1/24 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage: Last Chance to sell the Royal Rumble, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan appear, plus AJ Lee, The Shield, The Wyatt's and more
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage
Taped on 1/21 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
[Q1] Josh Mathews and JBL were on commentary. Zeb Colter opened the show in the ring and said their opponent tonight is the Big Show, an overbearing bully, who took it upon himself to attack an old veteran just because he could. Zeb then aired footage of that attack. Colter then said their other opponent tonight is a man who has to hide behind a mask, Rey Mysterio. He asked what Mysterio had to hide, and said that they have a real name, and it’s The Real Americans. He gave Mysterio and Show the name of El Gordito and the jumping bean, or Tacos Supremos.
Zeb then claimed that anyone who agrees with them is part of the problem, and asked everyone to put their hand over their heart, we the people and all that. Rey Mysterio then made his ring entrance, followed by Big Show. They showed various footage of Big Show tossing Lesnar around from various Raws over the past few weeks.
1. Rey Mysterio and Big Show vs. The Real Americans: Big Show started out with Swagger. Show tossed him around, so he quickly tagged in Cesaro. Show continued to dominate with slams and power offense. He hurled Cesaro to the outside and tagged Mysterio, who splashed him on the floor. He then hit a head scissors on Swagger when he came over to assist.
My Take: I get that they want to make Big Show look like a dominant monster, but does he have to squash The Real Americans again? They are pretty talented and deserve better.
Shockingly (no, not really), the Real Americans have taken over the match by isolating Rey Mysterio. Cesaro hit a swing and tagged in Swagger, who continued to dominate Mysterio with punches and kicks in his corner. Rey climbed back into the match after an extremely awkward looking double DDT on both Real Americans. Show made the hot tag and tossed around both Cesaro and Swagger. Show hit a double hip toss on both Swagger and Cesaro.
[Q2] Rey hit a 619 on Cesaro, and Show KO’ed him. Rey hit a splash and a pin for the victory.
Rey and Show defeated the Real Americans at 8:28.
Paul Heyman appeared on the ramp and told Show to enjoy every second of this, because there would be no celebrating for him on Sunday. Heyman congratulated Big Show on stuffing and take down attempt by Lesnar, and gutwrenched him over the top rope. He went on to say that beating Show is not enough, and that Lesnar has to subjugate and embarrass him on Sunday, which he will then do to the rest of the WWE Universe.
Mathews and JBL put over CM Punk addressing Kane later…[c]
My Take: That was a squash match with the heels getting in just a bit of offense. It was almost less productive than a squash for both teams. Heyman’s promo afterwards was ok, but as hard as he tries these crowds just aren’t that hot for Lesnar and Big Show.
Brodus Clay was in the ring, and The Miz made his ring entrance. Before the bell could ring, Bad News Barrett rose from below the stage on his cherry picker to fill us all with existential despair. He said to close the show, there will be a 10 man tag team match that would be a main event in any era. His bad news is that in the meantime, we would all have to suffer through the worst match in WWE History in The Miz and Brodus Clay. He started a Miz is awful chant as the bell rang.
2. The Miz vs. Brodus Clay: Barrett commentated during the match from the stage, and insulted both wrestlers. Brodus eventually got distracted by Barrett, and Miz hit him with a DDT for the win. After the match, Miz tried to push over the cherry picker, and Barrett continued to rip him and taunt him with his gavel.
Miz defeated Brodus Clay at 1:48.
The Royal Rumble by the numbers video played. Afterwards, Mathews said Batista would be part of the rumble, and a video of his return would be next…[c]
My Take: I’ve seen a lot of silly things in my life, but that Barrett match commentary might have been the worst. The fact that Miz and Clay couldn’t be less over didn’t help matters either. Am I supposed to get fired up over Barrett and Miz mixing it up? Why?
3. AJ Lee vs. Cameron: AJ got in some early offense, but Cameron got back into the match with a facebuster. She did a standing split into a pin for a two count. Cameron hit a dropkick on Tamina to prevent interference, even though she was still on the floor. A few seconds later, AJ hit a shining wizard and got the clean pin.
AJ defeated Cameron at 1:28.
[Q3] After the match, the four girls brawled. Naomi took control and cleared the heels from the ring. For some reason, she went to cover AJ after hitting her butt butt. It must have been a brain fair. After the match, we got a Batista return video that covered the opening segment of Monday. It then shifted gears and showed Batista going after Alberto Del Rio later in the show.
