1/31 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage: Elimination Chamber Qualifaction Matches, Christian Returns, Daniel Bryan, The Shield and more!
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage
Taped 1/28 in Toledo, Ohio
[Q1] The show opened with a video package that established the elimination chamber match. It showed the opening segment from Monday with Daniel Bryan and The Authority, as well as the main event.
The Shield were in the ring with microphones. Ambrose said the chamber was made for a team like the Shield. The Authority knows, and Randy Orton knows, that if they were unleashed in the Chamber, one of them would have emerged champion. Reigns insinuated that he would be the main who would have been champion. Ambrose asked him if he was sure, and said he wasn’t sorry for trying to toss him out of the rumble. Reigns said he wasn’t sorry for tossing him out.
Ambrose told him to do it to his face next time, so Reigns got in his face. Rollins broke them up and calmed things down. He said that the reason they weren’t in the chamber because of the Wyatt Family, and they needed to be dealt with. Rollins put over Ambrose as the best US champion he’s ever seen, and nobody would even challenge him for that belt. He did the same for Rollins, and put over his accomplishments at the Rumble. Ambrose then took the mic and said they would wipe the Wyatt’s from the face of the earth, and they could consider that a challenge.
Vickie walked out on stage and said that was a great idea, and she would make history. Before she could finish, Triple H interrupted her and took her mic. He then walked to the ring. Triple H told The Shield that he saw where they were coming from, and said the Wyatt’s cost one of them the chance to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He told them that all there was in this was loss, there was no money in it. He told them to let it go. Rollins piped up and asked them to look at it from their perspective.
Hunter said with all due respect, that he had looked at it from their perspective, but it wasn’t a request. Ambrose got hot and paced around the ring. Reigns got in Hunter’s face and said they weren’t asking for his approval. A Roman Reigns chant broke out. Hunter said if they were going to have this fight no matter what, then he might as well profit from it. He then made a match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber PPV. He then told The Shield he hopes they know what they’re doing….[c]
My Take: A very good opening segment that got the crowd fired up for the Chamber PPV. I must admit that I’m selfishly looking forward to this match because I’ll be in the building, but I like the new shield dynamic with Reigns clearly emerging as a force that even Triple H is forced to acknowledge.
[Q2] Dolph Ziggler made his ring entrance. Antonio Cesaro then made his entrance with sign guy Zeb holding a sign that said “I prefer Aliens from Mars”.
1. Antonio Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler: Cesaro hit a dropkick and covered for a two count in the opening segment. Both men traded pinfall reversals in a nice sequence that ended with a Fameasser from Ziggler for a near fall. Cesaro rolled out to gain composure, and Ziggler gave chase and threw him back in. Cesaro took control with a back breaker and saluted the crowd. Ziggler got dumped to the outside via a clothesline…[c]
Cesaro remained in control until Ziggler caught him with a nice drop kick for a two count. Ziggler then applied a sleeper hold, but Cesaro powered out of hit into a gut wrench, and hit a suplex. Cesaro went for his press European uppercut, but Ziggler grabbed him on the way down and hit a DDT for a near fall. Dolph went for the ZigZag, but Cesaro held the ropes and then hit the Cesaro swing. He followed up with the Neutralizer for the win.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Dolph Ziggler at 9:34.
[Q3] The showed Cesaro in the Chamber Match graphic, and then plugged the main event of Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield for later. Fandango was shown heading to the ring…[c]
My Take: A good match, but not a great one. The commercial break didn’t help, but this match never really kicked into a high gear. I am a huge fan of Cesaro getting into the chamber match, but this match underwhelmed me. It’s not that it was bad, I just had higher expectations once I heard about it.
Cole talked about teaching people how to download the WWE App, and said he will soon teach people how to download the WWE Network. Uh, Cole, you’ll be teaching people how to stream the network. A WWE network promo video was then shown. Fandango and Summer Rae were shown dancing, with Xavier Woods already in the ring. R-Truth was in commentary for who knows what reason.
