5 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (11/23/12): Cena says life has turned into TMZ story of tawdry tabloid tales, Cesaro jobs to Truth, Punk, Bryan & Kane

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)

NOVEMBER 23, 2012


-The show opened with a soap opera recap style video package highlighting: Vickie Guerrero hounding John Cena and A.J. (Narrator: “Do John Cena and A.J. have anything to hide or are they finally succumbing to their own desires?”); C.M. Punk’s year-plus title reign continues but Ryback is chasing him and “three new obstacles” (The Shield) are getting in his way; Sheamus wants “one more opportunity to dethrone the giant’s title reign”; and Randy Orton seeks retribution against Dolph Ziggler. “All that tonight, and more, on Smackdown,” concluded the narrator.

(WK Reax: Interesting to see Smackdown moving even more toward focusing on what were otherwise Raw-exclusive storylines with Cena, Ryback, Punk, The Shield, A.J., Vickie. On a show featuring a rare Smackdown appearance by Cena, it shows a move even further away from the brand split.)

-They went right to Miz standing mid-ring who introduced his special guest, John Cena. As Cena walked out, Josh Mathews introduced the show alongside JBL. Cena sat on Miz’s leather black couch and complimented how comfortable it was. Miz said Cena’s life has turned into “a TMZ story of tawdry tabloid tales of him and A.J. and Vickie and Ziggler, he said, she said, bringing new evidence each and every week.” They replayed Cena kissing A.J., then A.J. pulling Cena back in for more making out a second later.

Miz asked Cena how the kiss was. Cena stood and acted offended. Miz agreed it was an inappropriate question, so he asked how the knee was instead. Then they threw to a video recap of the Cena-Ziggler stuff on Raw. Cena said he had an MRI and he has a little problem with lateral movement, but otherwise he is fine and cleared to compete. Miz said he has it on good authority he is telling the truth that he and A.J. didn’t “do it” when she was G.M., but what about now? He asked if they were more than just friends now.

Cena said he was so tired of accusations being made that were false, so he gave them what they wanted. He said he admitted he liked it and A.J. is fine kisser. Miz asked, “Really? Really? Really?” Miz said that’s fantastic. He said obviously she liked it, too, because she wanted it more. He asked if the stress of the scandal brought them together. He asked if they are now more than just friends. As Cena was about to speak, A.J.’s music interrupted and she skipped to the ring. A.J. told Cena he didn’t have to answer it. Miz said this is Miz TV and those types of questions “come with the territory.” A.J. said she knows Cena just kissed her to prove a point to Vickie. Cena didn’t like that. Miz then asked if Cena and A.J. were in love, stressing the word “love” as immaturely and obnoxiously as possible. Dolph Ziggler’s music then interrupted.

Ziggler walked onto the stage and said it’s obvious to everyone he has feelings for A.J. He said he’s heard he’s a great man, but A.J. is trouble and a bad egg. Ziggler said if it hadn’t been for A.J. bursting into the men’s locker room, he might not have hurt his knee. They went to a replay of the locker room angle including Ziggler giving A.J. that heavy-handed verbal beatdown.


Back live, Vickie Guerrero walked out. She told Cena his “little girlfriend” needs to learn to control her impulses. She said Ziggler was right that A.J. is a pitiful weak woman. Vickie bragged that Ziggler knows how to kiss someone who is authoritative, confident, decisive, and passionate. Cena interrupted with a shout of “liar” Congress-style. He said Ziggler kissed her, “and we still can’t medically prove you’re a woman.” The crowd laughed. Vickie fired back that she is all woman and her relationship with Ziggler is now totally professional. Ziggler said if he did kiss A.J., it would bring out the real woman in her. A.J. sneered and Vickie looked concerned with just Ziggler thinking about such a thing. Ziggler said Cena and A.J. deserve each other and are exactly alike – two weak losers.

(Quotebook – John Cena: “No, Dolph. You two deserves each other because you’re the exact opposite. One of you enjoys eating a lot of nuts, and the other is still looking to find his.”)

-Mathews plugged Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow.

-Ryback made his ring entrance.

(1) Ryback pinned Darren Young in 2:00. Titus O’Neil joined Mathews and JBL on commentary. Ryback dominated early, overpowering young, who overacted a bit when selling bordering on being cartoonish. Ryback rammed Young’s head into the mat. Young rolled to the floor. Titus blew his whistle at Ryback at ringside.

(Quotebook – Titus O’Neil on Ryback: “Somebody needs to get that man some medication.”)

Ryback slammed Young to the mat, then clotheslined him, then signaled for the Shellshock. Titus claimed Young still had a chance and said he’d reverse it. Young didn’t reverse it, and Ryback pinned him.

