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If Dolph Ziggler's the New Shawn Michaels, then Big E. Langston is the New Diesel
December 19, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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I don’t know why, but this Christmas season has flown by for me. Given that I work at Walmart, the Christmas shopping season is usually the longest couple months of my work year… but this time, it hasn’t been so bad. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy with so many projects (I’ve literally lost count of how many IGN projects I’ve had since the beginning of October), but whatever the reason, it’s welcome. I want to get December over with as fast as possible.

Just remember that I have yet another side project, my appearance on the two-year anniversary of Pure Gold, the only Internet radio show you’ll ever need to listen to. The show starts at 6pm Eastern on Wednesday, though I’m not entirely sure when my part will be. You can tune into the show by clicking this link.

I’m off tomorrow, and it’s a drinking kind of night, so let’s get to this live and commercial-free edition of SmackDown so I can get to boozin’!

Segment 1: We’re starting off with an episode of Miz TV, starring The Miz, of course. Miz tries to be funny with a Lindsey Lohan joke but fails, and then goes ahead and introduces Dolph Ziggler and AJ (now “AJ Lee” again for some reason). Big E Langston comes out to accompany them as well. Oh, wait… AJ kisses Dolph on the stage, and it’s a friendly sort. Clearly, there’s something going on that may or may not mean they’re bumping zigglers, if you know what I’m saying.

When the three get to the ring, Miz asks “Why?,” as in, why would she cost Cena the Money in the Bank briefcase. AJ immediately proceeds to steal Miz’s catchphrase, then says a better question would be to ask Cena why he messed with her heart. Aw…!

She says that she lost her job as the RAW general manager because she wanted to keep Cena’s name clean, which is one hell of a nod to continuity. And she totally thought it had been worth it after he smooched her just to piss off Vickie Guerrero. “That won a Slammy award!” AJ wails, referring to the kiss, which was adorable. Anyway, she thought it was the start of something that would be all romantic and wonderful… but Cena was just dicking with her heart and emotions.

She wanted to shout their name from the rooftops, and she made him gifts! We cut to a video clip from a few weeks ago, where Vickie and Cena are in the back, and she shows him two hair bows with Cena’s picture them. Cena says that the bows were the wrong color and a total hack job… cut to the current moments, and AJ says she was totally hurt by his rejection of the gifts. And holy shit, I have to give the writers credit if they actually planned that whole thing, because that’s a twist I didn’t see coming. It’s not any better than the crap on soap operas so it’s not a high compliment, but it is a compliment all the same.

AJ is now convinced that Cena is a selfish douchenozzle who only cares about himself. All she wanted to do was be with him and support him, but all he could say was “this.” Another cut to RAW, this time from last week, where Cena tells AJ to stay in the back instead of accompanying him to his match against AJ.

She insists that Cena was supposed to be better than CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, since they both used her too. But no: Cena broke her heart, so AJ helped Dolph break Cena entirely.

Well, Miz points out, didn’t Dolph call her “trash” before? And why is Dolph “aboard the crazy train” now?

Before they can answer, Langston steps up into Miz’s face. Miz backs off a step and tells him to calm down a bit, then says “Maybe I should change my question from ‘why’ to ‘who.’ ”

AJ reintroduces Big E Langston, and says that he’s a friend of hers who doesn’t like it when she’s described as trash.

Dolph then says that AJ isn’t—pauses to tell AJ “Ear muffs, babe,” and she covers her ears with her hands—AJ isn’t crazy. Then he sort of nods, and she nods back as she removes her hands from her ears. Cute.

Anyway, Dolph says that AJ isn’t crazy, she’s passionate! And Dolph learned that when Big E kicked Cena’s ass last night, and when AJ gave him a tongue-based mouth tickle. (Okay, sorry, I’m running out of gross kiss-related metaphors and I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel.) So keep the Slammy, Cena; Dolph will keep his MitB contract. Dolph, after all stole the show… and Cena’s girlfriend.

Miz says that they certainly deserve each other. And he sure knows how to pick women! AJ has been through a monster, a goatface, a gimp, Marky Mark, and now she’s “settled for the sixth member of One Direction,” a reference that I don’t get other than knowing that One Direction is a band of some sort.

Anyway, Langston punches Miz in the face, then delivers his shoulder-delivered gutbuster. AJ says “Show… off…” then skips around the ring while Dolph and Langston stand over Miz’s body.

Segment 2: Booker T is chatting with Teddy Long in the back. Long says he’s got a kid here that Books should look at and possibly give a chance in the ring. Who would that be?

