Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week Three)

Another week of wrestling is now in the rearview mirror and both WWE and AEW really stepped up their games, bringing four great shows to our television screens. This week saw number one contenders matches, battle royals, and some excellent storyline development.

With WWE building towards both Worlds Collide and the Royal Rumble while AEW prepares for the upcoming Chris Jericho cruise there was a lot of great work put in. From fantastic in-ring action to superb promos and backstage segments, it hasn’t been an easy week to rank the shows.

With four very high-quality shows that have got wrestling fans buzzing, it has brought a lot of positivity to fans. So, who’s ready to break it down?

4. WWE SmackDown

Despite being bottom of this list, WWE SmackDown was an entertaining show this week and was a major improvement from the previous episode. The show had several fun segments, from Kane’s return to John Morrison facing Big E.

The show did a very good job at building towards the Royal Rumble specifically. While the focus on the Roman Reigns and King Corbin storyline really has become stale, the work with Sheamus and Shorty G as well as the brilliant match between Lacey Evans and Bayley was well done.

However, there was just a real lack of standout moments on this show. SmackDown used to be the place where fantastic matches would take place on a regular basis, and that is something that has been lacking lately, which makes the show suffer.

3. WWE NXT

Placing WWE NXT this low was a difficult decision because the show really did some amazing things. That is to be expected, with the tag team matches for the Dusty Rhodes Classic both being absolutely superb, with the company giving Grizzled Young Veterans a nice push.

Seeing Alex Shelley inside a WWE ring was a cool moment and he certainly made the most of it with a great performance. The main event battle royal was also well done, giving plenty of women their moments to shine, highlighting the depth of the roster.

However, having three separate Undisputed Era attack segments felt like overkill, especially the Ciampa moment being so soon after Keith Lee’s. There was also a lack of truly memorable, standout moments, so despite it being a very entertaining show, it deserves this spot.

2. WWE Raw

Credit: WWE.com

This week brought us an absolutely fantastic episode of WWE Raw, proving just how good the flagship show can still be. While there were a few slow moments in the show such as Charlotte Flair’s match and Mojo Rawley facing Ricochet, that is to be expected on a three-hour broadcast.

However, to balance that the show had some tremendous segments. Firstly, the moment between Brock Lesnar and R-Truth was comedic gold, proving yet again just how great Truth is while highlighting that Lesnar can do more than just being a monster heel.

However, the real highlights came from the opening triple threat and the excellent contract signing that did a lot to push the storyline between Asuka and Becky Lynch. The development with Buddy Murphy was also amazingly well done, having lost a third (terrific) match to Aleister Black, he waited around and eventually joined Seth Rollins’ group alongside AOP.

1. AEW Dynamite

AEW Dynamite once again won the Wednesday night rating war and this week they come out on top here as well. The show was back to its very best again with some fantastic matches take place, from the opening fatal four-way tag team match to the brilliant main event between PAC and Darby Allin.

But it wasn’t just fantastic wrestling either. The show also had some great promos and non-match segments including the Cody segment and the development between Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho, which is something AEW is getting better at every week.

The show wasn’t perfect, with the women’s tag team match being rather sloppy and slow as an example of an improvement that needs to be made. However, the sheer amount of quality matches and fantastic story development mixed together made this the best show of the week this time around. The question is, can they retain that spot next week out at sea?

Here’s a brief reminder of how the point system will be working for this weekly feature:

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 8
WWE NXT- 7
AEW Dynamite- 10
WWE SmackDown- 5

You can have your say and give your thoughts on what the show of the week is immediately following WWE SmackDown on social media every week (@MC_Wilkinson1). Below is how the fans voted this week:

The post Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week Three) appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

WWE SmackDown Results (1/17): John Morrison Competes, Kane Returns, More!

WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS 
January 17th, 2020

KANE RETURNS

We kick the show off with WWE legend, Kane, who is making his return to the company tonight and to a great ovation. He says that we are nine days away from his favorite event of the year, the Royal Rumble. Kane notes that you have to go through hell, but the reward is a chance at immortality.

He reminds people that he holds the record for the most career eliminations. He says that during every elimination, he has watched into the eyes and seen the hope leave peoples eyes as their feet hit the ground. Kane admits that it was a lot of fun.

But before he can continue, the Firefly Fun House pops up!

Bray Wyatt says that Kane hasn’t changed a bit. Wyatt says he’s happy Kane is here and he also assures everyone that Rambling Rabbit is alive and recovering quite nicely as we show him hooked up to a carrot I.V. drip. Wyatt then says winning the Rumble isn’t a great idea, especially if they’re foolish enough to challenge him.

Wyatt then shows Kane’s picture on his wall, saying if that is him, then he and The Fiend got it on. Wyatt says he will never forget Kane, as he shows past clips of them when they feuded in the past. Wyatt says that he won’t forget, and neither will “he.”

The lights then go out and The Fiend pops out from under the ring! Kane turns around and asks him what took so long, as Daniel Bryan then appears and nails him with a Running Knee! Bryan then attacks him as The Fiend runs away back to the hole under the ring, wit this clearly being a trap!

Bryan beats him back down to the hole and he ends up with a handful of The Fiend’s hair in his hands, as payback for what happened in the past. Bryan and Kane then celebrate with the fans.

