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Half 'n' Half
November 30, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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I can now officially add “Santa” to my list of professional accomplishments (or whatever you call them). Wal-Mart doesn't do “fun” stuff as often as it used to, or at least my store doesn't, so I tend to volunteer for everything when such opportunities do crop up. Our usual Santa was burned out of it, and I volunteered to take his place. I had a total blast with it, though I didn't have a Santa shift as long as, say, a mall Santa. (I only had about 14 kids and 7 teens-or-older total.) The best part is that I get to do it again tomorrow... which means I'm getting paid to sit in a comfy chair, smile, and make small talk for four hours. I'd say that's a damn fine day, especially since none of the kids (or others) left any extraneous body fluids.

I can also add “pissed off computer user” to the list as well. A few days ago, my computer made a series of beeps upon starting, before it promptly shut itself before turning itself on and beeping at me again. This is not a good sign for a guy who depends on his computer for two of his three incomes (not to mention OO). Naturally, I panicked.


After a rousing game of “Which part is fucking up everything?,” I've determined the problem is one of my RAM sticks. Overall, the problem really couldn't be easier or cheaper to fix... Naturally, I was worrying that it was something more serious, like the motherboard, which would necessitate hundreds of dollars of new parts. Instead, I'm only dropping $40... well, technically $75, given that in the course of dicking around with my rig, I apparently broke something regarding my wireless card. But that thing is old and in the way of my video card, so it needed replacing anyway. Still never pleasant to burn through emergency expenses, but there were worse alternatives. And between a second computer and my PlayStation 4, I still have Hulu access and can upload this recap.

I did learn that the beeps at the beginning of a BIOS boot actually mean something. However, I still don't understand what exactly the problem is. I turn to you, the OO Nation (or whatever Rick calls the loyal fan base today), to help me. I looked up the glossary of the beeps for my motherboard (something else I didn't know existed) and determined that four beeps is a “system timing error.”

Could someone explain to me what exactly a “system timing error” is, understanding that I don't know a goddamn thing about the intricacies of electronics, but that I do know most computer terminology? Like, for example, when I replaced the RAM stick, I tried to get one that was as close to the original as possible. I got something with a latency of 9, which I believe is milliseconds; most of the comparable sticks had 11. I know that lower latency is the best, and I also saw that both sticks—the smoked one and the new one—have a “timing” listing of 9-9-9-24-2N. So, what the hell does that mean? What is being timed? Inquiring minds want to know. [Ed. Note: if your new stick and the old one are identical in terms of specs, I officially have no idea. Unless you have to go into BIOS and manually set the timing because of some wonky default setting.]

I assume your inquiring mind wants to know what happened on SmackDown, so I'm going to stop talking about computers and Santa, and start talking about WWE. Let's roll...

Segment 1: We're opening with the gorgeous Renee Young wearing a dress that straddles the line between casual and formal (“sporty”? I don't know fashion terms.), which is always a good idea. This is followed by a bad idea, since she introduces Randy Orton to talk.

Renee goes right for the balls, metaphorically, as she addresses the finish of the Randy Orton/Big Show match at Survivor Series. (I'm not recapping it, since Rick already recapped it.) Orton replies that he was never fully knocked out, and the finish tainted his win, which was so totally legit.

Renee then wants to chat about John Cena's idea to unify the titles, which I admit arouses me almost as much as Renee herself. Renee reminds Orton that “the authorities” accepted Cena's idea, so she asks “How does that make you feel?” I was getting ready to bitch that, for the first time, Renee said something kinda dumb... But when Orton doesn't answer immediately, Renee starts picking at the scab by saying, “Do you feel betrayed? ...Do you feel abandoned? ...Do you feel challenged? ...Do you feel threatened?”

Orton grinds his teeth, getting more annoyed with each adjective. I've never put “Orton” and “subtle” together in a sentence, but here indeed we do see Orton being subtle, as he shows that each adjective is indeed accurate, and cuts all the more. Eventually, Orton just glares at Renee... and leaves. No words, no music. He just cuts out.

