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WWE Smackdown!- January 15, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- “Finally, Smackdown has come back to Thursday Night.” I’m sorry, but I never cared for the move of Smackdown to Friday Nights. At one point, I know that WWE didn’t have control over that decision, but after leaving UPN for the CW or whatever network, and then finding a home on Sci-Fi, you’d think they would move it back to Thursday. Oh well, it’s back where it belongs now, and we have the return of Daniel Bryan to look forward to. Unfortunately, it’s against Kane, but I still have faith in that one.

- Taped from Baton Rouge, LA. Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler (demoted from Raw due to age and health concerns) are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I must say, Cody Rhodes’ wife is fucking AWFUL at ring introductions.

- Byron Saxton brings out Daniel Bryan for some TALKING. Clips are shown from one of the beatdowns Kane gave Bryan building up to Payback. Daniel Bryan reminds us that they got along for months as Team Hell No before Kane ditched the mask in favor of the Authority.

Daniel Bryan vs. Corporate Kane (w/ The Authority):

Honestly, this match just makes sense, since they have unfinished business from last Spring and gave Kane credit for the career-threatening injury. Kane has the entire Authority entourage, sans Stephanie, in his corner. I smell a lame finish. Bryan attacks with a running dropkick in the corner, followed by rights and kicks. He escapes a back suplex attempt and takes Kane down with a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle. Bryan continues to target the knee with kicks. Kane turns the tide with an uppercut and connects with a pair of neck breakers for a near fall. Bryan escapes a chinlock, only to run into a boot. Kane with a big DDT for two. Bryan manages to send Kane to the floor and rocks him with a baseball slide, but a dive from the apron is met with an uppercut. We return from break, with Kane in control of a chinlock. Kane comes off the ropes with another DDT, but it only gets a two count. Whip to the corner, Kane follows in with a clothesline, and connects with his signature side slam for another near fall. He sets Bryan up across the top rope, but Bryan blocks a Super-Plex attempt and comes off with a flying body press for two. Whip to the corner, Bryan flips over a charging Kane, and comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline! YES KICKS CONNECT! It only gets two. Bryan with more kicks in the corner until being goozled. He escapes a Chokeslam attempt and goes for the Yes-Lock, but Noble and Mercury run in for the Disqualification at 12:36 (including a lengthy commercial break). Bryan fights everyone off and escapes unharmed. **1/2 Good match, but with a lame finish that only serves to build to a 6-Man Tag later in the night. I liked how all of Kane’s offense seemed to target the neck.

- In case you missed it, “Macho Man” Randy Savage has been confirmed for induction into the Hall of Fame “Class of 2015”, with Hulk Hogan doing the induction. According to this weeks WON, Hulk was Lanny Poffo’s choice, as much as people want to assume this option was strictly for ratings.

- Bray Wyatt cuts another promo about this, that, and the other, and he’s going to be in the Royal Rumble Match 10 days from tonight.

Jimmy & Jey Uso and Naomi vs. The Miz, Damien Mizdow, and Alicia Fox:

Six-Person Tag Team Action? Is this Tag Team Week? Or Teddy Long Appreciation Week? I wonder if Mizdow will do “stunt work” for Alicia, too. Jimmy Uso works Miz over to start. Quick tag and double team elbow drop, but not before Mizdow does his act along with Miz. Jey follows Miz to the floor with a suicide dive. I guess that’s officially called “Uso Crazy”? Mizdow tags in, but Alicia immediately tags in herself for our crappy catfight. Naomi with a decent head scissors. Sloppy cross body from the top rope for two. Miz comes back in with a boot to the face of Jey Uso. A double clothesline puts both men down, and it’s hot tag time to Jimmy. He runs through Miz with a pair of clotheslines, followed by a Samoan Drop. Corkscrew moonsault barely makes contact. Alicia and Naomi do stuff. Mizdow eats a Super-Kick, allowing Miz to finish off Jimmy with the Skull Crushing Finale at 4:47. ¾* Just chaotic and uninteresting.

- Renee Young is backstage with Roman Reigns... is he intentionally doing a Bo Dallas impression with that goofy smirk on his face?

- Paul Heyman struts his way out to the ring, without entrance music, so he must mean business. This past Monday Night on Raw, Seth Rollins laid out Brock Lesnar with a Curb Stomp. Seth Rollins interrupts Heyman, which screams like an effort to create a swerve down the line, with Seth “wanting” to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase, but Brock Lesnar isn’t in attendance. Shocker. Anyone with half a brain knows Brock Lesnar doesn’t work… ever. What, you think I was going to say Tuesdays? He doesn’t work Monday’s either, and only three Sunday’s a year. Good segment, by the way.

- Total Divas commercial featuring Eva Marie... “wrestling”. I can’t remember her last in-ring appearance, anywhere.