2. Fandango vs. Xavier Woods: Woods hit a drop kick early, and a leg sweep for a one count. Fandango hit a suplex and covered Woods for a two count. For those wondering, even with gyrating and pleading from the Funkadactyls, nobody cared about this in the crowd. Woods shook off some cobweb and hit a tornado punch, and then a drop kick that sent Fandango to the outside. He then did a somersault plancha onto Fandango. Emma was at ringside, which actually got a reaction from the crowd for some reason.
Woods climbed the ropes, but Fandango crotched him. He then followed up with a Falcon Arrow out of the corner for the win.
Fandango defeated Xavier Woods at 3:16.
After the match, Fandango continued the assault, but Truth made the save. They danced afterwards, per usual.
My Take: Not a bad effort in the ring, but nobody cared, including me. The Falcon Arrow was nice though.
[Q4] The Prime Time Players and Rybaxel were in the ring for the next match.
3. The Prime Time Players vs. Rybaxel: Axel and Young started off and traded offense. Ryback quickly tagged and they cut off the ring on Young. Ryback tossed Young to the outside and jawed with the ref. Young punched Axel on the outside, but ate a meat hook clothesline as he got back in. Axel tagged in and hit his finisher for a clean pin.
Rybaxel defeated The Prime Time Players at 1:20.
Post-match, Young bled from the mouth. Titus got in the ring and yelled at Young about the match not even being two minutes. Young grabbed a mic and asked Titus what he was doing. They were like family, like brothers. Titus said since he started tagging with Young, it was the first time in his life that he was considered a loser. He came here to win championships.
Young pled for him to talk about it in the back, but Young said he was going to get rid of the dead weight on his back. He then hit a big boot on Young, and stomped on him and tossed him into the barricade multiple times on the outside. Young lay motionless as Titus headed to the back. Cole then introduced the HOF video for Jake Roberts. He then plugged Swagger vs. Christian for next.
My Take: The Prime Time Players breaking up would mean more if they had ever meant anything. And why not tease it over a few shows? Very odd choice, but I guess they just had nothing else for them as a team.
[Q5] Christian made his ring entrance. Jack Swagger was already in the ring. They showed video of Colter slapping Swagger on Monday.
4. Christian vs. Jack Swagger: Swagger picked up Christian over his head and tossed Christian to the floor. He tossed him into the barricade on the outside and then tossed him back into the ring. Swagger hit a Swagger Bomb for a near fall. He then placed Christian on the top rope, but he reversed and hit a Tornado DDT for a near fall. Christian hit a drop toe hold onto the second rope and then dropped to the outside for a big slap. He then hit a second rope drop kick, and fired up the crowd.
Swagger fired back with a gutwrench power bomb, and covered for a near fall. Christian went for a sunset flip, but only got two. Swagger applied the patriot lock, but Christian reversed into a pin for another near fall. Christian followed up a moment later with a frog splash for the clean pin.
Christian defeated Jack Swagger at 5:44.
After the match, Zeb scolded Swagger. Cole and JBL plugged the main event.
My Take: A good return match for Christian. He looked sharp, and I’m glad to hear he’s been cleared after a long bout with Concussion Symptoms. The chamber match is shaping up to be very solid.
Kofi Kingston made his entrance, followed by Damien Sandow.
[Q6] 5. Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston: They brawled early on, and Sandow took control with a knee lift. Kofi snapped back with a knee to the face, but missed a splash from the top. There was a bit more back and forth action, and Kofi hit SOS for the win.
Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow at 1:58.
Sandow looked dumbfounded and frustrated after the match…[c]
My Take: Kofi’s big push continues! It’s gotta be the Buzz Lightyear gear.
Cole introduced a video package from Monday of Heyman and Lesnar as they threatened Brad Maddox, and the beat down Lesnar put on Goldust and Cody Rhodes. Footage was then shown of Triple H’s WWE.com interview with Michael Cole. Triple made a match between The New Age Outlaws and The Rhodes Brothers inside a cage for Monday’s Raw. Cody Rhodes was shown in the ring. The New Age Outlaws then made their entrance. They did their shtick. You know how it goes.
