Thursday Night Smackdown! TV Report for January 7th, 2016 – “A New Face, A New ‘Home,’ Old Style”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
A recap of Raw featuring the WWE World Heavyweight Championship main-event, (with Roman winning and retaining), and Vince’s announcement of Reigns having to defend the championship in the Royal Rumble match opens. The regular Smackdown! video plays and the pyro blasts in the arena, then Byron Saxton runs down the two championship matches schedule for tonight. Becky Lynch will challenge Charlotte for the Divas Championship, while Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose will go at it for the Intercontinental Title.
Jerry “The King” Lawler also has us meet new Smackdown! lead-announcer Mauro Ranallo, who has previously worked for The Score/Sportsnet here in Canada.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
John Cena kicks off Smackdown’s American home of the USA Network. He puts over the two title matches booked, but also wonders why we are without U.S. Champ Alberto Del Rio. He calls him out, and after a small delay, Del Rio responds. The champion bluntly informs Cena he doesn’t deserve a shot, but John disagrees, especially since the show is all about the move to the U.S.A. Network. He orders Alberto to give someone a shot, so he brings out Kalisto, who has gained a lot of momentum lately.
Del Rio can’t believe it, and thinks Cena is joking, but Kalisto rips the mike from Alberto’s hand and speaks to him in Spanish, then the two start it up and a referee slides in!
Match #1: Single – United States Champion Alberto Del Rio VS. Kalisto (with John Cena) (Non-Title)
Kalisto runs, but Del Rio moves and then kicks and punches in the corner.
Alberto starts to govern after giving Kalisto a big boot while the Lucha hung upside down from the middle rope. Del Rio continues the attack in the corner of the ring, but Kalisto fends him off and dives with a seated-senton! He goes for the Hurricanrana, but Alberto holds him and turns it into a sit-down powerbomb for a near-fall!
Del Rio clotheslines him a few times in the corner then drives him to the canvas with a DDT! Del Rio taunts Cena on the outside. The U.S. Champ throws Kalisto in the corner of the barricade, then winds up and taunts Cena more. he goes for the Cross Armbreaker, but Kalisto reverses into a Hurricanrana Pin combo and receives the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Kalisto (with John Cena)
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
JoJo interviews Becky Lynch about her championship bout.
Up next, The Miz will present a “Royal Rumble Special.”
Segment #4: Arena Promo
The Miz is in the ring and begins to talk about the Royal Rumble for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; he doesn’t get far when Tag-Team Champions The New Day interrupt. They disparage about what Chris Jericho said to them on Raw, then Goldust joins and makes fun of all four. 2015’s “Breakout Superstar of the Year” interrupts and tells Miz he can have anything he wants from/about him. Truth now comes out, but thinks this is the Open Challenge for Del Rio’s U.S. title. Miz brings him up to speed, but Truth hits him with the microphone and all fight. Woods is trying to hid on Miz’s chair, but he is noticed and superkicked by Dolph!
Match #2: Eight-Man Tag-Team – The Miz and Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E., and Xavier Woods) VS. Goldust, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, and Neville
Truth and Miz are wrestling, with Truth leaping over and uppercutting Miz. Truth switches with Goldust, and they both give Miz a hip-toss. Kofi is in now and takes on Dolph, who dropkicks him. He twists Kofi with a wristlock, and Truth does the same when he’s tagged back in.
Neville now works over Kofi and splashes him with a Shooting Star Press from the mat! He works over Kofi, then gives him a backdrop and punches in the corner. Woods runs on the apron and trips up Neville, but “The Man That Gravity Forgot” holds onto the bottom rope to prevent the loss.
New Day is in control, with Kofi running into Neville in the corner with a dropkick. The Miz dances away as Xavier plays his trumpet, which impresses the trio and they all dance. Kofi goes back to work on Neville and switches with Woods. He is soon back-dropped, and both Ziggler and Miz get hot-tags.
Dolph gives Miz a couple of clotheslines then a splash in the corner. He drops a couple elbows on the mat, then goes for the Famefasser, but Miz moves. He hits it after a roll-up attempt by Miz. This breaks down, and Miz is eventually in the ring surrounded by his four opponents. Ziggler Superkicks him to take this!
Winners via Pinfall: Goldsust, Dolph Ziggler, Neville, and R-Truth
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Ric Flair and his daughter, Divas Champion Charlotte, are walking backstage. JoJo asks them about Becky’s win on Monday in the non-title bout. Charlotte compares herself to other sports stars Michael Jordan (N.B.A.) and Tiger Woods (Golf) as to what champions are like. They walk away and make their entrance.
Match #3: Single for the Divas Championship – Charlotte (with Ric Flair) (Champion) VS. Becky Lynch (Challenger)
They lockup and struggle into the corner. The referee breaks them and Becky shoves Charlotte. The Divas Champion shoves back but is taken down soon with a couple of armdrags tat lead into an armlock by Lynch. Charlotte turns it into a quick roll-up, then the face-off again. Becky sunset-flips Charlotte out of the corner, and Charlotte flips over and tries a leg hold but Lynch stops it. She manoeuvres Charlotte into another arm hold, then dumps her to the outside a bit later.
