Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 12/17/15: Intercontinental Conflicts

WWE SmackdownBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 12/17/15)

Intercontinental Conflicts

– The opening video chronicled the newsworthy Raw that ended with Roman Reigns overcoming Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon, Sheamus and The League Of Nations to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion with his job on the line. The question was how Smackdown would follow up a hot Raw.

– The first segment with Reigns and Sheamus had the right intentions, but missed the mark. Reigns was back to “shaky promo guy” and didn’t seem comfortable, even mentioning that Triple H hadn’t been seen since getting beat down at TLC (um, NXT?) and expressed fear of his future with the company but simply wanted to celebrate for now. Sheamus was basically out to tell Reigns that The Authority began an investigation and until they formed a conclusion, he wasn’t allowed to compete or even be in the building. Of course, that meant that Reigns would have to beat up security goons. Sigh. Hopefully something on Raw goes down better than this. We’d get a kick out of The Authority stripping a Slammy Award away from Reigns.

– Sure, Ryback has good intensity and a loyal following, but this feud against The LON doesn’t allow him to branch out beyond his cookie-cutter “Rambo”-esque personality. His match with WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio proved this in spades, since we saw a pre-taped promo from Ryback that was basically “I don’t like LON and they could eat it.” Awfully generic. That said, at least LON got some momentum by giving Del Rio a submission victory by distracting Ryback. Going to have to do more to convince us this is the right road to go down, but it’s a start we suppose.

– Not sure what to make of this Tyler Breeze-Goldust feud yet. It lets Goldust be funny by playing off of Breeze/Summer Rae’s over-the-top reactions to his antics, but wrestling-wise, we can’t imagine they’ll be putting on any clinics. Not to mention – what happened to the Titus O’Neil-Stardust stuff? The O’Neil-Breeze match was paint-by-numbers that furthered things with Breeze-Goldust as the babyface invaded the VIP Section to Rae’s dismay and then used the Selfie Stick to distract Breeze to make him lose.

– WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose’s backstage promo was effective in reacting to him getting Pop-Up Powerbombed twice by Kevin Owens and being the human canvas for a Pop-Up Powerbomb to Dolph Ziggler on Raw. He put over that Owens’ mission to drive him to an institution with all the powerbombs in the world wouldn’t stop him from being a fighting Champion. We welcome the attitude and it stayed true to his character.

The Wyatt Family’s latest fog promo had a theme of fear outweighing the extremest of extremes, as evidenced by theme overcoming Team ECW (Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno/The Dudley Boyz) on both TLC and Raw. What we wonder: is the end of that feud? Are they moving on to something new from here and if so, what?

The New Day’s promo was more in line with their characters – no fake sincerity or overbooked nonsense. It was a heel promo basically, with them accusing everyone of being jealous and dancing only for their own entertainment. That said – the match that followed between Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston and The Lucha Dragons was unfocused on competition and more on New Day hijinks, as Big E made the broadcast team read an endless list of nicknames for them, but it picked up by the finish, which was hot. Basically, Sin Cara flipped over the top rope onto Big E, taking Woods with him on the way down, leaving Kalisto to hit his finisher with Kingston standing on the top turnbuckle to get the surprise win. Lucha Dragons beating the Champs grants them an opportunity at the Belts on next Tuesday’s Live Super Smackdown show. We can dig it.

– Ziggler’s backstage promo hyped the match with Owens but he gave us some long drabble about how he didn’t like being labeled “collateral damage” despite being the one guy who never loses his smile or takes a day off. He mentioned how the belts he won actually meant something to him and that when he went out to perform, stealing the show and outdoing himself was the goal. Basically, he challenged Owens to “hang with him.” Is this a foreshadowing of a heel turn down the road? Ziggler’s character is stale, so we’d welcome anything at this point.

– Now, for your Divas silliness: Brie Bella and Becky Lynch had a match over a “Twitter war” where Bella called Lynch out on the way she won on Raw with Ric Flair’s help, unbeknownst to Lynch until later on, who wasn’t a fan of how it went down, but wanted a chance to show she could do it on her own. Team BAD was in the first row holding flashy signs and wearing t-shirts for various Divas for some reason. Not sure what this is supposed to be. So, to the match: WWE Divas Champion Charlotte came down to the ring to “cheer on” Lynch and ended up tripping Bella so Lynch could put her in the Disarmer. This time, Lynch saw it and… applied the move to win? How is that consistent with Raw? The whole point is her not wanting to win “dirty” and… oh, why bother explaining it? The backstage segment that followed at least went back to normal with the story as Lynch stormed off when she realized that Charlotte only wanted her to win because she felt she wasn’t capable of it on her own and needed help. Is a Lynch-Charlotte feud the new route? Where does Team BAD stand in all of this?

– Owens’ backstage promo had him express that while Ziggler seeking revenge for Raw was all well and good, but he was on a mission to take down Ambrose, who he compared to a cockroach. Smart. His line about wanting to drive Ziggler to a hospital bed felt believable and was a good lead-in to the main-event match, which ended up great while it lasted, especially towards the end, when we weren’t too sure who’d win. Luckily, we avoided all that with a cop-out DQ for Owens when he kept attacking Ziggler by the announcement table. We liked the interaction between Ambrose and Owens here, which involved him saving Ziggler, but not getting to hit Dirty Deeds on Owens, who escaped and laughed when Ambrose got superkicked by Ziggler, possibly by mistake. This more likely hints toward a three-way for the IC Title at Royal Rumble, which we dig.






Quick Results

  • Alberto Del Rio def. Ryback via submission
  • Titus O’Neil def. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall
  • The Lucha Dragons def. Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E) via pinfall
  • Becky Lynch def. Brie Bella via submission
  • Dolph Ziggler def. Kevin Owens via DQ

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on December 20, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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