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Smackdown - December 6, 2013

Date: December 6, 2013
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're closing in on TLC and a lot more of the card has been set in stone. The main stories coming out of Raw are the two handicap matches for TLC with Punk taking on the Shield and Bryan facing the Wyatts. Tonight it's Punk against a member of Shield to be announced tonight. Other than that we're likely to get talking from Orton and/or Cena. Let's get to it.

Theme song.

Here's Orton to open the show. He talks about becoming the champion of champions at TLC (still sounds better than Unified Champion) and shows us a clip from the end of Raw where Cena put him through a table. Even though Orton has about five injuries as a result, he'll still prove his greatness at TLC. He may not be the most likeable of characters but he's never liked any of us or John Cena. Orton does however revere Stephanie and HHH because they know what's best for business. Maybe he's taken some things they've done for him for granted so Orton would like to apologize.

Before he can get all the way through though, here's Daniel Bryan to point his fingers in the air a lot. Bryan says Orton needs to apologize for being a champion. In all of their title matches, Orton never once legitimately beat him. Just because Bryan has been targeted by the Wyatts, he hasn't forgotten about Orton or what Orton did to him. Daniel says that after TLC, he's going to be first in line for a title shot at the new champion. Tonight though he's looking at the face of the WWE and feels like putting a knee on that face. Orton says no but Bryan appeals to the crowd for a YES chant. Randy just stands there.

Big E. Langston vs. Fandango

Non-title and Sandow is on commentary. Langston's music seems to have been remixed. The champion throws Fandango around with ease and drives his shoulder into Fandango's ribs. Fandango is sent to the floor but Langston takes too much time going after him and gets clotheslined down. Back in and Fandango puts on a front facelock but shoves Fandango off like he's a cruiserweight. Some clotheslines set up the Warrior splash but Fandango comes back with a kick to the head and a knee to the jaw for two. Langston shrugs it off and hits the Big Ending for the pin at 2:35.

Post match Sandow gets in the ring to point at Langston's belt. Dang they're warming up for the Wrestlemania Point early this year.

We get the opening of Smackdown from WWE 2K14 via Youtube. Riveting stuff of course.

Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Non-title. This is fallout from Main Event where Goldust had Ryback beaten but Curtis came in for the DQ. Cody starts with Ryback as JBL tries some portmanteaus of Ryback and Axel's names. Goldust quickly comes in and gets caught in a gorilla press for two. Ryback hits a middle rope splash and Axel drops a middle rope elbow for two as the announcers talk about Superstar of the Year. The former Heyman Guys take turns on Goldust until it's off to Axel for a chinlock.

Back up and Axel misses a dropkick and walks into a powerslam to give Goldie a breather. The not hot tag brings in Cody with a missile dropkick and the sunset flip out of the corner for two. Cody's moonsault press gets two and everything breaks down. Goldust knocks Ryback to the floor and Cody lays him out with a Disaster Kick off the announcers' table. Rhodes heads back inside and is immediately rolled up by Axel for the pin at 4:24.

Rating: D+. This didn't have time to go anywhere, but are we really jobbing one of the hottest acts in the company to Axel and Ryback? I was hoping this whole “champions lose to set up a title match” bit was taking a hiatus but apparently WWE was just luring me into a false sense of security.

Orton vs. Bryan is official for later.

Bad News Barrett tells us that we're all sheep who will follow each other to the slaughter.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

Del Rio jumps Kingston on the floor before the bell and sends him into the barricade. Kofi gets put in the armbreaker for some screaming as referees try to pull Del Rio off. No match, but haven't we seen Del Rio destroy Kofi after a loss before?

We recap Punk's issues with Shield leading up to the handicap match at TLC.

Shield promises to hurt Punk tonight but they're going to leave him healthy enough to make it to TLC. It's going to be Ambrose facing Punk tonight.

Dean Ambrose vs. CM Punk

Non-title because the US Title is nothing but a trophy again. Rollins and Reigns stay in the crowd to keep it one on one. Punk has bad ribs coming into this. Cole: “Punk didn't tape his ribs. Why put a target on his back?” Punk grabs a headlock to start but misses the high kick as Ambrose hangs onto the rope. Dean charges into a big boot of all things from Punk, setting up four straight legdrops for two for Punk.