DANIEL BRYAN CHALLENGES THE FIEND

Kane and Daniel Bryan are shown backstage and it is pointed to Bryan by Charly Caruso that Bryan has The Fiend on the run. Bryan says that is what he is best at, so he says he has an idea, that isn’t a smart one, so he challenges The Fiend to a strap match at the Royal Rumble.

Bryan says he is done with him disappearing down that hole every time he has him in trouble. Bryan says The Fiend changed him, but at the Royal Rumble, he is going to change The Fiend.

JOHN MORRISON vs BIG E

John Morrison starts the match out catching Big E with several forearms, but the New Day member responds with a big shoulder tackle of his own. Morrison responds by catching Big E with several strikes as he then hangs him up on the apron, dropping Big E to the floor with a huge neck breaker.

Back from commercial and, Morrison catches Big E with a dropkick as he remains in control of the match, hitting a standing moonsault. Big E powers his way out of the cover though and lifts Morrison off the ground, looking for the Big Ending.

Morrison counters and slips through his legs and the bottom ropes to connect with another kick. His dive back into the ring is avoided by E though who follows it up with several belly to belly suplexes. Morrison pokes Big E in the eye to gain an advantage, but it backfires as the New Day member sets up the Big Splash!

Morrison once again shows his striking ability with a kick to the back of the head as he follows it with a swinging neck breaker. The Miz then jumps on the apron but Kofi Kingston pulls him down and shoves him into the steel stairs.

Morrison quickly reacts by flying off the top rope to take Kofi out, and then Miz saves him from being taken out by Big E’s spear. John Morrison then hits the ring and catches Big E with a knee to the face that he follows up with Starship Pain for a win on his return.

Winner: John Morrison

(Results continue on the next page…)

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Kane Set To Return To WWE SmackDown This Week

It has been confirmed that the WWE Legend, Kane, will be returning to WWE tomorrow night on WWE SmackDown for a special appearance on the show.

Less than a week after his fantastic conversation with Stone Cold Steve Austin on the Broken Skull Sessions, the Big Red Machine will be back inside a WWE ring.

It is unknown exactly why Kane is returning to WWE this week, but given his history with Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan, it could be to further that storyline. Although, WWE.com is actually teasing the idea that he could be making a WWE Royal Rumble announcement.

Below is WWE’s official announcement about his upcoming return:

“Former WWE Champion and current Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Kane makes his return to SmackDown this Friday for a special appearance.

“The Big Red Machine has competed in more Royal Rumble matches and has more eliminations than any Superstar in WWE history, and with the match on the horizon, could Kane be ready to make history once again?”

The post Kane Set To Return To WWE SmackDown This Week appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week Two)

With the haziness of New Years firmly in the rearview mirror for every company, this week saw both WWE and AEW looking to kick on and get 2020 started with a bang. With NXT Takeover and the Royal Rumble coming up, WWE certainly had plenty to focus on, while AEW is continuing to develop its weekly show.

This week we had a trio of championship matches, the return of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, a WWE legend making a surprise appearance and plenty more in what was another action-packed week of professional wrestling.

With that formality out of the way, let’s get into this weeks shows from WWE and AEW as the build towards the Royal Rumble intensified and thew Wednesday night wars returned with a bang. So, who’s ready to break it down?

4. WWE SmackDown

Credit: WWE.com

WWE SmackDown wasn’t at its best this week in a show that was riddled with problems and did very little to excite anybody. The opening segment started the show out strongly with the return of John Morrison as The Miz’s heel turn and storyline with New Day continued.

However, things went downhill from this point onwards. The show was full of filler moments that really didn’t mean much, with the continuation of Daniel Bryan and The Fiend’s storyline coming through a few backstage interviews and an episode of the Firefly Funhouse.

The development of Bayley and Lacey Evans’ story wasn’t much more detailed and even The Usos big return match was spoiled by a random appearance from The Revival and more interferences. Things just didn’t click this week for the blue brand, and hopefully, next week will see a positive change.

3. AEW Dynamite

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

They might have won the Wednesday night rating war, but this weeks episode of AEW Dynamite was certainly a step backwards from last weeks superb episode that was arguably the best in company history. While there were certainly some high points this week such as the Rhodes Brothers facing the Lucha Bros, they were outweighed by negatives.

The continuation of Hangman Page’s storyline was well done, but the entire show just lacked the buzz and excitement that Dynamite normally has. The continuation of The Dark Order’s push is something that is hurting the show, and while the main event segment was fun, it was also very predictable.

However, it was the AEW Women’s Championship match that was the lowest point of the episode, with this being a total mess from start to finish. From Brandi Rhodes trashing everything on commentary, to the way the match itself was bombarded by the Nightmare Collective, the segment did nothing for Kris Statlander or Riho and just hurt the women’s division in general.

2. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

Monday Night Raw has been quietly chipping away, producing great quality episodes on a consistent basis lately. This weeks episode was a fantastic one that featured some brilliant wrestling and a real push to move storylines ahead of the Royal Rumble.

Kicking the show off with Brock Lesnar making his Rumble announcement, the show started in a fantastic way and it didn’t let up throughout. The show had several brilliant title matches, both of which were given plenty of time to make them feel important.