Surprise, it’s Brad Maddox! Booker pulls Long aside for a stage whisper and doesn’t think it’s such a good idea to hire the guy who screwed Ryback. After all, Maddox has some screws loose! Camera pans over, and we see Maddox looking in a mirror while he… uh… rubs his face with nothing as if he’s applying invisible lotion? Okay, yeah, that’s kinda weird.

Long says that that doesn’t matter: Maddox’s YouTube show is awesome. Books says that he just can’t trust him, but Long says that Books is just afraid of controversy. Booker isn’t happy about that, but Long continues that Maddox can’t really hurt anything to have a try-out match, and “Booker of all people should know that people sometimes deserve a second chance.”

Books isn’t happy about the implication of his criminal past, so he agrees to Maddox a shot just for T-Long to shut the hell up for a minute. But if Maddox is Long’s “project,” then Long can tell Maddox thje good news. However, his opponent will be a surprise.

Pre-Segment 3: Team Rhodes Scholars hit the ring for Damien Sandow’s match. Sin Cara comes out, and then they play Rey Mysterio’s music… but no Rey. The latest victim of The Shield? We’ll see eventually.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Damien Sandow (w/ Cody Rhodes) defeats Sin Cara by pin. Decent match, nothing special, no highspots… and, strangely, no mystical lighting like Cara usually has. Pure formula, good stuff overall. During Cara’s final come back, The Shield wandered down to the ring. They didn’t do anything violent, but they did toss Rey Mysterio’s mask into the ring. Cara was distracted by it and looked at it with… uh… well, it tough to determine emotions from a masked man, but whatever. It distracted him long enough for Sandow to recover, hit the Terminus, and make the pin.

Post-Segment 3: Now they get violent as Team Rhodes Scholars leave. They quickly assault Sin Cara, then do a new triple-team jerk move. While Cara lays supine, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose hold him to the mat. Reigns holds his ankle and forces his leg to basically be straight, stiff, and unprotected. That’s when Seth Collins hops up to the top rope, then comes flying off with an elbow directly onto Cara’s knee. This is the same knee, you may recall, that was injured during the match against the Rhodes Scholars at TLC.

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Santino Marella defeats Tensai by pin. Yup, Tensai has completed his plummet into obscurity. Standard comedy match, with Santino somehow getting most of the offense, until he made a few mistakes and let Tensai take control. But Santino fought on, even got out the Cobra, and did the Cobra Strike to the back of Tensai’s head… which seemed to hurt Santino worse than Tensai.

Tensai recovered quickly, clotheslined Santino’s head off, then signaled for his finisher. However, Santino rolled out of the way of his running sitting splash, then quickly covered him. Somehow, that was enough to put him down. Tensai was more pissed than hurt and pretty much cried in the ring.

Segment 5: RAW recap.

Segment 6: Kofi Kingston is in the back with Team Friendship. Kofi thanks them for helping out with The Shield lately, but Kane is all-business: he wants Kofi to keep eyes in the back of his head to defend against a possible Shield attack in their (unrelated) six-man tag match.

Kofi accepts that, but he requests they let him get his hands on Wade Barrett during their tag match due to Wade’s attack against him on Monday. Daniel Bryan doesn’t seem to care… and in fact just bitches that Kofi totally shouldn’t have won the LOL Slammy last night. Kofi says, “What, this one?” and shows it to him, just to piss him off.

Kane tells DB to chill since DB got to hang out with Ric Flair last night after all. Kofi smiles and agrees: after all, Flair has the best catchphrase ever! DB takes exception to that too, then starts screaming “No!” over and over until Kane leads Kofi out of the locker room.

Segment 7 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Team Friendship & Kofi Kingston defeat the Prime Time Players & Wade Barrett by pin. Solid match, made more enjoyable that it was commercial-free and featured good action from bell to bell. No noteworthy spots, but Kofi got super-aggressive against Wade, which is always a nice little bonus. The match ended with a Pier Six Brawl that featured only Kane and the PTP up. They were going to double-team him, but DB arrived and pulled Titus O’Neil (illegal) out of the ring. Darren Young got confused at the disappearance of his partner, then ate a chokeslam.

As the faces celebrated, Kane continued to look around in case The Shield showed up. No dice, but his paranoia wasn’t irrational.

Segment 8: Sheamus and Cena are blathering the back about something, and Cena tells him to focus up. After all, Cena says that Langston “might be the strongest person in WWE,” even when compared to Sheamus, Show, and even Mark Henry.

Sheamus doesn’t buy it. “Are you saying we’re going to be surrounded by the biggest, strongest superstars in the whole world?” Cena says yeah, that’s the point. Sheamus just smiles: “Heh, sounds like my kind of fight!” You’re a glutton for punishment, pale man.