Dean comes back with a knee to the ribs to take over and Cole completely ignores it to read more nominees. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Punk fights out and forearms Ambrose in the head. The GTS is countered with another shot to the ribs but Ambrose bails to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Dean stomping on the bad ribs like the smart heel that he is. Dean keeps taunting Punk as he peppers him with right hands before hooking a crossface chicken wing. Punk is down so Ambrose goes up, only to miss a top rope elbow drop. The springboard clothesline gets two for Punk and the running knee in the corner gets the same. Ambrose counters the swinging neckbreaker into a backslide which sets up a Fujiwara Armbar to stay on the arm.

Dean lets it go for some reason but counters another GTS attempt into a sleeper. Punk rolls through that into the Anaconda Vice but Dean quickly makes a rope. The Macho Elbow is broken up with a superplex for two and Dean goes back to the armbar. Punk gets into the ropes as well and finally scores with the high kick for two. The GTS, Bulldog Driver and another GTS are all countered and Punk is sent shoulder first into the post, giving Ambrose a rollup (with a handful of trunks) for two more. Not that it matters as another high kick sets up the GTS for the pin at 13:00.

Rating: B-. Good match, annoying booking. There are three Shield members to pick from. One is a champion, one is the golden boy and the other is Seth Rollins. Why in the would wasn't this Rollins doing a job for Punk? The match would have been entertaining and you keep the title looking strong at the same time. It's really not that complicated of an idea but WWE continues to mess it up. The match was what you would expect from Punk vs. Ambrose for 13 minutes, but why did Ambrose go after the arm so much when Punk had bad ribs coming in?

Renee Young (looking stunning in a red dress) is with Rey Mysterio in the back. She asks Rey which world title means more. Before Rey can answer, the Real Americans (now in matching jackets with Cesaro's saying Toni and Swagger's saying Big Hoss) come up and asks to see Rey's papers.

Colter wants to know what's up with Mysterio's mask, if that's even his real name. Rey says he was born and raised in San Diego, California but is Mexican in his heart. Colter thinks Rey's title reigns should be stricken from the record books but Rey thinks the Real Americans should be stricken from the building. Zeb throws out a challenge for a tag match with Rey getting a partner. Rey says si.

Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka

AJ is on commentary and talks about how she was the most interesting Diva in the match just by skipping around in a circle. Tamina gets caught by a quick clothesline for two but she easily shoves Natalya to the floor. Nattie gets rammed ribs first into the apron a few times before Tamina takes it back inside to crank on Natalya's arms.

Cole spends the match trying to make AJ into a heel by asking why she thinks she's above the title which just isn't working. Natalya gets two off a low dropkick but Tamina kicks out of the Sharpshooter. A Samoan drop puts Natalya down but she misses the Superfly Splash, giving Natalya the pin at 2:59.

Post match Natalya yells at AJ to no effect.

The Funkadactyls sell stuff and annoy me by existing.

Real Americans vs. Rey Mysterio/???

The mystery partner is Big Show, who apparently is just going to forget about the whole Authority ruining his life thing. Big Show chops Swagger in the corner and headbutts him down to start. Off to Rey for a top rope hurricanrana but Swager counters the sitout bulldog into a wheelbarrow slam in a nice move. Cesaro gets in a neck snap across the top rope as Cole brings up Cesaro making Titus sick last week.

Mysterio fights out of the corner but Jack sends him out to the floor. Back in and the Real Americans take turns pounding on Rey until the sitout bulldog takes Swagger down. Double tags bring in Cesaro and Big Show so the giant can clean house. A spear gets two on Cesaro as Swagger makes the save, only to have Rey hit a quick 619 to Jack. Big Show chokeslams Cesaro, setting up a Rey splash from Big Show's shoulders for the pin at 4:20.

Rating: D+. Just a match here with a very short version of the tag team formula. Big Show being in the midcard again is a better fit for him, but I really hope this doesn't lead to a big man/little man tag team. The Real Americans continue to go from hot to cold like no one else on the roster.

We get a video package of various champions over the years, talking about what being champion meant to them. It's mainly a collection of promos from their careers with a few guys sitting down to talk about what the win means. Cool stuff.

HHH's sitdown interview talks about how great the unification match will be and guarantees that the King of Kings will crown the Champion of Champions.

