Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for December 6

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2013

Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for December 6

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    WWE.com

    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 week's show served to further many of the storylines heading into TLC and it provided us with a couple of great matches.

    Many of the weekly regulars were missing from SmackDown like The Usos and The Prime Time Players, but we did get to see the WWE, United States, Tag Team and Intercontinental champions in action.

    Nothing happened this week that will be remembered years from now, but it was an decent show that provided some solid entertainment, and that is the best we can hope for most weeks.

    Let's get right into the show, with the opening segment featuring Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan reigniting their feud.

Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan

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    Randy Orton opened the show with a promo about proving once and for all that he is the best in WWE at TLC when he defeats John Cena.

    Daniel Bryan came out and told Orton he needed to apologize for impersonating a champion. Bryan said Orton never legitimately beat him.

    Bryan went on to say that he will challenge whoever wins the WWE and World title match at TLC, but for now he would settle for a match with Orton.

    The segment ended with Orton turning down the challenge, but the announcers speculating that Vickie could make it happen. The match ended up happening, but Vickie was not shown making it official.

    This was nothing special. Orton said the same things he has been saying for weeks, and Bryan did his usual job of hyping up the crowd with "Yes!" chants.

    This wasn't a terrible way to start the show, but it wasn't very strong either.

    Grade: C+

Big E Langston vs. Fandango

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    This was an average match, but the level of physicality kept things mildly interesting.

    Big E Langston picked up the win with The Big Ending, but Fandango put up a good fight, hitting Langston with a few big moves before being pinned.

    Damien Sandow was on commentary for this match, and he had a staredown with Langston afterwards to push their match at TLC.

    This was just filler, but it wasn't bad filler.

    Grade: C

    Some notes from the match:

    • Summer Rae draws a lot of attention outside the ring. She is so animated that it's hard not to notice her.
    • Of course her looks help her get noticed, too.
    • Fandango's clothesline to Langston outside the ring looked awesome.

     

Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel

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    This bout only lasted one segment, but the action was fun and the win from Curtis Axel and Ryback clearly sets up a future title match between the two teams.

    Goldust and Cody Rhodes always look good together, and this match was no different. The pace was quick and the way the match ended provided a nice surprise finish.

    Ryback seems to work better in a tag team. Having Axel there to add some legitimacy makes his shortcomings stand out less.

    This was an average match when it was all said and done, but it kept a new feud going forward.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I like how JBL credited teaming with Ron Simmons for boosting his career. The APA were awesome.
    • Cody's Disaster Kick off the announce table looked pretty cool.
    • Goldust needs to stick around after he and Rhodes eventually break up. He has gotten too damn good to only use for a short time.
    • JBL beat me to the punch calling Axel and Ryback "Rybaxel."

Bad News Barrett and Del Rio's Attack on Kofi

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    Wade Barrett's new gimmick where he stands at a podium and gives out bad news was on display again, and it was no better than the first appearance we saw on Raw.

    Barrett has an opportunity to get some great laughs with this kind of gimmick, but it does not appear as if he has been given very good material to use yet. Hopefully things improve because Barrett is too valuable to let go to waste.

    He delivered a second promo later in the night where he talked about focusing on whoever wins the WWE and World titles at TLC that was much better than the first promo he gave.

    Grade: C

    Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston were supposed to have a match, but Del Rio attacked Kofi before the bell even rang.

    These kinds of attacks can be useful at times, but Del Rio has done this kind of thing so many times that it doesn't make him look any more dangerous or intimidating.

    Kofi and Del Rio could have been a great match, but WWE opted to go with an attack from behind, and that robbed everyone of what could have been a show-stealer.

    Grade: D

CM Punk vs. Dean Ambrose

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    This is the kind of match every fan should hope they get to see when attending a live event or TV taping. CM Punk and Dean Ambrose stole the show with their brand of high-energy action.

    This match featured creative offense, counter after counter and plenty of exchanges back and forth for control. The most surprising thing about the match was that neither Seth Rollins nor Roman Reigns made an appearance to help their partner, which may have been due to the exchange we saw before the match.

