Matt’s Smackdown Recap 1/17/14

Say what you will about CM Punk, the man knows not to trust an arsonist. [Photo courtesy of WWE.com]
Say what you will about CM Punk, the man knows not to trust an arsonist. [Photo courtesy of WWE.com]
WWE: Smackdown
January 17, 2014
Worcester, MA
DCU Center

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton (12/15/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes & Goldust (10/14/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

Tonight’s episode of Smackdown is in memory of Johnnie Mae Young 1923-2014.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and the Miz. Sheesh. Just when you thought WWE commentary couldn’t get any worse.

Non-title match: WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws

ICYMI: The New Age Outlaws and CM Punk had a rematch with the Shield from last week’s Smackdown on this past week’s Raw. As Punk reached out for the hot tag, the Outlaws dropped down to the floor and walked out on the poor guy leaving Punk to take a Triple Powerbomb. DX WILL NEVER DIE. So much of 1999 happening in this match right now. What’s even scarier is that Cody Rhodes was only 14 years old then. Brief face in peril stuff with Goldust. Cody gets the hot tag. Double Missile Dropkick on the NAO. Goldust and Road Dogg tumble out to the floor. Meanwhile, Gunn and Cody exchange shots at their finishers. Gunn settles for a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Again, Gunn can’t get the Famouser. Cody catches him with the Disaster Kick when Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero appears. She just wants to inform everyone that the Royal Rumble match is in nine days and that it will indeed be every man for himself – specifically to mention that the match could even pit brother against brother. With that stupid distraction (and possible clue as to when the Rhodes family split happens), Gunn manages to roll up Cody for the 1-2-3. (4:45) Cole thinks the Authority had something to do with this. JBL yells at him for even mentioning the thought. **

Renee Young is backstage with CM Punk. He wants all three members of the Shield tonight. That’s a *bold* strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.

Paul Heyman comes to the ring to speak for BAROCK LLLLLESNAR. At the Royal Rumble, Lesnar will dominate the Big Show. That is all you need to know. Wait, you also need to know that Brock Lesnar will be at Raw this Monday. Out comes the Big Show to run Heyman through the crowd. Show feels that both Lesnar and Heyman should run and hide because of what happened on Old School Raw. Show declares that at the Royal Rumble, he will knock Brock Lesnar out.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio

Rematch from Raw where Del Rio tapped out Rey. Can’t imagine too many people getting pumped for a Batista/ADR match though, as they are hyping. ADR jumps Rey at the bell and rips on his t-shirt. With Rey up against the ropes, Del Rio misses a charge and falls out to the floor. Mysterio then suicide dives under the bottom rope and splashes Del Rio in a cool spot. Back inside, Del Rio stops Rey up top and puts him in the tree of woe for an enziguri kick. Commercials! When we return, Rey hits La Silla. 619 attempt again is shut down as Del Rio counters with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Rey then rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Del Rio in the face for two. Rey heads up top, but Del Rio brings him down with an enziguri kick and still only manages a near-fall. Cross Armbreaker fails and Rey delivers a Tornado DDT for 1-2-NO! 619 connects and he tries the Flying Splash, but ADR brings up the knees. Rey ducks the Superkick and rolls up Del Rio for the win. (5:00 shown) Pissed off, Del Rio ambushes Rey in the corner and sends a message with the Cross Armbreaker. Much better match than the one from Raw. **

Naomi (w/Cameron) vs. Tamina Snuka (w/AJ Lee)

It’s like a match of Amazon queens! Emma from NXT is in the audience dancing to the Funkadactyls theme music. Will somebody just call their mommas already? Seriously, work out your problems with your mother already! Don’t have somebody else do it for you. AJ Lee is now the longest reigning Divas champ at 215 days. Only 2589 more days until she surpasses Bruno Sammartino’s longest single title reign for a champion in WWE history! It’ll be here before you know it, folks. Nasty botch as Tamina lifts Naomi straight into the air and drops her on her neck ala Sabu in 1994. Tough chick – Naomi finishes the match and gets the pin after a Split-legged Moonsault. (2:30) Hope she’s okay after that match. ¾*

Mae Young obituary video set to The Lumineers, “Stubborn Love”. I can see it now – Mae driving up and down the roads of Columbia, SC, in her Honda Civic pounding on the steering wheel singing the words to this song at the top of her lungs. Dot dot dot. Despite having a career that spanned eight decades, all of the clips are of her WWE career from 1999 onward.