We also got the surprise return of Big Show, which might have been underwhelming to some, but was certainly welcomed considering his legendary status. With a nice blend between in-ring content and promos and backstage segments, the red brand got it spot on this week.

1. WWE NXT

After the first show of the year was a highlight show this week was effectively the first real WWE NXT show of the year. The black and yellow brand wasted little time in getting things on track either, with a fantastic episode that saw some amazing wrestling and brilliant story development.

The fatal four-way main event was a terrific match that did a great job of establishing Keith Lee once again as the company continues to get behind him. But that wasn’t the only great match though, as the show also featured the start of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic which brought two great matches to the show.

We also saw the development of Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor’s storyline, the debut of Chelsea Green with Robert Stone’s ‘Brand,’ and a solid women’s segment to establish all the different contenders. WWE NXT set itself up with a great platform to build upon for the rest of the year.

Here’s a brief reminder of how the point system will be working for this weekly feature:

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 5
WWE NXT- 5
AEW Dynamite- 6
WWE SmackDown- 4

You can have your say and give your thoughts on what the show of the week is immediately following WWE SmackDown on social media every week (@MC_Wilkinson1). Below is how the fans voted this week:

The post Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week Two) appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

John Morrison’s First WWE Match Set For WWE SmackDown Next Week

After making his return to WWE earlier this week, WWE has confirmed John Morrison’s first in-ring match since re-signing with the company.

Currently, there are issues brewing between New Day and The Miz and Morrison, which boiled over on WWE SmackDown’s opening segment.

While The Miz and Kofi competed in the ring, with the New Day member being defeated due to an outside distraction involving Morrison and Big E.

Because of that, WWE has announced that next week on WWE SmackDown Big E will be going one on one with John Morrison.

The post John Morrison’s First WWE Match Set For WWE SmackDown Next Week appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS-LIVE IN PROGRESS

WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS
January 10th, 2020

MIZ TV 

We kick things off tonight in a major way, with an episode of Miz TV. The Miz says that people have been saying he changed, but he was just having a bad day. He notes that sometimes, you just don’t want to smile, and when someone tells you to do that, you just want to punch them in the face.

Miz says he let his temper come through, and he apologises to Kofi Kingston for his actions last week. Miz says he has been going through a lot this month due to The Fiend going after his daughter, and then he failed to take away the thing that The Fiend loves the most.

However, Miz says there has been one good thing about this month and that is John Morrison returning to WWE, who then makes his official return to the company. Miz says that they are the greatest tag team of the 21st century, and Miz then shows a sizzle reel that he has put together about Morrison’s WWE career.

Morrison says it feels so good to be back, but he doesn’t know what to say. Morisson says WWE was filming a WWE Chronicle for his Royal Rumble return, and it was going to be epic, but after he saw what Miz was going through he changed his mind.

He said he came last week and he’s glad that he did. Morrison says that he realised he’s disappointed…in the fans. He points out that Miz has worked harder than anyone else on the roster, but because Miz has a bad day, the fans ignored everything and they don’t appreciate him.

Morisson then unloads on various different fans, calling them out about the fact they’ve never been in the ring until New Day makes their way out. Kofi Kingston asks Miz who he is trying to fool, with Big E saying that they don’t buy his apology.

Kingston said he would’ve respected him if he had stopped at saying he had a bad day. Miz says he respects the fact that Kofi Kingston was WWE Champion for six months, but he also respects the six seconds it took him to lose it.

Miz says he respects Kofi for smiling, but he also respects the fact Kingston never even went to get the title back. Kofi responds by saying what’s clear is that Miz is changing from cool Miz to annoying Miz. He says that the people were correct in what they said, that he sucks.

KOFI KINGSTON vs THE MIZ

Kofi Kingston starts out on top, planting Miz to the floor while Morrison and Big E argue on commentary over which tag team is better. Miz manages to turn things around with a big boot to the face, but Kingston ends up sending Miz to the outside.

The Tag Team Champion follows it up with a suicide dive, knocking Miz down further, but Kofi then gets sent crashing into Big E which leads to John Morrison having to stop E from getting physically involved. After the commercial break, Kofi regains control with a big dropkick as he then explodes from the ropes to take Miz down once again.

Kingston then hits the Boom Drop and tries to hit his finisher, but Miz catches his leg and rags him down to the mat. However, as Miz then sidesteps Kofi, he smartly reverses by hopping to the top rope and hitting a big crossbody.

The two men then have several reversals of finishers and Kofi nearly gets a roll-up victory. Miz is smart enough to kick out but he then gets dropped by the SOS, which also gets a near fall. Kofi then reverses several running knees with a kick, but as he comes off the top rope, Miz smartly attacks the injured knee once again.

The Miz then locks in the Figure Four Leglock, but Kingston manages to roll to the outside. As Miz looks to continue the match, he kicks Big E on the outside which leads to Big E getting in his face. However, Morrison then flys off the stairs to take Big E down.

The distraction outside the ring works well though. With Kofi leaning out of the ropes, The Miz is able to grab him and hit Skull Crushing Finale for the victory.

Winner: The Miz

(Results continue on the next page…)

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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week One)

Welcome to the very first edition of ‘Break It Down,’ a weekly series where I will be ranking WWE Raw, WWE NXT, AEW Dynamite, and WWE SmackDown. The article will see the shows do battle, as I rank each episode from worst to best for the week.

