WWE Smackdown Report CALDWELL'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/17: Complete "virtual time" coverage of Smackdown on Syfy - final hype for TLC PPV, Miz vs. Mysterio
Dec 17, 2010 - 9:02:58 PM
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WWE Smackdown TV Report
December 17, 2010
Taped in Lafayette, La.
Aired on Syfy
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
After the standard WWE Smackdown intro video, tonight's episode leading to the TLC PPV opened with Josh Mathews introducing the show and plugging TLC. Edge's music hit to kick things off.
In-ring: Edge strolled to the ring in street clothes as Mathews described him as the #1 contender to the World Title and Slammy Award winner. Ringside, Michael Cole held up his two Slammy Awards as Matt Striker looked on disapprovingly. In the ring, Edge said the last four weeks with Kane and Paul Bearer have been quite bizarre. He said he put together a video to explain how bizarre things have been. Cue up a video package played for comedy showing Kane running up and down steps in fast-forward, running backstage, pushing over wheelchairs, and yelling at Edge before Bearer met his demise.
Back to Edge in the ring, who said he did all those things playing with Kane's mind for one reason: Kane. He said Kane is evil. He terrorizes people and ruins people's lives for his own amusement. Edge reminded viewers that Kane terrorized the entire Smackdown roster this summer making accusations when he put out Undertaker himself. He said Kane used Bearer as a pawn to bury Undertaker alive. Did he go too far stooping down to Kane's level? Edge said he believes the end justified the means because it worked. He claimed to have one-upped Kane in the mind games department, so it will be all worth it this Sunday when he faces Kane in a TLC match on Sunday and becomes 10-time World champion. The crowd popped and Edge tossed the mic aside. His music hit and he looked into the crowd before leaving the ring.
Miz video: Cole, of course, fed to a video package on The Miz's appearance on Jimmy Fallon's NBC talk show on Wednesday. They tapped into the NBC Universal partnership to air clips of the actual footage rather than a video package recap. Ultimate Warrior's name was back on WWE TV with Miz name-dropping Warrior and The Rockers as his inspiration.
Still to come tonight: Miz comes to Smackdown to face Rey Mysterio in a re-match from Raw.
Backstage: Teddy Long was looking around nervously, then he brought in Edge. Long said Kane is so mentally distraught after last week that he's not sure if Kane will be here tonight or at the TLC PPV. Edge said he doesn't want to win the title by forfeit, so what should they do? Alberto Del Rio slowly walked in and said he can destroy this loser (Edge). Rey Mysterio barged in and said he deserves a title shot more than Del Rio. They started arguing, then Long calmed them down and said he's booking a triple threat World Title match if Kane does not show up. Del Rio asked what the back-up plan is. If Kane shows up, it will be a Fatal Four-way TLC match at the PPV. Del Rio and Rey walked off, then Long warned Edge about what might happen if Kane shows up. Edge sold mild concern.
In-ring: Kofi Kingston came to the ring as Mathews recapped the big news coming from Long's office that there will be a triple threat or four-way TLC match for the World Title on Sunday. Of course, if Kane doesn't show up, then there isn't a title belt to fight over. Kaval joined Kofi in the ring, then IC champ Dolph Ziggler came to the ring with Vickie Guerrero. Cole said he's concerned about Kane's mental state. The other announcers were not. Jack Swagger was out last to join Ziggler for an opening tag match. Prior to the match, they replayed the end of Kofi challenging Ziggler for the IC Title last week when Swagger interfered and cost Kofi the title.
1 -- IC champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) & JACK SWAGGER vs. KOFI KINGSTON & KAVAL
Kaval and Swagger opened things up trading offense, then Kaval went for a handspring elbow smash that Swagger tried to counter into a bodyslam. Kaval escaped, then knocked Swagger to the outside. On the other side of the ring, Kofi knocked Ziggler to the floor. Kaval and Kofi then crisscrossed the ring with suicide dives on the heels, who were recovering on the floor. Striker plugged TLC offering that type of action x100. The babyfaces returned to the ring and fired up the crowd leading to break.
