Zim's 10/18 WWE SmackDown Review: Bryan, Rhodes, and Goldust vs. Shield, C.M. Punk vs. Big E Langston takes an interesting turn, The Real Americans vs. The Usos, and Kofi Kingston and The Miz vs. The Wyatt Family
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE Smackdown on Syfy
Taped October 15, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri
A video package recapped the Rhodes Brothers winning the tag titles from Shield on Raw Monday, and the subsequent reactions of Big Show and Triple H… The opening video played… The camera panned the crowd and eventually settled in the ring, where Lillian Garcia introduced Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox. Vickie said The Authority has placed responsibility on her to run a tight ship on Smackdown. She assured the crowd that what happened on Monday will not happen tonight, because she demands order and discipline. She said Maddox was there to help her.
Maddox thanked her and said his job for the evening was to ensure that a certain seven-foot freak doesn’t cause any more chaos. He said he had security stationed around the perimeter of the building. Vickie said they would like to express their sincere gratitude to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H for allowing them to carry the banner of "best for business." Maddox thanked everyone for coming out to the show. They were about to leave the ring when Daniel Bryan’s music hit and he made his way to the ring.
Bryan said that he was thrilled that they’re out to do what’s "best for business," and he wants to be of assistance. He said that what’s "best for business" is him beating Orton for the WWE Championship in nine days, in Hell in a Cell, with special guest referee Shawn Michaels. He tipped Vickie and Maddox off on a rumor that a certain seven-foot sasquatch had somehow managed to slip through security, and then pointed to the stage as Big Show’s music hit much to the surprise of Vickie and Maddox.
Nobody came out, and Bryan admitted that he was just messing with them. He said Big Show isn’t there *yet,* but he introduced two people who were, the new tag team champions, Goldust and Cody Rhodes. They made their entrances, but once in the ring, Vickie went off on the three of them. She demanded order, and then announced that the three men in the ring would be in a six-man tag against the Shield in the main event…
Michael Cole hyped C.M. Punk vs. Big E Langston for later in the show, and The Wyatt Family vs. Kofi and Miz coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Paint-by-numbers opening segment. Not much else to say about it. On a personal note, I like that Big E and the Wyatts are on this show, it makes me feel like I’m covering NXT.
The Wyatt Family’s intro played, but when the light came up, Wyatt was already in the crucifix pose in the middle of the ring, flanked by Harper and Rowan. Miz and Kofi Kingston made their entrance together to Miz’s music. Wyatt’s rocking chair was already on the ramp, but he wasn’t shown leaving the ring or walking to it.
1. The Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt) vs. The Miz and Kofi Kingston. The Miz came out hot and hit his corner clothesline early. He sent Rowan into the corner with a dropkick and Kofi tagged in, but Rowan took control from there. Harper tagged in, and Kofi managed some unique offense with a slingshot dropkick and a slingshot press. He hung Harper up on the top rope, but ate a big boot when he went to springboard back into the ring. The Wyatts continued to wear Kofi down, managing to prevent him from making the tag to Miz. Harper missed a running boot, but came right back with the discus clothesline for the pin on Kofi.
The Wyatt Family beat Kofi Kingston and The Miz in about 4:00.
Post-match, Harper and Rowan surrounded Miz in the ring, but Bray took a mic and told them to settle down. He said he knows what Miz is feeling right now, fear. He told Miz to enjoy his world while he still can, because they’re going to take it all away… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Pretty-much par for the course with what we’ve been getting from the Wyatts. The fact that the Bray Wyatt character as-we-know-it stems from an injury is a pretty convenient thing, because to anyone who isn’t an "insider," nothing seems out of place.
Back from break, Brie Bella was already in the ring with Nikki at ringside. Brie’s left shoulder was taped to sell the attack from Monday. Michael Cole plugged Susan G. Komen month before Diva’s Champion AJ Lee made her entrance, accompanied by Tamina Snuka. A replay showed Tamina and AJ’s attack on Brie from Raw on Monday.
2. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) vs. AJ Lee (w/ Tamina Snuka). AJ avoided Brie and stalled at ringside in the opening minute, until Brie found an opening and dropped AJ with a straight right hand. She got AJ back in the ring and started to go to work, but AJ took advantage of the bad arm and gained the upper-hand. She targeted Brie’s arm for the next several minutes until Brie began to fire back. Brie hit a missile dropkick for a two-count, and then followed up with two running knee strikes. At ringside, Tamina went after Nikki, but Nikki sent her crashing into the ringsteps. In the ring, Brie hit the X-Factor and scored the pinfall.
Brie Bella beat AJ Lee in about 4:00.
Post-match, the Bellas celebrated in the ring and the commentators talked about how the win put Brie in contention for another title shot. Tamina carried AJ over her shoulder to the back… Michael Cole hyped C.M. Punk vs. Big E Langston, and the main event six-man tag match… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Competent match from the ladies here. AJ targeted the arm and Brie sold it well. The finish was also better than most come-out-of-nowhere Diva’s match finishes. Man, does this show feel unimportant though. Ugh.
Lillian Garcia was about to make an announcement when her attention went to the crowd, where Big Show was shown casually strolling towards the ring. He took the mic from her and held the ropes as she left the ring. He said he would probably be in trouble for doing this, but mentioned that he had an autographed ticket from Daniel Bryan with him. He said he’s been going through some tough times, and said that the support of the fans has meant the world to him. He was fighting back tears, you know, because he cries a lot. He said all of the social media activity isn’t falling on deaf ears, and management is well aware of how badly everyone wants him to get his job back.
Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero came out and hurried to the ring. Maddox said they would be pressing charges. They both yelled at Big Show to get out of the building. Maddox said that Big Show has nothing left, and Big Show said it’s a mistake to say that to a man who, in fact, has nothing left to lose. With that, he knocked Brad Maddox the f**k out, and then tried unsuccessfully to get a "yes" chant going. He left the ring and shook Michael Cole’s hand before leaving through the crowd. Several replays showed the K.O. punch and two referees tended to the unconscious Maddox in the ring…
C.M. Punk was shown walking backstage and was in action next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: When was the last time WWE fired someone on-screen and that person actually didn’t appear on the following shows? Just saying, it’s getting cliché. That aside, we’ve seen some great sells for Show’s K.O. punch in recent weeks, first Triple H and now Maddox, both went down like total jabronies.
C.M. Punk made his entrance and a replay recapped the beat the clock challenge from Raw on Monday, with Punk deciding that he would face Ryback and Paul Heyman inside Hell in a Cell. Big E Langston was out next.
3. C.M. Punk vs. Big E Langston. Punk managed to chip away at Langston despite the clear size and power disadvantage. About a minute in, Langston crushed Punk in the corner and continued to work him over. Punk was able to drop the top rope and send Langston toppling to ringside. Punk tried to dive onto Langston, but Langston caught him and planted him with a backbreaker onto the ring apron. [C]
Back in the ring, Langston had Punk in a single-leg crab as a replay from the app showed Langston’s running body attack. Punk managed to escape the crab, but found himself right back in it moments later. JBL joked that Punk might get athlete’s foot in his rear from the torque Langston was applying. Funny. Langston continued to work over Punk, but Punk managed to get his knees up when Langston attempted a big splash. Punk began to fire up. He evaded a charging Langston, who went right into the ringpost.
Punk followed up with a suicide dive and got a two-count off a diving crossbody back in the ring. He hit his high knee and then came down with the elbow drop for another two-count. Langston avoided a GTS attempt and hit a big splash for two of his own. He dropped the straps and hoisted Punk over his shoulder for the Big Ending, but Punk managed to slip out and connected with a high kick. Punk hit the GTS and scored the pinfall.
C.M. Punk beat Big E Langston in about 7:30.
A replay showed the highlights of the match. Punk was still in the ring when Paul Heyman, Ryback, and Curtis Axel made their way onto the stage. Heyman congratulated Punk on his win over a marginal rookie in Big E Langston, but warned Punk that at Hell in a Cell, he would be facing a professional who could snap Punk’s neck like a pencil. He called Ryback his caged animal and then recapped that he himself had beaten Punk with both hands tied behind his back, making him the best in the world.
