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Wrestling, Wrestling, and More Wrestling
February 8, 2014

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Follow Pyro's Tweets
on Twitter --/-- View Pyro's Videos on Youtube


Not much to talk about tonight, folks. Well, nothing you want to hear about, anyway. I hate being the type of person who focuses on the negative; despite any positives in my life and my various successes (or at least what I consider a success), at the present time I can only focus on my financial failures. Hopefully I'll pull out of it soon.

But for now, let's kill two hours with SmackDown. It'll help take my mind off things.

Segment 1: Daniel Bryan hits the ring first and gives us a cheap pop, then recaps that he totally won against Randy Orton on Monday, and that The Authority said they “might consider him” the new face of WWE. But here's the thing: he doesn't want to be the face of WWE, he just wants to be himself. And regardless, The Authority showed their true intent when, after the bell rang in his match, Korporate Kane came out of chokeslam Daniel Bryan in half after trying to get involved in the match. After a replay of that, DB calls out Kane to ask how his former tag team partner could become a douche.

Kane does come out and issues a canned apology. DB wants to know what exactly is going through Kane's mind, reminding him unironically about their time hugging it out with Dr. Shelby and the “I am the Tag Team Champions!” arguments, which at this point seems like a lifetime ago. DB encourages Kane to stop being a corporate mouthpiece and return to being the devil's favorite demon or whatever. The fans chant “Yes!” to talk him into it too.

But Kane says that their history is just that; that he traded his “from the bowels of the building” to a corner office, and he's fine with it. The fans chant “You sold out!,” and Kane just sort of looks around and nods a concession. He repeats the quote that in WWE you can make friends or money, and he's doing well right now. DB argues that he's “doing well” too since he's got an entire arena full of friends, the third cheap pop of the promo. DB concludes that since they aren't friends, why don't they have a match and settle things?

Kane declines, but hey, he's got an opponent for DB anyway! Specifically, Antonio Cesaro, which doesn't seem that intimidating. But hey, they're both in the Elimination Chamber match, so that's something.

Segment 2 [Tag Match]: The Shield defeats Dolph Ziggler & Kofi Kingston by pin. The story here is that it's Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns teaming together, the two members of The Shield who may not be on the best terms. Seth Rollins is on commentary as he tries to convince Michael Cole that the whole team is copacetic.

Standard feeling out to start with the faces getting the better of it over Ambrose. After a few near-falls, Ambrose drives Dolph over to the heels' corner, and Reigns tags himself in. After that, they contain Dolph and cut the ring in half. Dolph gets some space and manages to hit a hot tag, letting Kofi go house of fire... for a moment, until Ambrose stops that cold and guillotines Kofi on the top rope. Kofi is the face in peril as we go to ads.

Back, and Kofi is wholly contained. Things start to turn when Ambrose tries to set him up for his signature top rope double underhook suplex. Kofi blocks it and delivers a top rope splash, then manages the true hot tag after a short exchange. Dolph goes house of fire and hits his moves of doom, but whiffs on the Famous-Er as Reigns counters it into a side slam.

With Dolph down, Reigns retreats to the heels' corner and punches the mat, signaling for the Superman punch. Just then, Ambrose hops up on the apron and tries to tag himself in, as he did on Monday. Reigns catches him with his peripheral vision, then backs off a step. They glare at each other, allowing Kofi to sneak up behind Ambrose and pull him off the apron.

Reigns shrugs, then turns around to deal with Dolph. But by now, Dolph is recovered, so he hits a jumping DDT out of nowhere. Pin, but only two.

Rollins then takes off the headset to distract Kofi, giving Ambrose a chance to chuck him into the barricade. Meanwhile in the ring, Dolph goes for the Zig Zag, but Reigns blocks it by holding onto the top rope. Dolph's momentum carries him to the opposite ropes, which he bounces off of. But as he comes back, Reigns hits the Superman Punch. Dolph got up from that slowly, and was cut in half with the Spear.

With Dolph finished, Reigns... backs up to the heels' corner? He “tags” Ambrose by backhanding him in the chest. Ambrose smiles, scrambles into the ring, then makes the pin.