Giving a brief look at each episode in one concise article, where several factors will be taken into consideration. From the quality of wrestling, promos, and story development to fan reactions live in the arena and the general feel to things on social media.

The points system will work as follows:

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

The first week of 2020 saw the wrestling world get started with a bang. Even though it was New Japan Pro Wrestling who dominated the week with Wrestle Kingdom 14, WWE and AEW certainly played their part. So with all of that out of the way, let’s break it down!

4. WWE NXT

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

It is probably going to be a very rare occurrence that WWE NXT finishes rock bottom of this list in comparison to other shows each week. The black and yellow brand is normally a contender for having the best show of the week, with amazing wrestling and consistent storytelling always taking place on this show.

However, this week was an anomaly due to the fact that it was an awards episode of the show that featured no live content. WWE let the talent have a week off, and therefore it is a little hard to review the episode at all.

WWE revealed the winners of the End-Of-Year awards, which might play into future storylines, and did announce the brackets for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. As well as that, they showed old matches from previous Takeover’s which was fun to look back and reflect on, but this wasn’t really a proper episode of the show.

3. WWE Raw

WWE Raw was actually a very enjoyable episode this week, which brought an end to 2019 in style with a classic wrestling wedding. The angle was about as ridiculous as everyone was anticipating, but that is exactly what everyone was hoping for at the same time.

Lana’s perfect wedding didn’t go to plan as Liv Morgan made her return to set up a big angle between them moving forward. The show also featured a fun match between Andrade and Ricochet, and another incredible bout between Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy.

The storyline involving Seth Rollins and AOP against Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens also continued, with WWE slowly developing things. While Randy Orton pretended to be injured to RKO AJ Styles in order to keep their story alive. There was a lot of development as the company prepares for the Royal Rumble, which is always great to see.

2. WWE SmackDown

WWE SmackDown was unlucky not to take the top spot this week because it was one of the best episodes of the blue brand in a long time. It was a night of returns for the company with Sheamus, John Morrison, and The Usos all coming back on the night, giving the roster a big shot in the arm.

However, it isn’t just because we got three surprise returns that WWE SmackDown was entertaining. Of course, those moments provided a ton of fun, but the show featured some great wrestling as well, particularly the opening women’s tag team match.

The show did a fantastic job of progressing several storylines. From main event storylines such as Daniel Bryan and The Fiend to smaller angles like Otis’ romance with Mandy Rose, WWE really did move things forward. However, the real highlight was the work that went down with The Miz as the start of his heel turn began, with WWE pulling this off against New Day in a really excellent manner.

1. AEW Dynamite

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/AEW

This week saw a return to glory for AEW Dynamite after the company ended 2019 with arguably their worst show to date. After a week break for the holiday period, the roster returned full of energy, right back at their best for the AEW Dynamite Homecoming episode.

The episode did a brilliant job at building up The Elite, giving Cody, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks major victories, which they all desperately needed. There was some fantastic wrestling taking place in this episode, from Cody’s match with Darby to the women’s fatal four-way.

There wasn’t a bad segment on the entire show with lots of storylines being developed. With Chris Jericho’s storyline with Jon Moxley continuing, MJF laying down the stipulations to Cody, and the slow heel turn tease of Hangman Page all taking place. It was AEW back to their best, and that created the best episode of wrestling this week.

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 2
WWE NXT- 1
AEW Dynamite- 4
WWE SmackDown- 3

The post Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week One) appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

Major Singles Match Confirmed For WWE SmackDown Next Week

WWE has confirmed a major singles match for WWE SmackDown next week as the build towards WWE’s Royal Rumble continues to intensify.

Lacey Evans will be going one on one with Sasha Banks next week in what should be a very emotional match. Evans has yet to truly get her hands on the Legit Boss since she antagonised her daughter at ringside several weeks ago, and this will be her golden opportunity to do so.

Evans and her tag team partner, Dana Brooke did pin Sasha Banks last night on WWE SmackDown in a triple threat tag team match, also featuring Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.

WWE is clearly pushing towards Lacey Evans challenging Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a match that could potentially happen at the WWE Royal Rumble event.

The post Major Singles Match Confirmed For WWE SmackDown Next Week appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 12/27/19 Review

Welcome to another WWE Smackdown review here on TJRWrestling for the last Smackdown in 2019 and the decade. I’ve had a busy week of family events for Christmas, but now I’m ready to get back to normal. I want to wish you all a safe and Happy New Year next week. Bring on 2020 this coming Wednesday.

Live from Detroit, Michigan, this is Smackdown for episode #1063. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

The show began with Elias in the ring singing about the year that was in 2019. He sang about regrets like Bayley’s haircut, Shane McMahon and said that at least they don’t have the Lana/Lashley wedding. Elias sang about what’s to come on the show and said “it’s Friday Night Smackdown and it starts right now.”

Analysis: Elias has had a very uneventful year. I’m still waiting for him to do something memorable after two years on the main roster.

The Smackdown intro video played. The pyro went off in the arena and the fans in Detroit were ready to go. There’s a “Happy Holidays Smackdown” sign on the Titantron.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance for the triple threat match because they tried to tell us this was going to happen now, but I don’t think anybody thought that was happening. The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show.

