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SD!: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Cena Returns to Fridays
November 3, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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I had something to talk about here, but I can't remember what it was. I know it damn sure had nothing to do with Ohio State handing Purdue its own ass on a diamond-encrusted platter, though it seems that's the only thing people around here want to talk about right now. (I'm firmly in the camp of Fuck College Sports, personally, and I still can't possibly explain why, especially since I totally get why others dig it.)
 

So, with nothing on my mind, let's just get to SmackDown from this abbreviated precap. Sooner I get it done, sooner I can enjoy my extra hour due to the time change.

Hulu Plus Opening: Oh good, The Miz is on the thumbnail for this episode. It's going to be one those episodes, isn't it?

Segment 1: Our World Heavyweight Champion hits the ring to open the show to mostly cheers... or at least, a very loud contingent of girls and tweens. We get two video montages since we have to be told—again—that he defeated Alberto Del Rio and Damien Sandow. And once those are done, Cena grabs a mic and recaps everything we just saw. Ugh.

Cena finally says something new as he points out that since he's the WHC, he'll be on SmackDown from now on. The crowd isn't really into it, so Cena has to use two cheap pops to get them interested. It works, and it's a fairly pro-Cena crowd has he basically makes an open challenge.

And it's... The Real Americans? Huh, okay. Zeb Colter leads his buddies to the ring, formally introduces himself, then thanks Cena for kicking ADR's ass, since that'll so totally send ADR back to Mexico. But Zeb then does some cheap heat as he puts over Cena for his honor and dedication. He calls Cena a “real American hero, patriot, and legend,” just like Zeb, and just like Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger. So he speaks on behalf of all three of them and invites Cena to join their stable.

Zeb (and the crowd) declares “We the people,” then offers his hand. Cena starts to reach for it then just smoothly segues to a You Can't See Me taunt. Heh.

Cena does some lightly amusing (but relatively uninteresting) bits of taunts and insults. Not bad, but not worth repeating... though he does imply that Swagger has an erection for him, and compares Cesaro's nipples to Papa John's. Cena concludes that Zeb is a cross between Yosemite Sam and the rednecks from Duck Dynasty. Cute, but stupid.

Cena blathers some more, turns up the intensity to 14, which is technically an improvement over his blathering from Monday, then calms down to tell them to get the hell out of here.

And then Damien Sandow hits the ring, bee-lining to it in ring gear like a man on a mission. Sandow says that in America, we make our own opportunities, just like how he took his opportunity by stabbing Cody Rhodes in the back and winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. But Cena wouldn't know anything about that since he's always been handed chances, especially after this latest return from injury, when he was just given a title shot at Hell in a Cell for no damn reason. Sandow certainly has a point.

Sandow declares that his sole purpose in life from here on out is to end the Cena Era in WWE, and he'll do literally anything to do it. We're welcome.

All the heels get ready to fight, and surround Cena. Cena readies the title belt as a weapon.

The Rhodeses then hit the ring to make the save, and the heels bail from the ring before any blows are thrown. “Excuse me!,” and then the obvious six-man tag team match is made.

Whatever. The opening was too long. I mean, I get it, it did what it needed to do I guess, but you can't tell me there wasn't a way to tighten that up a bit.

Segment 2: The Shield does a promo from backstage, apparently splashing the cash for a camera that doesn't shake like they're in a Uwe Boll film. They generally threaten the Usos and promise to serve up a steaming pile of justice on them later tonight. [Ed. Note: it is noteworthy that Ambrose once again brought attention to his status as still-champion, and ingnominiously demoted Reigns for the night, claiming that he'd step in with Rollins and finally dispach the Usos.]

Segment 3 [Tag Match]: The Usos defeat The Shield (w/ Roman Reigns) by pin. Solid match, pure formula. Nothing overly special, but as Rick said on Monday, their chemistry is very, very good; so for these four, “nothing special” is still better than half the roster.

The match was technically between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins on the heel team. Early on, one of the Usos was dumped outside, and Reigns started to hunt him down. Big E. Langston then hit ringside in a hurry; Reigns had an awesome “Are you serious, you guys?” face expression, complete with slow blink.

The rest of the match was pure formula though, with solid spots all around. It was pretty clean too, with Reigns only considering getting involved really late, but getting taken down with a vaulting body press before he could do anything.

After the match, a Pier Six Brawl broke out, with the faces getting the better of it. When the dust settled, all three faces were in the southwest corner, and Reigns stood alone in the northeast corner. Ambrose and Rollins had powdered out, and Reigns considered doing so as well, but remembered he's Samoan and just screamed for a fight. The faces were happy to oblige and taunted him for a charge.

And then Ambrose and Rollins materialized to hold him back. Reigns tried to fight off his buddies, but finally relented. Still, this adds more dissension to the ranks... is Reigns going to go rogue?

Segment 4: Video recap of the Daniel Bryan/Shawn Michaels shenanigans in from Monday, followed by video recap DB/Wyatt Family. Then the Prime Time Players hit the ring, then we've got ads.