Punk said that’s not what it makes him; it makes him a complete idiot. He said there are two things they should be focusing on, the first being "Cell." He said that means that Heyman will have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. He said he’s going to put Ryback to sleep like the caged animal he thinks he is. He said the other focal point is "Hell" and that is what he’s going to put them through. Heyman quoted AC/DC saying "Hell ain’t no bad place to be," and said if Punk sticks around, they’ll explain that to him personally.
He dropped his mic and led his guys toward the ring. Punk came out firing on Axel, but Ryback hit him from behind and the two put a beatdown on Punk. They tossed him into the ring and let him get back to his feet. As Punk got up, Big E Langston re-entered the ring and stood side-by-side with him. Langston unloaded on Axel and Punk went after Ryback. Langston planted Axel with a belly-to-belly, and Punk hit his knee on Ryback. Langston ran over Axel with the E Train, and punk dropped Ryback with a high kick. Heyman scurried back up the ramp as Langston barked "Who’s the rookie now!?" Heyman gave a nod of temporary defeat from the top of the stage as Punk’s music hit…
Alberto Del Rio was shown walking backstage and Michael Cole said he would be out next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Good match from Punk and Langston, passable post-match promo, and really fun babyface turn for Langston. His character works well as a babyface. He’s quirkier than most people expect from looking at him and he can bust out some stuff in the ring that he has yet to really show. I’m totally optimistic about this, and I like how it played out naturally from the Heyman/Punk story.
Back from break, Alberto Del Rio was in the ring waving a Mexican flag. Ugh. Cole hyped his World Title defense against John Cena at Hell in a Cell. Josh Matthews joined ADR in the ring for an interview, but first threw to a video package that hyped John Cena. Matthews asked for a reaction. Del Rio apparently didn’t pay attention to the video package, nor Matthews’ question, as he said he had been waving the Mexican flag because he’s Mexico’s greatest export. He called the crowd a bunch of gringos and said they have no soul. He said they have no Mexican passion.
He said John Cena is the ultimate gringo. He called Cena crazy for coming back from surgery to face him, and said he had to start at the bottom and work his way up. He said Cena was going soft, but said Cena’s ego got bigger and bigger every day. He said that after he beats Cena at Hell in a Cell, Cena would be a nobody. He asked if Cena wanted to see what he was going to do to his arm at Hell in a Cell? And then proceeded to lock in the cross armbreaker on Josh Matthews. He eventually released the hold out of apparent mercy, because nobody had come down to help Josh Matthews. He went back to waving the flag as the segment closed…
Michael Cole hyped the six-man tag main event… [C]
Zim’s Zag: I find Josh Matthews as annoying as everyone else does, but he must have heat with everyone backstage. No wrestlers made the save, no referees made the save, and no agents made the save. Poor guy.
A replay showed Big Show knocking out Brad Maddox earlier in the night. They showed multiple replays in super slow-mo. What a great shot…
Back from break, The Real Americans were in the ring. Michael Cole plugged El Torito appearing on the JBL & Cole Show, and they introduced Zeb Colter, who was in on commentary for this match. The Usos made their full entrance next.
4. The Real Americans (w/ Zeb Colter) vs. The Usos. The Usos gained the early advantage with a Bubba Bomb and a sliding clothesline. Swagger tagged in and the Real Americans took control. On commentary, Colter talked about how "coincidental" it was that the government shut down and then Los Matadores show up. Alright WWE, let’s not breed any more political ignorance please. Anyways, Cesaro performed a twenty-five revolution Cesaro Swing. Impressive. Swagger tagged in and continued to get the heat. He hit the Swagger Bomb and Cesaro followed up with a sick leapfrog double stomp for a near-fall.
A short time later, Los Matadores’ music hit and they came onto the stage and performed their whole routine. Colter left commentary and approached them on the ramp. El Torito ran down the ramp and ran head first into Colter’s balls, and again into his ass. Cole called it the Gore. Ugh. In the ring, one of the Usos hit a superkick, and tagged the other who hit a diving splash for the win.
