WWE Smackdown!- November 28, 2013
-From Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Our hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.
-Renee Young introduces WWE Champion Randy Orton to the ring for an interview. Young questions him about the “controversy” at Survivor Series when The Authority distracted Big Show, thus preventing him from winning the WWE title (in my 2013 “Worst Match of the Year” winner, er, loser). Orton claims he had the match won either way and dismisses his critics. We see a clip from Raw of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena challenging Orton to a unification match at TLC, which has been made official. Renee asks a leading question about Randy feeling betrayed or threatened by the Authority, so he takes a hike.
-In the first of what’s almost guaranteed to be a long series of vignettes, Vickie Guerrero is hosting a Thanksgiving Leftover Party for the roster somewhere in the back. Even the Gobblety Gooker is on hand, and the room pops for Vickie’s announcement of a food eating contest. Children are starving in Africa while Titus O’Neil and The Great Khali compete to eat as much traditional Thanksgiving food as possible. Sadly, we’re robbed of the outcome, as we head back to the arena for a pesky wrestling match.
Mark Henry (with IC Champion Big E Langston) vs. Curtis Axel (with Ryback)
Let me get this straight, they’re having an eating contest backstage, and Ryback is NOT involved? That’s a missed opportunity if there’s ever been one. Oh yeah, the match, Henry plows Axel into the corner and knocks him down with ease. Ryback assaults Big E at ringside, distracting Henry long enough for Axel to drop-kick the knee. Axel DDT’s Henry off his knees and continues targeting the leg. Henry fights out of a CHINLOCK and builds momentum with a series of blows, including the ridiculous crawling head butts. Big E thwarts Ryback’s interference, and Henry finishes Axel off with the World’s Strongest Slam at 3:07. Have fun on Superstars, Curtis.
Winner: Mark Henry
-Backstage, Xavier Woods and R-Truth are enjoying footage of Woods dancing to the ring with Naomi and Cameron. Brodus Clay storms in and is all pissy that Woods has stolen his gimmick. Clay shoves Xavier, but Tensai is here to break it up. Man, I think this feud ended the pushes/careers of pretty much everyone involved.
-The eating contest continues backstage. Titus O’Neil has mashed potatoes smeared all over his face. Vickie is interrupted by Divas Champion AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka, who are crashing the party. Vickie books them against “everyone else” and they leave. Meanwhile, Khali passes out from eating too much, and Titus is declared the winner. That’s funny, his Wikipedia page didn’t list this amongst his accomplishments. Vickie rewards Titus with a match against Antonio Cesaro, which I suppose is bad news. Khali wakes up, his face covered with food. Somewhere, Vince McMahon is laughing his ass off.
“The Plymouth Rockers” (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) and El Torito
3MB come out dressed as pilgrims to the Rocker’s old music. Los Matadores was still a fresh act and this is El Torito’s in-ring debut. This sort of act would be right at home in CHIKARA, but feels severely out of place and tone-deaf in WWE. Heath Slater is eager to start against Torito, who gets cornered in 3MB territory but Los Matadores make the save. Torito wipes out Slater with a suicide dive, and Los Matadores follow suit on his teammates. McIntyre and Mahal suplex a Matador onto the ring ropes, but Drew gets caught with a nice DDT. Torito returns with a springboard hurricanrana on Drew. Torito nails a spinning arm drag on Drew sets him up for a double slam from Los Matadores, giving the Spaniards the win at 2:53. The crowd goes mild. This was stupid, but short enough.
Winners: Los Matadores and El Torito
Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai, with Naomi and Cameron) vs. R-Truth and Xavier Woods
Clay seems to have gotten over his bad mood and is dancing about as usual. Truth’s crappy rapping seems to have pissed Brodus off again, but who can blame him? Tensai and R-Truth slap hands (which seems to sicken Brodus) and they have a good natured exchange, including busting out some dance moves. Tensai turns it up with a splash in the corner, but Truth retaliates with a big kick. Woods tags and attacks Brodus on the apron before flustering Tensai with a series of kicks. Tensai suffers an enziguri but stumbles into a blind tag. Clay finishes Woods with a splash off the second rope at 2:14. Too short to be effective.
Winners: Tons of Funk
-Brodus is satisfied and dances with his friends.
-Renee Young interviews CM Punk backstage. Punk has a lot on his mind, seeing as Daniel Bryan has been missing since being abducted by the Wyatt Family, and since he suffered an attack from The Shield. Punk has revenge on his mind, and states The Shield will be in need of protection.
-Spooky video interview with the Wyatt Family! Bray rambles on about visions, beauty, society, and getting his wings back. They abducted a man in Daniel Bryan, and will turn him into a monster.
Titus O’Neil (with Darren Young) vs. Antonio Cesaro (with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger)
Titus is holding his stomach as he trades holds with Cesaro, feeling the effects of his eating contest victory. Suddenly, I remember where this is going, and I’m not happy about it. Spoiler alert: HE’S GONNA PUKE! Cesaro smartly targets the stomach, hitting a gut wrench power bomb. Cesaro pops the crowd by administering an airplane spin. Darren Young rushes the ring and attacks Cesaro to end the match in disqualification at 2:00. What an amusing waste of the talent involved.
Winner via DQ: Antonio Cesaro
-Darren Young helps Titus out of the ring. Titus grabs JBL’s cowboy hat and throws up into it (which is censored with a turkey leg graphic). The sound of O’Neil puking is truly something to behold. Titus takes the puke-filled hat and dumps it on Michael Cole. Feeling better, Titus is ready to celebrate. You can almost hear Vince cackling all the way from the back. Oh, just when I thought this was done, Titus pukes again, this time all over Zeb Colter. Gross.