The Shield were shown backstage. Ambrose said two days from now 27 other superstars will hope to enter and win the Royal Rumble. He then said dreams can come true, but this year is different, because these dogs are hungry. Rollins said the Royal Rumble has never seen a force like The Shield (really?), and Reings said he would go on to win and headline WrestleMania.
My Take: Batista’s return was a big deal, but he looked like he came right from a Bieber show with his skinny jeans and his chest exposed with his little zip up. The Shield were as they always were, but I don’t buy any of them winning the rumble.
[Q4] Rybaxel were shown in the ring. Los Matadores made their entrance with El Torito.
4. Los Matadores vs. Rybaxel: Ryback started out with Fernando, and the heels dominated early. Ryback hit a powerslam and tagged in Ryback. They hit a double team shoulder charge in the corner and Axel continued to isolate Fernando. Ryback missed a shoulder charge in the corner, and Fernando knocked down Axel in order to make a tag to Diego. Diego hit a wrist clutch DDT and tried to cover Axel, but Ryback broke it up. Ryback distracted Diego, and then Axel rolled him up from behind for the win.
Rybaxel defeated Los Matadores at 3:10.
El Torito didn’t like the interference finish, so he splashed Ryback on the outside, who did his best to pop out his veins in anger. CM Punk was shown backstage heading towards the ring with a smile on his face.
My Take: WWE continues to impress me. Just when I think I couldn’t care about a match any less, they go and outdo themselves.
[Q5] CM Punk made his ring entrance. They showed footage of Kane hitting him with a Chokeslam from Smackdown of last week, and then more footage of Kane’s attempted apology from Monday. Punk opened and said on Raw the Authority’s lapdog dropped a bombshell on him and announced he would be the #1 entrant into the Rumble. He said it was their way of stacking the deck against him because of their hidden agendas. It makes him wonder how much Triple H and Stephanie pay attention to their surroundings, because he can’t be intimidated, but what can you expect from Vince’s spoiled daughter and his doofus son in law.
Punk says he is motivated and focused on becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and headlining WrestleMania. He said he’s done a great number of special things, but the only glaring omission is winning the Royal Rumble match. He said he’s number 1 with a bullet, but the match isn’t easy at number 30. Punk then said when you call yourself the best in the world, you don’t complain you just do your job, and he will do everything in his power to make sure that he’s the last man standing.
Kane’s music then played, and he said that on behalf of the Authority, he wished him the best of luck. Kane said number 1 is nearly impossible to win from, but he’s done some calculations and Punk has a 0.0000187% chance of winning. He then said that being the Best in The World may tip the odds further in his favor. Punk countered and said he was sad what has become of the Big Red Monster. He was the Devil’s favorite demon, and now he’s the Authority’s favorite statistician. Punk claimed Kane turned in his manhood when he turned in his mask, and the odds don’t matter because he’s been the best since day one.
JBL plugged the 10 man main event…[c]
My Take: A good promo that made Punk’s Rumble appearance feel that much more meaningful. I think his story with the Authority has been lacking thus far, but Kane is a decent foil until they actually get around to building Punk a match with Triple H.
A video package of the Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt saga aired. The Prime Time PDalayers were in the ring, and The Wyatt’s made their entrance afterwards.
5. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan vs. The Prime Time Players: Harper took it to Darren Young early, and then tagged in Rowan. They isolated Young in their corner, and then Harper hit a huge big boot to knock Titus off the apron. He followed with a big clothesline on Young for the win.
Luke Harper and Erik Rowan defeated The Prime Time Players at 1:00.
[Q6] After the match, Bray Wyatt entered the ring. He did his usual bit and hit Sister Abigail on Young. Afterwards, Bray said that not only will he defeat Daniel Bryan on Sunday, he will hurt him, and then he’ll change the world. After Sunday, they will no longer be able to deny him. Follow the….then Daniel Bryan interrupted. Bryan told Bray to listed to these people. The crowd erupted into a Yes Chant. Bryan said he fears not faint. He fears no reapers or burning with the saints.
He said on Sunday, he will not trapped in the prison of his madness, Bray will be trapped in the prison of his. Bray will find out who the real monster is, as the entire crowd chants YES! The crowd went crazy yet again.
