By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox
Aired live on December 13, 2019 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum
We got a video package to open the show that recapped Roman Reigns getting a victory over Dolph Ziggler last week, as well as the post match attack where Corbin humiliated him with dog food. The show opened in the arena with King Corbin making his entrance. Michael Cole and Corey Graves chimed in on commentary, noting additional security being at ringside for Corbin because “Roman Reigns threatened that the Big Dog would be unchained”. Ziggler tagged along with Corbin.
Corbin thanked the crowd for the warm welcome, and commented on the stench in the ring, which they said could either be the people or all of that dog food they smeared on Reigns last week. Corbin then said he came out there to reflect on how great of a year he had in 2019. He mentioned defeating Kurt Angle at WrestleMania, winning King of the Ring, and on Sunday he would finish humiliating Roman Reigns at the TLC PPV.
Corbin claimed he would use tables, ladders, and chairs to make the Big Dog bow to his king. And afterwards, he would be free to rule over Smackdown as it’s sole leader. He then spoke about Roman Reigns being “unchained”, and said all that happens when you let a scared dog off it’s leash? It runs away. Corbin said he had every door and window in the arena covered, and if Reigns showed up, he would face a far worse fate than he would have if he had just stayed home.
He then threw to Ziggler, saying the entire locker room supported him, and Dolph would speak on behalf of the Locker Room. Ziggler said Reigns tried to be the locker room leader he claims to be and confront Corbin, but he put him down. Corbin said anyone that stepped in their way would get put down. Ziggler then implored the crowd to embrace a new day and hail King Corbin. New Day then made their entrance. Big E called Milwaukee Cream City.
Big E said they were backstage watching Greek Freak Highlights? I may have misheard that. He then said they heard a Buffoon mention their name, and poof they appear. Corbin mentioned Brock Lesnar taking Kofi’s title to get under his skin, to which Kofi replied that he was still a Champion of the people. Kofi then compared his great year to Corbin’s “heck of a year”. He said he defended the WWE Championship for 6 months, including against Baron’s court jester Dolph Ziggler. He then said when he lost, he didn’t whine and complain, he dusted himself off and kept marching forward.
They then gyrated to celebrate being 7-Time Tag Team Champions. Kofi then mocked Corbin for looking stupid in his King outfit, and said if he was a real king he would carry himself with dignity and class, two thing which he was incapable of. Kofi then took issue with the way Kofi disrespected Roman last week. Corbin turned to Ziggler and asked if Kofi was still talking, and said he talks a lot for a guy with one lucky night in his career. Corbin told him if he wanted to be a leader, he would get embarrassed just like Reigns. Corbin and Ziggler left towards the back.
After the ring segment was over, we got some footage of Bray Wyatt’s attack at The Miz backstage. Renee Young will interview Miz later in the show…[c]
My Take: Corbin is just nonstop cringe for me in this King character. Kofi and Big E brought things back to life a little bit, but there was very little reaction to Corbin trying to celebrate his big dog food attack.
Backstage, one of Corbin’s security losers was knocked out in front of his locker room. They then discovered several more unconscious security guards in the locker room. They pretended they didn’t know who could have done such a thing. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were in the ring. Video was shown of Alexa Bliss returning to Smackdown two weeks ago, as well as Mandy pulling off Alexa’s fake eyelashes last week, apparently a grave insult.
Alexa and Nikki Cross were interviewed backstage. Alexa called Mandy a bully for making things so personal, before being attacked from behind. All four women brawled onto the stage before being separated by referees. Things reset and we got the tag match.