Bad News Barrett has some good news for us. There will be a Champion of Champions after TLC, but that man will have a target on his chest. He'll be the hunted, making him the envy of the locker room, meaning he's doomed.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

Non-title of course. They fight into the corner to start with neither being able to get an advantage. Orton takes over with some right hands but Bryan fights out of the corner with punches of his own. Daniel goes after the arm as the announcers discuss Bryan joining the Wyatts. Orton comes back with the backbreaker for two and a clothesline puts Bryan down. Bryan scores with a dropkick to send Orton to the floor but Orton moves before the FLYING GOAT can launch.

We take a break and come back with Orton getting two off something we didn't see before putting on a chinlock. Bryan fights out and moonsaults over Randy to set up the running clothesline. A pair of running dropkicks in the corner set up some kicks to Orton's chest and a top rope hurricanrana gets two for Bryan. Daniel sends him to the floor and now the FLYING GOAT connects.

Back in and the missile dropkick drops Randy again and there are the YES kicks. The big one misses as is the new custom and Orton gets two off a powerslam. Orton connects with the Elevated DDT but Bryan counters the RKO into a backslide for two. Now the big kick lays out Orton and the Swan Dive.....doesn't launch because we've got Wyatts. The distraction lets Orton hit the RKO for the pin at 8:44 shown of 12:14.

Rating: C+. Bryan continues his roll but it's clear his time on top is over. The ending keeps the Bryan vs. Wyatts feud going but doesn't do much for Daniel himself. It does however give Bryan some more momentum going into the PPV which is a good idea, but unfortunately it's at Bryan's expense.

Post match Bray pops up on screen and says tick tock over and over. He doesn't mean to keep haunting Bryan, but how many times does Bryan have to cross a burning bridge to know he doesn't have to fight this battle alone? Bryan knows what they are, but at TLC he'll learn what he himself is. Bray laughs to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. They're doing a decent job of building up to TLC but not everything was clicking tonight. Bad News Barrett is going to bomb and it's going to bomb badly. There's just nothing there at the moment and the insults are as easy as you can think of. On the other hand, the handicap matches are going to be solid with Bryan vs. Wyatts getting more interesting every show. The world title match is looking more and more like a screwy finish every week, but at least we have a new buzz phrase with Champion of Champions.

Big E. Langston b. Fandango – Big Ending
Curtis Axel/Ryback b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Rollup to Rhodes
CM Punk b. Dean Ambrose – GTS
Natalya b. Tamina Snuka – Pin after a missed Superfly Splash
Big Show/Rey Mysterio b. Real Americans – Splash to Swagger
Randy Orton b. Daniel Bryan – RKO

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  1. Bad News Barrett needs to make the transition from a comedy bit on the JBL and Cole Show (with Renee Young) to a wrestling character. Doing the same good news, bad news bit is not going to cut it. He probably needs to act more like Bad News Brown and/or hit someone as the bad news.

  2. If I was as good at my actual job as you are at promptly getting reviews posted I would... uh... be better at my job than I currently am.

  3. They need to transition that show into the Renee Young show with JBL and Cole.

  4. Much appreciated.

  5. Missed the beginning, but did the show open with the Born 2 Run song or did they fully switch to the new This Life song?

  6. The last few episodes seem more like the Renee Young Show than the JBL and Cole Show.

  7. Born to Run.

  8. I feel like I need 'who booked this shit?' tattooed on my chest

  9. Soooo...4 of 6 matches have a title involved but their all non-title matches? Why do the titles even exist anymore?

  10. I don't normally prefer blondes but Renee...she would get it.

  11. Same. Totally not my usual type but she has a quality

  12. WWE: Look you see the ball? Go get it.

  13. Couple thoughts.

    I enjoyed Cole actually promoting the current guys over the previous generation (even burying some of the old guys a bit). But he's just awful with AJ. Shouldn't commentators act neutral than respond to the heels bullshit? AJ sits down and Cole immediately starts asking these awful loaded questions.

    Oh, and the reasons Ambrose was in the Punk match is to further planting seeds for the Reigns split. Yeah the title thing was annoying, but it's dropping hints for future shit.

    Also, I think that's it's clear Reigns is going to be one of "The Guys" in the future along with Big E, but I have some good money on Cody Rhodes making something of himself. He's established himself, finally built a bit of natural charisma, gotten himself an iconic and pop-able moveset* and has a lot of history with guys. He's my sleeper pick for next big star.

    * Watch the flurry he got coming in off the hot-tag, no "Leap in and clotheslines" it's cool, impactful, looks good and most importantly is different.

