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Smackdown - December 16, 2014

Smackdown
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.

Results
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


Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Comments

  1. I don't think Thomas Hall has ever been happy with a match result

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  2. It reviews have a cold and dark feel to them.

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  3. Was it me, or was this crowd dead for a lot of it until the MAin? Reigns got a short chant, but the crowd was very "meh" for him, as well as Ambrose, and even Mizdow was only slightly over. Bad acoustics, maybe?

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  4. Maybe this Miz-Naomi-Jimmy Uso storyline is just a way of reintroducing Maryse, Miz's wife.

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  5. It's more that Smackdown and Impact cripple my soul.

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  6. I'm fine with them when they make more sense than not. I was very pleased with the ending to the cage match for example and most finishes not involving Big Show and Kane getting wins over people fifteen years younger than them.

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  7. I was there... crowd was pretty enthusiastic except for perhaps the Divas match. Was not a big crowd, however...

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  8. Honestly, Tommy, why are we surprised? This is the holiday time. They know most of their audience has prior commitments this week and (especially) next, so they're putting out filler shows. There's plenty of time until the next major landmark event, and that event is the Royal Rumble, a show which notoriously books to and hypes itself. Yeah, the shows are nothing special, but this one time I see why.

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  9. Yeah I know. It just gets old after awhile.

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  10. Those Nitros couldn't help either. Perhaps you should review good content to lift your spirits up again.

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  11. I'm certain this has been mentioned elsewhere, perhaps multiple times, but they really should reverse the order of Reigns' punch/spear combo to finish.

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  12. Once I get done with Nitro and Thunder, I'm planning on starting Smackdown either from the beginning or at the start of the brand split. That's my reward after all this mess.

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  13. I'm fine with Rollins beating Cena and losing to Dolph.


    Rollins is higher on the pecking order than Dolph, and considering one of them won on PPV while the other didn't, I'd rather see the new champ get the win.

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  14. Yeah I didn't hate it. It's just not what I would have gone with.

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  15. I'm for seeing that Kane will continue to have an issue with The Bunny. Who bets that on WM the Bunny attacks Kane only to be unmasked and underneath is Pete Rose?

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  16. "Why are all finishes a DQ, let's get some real finishes!"
    "Why was this finish not a DQ? It shouldn't have been a pinfall!"
    - The IWC Folks

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  17. Prediction: Miz and Mizdow lose the tag titles when Mizdow doesn't kick out of a pin that he could if not for him copying the Miz whom is knocked out or something.

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  18. I'm not so much wanting real finishes. I'm for finishes where people who should be there to do jobs actually doing jobs.

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  19. If anything, this is Dolph's biggest win since Survivor Series.

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  20. Yeah I don't quite get why I'm supposed to be thrilled that Ziggler is right back where he started before he joined Team Cena.

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  21. Good to see them waste roman reigns first match back on the curtain jerker of smackdown

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  22. So what happened to the Ambrose vs Wyatt main event? Did I miss something?

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  23. I was watching this off and on at work tonight, and during the Ziggler-Rollins interview to set up the main event I kept thinking "Why don't they book a stip like IC title v. briefcase to give it some real stakes?" and yet neither guy even SUGGESTED it, because obviously no one in the company, in storyline or real life, thinks of any of the titles as anything more than meaningless props.

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  24. It was never actually advertised as a match. Just that "both men will be in the building."

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  25. I had the same thought. It would have telegraphed the ending, but at least give it a shot. I've always wondered why they don't have things like that more often. Take the cage match with Ziggler vs. Kane a few weeks ago. Kane had pinned Ziggler a week earlier but he never even mentioned the title. Ziggler won, so why not make it a title match to maybe draw in another eighteen people?

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  26. Yeah, it's like how a couple of months back there was a period where Natalya (or someone else, like I can remember this shit) won something like three non-title matches in a row against whoever the champion was, and Michael Cole was like "Man, a few more wins like that and she'll be right back in the hunt for the Divas title!" and then it was never mentioned again and Nattie never asked for a title shot because none of it fit in with the predetermined title challenger of the month (Paige, probably). It's like, she beat the champion multiple times, what the fuck else does she need to accomplish to get a title shot? But again, that's what happens when you have "Hollywood" writers who treat things as mechanisms to move the plot forward to where they want instead of how wrestling is traditionally booked.

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  27. They are sports entertaining the troops in some sort of tribute show tomorrow night.

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  28. The worst part of all this to me is NXT proving that traditional booking can work. At the end of the day, basic good vs. evil is still going to work if you just let the workers use their talents. Instead we get everything micro managed and mandated with stuff that makes no sense but makes people like Stephanie smile.

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  29. "...that's what happens when you have "Hollywood" writers who treat things as mechanisms to move the plot forward..."

    Which might be fine, if the plots moved forward rather than laterally.

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  30. Because then you're telegraphing a fuck finish since you know Rollins isn't losing the briefcase and Ziggler isn't losing the I-C Title.