King Corbin showed up on his sedan with six indy guys carrying him. Corbin said this is Smackdown where they do things his way because he’s the king. Corbin claimed the bottom feeders (the fans) are jealous of him. Corbin said that Bryan and The Miz are terrible fathers, they want to face Bray Wyatt and they are former World Champions who main evented WrestleMania. Corbin claimed if Bryan thinks he can beat Corbin then perhaps The Fiend ripped out some of his brain matter. Corbin said he earned his opportunity when he beat Roman Reigns twice and that’s something no other superstar has done since he returned. Corbin said that the WWE Universe should beg him to vanquish Bray Wyatt because he should be the Universal Champion. The guys carried Corbin down to the ring as Corbin told Bryan he is no longer championship material while saying that Miz plays an action hero in the movies, but is not really an action hero.

Roman Reigns’ music hit, the guys carrying the sedan tipped it over and Corbin went down. They were nervous about Reigns. That led to Reigns showing up at ringside and he punched Corbin. Reigns whipped Corbin into the barricade. Reigns jumped off the steel steps and connected with a Superman Punch. Corbin ran away through the crowd while referees and producers (hey Sonjay Dutt and Adam Pearce) kept Reigns at ringside.

Analysis: It was an angle to tease the match happening in the first segment, but it was unrealistic to expect it to take place this early in the show. It would be nice to go a week without listening to another boring Baron Corbin, yet there it was again. I guess this one was more effective because Reigns was there for the interruption and the fans loved that. I still say WWE should start the show with a match, so at least they tried to tease us by almost having a match.

(Commercial)

There were replays of Reigns beating up Corbin from before the break.

King Corbin was in the trainer’s room yelling at Pearce about what happened with Pearce saying he doesn’t have the power to do anything about it. Corbin wanted him to postpone the match. Corbin claimed it was ridiculous and he wondered who could make a decision around here.

The New Day duo of Big E and Kofi Kingston made their entrance with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles while Cole noted it was the 1,024th day that Kofi has been a tag team champion. Braun Strowman entered as New Day’s partner. Strowman barely gets to wrestle on Smackdown. New Day did some air guitar playing during Strowman’s entrance.

The trio of Cesaro (with his Matrix-like entrance), Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn made their entrance as the opponents. It’s also rare to see Zayn in a match since he’s in more of a managerial role these days even though I think Zayn is an excellent wrestler. The story here is Strowman is going after Nakamura’s IC Title.

Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman and The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E)

Big E with a shoulder tackle on Cesaro and Kingston hit a splash where he jumped over Big E’s back onto Cesaro. Kingston with a jumping back elbow to Nakamura, then a clothesline over the top to the floor and Zayn grabbed Kingston’s foot. Nakamura with a backstabber on Kingston. Zayn worked over Kingston with punches, Kingston to the floor and Cesaro decked Kingston with a running forearm to the face.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Kingston hitting a dropkick off the middle ropes on Cesaro to try to break free, but the heels managed to keep Kofi isolated from his team. Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex on Kingston. After a rollup from Kofi, Cesaro decked him with a running uppercut. Nakamura with a front suplex on Kingston followed by a headlock. Nakamura knocked Big E off the apron, so Kingston hit the SOS trip into a slam on Nakamura for a two count. Cesaro blocked Kingston from tagging in Strowman, then Zayn distracted and Cesaro hit a running dropkick that sent Strowman into the barricade. When Kingston got to his corner, both of his partners were down, so no tag. Cesaro with a running forearm on Kingston and Nakamura with a sliding German Suplex for two as Big E knocked Cesaro onto both guys to break up the pin. Big E tossed Cesaro out of the ring, then Nakamura kicked Big E out of the ring and Kingston with a double stomp to the chest of Nakamura. Strowman tagged in with shoulder tackles for Nakamura and a running splash against the turnbuckle. Strowman with a running shoulder tackle on Nakamura on the floor, a running shoulder tackle on Cesaro, Zayn ran away and Nakamura hit a jumping kick on Strowman on the floor. Nakamura charged, but Strowman decked him with a hard clothesline. Cesaro back in with an uppercut to Strowman. Big E pulled Cesaro out of the ring and sent him into the barricade at ringside. Zayn passed Nakamura with a platter from the pancakes, Kingston grabbed it from Nakamura while the referee was distraction and Kofi hit Shinsuke with it. The referee Jessika Carr never saw it and then Strowman hit the Running Powerslam on Nakamura for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Braun Strowman and The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E)

Analysis: *** A pretty good tag team match as you would expect with these guys. Any time Strowman is a babyface in a tag team match it’s going to lead to him getting the hot tag because that way it puts the focus on him. The crowd really got into it in the final few minutes, which shows the typical WWE tag team formula works very well. Strowman picking up the win on Nakamura makes sense since the next IC Title feud is Nakamura vs. Strowman. That’s the finish that I expected.

Post match, Zayn complained that the other team cheated (which was true) and Graves agreed with it.

Kofi Kingston did a promo saying that everybody knows Braun Strowman as the Monster Among Men, but what they don’t know is that monster has a great set of hips on him. Kofi said it was time that the world saw what those hips can do. Big E said that the good people of Detroit (cheap pop) are going to get this dance.