1. Fire and Desire vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross: Deville was sent to the floor immediately as Bliss and Cross hit a double suplex on Rose. Mandy attacked the eyes of Cross and tagged in Deville. Deville took control with some knees and strikes, and then knocked Bliss to the floor. Mandy and Sonya double teamed Cross for bit, until Bliss interrupted a suplex and pulled Rose to the floor. This allowed Cross to hit a neckbreaker and pick up a quick win.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Fire and Desire at 2:31
After the match, Sami Zayn ran into Heavy Machinery. Tucker offered him a gift, and said they were looking forward to facing Cesaro and Nakamura later in the show. He then unrapped a ham, which Sami was disgusted by. He said he was easily the worst gift he ever received in his life, and got offended on behalf of his veganism. Otis said he was sorry, but Sami got angry and called him a dumb oaf. Cesaro and Nakamura walked up, and Sami said they would take them out later. Cesaro slammed the ham on the floor, angering Otis.
Shorty G made his entrance in the arena, followed by Mustafa Ali…[c]
My Take: Very strange that a feud being billed as so personal would end up being such a quick match with a decisive finish. Sami Zayn is one of the best promos in WWE right now, and he was working overtime trying to create something from nothing with Heavy Machinery.
The Revival made their entrance. Dash Wilder fell on the stage, and everybody had a laugh over it.
2. The Revival vs. Shorty G and Mustafa Ali: Shorty G and Wilder started, and Gable outwrestled them to start. Dawson low briged Gable out to the floor and into the announce table. He then took out Ali when he came over for the assist. Dawson tossed Gable back in the ring for a two count. He then applied a rear chinlock. Wilder tagged in, and Gable showed some life with a German Suplex and a couple of pinning combinations. Wilder prevented a tag to Ali, and dragged Gable back to the heel corner. He and Dawson attempted a top rope bulldog, I think, but it didn’t go well and there was an awkward landing. Ali ran in and dumped Wilder to the floor with a head scissors…[c]
Ali and Gable splashed both members of the Revival at ringside. Ali and Gable then hit a double team stomp into a suplex on Dawson for a near fall. Wilder took out Ali on the floor, and Dawson hit a double underhook powerbomb for a near fall. Dawson then placed Gable on the top rope, but he escaped and hit his Chaos Theory Suplex. Wilder then came off the top onto Gable with a splash. Ali then hit Wilder with a 450, and the match was back at a stalemate.
Ali tagged in and whiffed on a tornado DDT. He then attempted to hit a splash out of the corner, but instead jumped into the Shatter Machine. Wilder covered to pick up the win.
The Revival defeated Shorty G and Ali at 9:01
The Revival celebrated after the bell. King Corbin vs. Kofi was announced for later. Kayla Braxton then interviewed Bayley backstage. Kayla asked about Lacey calling out Bayley for her lack of leadership. Bayley said she was tired of trying to be a leader and listening to other people. She said she was doing things for herself now, and then a guitar played in the distance. Bayley ran down Elias and Dana Brooke. She told him off and demanded he let her do her job. Elias then said he had picked Bayley for Secret Santa, and wanted to play her a song.
The song said she has asked Santa for a 3-way between himself, Bayley, and Sasha Banks. He said he had to say no thanks because she looks like a dude since getting her haircut. Dana Brooke laughed, which prompted Bayley to ask for a match…[c]
My Take: A fun tag match, and it was nice to see The Revival get a win. It’s hard to get invested in anything WWE does with tag teams, but often times the matches deliver despite the booking. Elias going after Bayley got a few chuckles from the crowd.
Dana Brooke was in the ring. Bayley made her entrance while footage of Sasha and Bayley’s attack on Lacey from last week was shown.
3. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke: Bayley slapped Brooke immediately, which brought on a flurry of strikes from Brooke. Bayley rolled to the floor, where Brooke hit a theatrical back elbow with a few gymnastics moves. She then did the same again in the ring. Bayley fired back with some punches, and placed Brooke on the top rope in the corner. Brooked reversed out into a sit out powerbomb, but only got two.
Brooke attempted a few more pins, but could only get two. Bayley recovered by tripping Brooke into the ropes, and then hitting a facebuster and got the win.
