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WWE Smackdown!- February 12, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- We’re drawing closer to Fast Lane, and if this past episode of Monday Night Raw is any indication, we’re in some serious trouble. I know it’s easy to criticize the three hour run time for a weekly “wrestling” program, but this was the absolute bottom of creative direction. Even with the sizeable roster cuts from the Summer, the roster is still fairly deep… deep enough that we don’t need to see the same 4-5 people wrestling multiple times in one night. Taking that out of the argument, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dead crowd in recent memory. Reactions to both Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan were lackluster, the evil heel authority shtick is getting shrugged shoulder expressions from visible fans in the audience, and OH MY GOD… Big Show and Kane get absolutely zero reaction. Not heel heat, not X-Pac heat… NO HEAT. You can hear a pin drop when these two work, because the crowd has completely lost any reasons to give a shit about any of them, yet remain in the spotlight because… I don’t know. It’s 2015. Freak-show appeal for two guys who have combined for 34 years of tenure under the same character can no longer be a factor. Fuck, GREAT KHALI fanned out after maybe 2 years, and that’s generously speaking. Show can work… kinda. So can Kane… kinda. Both are well past their primes and have nothing new to give. Big Show has gone through a unofficial 31 face/heel turns (THIRTY ONE!!!) and Kane has had his character re-written enough times to be one of Vince McMahon’s weekly Raw scripts.

In short, WWE is starting to piss me off.

- Taped from …. With WWE sending a considerable amount of talent overseas for a tour of Saudi Arabia or some other third world country, we’re left with a shallow pool of talent. Thankfully Smackdown is only two-hours long, so maybe it won’t be so obvious.

- Coporate Kane announces a Tag Team Turmoil Match, inspired by WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. In case we don’t know what the rules of that are, he runs them down for us. The “randomly selected entry” begins with Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan teaming up despite being opponents for Fast Lane. It’s the tired “partners who aren’t fond of each other” scenario.

R-Truth vs. Bray Wyatt:

I wonder who’s going to win this one. Wyatt has no formal plans for Fast Lane, but he’s in line for a major WrestleMania spot. I have a feel Truth’s pre-match shenanigans will last longer than the match. Wyatt shoves Truth around and plays to the crowd. Truth comes back with rights, but goes down following an uppercut. Whip to the ropes, Truth hangs on and pulls them down, avoiding a charge. They exchange blows on the apron until Wyatt takes Truth down with a single-arm DDT. Back in the ring, Wyatt slaps on a nerve lock. Truth fights back to his feet and connects with a jumping heel kick. Diving twisting forearm gets two. He misses the Scissors Kick, but recovers ands hits a jaw buster. He hits the ropes, and gets laid out with a big clothesline. Wyatt does his Spider-Walk and finishes with Sister Abigail at 4:32. ½* Basic squash match for Wyatt, and not very fun, either.

Paige vs. Summer Rae:

I guess Summer Rae is the tweener scrub of the Diva Division? She’s been squashed recently by Bella’s and Natalya, and I see the same about to take place with Paige. Lockup, Paige with a takedown. Summer Rae with a roll up, but Paige rolls through and kicks her in the face. Paige does her creepy crawler mount and connects with a super-kick to the midsection. Paige with a flurry of knees to the midsection. Summer Rae comes back with a spinning heel kick and locks on a modified Indian Death Lock. Summer Rae continues to control to zero reaction. Paige makes her comeback, hitting a series of clotheslines and a running one-leg dropkick. Paige with another superkick, and the PTO finishes at 2:55. ½* Another squash match.

- Sheamus is coming back!

- The newest inductee announced for the WWE Hall of Fame… RIKISHI. Seriously, we’re digging this low for an inductee?

