Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for November 22

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013

Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for November 22

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    Every week here on Bleacher Report, I will take an in-depth look at SmackDown, recapping all of the action, offering analysis and grading the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show, as well as provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    This was the final show heading into Survivor Series, and it did a good job of addressing all the feuds and providing some great matches.

    Rey Mysterio made a surprise return to SmackDown when he teamed up with The Usos to take on The Shield.

    This was an enjoyable show that served as a great way to cap off the week heading into Survivor Series. Let's get right into the action with the opening match featuring The Real Americans vs. The Rhodes Brothers.

The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust (Tag Team Title Match)

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    Instead of the usual video package of talking segment, WWE kicked of SmackDown in a big way with a tag title match.

    I have said this about almost every match Cody Rhodes and Goldust have been in: This was an awesome match.

    The first two-thirds were just good wrestling. The Rhodes Brothers controlled the first-third of the match with some good tag team wrestling, while The Real Americans showed just how much they have grown as a team while controlling the second-third of the match.

    The last-third of the match was where all four men really stepped up their games. Hot tags, counter after counter and quick action turned this into a real barn-burner, as JR would say.

    Antonio Cesaro spun Cody around in the "Cesaro Swing" faster than any other time we have seen in the past, and the uppercut he hit on Cody was picture-perfect. Goldust and Swagger contributed as well, but Rhodes and Cesaro stood out.

    Goldust picked up the win with a pinfall on Jack Swagger, retaining the titles for the brothers. Matches like this are why the weekly shows sometimes out-perform the pay-per-views.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the match:

    • Does Goldust's finisher have a name? I do not remember ever hearing it called anything specific.
    • The makeup Goldust is wearing these days looks almost tribal, in a way.
    • Also, am I the only one who thinks Goldust looks a little like the Transformers logo? Just a little bit?

Ryback vs. Khali

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    This is one for the ages, folks. You have The Stoppable Force vs. The Immobile Object.

    Ryback has been losing a lot of matches in recent weeks, but he picked up a win in this one. The match might not have been memorable, but you have to respect the fact that Ryback could lift Khali up on his shoulders and hold him there for a few seconds before dropping him with Shell Shocked.

    Ryback is not nearly as good as the position he was pushed to, but there is value in someone who is as powerful as he is. He doesn't have to be the face of the company, he just has to be good enough to draw a reaction, and his power always gets a reaction from the crowd.

    Grade: Would have been a D, but the finisher got it up to a C-

    Some notes from the match and after the match:

    • Without Paul Heyman, Ryback will have a hard time finding a spot among the top Superstars again.
    • The video they showed for Bruno Sammartino to promote the new WWE DVD was pretty cool.
    • AJ and Vickie had a brief exchange backstage which makes me question who the babyface is in that feud?

The Funkadactyls vs. AJ with Tamina in Her Corner

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    Vickie put AJ in this match as revenge, but Tamina was there to help even the odds by taking out Cameron while the ref had his back turned.

    Naomi still managed to pick up the win after hitting The Rear View on AJ. This was a short match, but AJ's performance made it somewhat enjoyable.

    She is always at the top of her game in terms of the performance aspect of her job, and nobody will deny that AJ is one of the best wrestlers to hit the Divas division in a long time.

    Grade: C+

    Some notes from the match and after the match:

    • Bray Wyatt gave a promo after the match that was his usual stuff.
    • Naomi might end up as the next Divas champion, which could cause Cameron to get jealous and lead to a break up. I would assume Cameron would turn heel before Naomi.

The Shield vs. Usos and Rey Mysterio

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    This was another fun tag team match that featured six men, who always deliver a good performance, doing what they do best.

    The surprise return of Rey Mysterio was cool, but this could have been done at Survivor Series to gain more attention if he is planning on sticking around for awhile

    The Usos were in the ring for most of the match, but Rey came in and delivered a high-energy performance in the final minutes of the match to pick up the pin and the win for his team.

    Dean Ambrose took the first 619 we have seen in months, and even though it was just his usual stuff, Rey looked really good for someone who hasn't wrestled regularly in several months.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the match:

    • I like how JBL acknowledged Rey Mysterio as being the man who retired him.
    • Roman Reigns spearing both Usos within seconds of each other was pulled off really well.
    • Seth Rollins hit the "Spot of the Night" when he threw caution to the wind and dove over the top rope onto the Usos.

Randy Orton and Big Show

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    This was a pretty standard promo from both men to build towards their match on Sunday. Big Show came away as the man who won this battle, but that may indicate that he will lose the war.

    I have always said that the person who comes out on top during the final interaction leading to a title match will end up losing about 90 percent of the time.

    Show's argument relied on him using Orton's own history against him. He said Orton should have been the face of WWE years ago, but he was too selfish to get there.

    I would love to see Big Show win the title on Sunday because it would be a real change from the few who have rotated as champion the past few years, but something tells me Orton will win at Survivor Series.

    It also has to be mentioned that R-Truth brought forth the not-so-triumphant return of his Pretty Ricky character to plug It was kind of funny.

    Grade: C+

Big E. Langston and Dolph Ziggler vs. Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow

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    This match was shorter than it should have been, but it addressed two separate feuds at once and it reunited Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston.

    Langston picked up the win for his team with a Big Ending to Damien Sandow. Ziggler took most of the punishment and Langston came in and cleaned house.

    Grade: C+


Luke Harper vs. Daniel Bryan

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    Daniel Bryan picked up the win in a good match against Luke Harper, but it was The Wyatt Family who were standing tall when the show ended after beating down CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.

    Harper is extremely physical in the ring, and it is hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't cross the street to avoid this guy.

    He has great chemistry with opponents both big and small, and he is always in character.

    The final segment on SmackDown was WWE's last shot to sell the PPV, and ending with Wyatt coming out on top was a smart move.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the match:

    • Bray Wyatt laughing at the fact that Bryan stole the win was the oddest thing he did all night.
    • Has Harper always had the gray in his beard? HDTV allows you to see strange things.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    The final SmackDown before Survivor Series featured plenty of solid action and every storyline for Survivor Series was addressed in some way.

    Survivor Series is a PPV with a card that could lead to a great show or a total flop. Some of the feuds are fresh, but not a lot of what we will see will be anything new.

    This week all the predictions will revolve around the Survivor Series match results.


    • Miz will defeat Kofi Kingston.
    • The babyfaces will defeat the heels in the Divas elimination match.
    • The heels will defeat the babyfaces in the Superstars elimination match.
    • Daniel Bryan and CM Punk will defeat The Wyatt Family, but they will be attacked again after the match.
    • Big E. Langston will retain the Intercontinental Championship against Curtis Axel.
    • John Cena will retain the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio.
    • Randy Orton will retain the WWE Championship against Big Show.

    What do you think will happen at Survivor Series?


    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.