Dana Brooke defeated Bayley at 2:44
After the match, we got some footage of Bray Wyatt and The Miz’s feud. Basically all the important moments from last week’s segment. Renee Young’s interview with him will be next…[c]
My Take: I was hoping for a bit more time for Bayley and Dana. They put in a couple good minutes….but it seemed like it was over right when it began to get interesting. Bray Wyatt and The Miz is a feud on fast forward, and it’s suffering for it.
We got a Seamus vignette. He said Smackdown used to a show full of warriors, but without him it has lost its heart. He said he would be bringing the heart back to Smackdown, and he dared anyone to stand in his way. The announce team then threw to a sit down interview between Renee Young and The Miz.
She first asked about the status of Daniel Bryan, and Miz said he had no update. She then asked why Miz had taken such an interest in him recently given their history, and then showed footage of their Talking Smack moment from years ago. Miz said he didn’t have a perfect answer, but they bring out the best and worst of each other. He said he understands how much value Daniel Bryan brings to Smackdown. He said he doesn’t like him, but he respects him, and it was time for The Miz to do the ring thing.
Renee asked about his match on Sunday, and Miz gave the standard spiel about Bray Wyatt crossing a line by bringing in his family. Miz said matches with Wyatt changes wrestlers, but he’s a changed man too as a young father. He said that’s the reason he’s at home and not in Milwaukee, and he has no idea what Bray Wyatt is capable of. Renee asked him if he was afraid…and we heard distant screams. Bray then took over one of Miz’s baby monitors….and his puppets appeared in her crib.
They then ran upstairs and found the child unharmed with a Fiend doll inside of her crib. Miz asked where it came from, and she was non-verbal. Miz told the camera guys to leave. We then got a Firefly Funhouse sketch, where Wyatt had the creepy Fiend doll. He said he was trying to be nice, because it’s the holiday season. Wyatt accused Miz of got so busy exposing Daniel Bryan, that he exposed himself. Bray then said he still things Bryan is….with him. He then said he used to be sick, and that you can train yourself not to feel pain or love.
He smashed his head on the table as an example, and then said he can teach Miz, if he lets him in. He then called The Marine 5 fire, and waved goodbye. The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt was confirmed for TLC, but they didn’t clarify whether or not it was a title match. Heavy Machinery made their entrance…[c]
My Take: This feud is stupid, because it requires the audience to forget that there is a justice system and laws that exist in our society. If you can be open minded enough to put that aside, they are going for a cheap family in distress story that they can’t possibly pay off in a satisfactory way.
Backstage, Corbin and Ziggler found more of his security people down and out, and somehow still haven’t put together what is happening. They said they would make a statement later against Kingston. Cesaro made his entrance in the arena, followed by Shinsuke Nakamura.
4. Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn): Tucker and Cesaro started, and Tucker showed off some agility with a drop kick and a splash. Both men tagged, and Otis face down Nakamura. Otis shoved Nakamura down and challenged him with some hip thrusts. Otis hit a clothesline and a back elbow for a two count. Nakamura fired back with a roundhouse kick, and fired back with a roundhouse kick. Otis made a tag as well, and Tucker came off the top and took out both Cesaro and Nakamura. Both heels were then sent to the floor…[c]
The heels took control and isolated Tucker in their corner during the break. They placed him across the top turnbuckle so Shinsuke could hit a knee to the ribs. He then hit a few more on the mat. Nakamura charged up to hit another knee in the corner, and Tucker managed to fire back with a Thesz Press. Otis tagged in and cleaned house. He sent Cesaro to the floor and a body slam to Nakamura. Cesaro entered and tried kicking Otis in the gut, but he shrugged them off and fired up. Things broke down now as all four men ended up in the ring.
Nakamura hit a sliding knee, and Tucker broke up the fall. They then went for a compactor on Nakamura, but Cesaro broke things up. Otis went for a caterpillar, but Sami Zayn caused a distraction. Cesaro sent Otis to the floor. Tucker sent Cesaro to the floor, but he turned around into Kinshasa from Shinsuke. He then covered for the win.
