Date: January 10, 2014
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
There isn't much to talk about coming into this show. Monday was Old School Raw and the biggest story to come out of that was the surprising return of Jake Roberts who looked better than he has in years. Talk has turned to the Rumble though as we're now just over two weeks away. Things can start to get very interesting very fast around this time so hopefully the pace picks up. Let's get to it.
We open with a Wyatt Family promo and Bray talking about Daniel being lost and needing his guidance.
Usos vs. Wyatt Family
It's Harper and Rowan with no Daniel or Bray in sight. Harper overpowers Jimmy to start by driving him into the corner, only to have Jey make a blind tag and sneak in with a kick to Harper's ribs. That's all good with Luke as he takes Jey down with ease before bringing in Rowan who gets kicked in the chest to change control again. Rowan runs him over with a shoulder and puts Jey on the corner for forearms to the chest from both monsters.
Erick stays on Jey but gets kicked in the head, knocking him back into the corner for a tag back to Harper. Luke kicks Jimmy off the apron to break up a tag before it's back to Rowan for some face pulling. Jey tries to fight back but gets caught in a fallaway slam for no cover. Harper comes back in and breaks up another tag attempt with a shot to the ribs and another to the jaw.
A catapult sends Jey throat first into the middle rope and we hit the Gator Roll. Back to Rowan for the fist head squeeze until Jey fights out with a jawbreaker and Whisper in the Wind. Harper and Jimmy come in off the hot tags with Jimmy speeding things up but not moving as quickly as he usually does.
A Samoan drop puts Harper down but Jimmy has to superkick Rowan, only to walk into a Michinoku Driver from Harper. Everything breaks down and Jimmy rolls Luke up for two. Harper is sent to the floor so Jimmy can hit a big dive to put everyone down. Rowan runs Jey over as Harper comes back with the discus lariat, leading to the double countout at 9:45.
Rating: C+. The match was entertaining but we're getting very close to the maximum amount of times these teams (or Usos vs. Shield) can happen with the fans still caring. It's been the same match over and over for months now and it's losing its interest every week. It also doesn't help that the Usos have been in the same spot in the division for months now with wins and losses meaning nothing for them.
Post match the Wyatts get ready to destroy Jey but Jimmy makes the save and gets them out of there. They get up the ramp but Bryan and Wyatt jump them from behind and it's a 4-2 beatdown. There's the running knee to Jey and Bryan stares at the announcers with his tongue out. Jimmy gets Sister Abigail and all four Wyatts pose. For some reason this was on a wider camera shot.
Randy Orton comes into Vickie's office and demands to see HHH and Stephanie but they're not here tonight. Randy is in a match tonight but hasn't been consulted like he's supposed to be. Vickie loads up the Best for Business line but Orton doesn't want to hear it. He's going to give the Authority a piece of his mind on Raw because it's best for Randy Orton.
It's MizTV with special guest the Big Show. Before Show comes out we look at Lesnar breaking Mark Henry's arm on Monday before Big Show came out and threw Lesnar around. Miz recaps the story again and asks Big Show why he did what he did. Big Show puts it simply: he doesn't like Brock Lesnar and never has. He's not happy that Brock Lesnar is back and doesn't like it when everyone who stands up to Brock Lesnar is left laying.
Big Show challenges Lesnar to a fight and here's Heyman to answer. Heyman calls Lesnar the Ultimate Fighter of WWE and asks if Big Show wants to fight Brock right now. Big Show is ready and Heyman does his always great fake out, saying Brock will fight when Heyman says so. Heyman throws out an offer for a match at the Royal Rumble and says Brock will not be a hard man to find before then.
Batista is still coming.
Video on the Network announcement. I drool more every time I hear the details.
Ryback/Curtis Axel/Real Americans vs. Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara/Los Matadores
Diego sends Axel into the corner but Axel knees him in the ribs and takes over. They run the ropes until Diego stops to shout OLE! Axel sends him into the corner for something like Ultimo Dragon's headstand until Diego takes him down with a headscissors. Off to Fernando who gets taken into the corner for the tag to Cesaro. Fernando nips up off the mat into a headscissors and it's back to Diego to chop Swagger in the head.
Axel comes in immediately and gets dropkicked by Sin Cara, sending him into the corner for a tag off to Ryback. A few dropkicks have Ryback in trouble but he bails to the floor before Rey can hit the 619. The good guys are in control as we go to a break. Back with Swagger driving a knee into Rey's ribs and elbowing him in the face.
The Vader Bomb hits feet and Rey kicks him in the head for two as everything breaks down. Torito dives on Axel as Rey rolls out of the Patriot Lock but the 619 is caught, only to have Cara break up the pin. Sin and Axel take each other out to the floor, allowing Rey to hit the 619 and Drop the Dime for the pin on Jack at 4:40 shown of 8:10.
Rating: C. I guess they have to put all the Hispanic guys together since they put all their dancing black people together. We're just an Aces and 8's invasion away from GANG WARS 2! This took some time to get going but the ending was very fun. Sin Cara looks like he has some potential....which is why Del Rio beat him in two minutes on Raw I guess.
Video on Cena vs. Orton.
