WWE: SmackDown TV Report: 8th November

Welcome back to all loyal wrestling fans, once again it’s your weekly Smackdown reviewer scooping up the pieces of this week’s episode and happily spooning them into your mouths to digest or spit out determined on your forever changing disposition.

This week’s show opens with a Wyatt Family video promo showing the recent attacks on CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. This is followed by a big pop from the crowd as CM Punk makes his way to the ring. Punk tells us that if the Wyatt’s want a fight with the best in the world that’s fine because he came to fight. He tells us that he is not going anywhere until they come down to ring and fight him.

Curtis Axel’s entrance music plays and Mr Average himself makes his way to the ring. He tells Punk that the Wyatt’s can wait in line because he still has some unfinished business with Punk to avenge what he did to Paul Heyman.

At this point in time Curtis Axel has absolutely no heat and any real heat he did have was down to Paul Heyman. Without Paul Heyman I fear bad things on the horizon for him. He really needs to improve when he is talking on the mic because he sounds god awful.

Axel tells Punk that he spoke to Vickie Guerrero and asked her for a match against Punk and she apparently agreed and that match is right now.  So I guess Curtis Axel is booking his own matches now.

Curtis Axel vs CM Punk

Axel quickly attacks Punk to gain offence at the beginning of the match. He stomps on Punk in the corner with a series of kicks and knees. Axel attempts an Irish whip into the corner but Punk counters with an elbow.  Punk follows up with a Double Axe Handle from the top rope.  Punk continues to embarrass Axel over the next couple of minutes by man handling him in the ring and then throwing him across the barriers on the outside.

We return from the break to find Axel in control for about ten seconds before he bails to the outside. Punk follows up with a baseball slide and kicks Axel on the outside. Axel gets himself a breather then manages to throw Punk into the barricades on the outside of the ring.

He returns Punk to the ring and continues his assault before going for a pin but only managing to get a two count. After another near fall Punk starts to retaliate but finds himself back in the loosing position after missing a High Cross Body.  After a failed submission attempt from Axel, Punk retaliates with a back body drop to switch the momentum.

Punk is half way through his five moves of death when all of a sudden the lights go out and a hint of the Wyatt’s families entrance music starts. Punk is distracted by this and Axel tries to use it to his advantage he delivers the Perfect Plex but to my dismay only gets a two count.  Axel sets up Punk for a neck breakers but Punk counters it into a back slide and then somehow into the GTS. Punk wins.

After the match the lights go out again and Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and blows out the lantern. It was a decent match, nothing really much to sing about, I do worry for Curtis Axel because I believe the only thing keeping him on the Smackdown or Raw is the Intercontinental Title. They need to start thinking of a new way to get him over with the crowd or I fear he will not be on our screens much longer.

3MB vs the Uso’s and R-Truth

Heath Slater and Jay Uso start off the match. Jay quickly gains control and tags in his brother Jimmy. Jinder Mahal gets the tag and hits Jimmy with a running knee and gives 3MB the advantage. 3MB actually have control for a decent amount of time in this match until Jay counters with a spinning kick.

The hometown boy R-Truth gets the tag and gets a huge pop from the crowd as he goes to work on Jinder. The Usos’s keep the other two members of 3MB occupied by flying to the outside over the top rope and landing on Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater. Back in the ring R-Truth pins Jinder for the win.

This match was average, I’m sure it was booked just to give R-Truth something to do in front of his home crowd. The Uso’s didn’t benefit from this in anyway.

The Funkadactyls vs AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka 

The Funkadactyls lead the match in the beginning but things change once the match goes to the outside when Tamina takes control. Cameron shows some great athleticism at times and Tamina delivers a decent looking Powerbomb . AJ get the tag and applies the Black Widow to Cameron who taps out.

Don’t hate me for this but I think the Funkadactyls are getting better in the ring. I still hate the gimmick and I would like to see them doing something more than just being divas. I think if given a gimmick makeover and a chance to work in the ring more often they could be a pretty good women’s tag team.

Alberto Del Rio cuts a promo in the middle of the ring. He tells the WWE Universe that he is better than all of us. He says the World Heavyweight Title was stolen from him by John Cena. He says if we were smart we would see John Cena for what he is, a thief. He tells us that at Hell in the Cell he had to beg the doctors to let him compete because he was sick that night, but he didn’t cancel the match because he is a Mexican and he has pride.

John Cena makes his way to the ring. Cena makes fun of the fact that Del Rio is saying he was sick and offers to send Del Rio a get well soon card. Del Rio is angered by this and tells Cena to leave his show right now. Cena says if he wants him to leave, then Del Rio will have to make him. Then Cena says that Del Rio can have his championship rematch tonight on Smackdown. Del Rio says that he wants a referee and a doctor out here right now because he is going to take back his title and break Cena’s arm tonight.

Just when I thought everybody was allowed to book their own matches tonight Vickie Guerrero makes her presence known at the top of the ramp. She says that the World Heavyweight Title will not be on the line tonight but instead that match will take place in two weeks at Survivor Series because that is what’s best for business.  John Cena tells Vickie Guerrero that the only things she has ever done that was best for business was getting fired and when she shuts the hell up. Del Rio agrees with Cena. Vickie tells them that she has already picked out their opponents for tonight and Cena will be fighting Ryback and Del Rio will have to fight the Great Khali.

