WWE Recap: SmackDown Ends the Decade on a High Note, Raw Invites You to a Wedding

Let's hope 2020 is the year Seth Rollins brings back the blonde streak

Another decade of WWE in the books and management is already looking forward to eliminating competition in the new year, proving that Now, Then, Forever isn’t just a promise, it’s really more of a threat. This week we saw Raw get in the Christmas spirit with a lot of vaguely disinterested fighting, some heartfelt journeys through NYC, and also Jerry Lawler in a terrible Christmas sweater, although we could have definitely done without that and probably without Lawler at all. In the last SmackDown of 2019, we learned the importance of being a parent, and that men over 6’5″ look very funny when they dance. Just really hilarious.


Bad Boys Run Wild

Seth Rollins, who now wears a man bun so you know he’s a bad guy, and his evil new bffs, AOP, weren’t feeling very holly or jolly on Monday night. After putting Mojo Rawley through a table in a no DQ match, Kevin Owens called out the well dressed trio. While Rollins initially attempted to persuade Owens they were cool now and nobody needed to get stomped into a concrete floor again, KO went for a super kick, and AOP came in to beat the crap out of him yet again. After stomping KO’s head through the mat, Rollins was in the main event, facing Rey Mysterio for the US Title. Unsurprisingly, Akam and Rezar interfered when it looked like Mysterio was about to win, shoving him off the top rope and continuing the beat down on the outside. I’m really impressed their suits stay looking so good as they’re tossing people into barricades. AOP dragged Mysterio over to commentary to put him through the table, but Samoa Joe refused to move. Rollins pretended to play peacemaker, then told AOP to finish Joe. The show went off air with Rey stomped on the entrance and Joe sent through a table, and the three nasty boys standing tall.

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Feel the Love

Bobby Lashley had a match with underused legend Cedric Alexander, but the real news came when Lana interrupted the match to say she and Bobby were getting married on Raw next week, then suggest a Greco-Roman wrestling match to protect the quality of the wedding photos. The XL Center in Hartford, CT is truly a dream venue, so I see why she wants everything to be perfect. Alexander had a strong showing in what was a surprisingly good match, but Lashley, driven by the knowledge of how much weddings in wrestling rings cost, got the win. Later in the night, a jovial Rusev faced No Way Jose in a very quick match, then went backstage to dance it up with the conga line. Rusev talked about how he was single and ready to kiss everyone in the vicinity, much to the delight of any person watching this segment. Jose was nowhere to be seen, but I guess that’s because Rusev was giving these people a much better offer. He also mentioned he was ready to get some revenge for the loss at TLC, which definitely won’t result in him undermining the sanctity of a live wedding at a respectable basketball arena.

Truth and Tozawa Make the Naughty List

This was cute, dammit. It’s the holidays and I deserved this for dealing with everything else WWE put me through in 2019. The 24/7 title has lost a bit of steam since it’s inception earlier this year, but if it’s given us anything, it’s proof that R Truth is potential the most entertaining man WWE has ever employed. This week’s adventure saw him attending what he assumed to be a light up party at The Rock’s house, only to find himself ambushed by Akira Tozawa, who pinned him and ran off with the title. Later, Tozawa was attacked by St Nick himself, who became presumably the oldest 24/7 champ, at roughly 1700 years old. Truth and Tozawa teamed up to find Santa together, and John Cone yelled at them for making him walk around New York in the cold all night. That’s the real holiday spirit.


Mother of the Year

Prior to her match, Lacey Evans appeared on Moment of Bliss, which I guess is where they’ve been hiding both Alexa and Nikki for the past month. She talked about being a mom and kicking Sasha’s ass with her incredible childbearing strength. Somehow she was also the first wrestler to leave a talk show before she was attacked from behind, finally learning from Raw’s 26 years on air that the bad guys like to do that kind of thing. Lacey and Dana Brooke teamed against Bayley and Sasha, giving Brooke especially a chance to show off. It’s been refreshing to see her used so prominently on SmackDown after years of toiling in the undercard. Banks and Bayley kept her isolated from a fired up Lacey Evans for much of the match, until mama bear finally got the tag. She and Sasha squared off, before Brooke was tagged in and Banks locked her in the Bank Statement. I’m impressed with how Evans has transitioned to a face, but I guess legally we’re not allowed to boo moms.


Country Man Destroys Artists

Braun Strowman isn’t a wrestler designed for me. I get this and I accept it and his instagram is a lot of fun, but I would have much rather enjoyed another Cesaro/Nakamura vs New Day match. This was Sami Zayn’s return to in ring competition, something we haven’t seen in months. The majority of his participation was outside interference, but we got to watch him dance to Nakamura’s theme, so I’m not gonna complain about it. Cesaro and Kingston had some really great moments here, with the heels working over Kingston for much of the match. Strowman finally got the hot tag and wreaked havoc, running down everyone in sight. He got the win with a power slam to Nakamura, and celebrated with some extremely awkward hip gyrating. It was really, really great.

205 Celebrates Hotness

205 Live aired another “best of” this week, which made me sad as a fan of cruiserweight wrestling, but happy that these guys hopefully got to spend their time with family and friends. It’s easy to forget that wrestling literally never takes a break and these people are travelling every single week just for us to be able to brag that we saw Angel Garza rip his pants off in person, which I did and I absolutely will be bragging about for the rest of my life. They covered the rocky journey the Cruiserweight Championship has been on this year, and ranked some of the best flippy boy moments we saw all year. The #1 205 match of 2019 was, unsurprisingly, Angel Garza vs Lio Rush, an absolute banger from a few weeks ago on NXT. 205 has definitely been through some big changes this year, but watching Garza and Rush proves that the often ignored show still manages to put out some of the best wrestling in all of WWE.


WWE Banger of the week: Daniel Bryan vs The Miz vs King Corbin

If WWE has done anything in 2019, it’s actually make me a fan of Corbin. It took him a while to find his groove, but he’s truly a naturally snotty suburban parent. In the opening segment, he insulted both Bryan and the Miz as fathers, but was attacked by Roman Reigns, who said every man is simply doing his best with what he is given, and maybe Birdie and Monroe just have bad vibes. Corbin claimed they had to postpone the triple threat until next week since he was unable to compete, but Miz vs Bryan happened anyway. Only a few minutes into the match, Corbin’s buff friends who helpfully carry him to the ring attacked both men, causing a DQ. The triple threat was reinstated for the main event,with Corbin agreeing to the match only if Reigns was barred from the arena. Bryan and Miz worked together against Corbin for a moment, before facing off against each other. I’ve been living for their tumultuous, will-they-won’t-they friendship this past month. Corbin hit the End of Days on Miz but Bryan ran in to break it up. Ziggler super kicked Bryan and dragged Corbin into the cover, but Reigns pulled him out of the ring. Roman says monarchies are dead and power belongs to the people! Bryan and Miz went at it one on one, trading It/Yes kicks in a cool sequence. Bryan finally got the win with the Labell Lock, sending him to rumble with The Fiend again next month. That promises to be a red light filled, hammer swinging good time.