Randy Orton vs. Big E. Langston
Non-title of course. Langston takes him down with a shoulder block but Orton rolls to the floor before a cover. Back in and a headlock sets up another shoulder block sends Orton to the floor again. Orton comes in again and punches Big E. down, only to walk into a headbutt for two. Langston sends Orton to the mat with a single right hand to the ribs before slapping on an armbar.
Orton fights up again and pounds on Big E., only to get caught in a backbreaker. A second backbreaker gets two and Langston is getting in a zone. Randy escapes the Big Ending and bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with the chinlock until Big E. powers out, only to get kneed in the ribs for two. Back to the chinlock but Big E. fights up again.
The comeback is short lived again though as Orton sends him through the ropes to the floor. Langston is sent into the steps twice in a row for two before we hit the chinlock again. Big E. fights up one more time and runs Orton over twice in a row, followed by a belly to belly suplex. The Warrior Splash gets two but Orton hits his backbreaker to get a breather. The RKO is countered with a splash in the corner but Orton pokes Big E. in the eye, setting up the RKO for the pin at 14:28.
Rating; C+. I missed pokes to the eyes. They're such a simple heel move but they can be just what you need to get a heel through an ending. This match worked for the most part but it could have had a few minutes of chinlocks taken out. It's good that Langston gets to look like he can hang in there against top guys. There's a future there if he's used properly.
Bray Wyatt talks about fate being a dangerous beast. She tears you apart with her teeth while tearing you apart with her eyes. Bray wants to know if he cuts an Uso, will the other bleed? He asks about the lies of the world, making Daniel scream LIE. Daniel rants about the lies of the world making him want to ram his head into a wall until he breaks something.
Xavier Woods vs. Fandango
This is a result of Fandango interrupting and costing Truth and Woods a match on Main Event. Truth joins commentary and says he and JBL are down like four flat tires. Woods takes him down with a headlock to start but Fandango sends him out to the floor. Xavier slingshots back into a rollup for the pin at 1:25. It's as fast as it sounds.
Post match Summer Rae goes into the ring to yell but the Funkadactyls take care of her. Truth beats up Fandango for fun.
The Usos promises to show the Wyatts pain on Monday.
The Raw ReBound recaps most of the show.
Shield comes to the ring for the main event. Reigns declares himself the new best in the world after pinning Punk on Raw. Ambrose says there's no reason for someone to own a ten foot python and it gave him nightmares. He goes into a rant about choking the snake but Rollins takes the mic and says tonight is about the future, meaning it's not about the New Age Outlaws. They'll break Punk like they always do because they are the future.
Shield vs. CM Punk/New Age Outlaws
The Outlaws haven't wrestled on Smackdown in nearly 13 years. Naturally the Philadelphia fans are WAY into Punk. Ambrose and Punk get things going with Dean headlocking Punk to the mat, only to get caught in a headscissors. Off to Road Dogg who works on the arm for a few seconds before handing it off to Billy for more cranking. Cole screws up history by saying the Outlaws debuted as part of DX as Billy puts Rollins in an armbar. The Outlaws take turns on the armfor a bit before Punk comes in with a top rope elbow to the arm.
Seth gets in a shot to the jaw and tags in Ambrose, only to have Punk take him down into an Indian Deathlock. Punk misses the high kick and Dean bails to the floor as everything breaks down. Shield is sent to the floor to regroup as we take a break. Back with Ambrose working over Road Dogg until Roadie comes back with the shaky right hands. Rollins comes back in with a knee to the head for two before it's back to Reigns for some corner stomping. Back to Ambrose who does the Road Dogg arm wiggle, only to have Road punch him in the face.
Ambrose will have none of this selling for old guys and knees Dogg in the ribs before tagging off to Rollins for a chinlock. Road Dogg is taken back into the corner for more triple teaming before Reigns comes back in for a chinlock. Reigns lets him go and ducks his head, allowing Road Dogg to put him down with a DDT. Ambrose can't break up the hot tag attempt and it's Punk in to clean house.
CM hits his usual stuff on Ambrose but can't get the GTS. Both guys hit cross bodies to put each other down and it's a double tag to bring in Billy vs. Roman. Everything breaks down with Gunn cleaning house and getting two off a Jackhammer to Rollins. Punk hits a suicide dive to take out Seth but Billy takes too long setting up the Fameasser, allowing Reigns to spear him down for the pin at 14:25.
Rating: C-. This feud has lost its way. Punk beat Shield on his own, so why should I want to see him fight them with a variety of partners? I have no problem with the Outlaws getting a match on Smackdown as they still looked fine out there. They were never my favorite team though and it's not like they were known for their in ring work in the first place. The match wasn't bad but it was little more than fine.
Overall Rating: D+. I remember reading something like same Smackdown, different week and that's about as accurate as it gets. There's just nothing on these shows that you need to see and we're not even getting a great match every week anymore. The show is back to being a supplement to Raw and that's not something I need when Raw is as bloated as it is.
Wyatt Family vs. Usos went to a double countout
Rey Mysterio/Los Matadores/Sin Cara b. Real Americans/Ryback/Curtis Axel
Randy Orton b. Big E. Langston – RKO
Xavier Woods b. Fandango – Rollup
Shield b. CM Punk/New Age Outlaws – Spear to Gunn
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