Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
January 4, 2014
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Ah yes, the first Smackdown of 2014 has come and gone. It’s the first major televised show for WWE, so you would assume it would be a great show to make sure the year starts off with a bang, right? Well, you know what happens when you assume. You make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Full disclosure, I was a senior in high school when I finally got that saying about the word “assume.” I was driving in my car after school, and one of my friends said it. I remember I almost had to pull over because I was so psyched that I finally understood that. After that I kind of felt like a dumbass, but anyway, I digress.
This Smackdown kind of felt like it was just put together to have a show. WWE doesn’t really consider the New Year as having officially started for them until they have that first RAW, which in the past few years has been pretty good. They then follow up with an awesome Smackdown, which last year featured Alberto Del Rio beating Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. My point is that they’ll most likely go all out for the show next week. Until then, we had last night’s offering. While it wasn’t bad, there wasn’t anything too memorable about it.
The Shield kicked the show off with a promo about how they’re stronger than ever. While they’ve had setbacks recently, they’re still brothers and nothing will break them apart. While delivering the promo, they were still teasing tension. An example was Dean Ambrose looking toward Roman Reigns while talking about egos getting out of control. It wasn’t anything too special. It was pretty much the same thing Dean Ambrose has been saying during his stints as a guest commentator over the last few weeks.
The Shield then faced off against The Usos for probably the fortieth time on TV. While I enjoy watching them compete against one another, it just isn’t fresh. How many times can they work together and keep being innovative? It’s not for lack of trying because they’re still working their tails off in the ring. I just think its time to retire this matchup for a while. Anyway, Dean Ambrose caused the disqualification when it looked like The Shield was on the ropes, so CM Punk came out to make the save so the Usos wouldn’t be destroyed. Vickie Guerrero then booked a six-man tag for the main event.
Fandango faced R-Truth in a quick match where if you missed it, you missed absolutely nothing. Since this was taped on Sunday before Fandango had the good match against Big E Langston on Monday Night RAW, I think they’d have given him something better than this given his great effort on that show. Since they didn’t have a crystal ball for that, he was given this match with R-Truth where Xavier Woods called out the Funkadactyls to distract Fandango and cost him the match. I’m sorry, I’m just not into Xavier Woods or whatever character he’s supposed to be right now. He’s just there.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes followed up with a really good match against Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to retain their Tag Team Titles. Since this was taped on Sunday, the crowd had no idea that Daniel Bryan had joined up with the Wyatt Family, so Bray Wyatt simply wasn’t out there. There wasn’t any sign of Wyatt or Bryan during the match. All the commentators were doing was wondering where they were. This was a pretty good match. It was definitely rough and tough. Harper and Rowan are pretty stiff guys, but Rhodes and Goldust can hang tough with them. It was fun to watch. I was hoping for more from the Goldust hot tag, which is usually spectacular, but they threw us a curveball and had Goldust surprise Rowan with a quick rollup for the win. I’m all for that. Sometimes around this time of the year things become so repetitive that it’s good to change it up every now and then to surprise you.
Aksana and Nikki Bella fought each other in a match that went a little too long for my taste. Aksana is pretty clunky in the ring and hard to watch sometimes. This dragged a bit, but they had to kill time on this show since half the crew was doing a house show at the same time. RAW suffered from the same thing, and they had three hours to fill up. However, they got Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family, so that crowd has nothing to complain about.
Big E Langston fought Curtis Axel in a decent little match. Axel gave it to him pretty good, but Langston still finished him off strong. Before the match, Langston cut a promo with Renee Young, and he was just plain bad. There’s no denying that he’s a great talent in the ring, but on the microphone he’s brutal. He’s got no discernable personality, and he delivers his lines as if the written lines are going to fall out of his skull if he doesn’t get them out as fast as possible. They’re trying to push him hard, but with no personality, we’re looking at a Bobby Lashley-type situation here.
I’ll be quick about this: I love Bad News Barrett. I think it’s hilarious. It’s obvious that they’re just never going to pull the trigger on a serious run with Wade Barrett, so why not have him contribute as a comedy heel?
I really enjoyed the six-man tag team main event with CM Punk and the Usos defeating The Shield. It started off a little slow, but it really picked up after the commercial break. Punk’s hot tag was good. I just don’t like how Punk is constantly embarrassing Dean Ambrose. Punk pinned him once again on the show. Maybe they’re going somewhere with it. Who knows? Anyway, this is a match you should definitely check out if you’re looking for something to watch on YouTube or whatever outlet carries the full match.
After this, they showed a really creepy video with Bray Wyatt talking about how Daniel Bryan has “come home.” He was sort of vague, but that’s how he always is. I am interested to see where this goes. I definitely never saw Daniel Bryan ever joining the family. Perhaps it’s an extended double cross? Who knows? The timing is weird since the crowd definitely wasn’t down on Bryan. Still, I’ll give it a chance before deciding how I really feel about it. You should check out this video if you can. There’s one creepy shot where the camera is inverted and it looks like Wyatt is doing that crabwalk on the ceiling. That gave me chills.
Bump of the Night: Rhodes hitting Harper with a cross-body block to the outside!
Match of the Night: The six-man tag team match ** 1/4
Final Rating: ** 1/2
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My New Year’s Resolution this year is to do 50 out of 52 Smackdown recaps. I completed a full year of recaps last year, and I don’t think I’ll be able to do that this year. I’ve got to end my streak before it gets bigger than I am. So at some point this year, I will voluntarily end the streak just like Cal Ripken, Jr. voluntarily ended his.
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.