-Afterward Titus yelled at Ryback and told them to stop the music. Ryback then gave Titus a kick to the gut and a Shellshock. [c]


-WWE Fact: Brock Lesnar’s new DVD is the no. 1 sports title.

(2) R-Truth pinned Antonio Cesaro in 2:00. Before the match Cesaro insulted the Thanksgiving tradition. He said it’s a holiday that celebrates gorging yourself and laziness. He said fortunately they have him as their U.S. Champion. Truth shot him a bug-eyed look.

(Quotebook – JBL: “You said large people and greasy fingers; I thought J.R. was here.”)

JBL threw a series of insults at Mathews in several languages. Cesaro got in some early offense, but then Truth fired back with a forearm, a jumping hook kick, a backdrop, and his finisher for the win.

(WK Reax: It is somewhere in the neighborhood of ridiculous to have Truth pin Cesaro in two minutes for so many reasons. The announcers didn’t even make a big deal out of it, like Truth beating the U.S. Champ in two minutes was one of the reasonable expectations for this match-up. I just shake my head sometimes at this stuff.)

-Backstage Booker T approached Sheamus and brought up the Survivor Series where he hit Big Show with a chair “at least 30 times.” Sheamus said he deserved it. Booker said before he does something he’ll regret the rest of his life, he won’t let him compete. He said because Show got disqualified on purpose, he deserves another rematch. Sheamus warmed up to Booker at that point. Booker announced a chairs match at TLC. Sheamus said he just made his way. Booker told him to take a few friends with him and watch the show from his personal suite and have some drinks on him. Sheamus said that sounded good. Sheamus asked what Show was doing. Booker revealed he’s wrestling Team Hell No in a two-on-one match.

-They showed Sin Cara heading toward the ring. Mathews described him as scintillating. [c]

(3) Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodrigues) pinned Sin Cara via tap out in 10:00. JBL gave Mathews a hard time for saying Del Ro and Sin Cara have contrasting styles because “they’re both Lucha Libre.” Early in the match Sin Cara ducked a charging De Rio, who flew through the ropes to the floor. Cara then dove onto Del Rio and Ricardo at ringside. Back in the ring Del Rio ducked a Sin Cara kick and then tilt-a-whirl backbreakered Del Rio. JBL said every TV set in Mexico is going to be tuned in to this one. They cut to a break at 2:00.

[Q4] [c]

Del Rio had Sin Cara grounded after the break.

(Quotebook – JBL: “You watched it in one place, I watched it in my personal dressing room. Don’t give the impression we do things together, Josh.”)

JBL said Sin Cara has a great mentor in Rey Mysterio and he will be a big star, but it’d be a huge upset for him to beat Del Rio.

(Quotebook – JBL: “Alberto Del Rio’s uncle, Mil Mascaras, was an egotistical person. It’s so good that Alberto Del Rio didn’t get any of those bad traits.”)

Del Rio eventually got Sin Cara to tapout to his Cross Armbreaker.

-Backstage Daniel Bryan approached Kane and said, “It’s simple. Just stay out of my way.” Kane asked what he was talking about. Bryan said he beat The Big Show for the World Title in 45 seconds long before they were teaming. Kane asked if he thought that was going to happen again. Bryan shouted “Yes!” Kane even back when he and Show were tag champions he was a whiny oversized baby. He told Bryan to go team with him and they could call themselves “Team No Show.” Bryan asked if that was because he didn’t invite him to his house for Thanksgiving. Kane said maybe. Bryan said he wouldn’t have liked it because he served vegan turkey. Kane asked what was the point. Bryan said if they win, he can come to his house for Christmas. Kane asked if he could beat up Santa Clause. Bryan said “deal.”

-Big Show’s ring entrance took place. [c]


(4) Big Show beat Daniel Bryan & Kane when Show pinned Bryan in 8:00. Show methodically dominated Bryan for the opening three minutes until Show missed an elbowdrop off the second rope when Bryan moved. They showed Sheamus and William Regal watching from a suite. Kane wanted Bryan to tag him, but instead Bryan threw a barrage of kicks at Show as Show rose to his knees. Show went down and Bryan scored a soft two count. Show then got up and lifted Bryan for a chokeslam. Bryan shifted into an overhead headlock. Show powered out, but Bryan then went for a sleeper. Finally at 6:00 Bran tagged in Kane who went to work on Show. Kane set up a chokeslam, but Show fought out of it. Kane hit a DDT. They again showed Sheamus smiling from his suite. Bryan tagged himself in as Kane was signaling for a chokeslam. Bryan applied the No Lock. Kane walked to the back, abandoning the match. Show broke free and chokeslammed Bryan and scored the three count. Mathews said Show took 31 chairshots from Sheamus yet won this two-on-one match. JBL said that’s evidence of how hard it will be to defeat Show.

