The Best And Worst Of Main Event And Smackdown 12/16/14: All I Want Is To See You Succeed

When you push your Dolph Ziggler his mane will expand by up to 50%.

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Just doing a brief Main Event recap this week to keep me sane, but if you’re new to the B-show reports, I do a Main Event B&W every week. Usually I even do a rating gimmick where I decide if the star power of all the matches on the show, combined, adds up to a legit main event. It’s wacky! It’s fun! Stop by sometime!

Best: Miz Backs It Up

For those who haven’t been following my overly-detailed analysis of this whole Miz/Naomi/Jimmy Uso drama, let me assure you I’m firmly in Camp Miz. Yes, Miz’s initial backstage offer to Naomi could have been interpreted as creepy, but since then, even after his hypothetical plot has been exposed, he’s continued to try to help her. It’s been made clear to Miz numerous times that he’s not getting anything sexy out of the deal, and it’s a barely guarded secret that he already has Maryse at home, so the only conclusion to make is that he’s actually serious about this – or at the very least, he’s serious about saving face. Either way, he’s been providing Naomi with real opportunities, or at least that’s what she’s said on previous shows.

The only thing about what Miz is doing that could still be construed as shady is that all his opportunities take place outside of WWE and off TV, and as we know, the world outside the comforting WWE bubble is a seedy, scary place. So, this week on Main Event, Miz even cleared that issue up, arranging an official WWE Universe-sanctioned opportunity in the form of a Divas Championship match. Short of literally pulling the title out of his bag and handing it to her, Miz has done everything he possible can for Naomi at this point.

So, how does Jimmy Uso respond to this? He charges down to the ring with murder in his eyes and is all “You and your opportunities get the hell away from mah woman!” Miz, on the other hand, ignores the crazy Samoan in front of him, talks directly to Naomi like she’s a real person, assures her that she’s talented and that he only wants her to succeed, because he’s the good guy in this equation or possibly an exceptionally manipulative player – either way, Jimmy Uso deserves whatever’s coming.

Best: Where’s Cesaro’s New Day?

Somehow, someway I’ve ended up giving The New Day Bests in, like, three B&Ws in a row – I dunno, they keep having pretty solid matches. This one didn’t start great, with Kofi being his usual sloppy self, and Xavier just sort of running around like a headless chicken and not really accomplishing anything, but, surprise surprise, things picked up nicely once Cesaro got in there. Cesaro and Kidd’s new giant swing into a dropkick double-team move was particularly choice. Of course Cesaro and Kidd lost again, but at least they went down to the good Kofi/Xavier double-team finisher and not the makes-no-sense Big E/Xavier one.

Best: That’s a Child’s Game, Michael

I was not looking forward to this show’s promoted Kane vs. Erick Rowan main event at all, and apparently WWE wasn’t either because they decided to stick Titus O’Neil on commentary to distract from the action in the ring, and I have to commend WWE for their decision. This wasn’t wacky, mostly-lighthearted washcloth Titus – dude was full of beans tonight and verbally demolishing everything in his path. He rightfully pointed out that Rowan solving a Rubik’s Cube doesn’t mean shit, because it’s a toy for children (“Does he know how to use an Etch-a-Sketch too?”) and when Cole tried to paint Titus as stupid, he lowered the boom, bringing up the fact that he has a master’s degree, and who the hell is Michael friggin’ Cole to call people stupid? Cole has had one simple job for 20-years and still hasn’t figured out how to do it right.

As for the match in the ring, it seems like it was the train wreck you’d expect. Rowan was totally waylaying Kane, at one point legit shoulder-blocking him right out of the ring. Still, Titus’ verbal squashing of Cole was the real main event, and it was glorious.

Welcome to Smackdown, here’s a butt. 

Worst: Sure, Let’s Start This Thing With Fandango

I can’t think of a more fitting choice to kick off the big 800th live episode of Smackdown. Well, I guess they could have begun the show with an old couch in the ring, and Roman could have come down, sat on it and curated his DVR for 10-minutes. That would have been pretty hot too. Fandango…Jesus.