The Usos beat The Real Americans in about 6:00.
Post-match, Los Matadores music hit and a replay showed the finishing sequence. In the ring, Los Matadores and El Torito hit their springboard senton/double-rack drop on Swagger. They celebrated in the ring with The Usos to close the segment… Michael Cole hyped the main event coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: I defend El Torito as an impressive athlete who might be a good character for the kids, but yeah, it’s pretty tough to defend a gore to the balls. Lowest common denominator humor isn’t what comedy in wrestling can and should be. Aside from the ringside antics, the match was a lot of fun for what it was. These two teams bring solid work-rate every time they go and they put on entertaining matches.
Back from break, Cole and JBL bickered about El Torito. Cole wondered if "El Torito" would ever be in the dictionary. Try a Spanish dictionary, Cole. They threw to a recap of HBK’s promo from Raw…
Daniel Bryan made his entrance for the main event. Randy Orton’s music hit and he came onto the stage and asked Bryan who he thought he was. He said Bryan is in way over his head. He said he’s in over his head with his "pretty little girlfriend" and his stupid catchphrases. And he said he’s in way over his head if he thinks he has any chance of winning at Hell in a Cell. He said that the special referee HBK puts things in Bryan’s favor, but he guaranteed that ge would become the WWE Champion and the face of WWE once more. His music hit and he and Bryan stared each other down. [C]
Back from break, Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a good reaction. Goldust was out next and they joined Bryan in the ring. The Shield made their entrance through the crowd as usual.
5. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust vs. The Shield. Shield made frequent tags and wore Goldust out in the opening minute of the match. Goldust eventually caught Reigns with an atomic drop and a boot to the head. Cody tagged in and hit a springboard dropkick. He knocked Rollins and Ambrose off the apron, which opened the door for Reigns to take control. He went to work on Cody heading into the final break. [C]
Back from break, the Shield was still in control of Cody, working basic but methodical offense. Around the six-minute mark, Cody managed to make the tag to Bryan who came in hot with a corner dropkick on Rollins. He fired away at Ambrose and hit his trademark stuff. He hit a corner dropkick on Ambrose and followed up with a Frankensteiner. Reigns broke up the pinfall, and the match broke down. Reigns was knocked to ringside by Goldust. Goldust took a kick from Rollins and rolled to ringside. Cody hit the Disaster Kick on Rollins, and was knocked to ringside by Ambrose. Bryan and Ambrose collided hard in the middle of the ring and everyone was down.
At ringside, Reigns whipped Cody into the barricade, and then tried to shove Goldust backwards into the ringsteps, but something got flubbed and Goldust took a scary looking bump on the outside. Reigns charged at him for the spear, but Goldust evaded and Reigns crashed hard into the steps. In the ring, Bryan wore Ambrose out with kicks. He hit a snap suplex and went to the top rope, but Ambrose met him up there and hit a double underhook superplex. Moments later at ringside, Rollins used a running powerbomb on Cody that sent Cody and Goldust crashing over the announce table. In the ring, Bryan hooked in the Yes Lock but had to break the hold. Bryan went into overdrive and took out the Shield with a suicide dive. He quickly re-entered the ring and hit the Busaiku Knee on Ambrose for the win.
Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust defeated The Shield in about 10:00.
The babyfaces raised their arms in the ring and a replay showed the highlights of the match. The show closed with Bryan, Rhodes, and Goldust in the ring and the crowd chanting "yes."
Zim’s Zag: The first half of that match felt dreadfully slow but it really picked up down the stretch, like most of these matches do. Overall, a solid main event.
There were some high points of this show. The two tag matches were high-paced fun in the ring at different parts. The Punk-Langston match was pretty good, and the following turn of events were a real pleasant surprise. The other matches feel ultimately forgettable. Show knocking out Maddox was a fun instant, but why isn’t Show arrested? No, I don’t want to see him being arrested, I’m just thinking of logic. Oh well, I’m spending more time thinking about Smackdown than I need to be. Thanks for reading along.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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