Back from break, Swagger was working over Kaval as the crowd chanted for Kofi. Cole made an absolute statement that all high-flyers are eventually grounded as they showed footage during the commercial of Swagger and Ziggler cutting off Kaval's offense. Meanwhile, Mathews wanted to know why Swagger was allowed into the IC Title match at TLC just because he interfered in Dolph-Kofi last week. Kaval suddenly slipped out of a powerbomb into a double stomp to the chest.
The crowd got into it as Kaval inched toward Kofi to make a tag. Kofi came in hot with a high cross-body splash on Ziggler followed by the Boom Drop. Kofi then wanted Trouble in Paradise, Ziggler blocked, and Kofi transitioned into the SOS. The action broke down as Kaval cleared Swagger to the floor. Ziggler tried a roll-up on Kofi in the confusion, but Kofi escaped and flowed into the Trouble in Paradise kick for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Kingston and Kaval celebrated on the way out of the ring. In the ring, Swagger helped up Kofi, then dropped him with a right hand. Vickie, naturally upset, entered the ring and screamed at Swagger. "Who do you think you are?!" Vickie asked.
WINNER: Kingston & Kaval in 12:00. Decent tag match with a quick pace as WWE tried to use Kofi and Kaval's high-flying offense to sell the potential excitement of a three-way ladder match at the PPV. It probably won't move any PPVs because it's an undercard bout, but the match could be a show-stealer. (**)
Backstage: Jack Korpela brought in Smackdown's "special guest" tonight, WWE champion The Miz. Alex Riley accompanied Miz, apparently just as "guest." Miz wanted to know why he's here on Smackdown. He said he already beat Rey on Raw. Miz said the real reason he's here is because he's in-demand all day, every day. Monday - Rey on Raw. Tuesday - media all day. Wednesday - Jimmy Fallon and guest at the Knicks game. Thursday - VIP at the hottest club in NYC. Friday - Smackdown. Saturday - Tribute to the Troops. Sunday - Riley interrupted: "And a partridge in pear tree!" Miz looked him down, then vowed to put Orton through a table at the PPV on Sunday. Miz said he is the present, future, and he's awesome. Miz has really developed a main event swagger.
New talk show: it's JTG "Straight out of Brooklyn." JTG plugged TLC in Houston on Sunday before suggesting they send King Sheamus to Miami to replace "King" LeBron James. JTG said Miz says he's must-see, but he must see Orton put him through a table. He knocked Alberto Del Rio's money problems. He made a Justin Bieber joke that drew laughs from the live crowd watching the segment on the video screen. I'm reminded of an item on WWE Corporate's job listing for a Creative Writer: "Plugged into pop culture and trends."
"Earlier this week": Kelly Kelly and Kaitlyn were looking in the mirror, then Drew McIntyre interrupted. He approached Kelly to tell her he's sorry about what Tyson Kidd said about her on Raw. Kelly, limited in her talking points, wasn't buying Mac's nice-guy act. McIntyre said who he is in the ring is different from who he is outside of the ring and he's looking to know Kelly more. Kaitlyn interrupted and ran interference that Kelly already has plans.
Grooming tips: Cody Rhodes instructed viewers on how to blow-dry their hair appropriately. Dashing.
WWE Week: They plugged WWE Week on USA Network next week. Announcers: Back on the broadcast, Cole plugged "Tribute to the Troops" airing on NBC tomorrow night. The announcers then traded jabs about each other's fashion and appearance, which fed right into Cody Rhodes coming to the ring for the next match. Chris Masters came out as Rhodes's opponent after a Masterlock Challenge victory last week.
2 -- CHRIS MASTERS vs. CODY RHODES
Rhodes tried to avoid any blows to the face, so Masters slapped him across the jaw before landing a big gorilla press slam. Rhodes came back with kick in the corner, then suddenly snapped off Cross Rhodes. It was good for the win. The announcers said it was a "back and forth" affair, which pretty much gave away how much they edited this match since it went less than two minutes.
WINNER: Rhodes in 2:00. That was abrupt and unmemorable. Rhodes needs something tangible to get his hands on to make magic on Smackdown. (n/a)
Backstage: Rey Mysterio was shown walking down the hallway in anticipation of facing The Miz next.