Roman Reigns still doesn’t know what to do with himself until it’s time to start Superman punching and spearing people – this is the dude’s big return match, and he’s in there doing arm-wringers and working headlocks. He spent a good 40% of this match where he should have been crushing human bones and sucking the marrow selling for NWO Wolfpac Fandango. You’re not still doing tag matches Roman, you have to replace the time you used to spend on the apron with something. But hey, the Superman punch and spear still looked great – no denying those two or three seconds of Roman Reigns matches are pretty killer.

Worst: The Smackdown Special

A few of you might be reading the Smackdown report for the first time since the show was live and on a night when normal people actually watch TV this week, so let me explain a Smackdown Special – it’s a breed of promo native and largely unique to Smackdown where guys come out and dryly recap recent events while imparting absolutely no new information. No entertainment value, they don’t even set anything up later in the show, they just flop their mouths open and shut like a human nutcrackers for 10-minutes then leave.

This was basically a Smackdown Special, albeit between two guys with more colorful than average delivery (usually it’s Seth Rollins, Randy Orton or John Cena doing these things). Ambrose recaps TLC in a disinterested manner, Bray shows up with his usual meaningless blather, then Ambrose “announces” a match that was filmed a week ago and we’re done, cut to commercial. Not to scare you newcomers away or anything, but we get one of these pretty much every week.

Best: An Early Christmas Present

This match was maybe the most purely entertaining 10-minutes of TV WWE has produced all this month. A lot of this match’s greatness hinged on the surprisingly compelling combo of Miz, Sandow and Luke Harper. Harper is wacky, but he’s sinister wacky, not well, wacky-wacky like Miz and Sandow and he was having none of their nonsense, barking orders at the Miz and shooting withering gazes at Sandow as he did his routine on the apron.

Just the odd-couple pairing would have been enough, but then things got next-level awesome when Sandow decided to mimic Harper, which caused Miz to get all sniffy and jealous (aww) and start yelling at Sandow, who yelled back and for a second I thought it was the breakup moment, but no, it was actually Sandow apologizing. See, he was mimicking Miz again, but Miz happened to be yelling at him, so he had to yell back [head explodes]. I’m not exaggerating when I say that might have been the smartest bit of comedy I’ve ever seen while watching pro wrestling — granted the bar isn’t set terribly high, but still, damn.

And hey, this affair even turned into a legit good match towards the end. The Usos may have been acting like b-holes lately, but I’ll forgive just about anything if you hit enough double superkicks, and Rowan finishing the match with a top-rope splash was certainly an unanticipated sight (kudos to Miz for taking the move – looked like Rowan legit squashed him). So yeah, proof positive the WWE midcard doesn’t have to be the stultifying, depressing place it usually is.

Worst: Somebody Needs to Change Jimmy Uso

What is wrong with this dude? He comes running up like a five-year-old with ants in his pants and is all “BOOSH POW KA-SPLOO DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP BOO!” until Naomi makes one perfectly reasonable request of him, then he immediately looks like he’s about to cry/throw a tantrum. You should have picked Jey, Naomi, you should have picked Jey.

Minor Best for Naomi’s “work out” just being her bouncing up and down and thrusting her chest at the camera. I know natural breasts that actually move and stuff are a novelty in WWE, but come on guys, a little subtlety.

Worst: Wake Up America!

Really? This is who America’s supposed to get behind now? Ryback? The biggest, choking in the clutch dumbo on the roster? I don’t care how patriotic you are — 80s Sylvester Stallone would bet on Rusev to win this feud. If you don’t think Ryback’s getting crushed, you haven’t been paying attention.

Sure enough, Ryback staggers out to bellow something stupid and Rusev materializes to kick him to death. Hey Ryback, make sure to send Chris Jericho a nice thank you Tweet for calling Lana a whore on Raw for no reason then shoving you in Rusev’s path of rage.

Worst: Just Dolph Ziggler

WWE really needs to decide how they want to treat Dolph Ziggler. On the one hand, he’s actually been given a really solid push lately, scoring wins over top guys and getting the big Randy Orton/Roman Reigns hero spot at Survivor Series, and yet everyone still treats him like he’s Dolph Ziggler, lost in the shuffle underachiever. Dolph comes out and challenges Rollins and Seth is all “What have you won to deserve a match with me?” mere seconds after Dolph’s win at Survivor Series is brought up.

