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Smackdown - November 15, 2013

Date: November 15, 2013
Location: Phones4u Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're still over in England for the final TV show of the tour. Things are finally starting to shape up for Survivor Series and not a moment too soon. We're nine days from the PPV and there are only three matches announced so far. Raw hinted at a traditional Survivor Series match between Shield and perhaps Bray Wyatt vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust/Usos which could be entertaining if not a bit lopsided. Let's get to it.

We open with a recap of the end of Raw and the big twelve man brawl.

Wyatt Family vs. Usos

As the Family is on on the way to the ring, Cole announces the Family vs. Punk/Bryan for Survivor Series which should be a good rub for the monsters. Jey charges at Rowan to stat but takes a knee to the ribs. Off to Harper who charges into a boot in the corner and it's off to Jimmy for a running forearm in the corner. Jey makes a blind tag and Jimmy superkicks Harper to stagger him back. Harper shrugs it off and punches Jimmy in the mouth to take over.

Rowan comes in for a neck crank as JBL and Cole talk about Rowan wearing the mask so “he can be anybody he wants to be.” Jimmy escapes a belly to back suplex and tags out, only to walk into something resembling a high collar suplex for two. Jey avoids a seated senton and hits a low dropkick, only to be launched upside down into the corner. We take a break and come back with Harper Gator Rolling Jey into a chinlock.

Back to Rowan for a backbreaker as the announcers debate if the Wyatts are related. Rowan tries a clothesline but walks into a quick enziguri to put both guys down. The hot tag brings in Jimmy who scores with some clotheslines to Harper and a running forearm in the corner. A top rope clothesline sets up a Samoan drop and Harper is in trouble. He explodes out of the corner to clothesline Jey down but Jimmy makes the save. A double superkick gets two on Harper and Jimmy dives over the top to take out Rowan. Jey loads up a dive of his own but walks into the discus lariat from Harper for the pin at 7:53 shown of 11:23.

Rating: B-. I really liked this as it was your basic power vs. speed match but well done. The Usos are rapidly becoming the Kofi Kingstons of the tag division. You can have them lose as many times as you want but their matches and gimmick are solid enough that they never lose their heat. The Wyatts looked good as well with Rowan being fine in the generic monster roll.

Post match the Wyatts circle the Usos for the beatdown and the monsters are just too much. Bray comes in as well and destroys Jimmy, shouting that no one judges him. He says at Survivor Series, they'll show the world how to leave a scar and teach their victims to never forget tragedy.

We go back to Raw where Heyman ranted about how stupid Ryback was and blamed him for the beating at HIAC.

Axel and Ryback are in the back with the monster saying he has no intention of being in a team with a Paul Heyman guy. If Axel is still sucking up to Heyman, not only is he teaming up with Axel but he also has a big problem with him. Axel says he isn't a Heyman guy anymore but tonight he needs Ryback.

R-Truth practices his rapping when the Prime Time Players come in to rap with him and practice the Millions of Dollars dance. Ok then.

Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka

Tamina cost Natalya her Divas Title match on Main Event to set this up. Natalya charges her into the corner to start but walks into a boot in the corner. A powerslam puts Tamina down but AJ gets on the apron for a distraction. Tamina runs into her boss though and the Sharpshooter gets the submission for Natalya at 1:20.

We look at Orton being chokeslammed through the table on Raw.

The GM's are in the back with Brad playing Exposition Man to recap the events from Monday. Vickie tries to explain the power structure which is made even more confusing when their authority is all secondary to the Authority.

Prime Time Players/R-Truth vs. Union Jacks

The Jacks are 3MB and described by JBL as Austin Powers crossed with the Mean Street Posse. Titus and Mahal get things going as Cole calls Jinder a “Jack-ette”. Titus throws Mahal around but Drew makes a blind tag and kicks O'Neal down. Back to Mahal with a jumping knee to the face for two before it's off to Slater for some forearms to the back. We hit the chinlock until Titus fights up and runs Slater over, allowing for the hot tag to Truth. Cole: “Truth getting jiggy with it!” Everything breaks down and Little Jimmy gets the pin on Slater at 3:43.