Subtle, and very cute. Is Reigns showing the team spirit by letting Ambrose pick up the official W? Or is he just being a cocky asshole by showing that he's doing all the work? After the bell, Reigns holds up Ambrose's hand in victory, but Reigns's smile probably isn't a cheery one. It's weird enough that Rollins slides in the ring and separates them, just to make sure there aren't any shenanigans, even though neither guy is aggressive.

Excellent match overall, no complaints.

Post-Segment 2: The Shield can't celebrate for too long, since the lights die and are replaced by The Wyatt Family on the Titantron. Bray finds the bickering between The Shield hilarious, and that they see him (Bray) as a joke. Then Bray gets creepy and serious as he rhetorically says that they should see the monster behind his eyes.

Creepy. There was an episode of The Colbert Report last week that featured Justin Tuck giving Stephen Colbert a look of doom and aggression... it's arguable that Bray Wyatt was able to just out-intimidate Justin Tuck. Well, expression-wise, anyway.

Luke Harper follows up that “those who deny us will be the first ones to burn.” Harper also has nailed the creepy look, and I may need to change my pants after that promo.

Follow the buzzards.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel) by pin. Tests of strength to start out, with Sheamus eventually getting the better of it. Curtis Axel presently tried to trip him up after the first takedown. The ref caught him but did nothing, not that it mattered; although Sheamus was momentarily distracted, he still kept the offense. After taking down Ryback the second time, Sheamus exited the ring to nail him with a Brogue Kick.

Sheamus tried to enter the ring from there; Ryback tried to cut him off, but Sheamus caught him. Sheamus went for the 10 of Clubs but only got to 4 when Ryback fought out of it, then took control. I think that's the first time the 10 of Clubs has ever been broken.

Ryback with the offense and heel beatdown sequence from there, doing a decent job of power moves and shoulder locks. But then Ryback decides to go to the top rope for the first time in his career, then whiffs on a splash. Good move and impressive-looking, baby, even if it was a whiff.

From there, Sheamus gets his rally with punchy-punchy. Sheamus whiffed on a running knee but dodged Ryback's counter, then re-countered with a nice stiff scoop slam. Sheamus retreated to a corner and signaled the Brogue Kick, but when he went for hit, Ryback caught him under the kick, lifted him up, and turned it into a sweet powerbomb. Holy crap, I forgot that Ryback actually has a move set. Ryback went for the pin, but only got a two.

Then it was Ryback's turn to back up and ready his finisher, the Meathook Clothesline. But when he went for it, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick out of nowhere and made the pin.

Very good match, better than I thought it would be. Short enough to hide Ryback's lack of stamina, and a surprisingly good showing from Ryback with new moves and inventive counters.

Segment 4: In the weekly Triple H/Michael Cole sit-down discussion, Trips basically says that all these things he's doing to Orton is just tough love. Tonight, Orton will have to deal with Christian; Trips says that on Monday, Orton will face John Cena, which will totally be an “epic main event.”

Ugh. I get the story that they want Orton to take on each of the others in the Elimination Chamber, but it never occurred to me that it means we'll get Orton/Cena again, after no one gave a shit at Royal Rumble, and everyone will give even less of a shit this time. Hopefully they'll keep that match short or overbooked so we don't have to deal with it longer than necessary.

Segment 5: Hype for the WWE Network.

Segment 6: Renee Young interviews Alberto Del Rio, who talks some shit about Batista and mixes his metaphors, insisting that he's “going to turn Batista into a little puppy […] that drinks milk out of a saucer.” The hell?

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats Antonio Cesaro (w/ The Real Americans) by pin. Light chain wrestling to start, but Cesaro takes the advantage with power moves. It doesn't last, and they do this weird spot where they're holding hands, sort of like doing the “Mercy” game, but while DB is on his back. DB fights to get up from that but Cesaro, still holding on, tries to execute a monkey flip. DB, again still holding on, uses that momentum to just get up on Cesaro's shoulders, then executes a huracanrana. The crowd pops, but not as loudly at that sequence deserves.

Cesaro maintains his general momentum however, mostly with power again. However, when he pauses to taunt after a slam, it gives DB a moment to breathe. DB presently hits a hip toss-to-arm lock, but then Cesaro just dead lifts him and slams him down to take back control. Jesus Cesaro, enough with the dead lifts, buddy!

