Matt’s Smackdown Recap 11/1/13

John Cena returns to Smackdown as the new World Heavyweight champion in a big six-man tag main event! [Photo Courtesy of WWE]
The new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena returns to Smackdown with his hands full
 in a big six-man tag main event! [Photo Courtesy of WWE]
WWE: Smackdown
November 1, 2013
Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay Times Forum

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/27/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena (10/27/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
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)

From that deep, dark place in every arena, the Shield tell the Usos that they are tired of them sticking their noses in Shield business. Rollins says they will prove once again that the Usos are not top contenders for the WWE tag team titles. Tonight, Ambrose promises that ‘justice gets served’. Believe in the Shield.

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns) vs. The Usos

We start off with a WRESTLING match on a WRESTLING program. I’ll allow it. I finally figured it out after all these years. Jey has the tattoo on one of his pectoral muscles, Jimmy does not. The Usos begin controlling Ambrose before a tide change occurs. One of the Usos gets dumped on the floor. As Reigns licks his chops at the chance to beat somebody up, out comes Big E Langston to even the score. Commercials! When we return, the Shield are still in control working towards a hot tag. Rollins flies down into a Samoan drop! Hot tag to Jimmy. He is rocking and rolling all over Ambrose. Bubba Bomb sets up a butt splash down in the corner for two. The match completely breaks down and Jey planchas on top of Reigns and Rollins out on the floor. Meanwhile, Jimmy rolls up Ambrose for the upset win. (6:45 shown) Average formula match. Afterwards, Big E saves Jimmy from a further beating by Ambrose and looks for the Big Ending. Reigns clips Big E from behind, culminating in a big standoff between the two monsters until the Shield retreats to the floor. **

Video package and still shots of John Cena defeating Alberto Del Rio and winning the World Title last Sunday at ‘Hell in a Cell’.

Out comes John Cena. Now they show the Damien Sandow MITB cash-in failure from Raw. I really thought they were going to do it at ‘Hell in a Cell’, which is exactly why they didn’t. Cena pretty much just acts as the hype man for Smackdown until the Real Americans interrupt. Zeb Colter congratulates and thanks John Cena for taking the World Heavyweight title away from that border jumper Alberto Del Rio. Zeb tries to woo Cena into joining the Real Americans because after all Cena is as WASP as it gets. Of course Cena isn’t going to do that. He makes fun of Swagger looking like Biff from ‘Back to the Future’, Cesaro’s large nipples, and Colter looking like Yosemite Sam and something to do with ‘Duck Dynasty’. I don’t know. His jokes are too inside for me. It all sounds kind of like bullying. Cena is just kidding though. Be a STAR, kids! Then he tells the Real Americans that they are full of ‘Britney Spears Initials’. Get it? BS. One of the lamest insults ever. It doesn’t stand for the BS you’re thinking though. It stands for ‘bad stuff’. Cena calls Real America the people in the audience and then tells the Real Americans to make like a tree and split before threatening them with physical harm. Man, this is bad. Damien Sandow comes out to improve things a little. Sandow calls Cena a hypocrite and points out that American values means you make your own opportunities like when he stabbed his own best friend in the back to win the MITB contract. Yeah, that sounds like great values to me. Sandow calls himself the uncrowned world champion and continues on to tell Cena that his new goal in life is to end the Cena Era in the WWE by any means necessary. Nice. Is Nation of Domination making a comeback? Just as the Real Americans and Damien Sandow look to gang up on Cena, Cody Rhodes and Goldust run down to even the score. EXCUSE ME! Here comes Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero demanding order and to make a six-man tag match for tonight’s main event.

This Past Week on Raw: Daniel Bryan put Shawn Michaels in the YES Lock and then was attacked by the Wyatt Family. Elsewhere on the program, the Wyatt Family also attacked CM Punk after his street fight with Ryback. Bray Wyatt says that the devil made him do it. Who is this devil he speaks of? Why is Bray referencing Flip Wilson in 2013? For more info, check out Scott’s Raw Recap!

The Wyatt Family vs. The Prime Time Players

Darren Young gets destroyed for most of the match. JBL compares Rowan and Harper to Brody and Hansen. I get the point he’s trying to make, but c’mon. Titus O’Neil gets a hot tag. He takes care of Rowan, but turns around into a Discus Lariat by Harper for the win in 3:50. Afterwards, D-Young receives Sister Abigail. Follow the buzzards, ya’ll. ¾*

This Past Week on Raw: Kane returns, beats up Miz, and then tells Stephanie McMahon that the monster is hers to unleash because it’s what is best for business. He hands over his mask and heads to the locker room. Another heel turn for Kane. Please retire at WrestleMania 30.

Time for MizTV. His guest was supposed to be Shawn Michaels, but he has left the building. Throwback! Miz has something to say anyway. He believes that if it had not been for Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton would not be WWE champion. Randy does not exactly care for that line of thinking, so here he comes to respond. Orton says the reason Shawn didn’t show was because Miz is no longer relevant and that no one cares anymore about MizTV. He reminds everyone that he beat up Miz in his own hometown in front of his parents and the audience cheered. He also reminds everyone of what we saw on Raw when the Big Show violated a restraining order and knocked him out. Because of his actions, Orton announces that a decision has been made that the Big Show has now been banned from WWE for life. How do you feel about that, Miz? It doesn’t matter how you feel about it because before he can answer, he takes an RKO. Orton poses with the WWE title whether you like it or not.