  14. It's a sum is greater than the parts thing. If you look at her features independently they're not super attractive, but pieced all together they definitely work.

  15. That comment was very demeaning to women and made her sound like an object!

    This must be what a proud parent feels like.

  16. That Diva match was the closest thing we would get to a female version of Hart vs Diesel.

  17. She's incredibly cute and that can really work. Her commentary on NXT makes her all the more appealing.

  18. She, she also seems somewhat sincere unlike the glass-eyed models that fill the ranks of the divas.

  19. Biscuit likes women. Renee is a grown woman and I love it. Summer Rae and her ilk can just, er, mature.

  20. Why hand signals? Just have Austin use telekinesis to make all the fans boo him instead of cheer him. Your whole last scenario is far fetched. They don't commit to a heel turn of this magnitude and then abort bit if they don't get cheers in 2 minutes of it. I'd bet anything they knew it wouldn't get cheers in Texas.

  21. I bet he believes in bigfoot, crystal heeling powers and voodoo dolls also

  22. I've always been conflicted on HHH. Had an all time great run in 2000-2002. Was involved in big money angles, comtributed to some big wrestling moments, could put up great matches back in the day, and was really really over at times. Go down of the list of people he's feuded with and it's a fucking encyclopedia of all time greats....

    Then there's all the political shit he pulls. I got respect for the guy - he's next level smart. Just don't like how he uses his smarts to the detriment of others and the business at times. He always claims he loves the business but has put his own interests in front of others. I'm not sure if he's delusional or just hypocritical.

    II compare him to an athlete llike Clemens or Bonds...great talent that you liked watching but you can't really get behind or other reasons. So basically I have no idea where I stand on him

    Tl; dr

  23. Putting two DOA jobbers over the Rhodes bros makes no sense. Glad I skipped this one.

  24. Also, love the slightly annoyed "what's the obsession with 2001 Austin" response snarky reply by Scott

  25. She's obviously hot but a little too mousey for me to prefer over most of the fitness model divas. I think I prefer the one with fandango that's wrestling now. Also one positive thing I noticed from raw is that one of those twins was wearing tessmacher/tara style booty speedo. If-yyou've gotta have tna (the good kind) then do it right.

  26. Hmmm...he was garbage in 2002 though. Started with the Jericho match at wm18 that just had to go on last (starting a long tradition of him closing out mania with matches no one wanted to see) and was-ddown hill from there. I was even turned off by the 2000 character but at least he could work. 2002 hhh was on the decline big time. Also if you want to talk recent ring work his punk match was OK (and that was all punk) the sheamus matches were below average, the 2011 Nash match was an embarrassment and while I do think the wm28 umdetaker match is good the one at wm27 is maybe 1.5 stars and I could see it being even lower. Just an awful match. Seeing it live the crowd was hot but omg was it dull and on a rewatch its fucking bad

  27. Tl;dr I know exactly where I stand on him

  28. I think a slower burn would have been effective for Austin. Do the chair shots at WM to show a heelish return to the DTA stuff. No McMahon handshake or forced heel turn antics. Have his matches and promos going forward reflect paranoia and a guy who is doubting himself after the injuries and return losses. Maybe even make the "I HAVE to beat you " turn into a quasi catchphrase. Works with Benoit or Angle, goes back to his Ringmaster mat work emphasis. Basically, we get a new look at our hero as flawed, conflicted, and needing to prove himself against the guys who rose up while he was gone. If he eventually descrnds into madness and joins Vince, great. If he stays super over as top face, great. Rock comes back for a SummerSlsm rematch and beats Austin clean at last. Go from there

  29. I completely agree with you, man. I'm gonna sound like Punk here but I'd like to think that once Vince is gone that Triple H will get to do some things he wants to do. I think he has a lot of respect for some of the old school stuff done in the past. However, I thing he does put himself first most of the time and some, if not all, of his thought process is very similar to Vince's. That's disturbing to me going forward. I hope when he is in full control that the product will be different compared to what is now, bland and boring.

  30. I remember up until I was 12 or so HATING when women were on wrestling because I wanted to see RASSLIN. Then again when I went through my smarkiest "WORKRATE" phase I hated it because they suck in the ring and I could go watch porn if I wanted to see hot women... now HAWT women is one of the few bright spots of the show... and now I'm depressed.

  31. Your_Favourite_LoserDecember 8, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    i thought the BoD would explode since rey actually took his shirt off (had a singlet on underneath, but still)


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