That seems like it’s going to be the end of the segment, but not yet. Sheamus wants to know the truth about Cena’s deal with AJ. Cena doesn’t want to talk about, but Sheamus prods, and Cena says fine: as long as this information doesn’t show up on Miz TV or some other crap, he’ll tell him. So Cena leans in and whispers a bunch of crap that goes on entirely too long, with Sheamus reacting with Cartoon Faces ever couple seconds. A little lame, but Sheamus has the panache to sell it and be entertaining.

Finally, Cena says he was just kidding, and he runs off. What a waste of sixty seconds.

Segment 9: Here’s CM Punk on crutches and wearing a douchebag wool hat. Punk hits the ring, says that everyone will recognize him as the greatest superstar ever… eventually. But we’re all jerks for not voting him as Superstar of the Year last night. It’s because that winning and losing doesn’t matter to people like us: we’re the type to enroll our kids in the type of tee ball that doesn’t keep score, just so we spare them the humiliation of realizing they’re as big of losers as their parents are. That was a fantastic burn.

Punk concludes that the only thing proven last night was “not only should women not be allowed to vote, but the men too.” Nothing says cheap heat like some old-school sexism, but to be honest, Punk had a little trouble with that line… pretty sure he was fighting his moral fibers to say it, and it didn’t come out naturally.

Punk goes on with more cheap heat, calling us all losers, and that he isn’t surprised by that behavior. But he expected the behavior from Cena, though it didn’t happen: if you saw Cena’s face last night when he came out after being named Superstar of the Year, you know that even Cena knows he didn’t deserve it. And how does Cena “celebrate” the win? By immediately giving the award to Flair, just sucking up to a nobody that shouldn’t rightfully be called a legend.

So go on, says Punk, just keep booing him while cheering for the old fogies who only show up on WWE to collect paychecks for their alimony and child support! But realize this: what’s more impressive than winning the title 17 times in your 99-year career? Winning it once and never losing it for nearly 400 days! Punk is a winner, and Flair is a loser! He’s lost more title matches than he’s won! Punk is different: he wins his title matches, not to Cena, not to Ryback, not to anyone!

Punk has set the gold standard so high that no one will ever get to it. Who else would be a mere two weeks out from knee surgery to be in “this hellhole of Pittsburgh” (my favorite town, jerkface!), but he’s a real man, so he’s here! And Pittsburgh better be happy about it, since “those women you call the Pittsburgh Penguins are still on strike!” I’m surprised he didn’t go with a Steelers reference after their atrocious record lately.

Anyway, Punk says he doesn’t go on strike, and he doesn’t have an off-season. He’s been carrying this company on his back for over a year, and he is the reason we pay and watch! So he’s sure he’ll be back next year, and Heyman will continue to follow him around with the WWE Championship title held above Punk’s head, because no one will take it from him: not Cena, not The Rock, not Stone Cold Steve Austin, not—

Feed me more, as here comes Ryback. Ryback keeps walking circles inside the ring as Heyman reminds him that Punk isn’t medically clear to compete. Ryback says he will be, so he’s setting his sights on the first RAW of 2013, when Ryback will become WWE Champion. Feed me more.

Uh… okay. Weak finish to a strong promo, but it did what it needed to do. No complaints.

Ryback stays out there, because we segue directly to the next match.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Ryback defeats Antonio Cesaro by pin. Decent match, nothing special. It started the same way last night’s match did, with Cesaro getting his ass kicked and wanting to take his title and go home. But Ryback wasn’t going to fall for that happy crappy twice, so he left the ring and picked up Cesaro in a military press. Cesaro slid out however and sent Ryback shoulder-first hard into the stairs.

Now with the advantage, Cesaro slid in the ring and figured he could win by countout. Ryback recovered enough to get in the ring, but Cesaro continued the attack anyway, thus inducing the heel beatdown sequence. Ryback survived it however, hit his super clothesline, delivered the Shell Shock, and took the win.

Segment 11: Kaitlyn is in the back, walking through the halls while looking concerned. AJ arrives to wish her luck, but Kaitlyn just sort of ignores her and keeps walking.

AJ catches her arm and asks what’s with the cold shoulder. Kaitlyn says it’s hard to be her friend given that AJ keeps doing this crap over and over. AJ starts crying, and Kaitlyn looks worried… until AJ turns around and looks angry.

Kaitlyn says screw that and says fine: if AJ is going to be a manipulative shrew, she’s leaving. AJ gets offended: “You’d choose a title match over your friend?” Kaitlyn says no: she’s choosing a title match over the deranged lunatic standing here.

