Date: January 17, 2014
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, The Miz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The main story coming off Raw is of course Daniel Bryan turning on the Wyatts to a huge reaction. I thought Bryan was going to leave them eventually though this was faster than I was expecting. Other than that, the road to the Rumble started to pick up on Monday as people names were added to the match to make it give it far more star power than it had before. Tonight we should get a few more names added to the match as the show is in nine days. Let's get to it.
New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust
Non-title. Cole recaps the turn on Raw and says he doesn't get the suprise at the Outlaws' treachery. For once, he's absolutely right. Roadie does the intro and the PG issues get a bit muddled. Why can't Road Dogg swear on the way to the ring but can when he's introducing Billy? Goldust and Road Dogg get things going with Roadie suckering Goldust in for some shaky punches. Goldust takes him into the corner for some right hands of his own followed by a back elbow to the jaw.
Billy comes in but is backdropped out to the floor, allowing for a tag off to Cody. Why Goldust is exhausted already is beyond me as he was barely touched. He powerslams Roadie down and tags in his brother to a nice pop. Cody cleans house on Gunn but has to deal with Road Dogg as well. A double springboard missile dropkick puts the Outlaws down for two as everything breaks down.
Goldust and Roadie go to the floor as Cody avoids the Fameasser but has Cross Rhodes countered as well. Billy gets two off a tilt-a-whirl slam but still can't hit the Fameasser. There's the Disaster Kick....and Vickie Guerrero interrupts. She reminds us that the Royal Rumble is every man for himself, including brother vs. brother. The distraction lets Billy roll up Cody for the pin at 4:43.
Rating: C-. Goldust's cardiovascular issues aside, this wasn't bad until the stupid ending. It's bad enough that I have to put up with the stupid corporate stuff on Impact but now I have to put up with it on Smackdown as well. I'd love to sit down with the creative team and show them some old matches so they can see other ways heels can cheat to win a match. What do I have to do to get a cover with feet on the ropes around here?
CM Punk says he's going to call out all three members of the Shield. Literally that's that entire interview.
Here's Paul Heyman to brag about how amazing Lesnar is, focusing on destroying Mark Henry. After that though, Lesnar was attacked by Big Show who implied he could take Brock out. Heyman admits that Big Show is intimidating but he'll fall to Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.
Heyman talks about going through wars with Lesnar at his side, meaning he has to fear no evil. Big Show may hurt Zeb Colter, but he won't won't hurt Heyman to get to Brock, including on Raw when Lesnar appears live. Big Show comes out and Heyman is in the crowd before Big Show is all the way in the ring. Big Show shows us a clip from Raw where Show threw Lesnar around, followed by Big Show promising to knock Lesnar out.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio
Before the match Rey talks about Del Rio being afraid of Batista, sending Del Rio into a frenzy to start. He wraps Rey's arm around the rope but gets sent outside for Rey's sliding splash under the bottom rope. Back in and Del Rio crotches Rey down to tie him up in the Tree of Woe for a kick to the ribs as we take a break. Back with Rey hitting a top rope seated senton, only to run into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.
JBL talks about George Washington for some reason as Rey rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Del Rio in the head for two. The corner enziguri brings Rey down from the top again but Del Rio can't pin him. Rey comes back with a tornado DDT for two of his own but Del Rio hits the Codebreaker on the arm. The armbreaker is countered into the 619 but the top rope splash hits knees. Del Rio loads up the low superkicks but Rey counters into a rollup for the pin at 8:25.
Rating: C+. This took time to get going but the last few minutes were good back and forth stuff. It was a nice change of pace for Del Rio to not be on the arm the entire way through, even though he stayed on the arm as is his custom. This was way better than their basic match on Raw, which is nice as they have chemistry together.
Post match Del Rio jumps Mysterio and puts him in the cross armbreaker.
Naomi vs. Tamina Snuka
Fallout from Tamina hitting AJ with the Rear View on Monday. Emma is in the audience doing her dance again. Miz reads a statement from Maryse congraulating AJ on breaking her record for longest reigning Divas Champion. Naomi jumps Tamina to start but is easily knocked down and backdropped for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Naomi comes back with some kicks to the ribs and a modified bulldog. A Bubba Bomb puts Tamina down but the referee is looking at Cameron and AJ. Tamina uses the distraction to kick Tamina in the head and hit a split legged moonsault for the pin at 2:35.
Video on Mae Young. These are always saddening yet cool at the same time. If there has ever been a woman more willing to do anything to entertain a crowd, I'd love to see her.
Video of Bryan turning on Bray Wyatt Monday to a huge reaction.
Here's Bray without his hat in person with something to say. I love that you can't see Harper and Rowan until the lights come on even though they're right next to Bray. He talks about wanting to be powerful like his father as a child. Bray did his best to appease him and be just like him but it was never good enough. His father was never there for him and never entrusted Bray with his kingdom.
Instead he cast Bray out amidst the sheep, forcing him to walk the earth alone. But then Sister Abigail saved him by singing the sweetest songs Bray had ever heard. Bray became obsessed with her beauty and power, but Abigail told him that Bray would be betrayed again on his path to righteousness.