Cesaro and Nakamura defeated Heavy Machinery at 9:33
After the match, Baron Corbin was shown prepping security for the main event.
My Take: I don’t think Heavy Machinery lost much in defeat here. They got in a lot of offense, and the crowd was hot for all of their spots and comedy. They are doing well with live crowds, if nothing else. Cesaro and Nakamura got the win, but it feels like they are missing chemistry as a team. They’ll have to find something for them to bond over other than Sami Zayn, because he can’t do the work in the ring for them.
New Day made their entrance in the arena, followed by Baron Corbin. He was followed by Ziggler and a gang and a posse of local wrestlers as security. Footage was shown again of the dog food bath last week.
5. Baron Corbin (w/Dolph Ziggler) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E): Early offense was back and forth. The crowd chanted STD at Corbin. Kofi hit a big splash on Corbin at ringside, after he had tried to escape to the floor to create some space….[c]
Corbin placed Kofi on the top rope and then punched Kofi Kingston to the floor. He then followed and shoved Kofi into the barricade twice. Back in the ring, Kofi tried to fight his way back into the match, but Corbin shut him down with a hard right hand. He then hit a back elbow and played to the crowd. We got Burger King chant from the crowd, and Corbin then ran into an elbow and a kick.
Corbin tried the Bossman Clothesline, but Kofi turned it into a pinning combination for a near fall. Kofi hit a head scissors and a kick, followed by a boom drop. Kofi fired up in the corner, but Dolph interference caused a distraction. Ziggler was tossed out to the back. Big E mocked him, and then a brawl broke out as Ziggler returned for a fight. The match was thrown out, presumably to setup a tag match. Big E grabbed a mic, and apparently made the match? He can do that now…
Kofi vs. Baron Corbin was thrown out at 8:32. [c]
My Take: Boy, they are really killing some time with this one.
6. Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler vs. New Day: The match started during the break. The heels isolated Big E and made rapid tags. Corbin tossed him into the corner, and choked him with the assistance of the top rope. Corbin whiffed on a flying nothing, and Big E landed a belly to belly Suplex. Kofi made a tag and quickly dumped Corbin and Ziggler to the floor. He went to splash Ziggler on the outside, but Corbin entered and intercepted him. Ziggler then tossed Corbin handcuffs in the ring, and we have two white men putting a black man in chains on WWE television. This was grounds for disqualification.
New Day defeated Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler by DQ
They placed the handcuff chain over the turnbuckle, and Kofi was stuck there with his ribs exposed. The Revival showed up and gave Big E a Shatter Machine on the floor. Roman Reigns then ran down and ran through the security guard like tequila shots on the worst night of his life. He then brawled with The Revival, and quickly dispatched them with Superman Punches. He hit Ziggler with one as well before getting attacked from behind by Corbin.
Reigns recovered and took out Corbin with a punch. Reigns grabbed some dog food and headed to ringside, but he got blasted again by a Superkick. The Revival placed Reigns on the announce table and Ziggler climbed a ladder. Reigns quickly escaped and put Ziggler through the table. He then finally got around to freeing Kofi Kingston, and then celebrated in the ring.
My Take: A wild final segment, and I imagine the visual of Kofi being placed in chains and being strung over the ring post will garner some controversy. Certainly not a visual choice I would have made. Reigns might have been able to free Kofi and used his help in extracting some revenge had he used the element of surprise rather than coming down the ramp like some kind of Western Movie. There wasn’t much to speak of for the matches, as this was all about the angle closing the show, but I can’t say the whole thing made me more interested in TLC. I just don’t care about Baron Corbin enough to want to see him get his comeuppance. The effort to promote the show has been mailed in, and they don’t have these feuds and characters in the right places to justify some of these stipulations. WWE main roster TV and Smackdown especially is in a pretty dire place right now.