Rating: D+. Apparently this was a rematch from Main Event where the Band won. Not that it matters much but at least we had a reason for the match to exist. This was another match where the fans got to have some fun with the rapping and dancing and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Post match the winners dance in Union Jack flags.

Time for some arm wrestling! Alberto has challenged Cena to one of the all time stupid contests which has gone the same way every time in wrestling history. Cena agrees to the challenge and says let's do it while turning his hat around backwards. A guy in a Superman outfit approves so we're ready to go. Cena, with the good right arm, wins in about half a second. Del Rio wants a rematch and loses just as fast. Alberto punches Cena while the hands are still locked and puts Cena through the table. What a waste of time this was.

Funkadactyls vs. Bella Twins

Cameron elbows Nikki down to start but gets caught in an Alabama Slam (surprising pop for that) for two. Cameron gets up two feet in the corner and gets two off a middle rope cross body. Off to Naomi who pounds on Nikki until she tags out to Brie. Not that it matters much as the Rear View is enough pin pin Brie at 2:34. I'm almost positive that Chimmel called the winners the “Funky Jiggles.” I went back and listened to it twice and it was definitely two words. Might have been a rib of some kind.

Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are with Renee Young in the back and answer every question with YES. Bryan refers to the team as the Beard and the Best which Punk says Bray will hate. Punk says they're going through the Family at Survivor Series then cutting off the snake's head.

Great Khali vs. Hunico/Camacho

Hunico still has a job??? Camacho gets clotheslined down to start and there's the loud chop in the corner. Hunico comes in as well and gets destroyed with ease before the Punjabi Plunge ends Hunico at 1:15. Complete squash.

The Raw ReBound recaps the opening segment with Orton going through the table.

Daniel Bryan/CM Punk vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Axel and Punk get us going and Cole sums up Axel's title reign in a single statement: “Axel's victory over Dolph Ziggler on Raw was a career changer.” The Intercontinental Champion's career was defined by beating a jobber to the stars clean in a meaningless, non-title match on Raw. Let that sink in for a minute and it sums up the state of the midcard and a lot of WWE as a whole.

Axel grabs a headlock to get things going but gets sent into the ropes for a hard knee to the ribs. Off to Bryan who cranks on the arm but Ryback gets the tag and takes Bryan into the corner. Bryan catches him with a drop toehold into the middle buckle and the good guys double dropkick Ryback down for less than a one count. A slam puts Punk back down though and it's off to Curtis for a two count.

We hit the chinlock until Punk suplexes his way out and hits the running knee in the corner. Ryback pulls Axel to the floor before Punk can launch a Macho Elbow. Instead the good guys hit stereo suicide dives/FLYING GOATS to take them both down. We take a break and come back with Axel charging into Punk's boot in the corner. Ryback comes in again with a delayed vertical suplex and a legdrop for two. Back to Axel who gets caught in a small package for two but cranks on an armbar before the hot tag can go through.

Punk is dragged back to the heel corner and pounded down but he comes out with the swinging neckbreaker, allowing for the hot tag off to Bryan. Things speed up with Ryback being taken down by the running clothesline. Bryan goes after Ryback's leg and fires off the kicks to the chest. The big kick to the head gets two as Axel saves, only to be taken down to the floor by Punk. There's the YES Lock on Ryback and we lose the lights. We'll say that ends the match at 9:40 shown of 13:10.

Rating: C. Not bad here but the ending was pretty obvious given that Smackdown is just a blue version of Raw anymore. Axel continues to be decent in the ring but there's no way to buy him as a threat to anyone given how many times Punk beat him. Ryback would be fine if he was allowed to be himself and win some matches for a change. Punk/Heyman vs. the Wyatts should be good, but Punk and Bryan don't have as much chemistry as you would expect.