Monday was the moment that Abigail was talking about, when Bray knew he had to sacrifice himself to be resurrected into the creature he was born to be. You can't hurt him because he's already dead and he does not bleed like we do. Daniel Bryan was given a chance to walk with the reapers but now he will be forced to walk with the saints. More creepy stuff here as Bray's backstory is slowly filled in.
Punk is going to call out the New Age Outlaws in addition to the Shield. If that's career suicide, consider it a gift to the Authority.
Big E. Langston vs. Fandango
Non-title as well. Langston hits a quick backbreaker to start and Fandango bails to the floor. Back in and the dancer pounds away with right hands but Langston runs him over with a shoulder block. Fandango avoids a charge in the corner and kicks Big E. to the outside before pulling Langston's shoulder into the post. Langston is thrown back inside and we hit the armbar for a few moments as the match slows down. Big E. easily powers Fandango to the floor as JBL and Miz argue over who was a bigger star. Fandango is suplexed down, setting up the Warrior Splash, the running Vader Attack and the Big Ending for the win at 4:16.
Rating: D+. Pretty boring match here but Big E. getting clean wins on TV is the right idea for him. Fandango got in some offense here instead of just being the sandwich that Langston had for supper tonight. He's not going to be a big deal for a long time but it's better than getting squashed.
Shield thinks it's the other 27 people in the Rumble that need to be worried instead of the three of them. Ambrose says he wouldn't throw Rollins out but Rollins says Dean couldn't do it anyway. Rollins would throw Ambrose out, leading to an argument between the two. Reigns cuts them off and says he'll throw both of them out and go to Wrestlemania, but they'll still be a united Shield.
Ultimate Warrior Hall of Fame video.
Video on the WWE Network.
We look back at Kofi shocking Orton on Monday, leading to Orton attacking Cena's dad. HHH has promised to deal with Orton internally.
Real Americans vs. Usos
Colter is in a wheelchair to sell the attack on Monday. Cesaro and Swagger do the hand over the heart but Zeb rolls down the ramp without them holding him in place. Before the match, Colter, with his voice muffled by the neck brace, says he wants Lesnar to destroy Big Show at the Rumble before asking the fans do say WE THE PEOPLE. Jimmy has bad ribs and Jey has a bad shoulder due to the cage match on Monday.
Swagger throws Jey around to start and the injuries take their tole immediately. Off to Cesaro for some shoulders to the ribs before Swagger comes back in with knees to the midsection as well. Jack launches Cesaro into a splash in the corner and Antonio follows up with rights and lefts to the ribs as we take a break. Back with Jimmy in the Cesaro Swing which still gets a nice reaction, months after it was at its peak. Jimmy fights off the dizziness and kicks the Real Americans in the face and stomach, finally allowing the hot tag to Jey. The running Umaga attack gets two on Jack and a Samoan drop gets the same.
Cesaro is knocked to the floor but Jey gets caught in the Patriot Lock. Jimmy superkicks Swagger for the save before chasing Antonio to the floor. Cesaro hides behind Colter's wheelchair before missing a charge into the barricade. Jimmy shoves the wheelchair into Cesaro for a big crash as Jey hits an electric chair drop on Swagger. Jey drops the Superfly Splash for the pin at 9:16.
Rating: C. The idea was fine here with the Real Americans working on the injuries but we've seen these teams fight so many times now that it's hard to care anymore. Colter is so good on the mic but he needs someone better than these two losers to get anywhere. Swagger is in such desperate need of repackaging it's unreal.
Here's Punk for the big call out to end the show. Punk says he's out here because he's not a coward like the Authority. He doesn't need an army of people to fight his battles for him, but maybe he's insane. Yeah he might get slaughtered by Shield and the Outlaws so why not also call out the In Laws, the Ultimate Warrior, the Dingo Warrior and the Road Warriors?
The thing is, people listen to him when he talks and that's real power. Punk talks about HHH abusing his power to satisfy his own agenda while hiding behind his wife. Shield's music cuts Punk off before he can get too far into that though, which is a nice touch if it was intentional. The Outlaws come out before Shield can get to the ring and Punk is surrounded.
Punk holds up the microphone as his weapon but Kane's pyro goes off and he orders everyone to stand down. He gets in the ring and says the Authority doesn't want it this way. Punk's anger is displaced and his paranoia is getting the better of him. The Authority wants Punk to main event Wrestlemania, which is why they entered him in the Rumble.
In fact, Kane's new top directive is to treat Punk with the respect that he deserves. Punk looks confused as Kane leaves so he asks if he has Kane's word. Kane nods but Punk doesn't buy it because Kane is a seven foot suck up. Kane says get him before catching a distracted Punk in a chokeslam to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This is another show that didn't need to exist. The wrestling wasn't bad, the promos weren't bad and the ending advanced very little, but the show isn't actively bad. That's the best way to describe Smackdown as a whole: not much happens, but it's better than having your face carved up with a branding iron. In a way though that's the worst kind of show as it's not bad enough to make fun of but it's not good enough to be worth seeing either. In a word, Smackdown exists and that's all there is to say about it.
New Age Outlaws b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Rollup to Rhodes
Rey Mysterio b. Alberto Del Rio – Rollup
Naomi b. Tamina Snuka – Split legged moonsault
Big E. Langston b. Fandango – Big Ending
Usos b. Real Americans – Superfly Splash to Swagger
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