“The New and Improved” Fandango (w/ Rosa) vs. Adam Rose (w/ The Rosebuds):

Didn’t we see this match… TWICE? I guess it’s the latest in the “see how many times we can recycle the same match” series. Last week, the Trust-Fall failed, and Rose took it out on the Rosebuds. Rose starts by hanging Fandango across the top rope and sending him to the buckle. Rose with a short-arm clothesline. He stomps away in the corner and takes Fandango over with a snap suplex for two. He slaps on a sleeper hold, but this crowd doesn’t care. Rosa tries to rally the crowd, but it doesn’t work. Fandango comes back with clotheslines and a Powerslam. He goes to the top rope, and the Last Dance finishes at 2:40. ¼* Same match as last week.

- Recap from Monday Night Raw where WWE poorly imitated something out of WCW, with Sting accepting Triple H’s call-out for… well, a call-out, at Fast Lane. Good thing he didn’t call him out for the calling out of the call out, or he’d be in BIG trouble.

TAG TEAM TURMOIL!

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow:

We’ve roughly an hour left, so this should be an endurance. This past Monday night, Reigns and Bryan were forced to team together and the end result was Bryan taking a Spear to close the show. We kick things off with the previously announced duo of Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, going against the Miz and Damien Mizdow. Despite being demoted to personal assistant, Mizdow still works the crowd behind the back of Miz. Bryan starts with a snapmare on Miz, then aggressively tags out. Reigns tosses him to the corner and pounds away before tagging right back out. Mizdow tags in and hits the back breaker/neck breaker combo. Miz tags himself in, only to miss a charge. Bryan with the running dropkick, and now Reigns tags himself in. Superman Punch! Bryan tags himself in, and the Running Knee finishes Miz at 2:19. ¾* Set the table for the whole segment.

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. Jimmy & Jey Uso:

The Usos are the reigning Tag Team Champions. Bryan starts with Jey, grabbing a headlock and switching to a roll-up for two. Jey goes to work on the arm, but Bruan counters with a overhead takedown. Whip is reversed, and the Usos with a double back elbow and double elbow drop for a two count. Bryan reluctantly tags out this time. Lockup, Jimmy with a side headlock, but a shoulder tackle goes in Reigns’ favor. Jey tries the same, with no better luck. Jimmy with a blind tag, coming off the second rope with a shoulder tackle. The Usos with a double clothesline, sending Reigns to the floor. He paces the ring area before tagging in Bryan. Lockup, Bryan with a pick of the leg, and it’s time for an Indian Death Lock. He turns it into a mounted position and pounds away. Bryan and Jimmy trade blows until Bryan unloads with kicks in the corner. He wraps the leg around the middle rope and comes off the ropes with a dropkick to the knee. Jimmy takes Bryan into his corner, and Jey comes in with a jumping forearm for two. The Usos with quick tags, working the left arm. Bryan manages to escape to the floor as we take a break.

We come back, with Reigns taking Jey down with a waistlock, followed by a suplex. Bryan tags himself in and takes him over with an underhook suplex. Bryan gets caught on the opposite corner and stomped down. Jey with a running butt to the face for a near fall. Jimmy comes off the ropes with a diving headbutt for another two count. Whip to the corner, Bryan flips over a charging Uso, springs off the ropes, and connects with the diving clothesline. Reigns with a takedown and running boot to the face for two. Bryan with a knee drop across the face. Whip to the corner, and the running dropkick misses. Jey meets post on a charge of his own and falls to the floor. Bryan knocks Jimmy back with a baseball slide, and unloads with kicks on Jey. Reigns comes over to pull Bryan off, and they argue over the proper etiquette of winning. We return from another break, with Bryan working the arm. Jey fights free, only to run into a dropkick. Bryan offers to tag, but Reigns declines. Bryan continues to punish the arm and applies a cross-armbreaker, but Jey is in the ropes. Jey with a Samoan drop and tags out to Jimmy. He runs through Bryan with clotheslines, followed by a Full Nelson Bomb. Jey with a body press from the top rope for two. Jimmy gets in Reigns’ face and clocks him with a spinning heel kick. Bryan with the running dropkick to Jimmy, and Reigns adds a jumping front kick. Jey Uso with a suicide dive, and Bryan follows! Jimmy recovers, and Uso Crazy is countered with the Superman Punch. Bryan jumps into a Super-Kick. Jey to the top rope, splash meets knees. Bryan with the Yes-Lock, and Jey Uso taps out at 18:47! ***1/2 Heck of a match to just throw in the middle of the whole thing. This would’ve flirted with 4-stars (or better) with less breaks in the action.

