Linus Report: Smackdown 22/01/15

Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! And it has to follow a decent Raw for once!

The show started with Daniel Bryan coming down to the ring. He said he could talk about a number of things – his match with Kane tonight, the Royal Rumble, Sting, or that the Authority sucks (he really did) – but that he would rather let three other guys do some talking.

Out came The Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler. The Ryback said that this job was his life and thanked Cena and Sting for bringing them back. Erick Rowan said some wacky stuff and had a conversation with his sheep mask. The poor bastard. Dolph said he’d been on top of the world a few weeks ago when he’d gotten rid of the Authority but now he was starting all over again.

The Authority – minus HHH & Stephanie – came out, and Ziggler challenged Rollins to a match. Rollins said he had better things to do, although he did not specify what. Puzzles, I imagine.

Kane and the Big Show said some stuff that no-one cared about because zzzzzz, and they eventually made a match between Intercontinental champion Bad News Barrett and Dolph Ziggler, starting right now!

So this was a non-title match, because Ziggler was told he was a new employee and had to start over. I’m not sure that’s in the employee handbook. The announcers said that Ziggler and the other guys had to win their matches tonight or they’d be out of the Rumble.

Ziggler won with the Zig Zag after a back and forth match. The Intercontinental Champion really doesn’t win many matches on these shows, do they? MAKE THE BELT SPECIAL, YOU DICKS!

Backstage Renee spoke to Roman Reigns, who mocked the Big Show for constantly reminding us he is a giant. Erm, he was The Giant, dude. He said that Andre the Giant never had to remind anyone, but to be honest Andre the Giant never had to remind anyone of anything. Reigns was better here but still struggles with a scripted promo. So stop giving him scripted promos.

Fandango pulled a ball out of a giant tombola, containing his Royal Rumble entrance number. He looked quite happy. While he was macking with Rosa, Dean Ambrose swapped his ball for Fandango’s. A ref stared blankly in the background. Oh, and there were more than 30 balls in that tombola…

Hey, it’s Ryback! It was his turn for his Royal Rumble qualification match, and he had to fight Rusev. Rusev, they explained, was already in the Rumble. So unfair.

Rusev came out second, so Lana did not get to speak. This show sucks. She did look hot, though. Oh, if you get the chance, check out the Total Divas post-show segment from last week, with Lana in full character. Gold.

So they had a match, and it was a decent big-guy-hits-big-guy match. There were a few too many MOVES for it to be a real HOSS MATCH but it was fine for what it was.

The Ryback won by count-out, after beating up Rusev on the outside and sliding back in on ten.

After the break, Naomi was in the ring. Her outfit, to get all Matt Striker, was very John Byrne-era Storm. She was fighting Brie Bella, who came to the ring with her sister. Paige, Paige’s fishnets, Natalya, and Natalya’s bosom were on commentary.

This was very short. They spent as much time on Paige and Natalya, and their respective lady bits. Brie said Paige was as pale as a vampire, but Paige said she was a glam-pire. I liked that.

Brie won with an X-Factor. This match served no purpose but Total Divas gotta be plugged, eh?

Luke Harper did a freaky promo, presumably from the same place Bray Wyatt does his freaky promos.

Goldust and Stardust picked their Royal Rumble numbers and hissed at each other.

Hey, it’s Erick Rowan! He’s fighting Luke Harper in his Rumble qualification match. They traded moves and I’d really like to see these guys given time to build a feud and have that special blow-off match. Tonight was not that match, though, and Luke Harper won with a superkick and a HUGE clothesline. Rowan is out of the Rumble. Sucks to be him.

Kane asked Rollins if he could borrow J&J Security for his No Disqualification match with Bryan later. Seriously? That’s the best you can get? I seriously doubt Kane’s qualifications for his senior role in the Authority.

Backstage, Mizdow apologised to Miz for upstaging him on Raw. Miz told him that it didn’t matter because the crowd weren’t really cheering for Mizdow, they were cheering for Miz, because Mizdow was just his stunt double. After Miz left the Usos told Mizdow that the Rumble was every man for himself and he’d be totally justified in doing what he wanted. Dissent in the ranks!

Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Daniel Bryan versus Kane, in a No Disqualification match, with Bryan’s place in the Rumble at stake!

The story of this match was that Bryan had the measure of Kane, and J&J Security kept having to make the difference. Both men pasted each other with a kendo stick, although Kane got the worst of it. Ouchy.

Bryan won with the running knee, and secured his place in the Rumble. The Big Show attacked him after the match, which was surely a few minutes too late? This brought out Rowan, The Ryback, and Ziggler, and then the whole locker room emptied into the ring for an impromptu rumble.

When the dust cleared, Bryan stood in the ring with Reigns, Ambrose, The Ryback, Ziggler, and Rowan, as Kane and the Big Show stood on the apron looking in…

This a Good Show. Other than the women’s match, everything on it moved things forward. Smackdown’s on a bit of a run. Who’d a thunk it?