I was wondering when they would mention the Wyatt family breakdown from Monday night. Of course they kill the moment with a WAY overproduced montage. Bray Wyatt and company come out to the ring instead of staying back in the deepest and darkest places in every arena. Bray tells us that when he was a kid, all he wanted was to grow up to be a powerful man just like his father. There came a time when his father betrayed him and sent him out to live with the “sheeple.” It was around this time that he met Abigail who rescued him and prophesied that one day, someone would deceive him again. When that day would come as it did this past Monday night, he must be sacrificed so that he could be resurrected into the “creature he was born to be”. As he laid in the ring in a broken heap, he did not feel pain because he’s already dead. Bray Wyatt does not bleed like all of us. Daniel Bryan was given the chance to walk with the reapers, but now he must burn like the saints. Follow the buzzards, y’all. AWESOME. Completely delusional, but awesome. Bray Wyatt might be the first heel that I can remember in over twenty years that actually scares the bejeezus out of people.

Non-title match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)

When Big E starts spearing Fandango in the corner, Fandango lifts up his legs to block him one time, allowing a break for Fandango to work on the shoulder. Fandango posts and then tosses Langston into the barricade. Back inside, Fandango bars the arm, but can’t keep the big man down. Belly to belly suplex, the People’s Splash, and ultimately the Big Ending takes care of Fandango. (4:20, man) Just a way to give us our dose of Big E after his loss to Randy Orton last week. *½

ICYMI: The first entrant into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class is…the ULLLLTIMATE WARRIOR! He was certainly original, but undeserving in my book. In my opinion, there’s too many people who go into each class, that it has already started to make each year less and less special.

Backstage, Renee Young speaks with the Shield. Do they have a master plan for the Royal Rumble? Naturally, this question stirs the pot and causes a loud discussion. If it comes down to the three of them, Roman Reigns wins. End of story. Reigns feels one of them will win the Rumble match regardless and no matter what, they will still be the Shield.

So in case you haven’t heard, there is a WWE network coming out? Hmm, first I’ve heard of it. Are they sure they’re not just talking about the WWE App? That’s a thing, right?

The Usos vs. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)

Colter comes out in a wheelchair wearing a neck collar after he was knocked out by the Big Show this past week on Raw. Jimmy is immediately caught on the wrong side of town here. Both Usos are bandaged up after the cage match. Commercials! When we come back, Jimmy lunges at his brother for a tag, but he’s caught by Cesaro for the Giant Swing. TEN rotations on that ride. Eventually, Jimmy fights out of the corner with a mule kick to Cesaro and a corkscrew moonsault to Swagger. Hot tag to Jey, buttalanche to Swagger gets two. Swagger finds the Patriot Lock, but Jimmy saves his brother with a superkick. Now Jimmy goes after Cesaro, who hides behind Colter, and manages to trip Jimmy into the announce table. Cesaro wants to toss him into the barricade, but Jimmy reverses the whip and then crashes Colter into Cesaro to make Michael Cole laugh. JBL – “The man is a Vietnam war veteran!” Meanwhile, Jey delivers an electric chair drop to Swagger, allowing Jimmy (despite having INJURED ribs) to hit the Samoan Splash for the win. (6:00 shown) This was going just fine until the goofy ending. **¼

Time to see what CM Punk has up his sleeve here. He establishes two things right off the bat: he’s not a masochist or an idiot. No matter who the Authority throws at him, they will do whatever they can to shut him up, because CM Punk speaks the truth. People listen to CM Punk, and that is real power. Just to be clear, he’s talking about Triple H. This is a man who uses his position of power to “firmly press down his oppressive boot heel on any WWE superstar he sees fit” to satisfy his own ego. When Punk brings up Stephanie McMahon, the Shield and the New Age Outlaws finally answer the challenge. As the opposition gets up on the apron surrounding Punk, the Director of Operations Kane comes out ordering the Shield and the New Age Outlaws to stand down because the Authority doesn’t want it this way. Kane tells Punk that his anger is misplaced because the Authority actually wants CM Punk to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. In fact, Kane’s top priority right now is to ensure Punk has a fair chance at achieving that goal and to make sure Punk gets the respect he is due. Kane gives Punk his word and motions for the Shield and the New Age Outlaws to leave with him. Punk doesn’t feel Kane’s word means very much anymore now that he’s a seven foot-tall sellout suck up. And with that said, he tells the Shield and NAO to jump Punk. Before they can even lay a finger on him, Kane is on Punk with a screaming chokeslam. Looks like CM Punk has brought out the monster in Kane. Good night everybody!

Final Thoughts: Average week wrestling-wise, but we got some great mic work the Wyatt family. If nothing else, check out Bray’s promo and the last segment if you’re interested in the Punk-Kane feud that will surely kill time between now and when the Punk-HHH feud gets hard and heavy for WrestleMania.

Author: Matt Peddycord

Matt is a lifelong wrestling fan and has been writing reviews since 2004. He first partnered with Scott and Justin of the 'Place to Be Podcast' back in 2008! Matt has his own site (PDRwrestling.net), has also been featured on 411mania.com, and thehistoryofWWE.com, and is regularly used as a point of reference on the 'Where the Big Boys Play Podcast'.