The lights come back on but Bryan and Punk are nowhere to be seen. The Wyatts look around but it's just an out cold Ryback and Axel left in the ring with the monsters. Ryback gets up and shoves Axel into Harper, earning the Intercontinental Champion a beatdown. Even when he doesn't job he gets beaten down. Ryback gets back up and tries to save his partner but two power guys are better than one, leading to another beatdown. With Bray stomping on the former Heyman guys, Punk and Bryan sneak out from under the ring and gets in some cheap shots before running to the stage to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The show wasn't great but it was far less painful than some of the stuff we had to sit through on Monday. That being said, we still barely have anything new for the PPV as the tag match had been announced earlier in the week. As usual, the show wasn't necessary viewing but it isn't the worst use of two hours. At least we didn't have to waste a bunch of time on recaps this time, which is a major step up from Raw.

Wyatt Family b. Usos – Discus lariat to Jimmy
Natalya b. Tamina Snuka – Sharpshooter
Prime Time Players/R-Truth b. Union Jacks – Little Jimmy to Slater
Funkadactyls b. Bella Twins – Rear View to Brie
Great Khali b. Hunico/Camacho – Punjabi Plunge to Hunico
CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel went to a no contest when the Wyatt Family interfered

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  1. Liked the ending. Dragged a bit but liked the idea of Punk/Bryan being a step ahead for now. Not sure why the crowd was chanting "Yes" though, I didn't see Big Show around

  2. Man, no Cena, HHH, Steph, Show, or Del Rio?

  3. "We're nine days from the PPV and there are only three matches
    announced so far." How come this seems like the case every month?

    practices his rapping when the Prime Time Players come in to rap with
    him and practice the Millions of Dollars dance." For the 1,000th time, they don't know how to book black people.

  4. They really made Del Rio look like a major threat in that arm wrestling match huh?

  5. I'm not even sure what it was supposed to prove. The perfectly healthy primary arm of one of the strongest men in company history is stronger than a guy who has never shown anything more than average power. This is news?

  6. Pat Patterson Prolapsed!November 15, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    My favourite instance of "generic stereotypical gimmick for black wrestler" was Shelton Benjamin's Big Momma.

    Lord, they're so out of touch.

  7. Outside of the Elimination Chamber Match, the whole Shelton Benjamin's Mama/ Viscera backstage skits and match were one of favorite parts of New Years Revolution 06.

  8. At any rate, it was at least less painful to watch than the Triple H Great Khali Punjabi glass arm wrestling match from 08.

  9. He's weaker than Cena, but smarter and more vicious.

    Look...I may not love everything the WWE does, but they have definitive characters for those two guys and they got them across in the segment. If you don't like the characters that's completely valid, but don't say they failed at portraying them.

  10. This is the first time that Hunico's been on TV in over two years. If this company wants to pay a talented guy perfectly good money to sit at home while they tell him "Creative has nothing for you" every single week, that's their prerogative, I guess.

  11. What's stopping them from just putting the Sin Cara mask on Hunico and having him play the character instead of Mistico? Surely they can't still think Mistico can live up to the hype, can they?

  12. Phones4U Arena? Is there any name they won't slap on a stadium or arena ?

  13. How about the dancing mommas with Brodus at WM 28?

  14. Yea, history supports your point. Virgil, Cryme Tyme, etc

  15. I don't get upset about it cause I don't think it's racist or anything. They have only gotten it right just once and that was with Booker T. He got himself over there on three different occasions and they still wouldn't push him. *sigh*

  16. I'd just like to see them go all the way have the stereotypical black wrestler gimmick battle royal.

  17. I really think that Vince markets to stereotypes in a regard. It's lazy, but it seems to be one of his things. Someone who plays a stereotype will never be top level over, just because it's to much of a "gimmick".

