick to the ribs but Charlotte gets in a cheap shot to take over. A backbreaker gets two on Banks and it’s Shotzi tagging herself back in. The running crotch attack on the ropes misses though and it’s back to Storm to atomic drop Shotzi. Everything breaks down and it’s Charlotte knocking Storm and Banks out to the floor.

We take another break and come back with Storm kicking Charlotte away and bringing Banks back in to clean house. Banks hits a spinning crossbody for two on Charlotte, followed by a rollup for the same. The Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog plants Charlotte and Storm comes in off a blind tag. A Downward Spiral is broken up and Charlotte sends her face first into the buckle in the corner. Charlotte loads up the moonsault but only hits knees, allowing Storm to cradle her for the pin at 18:57.

Rating: B-. This was your long form wrestling match and that’s something a show can use. The problem here is that it’s hard to buy into Storm as a threat to Charlotte after how the feud has gone so far. Yes Storm got a pin here, but is there any reason to believe she’s a threat to Charlotte? Storm has been treated as beneath Charlotte throughout the feud and that is likely to be the case in the title match too.

King Woods is on his throne while a variety of wrestlers sing his praises. The Usos come in to mock New Day but they promise to take the Tag Team Titles. Threats are exchanged.

Natalya isn’t worried about Naomi or Xia Li. Yeah Xia Li is a protector but she is going to need some protection.

Raw Rebound.

Viking Raiders vs. Jinder Mahal/SShanky

Of note: the Raiders had their entrance, then we had a break, then we had Natalya’s promo and the Raw Rebound, then we had another break. How is that the best option? Anyway, we’re joined in progress with Mahal kneeing Erik in the face and bringing in Shanky to hammer away in the corner.

A big chop staggers Erik and it’s back to Mahal to stomp him down again. Erik fights out of a chinlock though and rolls over for the tag to Ivar to take over. Mahal gets knocked down and it’s back to Erik, who slams Ivar onto him for two. Everything breaks down and Ivar is driven into Shanky in the corner. Mahal is taken down and Ivar hits a top rope splash for the pin on Shanky at 4:58.

Rating: C-. I approve of the Vikings getting a win, but I don’t have much of a reason to believe they’re going to become a thing going forward. They have won before and gone nowhere, though they could be an interesting st of challengers for the Usos. I doubt we get there, but there is something nice about seeing Mahal and Shanky get beaten up.

We look back at Drew McIntyre driving his sword into Adam Pearce’s desk, which was then stolen by Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss.

Paul Heyman is waiting in the parking lot when a big SUV comes in. It’s Brock Lesnar though, who has Heyman rather nervous. Maybe Heyman was expecting Roman Reigns?

It’s time for Happy Talk, with Happy Corbin being rather pleased about the desk (still including sword). Moss hangs his hat on the sword and has some jokes about how McIntyre doesn’t have his sword anymore. The fans chant for CM PUNK but Corbin has a better idea: Moss can pull the sword out and keep it.

There are three problems though: Moss can’t pull it out, Corbin can’t pull it out, and the two of them can’t pull it out. Instead here is Drew McIntyre himself to cut things off (not a moment too soon) and ask if the two of them are having some performance issues. The fight is on with McIntyre clearing the ring and pulling the sword out with no problem. This segment was terrible and I usually love Moss’ terrible jokes.

Sami Zayn comes in to see Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. He loves the idea of giving around the holiday season, but goes into a rant about everything he has had taken from him. The bosses have an idea though: Sami can be in a 12 man gauntlet match next week and the winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot. Zayn doesn’t seem thrilled.

Cesaro vs. Ridge Holland

Sheamus is here with Holland, who hits Cesaro in the ribs with his club before the bell. We take a break and come back with Cesaro’s ribs taped up, so Holland drives him ribs first into the corner. A backbreaker makes it even worse and we hit the abdominal stretch to stay on the ribs. Cesaro fights out and hits a belly to back, setting up a clothesline to the floor. Cesaro throws him back in but Sheamus offers a distraction, allowing Holland to hit Northern Grit for the pin at 2:59.

