Matt’s Smackdown Recap 11/22/13

With the WWE tag titles up for grabs, Cody Rhodes and Goldust battle top contenders Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Who will walk away with the championship?
With the WWE tag titles up for grabs, Cody Rhodes and Goldust battle top contenders Jack Swagger and
Antonio Cesaro. Who will walk away with the championship titles? [Photo courtesy of WWE]
WWE: Smackdown
November 22, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Phillips Arena

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: 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)

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)

On the October 28 edition of Raw, Jack Swagger made Goldust tap to the Patriot Lock, which explains this title match. Seems like they should have given them the title match before now, but here we are. JBL is already giving Cole a hard time over his horrible, baseless hyperboles. It’s going to be a long night. Nothing can touch the Rhodes boys for the first few minutes. When Cody gets caught on the apron where he’s not wanted, Cesaro boots him off to the floor to send us into commercial. When we return, Cody is still stuck on the wrong side of town. Pump splash and the double stomp by the Real Americans score a nearfall. Catapult by Cesaro into a powerslam by Swagger looks pretty cool. Just as Cody gets the green light to make the tag after dumping Swagger out and kicking Cesaro away, Swagger pulls Goldust off the apron leaving him nobody to tag in a great old-school spot that got some heat. Cesaro lands the Very European Uppercut on Cody for 1-2-NO! He blocks the Booker T rollup out of the corner and puts Cody up on the turnbuckle. Rhodes kicks him away and delivers a moonsault press. Hot tag to Goldust! He destroys Swagger and hits a snap powerslam. Cesaro pulls him off the pin, but then gets kicked into the announce table. Swagger takes a ride to the floor as well, allowing Goldust to backdrop his brother onto the Real Americans. Back inside, Goldust gets caught up top by Swagger and brought down for the Patriot Lock. They get a little dramatic with the submission, but Cody saves the day with the Disaster Kick. Cesaro makes the little brother pay with the Giant Swing. With Cesaro dizzy, Goldust clotheslines him out and puts Swagger away with the Final Cut for the win. (10:00 shown) Fun stuff. Whoever is booking these long finishing sequences as of late is doing a fantastic job. ***¼

Out comes Ryback. He says he’s been a bully his whole life and enjoys that lifestyle. I thought he hated bullies? He insults the people and then sends out an open challenge to anybody in the back. And who answers the call is the Great Khali.

Ryback vs. The Great Khali

Khali does just fine against Ryback beating him in and out of the ring. He even delivers the Khali Chop, but Ryback grabs the bottom rope before the three-count. Ryback surprises Khali with the Meat Hook clothesline and hoists him up for the Shellshock to get the pin. (3:30) Just an excuse to show off Ryback’s power. Similar to when Goldberg faced the Giant fifteen years ago. ½*

Vickie Guerrero interrupts AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka in the back. She puts AJ in a handicap match against the Funkadactyls for tonight in order for AJ to show the rest of her Survivor Series team what a fierce leader she is. AJ tries to get out of the match complaining of an ankle injury after her match with Naomi on Main Event. Vickie tells her that the doctors found nothing wrong with her and that AJ is medically cleared to compete. AJ flips out on Vickie questioning if this is some kind of punishment. Vickie says she is just doing what is best for business.

John Cena at Oxford University! They don’t let just anybody in!

Non-title handicap match: WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee (w/Tamina Snuka) vs. The Funkadactyls

Total mugging of poor AJ to start. Tamina needs to help her girl out and grabs Cameron. When Naomi surprises AJ with an enziguri, Tamina takes her eyes off Cameron and pays for it. AJ still manages to knock Cameron back out to the floor, but then turns around into the Rear View as Naomi gets the pin. (2:15) Last week the Bellas, this week the Divas champ! Who knew sleeping with one of the Usos had its advantages? ¾*

From somewhere resembling the bayou at midnight, Bray Wyatt cuts a promo on people who love CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Do not be confused, people. Those two men are just mere mortals. Follow the buzzards, ya’ll.