In-ring: Rey Mysterio was out first to face The Miz as the announcers plugged Tribute to the Troops tomorrow night on NBC. Pause. The Miz's music hit to bring out Miz and Alex Riley. They cut to Cole applauding as the other announcers looked at Cole with disdain. They proceeded to plug all of the media appearances and exposure for Miz the last two weeks to keep playing up the "most must-see champion of all-time" label.
3 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) vs. REY MYSTERIO -- non-title match
Nice feeling-out process to start, then Rey clobbered Miz in the corner with a cannonball splash. Miz wanted a top rope moonsault, but Miz crotched him and began working on the left leg/ankle. Riley landed a cheap shot on Rey behind the ref's back as Cole reset the events tonight with a four-way (or three-way) World Title match booked for TLC in Houston. On the Raw side, Cole noted Miz has an opportunity to validate his "advantageous" WWE Title victory via Money in the Bank cash-in with a victory over Orton at the PPV. That was a good point brought up by a caller on the Livecast today, which WWE really could have reinforced on Raw leading to the PPV. Before cutting to break, Mysterio took out Riley on the outside with a running sentaun from the ring apron.
Back from break, WWE had a very shaky hard camera as Miz and Rey traded control center-ring with the crowd hot for the exchange. Miz landed a turnaround cross-body splash off the ropes, which was good for a two count. Miz then cut off Rey yet again by ramming him into the turnbuckles. Miz wanted a top-rope move, but Rey cut him off. Back and forth action here.
Rey then snapped off a top-rope huracanrana for a two count. Striker noted Rey has the home court advantage compared to Monday on Raw. Rey wanted the 619, but Del Rio came out of nowhere tripping Rey from the floor. It was good for a two count only from Miz. Rey then kicked Del Rio on the floor, which drew a pop from the crowd. Rey wanted a springboard splash, but Miz got his knees up to block. Miz then made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Miz in 13:00. Good, back-and-forth match that was a step-up from their match on Raw. Miz continues to improve in the important area of selling intensity with his eyes, with the camera zooming in tight on his facial expressions looking for a story in the ring. (**1/2)
Post-match: Del Rio tried to attack Rey, but Edge made the save. Miz got involved and a four-way brawl broke out. Edge and Rey cleared the heels, then Long stepped out on stage. Long said everyone seems to want some action tonight, including Miz, who he said "hasn't proven anything." He then booked a tag match later tonight: Miz & Del Rio vs. Edge & Rey. The crowd liked the sound of that. Cole said he thinks that's awesome...because they get to see Miz again. After the announcement, the director cut back and forth between Edge and Miz, who sold intensity with his eyes.
In-ring: After a video package recapping the Divas table match booked for the TLC PPV, Lay-Cool strolled to the ring to complain about the tables match. They played classic heels trying to back out of the match, then Natalya and Beth Phoenix came out to the ring holding a rather large table wrapped up like a Christmas present. Lay-Cool did their insults toward Beth and Natalya, who then removed the wrapping paper to reveal an artistic drawing of Layla and McCool as ugly witches. Lay-Cool, upset, tried to start a fight, but Beth and Phoenix took control. Layla almost took a suplex through the table, but McCool made the save. Lay-Cool collected themselves on the floor as Beth and Natalya held up the witch table for them to get another look at. Lay-Cool shrieked and ran away to conclude the segment.
Backstage: WWE tag champs Santino and Kozlov were shown marching down the hallway for a match up next. Santino was trying to tell Kozlov about the Cobra, but Kozlov had his game-face on. The result of WWE cutting several Smackdown wrestlers recently is they don't have any wrestlers left to fill the middle of a two-hour show. This show needs some talent.
In-ring: Santino and Kozlov emerged for a non-title tag match. Cole robotically said, "They're the tag team champions...and they're entertaining." As if there aren't enough items to plug, Mathews said tickets for Elimination Chamber in February go on-sale Saturday. Chavo Guerrero came out on stage, then confidently brought out Tyler Reks as his partner. The crowd wasn't impressed.