Cesaro back in control with slams and suplexes, then chin locks. DB manages a rally but Cesaro cuts that one short too, leading us to ads.

Back, and Cesaro is still in control. After a big boot, Cesaro whiffs a charge and crashes to ringside. When he stands, DB goes for a running flying knee off the apron. Cesaro dodges it, but DB nails Jack Swagger instead. Cesaro tries a charge against DB, but DB dodges that, and Cesaro crashes into the apron. Nice little exchange.

Back in the ring, DB tries a top rope something-or-other and eats a European Uppercut. Pin from Cesaro, only two.

Cesaro lets DB get to his feet, then wants the Giant Swing. DB slips out but gets beheaded by a clothesline. Both guys slip out of each other's finishers, then DB hits a swinging tilt-a-whirl head scissors into the Yes Lock, a damn fine out-of-nowhere variation of his finisher. Cesaro lies in the dead center of the ring, meaning he's got no choice but to tap.

Solid match with good action and a hot crowd. No complaints.

Post-Segment 7: Kane's pyros and music activate, and Kane pops out to the stage. DB glares at him, giving Cesaro a chance to nail him in the back of the head. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer as Kane reaches the ring. The heels bail, and Kane chokeslams DB for no apparent reason, then blows his corner pyros.

Huh. Well, that opening apology was apparently pure bullshit. Who would have guessed?!

Segment 8: Renee Young is back at it, this time interviewing Randy Orton, who cuts a generic promo to put himself over.

Segment 9: WWE is honoring people for Black History Month, and tonight honors Ernie “The Big Cat” Ladd, who I've never heard of, but who is apparently in the WWE Hall of Fame. The montage is neat, so you may want to give it a watch.

Segment 10: The scary blond Russian lady cuts a pre-taped promo to hype Alexander Rusev. Generic, but it works.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: AJ (w/ Tamina) defeats Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella) by submission. Basic back-and-forth to start off with Nikki getting the better of it. AJ takes control after Nikki whiffs a corner charge, and AJ goes for a standing scissored rear naked choke... meaning we've got ourselves a rest hold less than a minute in.

Nikki breaks the hold but can't answer with any moves for a moment, then hits a bizarre snapmare or chinbreaker thing. She gets a “rally” to absolutely no heat and lightly botches a back body drop. Nikki then stands AJ up and prepares for something finisher-related, so Tamina hops up on the apron. This draws Brie over, and they argue.

Nikki yells at them both, then picks AJ up by her hair and flings her into Brie of all targets, sending Brie flying into the announcers' table. Nikki shows concern for Brie, giving AJ a chance to kick her in the face and lock on the Black Widow.

Well that match sucked. Nikki has shown signs of being better than that (even though we all know Brie is more ring-capable), and the match totally suffered from being overly short. I'd be a broken record by pointing out that I hate it when the divas get under two minutes and are expected to tell a story, but it's got to be said.

Segment 12: After a replay of Titus O'Neil's turn last week, Titus appears on the Titantron. In a cute moment, he says that his guest at this time is Renee Young, who totally wanted an exclusive interview with him. So Renee appears and looks confused more than anything, but asks her questions as Titus holds the mic.

Titus says that Darren Young may have been called “Mr. No Days Off,” but for 731 days has been “off” his game. Titus tries to count how many championships he could have won in 731 days but decides against taking off his shoes to help himself count (yes, that's a real thing that happened). Titus says that Darren has his good qualities, but that Titus is better in every way! That includes his smell! And to prove his point, he pulls Renee in close so she can get a strong whiff of his armpit. Renee makes an adorable “I'm not paid enough for this shit” expression while simultaneously trying not to laugh. I love Renee.

Titus goes on that he even has a brighter smile than Young, and accompanies that with a creepy smile and ridiculous giggle that sounds more at home with an Austin Powers villain. He declares that from now on, the only extra weight he'll be carrying around is gold.

Titus wraps up with another cute moment as he says that Renee did a so totally awesome job at this interview. He hands her the mic and tells her to run along while pointing in two opposite directions, making Renee have this “lost puppy” look as she decides to scramble away stage left. It makes me want to adopt her and pet her.

Titus watches her go while still giggling, which is cut off when Young enters stage right and beats the piss out of him. Young has a different hair cut now, and with it apparently comes super aggression, since despite two refs arriving, he doesn't take a single punch, instead dishing out all the punishment.