That led to Braun Strowman dancing in the ring while the New Day music played. The fans chanted “Get These Hips” for this. Cole laughed as Graves mentioned it. Strowman’s dancing routine was unique for a 350-pound man.

Analysis: It’s silly and it may not be something everybody wants to see, but when there’s a babyface big guy like him they are going to book him to do fun stuff. I’ve said it before that Strowman is like Big Show and Kane of this era. Those men both did goofy stuff like dancing in their careers too. I don’t mind it. I also think Strowman is poorly booked most of the time and they could always do more with him.

There was going to be an update on the King Corbin situation after the break.

This Monday on Raw: The wedding of Bobby Lashley and Lana.

(Commercial)

There was another replay of Roman Reigns beating up King Corbin earlier in the night.

There was a backstage update from Kayla Braxton saying that the match will not be postponed like King Corbin wants, so it’s The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan.

A clip was shown of Smackdown three weeks ago when King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler smeared dog food on Roman Reigns.

In the backstage area, Sonya Deville was signing some programs. Mandy Rose went up to Deville telling her that they had to go because Mandy’s match with Carmella was up next. Deville wasn’t interested in that since Rose failed to accompany Deville last week. Rose said it was because her dress was full of Otis sweat last week when he hugged her. Deville told Rose she’ll deliver these programs, then she’ll see her out there. After Deville, Otis showed up with a plate of fruitcake saying that his mom made it after the ham got ruined last week. Otis apologized for sweating on her last week, she said no problem because sweat happens, he was about to say something else and she left because she had a match.

Analysis: The Rose/Otis story is interesting to potentially turn Rose into a face if she likes Otis or it could lead to Rose turning into more of a heel by turning the big man down. I like that at least they are trying to do an angle with them.

Carmella made her entrance. She also did a pre-match promo talking about how she beat Sonya Deville last night and saying she’ll remind Rose and the entire world why Mella is money.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey on Tuesday. The announcers plugged the match is Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler. It was taped after Smackdown. If you think Ziggler won that match then you’ve never watched WWE before in your life.

Mandy Rose made her entrance alone because her friend Sonya Deville didn’t feel like joining her at ringside. I always enjoy Mandy’s entrance and that gold/black ring attire is terrific as well.

Carmella vs. Mandy Rose

Rose did a double leg takedown, then some punches and a running dropkick. Rose followed up with a running knee to the face for a two count. Rose grounded Carmella by pulling back on her arms followed by a hair whip. Rose trash talked Mella saying, “you will never look like me” and Carmella slapped her while saying she never wants to look like her. Carmella with a kick to the face, then a headscissors takedown and a running clothesline for two. Rose sent Carmella face first into the middle turnbuckle. Carmella hooked the arms for two count, Rose with two pin attempts of her own and Carmella got a rollup for two. Rose went for a rollup, Carmella held onto the ropes and she hit a superkick on Rose for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmella

Analysis: *1/2 They tried hard and it was fine for the most part, but there was nothing special about it. Carmella hasn’t had a meaningful thing to do for a long time while Rose keeps losing matches even though I think she has the potential to be a future champion if they book her well.

The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan is next.

(Commercial)

Sheamus did a promo saying that nine months ago he left Smackdown and he closed the door behind him. Sheamus said that other men stepped in to fill the void, to take advantage of opportunities and they were men who were inferior that were not worthy of being a champion. Sheamus said they were not worthy of facing him. Sheamus said he left for nine months, but now he’s ready to break down the door for a new Smackdown.

Analysis: I assume Sheamus will be back in action in January. The first Smackdown of the year makes sense, but it was not announced here. I’m glad he’s going to be back. I’ve always been a fan of his.

Daniel Bryan was already in the ring. The Miz was up next as the opponent.

The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan was in control early with a lefty kick to the chest. Bryan wrenched on the left arm of Miz, then Miz avoided a move and tripped up Bryan on the apron to knock him down. Miz brought Bryan back in the ring, dropkick to the leg and then they ran the ropes leading to a double cross body block to knock them both down. Corbin’s security guys went into the ring to attack both guys, so the match was thrown out. It went about three minutes.

Match Result: No Contest (or Double Disqualification)

Analysis: 1/2* It was just an angle to further the story of the show.

Post match, Bryan and Miz easily beat up the security guys. Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale and Bryan hit a running knee attack.

King Corbin was interviewed in the Gorilla Position backstage by Kayla Braxton and there were Corbin security guys there too. Corbin complained that this match was happening. Corbin also complained about it being an “unsafe working environment” and Braxton informed him that Roman Reigns was told to leave. Corbin said that changes things, so now he wants back in in the match. Bryan and Miz went backstage to go after Corbin and his security, which led to a break.

Analysis: The show long storyline continued by teasing that the match was happening in the show open, then midway through the show and now they can put it in the main event spot. It’s a decent way to keep the story moving.

(Commercial)

A Moment of Bliss Talk Show

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were on the stage for the Bliss talk show that hasn’t been around for a while, so Bliss said, “A Moment of Bliss is back.” Bliss and Cross had their coffee, so Cross introduced Lacey Evans.