-Nikki Bella and the cast of Total Divas pimp WWE merchandise backstage. It devolves into an argument over who the next Divas Champion will be. Girlbye to this girlbage.
-Video recap of Randy Orton defeating Big Show at Survivor Series (again) and the aftermath on Raw. Cena and Big Show ended up facing Orton and Alberto Del Rio in a match featuring quick edits and dramatic music. Not sure what the official finish was, but it ended with Randy Orton standing tall.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Ambrose joins commentary and (accurately) blames Big Show for causing The Shield to lose the tag titles recently. Cody and Seth start things off in an even match up. Cody scores a body slam and tags Goldust in for a fist off the turnbuckles. The Rhodes boys start making quick tags, but Seth saves himself with a tag to Reigns. Goldust and Reigns stand nose to nose, and Reigns becomes aggressive after Goldust taunts him. The match restarts with the Rhodes boys clearing the ring. CUE THE COMMERCIAL. Back from break, and Cody is working a chinlock. How original. Seth desperately counters an Alabama Slam and nails a somersault kick. Cody gets stuck in the Shield’s corner and takes a beating. Cody back drops Seth over the ropes and makes the hot tag. Goldust unloads on Reigns, nailing a spinebuster and turnbuckle punches. Goldust knocks down an invading Rollins and collides with Reigns for a cross body. Goldust power slams Reigns for a near fall. Goldust counters a flying Rollins with an atomic drop and clears the ring of The Shield. Cue the SECOND COMMERCIAL! We’re back, and Goldust is our brand new official face in peril. Goldust dodges a drop-kick and nails a DDT on Rollins, but Reigns prevents a hot tag. Reigns clotheslines Goldust, but Cody breaks the cover. Reigns is bleeding under the eye as he applies a chinlock. Goldust counters with back elbows on both Rollins and Reigns, and Cody finally gets the hot tag. Cody overwhelms Seth with a flurry of offense. They trade counters and Cody gets planted into the turnbuckles. Cody improvises with a Muscle Buster on Rollins, but Roman breaks the cover. Reigns slams Goldust into the barricade, but Cody takes both Shield members out with a flying cross body to the floor! Cody misses a moonsault on Rollins, but Seth also misses a springboard move. Cody nails Cross Rhodes, but Dean Ambrose attacks to earn a disqualification at 15:58 (shown)! This was a strong match, albeit with a lukewarm crowd, ***.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust © vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, with U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose)
Winners via DQ: Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
-Before Dean Ambrose can cause any real damage, CM Punk rushes to the ring with a chair and chases him out. Vickie Guerrero shows up on the tron and orders the match to continue as a six-man tag.
CM Punk and WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
The match started during a commercial break. We join them in progress as the good guys are having their way with Dean Ambrose. Punk is all smiles to get his hands on Ambrose, but a tag is made to Rollins, who stumbles into a drop toe hold. Rollins falls victim to quick tags by the plucky baby face team. The Shield turn the tide on Cody and it’s time the fourth commercial break since the initial Shield/Rhodes match started. Back from break, and Cody is a two time face in peril. Punk gets a hot tag and plows through Ambrose with a series of strikes. Swinging neck breaker by Punk, who then cues the Go To Sleep, but the Wyatt Family appears at ringside. The distraction allows The Shield to take over and isolate Punk. Punk absorbs some punishment but counters with a double neck breaker on Ambrose and Rollins. The Wyatt Family charge the ring and attack the good guys for the disqualification at 7:39 (shown). Solid work, but they were just waiting out the clock until the interference kicked in.
Winners via DQ: CM Punk, Cody Rhodes and Goldust
-Jimmy and Jey Uso run in to save CM Punk and the Rhodes from The Shield and Wyatt Family! Rey Mysterio runs in to even the odds. Vickie Guerrero once again appears and channels her inner Teddy Long, making this a 12-man tag match.
CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Jimmy and Jey Uso, and WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper) and The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
The match restarted during the commercial break, and this is getting comical. One of the Usos has been trapped by the evil-doers and their quick tags. Rey Mysterio gets a needed tag and nails a spinning hurricanrana on Luke Harper. Rey follows with a seated senton, but Harper retaliates with a nasty big boot. Mysterio settles in as a face in peril. CM Punk gets a hot tag and springboards in for a clothesline on Rowan. Punk nails a suicide dive on Rowan, following with a trio of high knees. Swinging neck breaker by Punk and the “Hail to the King” flying elbow drop. Ambrose breaks up Punk’s cover and the match breaks down. Everyone storms the ring for rapid fire finishers, with The Usos nailing stereo dives. Bray saves Rowan from the GTS and Rey saves Punk from Sister Abigail. Rey sets Rowan up for 619! Punk catches Rowan with the GTS for the win at 8:44 (shown). Almost half of Smackdown was devoted to this escalating tag team battle. It was a novel concept, but would have been better served as a competitive back and forth war, rather than almost every good guy taking a turn (or two) as a face in peril. ***˝ for the entire hour long sequence.
Winners: CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust
Final Thoughts: I’m not exaggerating when I say that HALF of this episode was devoted to one long tag team conflict. That makes for a more memorable than usual holiday edition of Smackdown. It almost made me forget about Titus O’Neil puking, so huzzah. Mild thumbs up, go check this out on the Network.
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