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  31. Based on what I could tell, Paige did eventually defeat Natalya on the August 25 RAW though I don't remember if it was a title match

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  32. It's a fuck finish anyway because it's inconsequential.

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  33. And about three-quarters of the match felt like rest holds. Woo!

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  34. The only question is whether or not the announcers will suggest Pete Rose has been The Bunny the whole time.

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  35. I want them to have Reigns make his entrance from a different aisle. Mix it up every now and then. Maybe he just comes down the ramp sometimes. But having him come down the SAME aisle, EVERY TIME, makes the announcers sound dumb for doing the, "Where is he?" thing, and makes his opponents appear dumb for looking all over the arena like they don't know where he's coming from.

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  36. If this were the Attitude Era, Miz would've already trick Naomi into a nude photo shoot and then revealed the pics on RAW this week to continue the feud with The Usos.
    At some point they're going to turn Mizdow face against Miz, but where does Damian go from there? Do they try to attach him to another wrestler who needs heat as their copycat? Does he go back to his solo career as Sandow or Mizdow? Is he a strong babyface?

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  37. My paycheck for last month was 11000 bucks... All I was doing was some simple online work at home for few hours/a day that i got from firm I discovered over the internet and I got paid 95 bucks an hour.And if i can do it so can you http://••►► click Here.....JUST GO TO THE SITE TO BELIEVE

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  38. Great idea. I still think Mizdow has to throw himself out of the Royal Rumble first but this is a great way to get the belts off them and back on to the Uso's. Surely we are going Uso vs Ascension at Mania unless this Naomi stuff is actually going somewhere.

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  39. Which is another part of the problem. The IC title is so low that Rollins wouldn't even want it.

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  40. Extant1979 - Mr. Cable AccessDecember 17, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    "Cole says this is the 800th episode. Apparently that's correct, even though this is the first mention of the milestone."


    HEY!


    I mentioned it two weeks ago! Credit where it's due, Tommy!

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  41. So, this whole Authority being gone thing.......... this is just HHH and Stephanie's holiday vacation, isn't it?

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  42. I try my best not to listen to the commentary.. I saw the graphics oncreen and it looked like it was the main event. Not that I watch Smackdown, but I was kinda curious to see it.

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  43. No it's not. Ziggler finally got a win over Rollins. It's clear they are pushing him.

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  44. Well done.

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  45. The pre-match promo is the push. The win is irrelevant. If Rollins won, they'd still be doing the same thing on Monday.

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  46. Middle-ground booking: Dolph makes the stipulation that if he wins, he gets a shot at the briefcase. Then he's fighting for something that's not immediately consequential.

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  47. Extant1979 - Mr. Cable AccessDecember 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    That was all I wanted.

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  48. But then you know you're just getting a DQ and people would be criticising WWE for booking the match in the first place. Plus Rollins would never agree to it.

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  49. You could say that about every title match. Besides, it doesn't necessitate a DQ at all.

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  50. CruelConnectionNumber2December 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    It has a name! "The Troops Thing" is the name according to those country music singers on that shit PPV a couple months back.

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  51. Ziggler's not getting the briefcase and he shouldn't be losing the belt.

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  52. And that mindset is a bug, not a feature because either of those things would make the match consequential.

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  53. How do you book the match then?

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  54. Off the top of my head (so possibly imperfect):

    Dolph offers up his title for a chance at the briefcase if he wins. The match goes exactly as it did. Dolph gets a rematch shot at the briefcase (on Raw or at RR if you want to stretch it out) and... gasp wins the damn thing when J&J interference backfires.

    Heyman reminds Seth that they had a gentleman's agreement not to cash in the briefcase while Brock is champ (at least that's the implication of Monday's handshake), so if Dolph cashes it in, Brock may be very upset and take it out on Seth.

    Seth, with the carrot on one end and a stick at the other, challenges Dolph to a rematch for the briefcase and brings in whoever - the Ascension would be my pick - as his new muscle, and their interference helps him win.

    So you get to the same destination - all roads lead to Roman, after all - but stuff still happens in the interim.

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  55. So Dolph gives up his title in one match for the chance to have to win two matches to get MITB?


    The MITB briefcase just becomes a hot potato between two guys? I don't like it.


    The match WWE booked was a good match, good result, elevated the winner, kept heat on the loser and showed they might be behind Ziggler for once. Good job all around.

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  56. Dolph doesn't give up his title. He puts his title on the line for a shot at the case.

    Changing it twice in two months us hardly a hot potato, but even if it were, a hot potato is more interesting than an ice cold potato, which is what they have now.

    Ziggler is still tied for the #3 babyface. He didn't get elevated. Rollins got knocked down.

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  57. He puts his title on the line for a chance at a shot at MITB if he wins this one.


    That is a hot potato, especially for MITB, which has only changed hands once and it makes Ziggler look bad for losing a golden goose like that after he already had it.


    Ziggler's been elevated big time starting with Survivor Series. Rollins continues to be a major player whose standing has not been impacted by his loss on Tuesday.

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