This is the first WWE TV show of 2014, due to Main Event airing on WWE.com this week because of the New Year’s holiday. WWE is sure to want to open 2014 strong.
The Shield promo/Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Usos (Dean Ambrose on commentary)/CM Punk run-in
Dean Ambrose takes control of the mic. He tells the crowd that The Shield hear the whispers, that people think they are done. He talks about egos, and he says that egos aren’t a problem for The Shield. Roman Reigns takes the mic and talks about the “weak link”, but says there is none. Seth Rollins finishes it up and says that despite the recent setbacks, The Shield will regroup and they will dominate like they always have. They put their fists together and do their signature pose, as The Usos make their way down the ramp.
Ambrose gets on commentary, during the match. The Usos control early, working Rollins over. The Usos are fun, and they sure can wake a crowd up. Rollins never gains control, but Reigns is able to tag in and take control. The Usos gain control at the end and Ambrose interferes to save his partners. The trio begins to attack The Usos, before Punk comes down to save them. Vickie Guerrero comes out and makes a 6-man tag match for later on, The Usos and Punk vs. The Shield.
My Take: I love Dean Ambrose, his intensity and insanity are done to a perfect level. Rollins and Reigns have really grown in this area too, but they are not nearly at Ambrose’s level, but few people are. As for the angle, the WWE has done a great job with this breakup, a slow build to the moment, can make the moment, if it’s done properly, and so far this has been executed very well.
Another thing WWE has done very well recently, putting Superstars on commentary if they belong there. Every special commentator has been right on the mark recently. Rollins does almost nothing positive in this match, he continues to be the low man on the totem pole in almost every aspect. Ambrose’s interference was done at the right time, but I don’t see what else Punk and The Shield have to do, their feud hasn’t been that long, but they are constantly on screen together and it’s become too much.
R-Truth vs. Fandango (Xavier Woods on commentary)
Truth gets the win after a distraction from Cameron and Naomi.
My Take: I have no idea what’s going on here, I think this is going to be a positive for Brodus Clay in the long run, but we are seeing far too much of Truth with Cameron and Namoi. As for Xavier Woods, he is way too fun and charismatic to be stuck in this nonsensical storyline. By the way, more of only having people who belong on commentary, on commentary, Woods is great.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Goldust wins it with a roll-up on Rowan. The Brotherhood retains the titles. Neither Bray Wyatt, nor Daniel Bryan were at ringside, though the rocking chair was.
My Take: Cody and Goldust continue to put on good matches with whoever they are paired with. That being said, it doesn’t make much sense for this match to happen now. It’s been rumored that Harper and Rowan are the ones who will take the titles off the Rhodes brothers, but if they do, it would never be on SmackDown. This match shouldn’t have happened until the title switch was supposed to happen, and that shouldn’t be until February. Not to mention, much of the focus of this match was on Bryan, which took away from the credibility of the titles.
Nikki Bella vs. Aksana
Nikki wins over Aksana to avenge getting pinned in the 10 Divas match on Raw.
My Take: This could’ve been much worse than it was. Aksana wrestles a pretty brutal style, when she actually gets some offense in.
Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Earlier in the night, Axel interrupted Big E while he was being interviewed by Renee Young. Axel came out to mock Big E’s friend, Mark Henry, who received an F-5 from Brock Lesnar on Raw. Big E gets the win with the Big Ending.
My Take: Big E is on a roll right now. He hasn’t quite hit his stride with the crowd, but he’s getting there and his future is bright. As for Axel, his future was once bright, but he just can’t get over. Axel’s a good worker in the ring and I would love to see him get going.
Bad News Barrett promo
Barrett talks about new year’s resolutions and how all the fat people in the audience will fail at their resolutions and be just as fat next year, as they are now.
My Take: The new podium Barret has is awesome. It just seems as though this character is not connecting. Barrett should be a main eventer, but he can’t seem to hit his stride with any of his characters.
CM Punk and The Usos vs. The Shield
Early on, Rollins tagged in when Ambrose wasn’t expecting it, Ambrose was visibly upset with Rollins, but not much more comes of it. Ambrose is beginning to wrestle like he has something to prove, and it costs him in the end. Punk gets the pin on Ambrose when he hits the GTS.
My Take: This is getting very interesting. It’s becoming clear that the plan is for Roman Reigns to be the star of The Shield. Every time Ambrose speaks, he clearly thinks of himself as the strongest competitor in The Shield, yet, in their matches, he is made out to be the weak link. It’s all positive for Reigns, but what does it mean for Ambrose? Can he recover from being the weak link? I think so, but if you beat somebody up enough, the crowd starts to turn on them.
Bray Wyatt pre-taped promo
Much of this show was spent talking about Daniel Bryan joining The Wyatt Family, and Wyatt touched on that here. Constantly saying “he has a home”.
My Take: Wyatt never makes any sense during these promos and that’s what makes them great. WWE does a particularly good job in his taped promos, because they are able to pair his words with images, so his words have meaning.
As I said most of the show was spent talking about Bryan, which is okay, but this show was taped before Monday’s Raw, so Bryan wasn’t filmed in anything they shot, which took away from the shock. All in all, a good showing from the Blue Brand in the first show of 2014. Right now, SmackDown is the best wrestling show on television.
What are your thoughts on this edition of SmackDown? Let me know in the comments section below.