The Great Khali vs Alberto Del Rio 

As you would imagine Khali leads offence from the start with a series of chops. Soon after Del Rio catches Khali with a kick then goes to work on his arm for about two minutes. Khali manages to catch Del Rio flying from the top rope with a boot to the head. Khali goes back to what he knows best with a big chop to the chest. Del Rio manages to lock on an ArmBar using the ropes and then follows up with the Cross ArmBar in the ring and Khali taps out.

That was a pretty predictable match with only one real outcome not that entertaining.

Daniel Bryan vs Luke Harper accompanied by Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan 

After my praise of Luke Harper in last week’s review I was glad to see him up against somebody like Daniel Bryan on this week’s Smackdown. Some people feel that Punk and Bryan are falling to midcard level by feuding with the Wyatts, I totally disagree.

I think this is a perfect way to bring the Wyatt’s to the forefront and give them something to do. I have been begging for the creative writers to do something tangible with them since their arrival and this seems like a great start. Even if this feud does not continue past Survivor Series it will still help to keep the heat on the Wyatt’s until Bray is finally able to get back in the ring. In terms of Punk and Bryan I fail to see how they are going to be damaged by this. If anything I would argue that the Punk and Heyman feud was far more destructive to Punks character than this will be.

Luke Harper kicks things off by pounding on and injured Daniel Bryan in the corner. Harper delivers the Gator Roll and keeps a front face chin lock on Bryan to wear him down. Bryan retaliates with a series of punches but his comeback is thwarted quickly by Harper. Bryan attempts the Flying Goat but only further injures his shoulder by crashing into the barricade outside. Harper throws Bryan into another barricade.

We return from the break to find Harper in full control in the middle of the ring. Harper has another Chin Lock applied but this time Bryan does manage to elbow and kick his way out of the hold. Bryan applies a leg submission and at the same time continues to punch Harper in the head.

Bryan attempts his signature five kicks but gets caught on the last one with a huge Powerbomb.  Harper attempts to follow up but get himself caught in the Yes Lock. Rowan interrupts the match and saves his partner so Harper is disqualified. Daniel Bryan is surrounded by the Wyatt’s and CM Punk runs down to the ring to defend him and the Wyatt’s retreat.

I really liked this match and I am enjoying this new feud with the Wyatt’s. It’s important to keep the Wyatt’s relevant and there is no better way to do that than putting them in the ring with the two biggest workers today. From a casual fans point of view the Wyatt’s are a genuine threat so in no way are they seeing this as a step down for Punk and Bryan. I am interested to see where they take this in the future and will continue to ‘follow the buzzards’.

After a very long look back at Monday Night Raw we get tonight’s main event of the evening.

John Cena vs Ryback 

The match starts off with a very long head lock applied to Cena by Ryback this eventually gets switched around and Cena has control with his own headlock. Cena attempts a Bulldog but Ryback manages to push him off. Ryback does an impressive Gorilla Press on Cena for a long period of time before letting him crash to the mat behind him in typical Ultimate Warrior style. Ryback throws Cena into the corner hard and Cena sells well by collapsing to the mat.

Ryback continues to dominate with a front faced headlock followed by a Bearhug. Cena counters with a headbutt and then attempts his five moves of death. Ryback counters with a botched Spinebuster Slam. Ryback sets up Cena for the shell shock but Cena counters with a DDT. Cena then attempts the AA on Ryback but Ryback counters with an imperfect Vertical Suplex that JBL calls the Jack Hammer Suplex. You would think that Ryback would try and stay away from any Goldberg signature moves to try and deflect any comparisons to Goldberg but it seems the WWE are quite happy to embrace it now, JBL even goes as far as mentioning it.

Anyway back in the ring Ryback sets up Cena for a Clothesline but Cena counters and locks Ryback into the STF. Ryback manages to get to the ropes and break the hold. Ryback then hits Cena with a Spear and Cena kicks out at two. Ryback sets up Cena for another Powerbomb but Cena counters and hits him with an impressive Full Nelson Neck Breaker.

Cena climbs to the top rope and hits Ryback with a High Crossbody then set up Ryback for the AA. Ryback counters the AA by holding onto the top rope and manages to pay homage to the British Bulldog with a nice Running Powerslam. The two men stand and exchange blows in the middle of the ring, Cena attempts to bounce of the ropes but Ryback crashes into him with a Clothesline. Ryback sets Cena up for the Shell Shock again and Cena counters once again but this time delivers the AA for the win.

After the match Alberto Del Rio interferes and assaults Cena by attacking his arm. Cena fights back and Del Rio quickly Retreats.  I thought this was a very good match for two big guys. Good test of strength and great big moves that only a few wrestlers can pull off comfortably. This match actually reminded me a lot of the match between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6 but without the excitement or the build-up. I thought Cena and Ryback worked really hard in this match and made it far more enjoyable than I had anticipated. I still have faith in Ryback and I think he is good in the ring maybe a little stiff at time but definitely good enough to rub shoulders with the best of them.

Final Thoughts.

This week’s episode was a definite step up for me. There were six matches and not too much talking. Out of the six matches I would say three of them were worth watching. The Main event passed my expectations and I felt like they actually wanted to put on a good match.

Although one thing that did spring to mind was the absence of Damien Sandow, who only last week had made it his new life purpose to destroy John Cena, Where was he this week? I hope they have not shelved that idea already. It would have been nice to see some more of new Corporate Kane but I guess they are possibly saving that for next week’s episode of Raw. All in all I thought it was a pretty enjoyable episode and recommend watching the last two matches at the very least.

– By Sebastian Bowen

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