December 12th, 2014
Raw Recap: We start off with a video recap of what happened on this last week’s episode of Raw. John Cena has given Big Show the Attitude Adjustment seemingly 578 times in his career, yet the WWE continues to act like every time we see it, it is supposed to be this incredible feat. One would think Vince McMahon would have learned this during the Hulkamania era. After Hogan spent a couple of years slamming Andre the Giant on a regular basis and then feuds with Earthquake and acts like he can’t slam John Tenta, it was a little ridiculous. Of course this is assuming Vince McMahon remembers anything to do with a Hulk Hogan feud let alone the 577th time John Cena Adjusted Big Show’s Attitude.
Show start: John Cena makes a rare appearance on Smackdown by cutting a promo. John starts off talking about how the TLC(s) PPV is in two days when Seth Rollins immediately interrupts him. Seth asks Cena to do us a favor and “shut up!”. Seth mentions how Cena comes out before every PPV and talks about what he is going to do to his opponent and 99 times out of 100 he would deliver. Seth continues to put Cena over, but says there is no future without Seth Rollins.
John retorts that Rollins is good, but he will realize at TLC(s) that he is not ready for this. Cena tells Rollins “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” Just kidding he didn’t say that. Now that I think about it, I could totally see John Cena saying that. I digress; Cena says the champ is here, Rollins says he’s the future blah blah; Cena is going through a table on Sunday.
John Cena goes on about how Seth should line up behind the 10,000 people that have said they’re going to do what Seth is saying. Cena name drops Renee Dupree and Orlando Jordan.
This segment was pretty pointless, yet Seth Rollins continues to show improvement on the microphone. That alone makes me want to vote him for “Most Improved” in the WON Year End Awards.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd w/ Natalya vs. The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso): During Cesaro and Kidd’s entrance we get a pre-recorded backstage promo of the two. Cesaro mentions the Stone Cold/McMahon podcast and mentions him and Kidd are here to grab brass rings.
This Miz is on commentary for this match with Mizdow sitting next to him mimicking him. The Miz then receives an important phone call regarding Naomi’s acting career and leaves.
Cesaro uses the Giant Swing and Tyson Kidd dropkicks Uso out of the Swing. Best spot of the match. Cesaro has Jey pinned until Jimmy forces Cesaro’s foot on the ropes to cost Cesaro the match. The Uso’s then win with the Superfly splash. **1/4
Miz backstage with Naomi: The Miz tries to convince Naomi to join up with Miz’s agent to begin her career in Hollywood. Naomi is ticked off at first, but then becomes understanding about the content of Miz’s proposal.
Jimmy Uso with Naomi: After commercial break Jimmy is talking to Naomi and Naomi blows him off because Jimmy isn’t supportive. Jey then cuts a promo on Jimmy about the importance of their tag team match this Sunday at TLC(S) leaving out the important line of Mickey to Rocky “women make you weak in the legs!”
We get a 6 minute video recap of the Cena/Rollins feud. Moving on….Bray Wyatt promo about how he will be relevant 2,000 years from now. No seriously. He said that.
Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella vs. Alicia Fox: AJ Lee is on commentary cradling her Slammy for Diva of the Year like a baby. This match pales in comparison to the Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks match we saw at NXT Takeover III. Nikki is still improving though, so there’s that. *1/4
Slammy award recap of all the “winners.”
Big E w/ Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Goldust w/ Stardust: It is refreshing to see a tag team feud outside of the tag team titles. The New Day is a fun act to watch including three stand out talents and is a perfect foil for the, now, darker super villains in the Dust Brothers.
Big E and Goldust have a short match, but is still the best thing on this show so far. Big E continues to impress and improve, while Goldust continues the best part of his career from an in-ring perspective.
Titus O’Neil vs. Jack Swagger: #HOSSdivision. Titus hardly gets any offense in this match. The point of this match is clearly to put over Swagger and have it appear as if he stands a chance against his old nememis, Rusev. Swagger celebrates after the match, but quickly interrupted by Rusev and Lana.
Rusev vs. Swagger at Summerslam is on my short list to consider for the Top 10 Match of the Year poll for Voices of Wrestling. This match could exceed that. Rusev is excellent at selling and telling a story, while Swagger is so good at showing determination, it really adds to the drama of the match.
Dean Ambrose backstage: After a video recap of the Wyatt/Ambrose feud we see Ambrose backstage talking about how he is going to defeat Wyatt. Ambrose was on the Talk is Jericho podcast recently and said that he doesn’t think any of his WWE promos have been all that good. This guy hates being scripted and doesn’t need to be scripted. The leaked Monday Night Raw scripts from earlier this year had some of Ambrose’s promo word for word with how he delivered them. Bray Wyatt was interviewed by Stone Cold for his podcast and implied that the WWE trusts him enough to not have to use a script. Ambrose should be cutting promos off the cuff with no restraints too. Ambrose should be trusted with the same. Ambrose is one of the best promos of the last decade. Just look up “Jon Moxley promo” on YouTube and you’ll find a plethora of great promos to watch.
The Big Show, Luke Harper & Corporate Kane vs. Ryback, Erick Rowan & Dolph Ziggler: Erick Rowan seems bound and determined to work his butt off to earn a long term spot on the WWE roster. Rowan once appeared to be headed down the path of a Snitsky or Festus, but has really turned a corner. Rowan still needs a lot of improvement, but shows promise.
It is a surprise to no one that Kane was the worst participant in this match. Kane continues an awful streak of having bad/boring performances in his matches. Glen Jacobs is destined for a position backstage and with guys like Rowan and Harper filling the roles of the “big monsters” in the WWE; Kane could make that transition anytime and would not be missed.
Until Daniel Bryan makes his return, Dolph Ziggler garners the best sympathetic baby face reactions from the crowd every night (this excludes Sami Zayn from NXT).
Ryback gets the win here via Meat Hook Clothesline followed by a Shell Shock to Corporate Kane. After Ryback delivered his finisher he pinned Harper, but awkwardly climbed over Harper so he could pin him facing the hard camera. I have been noticing this more and more lately in the WWE and would appreciate the talent having better ring awareness and not having to go out of their way to be on camera. It can really take someone out of the moment.
Smackdown closes with the baby face team standing tall before the TLC(S) PPV.
This was a pretty awful episode of Smackdown. It had little substance and zero importance in continuing any storylines. It felt like one of those throwaway holiday episodes of Smackdown that the WWE throws together in a matter of minutes.
You can follow me on Twitter @LuchaNerd, and look forward to the TLC(s) Round Table review for Voices of Wrestling as I will be taking part in reviewing that show. This coming Monday, I will be returning to writing reviews of Ohio Valley Wrestling on a weekly basis. Word on the street is they have a new producer and have finally decided to have the shows come out every Monday. Consistency people, you’ve got to love it.