Tonight’s episode of SmackDown took place in Manchester, England and featured a total of six matches, including a main event tag team match between the teams of CM Punk/Daniel Bryan and Curtis Axel/Ryback. The English crowd was vocal throughout most of the night and was rewarded with a surprisingly entertaining arm wrestling competition between John Cena and Alberto Del Rio. Well, at least I thought it was entertaining. Also, the entire episode seemed to revolve around the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family storyline. Looks like WWE are pulling out all the stops in order to get fans invested in that feud. So, without further ado, here are the overall highs and lows from Friday Night SmackDown:
Best Match: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback was a highly entertaining bout and was the best match of the night. However, it’s a shame that it never officially finished thanks to some interference from the Wyatt Family. Axel and Ryback were going toe-to-toe with the former WWE champions and looked like a legit threat to pull out an upset victory. Out of six matches, two lasted longer than five minutes and were highly competitive. Along with the main event, The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family was a top notch match and way to start off SmackDown. Luke Harper was especially exceptional.
Crowd Chants of the Night: During the John Cena/Alberto Del Rio arm wrestling competition, the crowd chanted “YES”, “let’s go Cena” and “Cena sucks”. During the Divas match, the crowd chanted “JBL”. The English crowd was loud throughout most of the night, but didn’t have a whole lot of clever chants.
Breakout Star of the Night: Luke Harper was tonight’s breakout star of the night after putting forth an impressive performance in his tag team match against The Usos. Harper, with his in-ring style and interesting mannerisms, is such a unique wrestler and I truly think that he has what it takes to be a star (heel) in the near future. He is surprisingly agile for a man standing 6’8 and he can probably manhandle any superstar on the current roster. Harper was entertaining as hell in his match tonight and he deserves the breakout star of the night award.
Also, on a side note, Brie Bella and Naomi get a nod for breakout stars of the night after they worked very well with one another during a Divas tag team match. Naomi has always been solid in the ring but Brie has been improving each and every week. Good work Daniel.
Jobber of the Night: Hunico and Camacho were the jobbers of the night after literally jobbing to the Great Khali in a 2-on-1 handicap match. I mean really? You bring these two guys back to WWE TV and throw them in the ring with Khali? The Punjabi Playboy needs to stop wrestling and start cutting more promos if you ask me. Anyways, Hunico and Camacho are good wrestlers, just like most of the guys from 3MB, but they are never given a chance to shine.
Upset of the Night: There were no clear cut upsets in the six matches that took place tonight on SmackDown, but something that was upsetting to me was the way most of the matches were booked. Four bouts didn’t even last longer than five minutes, which is something that fans do not want to see. When there are so many job matches in one night, it gets very tiresome. Like JBL always says, “we fight on Friday night’s”, well, start fighting longer!
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night: There were two holy sh** moments of the nights. The first came during the arm wrestling contest between John Cena and Alberto Del Rio. After Cena defeated Del Rio twice in a matter of seconds, the Mexican Aristocrat snapped and attacked Cena. Del Rio failed to “break” Cena’s other arm, but did manage to slam the face of the WWE through the arm wrestling table. Del Rio has the momentum leading up to Survivor Series, but we’ll see how long that lasts.
The second holy sh** moment of the night came at the end of SmackDown. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were about to win their tag team match, but the Wyatt Family interrupted by shutting the lights off. In a matter of seconds, both Harper and Rowan were in the ring ready to attack Punk and Bryan, but they were nowhere to be seen. With Bray on the outside of the ring, all three members of the Family started freaking out, looking for the dream tag team. All of a sudden, Ryback pushed Axel into Harper and all hell broke loose. It was great to see.
Worst Match: Last Wednesday night on Main Event, Natalya and AJ Lee had a great match for the Divas Title and Natalya won that match via disqualification thanks to Tamina Snuka. Tonight on SmackDown, Natalya got her revenge by making Tamina tap out to the Sharpshooter after two minutes of messy action. After a failed distraction by AJ Lee, Natalya rolled Tamina up and then applied the Sharpshooter to get the victory. This match made sense and it needed to happen given the circumstances, but it could have been a lot better. However, I am excited about an AJ Lee/Natalya feud. Side note, Hunico and Camacho vs. The Great Khali could have also been the worst match of the night, but I was somewhat entertaining by the beating Khali gave to Hunico and Camacho during their handicap match. Sorry for being biased.
Logic Fail of the Night: For months, I’ve been writing these Nutshell articles and a lot of commenters have stated their own logic fails of the night in the comments section and they’ve all been pretty funny/entertaining. So, I want to start leaving this category blank and hopefully you guys can run with it. So, let me know your personal logic fails from Friday Night SmackDown.
WTF Moment of the Night: The WTF moment of the night came during a John Cena promo right before his arm wrestling match against Alberto Del Rio. Cena spotted a fan in the crowd dressed up as Superman and began to insult… and then praise him. Throughout the entire awkward segment, Superman (not Cena) was very flamboyant and full of joy, even after being made fun of for being skinny. Hell, he even led the Manchester crowd in a “YES” chant. I found the entire segment to be strange and for some reason, I have a feeling that Superman (not Cena) was a plant. Did anybody else get that feeling or no?
Tweets of the Night:
The U.K crowd will cheer anything. #SmackDown
— Justin George (@TNAWWEGuy) November 16, 2013
— The Fans Podcast (@TheFansPodcast) November 16, 2013
If you take away the mic ability from Bobby Roode, and tone down the charisma, adding unrealistic expectations, you’ll get Curtis Axel
— Jay Jackson-Ferrans (@JJFTweets) November 16, 2013
— Evan Burford (@TheDoctorEdge) November 16, 2013
Commentary Lines of the Night: “Yeah, he’s not aggressive when he has the mask on” – JBL talking about Erick Rowan. “I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re very irritating JBL” – Michael Cole. “He looks like (Robin) Van Persie here in Manchester with those flying feet” – JBL talking about Daniel Bryan.
LOL Moment of the Night: I’ve been pretty hard on the Great Khali in these Nutshell articles, but tonight, he did something truly hilarious when he tried to be the best WWE salesman by cutting one of those WWEShop.com promos. Khali was so confused and had no idea what he was doing for a good minute or two. It was phenomenal. Did anybody else find that segment funny? Or am I just really overtired?
Overall Lowlights: Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka, Prime Time Players/R-Truth vs. 3MB (Union Jacks), Hunico and Camacho vs. Great Khali, Curtis Axel and Ryback aren’t Paul Heyman Guys anymore. Does this mean no more Paul Heyman for a while? I hope not.
Overall Highlights: The Usos vs. Wyatt Family, Great Khali sells stuff, John Cena talking to Superman in the crowd, John Cena and Alberto Del Rio arm wrestle, CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Curtis Axel/Ryback, CM Punk/Daniel Bryan sneak attack Wyatt Family.