Decent opening. I'll let Rick make the obvious joke here since he does it better than me, but I'd like to point out that Orton, by not talking, executed the promo well. From anyone else, it would have seemed silly, but now Renee has a “hard-hitting” (or at least “direct”) reputation with her questioning, so this whole thing seemed picture-perfect. Renee asks tough questions, Orton is a douche who can't handle it, and the storyline (along with character development) advances all the way around. Good stuff.

Segment 2: Vickie Guerrero is throwing a “post-Thanksgiving feast,” and we cross-fade to the back, where several C-listers and Damien Sandow are hanging out. Food is everywhere, the Gobbledy Gooker is hanging out in the background, and... wait... is that...?

RRROOOSSSAAAOOO my god. WHY? Why the hair? It's somehow even more awful in motion than a static screen cap on WWE.com. I mean, okay, My Rosa Mendes is still literally the hottest thing in WWE or possibly ever, but... just... blech. Still, blond hair cannot take away from her shining eyes and adorable face as she looks expectantly up at Vickie, who is making the speech.

(And, yes, My Rosa is the hottest one in the room, despite sitting next to Kaitlyn, who has apparently found a compromise with Seth Rollins and went back to having sort-of two-toned hair by using a shit-ton of highlights. Bite me, Rick.)

Vickie insists that this will not break down into a brawl, which makes My Rosa do adorable claps, or adora-claps if you will. Instead, we're going to have a stupid-as-hell pie eating contest. So we get to see Khali and Titus O'Neil inhale food for a few seconds before fading out to entrances for the next match. Gross.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Mark Henry (w/ Big E. Langston) extend-squashes Curtis Axel (w/ Ryback) by pin. Subpar match, workrate-wise, but I suppose it counts as character development. Basically, the story here is that Axel sucks, and everything he tried, failed. He only managed to score hits because Ryback body splashed Langston on the outside, which distracted Henry. (Note to announcers: that wasn't “bullying,” it was just stupid.)

Then Axel got into trouble, and Ryback tried another distraction, but Langston put him down. Henry hit the World's Strongest Slam, and got the pin. So... whatever. I'm not knocking it since the match gave Henry some more momentum and slightly deflates the heels, but it's not something you really will care about watching.

Segment 4: R-Truth is talking to Some Guy in the back wearing a stupid Power Ranger T-shirt. Uh... let's see... they're watching the guy do an entrance with the Funkadactyls... wait, is this Xavier Woods? He looks like Richard Pryor with a mini-fro. (By the way, I'm too lazy to type “Xavier” as “Eggsavier,” especially since I couldn't give two shits about college hoops. But Rick is welcome to “Find + Replace” the crap out of my Word document, since we'd both win at that point.)

Anyway, Truth and Woods are laughing and having a wonderful time about the fact that Woods was disco-ing his way to the ring, and then Brodus Clay arrives looking pissed. And I sense a heel turn, which honestly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the guy, since I believe he shouldn't be future endeavored just because he got into a rut. The guy is a solid performer (even when he was back in NXT), and a fresh character will likely do wonders.

Clay bitches that Woods, a rookie, has no business taking away shots from vets, so he shoves Woods literally into a locker. Woods isn't taking that shit, so he goes to attack. Tensai appears and, with Truth, keeps them apart. Brodus leaves before diplomacy can be had. Not really a heel turn yet, but the seeds are planted.

Segment 5: The pie-eating contest is still on. AJ and Tamina appear and want to crash it; Vickie is pissed at Titus in principle, so she says that AJ and Tamina can only stay in the party if they agree to take on literally every diva at once later in the ring. AJ pulls a sour grapes and leaves with Tamina in tow.

Back to the contest, Khali passes out face-first into a pie, which is a neat visual. Titus wins, and My Rosa gives a couple hip pops in the background, ostensibly because she's a face, but really because she knows I'm watching. Vickie congratulates Titus for winning... and his prize is a match with Antonio Cesaro. Titus and My Rosa know this is bad: a stomach full of pie plus a Giant Swing with 22 revolutions equals chunky fluid coating the ring, ropes, and first three rows of fans.

Pre-Segment 6: 3MB is now the “Plymouth Rockers.” I really like the idea of 3MB constantly changing their name... reminds me of the “Rock Star News” skit of Monty Python.

Segment 6 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Los Matadores (inc. El Torito) extend-squash 3MB by pin. El Torito has some sweet moves, but the size difference doesn't exactly give him credibility. Still, the dude can fly... is he lucha-trained or something?

Still, let's not pretend this was something it wasn't. The crowd was dead and couldn't even be goosed into being fired up when Torito was illegal and was teasing being hot tagged.

Segment 7 [Tag Match]: Brodus Clay & Sweet T (w/ Funkadactyls) defeat Xavier Woods & R-Truth by pin. Truth and T started off with a Handshake of Mutual Respect. Nice touch.

Short match, practically an extended squash, but it told a story. The guys start off with a couple moves and dance between each before getting serious. Both guys knock each other down after an exchange. Truth does a diving tag to Xavier, who goes with an early House of Fire. He opens by ducking under T and punching Brodus (still illegal) in face. Not wise, kid.

Given this is the first time I've seen the guy, I'm fairly pleased , even though it's mostly punchy-kick offense. After taking an enziguri T falls into Brodus, who tags himself in. Brodus isn't going to play around here; he smashes Xavier's head repeatedly to put him down, then hits a middle-rope body splash. Pin, three, done.

After the match, Truth dives on Xavier to stop any follow-up. Brodus talks some shit before getting into the groove and dancing... but T and the Funkadactyls don't quite get on board at first. Eventually, once Truth gets Xavier out of the ring, only then do the other faces decide to dance along.

No workrate here, really, but it plants seeds for a feud and a turn... can't argue with that if you like sustainable episodic TV.

Segment 8: Renee is in the back and interviews CM Punk, who says that he's worried about Daniel Bryan, who still hasn't been seen since being dragged off by the Wyatt Family on Monday. But because this is professional wrestling and missing persons reports are for pussies, Punk instead focuses on the fact that he's got bruised ribs from Roman Reign's Spear that same night. Punk has no idea why The Shield has now targeted him, but posits that it's probably because they were just acting on orders from Triple H or Stephanie McMahon. Either way, Punk is totally going to get to the bottom of it.

Segment 9: After a RAW recap of the Wyatt Family's aforementioned activities, we get the WF on the Titantron. Bray Wyatt starts off by looking like he's inhaling peyote smoke, but then says that he gets visions while he dreams. He sees “mannequins posing as people,” and while he's felt the “sharp teeth of society,” he grows stronger by the day, and “got his wings back.” Creepy as shit, and it doesn't translate to text at all. But trust me, it's awesome.

Anyway, he concludes that DB is “safe” with them, and that he's “going to enter the Lion's Den a man, but emerge as a monster.” Single-frame goat mask, and we're out.

Like I said... creepy as shit. And all awesome. WWE needed the Wyatt Family, fo' sho.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Antonio Cesaro (w/ Real Americans) squashes Titus O'Neil (w/ Darren Young) by disqualification. It's a very rare “yes, this squash is actually worth recapping” moment here on OO. These are less frequent than unicorn sightings.

So, you can probably figure out the flow here... Cesaro does a stomach-targeting move, Titus pretends to heave. Titus does a move of any kind, and then pretends to heave. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then, Cesaro goes for the Giant Swing, and Darren Young clotheslines his head off after a measly five revolutions.

Post-Segment 10: After the match, Titus vomits into JBL's hat, which is censored, thank god. And then Titus puts the hat on Michael Cole's head, which is not censored, and is chunky. Whether or not that was fake vomit, that seriously almost made me vomit.

Then Titus stumbles around, and proceeds to puke on Zeb Colter's head.

Ugh. Okay, two seconds of the “vomiting into the hat” deal bordered on funny... everything after that was just awful. The live crowd apparently enjoyed it, but... just... ugh.

Segment 11: The cast of Total Divas wants to sell you shit. I'd drool over Eva Marie, but given what I just had to endure, even her super-hotness isn't enough for me to offset my disgust.

Segment 12: RAW recap of everything concerning the main champions.