The Bella Twins & Natalya vs. AJ Lee, Tamina, & Alicia Fox

It gets fun once Tamina tags in and clotheslines the crap out of Brie. In comes AJ, she is all about working the neck for the Black Widow. Brie breaks loose of a guillotine choke and rolls past AJ for a hot tag to Natalya. Match breaks down and AJ taps out to the Sharpshooter. (3:30) Well, there ya go. Natalya beats the champ. *

Raw Rebound includes still shots of the Bryan-Orton match at ‘Hell in a Cell’ and all that transpired between Randy Orton and the Big Show this past week on Raw. Again, for more details in case you missed it, check out Scott’s Raw Recap.

Next up, they share with us a “no longer” exclusive interview with Triple H. Michael Cole reads off a list of reasons written up by the Harvard Law School graduate David Otunga on why the Big Show has a case in his lawsuit. COOHHH hears all he wants to hear and says that he doesn’t care what David Otunga has to say on the matter. He then decides that the Big Show is now banned from WWE for life. I don’t think that decision will exactly help the lawsuit, but okay. By the way, just think of all the Attitude Era situations where this exact same lawsuit could apply. Maybe they could turn this into a class-action suit! That would be fun.

John Cena, Goldust, & Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow & the Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)

If you had told me two months ago this match would happen, I would have said you were crazy. If not for the Real Americans getting the non-title win over the WWE tag champs on Raw this past week, I would have said you were crazy a week ago that this match would happen. Cesaro gets owned by the babyfaces to start. Pier-six brawl erupts and the good guys clean house to take us into commercial. When we return, John Cena is *your* face in peril as the heels work over the injured arm. He fights out of an overhead wristlock for a punch-European uppercut exchange with Cesaro. Cena snaps off a hurracanrana of sorts and makes the tag to Goldust. He does just fine until Swagger football tackles the knee. Goldust gets dragged over to the wrong side of town. The heels do a great job isolating Goldust. Swagger grabs a front headlock and it looks like a false tag spot coming, but Swagger pushes him back towards his corner when Goldust gets a little too close. Tag to Cesaro, Goldust flings him off of a chinlock in order to create an opportunity for himself to make a tag, but Cesaro shoots over Goldust and delivers the gutwrench suplex off the mat for two. More commercials. When we come back, Goldust is still in trouble. Now we get the false tag spot to Cena and the crowd is livid. See? The 1980s psychology still works. Swagger Bomb and the double stomp from Cesaro gets two. Desperation DDT to Cesaro, but Sandow gets a tag and keeps Goldust down with a chinlock. When Goldust starts to fight up, Sandow whips him into the corner only for Goldust to spring off the ropes and nail him with a back elbow. With Sandow landing in between Goldust and his partners, Sandow catches Goldust and stops him as he lunges for the tag. Sandow telegraphs a backdrop and Goldust kneels down for the uppercut. Again, the tag is prevented. Sandow nails Cena, but turns around into a powerslam by Goldust. Hot tag to Cody! Springboard dropkick to Sandow! Jack Brisco rollup gets two. Moonsault press nails Sandow. Now they’re over at the ropes for the groin kick. Cross Rhodes gets countered. Blind tag to Cesaro. Cross Rhodes to Sandow occurs anyway. Before Cody can stand back up, Cesaro is on him for the Giant Swing. JBL comments that Cody has been spun around so many times, Dusty is even throwing up. Meanwhile, Cena catches Swagger with a nasty spear out on the floor. Back in the ring, Cesaro finishes up and covers Cody for 1-2-NO! Goldust and Sandow clothesline each other out. Cody crawls over to his corner and tags Cena. Here’s the signature Cena comeback, but Cesaro counters the AA and delivers the gutwrench suplex! Cesaro wants the Giant Swing, but Cena wants the STF! Cesaro kicks him away and hits the Very European Uppercut! Upset? Nope. Everyone starts dropping bombs on each other. The ring clears as Swagger applies the Patriot Lock on Cena, but he won’t tap. He rolls himself loose and catches Swagger in the AA for the win. (17:00 shown) Now that was freaking awesome and a much improved main event over last week’s main event as they worked the hope spots and the near tags really well. The actual finish was a little anti-climatic since it would have been nice to have seen Cesaro have a longer exchange with Cena, but maybe they have bigger plans in store for him at some point. So far, this is the best Smackdown match I’ve seen since I started working with the Place to Be Nation back in July. ***¾

Final Thoughts: Check out that main event if nothing else. I do like this format of less talking and more wrestling.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Antonio Cesaro (No doubt, he left looking like the star of the main event. Cena vs. Cesaro. Book it!)
2) Goldust (Really good at the face in peril stuff and setting up the hot tag for the younger guys is the role he should be playing nowadays.)
3) John Cena (Did well in the match, but his mic work is corny as ever.)
4) Damien Sandow (Exact opposite of Cena. Good on the mic, but he felt like a ghost in the main event as he didn’t really do anything to stand out.)
5) Cody Rhodes (The man is working hard. He looked good with that hot tag.)