Matt’s Smackdown Recap (2/7/14)

Corporate Kane puts Daniel Bryan to the test with Antonio Cesaro. [Photo courtesy of]
Corporate Kane puts his old pal Daniel Bryan to the test with Antonio Cesaro. [Photo courtesy of]
WWE: Smackdown
February 7, 2014
Des Moines, IA
Wells Fargo Arena

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: The New Age Outlaws (1/26/2014)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL.

Out comes Daniel Bryan to start the show. He wants to know why his old pal DOC Kane got involved in his main event match with Randy Orton this past week on Raw. For all the details, check out Brad’s Raw Recap. Kane comes out to explain his actions. He apologizes for getting physical with him on Raw because he’s not supposed to hurt any WWE superstar unless he’s provoked. Bryan tries to remind Kane of who he REALLY is. He tells Kane to take off his cheap tie, to put his mask back on, and get rid of “this stupid Corporate Kane”. YES! YES! YES! Kane says he’s glad that Team Hell No is over and that they aren’t friends anymore. Bryan decides they should just settle this like men – in their underwear in the middle of a wrestling ring. Just kidding, but he does want a fight. Kane says that won’t happen, but he will give Bryan a match against Antonio Cesaro since Bryan’s feeling “competitive” tonight. Fine by me. YES! YES! YES!

Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (w/Seth Rollins) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Kofi Kingston

Seth Rollins joins us for commentary. Headlocks and shoulder blocks to start. Ziggler hits the ten elbow drops and only gets two. Ambrose makes him pay by tagging in Reigns. Kingston gets a tag and he’s a house of fire, but quickly becomes *your* face in peril. Cole tries to goad Rollins into admitting that the Shield are having problems. When the hot tag comes to Ziggler, he has all kinds of punches for Reigns. He fails on the Famouser though (should he even still be doing that move?) and receives a Protobomb from Reigns. Ambrose gets caught trying to blind tag himself in, which doesn’t exactly go over well with Reigns. Ziggler takes advantage by dropping Reigns with a jumping DDT for two. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Kingston are fighting on the floor. Rollins serves as a distraction, but ducks away from Trouble in Paradise to allow Ambrose to shove Kingston into the barricade to take him out. In the ring, Reigns absolutely blasts Ziggler with the Superman Punch when Dolph can’t get the Zig Zag. Dolph looks out of it then and there, but Reigns hits the Spear as well. Since Ambrose wants in so bad, Reigns tags him in so he can score the pinfall. (8:30 shown) Reigns does all the work and Ambrose gets all the credit. Decent match, but nothing crazy good. **½

Afterwards, the Wyatt family appear on the TitanTron to comment on the bickering. Why are Rowan and Harper talking now?!

– Ryback (w/Curtis Axel) vs. Sheamus

Loads of strength in that tie-up for sure. To show just how ineffectual Curtis Axel is, he can’t even turn the tide of a match for Ryback by grabbing Sheamus’ ankle. YEAH. Even though that was only a slight inconvenience, Sheamus makes him pay with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus tries to pound on Ryback’s chest, but I don’t think Ryback likes that too much. He elbows Sheamus away and gives him a spinebuster. He then whips Sheamus from corner to corner and executes a jumping splash for two. Sheamus escapes a chinlock, but Ryback puts him down with the Boulder Holder. For some reason, Ryback gets the bright idea to splash Sheamus from the top rope, but completely misses. Sheamus delivers a powerslam, but the Brogue Kick gets countered to a powerbomb. Nice. That gets two. Ryback wants the Meat Hook Clothesline, but charges right into the Brogue Kick to give Sheamus the victory. (6:00) That was actually way better than I thought it would be. **

After the break, Renee Young meets with Alberto Del Rio and wants to know why he keeps messing with Batista. He just wants to tame Batista. He wants to turn Batista into a little puppy and have him sipping milk out of a saucer. Is it just me or did all of that sound sexual?

– Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger)

After they lock up and head to the corner, Bryan unloads with kicks and buries a knee into Cesaro. He makes Bryan pay with a European uppercut. As he tries to pin Bryan to the mat, Bryan does that bridge thing and Cesaro does his best to keep him down on the mat. Bryan ends up pushing off Cesaro and delivers a beautiful headscissors. Cesaro stops the Yes Kicks and sticks Bryan with a spinebuster for two. Bryan fights back with a short-arm scissors, but Cesaro powers out like it’s 1975 and brings Bryan over with a slam. Again, Bryan comes back on Cesaro with the back flip out of the corner, duck under, and the clothesline. Running dropkick in the corner sets up the super headscissors for two. Yes Kicks, but Cesaro ducks the Knockout Blow with a roll up for two. Yes Lock is countered with a backbreaker as we take a commercial break. When we return, Cesaro hits a Running European Uppercut for two. Bryan avoids a charge and causes Cesaro to go flying out to the floor. He wants the running knee off the apron and hits Swagger instead of Cesaro. Back in, Bryan flies down into the Very European Uppercut! Cover that man! He is DONE. Oh, but Cesaro only gets two. He can’t get the Cesaro Swing, but drills Bryan with a clothesline that turns him inside out. Cesaro can’t deliver the Neutralizer either and gets caught in the Yes Lock for the tapout. (8:30 shown) While everyone is celebrating Bryan’s victory, Kane shows up. As he’s walking down the ramp towards the ring, Cesaro neutralizes Bryan with the Neutralizer. With Bryan hurting for certain, Kane makes him hurt even more with a Chokeslam to Hell. Now light those corners on fire! Really fun TV match here. ***¼

Renee Young meets with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. His loss to Daniel Bryan this past week on Raw was a fluke. Tonight, he’ll defeat Christian. Coming up on Raw, he will beat John Cena. Sheamus and Antonio Cesaro will follow. Then, he will eliminate all five of them at Elimination Chamber to remain the greatest Superstar of this generation or any other. Bam.

Hype video for Alexander Rusev and Lana appears.

– Non-title match: WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee (w/Tamina Snuka) vs. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella)

Nikki overpowers AJ to start, but gets shut down with a sleeper hold. That AJ is like a spider monkey! Nikki fights back and goes for her finish, but Tamina causes a distraction. Of course, Brie gets involved. When Nikki goes to send AJ crashing into Tamina, she hits her sister instead. With Nikki all concerned, that allows AJ to capitalize with the Black Widow for the tapout. (2:35) Not one of their better matches. No real rhyme or reason for it either. ¾*

They show us Titus O’Neil turning on Darren Young last week on Smackdown. Then we cut to the back where O’Neil does his own interview with Renee Young just standing there being all awkward. Next thing we know, Darren Young comes by and lays a beating on Titus until some refs have to hold him back.

– Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. Goldust (w/Cody Rhodes)

Two crazies in the ring right now. Wyatt misses a corner charge and does that thing where he bends back and looks at you. Even Goldust has to take a step back for that one. Bray gets rough with Goldust, but he comes back with the elbow out of the corner. Headscissors by Goldust! As Wyatt rolls out to the floor, Goldust gives him the cannonball splash off the apron. They go back inside, but Harper and Rowan start beating up Cody. Bray takes advantage and hits Sister Abigail to take the win. (4:00) Before any more damage can be done to the Brotherhood, the Shield appear on the TitanTron to show the Wyatt Family how truly united they are for their six-man tag at the Elimination Chamber PPV. *

– Non-title match: WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Christian

I always enjoyed their 2011 stuff, so maybe this’ll be fun. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Orton pounds Christian to try and take over, but gets yanked out to the floor. Christian tries a pescado and splats on the floor. Back in, Orton gets dumped out on the other side, as Christian flies down with a shoulderblock. Commercials! When we come back, Christian tries to crotch Orton on the post, but Orton makes him eat it instead. Orton whips Christian from corner to corner and catches him with a dropkick. Christian escapes a chinlock with a back suplex. He wins a slugfest and hits a flying body press for two. Now he connects with a flying back elbow and sets up for the Killswitch. Orton counters with a snap powerslam and runs Christian into the ringpost. He wants the DDT through the ropes, but Christian counters and hits the Bossman uppercut. Frog Splash misses, and this time Orton hits the rope-assisted DDT. He looks for the RKO, but Christian counters to a backslide for 1-2-NO! Killswitch gets shoved off, and then Christian flies into an RKO to give Orton the win. (9:00 shown) I would have put Christian over here to add some REAL desperation for Orton’s match with Cena, but that’s just me. This wasn’t bad, but they didn’t try anything new and was lacking in the drama department. **½

Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for something good to watch from Smackdown this week, look for the Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro match. Not classic TV like the one from Raw last summer, but a decent way to spend ten minutes of your weekend.