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. Los Matadores (w/ El Torito):

I give this 90-seconds. Bryan starts with Diego. Lockup, and Diego takes him over with an arm drag. Bryan goes to the arm, but gets taken over with a spinning head scissors. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Bryan drives a knee to the midsection. He turns Diego over and applies a modified surf-board. He quickly turns it into a Dragon Sleeper, but Diego fights free. Diego with a drop toe hold into the ropes, followed by a splash across the back of the neck. He heads to the top rope, but Bryan crotches him along the buckle, and takes him down with a double underhook suplex. Bryan with the Yes-Lock, and it’s a tap out at 2:34. That was all Daniel Bryan, which means the next fall will be all Roman Reigns. ½*

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. Heath Slater & Titus O’Neil:

It’s the return of Slater-Gator! Slater appears to have gotten an awful looking haircut since we’ve last seen him. Reigns tags himself in before the action can start. Slater charges into an uppercut. Reigns comes off the ropes with a jumping clothesline. Clothesline to the corner, followed by a modified Samoan Drop. Superman Punch to O’Neil, and the Spear finishes Slater at 1:09. That was an obvious finish, but it worked. ¼*

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. The Ascension:

Hmm… When Daniel Bryan makes you look of average size, something’s wrong with your miscast tag team. Bryan and Viktor start, looking roughly the same size. Viktor quickly takes him to the corner, but Bryan fights his way out. He grabs a side headlock, but goes spilling out of the ring thanks to Konnor. They double team Bryan until Reigns makes the save. They toss Bryan aside and start double-teaming Reigns. They dump him into the announcer’s table, then send Bryan into the post. Reigns gets to taste the post, too. Back in the ring they hit Bryan with Fall of Man, but the Ascension’s Disqualified at the 3:00 mark. Cheap, but effective. They try the Fall of Man on Reigns, but a gaggle of referees interrupt. *

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. Kane & Big Show:

Come on! Not the Big Show and Kane! This is the finale, so we’re obviously ending on a low-note. Reigns and Kane start. Kane pounds away and stomps Reigns down for two. Shoulder tackle gets a one count. Reigns comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline, but he’s hurting. Bryan with the tag, unloading with Yes-Kicks. Kane ducks the roundhouse and nails him with a big boot. Show tags in and sends Bryan to the post. He tosses Bryan back in via press slam and steps on his hand. Be a star, Big Show! They take turns putting the boots to Bryan. Whip to the corner, Kane follows with a clothesline, and plants Bryan with a side slam for two. Bryan fights out of the corner and unloads with more kicks. There’s heel miscommunication… oh God, no. Show goes for the Chokeslam, but Bryan kicks his way free and takes Show down with a DDT. Show cuts off a hot tag with a splash. Show and Kane keep mouthing off to each other while Bryan plays dead. Kane tags himself in and immediately gets caught in the Yes-Lock, but Show makes the save. Show tags himself in and cheap-shots Reigns. Bryan counters the Chokeslam with the Yes-Lock, and now it’s Kane breaking the hold. Kane and Show argue again, leading to Show giving Kane the KO Punch. Reigns with the Spear on Show, and Bryan with the Running Knee for three at 9:12. Bryan and Reigns survive and learn the magic of teamwork… and please tell me we’re not leading to ANOTHER face turn for the Big Show. *1/2

Final Thoughts: Even though the star ratings don’t suggest it, the Tag Team Turmoil was a heck of a lot of fun and told a great story. You could argue that they didn’t need to include the Usos, but they put up the strongest outing, frustrating both opponents, and taking them to the limits. The rest of the show is a complete throwaway, but that’s what happens when a strong number of talent is doing an overseas tour.

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