Date: December 16, 2014
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commenators: Tom Phillips, Michae Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Welcome to one of the only times all year that WWE remembers this show matters. This is a special live edition of the show airing on a Tuesday instead of the usual taped Friday timeslot. We're coming off a fairly dull show last night and the only thing of note is that Bray and Dean are both in the building tonight. Not in a match or anythign mind you, but in the building. Let's get to it.
Cole says this is the 800th episode. Apparently that's correct, even though this is the first mention of the milestone.
Roman Reigns vs. Fandango
We get a quick recap of last night and the question now is how long does this last. Feeling out process to start until Reigns easily throws him down. Fandango actually takes him down into a chinlock as the crowd dies a bit. Reigns fights up and responds to the canned chants with a big running clothesline. There's the Superman Punch and the spear is good for the pin at 4:47.
Result: D+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be as Reigns just ended Fandango with that spear. Speaking of ending Fandango, it's about that time. His gimmick stopped being entertaining months ago and this idea of the new and improved version sounds more like a joke than anything else.
Quick package on the TLC match.
Here's Ambrose for a chat. He talks about all the horrible things he and Bray did to each other but then an act of God made him lose. However, he saw a look in Bray's eyes that showed him how crazy Dean was. For once Wyatt was in the ring with someone just as insane as he is. They face each other tomorrow night at Tribute to the Troops in a Boot Camp Match.
Bray comes up on screen to say that Ambrose is still breathing because Bray is enjoying this game. If anyone could see the creature behind his eyes, they would know that he is disdain and the slayer of his calling. He won't stop until he sees all the heroes fall and the cities crumble. Bray is the battlefield and it will all burn.
Usos/Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper/Miz/Damien Mizdow
This is Rowan's second match tonight as he lost to Kane on Main Event thanks to Titus O'Neil. The fans are of course behind Mizdow more than the real version but Harper doesn't seem to like either of them. Luke knocks Jey down into the corner to start but Jey comes back with an uppercut to the jaw. Off to Miz as everyone heads to the floor, leading to a big standoff and a break.
Back with Jimmy fighting out of a Harper chinlock but walking into a big superkick. Miz comes back in and chokes on the ropes a lot, only to get caught in a rollup for two. Mizdow holds out his hand but it's off to Harper instead. Harper puts on the Gator Roll and Mizdow mimics him, ticking off Miz.
The heels start arguing and nearly allow a hot tag off to Jey. Mizdow finally tags himself in to the pop of the night, but Miz tags himself back in when Mizdow tries the corner clothesline. The distraction lets Jimmy make the tag off to Rowan to clean house. Everything breaks down and the Usos knock Harper onto the announcers' table. Rowan busts out a top rope splash and actually gets a pin on Miz at 11:50.
Rating: C-. Not much to see here as it's a standard six man tag on this show. At least Rowan finally got a pin, even though it's an hour removed from jobbing to Kane. I don't have much hope for him due to how they've treated him so far, but at least he got a win here. On a show that means almost nothing.
Naomi, who has a Divas Title shot tonight thanks to Miz, is fired up for her match. Jimmy is excited as well and can't wait to be at ringside. Actually Naomi would rather do this one on her own, which Jimmy reluctantly agrees to.
We recap Chris Jericho and the cage match from Raw last night.
Ryback vs. Seth Rollins
No match actually as Rusev jumps Ryback during his entrance and knocks him off the stage.
Rollins says this is what happens when there's no Authority to keep things in line. He brags about winning his war with Cena last night and says it's time for a night off. Cue Dolph Ziggler in street clothes for an interruption. He shares credit with Sting for getting rid of the Authority and reminds Rollins that it was the night he beat him. Ziggler throws out a challenge but Rollins doesn't think so. Dolph suggests that Seth is scared so Rollins says it's just Dolph Ziggler and accepts.
Ascension is coming.
Divas Title: Naomi vs. Nikki Bella
Naomi is challenging, somehow due to Miz's Hollywood connections. This actually gets big match intros. Naomi knocks her out of the corner to start and hits a kind of running double knee to the face for two. An Alabama Slam and slingshot suplex get two each for the champ and we hit the chinlock. That goes nowhere as Naomi fights up, only to collide with Nikki to put both girls down. Miz comes out to cheer for Naomi, who snaps Nikki's throat across the top for two. Nikki sends her outside and Miz is there for a pep talk. This brings out Jimmy to chase him off but the distraction lets Nikki small package Naomi to retain at 4:15.
Rating: D+. The match was nothing special but this was perfect for the story. You can tell they've actually put something together here and have some thought to it. They're using real life and fictitious characters to make something interesting and I'm interested in seeing where it's going. Why don't they do this more often?
As soon as the match ends and Naomi looks at Jimmy, Cole tells us about a poll on the WWE App that thinks Miz is up to no good. That line sums up one of WWE's biggest problems right now. We have an interesting story going on with another new development but COle has to stop to plug a totally meaningless poll that hasn't been mentioned until just now and tells us something that anyone with a brain could figure out. Stop telling us about everything else you can think of to plug and talk about what's going on right in front of you.
Adam Rose vs. Kane
The Bunny is now in a neck brace. Kane knocks Rose down to start but walks into a clothesline and a high cross body, but Adam stops to dance. The big boot and chokeslam end this in 1:18.
Kane tombstones the Bunny again.
Rollins talks about how he's going to go after John Cena and ruin everything he does until the Authority comes back. If that means he has to work with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, so be it.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title. Rollins, sporting bruised ribs, bails to the floor to start before heading back inside, only to have Dolph throw him right back outside. Back in and Seth kicks him in the ribs to take over before dropping Dolph with some clotheslines. Ziggler tries a quick Zig Zag but gets sent to the floor, allowing Noble to get in a cheap shot as we take a break.
Back with Rollins in full control and taking his sweet time hammering on Ziggler. A hard running clothesline puts Dolph down again and Rollins sends him out to the floor. With Noble shouting encouragement in that country accent, Rollins goes up but gets knocked down onto the ribs. Dolph scores with a dropkick for two, ducks the enziguri and nails the running DDT for two more.
Now Seth's enziguri connects but he takes too much time going up, allowing Dolph to run the corner for a top rope faceplant. The Stooges offer a distraction so Dolph backdrops Rollins over the top and down onto both of them. Fameasser gets two back inside but Noble nails Dolph with a cheap shot. That earns the Stooges an ejection, setting up the Zig Zag for the pin at 15:13.
Rating: B-. I'm torn here. For one thing, I'm glad that they give Ziggler a big win like this, but at the same time they give Rollins a huge win last night and then have him job here. The one time they should have had a run-in finish and they actually have a fall. It does help that the Stooges' distraction led to the finish, but I'd have preferred if he wasn't pinned in the middle of the ring.
Ziggler escapes a beating to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This was your standard Smackdown: some decent wrestling, some one off matches, and nothing of note happening. There was nothing special about this one and this week is already feeling more like a headache than something to look forward to. Tomorrow's special is likely to feel like a glorified house show and Raw was nothing special either. Is it any wonder why there's no interest in the product at the moment? Not only is the show dull, but there's a ton of it at the moment. It's not the worst show, but there's no reason to watch it, as usual.
Roman Reigns b. Fandango – Spear
Usos/Erick Rowan b. Miz/Damien Mizdow/Luke Harper – Top rope splash to Miz
Nikki Bella b. Naomi – Small package
Kane b. Adam Rose – Chokeslam
Dolph Ziggler b. Seth Rollins – Zig Zag
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