The Shield vs. The Usos & Rey Mysterio

JBL notes that Atlanta is where the nWo debuted. I did not think that was true and turns out it’s not. When Scott Hall showed up in WCW on Memorial Day 1996, Nitro aired in Macon, GA, which is about 90 miles south of Atlanta. He had the right state though! Good for him. This is Rey’s 3,912th return to the ring. Since Mark Henry is a babyface again (and returning soon), I guess his angle with Mysterio will go completely unmentioned. Jey works as the face in peril for the majority of this one. He sets up the hot tag to Rey where Seth Rollins takes the brunt of his big offensive flurry. Reigns takes out both of the Usos with Spears. Looks like Mysterio is in trouble, but he headscissors Reigns to the floor. Rey puts Rollins in position for the 619, but Ambrose blind tags and cuts him off with a clothesline. Meanwhile, Rollins somersault plancha to dish out further damage to our Samoan compadres. Elsewhere, Ambrose winds up taking the 619 and gets pinned after the flying splash. (8:45 shown) Chilli from TLC is in the crowd and she is especially excited. Anyways, decent match all to put over Rey Mysterio and remind everyone he’s back just days before Survivor Series, which may have swayed a few amigos to buy the PPV. **½

Here comes the Big Show to explain to the people that he didn’t come back for the money, but he wanted to change the system. Why couldn’t it be both? I thought he was broke and that Triple H had bought his house and stuff. Randy Orton interrupts and says that the brass at WWE only let Show back into the company to mess with him. They show a clip from This Past Week on Raw when Orton went and cried to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Show points out that despite all of his potential to do good, Randy only does what’s best for Randy. Well, Orton throws a tantrum declaring that he can beat the Big Show. Show retaliates with another video package of him beating up Randy – proving him wrong. Show is taking the WWE championship this Sunday at Survivor Series. End of story.

Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow

I’m real happy for Big E taking the IC gold off that bore Axel. Short little match here as Ziggler plays face in peril leading up to Langston getting the hot tag. The match breaks down and leaves Sandow taking the Big Ending to give Big E and Ziggler the win. (2:40) Afterwards, Axel tries to attack Big E with the IC belt and fails, but bails out before any real damage can be laid upon him. *

Tickets for WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans are going fast!

Some random baseball players and celebrities are in attendance here tonight! Most of them irrelevant since the late 1990s like Chilli and Monica, but still ATL celebs. They are our betters, ya know.

We get a video package of what has transpired over the past couple weeks between Alberto Del Rio and John Cena. Backstage, Renee Young is standing by with the challenger as we speak. Lying behind a sling won’t help Cena this Sunday at Survivor Series. Del Rio declares that he will make Cena tap out and take back his World Title.

Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan)

They just did this two weeks ago. I wonder why they didn’t put Erick Rowan here instead. Harper avoids the YES Lock early on and escapes to the floor. Not knowing any better, Bryan heads out to meet him and winds up taking a ride into the steps. Back inside, Harper is too methodical to capitalize and allows Bryan to kick and deliver a leg whip. Just when you think Bryan is on a roll, he charges into a Michinoku driver for two. Bryan’s comeback starts with the back flip out of the corner, duck under, and connecting with the clothesline. Here come the kicks. Harper pulls Bryan into a sitout powerbomb to block the knockout blow for 1-2-NO! Gator roll ensues. We go to the floor where Bryan fires back with a suicide dive. Bray Wyatt stands up from his rocking chair to distract Bryan so that Harper can nail him from behind. This action brings out CM Punk. Meanwhile, Bryan inside cradles Harper for the win. (7:00) I liked how it almost seemed like Harper was willing to take a certain amount of punishment in order to get off the big moves. Makes him seem maniacal, yet calculating at the same time. After the bell, a 3-on-2 battle erupts. Once Punk is taken out, Bryan receives Sister Abigail from Bray. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: follow the buzzards. **

Final Thoughts: I really hope Alberto Del Rio beats John Cena this Sunday. It just doesn’t do anything for Del Rio if he keeps losing in the big match. Since he said he’s going to do it, let him break Cena’s arm or something. I’m not saying they should make Cena tap necessarily, but let him pass out from the pain. Don’t just have Del Rio get pinned or tap to the STF. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s going to happen to avoid having two heel world champions. As for the show tonight, the opener was real fun, but the rest was average at best.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Goldust (Another good night for the Comeback Player of the Year)
2) Cody Rhodes (Always improving and worked a good FIP segment)
3) Antonio Cesaro (Most underrated wrestler of the year)
4) Seth Rollins (Gave the most in that six-man tag)
5) Jack Swagger (You give him something interesting to do, he can deliver)

Survivor Series Predictions:
WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) over the Big Show
World Championship: John Cena (c) over Alberto Del Rio for the World title
Intercontinental Championship: Big E Langston (c) over Curtis Axel
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan over The Wyatt Family
5-on-5 Elimination Match: The Shield and the Real Americans over The Usos, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and Rey Mysterio
7-on-7 Elimination Match: The Bellas, the Funkadactyls, Eva Marie, JoJo, and Natalya over AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Aksana, and Summer Rae
Kofi Kingston over The Miz