Lacey Evans was in her wrestling gear because she’s in a tag team match later. Bliss mentioned that last week, Sasha Banks was taunting Lacey’s six-year-old daughter Summer. They showed a replay of that with Evans beating up Banks and Bayley while Dana Brooke was there to help Evans.

Evans said she’s proud of her kid, she’s brave and a fighter just like her momma. Evans said that Banks crossed a line that you do not cross. Evans said that she snapped, but she speaks for every parent and mother by saying the last thing you do is mess with a child. Evans had a good line about being a “mama bear” protecting her child. Evans said that if they didn’t pull her off Banks last week then Sasha wouldn’t walk out of this arena. Evans said that she knows what happens on this type of show, so she’s not going to get attacked from behind by two nasties. Evans said that she is going to get into the ring because she’s ready for a fight and she’s done with this nonsense.

Analysis: Good promo from Evans speaking as a mother that was defending her daughter last week. In the past, I have commented that it would be hard for them to book Lacey as a face after she was entertaining as a heel. By making it feel personal by utilizing Lacey’s daughter in the storyline, it has definitely helped the story. It’s a relatable storyline for the audience because fans can understand why Evans wants revenge for these “nasties” messing with her and her daughter.

Dana Brooke’s entrance music hit, but then Bayley and Sasha Banks showed up on the stage where they had a hold of Brooke. Banks said that Evans may be a good mother, but she’s a terrible mother. Evans went up the ramp, so the four women got into a brawl and officials showed up to break it up to begin the tag team match.

(Commercial)

Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke

Evans was in control of Bayley, then Brooke tagged in with a back elbow against the turnbuckle and then a splash on Bayley for a two count. Brooke hit a nice suplex off the middle ropes, but then Banks came back with a hair whip. Banks went over to Evans and slapped her in the face as the heels continued to isolate Brooke as the face in peril. Bayley and Banks sent Brooke back first into the turnbuckle. Banks back in with the double knee attack on Brooke to knock her down. Brooke knocked Bayley off the apron with a forearm and Brooke hit a step-up enziguri on Banks to knock her down. Evans got the hot tag with a neckbreaker on Bayley, she kicked Banks down and Evans jumped over the top with an elbow on Bayley. Evans with a sitting splash onto the chest of Bayley. Evans did a military salute followed by a leap up top and right into a moonsault for two as Banks made the save. Evans stared at Banks, chased her around the ring and Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex for two as Brooke made the save. Evans avoided a double suplex, Brooke tagged in, Evans decked Bayley with a Woman’s Right and Banks sent Evans into the ring post. Brooke got a rollup on Banks, but Banks came back with the Bank Statement submission move for the submission win after eight minutes.

Winners by submission: Bayley and Sasha Banks

Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid tag team match. They worked hard. I like that we got to see all eight minutes of it and there wasn’t a commercial in the middle of it. Brooke did well while selling the heel offense and Evans did a decent job after the hot tag. That’s the right way to time it out. This felt like the kind of scenario where Evans would get the pin on Banks to have Evans build momentum, but instead, they went with the heel win. It will probably lead to Evans vs. Banks in a singles match, which can lead to an Evans win and then Evans challenging Bayley for the SD Women’s Title at the Royal Rumble.

It was back to the backstage area where Mandy Rose was still looking gorgeous in her ring gear as she looked at her fruitcake gift. Dolph Ziggler showed up to hit on Rose while wondering what she’s doing for New Year’s Eve, she said nothing and then Ziggler acted like the fruitcake is a gift. Ziggler said that he wouldn’t feel too special about this since Otis gave it to everybody in the locker room. Ziggler said he heard somebody found a roach in one of these. Ziggler asked what would Otis know about a woman like her anyway. Ziggler put the fruitcake down and stepped on it with his Jordan brand sneakers. Ziggler went back to trying to flirt with Rose when Corbin showed up to say he needed to talk to Ziggler now. Rose was left to look at the destroyed fruitcake on the floor.

Analysis: That’s the third different Mandy Rose segment on the show counting her match, so that’s perfectly fine with me. More Mandy on the show is a good thing. I’m not sure if Mandy was supposed to act more upset about the fruitcake being destroyed or if that’s how they wanted it. She didn’t react to Ziggler’s actions much at all. Also, King Corbin is clearly a terrible wingman.

The triple threat main event is up next.

(Commercial)

A video package aired about Mustafa Ali that showed how he got injured in February, lost Money in the Bank because of Brock Lesnar and then failed to win the IC Title. Ali said that 2019 had some dark times, but he refuses to stand in the dark and he stands in the light. Ali said that he’s changing the way people think about people about guys that look like him and in 2020 he’s going to become a champion.

Analysis: I think Mustafa Ali is an awesome all-around performer and if he gets some TV time, he’ll win over the fans even more than he has. He’s an easy guy to root for.

Otis was shown walking backstage where he walked up to the fruitcake that was crushed on the floor. Otis looked sad about it.

Analysis: I assume this will lead to Otis wanting to go after Dolph Ziggler for his heinous cake destroying actions. If they do something next week where Otis thinks Mandy Rose did that then it will make Otis look even dumber. Just watch the show, dude.

The three guys were in the ring for the main event with over 20 minutes left in the show.