-After the match Kane came back to the ring. Show attempted to give him the KO Punch, but Kane ducked and went for the chokeslam. Show choked Kane. Bryan kicked Show in the back of his leg. Kane kicked Show out of the ring. Show retreated to the stage and then addressed Sheamus in his suite. Sheamus stood and listened. Show asked if he ever felt a giant would have a chair in his hands this time, “fella.” Sheamus said he can hit him 50 times and he’ll still knock him out.

-Mathews plugged the IC Title defense by Kingston against Sandow. [c]


-Wade Barett joined Mathews and JBL at ringside. JBL and Barrett talked about following each other on Twitter.

(5) Kofi Kingston pinned Damien Sandow in 8:00. As Sandow made his ring entrance, they threw to a video clip on Tout of Cody Rhodes with his shoulder wrapped and arm in a sling saying to remember the bigger picture. Then the camera zoomed in on a dart board with Kane’s picture in the bullseye. Barrett said he has proven he can beat either of them no matter who walks out with the IC Title. Mathews said the WWE Universe is referring to Kingston as “The Wildcat,” as if Kofi didn’t name himself that. Sandow threw Kingston into the ringpost, then rammed him back-first into the ring apron. They cut to a very early break. [c]

Back from the break Sandow was in control. Barrett talked about being sidelined with an injury for six months, but coming back better than ever. Kofi eventually won with his finishing sequence including his Trouble in Paradise kick leading to the three count. Mathews asked Barrett if that will be his faith when he faces Kingston for the IC Title.

-Barrett stood on the ringside announce table and congratulated him, but said his next IC Title defense will be his last as become a victim of the Barrett Barrage. Kofi invited Barrett into the ring. JBL said that’s not a good idea after a fight like that.

(WK Reax: Barrett is really good on commentary, not in an “entertainment” way but a character-building way, which in effect ends up being more entertaining than if he were trying to score a bunch of comedy one-liners. He is old-school and knows his character and how a top level heel conducts himself.)

[Q7] [c]

-They showed scenes outside the arena in Grand Rapid, Mich. Then he threw to an extended video package on the C.M. Punk 365 day title reign celebration. Then back at ringside Mathews and JBL reacted to it. Then Mathews threw to some fan Touts reacting to it. JBL said Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Raines are making a name for themselves. Mathews then plugged the exclusive interview on Raw with those three.

(WK Reax: No offense to any of those fans, but who would spend any time on Tout if that is the content that’s awaiting you – just fans acting weird and saying nothing particularly interesting.)

-Dolph Ziggler made his ring entrance. [c]


(6) Dolph Ziggler pinned Randy Orton in 13:00. At 3:00 Zigger retreated to ringside. Orton pursued him and knocked him over the security railing with a clothesline. [c]

After the break Orton remained in control with a chinlock. Ziggler eventually took control and hit a signature dropkick and then settled into a tight chinlock. Orton fought out of it and gave Ziggler the chinlock-sweep backbreaker leading to a two count. Zigger fired back with a DDT. At 12:00 Orton hit the DDT off the second rope, then played to the crowd before pounding the mat to signal for the RKO. Ziggler countered with a schoolboy and a yank of the tights for the three count. JBL said, “What a week! What a week! Incredible. One of the greatest weeks I’ve seen in anybody’s career Dolph Ziggler has just had.”

-Afterward Ricardo entered the ring and went after Orton. Orton gave him an RKO. Del Rio stopped short of charging into the ring once he saw that. Meanwhile, on the stage as Ziggler left, Cena attacked him and put him in an STF. Three referees tried to break them up. JBL said, “We got all hell breaking loose here on Smackdown. That’s what we do! This is Smackdown!”

(WK Reax: JBL has added life to Smackdown that wasn’t there with the various previous incarnations since he left the announce table. He has an ability to recognize what the big items are worth stressing and then when he does stress them, he does so with a sense of genuine enthusiasm. He also is getting Mathews to fight back a little and stand up for himself, which is refreshing. Dolph vs. Orton was very good, as you’d expect out of those two. It was a big win for Ziggler to pin Orton clean like this.)

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – WWE Smackdown Report (11-16-12): Survivor Series hype with Foley, Kofi, Orton, Miz, Alberto, Sandow, Sheamus, Natalya, Kane, Cesaro, Khali

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