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WWE SmackDown TV Report: 31st January 2014

WWE SmackDown TV Report: 31st January 2014. This weeks show featured Antonio Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Ray Mysterio

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Just when we thought that we had seen all of the controversy we can handle for one week, CM Punk walks out of the WWE. I won’t even begin to speculate on whether it’s a work or a shoot but I do think he will be sorely missed if it is true. The timing is very strange with WrestleMania just around the corner but the word on the grape vine is that Punk has multiple reasons for leaving and fatigue must surely be one of them. I hope Punk will return some time in the future and I don’t think taking some time off is such a bad thing.

This week’s episode of episode kicks off with an Elimination Chamber Qualification Match

Dolph Ziggler vs. Antonio Cesaro

I thought this was a very good opening match with some great spots. Cesaro delivers a very impressive suplex from the outside to the inside of the ring, showing phenomenal strength. Although Dolph did not win this match I don’t think he came off too bad. Cesaro is no pushover and in this match he demonstrated that once again. He eventually defeats Ziggler with the Neutrizer to pick up the win.

The Shield cut an in ring promo. After a littler bickering amongst themselves over who threw who out at the Rumble, they send out a challenge to the Wyatt’s. Vickie Guerrero makes her way out to the ramp and says that it’s a great idea. Triple H makes his way down to the ring before Vickie can make the match official. He tells The Shield that there is no reason for them to fight the Wyatt’s and they should all just walk away. Roman Reigns gets in Hunters face and tells him that he is not asking for permission. Triple H smiles and asks the WWE Universes if they want to see The Shield fight The Wyatt’s. The crowd chant Yes. Triple H announces that The Shield will face The Wyatt’s at Elimination Chamber.

Xavier Woods vs. Fandango accompanied by Summer Rae w/ R-Truth on commentary

I genuinely thought that this would be the week when Woods picked up the victory. I was wrong. This match isn’t very long, Woods gets caught perched on the top rope and Fandango executes a suplex/bomb (I am not sure what this move is called) and Woods maintains his losing streak. Dancing Emma from NXT made another appearance n the crowd.

Rybaxel vs. The Prime Time Players

Another very quick squash match Darren Young gets manhandled by Ryback and then Axel. Titus makes no attempt to save Young from the pin. After the match Titus tells Young that ever since he teamed up with him he has been losing. Titus says that he came to the WWE to be a winner. Titus attacks Young and cements their split by leaving him lying on the outside of the ring unconscious. I was surprised by this break up; I was not expecting it at all. I have no problem with it because I would like to see Titus in singles competition making a name for him. He has an abundance of potential. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

 Jack Swagger vs. Christian

Christian returns once again, for I guess one more match. I am not a massive fan of Christian but this match was not bad. Swagger was willing to put him over and in turn Christian earns a place in the elimination chamber.

Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston

Sandow continues to frustrate himself by loosing once again. After a few minutes Kofi manages do deliver the SOS to Sandow to pick up the win. I am worried about Sandow, I love the gimmick but he does not appear to be outsmarting any of his opponents these days. If he keeps loosing cleanly instead of winning with wit or intelligence then I can’t see how this gimmick won’t be dead in a couple of months.

Cody Rhodes vs. Road Dogg

Before the match Triple H announces in an interview with Michael Cole that the Rhodes will get the opportunity to get their belts and revenge on the New Age Outlaws in the Steel Cage on this weeks edition of RAW. Tonight’s match acts as a teaser for that match. This is an average match with Cody picking up the win after delivering the Disaster Kick to the face of Road Dogg.

The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Ray Mysterio

Before the match The Wyatt’s spook The Shield with a backstage Promo shown on the big screen. The Wyatt’s tell The Shield that they have found a good hill to die on.  It’s a very nice looking promo and is well worth a watch.

Sheamus returns to SmackDown looking as pale and powerful as he did before. He dominates the early stages of the match dishing out punishment to Ambrose. Sheamus tags in Bryan and Ambrose tags in Rollins. Bryan continues where Sheamus left off before tagging in Mysterio. Mysterio does well for a few minutes before getting caught when Rollins makes a blind tag to Ambrose. Ambrose places Mysterio face first into the mat and tags in Reigns to deliver more punishment. The Shield keeps Mysterio isolated for a couple of minutes. Eventually Daniel Bryan gets the tag and begins his five moves of death against Reigns. Bryan applies the Yes Lock to Reigns but Ambrose makes the save.  Bryan tags in Mysterio who attempts the 619 against Reigns but gets countered with a Spear. The Shield wins.

This was a decent match and everybody had the chance to look good in the ring. Roman Reigns continues to go from strength to strength and he appears to be really enjoying his work at the moment. When the time is right he is going to fly in the singles competition. I am really looking forward to the match against the Wyatt’s I think that has all the makings of an incredible match at the PPV.

I thought this week’s episode was above average considering the absence of some of the big names. I think most of the fans were just happy to see Daniel Bryan in the ring. The split of the Prime Time Players could be interesting and who knows how many more swerves and splits are still yet to come before WrestleMania. The issue with Punk is still yet to be unravelled and at some point The Undertaker is set to make his presence known. It’s been a crazy week in the WWE and I think over the next couple of weeks things are only going to become even more interesting or utterly bonkers, either way I’ll be watching.

– By Sebastian Bowen

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