That whole sequence was solid. Titus remains a heel by cutting a bullshit and patronizing promo with aplomb, and Darren gets the “win” in the physical confrontation. Can't ask for more.

Pre-Segment 13: Prior to their match, Goldust and Cody Rhodes cut a to-camera interview where they say that they're desperate to win back their titles. So desperate that Cody decided a moonsault off the top of the cage was a good idea last week, and Goldust declares that he'll take the same type of risk this week. We'll see.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Bray Wyatt (w/ the Wyatt Family) defeats Goldust (w/ Cody Rhodes) by pin. Goldust wins the first mini-exchange, Bray wins the second. The second ends with a bizarre moment when Goldust is flung into the corner, and Bray goes for a charge. Goldust dodges it, and in professional wrestling, this should mean that Bray slams his chest into the corner. Instead, at the moment of impact, Bray just grabs the top ropes and does his backwards upside-down smiling glare. It was weird enough for Goldust to be creeped out, and that's saying something.

Bray takes control from there with punchy-punchy offense. Goldust gets a rally after breaking out of a nerve hold, finishing by hitting his signature spinebuster. Bray bails, but Goldust isn't having it, so he goes to the apron and hits a flying senton to ringside.

Bray is taken down but this draws the attention of Eric Rowan and Luke Harper, which in turn draws the attention of Cody Rhodes. No one attacks until Goldust throws Bray back in the ring; then the Wyatt pair start assaulting Cody. Goldust is thus distracted, allowing Bray to guillotine Goldust on the top rope.

The Wyatt pair back away from Cody since he's down. Bray finishes Goldust with the Sister Abigail, and that's that.

Decent match, but nothing special. Afterward, the Family got in the ring to pose, so Cody quickly scrambled into the ring to cover Goldust, just in case the Wyatts tried to be massive jerks. Bray smiled and laughed at Cody's chivalry.

Post-Segment 13: ...But we're not sure if the Wyatts were actually going to do anything, as The Shield appeared on the Titantron to talk shit. The three men issue threats while putting themselves over, including Seth Rollins saying he's “going to scrape your beards off with the bottom of my boot,” which is one of the most gringe-worthy things I've heard in a long time.

They manage to get through the promo without bickering, and they appear more united than ever. Bray responds by shouting nonsense away from a mic, but it's fairly intense.

Segment 14 [Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats Christian by pin. Opening exchanges are even, Orton takes momentum with early punchy-kicky. Orton takes some damage as he flies out of the ring, but he dodges Christian's vaulting body press before taking the fight back in. After an exchange, Orton gets back body dropped out of the ring, and Christian follows up with a top rope cross body to ringside. Damn, nice... and brings us to ads.

Back, and Christian dodges an attack that winds up putting Orton on his back in the corner. Christian slides out and teases that he's going to crotch Orton on the ring post, but Orton uses his leg strength to pull Christian, making him slam his face into the post. Orton slides out of the ring to follow up by using the barricade to side slam Christian, which can't feel good. Orton flings him back in the ring and tries a pin but only gets a two.

Orton continues the offense, fighting off a couple rallies from Christian. Christian takes the momentum after slipping out of the Hangman's DDT and countering with his signature “vault to the outside and slap opponent” move. Christian whiffs on a follow up frog splash, and then Orton hits the Hangman's DDT. Rather than taking advantage, he starts humping the ring. Christian quickly catches him in mid-hump and delivers a back slide, but only gets a two-count.

Christian quickly transitions to go for a Killswitch. Orton slips out and shoves Christian to the corner. Christian hops up on the middle rope and bounces off with a rebound shoulder block. Orton catches him in midair with an RKO out of nowhere, and makes the pin.

Good match and did what it needed to do in terms of storyline, but it's not something you need to go out of your way for.

Final Thoughts: Decent night overall, with most stories advancing. It was a focus on the undercard tonight, which was kind of nice... I don't mind when they leave the upper card to RAW and the undercard to SmackDown. Seems like a nice balance to me. Regardless, it's not really worth going out of your way to watch, but there have been worse episodes.

I've got nothing left, so I'll leave the recap here and see you next week.

Episode Grade: B-


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