WWE Smackdown
November 28th, 2014
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Introduction: Before the episode begins we get a recap of Sting making his WWE entrance at Survivor Series. No clips of his altercation with Triple H, just the video package and Sting standing at the top of the ramp.

Miz TV: The show begins with the new WWE Tag Team Champions, The Miz and Damien Mizdow, in the ring with an episode of Miz TV. The Miz gimmick infringes on Daniel Bryan’s run as “I am the tag team champions!” as he holds both titles, one on each shoulder. Stunt double Mizdow has one replica title on each shoulder.

The Miz calls The Big Show out as clips of The Big Show turning on Team Cena and then the in-ring altercation with Erick Rowan from this past Monday. Before Big Show talks the fans break out into a “You sold out!” chant. You would figure even the WWE casuals would be used to Big Show flip flopping between heel and face. Maybe this is a testament as how good of a promo the Big Show is…….nahhhhhh…

Big Show then says his reason is that he needed to take care of his family. If he knocks out Cena and Team Cena ends up losing that means Show loses his job —is that how you take care of a family?

Thank to the good lord above, Daniel Bryan interrupts Big Show and comes out to a very nice reaction from my home state Hoosiers. Daniel Bryan gets on the mic and tells Big Show that he is someone who has something to say since he asked on Raw for someone to come out if they had something to say.

Daniel Bryan then tells the Indiana crowd that he is in charge tonight. Daniel Bryan then runs down the matches he has put together for the evening. Ryback vs. Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper for Intercontinental Championship.

The Miz then interrupts Daniel Bryan and says “Daniel Bryan. Don’t steal my spotlight.” Daniel Bryan then rebuts “Miz, I can’t take your spotlight, because Mizdow is already doing that.”

Big Show tells Daniel Bryan to leave the ring, because this is not about him. Daniel Bryan rebuts that this is about Show and lot of other people. DBryan says that since Rusev didn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance this past Monday on Raw then he will have defend his United States Championship in a Battle Royal. DBryan declares that Show, Miz, Mizdow, and Erick Rowan are all going to be included in the match. It’s nice to have a fair and impartial authority figure.

United States Championship Battle Royal w/ The Big Show, The Miz, Damien Mizdow, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Erick Rowan, Tyson Kidd, Diego, Fernando, Stardust, Goldust, Cesaro, Titus O’Neil, Curtis Axel, Jack Swagger, Sin Cara, Adam Rose, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Rusev ©: WWE has really go to stop these Battle Royals where mid-card championship have to defend it in this manner. It really makes no sense. The Big Show gives an Andre the Giant butt smashing spot in the corner to Los Matadores. Justin Gabriel is eliminated first.

Cole and JBL trade puns as wrestlers are eliminated. Adam Rose: “Welp, the party’s over.” Big Show eliminates both of Los Matadores: “That’s one big bull.”

And then some lame jokes. “I can’t wait to read The Miz’s Autobiography. It is be half a page long.” And “Talk about an international field. (With final four of Rusev, Kidd, Swagger, and Rusev.) You’ve got Canada. USA. Bulgaria. And Switzerland…..And Oklahoma, another foreign country!”

Cesaro throws Rusev over the top rope, but Rusev catches himself JUST before his feet hit. Truly an athletic feat. Cesaro runs at Swagger and Swagger throws Cesaro over the top rope whilst standing on the outside of the ring on the apron. Rusev SUPER KICKS Swagger off of the apron for the win. This was a short, fun little Battle Royal.

Concessions Kane sells some merch to kids. Kane is disgruntled and selling merch to little kids. Santino comes to the table and asks Kane for a Ryback shirt and screams as he runs away.

Bray Wyatt Promo: As Bray is making his long entrance to the ring we get a recap of what Dean Ambrose did to Bray Wyatt at Survivor Series and then Bray’s retaliation from this past Monday on Raw.

Bray starts off telling Dean that he looked like an angel ascending to the heavens when he was climbing that ladder. Bray tells Dean that people like him and Dean don’t belong up there. Bray says the pain…the pain…the pain, man….the pain from being buried in steel chairs was euphoric. Bray tells Dean that his demons will mold him, but Bray molds the demons. Bray says he will finally be able to smile when he finally puts Dean in the dirt with the rest of the insects.

Wrestling Promo Class 101. Don’t threaten your opponent with things that are implausible. Bray Wyatt will never actually kill Dean Ambrose, thus meaning that at the TLC PPV when Bray inevitably doesn’t kill Dean Ambrose he will not be looked at as a threat and will look like a phony. This has been Wrestling Promo Class 101 with Taylor C. Mitchell.

