1/2/15 SmackDown Review – Mid-Card Feuds Simmer on SmackDown

By Scott Strandberg

Roman Reigns def. Rusev by disqualification

Rusev hit two belly-to-back suplexes, but Reigns recovered to clothesline him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Reigns went shoulder-first into the ring post. Rusev hit a release German suplex, followed by another suplex for a near-fall. Rusev hit a fallaway slam for another near-fall, but Reigns fought back with a clothesline.

Reigns rolled up Rusev with an inside cradle for a two-count, then hit a side slam for another near-fall. Rusev hit a dropkick to earn a near-fall of his own, but Reigns responded with a Superman punch that knocked Rusev out of the ring. Reigns got him back in the ring, but Big Show came down the entrance ramp. Reigns hit him with a Superman punch and got back in the ring.

Rusev hit a superkick for a near-fall. Rusev tried for another superkick, but Reigns countered with a spear. Big Show pulled Reigns off of Rusev before he could earn the pinfall, and the referee called for the bell. Big Show tossed Reigns into the barricade outside the ring a few times, then speared him onto the floor.

Show tried to chokeslam Reigns through the announce table, but Reigns fought back, slamming Show face-first into the table. Reigns hit an apron dropkick, then dodged a Big Show spear, sending Show over the table. Reigns dumped the announce table onto Big Show.

Scott’s Thoughts: The non-finish was a guarantee from the moment the match was announced. The match itself wasn’t exactly a mat classic, either. Also, Big Show makes everything worse. Absolutely anything and everything is better without Big Show around.

Edge and Christian vs. J&J Security engage in a power struggle for the ages

Edge, this time wearing a Cesaro shirt, said that he and Christian had launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against WWE for failing to provide a safe work environment on Raw. Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury appeared via a limo and walked to the ring. Noble said that they had come with a prepared statement from The Authority, and Mercury read a document stating that Seth Rollins had acted of his own volition, apart from The Authority.

Mercury said that he and Noble had been appointed “official observers of SmackDown,” and that any underhanded tactics by Edge or Christian would be taken straight to Triple H. Edge said they were still in control of SmackDown, booking Noble and Mercury into a match against Ryback. As J&J complained, Edge said that he was kidding, and that Ryback would actually face the Big Show.

Christian decided to trump Edge, and book Rusev against Roman Reigns for the main event. Noble said that he was taking notes of everything, and that it would go on their permanent files. Edge reminded Noble that he and Christian were still in charge, and Christian told Noble to put his official request in his “dork file.”

Scott’s Thoughts: These segments really had very little to do with the rest of the show, but it was fun for Noble and Mercury to get some mic time, and they clearly had a great time bantering with Edge and Christian.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya) def. Los Matadores by pinfall

Fernando hit a spinning neckbreaker for an early two-count on Kidd. Fernando dropkicked Kidd out of the ring, not noticing Cesaro tagging in. Fernando dove through the ropes and into a Cesaro uppercut. Back in the ring, Cesaro and Kidd hit a double back bodydrop for a two-count. Cesaro tagged in Kidd and swung Fernando into Kidd’s dropkick, forcing Diego to make the save.

Kidd climbed up top, but got caught in mid-air by a Fernando dropkick. Cesaro and Diego tagged in, and Diego hit repeated spinning springboard headbutts, followed by a hurricanrana. Cesaro caught Diego, holding him upside down as Kidd tagged himself in. Cesaro picked Diego up into a powerbomb, leading to the Blockbuster from Kidd for the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: I like Cesaro and Kidd as a team more and more every time they wrestle together. They’re both underutilized talents that have a chance to truly flourish in the tag division. Here’s hoping they get the chance to dethrone The Usos.

Big Show def. Ryback by countout

Ryback hit a jawbreaker and a big boot, followed by repeated second-rope axe-handles. Big Show fought back with a clothesline, then went to work on Ryback’s left knee. Big Show hit two gorilla press slams, but Ryback sent him flying out of the ring. Show got back in the ring, and Ryback took him down with a Thesz press. Ryback hit a running splash and tried for a second-rope splash, but Show caught him.

Show tried for a chokeslam, but Ryback countered with a spinebuster. Ryback set up for the Meathook clothesline, but Rusev and Lana entered, as the Russian flag descended over the ring. Ryback stood on the apron distracted for an extremely long time, and finally Show hit him with a KO punch for the countout victory. Rusev entered the ring and tried to put The Accolade on Ryback, but Ryback fought back and clotheslined Rusev out of the ring.

Scott’s Thoughts: I’m not sure how I could have expected this match to be better than it was. It was like watching a match on 70% speed. I’ve had more than enough of Big Show.

Bray Wyatt def. Erick Rowan by pinfall

Wyatt told Rowan to lie down, but Rowan refused. Rowan hit a big boot to gain the early advantage, but Wyatt sent him flying shoulder-first into the ring post. Wyatt drove Rowan face-first into the post. Back in the ring, Rowan hit clotheslines into the corner, followed by an uppercut. Wyatt asked Rowan what he was doing, and if he even remembered him. Wyatt said that he was sorry, and hit a Sister Abigail to earn the three-count.

After the match, Wyatt asked that if he could do that to a former family member, what could he do to an enemy like Dean Ambrose? Wyatt said that their story ends with Ambrose laying on a slab in the back of an ambulance.

Later in the show, Ambrose attacked Curtis Axel before the bell rang for their match, driving him into the barricade and the announce table. Ambrose hit his rebound clothesline off the apron and got Axel back in the ring, but hit Dirty Deeds before the referee could even call for the bell to start the match. Ambrose then described in detail how he would tear Wyatt apart on Raw.

Scott’s Thoughts: I was more intrigued than I knew I should be when thie Wyatt/Rowan match was announced. Regarding Monday’s ambulance match, I’m glad that WWE is making it clear that this really is the blowoff to their increasingly meaningless feud.

The Usos and R-Truth def. Goldust, Stardust and Adam Rose by pinfall

Truth rolled up Rose for an early two-count. Goldust hit a scoop slam on Jey, following up with a tag foot-stomp with Stardust. Rose tagged in and hit a knee drop, but Jey fought back with an uppercut to reach Jimmy for the hot tag. Jimmy hit a Samoan drop and a stinkface on Rose, as Truth took out Goldust on the floor. Rose rolled up Jimmy for two, but Jimmy hit a superkick. Jimmy tagged in Jey for the top-rope splash, and therefore the pin. After the match, the Exotic Express tried to attack The Usos, but they fought them off with a chubbier version of a superkick party.

Scott’s Thoughts: This happened.

The Ascension def. two local wrestlers by pinfall

The Ascension directly referenced The Road Warriors and Demolition, saying that they were the next incarnation of those teams. I guess that means the shoulder pads are here to stay. They had a match with two unnamed jobbers, which they quickly won with the Fall of Man.

Scott’s Thoughts: Holy hell, did The Ascension actually bring their anonymous jobbers of the week matches with them to the main roster? They did, didn’t they? Ugh.