12/31 WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: The Final Smackdown of 2015 and the final SyFy Network broadcast

By Jake Barnett

WWE Smackdown on SyFy
Taped on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

[Q1] We got a video recap of Vince McMahon’s appearance on Raw and the fallout from the Main Event. When the show go to the arena, the announce team plugged Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Kevin Owens in the Main Event. New Day then made their entrance with a New Year’s Theme. Woods opened up and said New Years is their favorite time of year, because while every day is a New Day, New Year’s day is a special New Day. Big E said New Year’s Eve was a time for reflection, celebration, and resolution, and their resolution was…nothing. Nothing because they are perfect. Kofi said New Day in 2015 was greatness personified.

He question why they didn’t win Tag Team of the year. He told the crowd that nothing will change in 2016 unless the crowd appreciated greatness. Big E then said they had compiled a list of resolutions for them. The first was that everyone in the crowd must wear glasses and hearing aids so they can see and hear all the greatness. The second is that each member of the WWE Universe will keep a New Day Journal. Big E closed and said that the third resolution is that each member of the WWE Universe will start each day with a spring in your booty and a sing in their heart, and that song is….New Day Rocks.

The Lucha Dragons made their entrance to interrupt, and Kalisto told them that they are cute and they deserve each other, but the Slammy’s are for the people. Sin Cara challenged New Day to a match right here and right now, and New Day laughed and reminded him that he was injured. Kalisto said they weren’t along, and that they had some friends with them. The Dudley Boys made their entrance, and New Day looked terrified….[c]

My Take: Some lightness to open the show, which was entertaining but got a little long by the time it was over. New Day are very good at what they do, but I’d hate to see them get comfortable and turn this shtick into a New Age Outlaws type broken record. There were a few months where it really felt like they were experimenting, but now that they have become established it seems like they have reigned in some of that and it’s a shame.

[Q2] 1. The Dudleys and Kalisto vs. New Day: Devon dominated the early going against Xavier Woods, and tagged in Bubba for a double team pancake. Bubba continued to work over Woods, focusing on the arm. He shook loose and tagged in Big E, who hit a clothesline and a belly to belly that got a two count. Kofi then entered the match and Bubba was able to get back on offense by getting a boot up in the corner. He ended up sending Big E and Xavier to the floor and the three babyfaces hit the Wassup Headbutt on Kofi Kingston.

Kofi used some help from Big E and Xavier to get back in the match, and they hit their merry go round stomps on Kalisto in the heel corner. Big E have Kofi a boost heading into the corner for a seated dropkick, and then Big E tagged in and leveled Sin Cara…[c]

Woods planted a running STO on a seated Sin Cara for a near fall. Big E tagged in and hit a big splash for another near fall. Kalisto finally was able to dump Big E to the outside and make a hot tag to Bubba. The Dudley’s hit a double team neckbreaker and a spienbuster to Xavier Woods. Kalisto tagged back in and stood on Bubba’s shoulders on the ropes to hit a big splash on Woods as well. We got a 3D to Bubba and Kofi was sent to the floor. Kalisto then hit Salida Del Sol on Xavier Woods for the win.

The Dudleys and Kalisto defeated New Day at 14:11.

After the match, The Dudley’s put Woods through a Happy New Year Table with a Bubba Bomb. The announce team then reiterated the move to the USA network and plugged some of John Cena’s appearances and accolade from dosomething.org. John Cena was then announced for Smackdown next week. Becky Lynch then wished everyone a Happy New Year as obxnoxiously as humanly possible.

My Take: A fun match from these two teams. Nothing really stood out in a good or bad way aside from Kalisto getting a great reaction for his offensive runs. I’ve seen so many of these six man tags at this point that they all kind of run together. I’m sure frequent WWE watchers probably have the same problem.

[Q3] Goldust was finishing his entrance as the show came back from commercial. Tyler Breeze then made his entrance with Summer Rae.

2. Tyler Breeze vs. Goldust: They measured each other early on before Tyler Breeze took control with strikes and kept Goldust down by focusing on the arm. Goldust caught Breeze coming off the ropes with a spinebuster, and then hit a powerslam for a two count. Goldust remained in control and hit mounted punches in the corner followed by an inverted atomic drop. Breeze played possum and pulled Goldust down into the second turnbuckle. He then rolled up Goldust and used the ropes to get the win.

Tyler Breeze defeated Goldust at 5:34.

Summer grabbed a microphone and said they have a major announcement. She listed off a bunch of pop culture happenings from 2015, and said their announcement blows them away. Breeze then said that they have both decided to go their separate ways. They said they would leave us with one last Gorgeous Selfie, and then posed…[c]

My Take: Leave it to WWE to have two heels deliver the most amicable and pain free breakup in company history.

[Q4] The announce team plugged The Rock’s announcement that he would be at WrestleMania 32. Backstage, Bo Dallas approached Curtis Axel backstage. He said he was never eliminated from the 2015 Royal Rumble, and when he’s not eliminated again, he’ll have been in the match for two years straight. He then bumped into Dolph Ziggler, who told him to stop dressing like the New Year’s baby. Bo told that he’s always telling jokes, but he’s never saying anything funny. Dolph then told him to focus on his match later….against him. He then faked like he was going to superkick him and then told him he had to do was Bolieve. Bo looked shaken as Dolph walked away.

The Usos made their entrance with their Slammy’s. Why do babyface’s bring their stupid awards no one takes seriously to the ring? Seems like it should be a heel thing. Braun Strowman and Luke Harper made their way to the ring with Erick Rowan…[c]

My Take: Ziggler felt very heel in that backstage segment with Bo Dallas. I wouldn’t mind a turn from him, and they certainly aren’t suffering from a glut of heels right now. Bo Dallas’s joke about Ziggler telling jokes but never saying anything funny was painfully accurate.

