It’s the final episode of WWE Smackdown on SyFy, and the final Smackdown of 2015. To that end, a big tag team match will close out the year, with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose taking on Kevin Owens and Sheamus.
WWE Smackdown review
December 31, 2015
Taped 12/29/15 in Washington, D.C.
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– They recapped the Vince McMahon-Roman Reigns happenings from Raw, complete with “bone through your nose” comment intact.
– Smackdown Open.
– Following fireworks and as the camera panned the crowd, Rich Brennan mentioned it would be the final Smackdown on Syfy, then he plugged Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens & Sheamus in the main event.
– New Day came out first, however. As they did, they showed the slow-mo replay of Sin Cara dislocating his shoulder on Raw against New Day. New Day had on their New Year’s party hats. The group said they had no resolutions for the new year, because they’re perfect. Xavier Woods said it’s not them who need to change, but the WWE Universe. Kofi Kingston said the Universe needs to learn to appreciate greatness. Big E. read resolutions New Day had compiled for the fans. One: Glasses and hearing aids would be required, in order to see and hear all of their greatness. Number two: A New Day journal must be kept so fans don’t forget all of the great things they do. And number three: When the WWE Universe wakes up, they should have a spring in their booty and a song in their heart. That song? “New Day Rocks.” The Lucha Dragons interrupted, with Sin Cara’s arm in a sling.
Kalisto said New Day deserves each other, and that the Slammys are for the people. He held his Slammy over his head. Sin Cara spoke Spanish, then challenged all three of New Day for a match right now. New Day laughed at him. Woods reminded Cara that he is not just hurt, but injured. Woods asked if it’d be a one-on-three handicap match. Kalisto said they had friends of their own. The Dudley Boyz then came out with “Happy New Year”written on their table. The match is next.
– In a pre-tape, Ryback wished the WWE Universe a Happy New Year. His resolution is to help those less fortunate and participate more in local charities. I was waiting for a punchline, but no dice.
1 – NEW DAY vs. KALISTO & THE DUDLEY BOYZ
Woods did a lot of jawing at D-Von Dudley early on, and that predictably got him nowhere. Big E. showed off his strength in delivering a belly-to-belly suplex to Bubba Ray. Big E. tried to injured Kalisto’s shoulder, pulling his arm down and causing Kalisto to land on his shoulder on the apron. Back in the ring, New Day worked him over in their corner. Woods played the trombone at ringside as each member of New Day celebrated the beat-down of Kalisto. The match continued in that vein as they cut to break at 5:40 of the match.
Back at 9:35. Woods planted Kalisto for a near-fall. Basement clothesline from Woods, followed by a dramatic stomp form Kingston and a big splash by Big E. Kalisto avoided a Big E. dive, which sent Big E. to the outside. Tag was made to Bubba at 11:11 of the contest. He went to work on Woods, and D-Von helped him out. Kalisto tagged in and stood on Bubba’s shoulders while Bubba was seated on the top rope. He took out woods, then delivered a DDT. Big E. was on the receiving end of 3D. Salida del Sol to Woods wrapped things up.
WINNERS: Kalisto and the Dudleys, at 12:33. Energetic tag match to start off the show. This may be the best use of the Dudleys at this point, getting the hot tag and not having to work the bulk of a match.
The table was introduced after the match. Bubba powerbomed Woods off the second rope and through the table.
– The announcers were shown on-camera, discussing Smackdown’s new home next week. They thanked SyFy for a great five years, and Jerry Lawler plugged the move to USA.
– John Cena is up for a Celebrities Gone Good award for 2015 and is apparently doing well in the voting.
– Cena returns to Smackdown next week, on the USA Network.
– Another pre-tape with Becky Lynch wishing everyone a Happy New Year, especially to those striving for Beck-cellence in 2016.
2 – GOLDUST vs. TYLER BREEZE
No entrance for Goldust. Booker mentioned that Goldust debuted in 1988, while Breeze was born in ’88. Couple of arm-drags by Goldust. He went for a bulldog, but Breeze caught him with a knee to the face. Breeze hit the ropes but Goldust dropped him with a spinebuster. Powerslam by Goldust for two at 2:01. Breeze tried to catch his breath by going to the outside, but he didn’t get much time there. Back in, he knocked Goldust down and rolled him up, with his feet on the ropes, for the win.
WINNER: Breeze, at 3:03. The ref catches wrestlers trying to put their feet on the ropes often enough to where the move does have more impact now when the ref doesn’t catch it.
– Summer Rae got on the mic and talked about some big news from 2015, but she had some bigger announcement. She handed the mic to Breeze, who said that he and Summer decided to call it quits. They teased it as if they were making an engagement announcement or something. Breeze and Summer left us with one last gorgeous selfie. This seemed to come out of nowhere.
– Up next, The Usos vs. Braun Strowman & Luke Harper.
– The exterior of the White House was shown.
– Monday, The Rock announced he’d be at Wrestlemania this year, and it received all kinds of sweet, sweet mainstream media attention.
– Bo Dallas was walking backstage in a festive mood. He came upon Curtis Axel, who was leaning against the wall looking pretty miserable. Axel reminded Dallas that he was never eliminated from the 2015 Royal Rumble match, and when he won’t be eliminated in 2016, he’ll have been in the Rumble for two years. Dallas suggested Axel use deodorant every day in 2016. Dallas walked away and came upon a woman. He wrote his autograph on her hand and told her never to wash it. Next was Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler made a crack about Dallas dressing as the New Year’s baby. Dallas said Ziggler always makes comments that sound like jokes but aren’t funny. Dallas won that exchange. The two have a match later and Ziggler got Dallas to bite on a feigned superkick. Bo’s demeanor and the fact that he toned down his over-the-top presentation about 25% really worked for me in this segment.