Segment 13 [Tag Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles]: Cody Rhodes & Goldust defeat The Shield (w/ Dean Ambrose) by disqualification, and retain. Boxing-style intros for this one. They don't usually do that for the Tag Team Titles, do they?

Feeling-out to start, mostly headlocks and jockeying for position. The faces get the advantage and make Rollins their bitch, but they can't keep him contained forever. Rollins tags out to Reigns, who quickly takes control of the match and chucks Goldust out of the ring. But it's too early for him to fall apart, so Goldust reenters the ring. This time he holds his own, and when Rollins comes in to play, Cody is there. The faces clean house, the heels are on east/west opposite sides of the ring, and we go to ads.

Back, and the faces are still in control, surprisingly. Cody has Rollins's head locked, alternating between with his arm and his legs. Rollins finally takes a little control when he turns an Alabama Slam into a Sunset Flip, followed by an enziguri. From there, Rollins tags out, Reigns takes control, and the heel beatdown is on. Quick tags, cutting the ring in half, you know the drill.

Cody's rally concluded with a huge high angle body drop that sent Seth Rollins flying over the top rope by like fifty feet. False hot tag to Goldust, who went House of Fire. He even took down Reigns twice with a cross body and a power slam, but couldn't close the deal. Rollins tried to get involved at that point, but Goldust caught him and clotheslined him over the top. Reigns recovered enough to clothesline Goldust over the top rope, so with bodies strewn everywhere, we got our second commercial break.

Back again, and the heels are in control... again. Goldust's hope spots are more frequent and longer, and he eventually gets the advantage after a series of moves concluding with a strong DDT. Both guys are down in the middle of the ring, and Reigns stops Goldust's attempted tag. Reigns manages to take Goldust down and goes for the pin, but Cody breaks it up.

The heel beatdown resumes as Reigns goes roughneck. This is on top of a fairly significant cut under Reign's right eye, which draws JBL making an actual contribution. He points out that if you're going to get a cut near the eye, it's best to have it on the cheek, so you don't have blood running into the eyeball. Good stuff... I like it when the color commentator treats it like an actual, you know, athletic contest.

Reigns tags out, and they try to double Irish Whip him to the heels' corner. However, he catches himself and rebounds with double elbows. True hot tag to Cody, who goes House of Fire, but his rally is stopped in short order by Rollins. However, Rollins gets too greedy with a high risk move, and he eats a rather sick suplex... it was pretty much like Ryback's Shell Shock, but coming from Cody, it had a little less power to it.

Regardless, it works well, and Cody makes the pin. Reigns breaks it up at two, Goldust arrives to send him flying. They exchange blows outside the ring, and Reigns flings Goldust into the barricade. At some point, Rollins got over there too, and Cody takes them both out with a flying cross body.

Cody flings Rollins back in the ring, but whiffs on the moonsault. Rollins goes to the top rope, but whiffs on a springboard kick. Cody quickly grabs him and hits Cross Rhodes, then goes for the pin. Dean Ambrose, who had been on commentary, hits the ring and breaks it up.

Post-Segment 13: Ambrose delivers a couple stomps to Cody, and then Punk arrives with a chair. He tajes out Reigns, then slides in the ring, and The Shield retreats. Alrighty.

Then Vickie Guerrero pops up on the Titantron and makes it a six-man tag match. Huh, all right... after ads, anyway.

Segment 14 [Six-Man Tag Match]: CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, & Goldust defeat The Shield by disqualification. Back directly from ads, and apparently, Punk is legal and hasn't stopped a rally. He's beating the shit out of Dean Ambrose, and the faces start quick tags and cutting the ring in half to keep Ambrose contained. Ambrose managed a tag at one point to Rollins, but Punk and the other faces controlled him too.

This came to a head when Punk was legal with Rollins. Punk did what I think is called a bridging reverse STF, basically locking Rollins's leg and neck while literally bending over backwards over the guy. Then Cody decided to join in on the fun by tagging himself in and applying a single leg crab to Rollins's other leg at the same time. Holy crap... that's got to hurt.