3. The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Braun Strowman: Luke Harper and Jimmy Uso started the match. Harper quickly took control with a spinning side slam and tagged in Strowman, who worked power for a bit and taunted the crowd. Harper re-entered and applied a leg submission, which saw Jimmy escape with a headbutt. Wyatt still pulled him by the leg back to the heel corner to tag in Strowman.

[Q5] Strowman tagged in and went back to methodically working holds and a couple of strikes. The pace of the match slows dramatically whenever he’s in the ring. Strowman was eventually launched into the post, which allowed Jey and Luke Harper to tag in. Jey hit a Samoan Drop and then low bridged Harper out to the floor. He then followed up with a suicide dive. Both Strowman and Jimmy ended up back in the match, at which point Strowman caught Jimmy coming off the ropes and submitted him with his modified kata-ha jime.

Luke Harper and Braun Strowman defeated The Usos at 5:58.

The announce team plugged John Cena for Smackdown next week, as well as the main event…[c]

My Take: Not a fan of that match. Strowman is just dreadful. His time in the match was either boring or clumsy, and that finish is just the shits. I know Vince is a fan of monsters that look the part, but Strowman just doesn’t have it right now.

Naomi and Tamina were in the ring with Brie Bella and Alicia Fox. Neither team got a televised entrance.

4. Brie Bella and Alicia Fox vs. Tamina and Naomi: Brie and Tamina started the match, and Brie started the offense with leg kicks to Tamina’s knee. Alicia tagged in and hit a Sunset Flip out of a corner and got a two count. She then hit several dropkicks that got a two count. Tamina escaped a neckbreaker attempt and hit a superkick for a near fall.

Naomi tagged in along with Brie. Brie hit a missile dropkick and some yes kicks, and was able to avoid Rear View. Brie shoved off an attempt at a bulldog by Naomi and then hit a facebuster for the win.

Brie and Alicia defeated Tamina and Naomi at 4:57.

Miz blew off wishing everyone a Happy New Year…[c]

My Take: Apparently Brie is the Terminator now. She got the best of Tamina early in the match and then pretty much embarrassed Naomi for the finish. To be honest, I’m hoping we get more singles feuds from these women in 2016 rather than all these pointless tag matches. The idea of Brie and Summer re-entering the division as singles wrestlers is a positive development. We need deeper characters across the board and the ability to have multiple feuds going simultaneously will make that more of a possibility.

[Q6] Bo Dallas was already in the ring. Dolph Ziggler then made his entrance.

5. Bo Dallas vs. Dolph Ziggler: Dolph controlled the match with mat wrestling early, but Bo was able to stagger him with a cheap shot and then take an annoying victory lap. Dolph hit a neckbreaker as Bo got back in the ring, but Bo avoided a charging Ziggler in the corner and then applied a headlock. Ziggler fought out and ran directly into a back elbow. Bo then hit several more elbows, followed by a back suplex. Bo fired up to put Dolph away, but ended up missing a charge in the corner and walked into a Superkick. Dolph then covered for the win.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Bo Dallas at 4:23.

The announce team plugged the main event for next…[c]

My Take: This match had an odd pace. I would have expected something a little bit quicker from these two, but Bo really took his time on offense and Ziggler didn’t really have much offense at all aside from the home run at the end of the match. I enjoyed Bo getting a little swagger back, but I don’t know what to make of it. If history is any indication he’ll be forgotten next week.

[Q7] We got a New Year’s wish from New Day. We then got a Raw Rebound that essentially went over what we saw in the opening video package. Roman Reigns made his entrance…[c]

Dean Ambrose made his entrance, and the heels followed.

[Q8] 6. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens and Sheamus: Reigns and Sheamus started the match. Reigns clotheslined Sheamus to the outside early, and Ambrose followed up with a suicide dive. Sheamus tagged in Owens, who got manhandled by Ambrose before escaping out to the floor. Ambrose followed and sent him into the announce table and the barricade. He then set up the announce table to get revenge for Monday’s attack, but Owens shoved him into ring apron…[c]

Owens had control of the match with a chinlock applied. Sheamus then tagged in and hit a vertical suplex slam. Ambrose tried to fire back with strikes, but Sheamus hit a knee lift and then tied Ambrose up in the ropes to hit some clubbing blows. Ambrose reversed out of a slam attempt and after taking shots at Sheamus and Kevin Owens, made a hot tag to Roman Reigns. Reigns hit some clotheslines on Sheamus and then hit a Samoan Drop. He then hit a Superman Punch and fired up for a spear. Kevin Owens pulled Reigns crotch first into the post and got called for a DQ.

Kevin Owens and Sheamus defeated Roman Reigns and Sheamus at 11:12.

After the match, Owens and Sheamus sent Reigns into the steps and then the barricade. Dean Ambrose attempted a save, but was shut down. They set up for putting Ambrose through the announce table again, but Reigns revived and took out both Sheamus and Owens with Superman Punches and Spears.The babyfaces celebrated to close the show.

My Take: I know it’s a holiday show, but why do the babyfaces need to get even so quickly here? Wouldn’t it be more interesting for Monday if they didn’t? Anyway, this was an average edition of Smackdown. We didn’t see any outstanding matches, and we only had one that was what I would call disappointing. If you didn’t have anything going on until closer to the ball drop, this wasn’t a bad way to waste a few hours. Nothing on this show warrants going out of your way to see, however.

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