– The Usos came out for their tag match. Luke Harper & Braun Strowman did the same, accompanied by Erick Rowan. The match is next.
3 – THE USOS vs. BRAUN STROWMAN & LUKE HARPER
As expected, the heels took the advantage early on, with Strowman showing off his power. Harper slingshotted Jimmy throat-first into the middle rope for a near-fall. Jimmy managed to create some separation from Strowman, but Strowman clotheslined him back down. Strowman was launched into the steel ring post, leading to Jey making the tag. Harper was low-bridged out of the ring. Strowman had made the tag and Strowman was superkicked twice. Rowan found his way to the apron and he was superkicked for his troubles. Another superkick to Strowman was blocked and Strowman locked in his finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Strowman & Harper, via submission, at 6:28. A curious match, with the Wyatt Family not really doing anything right now. Is this to keep the group (or Strowman) strong for The Undertaker, perhaps at Wrestlemania? A little surprised to see The Usos used as fodder in this way.
– Another plug for Cena on Smackdown next week.
– The main event tag match was plugged again.
4 – BRIE BELLA & ALICIA FOX vs. TAMINA & NAOMI
No entrances for anyone here. Brie kicked away at the legs of Tamina, then tagged Fox. Fox avoided a charge and sunset flipped Tamina out of the corner for two. Dropkicks by Fox. The announcers critiqued Fox’s hairstyle. Tamina superkicked Fox out of nowhere. Tamina slammed Fox in mid-ring for a two-count. Fox broke free from Tamina, or at least attempted to; Tamina headbutted her back down. A missed charge by Tamina led to tags to both Brie and Naomi. Brie went into Brie Mode. Rear View by Naomi missed. Running knee to Tamina, who pushed Naomi out of the way. Nevertheless, Brie still managed to hit her finisher on Naomi to pick up the victory.
WINNERS: Brie and Fox, at 3:36. Team Bella has sort of disappeared with Nikki on the shelf, so this result was a little different. I’m sure it’ll ultimately mean nothing, though.
– The Miz was next to wish fans a Happy New Year. Or, he was supposed to, but he ended up refusing to do so. He walked off the set, looking for his manager.
5 – BO DALLAS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
No entrance for Bo. Ziggler did some mat wrestling with Dallas in the early going. Dallas took Ziggler down and took a victory lap around ringside. Ziggler caught him with a dropkick coming back in. Ziggler launched himself into the corner but caught nothing but turnbuckle. Ziggler ran the ropes but Dallas downed him with a back elbow. Roll-up by Ziggler for two, then Dallas clocked him with a forearm. Short-arm clothesline by Dallas. Lawler said Dallas had been all business since the bell rang, ignoring the lap he took around the ring early in the match. He took another lap, this time in the ring. Ziggler superkicked him and pinned him.
WINNER: Ziggler, at 4:21. Remember when Dallas began to show a more aggressive side in the ring and WWE seemed to be emphasizing that a bit in his matches? Those were good times.
– The main event tag is next.
– Brennan plugged John Cena on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine.
– New Day gave their New Day Resolution in a pre-tape and discussed being World Champ in 2016.
– At ringside, the announcers sent it to the Raw Rebound.
– Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns, with Vince McMahon as special referee, for the WWE World Title on Raw, was plugged.
– Roman Reigns came through the crowd for the main event. It’s next.
– In case you hadn’t heard, John Cena will be on Smackdown next week on the show’s new home, USA Network.
6 – ROMAN REIGNS & DEAN AMBROSE vs. KEVIN OWENS & SHEAMUS
When Ambrose came out, they showed Owens powerbombing him onto the table on Raw. I didn’t hear a bell ring to start the match, but maybe I missed it. Sheamus was sent to the outside via clothesline by Reigns. Ambrose hit a suicide dive onto Sheamus. Back in, however, Sheamus was able to make the tag to Owens. Ambrose wanted Dirty Deeds, but Owens exited the ring. He found no solace out there, however, as Ambrose did some damage at ringside. Ambrose wanted to powerbomb Owens onto the announce table as payback for Monday, but Owens backed him into the apron. They went to break at 2:39 of the match.
Back at 6:14 with Ambrose still fighting from behind. Ambrose still had some fight left in him, however. Rebound clothesline and both he and Owens were down. Tag was made to Reigns (and Sheamus) at 9:43. Reigns was all offense on Sheamus until Owens got involved. That allowed Sheamus to roll Reigns up for two. Superman punch to Sheamus. Owens tripped up Reigns and pulled him crotch-first into the ring post. The ref called for the bell at that point.
WINNERS: Reigns and Ambrose, via disqualification, at 10:57.
Owens and Sheamus teamed up to toss Reigns into the ringside steps. Sheamus then threw Reigns over the announce table. Ambrose recovered enough to attack Sheamus. Owens superkicked Ambrose to stop his momentum. Owens went for another powerbomb on Ambrose onto the table, but Reigns Superman punched Owens. Spear for Sheamus. Reigns and Ambrose embraced in victory. The babyfaces celebrated with their respective titles as replays were shown of the save Reigns made. Brennan wished everyone a safe and happy New Year as he plugged one last time the move of Smackdown to USA next week.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He is the host of “Moonlighting with Greg Parks,” a PWTorch VIP-exclusive audio show posted each weekend. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.