Drew McIntyre is hunting for Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin.

Here is Naomi for a chat. Naomi reads off her Christmas list: face Sonya Deville one on one at Day One. Actually Naomi wants to face Sonya right now, so cue Deville to say she isn’t fighting while she is wearing the suit. Instead, she has an opponent for Naomi right now: Shayna Baszler. That’s cool with Naomi, but she wants Sonya in the ring now instead. Sonya gets in but here is Baszler to take out Naomi’s leg. Ring the bell.

Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler

Sonya goes for a leglock but gets cradled for the pin at 29 seconds.

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss are hiding, but get interviewed anyway. They don’t like the lights being turned on, but they’ll be laughing all the way to new year’s, when McIntyre faces Moss. That doesn’t seem to be cool with Moss, though he smiles anyway.

Usos vs. New Day

Non-title, because the title match is at Day One. Kofi grabs the SOS for an early two on Jey but it’s off to Jimmy to unload in the corner. The chinlock goes on as McAfee gives Hulk Hogan a shoutout. Kofi fights up and hits a superkick but Jey breaks up the tag attempt. We take a break and come back with Woods coming in off the hot tag for the clothesline comeback.

There’s a big dive to the floor to take Jey down, setting up a guillotine legdrop on Jimmy. Jey sends Woods into the barricade though, leaving Kofi to get superkicked for two. Back in and Woods breaks up Jey’s Superfly Splash, allowing Kofi to hit Trouble in Paradise for the pin on Jimmy at 8:30.

Rating: C+. Naturally an Usos vs. New Day match was good, but are you really surprised by the dumb logic here? To make the match interesting, we see the match in advance? Usos vs. New Day is one of those rivalries that will never end and this was just another chapter, but egads this kind of thing makes my head hurt. Just do ANYTHING else but this kind of double match deal.

Roman Reigns arrives and wants to go to his arena.

Here is Roman Reigns, with Paul Heyman still holding the belt and the loser Usos here too. After the required acknowledgment, Reigns says he doesn’t like it when his cousins lose. They can get through anything though because they’re blood. Heyman isn’t blood though, and he should know that Reigns can’t have people disrespecting him. If they disrespect him, they disrespect Reigns’ family.

Can he trust the wise man? Heyman seemed a little shady last week, so Reigns needs to know: did Heyman know Lesnar was going to be at Summerslam? Or at Madison Square Garden? Or that Lesnar’s suspension was going to be lifted? Reigns gets to the point: is Heyman a special counsel or is he an advocate? Heyman can’t answer, but Reigns wants Heyman to acknowledge him with the truth. Why is he protecting Lesnar?

Heyman says he isn’t protecting Lesnar from Reigns, but rather protecting Reigns from Lesnar. That’s not good with Reigns, but he hugs Heyman and says he loves him. Reigns thanks him for forty years of service (Heyman: “I love you my tribal chief.”)….and then fires him. The Superman Punch lays Heyman out and the Conchairto is loaded up.

Cue Lesnar, who takes out the Usos without much trouble (including shrugging off a superkick). Lesnar charges in and, despite Reigns hitting him with a chair over and over, lays Reigns out with a pair of F5’s to end the show. So there’s your big twist in the story and it is something that needed to happen after so many months of will Heyman/won’t Heyman.

Overall Rating: C. There was some pretty good wrestling here, but the big angle at the end is what matters the most. They moved things forward in a huge way at the end and that is one of the best things that they could have done. I’m curious about where this goes, but we could be in for some interesting twists. There were more than a few problems on this show though, with that Moss/Corbin nonsense dragging it down just enough to put the whole thing in the middle.

Results
Toni Storm/Sasha Banks b. Charlotte/Shotzi – Rollup to Charlotte
Viking Raiders b. Jinder Mahal/Shanky – Top rope splash to Shanky
Ridge Holland b. Cesaro – Northern Grit
Naomi b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
New Day b. Usos – Trouble in Paradise to Jimmy

 

 

 

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