Pre-Segment 5: The Wyatt Family gets a creepy entrance here. The lights go out and we get the single frame of the goat mask as normal, but the video has Bray Wyatt talking some crazy nonsense that concludes with “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down...” When he finishes, he blows out his lantern, the lights come up, and Luke Harper and Eric Rowan are already in the ring. Bray is already seated in his rocking chair at ringside. And I miss out on their kickass entrance song by Mark Crozer (though I've long since bought it on iTunes, so who cares).

The more they do the weird, alternate entrances (especially for build-up matches), the more I like it.

Segment 5 [Tag Match]: The Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt) defeat the Prime Time Players by pin. Decent match, nothing special. It's not like the Wyatts became as talented as CM Punk overnight. Match was a little short.

After the match, Harper and Rowan grabbed Titus O'Neil for some reason, waiting for Bray to come in the ring and do a Sister Abigail. Darren Young tried to make a save... however, Bray grabbed him and did the Sister Abigail to him instead. The big men dragged O'Neil's carcass over near Young's so Bray could pose over them. Follow the buzzards!

Segment 6: RAW recap of Kane turning heel.

Segment 7: It's time for Miz TV, and we smash-cut to the ring where Miz has already had his entrance. We were promised that Shawn Michaels would be the guest, but Miz starts off by saying that Shawn isn't here anymore. Jerk.

Miz goes on that Shawn may not be here, but Miz is going to say what he wanted to say anyway, and point out that if hadn't been for HBK, Randy Orton wouldn't be the WWE Champion right now.

And then Orton pops out to “respect” Miz's view, but that he disagrees since he had DB so totally beaten at Hell in a Cell. Orton goes on to say that Shawn isn't here because Miz and Miz TV are no longer relevant and nobody cares about either of them, marking the first time in history that I 100% agree with Randy Orton and probably need a frontal lobotomy as a result. Orton reminds us that he beat the fuck out of Miz in Cleveland and was “practically cheered for it,” also accurate.

Orton, by now in the ring, says that he'd prefer to have Miz join Big Show on the unemployment line, then uses that to launch into a rant that Big Show is a jerk, and to recap the whole situation. He says that Big Show has been “banned for life” from WWE, then asks how that makes Miz feel. Miz says about four words and gets RKOed.

So, uh, what did that accomplish, exactly? Michael Cole says on commentary “I guess when you're WWE Champion you can walk around here and do whatever you want,” so if the point of the segment was to add heat to Orton's “reign of terror,” I guess +10 effort, and +5 for the premise, but -450 for doing it against Miz for no reason.

Segment 8: Dolph Ziggler wants you to buy shit from WWE Shop. This includes the phrase “Do you want to grind on Randy Orton's face like I do?”

Segment 9 [Six-Diva Tag Match]: Natalya & The Bella Twins defeat AJ, Tamina Snuka, & Alicia Fox by submission. I didn't realize Alicia Fox was still around.

The match was decent but nothing special. The women were given a full-length match, much to my surprise and delight. The Bellas again show that they are, in fact, ring-capable if given half a chance (though Brie is clearly better than her sister, else Nikki is still smarting from the leg injury). Still, no high spots and nothing to really talk about, though Tamina once again stole the show and destroyed basically everyone before hot tags and such ground that momentum to a crawl.

The match ended on the Sharpshooter, showing that Natalya can make the Divas Champion tap out. Also, as Tamina carried AJ away, we got a nice view of AJ's wonderful rump, which I'm sure will eventually be in GIF form for the AJ Appreciation Thread in the OO Forums. (Hint: don't click that link if you're at work!)

Segment 10: RAW recap of Big Show's activities.

Segment 11: Buy WWE's videogame!

Segment 12: Sit-down interview between Cole and Triple H. Essentially, Trips bitches that Big Show is banned for life, so there. Which, uh, we already knew.

Pre-Segment 13: John Cena's entrance for the main event, then ads. That means once again we had a commercial-to-commercial sequence of zero-value-add. I wouldn't have classified Segment 12 of that if they hadn't already talked about it (and that the interview itself added no new information).

Segment 13 [Six-Man Tag Match]: John Cena & The Brotherhood defeat The Real Americans & Damien Sandow (w/ Zeb Colter) by pin. Above-average match, but nothing special, and no high spots (other than the Giant Swing by Cesaro to Cody, and I lost count at the revolutions... 22-ish). The match was pure formula, and it worked well enough and was entertaining, but... I dunno, man. I just wasn't feeling it.

Final Thoughts: And so ends the show, and my last couple sentences summarize the whole night, really. Nothing was offensive, all wrestlers' flaws were hidden and irrelevant, everyone played to their strengths, stories advanced, things happened... but, uh, nothing really was noteworthy or overly interesting.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing; I'm not crazy, and I don't expect WWE to blow my mind every week. But the downside to Sustainable Episodic TV is that, sometimes, episodes just kinda plod along without a tremendous amount of momentum or activity. Such was this night, easily skippable if you have better things to do, but it's not the worst use of your time (on somewhat-heavy fast-forward).

And, really, I don't have much more to say about it. Man, this was a short recap, huh? Good or bad, you make the call!

I'll see you next week, everyone.

Episode Grade: C

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON


  
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