4 -- WWE tag champions SANTINO & KOZLOV vs. CHAVO GUERRERO & TYLER REKS -- non-title match
Santino super-flexed and did a "tough guy" walk, but Reks was unimpressed. Santino comically sold a shoulder injury, so he tagged in Kozlov. Chavo blind-tagged into the match and launched himself for a dropkick on Kozlov. Kozlov came back with a headbutt and Santino re-entered, but missed with a sailor's salute headbutt. Chavo then blasted Santino with right hand blows and the heels began working over Santino. Santino teased a hot tag moments later and "swam" across the ring to bring in Kozlov, who knocked around Chavo. Santino suddenly got the urge and demanded a tag from Kozlov. Cobra Strike from Santino and it was good for the win. Santino and Kozlov celebrated the win over inferior competition as the announcers laughed along. The only thing missing was Tamina.
WINNERS: Santino & Kozlov in 4:00. TNA has the Motor City Machineguns, Beer Money, and Generation Me. ROH has the Kings of Wrestling, American Wolves, and The Briscoes. Why can't WWE put together one reasonably strong tag team? This was essentially a PG-oriented tag match played for comedy. (*)
Superstars Profile: Ezekiel Jackson. He's not even on the Smackdown brand. Is WWE planning a major call-up from FCW? The video ended with a plug that he's coming to Smackdown next week. They cut to the announcers and Striker talked up Jackson as a "bonafide star." WWE didn't make it clear whether it's a one-time cameo or a permanent roster move.
Raw Rebound: They recapped John Cena being "re-hired" by Wade Barrett, Cena going through David Otunga, and the set-up for Cena vs. Barrett in a chairs match at TLC. ... The announcers plugged the top matches for TLC, including Barrett being Cena's final target from the Nexus group. They're marketing the match as the blow-off to the feud with that verbiage.
In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez formally introduced Alberto Del Rio, who rolled up to the ringside area and made his way to the ring. Main event is next.
5 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley & ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. REY MYSTERIO & EDGE
Back from break, Edge completed his ring entrance with everyone else already in the ring. The opening bell sounded with nine minutes of TV time remaining. The heels quickly went to work on Edge as the announcers noted Del Rio has his first major title shot on Sunday. Del Rio and Rey picked up a battle that led to Del Rio flooring Rey. Del Rio slowly walked around Rey to sell his arrogance before bringing Rey back into the ring for the heels to work him over. Miz landed clubbing forearms to the head before walking toward Edge with a glare.
Del Rio re-entered and promptly took a kick strike to the face that stunned Del Rio. Edge made a hot tag and cleaned house on Miz, who also tagged in. Edge then got that look in his eyes wanting the spear, but Riley grabbed his foot. Edge and Miz exchanged finisher teases. Suddenly, they cut backstage to show men sprawled across the ground. There was a camera shot of Kane's feet in the distance. Back in the ring, Edge dropped Miz with a spear, then Kane's pyro shot off to interrupt.
Kane stormed the ring and the announcers played it up like Kane was the babyface looking for revenge. Kane stormed the ring and tackled Edge. The remaining members of the Smackdown locker room stormed the ring trying to separate the two men. Santino and Kozlov joined the mix. Kane and Edge were briefly separated, then Kane grabbed poor Trent Barreta for a chokeslam. A second later, Edge surprised Kane with a spear. They abruptly went off the air in the middle of Edge landing right hand blows on Kane.
WINNERS: No Contest in 9:00. The concerning trend of main event matches ending without a finish continued here. The show ended with a nice, intense exchange between Kane and Edge, but it followed the curious decision to make Kane almost seem sympathetic in the feud. As for the booking of Miz, I don't like the idea of him being involved in a match where the final scenes aren't focused on him, even on Smackdown. Whenever he's on TV, his segment should ultimately focus on what he's doing if WWE wants to reinforce Miz as "the most must-see champion in WWE history." Not having depth on the Smackdown roster forced WWE's hand to put Miz in this slot. (**)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, decent build-up for TLC, but WWE playing the Kane-Edge feud for comedy early in the show, then trying to be serious with it at the end of the show left viewers with a confused feeling on how exactly they're supposed to react to all of this. Smackdown typically isn't counted on to convince fence-sitters to order PPVs, but it will be interesting to see if WWE changing the World Title match will make a difference. As for Smackdown, the brand is in rough shape trying to fill out a two-hour line-up. I wouldn't be surprised if WWE splits off Nexus into a secondary group on Smackdown, allowing some of the Nexus members to step out of the background.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Smackdown Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Smackdown, email email@example.com using our Feedback form.
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