Fandango was shown backstage. Mathews said we’d get a full preview of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match for later…[c]
My Take: Decent promo from Wyatt and Bryan, even though it really does feel like they just pressed fast forwards on this feud, and we all missed the middle of it.
Fandango was in the ring. Kofi Kingston made his entrance, and there was a PIP promo where Kofi said he would do whatever crazy thing he had to in order to avoid elimination and headline WrestleMania.
6. Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston: Kofi dumped Fandango to ringside early, and Emma was shown dancing in the front row with her Emmalution sign. Summer Rae gave her a dirty look and rolled her eyes. Fandango applied a waist lock in the ring, then Kofi reversed, and then Fandango escaped and hit a pele type kick to the face of Kofi. Fandango then went up top, but Kofi knocked him down. Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise a second later for the win. As always, Summer Rae was shocked.
Kofi Kingston defeated Fandango at 2:49.
Mathews said the full story between Orton and Cena would be previewed next…[c]
My Take: Wow, I totally believe Kofi will win the rumble now. He delivered that promo with all the enthusiasm of a near retirement door to door vacuum salesman.
[Q7] Mathews and JBL introduced a video package for Orton and Cena’s feud. The Shield then made their ring entrance, followed by the New Age Outlaws…[c]
My Take: That Cena vs. Orton package was a start reminder of just how bad this story has been. You can turn just about any feud into something good when you cut it up like WWE does, but this was a struggle even for them.
Mathews and JBL put over the Tag Team Championship match for the Royal Rumble Pre-Show, plus the Royal Rumble panel featuring Flair, HBK, and Hacksaw Duggan. The Usos were shown at ringside, and they were followed by Big E and The Brotherhood.
[Q8] 7. The New Age Outlaws and The Shield vs. The Usos, The Brotherhood and Big E Langston: Rollins and Jimmy Uso started the match. They ran the ropes a bit to start and then Jimmy hit a Bubba Bomb. Jey tagged in and they hit a double team elbow drop for a one count. Rollins tagged in Ambrose as he hit the ropes, and he ate some offense from Jey immediatel. The Usos isolated Ambrose and made some quick tags, and then Jimmy tagged in Big E.
Big E hit a back body drop and a trio of back breakers to Ambrose. Dean got a knee up in the corner and tagged in Roman Reigns, who hit a diving clothesline on Big E to take over the match. The Shield cut off Big E in their corner for a bit, until he hit a belly to belly overhead suplex on Ambrose. Cody Rhodes tagged in, and so did Seth Rollins. Cody went or a disaster kick, and Cody didn’t notice a tag to Billy Gunn, who came and in cleaned his clock with a clothesline…[c]
Cody caught Rollins in a sunset flip for a near fall, but Rollins snapped up and kicked Cody in the face. Billy Gunn tagged in and cut off Cody in the heel corner once again. Reigns tagged in and used a boot to choke Cody on the bottom rope. Cody got in a couple of hope spots before Reigns regained control. Ambrose tagged in and hit a side suplex and covered for a near fall. Rhodes climbed the ropes, and Ambrose tried to meet him, but got elbowed off. He tagged Rollins, who tried to suplex him out of the ring, but failed as well. He tagged Reings, who ate a moonsault.
Cody hot tagged Goldust, and Road Dogg tagged in as well. Goldust cleaned house on both Outlaws hit a nice poweslam on Road Dogg for a near fall. He signaled for the end, and Rollins then hit him with a flying knee. The match broke down as Reigns hit a spear on Big E Langston. The Usos cleaned the heels from the ring, and Billy Gunn hit a rocker dropper on Jimmy Uso. Cody hit a disaster kick on Billy Gunn, and then Road Dogg hit him with a pumphandle slam. Goldust tried to roll up Road Dogg from behind, but all of the Shield broke it up and got called for interference.
The match was ruled a no contest at 13:49.
The locker room emptied (CM Punk last), and everybody but Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt’s started the Rumble early. The show ended in Chaos.
My Take: A good final match that really didn’t do much for me. I liked the action, but the story implications didn’t really seem that important. There wasn’t much taunting or trash talk in the ring, and everybody just seemed to be going through the motions. The chaos to end the show was predictable, but again, just felt like going through the motions. I’ll have more to say with Chris Shore tomorrow morning in Smackdown Audio.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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