    When The Shield were discussing who would face Punk it seemed as if Rollins and Reigns were not too pleased with Ambrose naming himself as Punk's opponent.

    This match had enough time to tell a story and make both men look good in the process. No complaints whatsoever.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I loved seeing Ambrose utilize Bob Backlund's Cross-Face Chickenwing.
    • The Shield seem like they are getting closer and closer to a split, and the segment on Friday's show seems to all but signal their upcoming breakup.
    • This match should have closed the show.

     

Natalya vs. Tamina

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    This was a physical, albeit somewhat boring match. Tamina and Natalya are both very talented and powerful, but for whatever reason they can never seem to put together a great contest.

    AJ was on commentary for this one to push her title bout with Natalya at TLC, and surprisingly she stayed behind the table and did not get involved.

    Nattie picked up the win after Tamina missed a Superfly Splash and Natalya capitalized to get the pin.

    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • This was like watching Jim Neidhart vs. Diesel without the Y chromosome.
    • AJ will most likely win Diva of the Year on Monday if the voting is kept honest and WWE doesn't change the results to suit a storyline.

The Real Americans vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio

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    This match came about after Zeb Colter interrupted an interview with Rey Mysterio, challenging Mysterio and a partner of his choosing to take on Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro.

    The match itself was alright, but nothing special. Mysterio took most of the damage until he made the hot tag to Big Show and the two babyfaces picked up the win.

    Mysterio stood on Big Show's shoulders before dropping a splash on Cesaro to pick up the pin. This was nothing more than an excuse to pop the crowd with a win for the good guys, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Not every match can revolve around a storyline, but at least this one gave us a bit of entertainment value. Rey looks good since returning, and hopefully this time he stays healthy long enough to do something interesting.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Am I the only one who finds it funny that Cesaro's jacket says "Toni"?
    • It was really disappointing not to see Cesaro hit Big Show with the Big Swing. That would be truly impressive.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

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    It should come as no surprise to anyone that Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton had a good match to cap off the show since they always seem to have great chemistry in the ring.

    Their different styles allow them to create a very different performance every time they get in the ring together, and SmackDown was a great example of that versatility.

    We saw a little bit of everything in this match. They duked it out, wrestled each other, hit some high-flying moves and traded offense enough times to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.

    This encounter might not have been their best match, but it was one they can both be proud of. Bryan was on a roll in the second half, but The Wyatt Family caused a distraction that cost Bryan the win.

    Orton took full advantage of the distraction, pushing Bryan into the ropes and nailing him with an RKO to pick up the pin.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Orton's RKO really is the perfect finisher. He can hit it on anyone from just about any position and it always looks good.
    • Bray Wyatt gave a promo after the match that actually got me interested in this feud again.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This week's show was pretty average. We had some good matches, some average matches and a match or two that fell below expectations.

    Major storylines were addressed and furthered through promos and the various bouts we saw. We may even have a decent indication of another match or two for TLC following Friday's show.

    Punk and Ambrose stole the show with their match, but Orton and Bryan kept up with their main event performances.

    TLC is less than two weeks away, and at the rate we're going it could end up being a show with a lot of surprises or a lot of letdowns.

    Since Monday is the annual Slammy Edition of Raw the predictions will focus on the Slammy Award winners this week. We do not know all the nominees yet, so the awards without nominees will be educated guesses.

    Predictions (Awards with no announced nominees with be marked with a *)

    • *This is Awesome Moment of the Year- Undertaker extends his streak to 21-0.
    • *Extreme Moment of the Year- John Cena puts Ryback through an ambulance roof.
    • *Trending Now (Hashtag) of the Year- #YES.
    • *Beard of the Year- Bray Wyatt.
    • *Fan Participation of the Year- Everyone doing the Fandango.
    • *Breakout Star(s) of the Year- The Shield.
    • LOL Moment of the Year- The Rock Concert on Raw.
    • Insult of the Year- Paul Heyman's insults toward CM Punk.
    • Match of the Year- Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (Battleground) (I Hope)
    • Diva of the Year- AJ Lee.
    • Superstar of the Year- Daniel Bryan.

    What did you enjoy from Friday's show, and who will take home the Slammys on Monday?

     

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