4CReaction: WWE SmackDown (1/31/2014)

by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)

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Starting with a recap of the Daniel Bryan/Authority promo to kick off RAW, as well as the happenings in the main event.

As we pan back into the arena, The Shield’s music hits as they make their way out. Roman has a smirk on his face as a highlight reel of his Royal Rumble eliminations. Reigns & Ambrose come nose to nose but Rollins is the voice of reason, turning the attention of The Shield towards the Wyatt Family. Ambrose wants the Wyatts and here’s Vickie. She says she’s going to make history until HHH’s music hits and the COO makes his way to the ring. He implores The Shield to “let it go” in regards to the Wyatt Family. He tells Rollins that wasn’t a request. Reigns gets into the face of HHH and says they weren’t looking for his approval. Trips says if they want it and the fans want it, he might as well profit from it. At Elimination Chamber, it’ll be the Wyatt Family vs The Shield!

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Dolph Ziggler vs Antonio Cesaro battle for a spot in the WWE WHC EC match (a lot of initials there, eh?).  A pretty fun match between these two, and it’s guys like these that need to step it up with CM Punk departing. There was some excellent counters on the part of Ziggler here, including hitting a DDT out of a Swiss Death attempt and a tilt-a-whirl into a sleeper. In the end, Cesaro proved to be too much and after blocking a Zig Zag attempt, he hits the Giant Swing & then a neutralizer. Cesaro is heading to the Chamber in a move that I absolutely love.

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Fandango vs Xavier Woods is up next. This was kind of a squash win for Fandango, who wins a quick match following a Falcon Arrow. They seemed to have kind of watered down Woods already, which is disappointing. He was a pretty unique character in NXT. Post match, R-Truth hits the Osaka Street Cutter (or whatever he’s calling it) on Fandango before dancing with the Funkadactyls. Interesting side note was Emma finally interacting with someone, as Summer Rae took her sign and broke it. Lucky for us, she had a backup on the ready.

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Rybaxel vs the Prime Time Players is up next as all parties are already in the ring as we come back. Rybaxel wins in about 2 minutes as Titus never even got tagged in. Young’s mouth is busted and Titus comes in and berates Young. He effectively ends the PTP by beating the hell out of D-Young. So ends the run of a personal favorite team of mine, but I’ve been calling Titus WHC material for some time now. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of Shad Gaspard.

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Hall of Fame video package for a true legend, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.

Alexander Rusev promo video.

Christian & Jack Swagger battle next for the final spot in the WWE World title Chamber match. Good back & forth match. I enjoyed the parts I saw while I was cooking dinner and Christian wins after a frog splash. Always thought these 2 had good in-ring chemistry together dating back to ECW and their feud over that title. I feel that I know where this Colter/Swagger thing is going–especially after the post match stuff–and it makes me question where Swagger will go from there. Now the Chamber match is set with all 6 entrants and it looks like it could be something great.

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Damien Sandow. He’s in a slump and he loses to Kofi Kingston here in pretty short order following the SOS. I’d be concerned about his current state of affairs but they’ve got to be building something. I get that vibe from all of this, especially when listening to the commentary team really sell the fact that he’s in this slump. I think Sandow will blow up post-Mania this year.

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RAW recap of Brock Lesnar disrupting things on during the show.

Road Dogg vs Cody Rhodes is next. I really tuned a lot of this out and I discussed it this week. The NAO are best as a one-shot nostalgia act and I’m ready for the brothers Rhodes to something else. This was all to set up the big cage match on Monday in a rematch for the tag belts. I’m thinking we get a Cody heel turn even though I’d rather see the opposite and have Goldust turn. We’ll see what happens on RAW. As for this, Cody hits the Disaster kick to win it. Did we ever figure out why it’s not the Beautiful Disaster anymore? 311 copyright thing?

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Main event time, and here comes the Shield. They’re interrupted however by a Wyatt Family promo. A great one at that…Bray has the gift of gab like no one else right now in the company. We go to break and come back to the faces entering one by one. We kick this match off with Sheamus & Roman Reigns squaring off. They get a little “hoss-like” with each other, and Sheamus takes them out as we go to break. Rollins finds himself in the clutches of Bryan as we come back and Mystetio gets the tag soon after. Ambrose hits a reverse bomb though and The Shield takes over. Mysterio eventually gets the tag to Bryan and he comes in on fire! Kicks & Suicidas all around! Yes Lock on Roman but it’s broken up by Rollins. Bodies are flying everywhere and we get Rey & Roman in the ring. 619 attempt broken up by Rollins…flying knee from the apron by Bryan! Rey sets up another 619…SPEAR! Roman breaks Rey in 2 and gets the win for the Shield!

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Murray and I discussed the spoilers for this show–something not the norm for 4CR–but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all. After the very ‘meh’ show last week, SD! this week was great. Good in ring work, Chamber build and new stories developing. Definite thumbs up for this week’s episode!

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