Smackdown smells like dog food, doesn’t it?. Last week was an exercice in how silly angles can almost damage a character that you are heavily trying to build as a top babyface. With this episode being TLC’s go-home show, Smackdown needed to bounce with a solid effort at least. Will it do that, or will it steep even lower in mediocrity.
Let’s get to business…
Baron Corbin promo time
For the third time since I started reviewing Smackdown on FOX, I witness Baron Corbin opening the show with a promo. He got his usual shtick through of beating Kurt Angle and being a king to humiliating Roman Reigns, saying that security will be there as Reigns will be “unchained” (because he is a big dog you know!). Dolph Ziggler acted as his hype man in all of this, while it played to an almost silent crowd that only got a few “Corbin Sucks” and “STD” chants throughout.
The New Day interrupted because they got mentioned somehow during the promo. They exchanged lines with Corbin and Ziggler for a bit, with Corbin having a couple of really good burns about the WWE title match with Lesnar and Kofi Kingston’s career that pushed the New Day man to slap him in the face.
This was nothing special, in fact it was pretty boring paticularly before The New Day interrupted. However, Corbin is a decent heel that can get some legit heat so I will give it passing grades, but not a lot though.
A video Recap of Bray Wyatt’s story with The Miz who will be interviewed later in the night from his house
Kofi Kingston vs Baron Corbin is set for the night.
Backstage: Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin find one of their security laid out by … Roman Reigns of course! although they were asking “who did this?”
Fire & Desire vs Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross
As I expected last week, this story lead to a meaningless tag team match on this episode, and it was meaningless indeed. It started off with Bliss and Cross being interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton who said “Last week Mandy Rose ripped your eyelashes, this rivalry got shockingly personal” (are you kidding me??). Then Fire & Desire stormed backstage, started beating them down and took them to the ring to have a two-minute glorified squash where Fire & Desire lost and we didn’t even see the finish, as we only saw the pin.
You know what Michael Cole said after all that ridiculousness?! “This team is a force to be reckoned with”. Seriously, what does this match serve? Do Bliss and Cross get added to the women’s tag titles match on TLC to make it a three-way (I wouldn’t mind that by the way), besides the obvious point that Mandy and Sonya are dropping further down the pecking order everytime they lose. WWE, have some common sense please, although I know I am asking too much.
Backstage: Sami Zayn confronts Heavy Machinery ahead of their match with Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro.
CHAD GABLE/Mustafa Ali vs The Revival
This came out of nowhere (like an RKO), and it’s ironic that while Mustafa Ali was making his entrance, Michael Cole was promoting ticket sale for Elimination Chamber, a PPV that was supposed to be Ali’s breakthrough before he got injured. This was a classic babyface vs heel match as The Revival took the lead in the early stages, working CHAD GABLE over very well before hot tagging Mustafa Ali, who is growing well in this kind of role.
Post commercial, action just got wild with all sorts of near-falls and great tandem offense by both teams. The finish was pretty innovative too, as Mustafa Ali went for his patented tornado DDT he got caught in the “Shatter machine” for The Revival’s win. It’s a shame that Ali and Gable are on the losing side, but it makes sense since The Revival are having a tag titles match (now a ladder match) on Sunday and they need momentum. Hopefully, Ali and Gable are next in line because they are really good as a tandem.
Backstage: Bayley is being interviewed as Elias interrupts and sings her a song with heavy sexual innuendos to say the least as she challenges Dana Brooke for a match. (why Elias is so horny now by the way??).
Bayley vs Dana Brooke
This was a quick match. Bayley just made quick work of Dana Brooke, with Lacey Evans not appearing at all in any way. Where this leaves Bayley’s title for Sunday’s TLC, nobody knows but hopefully this leads somewhere. I can’t say anything more other than the fact that Sasha Banks is recording a rap album. If Michael Cole screaming “It’s boss time” is not the bridge in each single, I will riot.
Another recap for Bray Wyatt’s interaction with The Miz. This time no Wyatt Family picture (shout out for Luke Harper).
Sheamus with another red light promo where he talks about home a lot.
Renee Young interview with The Miz
This is perplexing. I don’t know exactly how to feel about this. It started as an Interview with The Miz then midway Maryse calls him as she freaks out, because of their daughter playing with some creepy puppets. They get to her room and they find a sinister doll next to her. Then, a “Firefly Fun House” segment starts as Bray Wyatt once again taunts The Miz in his usual creepy way. Kudos for WWE actually for attention to details, as there was no interweaving between normal Bray and “The Fiend” this which further proves the idea that “The Fiend” only attacks people who wronged Bray in the past. Overall, i hope this gets wrapped up at TLC to continue the Bray/Bryan program into the Royal Rumble.
Heavy Machinery vs Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro
This was a very decent match actually. For all the silliness of Heavy Machinery, they can be very good between the ropes. There was the odd commentary line by Michael Cole as usual, where he said “Sami Zayn is manipulating people, that’s what he has done his entire career”. The man was one of the biggest babyface in NXT, and even outside of WWE.
Back to the match, it is clear that Otis is the more over of the two Heavy Machinery members, which makes me afraid that Vince will see him as a major star and splits the team. Cesaro and Nakamura were their usual athletic-yet-underrated selves, which granted them the win. Shinsuke Nakamura doesn’t have a match at TLC, what a shame!!.
New Day vs Corbin/Ziggler
This was convoluted!. It started off as a singles match between Kingston and Corbin. Baron Corbin dominated Kofi for a while, then once Kingston mounted a comeback, Ziggler started interfering till he was ejected. After that, he came back to brawl with Big E which brought Corbin and Kingston calling the match off. Then, it was restarted as a tag team match.
It was going good until Corbin and Ziggler decided that they will repeat what happened last week with Kofi Kingston. Finally, Roman Reigns slowly walked to the ring (why??!!) and got himself into the brawl. The Revival also came to take part because of course they will do. The final shot of Smackdown was Roman Reigns putting Ziggler through the announce table to send fans happy. Merry Christmas Indeed!!
This episode was convoluted in some ways just like the main-event was. A show that was punctuated by a lame “Hit & Run” game by Roman Reigns can not serve as an enticing go-home episode for TLC. Elsewhere, everything is almost status quo with little advancement in any story. TLC can not come quicker so that we can start a proper build for the Rumble and WrestleMania season.
Final rating: 6/10 (only because the match between ALi/Gable vs The Revival was really good)
This is one man’s opinion after all, reach me out on twitter @austin316tn. Till next week! and Happy festive season.