  18. We know about his hillbilly thing so I think you have a point. The difference is with blacks there is no balance. For every hillbilly there is something non-stereotypical. For every shuck and jive wrestler there is another shuck and jive wrestler.

  19. Yea, I don't get it either.

  20. Pat Patterson Prolapsed!November 16, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Lord have mercy, there's a battle royale! I don't have time fo' dat!

  21. Fo Shizzle, Dizzle.

  22. Pat Patterson Prolapsed!November 16, 2013 at 6:27 AM


    I have noticed, too, how they'd pair up black dudes for no apparent reason other than being black. Like, there'd be say, La Resistance as the heels, and now Mark Henry and Faarooq are tagging... just because.

    But you're right, it's not racism, it's just simplistic, oblivious-to-reality thinking that has pervaded WWE for decades. When grunge was FUCKING HUGE in the early '90s, The Rockers still dressed like hair metal dickheads. They've never had their finger on the pulse of pop culture. The only times they did was when Steve Austin and The Rock WERE pop culture.

    ...I know, right? Another brilliant post.

  23. Hunico's a really good wrestler, and was a much better "Sin Cara" than the actual one. I really wish they'd do something with him, even if it IS just taking over someone else's gimmick; he certainly deserves it.

  24. Remember when Farooq was kicked out of the nation and after his feud with The Rock he started teaming with 2 Cold Scorpio? I didn't even know that guy was still around.

    If they cared enough about this they would get some diversity on the writing staff. Patrice O'neal is the only black person I know that ever worked on the creative team.

  25. You mean you don't want to see Akeem? Man I still play "Jive Soul Bro". Matter of fact, time to crank it up now!

  26. Yea just wasting money, I know he was injured, but he's supposedly been healthy for about 6 months now. He was on Main Event last week with Camacho as well, but still another two of those why are these guys being paid to job once every couple of months guys with JTG, Hawkins, Yoshi, Ezekiel, Sin Cara, Otunga, Bourne, and Riley (ok they are trying to turn him into an announcer at least).

  27. I've got this crazy idea where they book black wrestlers seriously, like athletes who want to be champion. Oddly, most black female wrestlers dodge that problem. I'm excepting the Funkadactyls here, obvs. I guess being the stereotypical bimbo most female wrestlers are depicted as being means they don't need 'hood rat' women.

  28. I watched Smackdown via Hulu this morning; had a few thoughts.

    I really liked the way Cena worked the crowd, though I thought maybe he went a step too far on "Superman."

    A legit finish to an arm wrestling match? No fucking way!!!! Nice!!! Oh, wait...

    Still digging the Wyatts, but you know what I dig more? Punk and Bryan being OUT OF THE FUCKING RING when the lights come back on. Brilliant!! Compare that to the way Bryan was booked when HHH was his main opposition. Fuckers.

  29. Yeah, I miss Hunico. Dude can work any style, and do it well.

  30. My comment was more of a joke , if anything, the segment was redeemed by the beat down afterword.

  31. They should have just given him the Sin Cara gimmick again.

  32. Cena's crowd work was really good improv if it was off-the-cuff. "Manchester has a lot of John Cena fans. Unfortunately, they all seem to be stuck in traffic tonight"

    He could do well with a podcast like Austin's, if podcasting is still a thing when Cena eventually retires in 2035.

  33. Yeah, Mark Henry...

  34. It took almost 15 years to figure out what to do with him. So that makes their black wrestler success rate what, 3%?

  35. 'For the 1,000% time, they don't know how to book black people.'

    That was your point. I countered with an example. That they took a long time ago to figure out how to book Mark Henry is immaterial; eventually, they did book him as someone who's race wasn't a factor.

    Granted this after 'THE SILVERBACK GORILLA', but still.

  36. The time length isn't immaterial. It's exactly the point. If they knew what they were doing why would it take 15 years to get it right? Unless your counter is they get it wrong on purpose, and if that's the case then that is worse.


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