Natalya (w/ Paige) vs. Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella):

Non-Title Match, of course. Earlier this week on Raw, Paige dropped a match to Brie, thanks to accidental interference from Tyson Kidd. Paige thanked him with a bitch slap from hell. Lockup, Natalya quickly goes for the arm. Nikki counters with an arm drag and shows off her “guns.” Nattie with a roll up and leg scissors, quickly countered with a well placed kick to the face. Nikki from the second rope with a single-arm DDT, followed by a snapmare for two. Natalya comes back with a snapmare of her own, followed by a basement dropkick and clothesline for two. She goes for the Sharpshooter, but Brie hops on the apron for a distraction. Meanwhile, Paige bitch slaps Nikki, and Natalya finishes with the Sharpshooter at 2:41. * Decent action but lacking time to go anywhere. I seriously wouldn’t mind giving the Diva’s a little more time on shows other than Superstars and Main Event.

- Renee Young is backstage with the Big Show. He’s going to win the Royal Rumble, because nobody can eliminate him. Except every single year he’s competed in the Royal Rumble and LOST. Corporate Kane takes exception to Show’s bragging, and declares himself for the Rumble Match, as well. What’s that, the 17th Rumble Match for Kane under that persona?

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
Bad News Barrett © vs. Sin Cara:

Bad News regained the Intercontinental Title a few weeks ago on Raw, the same night of Dolph Ziggler being fired, and yes, he’s already lost a non-title match by pinfall, to Sin Cara, who’s seldom been featured on WWE TV. Remember, this is Sin Cara 2.0, and less likely to blow a spot. Sin Cara with several quick roll up attempts. Whip to the corner, Sin Cara connects with a jumping heel kick. He goes to the top rope, and is quickly knocked down by Barrett. Sin Cara counters a back suplex and comes off the ropes with a headbutt and twisting body press for two. Sin Cara misses something from the top rope and runs into the Winds of Change. Barrett sets up for the Bull Hammer, but it’s countered with a roll up into a slam! Sin Cara to the top rope, but the Senton misses. He ducks under a Bull Hammer, springs off the ropes, and a third attempt at the Bull Hammer connects, allowing Barrett to retain at 2:53. *1/4 What is with all the rushed matches tonight? With the “big deal” introductions, you figured this would get at least 5-minutes.

- Dean Ambrose cuts a promo about competing in the Royal Rumble Match. You think there’s just a slight chance we’ll be swerved and Ambrose could win?

Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show, Corporate Kane:

The Main Event for the night, set up earlier in the night following the bull-crap finish to Bryan vs. Kane. Ambrose and Rollins start by slugging it out, with Ambrose getting the upper hand. He takes Rollins over and comes off the ropes with a snap elbow drop. He follows with a neck breaker and it’s Roman Reign’s turn to dish out punishment. Whip and a charge to the corner, followed by a snapmare and delayed suplex. Kane tags in and grabs a headlock. Whip to the ropes and he puts Reigns down with a shoulder tackle for two. Kane with another headlock, this time countered with a back suplex. Whip to the ropes and Reigns with a diving clothesline. Bryan tags in and unloads with kicks. Kane dumps Bryan to the floor, but Ambrose and Reigns make sure there’s no funny business from J & J Security. All six participants brawl at ringside, with the heroes gaining control as we take a break.

We return with Bryan driving a knee to the midsection of Rollins. Ambrose puts the boots to him in the corner and rakes his eyes across the top rope. Ambrose with a running dropkick to the chest for two. Ambrose makes a questionable trip to the top rope and ends up trapped in the Tree of Woe. Kevin Sullivan would be proud. Big Show tags in for the first time and does his usual lethargic stuff. Rollins back in and quickly goes for a chinlock. Show with a charge to the corner, followed by a scoop slam. Giant elbow drop (get it?) gets two. Ambrose avoids the Giant Slap and throws a flurry of rights and chops. Show shrugs it off and goes back to work on the “injured” left knee. Kane with a suplex for two. Rollins trash talks Ambrose as the Army of the Authority continue to dominate. Ambrose from out of nowhere with his slingshot clothesline, laying out Kane. Chaos erupts on the floor while Daniel Bryan gets the hot tag. Whip to the corner and he dives through the ropes with a suicide dive on Kane. Back in the ring, he connects with a running dropkick on Rollins, followed by a hurricanrana from the top rope for two. Rollins with a jumping enziguri. Kane with a Chokeslam, but Reigns breaks the cover. Reigns spears Show over the Announcers Table, while Bryan grabs the Yes-Lock on Kane! Rollins interrupts that, only to get knocked down with a running dropkick from Ambrose! He sends Rollins to the floor, and dives off the top rope with his elbow onto Rollins and J-&-J Security! Kane goes for the Tombstone, but Bryan slips free and hits the Running Knee for three at 17:55. The celebration is short-lived, as Triple H crashes the party to announce Daniel Bryan vs. Kane… again… next week, and if Bryan loses, he loses his spot in the Royal Rumble Match. They wouldn’t have the balls to do it. **1/2 Hot finish to an otherwise lackluster Main Event. Felt more like Bryan and Ambrose vs. Rollins and Kane, with the minimal involvement of Reigns and Big Show.

Final Thoughts: I’m not going to lie and say this was a great two hours, but obviously a two hour block of WWE programming is enough without slipping too far from being watchable. Daniel Bryan’s return was the big story, and he had a predictably decent match with Kane to open the show, and while it disappointed, the Main Event was perfectly fine. Nothing else really stood out when it came to in-ring work, except for short-changing Barrett/Sin Cara and Natalya/Nikki Bella when both could’ve been much better. Should be interesting to see what happens next week.

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