Dolph isn’t helping matters – in many of his promos he continues to whine and play the underdog. A guy who’s accomplished what Dolph has lately shouldn’t come out and goad guys into matches like a dweeb, he should just demand them. All the wins and accomplishments in the world don’t matter if you don’t actually treat a guy differently, and it’s either time to start treating Dolph Ziggler differently or quit having him beat everybody.

Worst: Jimmy Uso, Drunken Little League Parent

So, during Naomi’s title match, Miz comes out to support her, and he’s actually doing a good job – he’s getting the crowd behind her, the momentum is shifting her way, then out comes Jimmy Uso to make a scene like the drunk dad at a little league game who wants to fight anybody who cheers for HIS kid, dammit. So, Jimmy starts swinging fists and Naomi is of course distracted and immediately rolled up. Jimmy knows damn well (as we all do) that WWE lady wrestlers are particularly susceptible to distraction roll-ups, but no, he couldn’t save his hysterics until after the match, because the dude is drunk on asshole-ahol 24/7.

As for the match itself, well, Nikki tried her best, nailing some good, basic, hard-hitting offense, but Naomi is still that Kofi Kingston kind of out-of-control “athletic” wrestler I can’t stand. Girl needs to stop with all the flippity-floops and just start kicking girls to pieces with those powerful legs.

Best: Rose of Tomorrow

Is Adam Rose stuck in some sort of Groundhog Day time anomaly? Is it impossible for anything that happens to him to progress at a normal rate? He makes his debut, and then he keeps having the exact same debut match for six-months. He turns on the Bunny, then he keep turning on the Bunny on every show for weeks. Kane kills both Rose and the Bunny on Raw, and here they are getting killed again on Smackdown. All that said, I’m not Worsting Kane Tombstone-ing a Bunny mascot in a neckbrace. I’m just not.

Best: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Rhodes

I love how unrepentantly evil the Rhodes Bros. have become. Their initial heel turn was depicted as being a thing they only did reluctantly after a string of losses, but now a few months later Goldust hates Christmas, Cody is painted Grinch green and they’re directing uncomfortable threats about black holes and darkness towards The New Day. Unsurprisingly the cartoon spacemen get better the less subtle they are.

Best: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler

This was, on a basic level, a competent match between two of WWE’s top workers, but in terms of storytelling it was all funked up. WWE top heel Seth Rollins played the valiant, injured fighter throughout the match, and our hero Dolph Ziggler never let up on the injured body part for a second, which is smart, sure, but aren’t good guys supposed to be a little more sporting than that?

But like I said, despite all that, this was a good match, that got up to a nice simmering boil in the final minutes. And hey, Ziggler even won! Again, it won’t matter if they don’t start treating Dolph like an actual winner, but beating the guy who just beat John Cena is probably the closest Ziggler will ever get to beating Cena himself, so Merry Christmas Dolph.

Best: Your Top 10 Comments of the Night (Always Wanted to Type That)

Johnny Slider

The Audience: “He can talk, he can talk”

Johnny Slider

Dolph Ziggler wants to fight an injured man. I guess he is gonna be a top face after all.


Naomi’s gear makes me want to get a new pair of Vans.


I always knew Michael Douglas would learn to regret his affair with Kane.


“The medical staff has determined Ryback needs a Z-pak”


I read a review that said Triple H’s one hour workout video is one of the best workouts in years. It’s been carefully crafted and perfected week after week. Vince mcmahon’s is 3 hours of a senior citizen putting his thumb up his ass, pulling it out, smelling it a little, putting it back in and calling that curls.


Cole, wouldn’t Seth Rollins being in a match be much more hazardous than Noble slightly touching his stomach?

Johnny Slider

I’d be okay with this match ending by DQ if the DQ was Brock Lesnar F5’ing Dolph so hard Dolph flies aways like a helicopter blade.

Anthony Daniels

When I say D you say IVORCE


That was a good Smackdown, see you guys on Sunday for an episode of Heat?

See you on THURSDAYS in 2015 (thank God).