#1 Contender to the Universal Championship Match: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin

Miz and Bryan worked together against Corbin with chops and kicks. Corbin bailed to the floor, so Miz got a rollup. Bryan hit a suicide dive on Corbin, Miz tried a dropkick, Bryan avoided it and Bryan sent Miz into the ring post. Bryan with a running knee attack on Miz on the floor. Corbin tossed Bryan over the barricade at ringside and Corbin sent Miz into the barricade. Back in the ring, Miz with a jawbreaker, but then Corbin sent Miz shoulder first into the ring post and Corbin slid out of the ring with a clothesline on Bryan. Corbin with a Chokeslam backbreaker on Miz on the floor. Corbin worked over Bryan for a bit, Bryan fought him off and Miz hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo on Corbin. Bryan hit a corner dropkick on Corbin, Miz with a running knee, Bryan with another dropkick, Miz with another knee, Corbin with a Deep Six slam on Miz and Bryan went up top with a missile dropkick on Corbin, which led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Bryan and Miz each getting nearfall pin attempts. Miz kicked Corbin to knock him down followed by Miz hitting a DDT on Bryan. Miz worked over Corbin with kicks to the chest followed by kicks to the leg against the ropes. Miz slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Corbin and then Daniel Bryan broke that up with a headbutt to the shoulder of Corbin for a two count. Corbin turned the Figure Four Leglock, Bryan slapped on the LeBell Lock and Miz managed to break that up. Bryan was sent out of the ring while Corbin hit the End of Days on Miz. Bryan broke up the pin attempt at two. Bryan countered a Corbin move, he landed on his feet and he hit a running knee on Corbin for two. Dolph Ziggler showed up, he hit Bryan with a superkick and there are no disqualifications in a WWE triple threat match, so it was legal. Ziggler put Corbin on top of Bryan, but Roman Reigns showed up to pull Corbin off Bryan. Reigns sent Corbin into the ring post and hit a Superman Punch on Ziggler. Reigns hit Corbin with a clothesline to send him over the barricade.

(Commercial)

It was back to action with Miz hitting Bryan with a running clothesline against the turnbuckle. We were told by Cole that Reigns and Corbin went brawling out of the arena. Bryan hit a superplex on Miz while hooking himself to the middle ropes to keep him from also bumping to the mat. Miz tripped up Bryan on the middle ropes and Miz jumped off the ropes with a shinbreaker with Bryan selling the left knee injury. Miz worked over Bryan with the kicks to the chest, Bryan blocked another kick and Bryan decked Miz with a palm strike to the face. Bryan worked over Miz with more kicks to the chest and then Miz hit a double knee attack on Bryan’s left knee again. Miz wrenched on the left knee of Bryan, who kicked Miz to the apron and Bryan hit a suplex into an armbar on the left arm of Miz. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock, so Miz bit Bryan’s hand to break free and it worked. Bryan with a roundhouse kick to the head of Miz. Bryan went for the running knee, Miz avoided it and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. Miz turned it into a Figure Four Leglock, but Bryan managed to get out of it. Bryan slapped on the LeBell Lock, Miz tried to fight it, but then Miz tapped out to give Bryan the win after 21 minutes. I think we can go back to calling it the Yes Lock submission.

Winner by submission: Daniel Bryan

The win by Bryan means he will challenge “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble on January 26th.

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match with a lot of clever spots, plenty of action and it looked like it could end at different times. They got a lot of time, built up the story well and the right guy won with Daniel Bryan getting the victory. I’m also not surprised that Miz was the loser since Corbin is protected so much. The run-ins by Ziggler and Reigns were fine too since it fit into the story of the match with Reigns doing all he can to prevent Corbin from winning while Ziggler took a nice bump at ringside. This was the best Miz match in a very long time. It was not a great year for him for having memorable matches. As for Bryan, it’s the usual for him having an amazing match whenever he gets a lot of time.

Post match, Bray Wyatt was on the Firefly Fun House set with the Universal Title. Wyatt said that Bryan is about to have so much fun, but he’s not sure if “he” is quite done with Bryan just yet and said he remembers everything. Wyatt asked if you’re willing to do whatever it takes and let him in?

Bryan responded by leading the crowd in “yes” chants and that’s how Smackdown ended this week.

Analysis: I fully expect The Fiend to retain the Universal Title. I don’t think The Fiend will lose that title until WrestleMania, possibly to Roman Reigns. That makes sense to me.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. The Miz
  3. King Corbin

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.75

2019 Average: 6.56 (Raw is 5.89)

Last 5 Weeks: 5.75, 6, 4.75, 5.25, 6.5

2019 High: 9 (November 1)

2019 Low: 4.5 (October 25)

 

Final Thoughts

I give this week’s Smackdown a 6.5 out of 10.

I thought it was a pretty good show this week with some quality in-ring action. When the main event is awesome and they get 20 minutes that’s nice to see. The promo segments did well to accelerate some of the other storylines on Smackdown. It feels like they are doing a better job of incorporating some of the midcard wrestlers in the storylines whereas in the past, a lot of people had nothing to do. At least the backstage segments and promos felt like they had more of a purpose this week.

That’s all for Smackdown for this year.

The next WWE pay-per-view is the Royal Rumble on January 26th. Here’s what we know so far.

Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Thanks for reading. Go reigning NBA Champions Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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