But then Cody makes a single mistake, Rollins tags out, and Ambrose kicks the shit out of Cody. The commentators probably should have pointed out that Ambrose is technically fresh (since he wasn't in a full-length match a few minutes ago, unlike Cody), but they don't. We do, however, go to ads. I think that makes this the fifth ad break since this segment started.

Back, and Ambrose is still controlling Cody, thus a tertiary heel beatdown sequence. It's time-compressed, and Cody false hot tags out to Punk. Punk pretty much dominates Ambrose, then readies the GTS.

Then the lights go out, and the Wyatt Family appears at the bottom of the ramp. They don't do anything, but they distract Punk, who quickly falls to The Shield and their quick tags. Also time-compressed, and Punk hits a hope spot as he does a nifty simultaneous move, hitting Rollins with a reverse neck breaker with one arm and Ambrose with at DDT with the other.

Punk crawls toward the corner, but then the Wyatt Family attacks the illegal faces, drawing the DQ.

Post-Segment 14: The Wyatt Family pounds on Goldust and Cody as Punk has to deal with the entirety of The Shield. Then the Usos come down to help out, followed quickly by Rey Mysterio. Total clusterfuck, baby.

Vickie then pops out to bitch out everyone. She wants order, goddamnit! So this is a 12-Man Tag Match, so there!

...after ads.

Segment 15 [Twelve-Man Tag Match]: CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, & The Usos defeat The Wyatt Family & The Shield by pin. As we come back, it's Luke Harper who's dominating an Uso. Rollins is there to help out the heels, and we get a heel beatdown sequence. Quick tags, mostly the Wyatt Family doing stuff. The commentators seem deflated suddenly... almost somber. Did something happen, or are they just getting tired? They're speaking a lot less frequently, and when they do, it's a bit quiet and detached.

The Uso manages a hot tag to Rey, who goes ballistic on Harper... for a few seconds, until he eats a stiff big boot. Now it's Rey's turn to be a face in peril, and again it's mostly the Wyatt Family doing the attacking. Rey's hope spot concludes with a hot tag to Punk, who quickly contains Eric Rowan. Rowan hits the west ringside, and Punk does a suicide dive to take him down.

The fight gets back in the ring, and Punk continues to beat the shit out of Rowan with a triple jumping knee to the face in the corner. Punk then climbed to the top rope and hit a Macho Man Elbow Drop. Pin attempt, broken up by everyone. Thus starts the clusterfuck sequence, everybody powders out.

Punk is left with Rowan, Punk tries a GTS, but Bray ends that. Bray tries a Sister Abigail on Punk, but Rey breaks it up. Rowan wants a piece of Rey, Rey counters with a 619, Punk hits Rowan with a GTS, and we're done. Show concludes with a very happy crowd celebrating with all six faces.

Final Thoughts: In a vacuum, the third part of the main event was a little subpar, but holy shit was the whole sequence awesome. You never knew where exactly the match would stop, and given WWE's propensity for non-finishes, I figured we'd get another one. After all, each part lasted a full match length. I wasn't surprised when the first part ended in a DQ, but was surprised it was restarted; I was somewhat surprised when the second part ended in a DQ, but was greatly surprised when it was restarted. Very cool sequence of matches, and the original four (Goldust, Cody, Rollins, and Reigns) were probably a little gassed by the end. Or, maybe not, since they had plenty of rest time as more wrestlers were added to the mayhem.

The main event left a good taste in my mouth, which was great, given that the rest of the episode annoyed the shit out of me. I know WWE phones it in for holiday episodes, but the first 90 minutes were... just... awful. Xavier Woods's storyline and feud start was pretty cool, but the accompanying match (and literally everything else) was annoying or actively aggravating. But you'll seriously want to YouTube the main event sequence, so, uh, split grade.

That's all from me, guys. I hope you enjoyed your holiday, and hopefully you didn't do anything stupid on Black Friday. Rick is back on Tuesday with the RAW recap, and I'm going to try to nurse this headache so my stint as Santa tomorrow is more Edmund Gwenn and less Billy Bob Thorton.

Episode Grade: A (main event), D (everything else)


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