Charlotte rolls to the floor for a break, then Ric blocks Becky. This gives Charlotte an advantage to kick Lynch in the head and place her back in the ring. She pounds away with fists, then gives her an Exploder Suplex. She continues to mount-punch Becky, and tosses her with another Exploder Suplex.
Charlotte is still in control, slamming her around with a figure-four necklock! Lynch stands up, but is hit in the eye by Charlotte’s hand. This doesn’t phase her much as she punches back and gives Charlotte an Exploder Suplex of her own. Lynch really gains momentum and just about takes this with a victory roll! She gets Charlotte locked in the Disarmer, but Ric puts his daughter’s foot on the bottom rope. Charlotte taps, but the referee notices the foot and doesn’t call it, much to Becky’s dismay. Charlotte capitalizes and rolls Becky up, using the middle rope for leverage!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL Divas Champion: Charlotte (with Ric Flair)
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Kevin Owens is walking the halls when Rene Young meets him to ask about his Intercontinental Championship. He gives her one minute and connects Ambrose to a cockroach; he says that he has put away many in his life and will do the same tonight to Dean.
Segment #7: Video Promo
The same Raw clips from the beginning are recalled again.
Segment #8: Video Promo
Rene Young is interviewing Roman on Raw after the big match made for the Rumble; Reigns declares that despite the McMahon’s obstacles, he will come out on top.
It is announced that Brock Lesnar will be back on Raw next week!
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose is questioned by Rene Young about his contest with Owens. He throws a bunch of Owens’ comments back in his face, and tells him “let’s ‘fight, Owens, fight.’”
Match #4: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – Kevin Owens (Challenger) VS. Dean Ambrose (Champion)
Following formal introductions by ring announcer Eden Stiles, the two engage in an elbow-collar tie-up. Dean takes control with a side headlock takedown , but Owens whips him in the corner. Dean leaps over and goes for Dirty Deeds, but Kevin rolls out for a break.
Owens is now governing, chopping Ambrose in the corner. Dean turns him around and mudhole-stomps Kevin, then clotheslines and takes him to the mat again with a side headlock. He kicks Owens hard, but then Kevin chops back. They both slug away concurrently, then Dean hits an elbow drop from the rope.
Both are on the outside now, and Dean chucks Owens hard into the barrier a couple times. He jumps from the apron with a clothesline, but is dropped with a DDT as he got climbed through the ropes.
Owens now is working over Dean with a grounding rear chinlock, but Ambrose tries to battle out. Owens slams him down, but misses a running senton. Ambrose profits with a couple of clotheslines, and then tries another Dirty Deeds but is pushed into the corner. He comes back with a Tornado DDT for a close one, but is tripped on the top turnbuckle. Kevin runs with the Cannonball Splash and almost takes this!
Owens goes for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Dean reverses into a Hurricanrana! He hits his slingshot-clothesline and also almost gets this! They both punch at each other again, then Dean hits a flurry of them. Kevin hits a clothesline and whips Dean into the ropes,. Ambrose holds on then hurls Owens to the floor. He follows with a dive-through-the-ropes. Both brawl around the commentator’s area and into the crowd, and the referee calls for the bell, signalling a count-out of both competitors!
Winner: None due to Double Count-Out (Ambrose remains Intercontinental Champion)
Post-match, Dean and Kevin scrap all the way to the stage, where Owens slams a laptop and briefcase on Ambrose, then tries to powerbomb or piledrive him on an equipment container. Dean reverses with a backdrop and then Ambrose soars both of them off, onto/through tables. Referees check on them to close the show.
End Of Smackdown!
I quite enjoyed this Smackdown! better than Raw, as both story and match were portrayed well! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Mauro Ranallo – he is a “breath of fresh air” as the old saying goes and I LOVED him on commentary. He comes off extremely knowledgeable, and with his booming voice and vocabulary, reminds me of an old-school commentator only there to put over the matches and be a straight man. I hope those in the back like him and he stays for a long, long time! And taboot, he’s not only Canadian, but from my home-province of British Columbia!
Matches between Kalisto/Del Rio, Charlotte/Becky, and Owens/Ambrose were fantastic! I’m really happy they’re pushing the Luchas now and I believe they can be both great tag-team and singles competitors. They’ve obviously proven it in the ring, but on the microphone, they have some decent talking skills too!
Owens is also just perfect in the ring and on the mike; he is an incredibly believable, real heel.
Bogus: could’ve done without the big schmooze during MizTV and the following Eight-Man; I understand a bit of a way to get guys on TV, but was too predictable and since none of them are going to win the Royal Rumble, I was not overly invested.
Where has Paige been?; missing her in the mix.
While I’m happy that both Charlotte/Lynch’s feud, and Owens/Ambrose’s feuds are continuing, I was thinking there would’ve been at least one title change to show the new viewers that anything can happen on Smackdown! I believe this was a missed opportunity to gain more.
Until Raw, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Fans!