Emma vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella: I don’t understand why Brie is now friendly with her sister again. This is like when a heel beats down a babyface and then the next show that babyface turns heel and joins the side of the heel that beat them down. Really? To fake everyone out you were willing to suffer a beat down? Ugh….Nikki squashes Emma here. NR

Rob McCarron was going gaga over this Nikki Bella post-match promo on the most recent episode of Shake Them Ropes, but it looks to have some really odd hard edits and cuts. I have never seen such obvious edits and cuts on an episode of Smackdown. The small parts I saw were good though. AJ Lee comes out and attacks Brie until Brie and Nikki are able to escape.

We get a shot of the merchandise table smashed to pieces in the back.

Ryback vs. Seth Rollins w/ J&J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury): Have you guys heard about how dumb Ryback is? CM Punk even stated that he got Ryback to admit it after Ryback blew another spot with Punk. That was one of my favorite stories on the now-famous episode of the Art of Wrestling podcast. That and how CM Punk wants to play Casey Jones in a TMNT movie. How bad ass would that be? Now, I can’t get the thought out of my head of Punk portraying one of my favorite characters in comic book/cartoon lore.

Michael Cole referred to the New Age Stooges as “J&J Security”; I like it enough to retire “The New Age Stooges.” (R.I.P. “New Age Stooges”)

The story told in this match is “Speed vs. Strength” with some classic heel tactics of the bad guy’s manager(s) distracting the babyface to gain the advantage. This was a really good TV match between the two. Seth Rollins is destined for main event super stardom for sure. I can definitely see him in Edge’s role as the sleazy jerk of a heel that can put together really good matches. Concessions Kane (This is his new permanent name as far as this reviewer is concerned) comes out and attacks Ryback with a steel chair to cause a DQ finish. ***1/2

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) vs. Heath Slater, Titus O’Neil, and Curtis Axel: I can totally dig The New Day’s gimmick. These three are already immersed in this gimmick. You can tell that they are invested into making this trio work. They’ve already spliced in some tag team moves and new antics (like Big E pulling a handkerchief out of his singlet to wipe his brow after beating down Slater). It helps that all three men are super talented and will be able to put together some really entertaining six man tag team matches together.

This was an extended squash meant to showcase The New Day’s skills….or “skillz” as Kofi would say in a past-gimmick. Verdict? The New Day rules.

RAW Rebound: We get a recap of The Authority saying their goodbyes on this past Raw. It was fitting that after 50+ weeks of Monday Night Raw’s starting with The Authority cutting a 20-minute promo that we get a 20 minute promo to end the era of The Authority. Ugh.

Daniel Bryan running Raw was pretty cool. I wouldn’t mind DBryan being the WWE General Manager while he is healing, but I wish the WWE would portray him as a bad ass for once. DBryan could be like Roddy Piper when he was in charge of WWE back in ’96, but we know that’ll never happen. We would just get goofy goat faced DBryan.

And next week we get a “Cyber Monday”, if it’s anything like “Cyber Sunday”, then we can expect a fun concept on paper that leads to some pretty awful matches since none of the wrestlers get a chance to properly prepare for these random matches.

Renee Young is in the back with Daniel Bryan. DBryan mentions that Concessions Kane foiled his plans tonight and DBryan signs a “Chairs Match” between Concessions Kane and Ryback for TLC. I never understood how people who get power for one night have the power to sign matches for future dates. This has happened throughout WWE history. Why wouldn’t Daniel Bryan sign himself to be the main event of ever PPV after he returns? Why wouldn’t Daniel Bryan sign himself a match for the WWE title? Why wouldn’t he make Concessions Kane his servant?

Gold and Stardust begin to search for the Cosmic Key Again: This is the typical Gold and Stardust promo we have seen, which I have to point out as I always do when reviewing a Stardust segment that he has an uncanny resemblance to Frank Gorshin’s Riddler character in the 1960’s Batman TV show (which is now on Blu Ray for anyone who wants to know what to buy me for Christmas).

Stardust this snuff outs the light to create a black hole and Goldust declares that darkness has befallen the new day. Sounds like a feud with The New Day! That is something I can get behind.

Intercontinental Championship Match – Luke Harper © vs. Dolph Ziggler: This match unfortunately starts off with a commercial break just 30-45 seconds into the match. Ziggler bumps around really well for Harper and Harper does his thing. Ziggler ends up winning via DQ and Harper walks out with the IC title. Post-match Harper goes to knock Ziggler out with the IC title, but Ziggler counters and delivers a ZigZag to Harper.

Final Thoughts:

This was the best episode of Smackdown in MONTHS. It was so refreshing to see new matches, a great debut (The New Day), a new feud started (The New Day/Gold and Stardust), two really good matches that left us wanting more (Ryback vs Rollins and Ziggler vs Harper) and a hot Indiana crowd. Remember to follow me on Twitter (@LuchaNerd) for more pro wrestling ramblings!