6. Cody Rhodes vs. Road Dogg: The battled back and forth early on until Road Dogg went to work on Cody’s taped up left arm. Road Dogg remained in control until both men had a collision mid ring that put them both down for a bit. Cody fired up first and hit some strikes and a high knee. Cody then draped Road Dogg on the top rope and hit a boot to the gut. Cody hit a disaster kick on Billy Gunn, who was on the apron, and then hit one on Road Dogg for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Road Dogg at 3:40.
A brawl broke out after the match between all four men. The Rhodes Brothers got the advantage and cleared the heels to ringside.
My Take: A decent match that never really felt like it got going. Nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t get enough time.
[Q7] A WWE Network plug aired that focused on the Monday Night War Show. The Shield were shown in the ring for the main event, when the Wyatt’s music interrupted them. Bray Wyatt said that he admired their courage. Normal men lose sleep over dancing with reapers. War and Injustice is their game, and he digs it. He likes to play games too. Harper said that you reap what you sow. You three boys picked a wonderful hill to die on. Bray took over again and said that it’s dangerous to invite the devil to your backyard, because he may just like it, and decide to stay. Rowan looked at the came with his mask, and said “run”.
My Take: Phenomenal promo from the Wyatt Family. The best I’ve heard from them yet, and that’s saying something. No wasted language or cryptic nonsense there. It just worked.
Sheamus made his entrance, followed by Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan.
[Q8] 7. Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio and Sheamus vs. The Shield: Sheamus started out with Rollins and locked on a side head lock. He then hit a shoulder block, and Rollins tagged in Reigns. They ran the ropes and Reigns hit a shoulder block of his own. Reigns tried for a hip toss, but Sheamus reversed into clothesline. Ambrose tagged in, and Sheamus draped him over the top rope for a knee lift. He then hit clubs to the chest. Sheamus then cleared all the heels down to the floor…[c]
Bryan applied a surfboard on Daniel Bryan, and transitioned into a headlock. Mysterio tagged in and hit a kick to Rollins’ face for a near fall. Rollins got in a bit of offense, but Rey quickly set him up for 619. Ambrose tagged Rollins and entered to hit a back breaker. Reings tagged in and tossed Mysterio under the bottom rope to the floor. He then tossed him into the barricade on the outside.
The Shield cut off the ring to prevent a tag. Rollins tagged back in and dropped a knee on Mysterio for a near fall. Rollins placed Mysterio on the top rope, and Rey turned it into a head scissors into the second turnbuckle. Bryan made a hot tag, and Reigns tagged back in. Bryan exploded with signature spots on Reigns, including a running clothesline and kicks to the chest and head. Reigns charged at Bryan, and he low bridged him. Bryan hit a suicide dive on both Ambrose and Reigns. Sheamus entered the ring, but was quickly dispatched to the outside by Reigns after a Superman Punch.
Bryan hit a flying dropkick on Reigns, and then applied the Yes Lock. Ambrose broke it up and cleared Bryan from the ring. Sheamus hit Ambrose with a Brogue Kick on the outside. Mysterio tagged in and set up Reigns for 619, but he popped up and hit a spear and pinned Mysterio for the win.
The Shield defeated Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Rey Mysterio at 13:20.
My Take: A good night for The Shield. That was a fun match to close the show, and good performances for everyone involved. The crowd was very hot for Bryan, and absence has made crowds fonder of Sheamus as well. Even though Mysterio is limited, he looked very good here as well. This was a pretty solid show overall, even though there was a fair share of filler, it didn’t dominate the show. Solid commentary would have made a world of difference, but Cole and JBL seem far too interested in bad jokes jokes and plugs for unrelated stuff than talking about anything going on in the ring. I’ll have more to say in the All Access Smackdown Podcast coming up Tomorrow Morning.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on twitter @barnettjake.
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