This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox was the Fallout from TLC, not the best PPV WWE have offered us this year… One month before Royal Rumble, SmackDown was on Holidays mode and there was nothing to expect, excepted an explanation on Daniel Bryan’s complete makeover. Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… the SmackDown Review, stolen from Bradley Tiernan by a Villain French Nygma.
- Heavy Machinery defeated The Revival in a Miracle on 24th Street Fight.
- Carmella defeated Sonya Deville.
- SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day defeated Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro w/ Sami Zayn.
- SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley defeated Dana Brooke.
- Lacey Evans vs Sasha Banks ended in a Double Count-Out.
- Daniel Bryan & The Miz defeated King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler.
Bradley’s Nygma’s Best Bits:
♦ When Daniel Bryan came back at TLC and unveiled his new face, I think everyone was in shock. The same way, as he explained, his daughter cried when she saw him without his long hair and beard, the fans were delighted to see Daniel Bryan, The American Dragon, the man we saw make his debut 10 years ago as a rookie in an older version of NXT we all try to forget about (The Miz was his mentor at that time), come back. If Daniel Bryan is now 38 and has been in the business for 20 years, showing his real face again was a way to say gimmicks, storylines or the WWE Machine will never catch his soul. When The Fiend took his hair 2 weeks ago, he gave us back the Daniel Bryan we have always loved. Yes! Yes! Yes! (I did the move while watching, yes…)
♦ Braun Strowman is back. The newswoman I am and who refuse to spread rumours can now tell you we have no clue why he was away. What was sure is he was meant to start a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental belt. The fact he was involved in the tag team match was more about building that than making him a new member of The New Day. If not, he has better start learning to shake his hips…
♦ When Sasha Banks has no match planned for the night and makes her way to the ring in her ring gear, you easily understand the match between Bayley and Dana Brooke will end badly. Of course, Bayley defeated Dana, what was as logic as predictable. The way Lacey Evans rushed to the ring as Bayley and Sasha were “just” taunting Dana was so fast you suddenly understood why Sasha needed her wrestling gear. This was not really a match, again a storyline in the build. If we say, like Mother, like daughter, the hate in the eyes of Lacey Evans was the exact same in the eyes of her daughter. It was frightening.
♦ Royal Rumble is 5 weeks away, this is Holidays Season. When you have no specific expectations from a show, you can start to enjoy it. You smile when Mandy offers a new ham to Otis, or when Carmella and The New Day are playing while one is coming backstage and the others are coming to the ring. You cringe when you see Carmella defeat Sonya Deville. A 2-hour show is already a treat to watch, lengthwise, so if wrestling is good and storylines are taking shape slowly but surely, yes, you can enjoy the show.
For Fox Sake:
♦ Like I said before, The Miz and Daniel Bryan “I love you, me neither” relation has been a treat for WWE since the day Miz became Daniel Bryan’s mentor on NXT. Their alchemy is undeniable whatever the situation they are involved in. As friends, as opponents, as teammates, as fathers decided to protect their family, they make it work. In the history of this business, only a few wrestlers have reached this level of trust in each other’s ability to push themselves to their limits. To be honest, I just can’t get enough of them…
♦ When I saw LEGO© appearing in the Street Fight, on national television, on a PG show, I was in shock. If you follow hardcore or deathmatch wrestling style, you know these tools are weapons of choice for wrestlers. It may have already happened, but I’m pretty sure we have never seen the little bricks involved in a WWE match before. Despite the fact it was 2.30 AM in France, I immediately messaged our Deathmatch specialist, John Dinsdale, to have his opinion. He is still in shock, I will share his thoughts with you when he will get out of his catatonia.
♦ Excepted to let Corey Graves drive everyone crazy about how good Corbin is, this King on a Throne entrance or having Dolph Ziggler as a groupie are not making of King Corbin a better wrestler. It obviously made him an even better heel but this gimmick is not made for him. Being The King of the Ring was an honour until WWE chose to use it at face value. Sharmell had scratched our ears when she was yelling “All Hail, King Booker!” for months, back in 2006. If I was very mean, I would say this Corbin thing is even worst than Shane’s “Best in The World”…
♦ The flip side of the coin… Next week, Corbin, Bryan and The Miz will compete in a Triple Threat match to determine who will face The Fiend at Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship. I just can’t wait to see that match. Even if the King Corbin gimmick is not for me, Corbin as a wrestler is an absolute legit contender for the Universal belt. We could argue on the fact Corbin has never been The Fiend’s target before when Bryan and The Miz have revenge to seek. The fact is we have 3 legit and interesting not only opponents for Bray Wyatt/The Fiend but also serious contenders for the Universal title. That won’t happen, for sure, but a Fatal Four-Way match at Royal Rumble could easily work and be a very good match.
Bradley will be back next week, that would be the best birthday gift he could offer me… Happy Holidays to all of you, have fun, enjoy this time to be with your families and celebrate the gifts of life… And, of course, keep watching wrestling!
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE