SmackDown Review: 1/31/2014


The first SmackDown after the Royal Rumble and the return of Christian are the highlights going into Friday night.

The Shield, Vickie Guerrero and Triple H promo

Dean Ambrose says that their loss on Monday was a conspiracy because Randy Orton knows if The Shield entered the Elimination Chamber, one of them would walk out champion. Ambrose and Roman Reigns get into words about their encounters in the Royal Rumble. Seth Rollins breaks them up and begins to address The Wyatt Family. Ambrose challenges The Wyatt Family. Vickie comes out and seems as if she’s about to officially announce the match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family, she says she’s about to make history and Triple H walks out. Triple H tells The Shield to let their problems with The Wyatt Family go. Rollins tries to convince him, but Triple H isn’t having it, then Reigns gets right in Triple H’s face and says that they don’t need his approval. He gives up on trying to talk them out of it and makes The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.

My Take: This match seemed inevitable after the Wyatt’s came on the scene, WWE did a good job of holding off on it all this time. It even seemed at one point like this match wouldn’t happen. Good thing it is though, should be a classic.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Antonio Cesaro (winner enters the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match)

Pretty good match here. Cesaro gets the win after the Cesaro Swing and the Neutralizer.

My Take: Knowing that the winner gets into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match made this hard to get into. It’s very tough to imagine either one of these guys having a real chance in the title match, based on past booking.

Fandango vs. Xavier Woods

Decent match here. Fandango gets the win.

My Take: The fact that Woods is being booked this way asks a lot of questions. He watches R-Truth wrestle most of the time, then when he gets in the ring, he loses. It’s very confusing.

Rybaxel vs. The Prime Time Players/Prime Time Players post-match

Rybaxel gets the win when Axel pins Darren Young. Titus O’Neil never got in the match.

After the match, Titus yelled at Young. Young got on the mic and begged Titus not to leave him, calling him his brother. Titus says all they do is lose, and it’s Young’s fault. Young keeps begging, until Titus eventually attacks him.

My Take: Quick match, makes a lot of sense after the post-match segment.

Darren Young is a very likeable guy, but O’Neil has serious star potential. This breakup had to happen eventually.

Jack Swagger vs. Christian (winner enters the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match)

Christian gets the win with a frog splash. Zeb was visibly furious with Swagger after the match.

My Take: Of the four participants in the qualifying matches, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Christian and Jack Swagger, Christian seems like the only one with any chance of winning the title match. Something is coming between Swagger, Cesaro and Zeb.

Christain w/ Renee Young/Damien Sandow pre-taped promo/Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow

Christian ran into Renee backstage. He said he earned his way into this match, and his time off made him realize his window of opportunity is closing. He says he sounds desperate because he is, but he’s not weak. The desperation is what drives him.

Sandow says that this period in his career is trial by fire. All great men in history have gone through similar periods of failure, and he will come out stronger than he ever has been.

Kofi defeats Sandow with the SOS.

My Take: Christian should be given plenty of promo time in the next few weeks. It’s storyline meshing with reality. He says his window of opportunity is closing because it is, and his time may soon be coming to an end.

Sandow is a good talker. He also does the little things well, he plays up the intellectual character by talking about great men in history. It seems simple, but it’s very important.

Kofi’s SOS is one of the coolest moves going right now. Seeing it finally get wins for him is nice.

Cody Rhodes vs. Road Dogg

Before the match, a replay of the F-5’s that Brock Lesnar gave Cody and Goldust from Monday is shown. Cody picks up the win with a Disaster Kick. Goldust and Billy Gunn were at ringside, and all four men started brawling after the match before The New Age Outlaws were forced to retreat.

My Take: With these two teams heading for a tag title match on Raw next week, the fact that the Rhodes boys had the upper-hand here seems to give The Outlaws an edge going into Monday.

The Wyatt Family promo/The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Rey Mysterio

The Wyatt’s appear on screen. Bray says that he loves the thought of war, and the thought of The Shield waving the white flags. Then Luke Harper steps up and says that The Shield picked this battle, and they picked this hill to die on. Up until this point, neither Harper or Erick Rowan had spoke. We still await Rowan’s first words on WWE TV.

The Shield picked up the win when Roman Reigns speared Rey, after he rebounded off the ropes after Rey went to set up the 619.

My Take: Good win for The Shield as they begin their feud with the Wyatts. Bryan and Sheamus get protected as Rey gets pinned, interesting to see where those two start to go as we head towards the Elimination Chamber.

Overall Impressions

Weak show. It’s not that it was bad, storylines got furthered. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match got filled. Another huge match was made for the upcoming pay-per-view, with The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family. We also saw a heel turn and potential rebirth for Titus O’Neil. The matches were weak though. Most of them had no depth, and they were very short. Other than the six-man main event, nothing was all that special.

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