Well AJ doesn’t take kindly to that, so she smacks Kaitlyn in the back of the head with a water bottle, then shoves her into a 7-Up machine before rolling around on the ground with her. Kaitlyn gets a bit of ground as refs arrive to break it up, and two refs drag AJ off kicking and screaming (literally) as Kaitlyn runs off the other direction.

This all makes me think one thing: I could really go for a 7-Up or some orange soda.

Segment 12 [Singles Match for the WWE Divas Title]: Kaitlyn defeats Eve by disqualification, but Eve retains. Damn fine match, and I’m not just talking about Kaitlyn’s body, which I find myself becoming more appreciative of every week. These two put on a clinic on how divas matches don’t have to be retarded, or only twenty seconds long. About the only complaint I can muster, if I want to nitpick, is that no real “story” was told with body part damage or anything. But that’s so weak of a complaint you may as well not even consider it.

There was a great mix of wrestling, brawly stuff (as Kaitlyn took the fight outside and bashed Eve’s face into the commentators’ table), and flying. Eventually, Kaitlyn had so much momentum that Eve’s only tactic was to hang on to the ref’s legs. As Kaitlyn tried to drag her away, Eve basically did a double leg takedown to the ref, drawing the DQ.

YouTube this one. It’s not an epic, but it’s one of the most solid women’s matches I’ve seen in WWE’s modern era. Kaitlyn has come a long way from NXT.

Segment 13: AJ is complaining to Dolph that Kaitlyn so totally just attacked her for no reason. Langston has no comment as he stands by, but Dolph assures AJ that Kaitlyn was just so totally jealous of AJ and her success and the fact that she’s dating a future world champion.

AJ is all smiles, and Dolph is too… until Big Show arrives, who says that the only thing in Dolph’s future is a body cast if he tries what he did last night. Now Langston perks up, but AJ calls him off with a sing-song “Nuh uh!”

Dolph tries to “rally the team” as it were since he and Show will be tagging together tonight. Show doesn’t buy it, and says that they don’t trust each other… but trust this: if Show thinks Dolph is trying to set him up, Show is going to knock him so far into the future that by the time Dolph wakes up, his MitB contract will have expired.

Show leaves, and everyone else looks worried. Well, I guess Langston doesn’t, but he looks more confused and stoned. [Ed. Note: I'm more concerned about how his face is much too small for his head.]

Pre-Segment 14: Maddox hits the ring for his match… and he does so by repeating his name a million times. He assures us that no one will forget his name, and he’s totally going to win his match tonight to get his contract.

He’s less sure of himself when Brodus Clay pops out. Also: I’m not an ass man, but I will never complain if I get to watch Naomi do the Ass Volcano more.

Segment 14 [Singles Match]: Brodus Clay (w/ Funkadactyls) defeats Brad Maddox by pin. Pretty standard match, so not really anything to write about—

Post-Segment 14: …except The Shield hitting the ring and beating the holy hell out of him. Once again it seems that The Shield is defending Brad Maddox, not just Punk. They wind up hitting the super triple powerbomb on Brodus, which could not have been pleasant for anyone involved.

Segment 15 [Tag Match]: John Cena & Sheamus defeat Dolph Ziggler & Big Show (w/ AJ Lee & Big E Langston) by disqualification. Decent match, nothing special, but it had a hot crowd that made it sizzle a bit more. No high spots here and it was pure formula, with Sheamus playing the face in peril, and Cena being the savior. He even hit Dolph with an FU, but that was when Langston slid in the ring and clotheslined his head off.

Post-Segment 15: Langston again hit his finisher, then just stood over Cena’s body. AJ slid in the ring and skipped around them, then found Dolph, who was still recovering from the FU. AJ checked on him with concern, smooched him, then did Crazy Eyes as she looked at him… then did Offended Eyes as she looked at Cena’s body, then did Happy Face as she resumed her skipping.

Yup, she’s nuts.

Final Thoughts: And that’s it for SmackDown. Stories advanced, and we finally got some explanations from AJ, which were actually continuity-based and logical enough. I really can’t ask for anything more in WWE.

Other than that, I’ve said all I needed to say, so I’m going to call it a night. Tune in to Pure Gold tomorrow at 6pm Eastern, then check out USA Network one more time at 8pm for Tribute to the Troops. And in case you don’t want to, well, I’ll have that recap for you too! I’m testing my viewer fatigue like a maniac for no apparent reason, and I’m doing fine!

Episode Grade: C+


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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