We start off SmackDown, the last bit of wrestling before 2016 with a recap of Vince’s lovely racist remarks, with some piped in sound to make it seem like the crowd gave a shit about what Vince was saying. We see him get arrested again, and Steph’s disbelief that this could be happening to her family, and then Roman’s big smug grin as Vince is led away. We see the announcement again that Roman will get challenged for his title on Monday, and that we’ve got tag team action as our main event, with Roman and Dean vs. Sheamus and Kevin Owens.
[Boy oh boy. are you excited? Because we’re excited.]
The New Day start us off, with some new unicorn graphics, which are totally adorable. They have party hats on, and are talking about how they like new year’s, because it’s a chance to change things. They’re still salty about the Slammy, and they say that the WWE universe need to make some resolutions to change things. Apparently we need to wear glasses and hearing aids, so we can appreciate their greatness. We need a spring in our booties and a song in our hearts.
Kalisto and Sin Cara come out, and Kalisto wishes New Day luck in their three-way relationship by saying they deserve each other, and calling them cute. Sin Cara wants a match right now, never mind that he’s only got one working arm, and New Day laugh at him. Careful guys, he kept fighting with a freshly dislocated shoulder, guy can do anything. But it doesn’t matter, because they’ve brought friends – The Dudleys. As much as I’m not a fan of the Dudleys, it’s nice to see them back in the tag team picture, where they should be, chasing the titles they were supposed to come back to get. They have a lovely decorated table saying ‘Happy New Year’, too. Nice of them to get into the spirit of things.
[A big stocking stuffer for Big E’s big stocking! …um. Hmm.]
There’s a cool spot where Bubba Ray takes down Kofi and Big E with an elbow each, and then Xavier down with a kick, before prepping Kofi for Kalisto to leap onto him from the top rope. Francesca the trombone comes out for bit, because she’s got to get her new year’s kiss from Xavier, and if Big E holds his hips still for more than five minutes, he loses all feeling below the waist. The three of them go to town on Kalisto for a bit with the unicorn stomp and Big E hits a spectacular splash on the poor luchador. Kalisto uses his speed to get Big E out and make it to his corner after that, which leaves Bubba Ray to do a stunning suplex on Xavier Woods.
The most impressive move of the match is Bubba Ray sitting on the top rope, and Kalisto standing on his shoulders, leaping onto Xavier. Kalisto then hits a hell of a salida del sol on Kofi, and gets the pin for the win! So good to see that, and he shares a gentle, careful hug with Sin Cara afterwards. The Dudleys bring out their decorated table and throw Xavier Woods through it, wasting the efforts of whoever painted that table. At this point, you could pretty much replace the Dudleys with a table and no one would notice.
Next match is Tyler Breeze vs Goldust, and Goldie looks pretty perturbed by Tyler and Summer entering the ring, possibly worried that Summer’s going to out-sparkle him, or that Tyler doesn’t love himself enough to get famous the right way. Kids these days, all selfies and self-importance. This match-up is beautifully dynamic, the two of them so fast and agile together, it’s a pleasure to watch the two of them. Tyler seems a little upset that everyone’s shouting for Goldie, because he wants to be given acclaim everywhere. There’s a couple of good clothesline spots from Goldie, and he gets an early cover on Breeze, who kicks out at two.
Tyler’s got a few sneaky tricks up his sleeve, and actually manages to get the win by keeping his feet on the ropes. Summer comes up to talk about a few things, and talks about the big announcements of the year. Summer stands close, as Tyler says they’ve decided to go their separate ways. They take a couple of last selfies, and it’s the sweetest breakup I’ve ever seen. Totally calling it, Tyler’s gay for Dolph and Summer’s just his gorgeous and fabulous friend. So lovely to see a nice breakup in wrestling for once, with no one getting slapped or talking about someone else’s sex life.
[RIP Summer Breeze: 2015-2015]
So, I get informed by a friend, who’s watching it ‘live’ rather than my illegal version, that there was a Diva’s match that didn’t make the final cut, which makes me really angry, because we had TWO recaps of raw instead, and the stupid hallway segment with Bo Dallas – though Curtis Axel was in that, so I can’t be too salty about that. So it was Tamina and Naomi vs Brie and Alicia, contained Tamina trash talking and being powerful and awesome, but Brie got the pin on Naomi for the win. Apologies for not having the full match, because apparently someone thinks I need five minutes of Vince’s face instead of five minutes of the incredible women wrestlers. Someone is very, very wrong.
Backstage, Bo Dallas is wearing a little hat, and OH MY GOD THEY LET CURTIS AXEL OUT OF THE DUNGEON! He’s here! Bo found him! Curtis Axel says he was never eliminated from the Royal Rumble in 2015, and that he’s going to win the Royal Rumble. Bo says maybe he should just aim for wearing deodorant. Bo, he’s been in Vince’s sex dungeon, he’s not so much worried about how he smells as to whether the dogs can track him to his current location. Bo signs an autograph on a disgusted girl, and bumps into Ziggler who tells him to stop dressing like a baby. He then terrorises Bo by faking a superkick and telling him that they have a match.
[Guys, we found Axel, this is not a drill, I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL]
The Usos are out, and I get distracted by Eden, who is rock rocking pastel blue in a way few women can. The Usos are to face Strowman and Harper, for no valid reason other than they were the only people they could find backstage or something. Jimmy Uso actually punches Strowman, and it looks pretty impressive, if you ask me, but means Harper can spin him around and slam him down. Watching Strowman and Harper throw Jimmy around like he weighs nothing is not as exciting as I want it to be, sadly, because the Wyatts are slow, if strong, and The Usos have to oversell everything, which means there’s a lot of time just watching someone rolling around on the mat. Commentary manage to confuse Jimmy and Jey again, but at least we get an apology this time. Seriously, guys, it’s not difficult. Jimmy manages to break free with a lovely kick to the jaw of Harper, and then he gets out of the way of Strowman, sending him into the ring post.
Jey in and ducking and weaving, ripping his shirt off in sheer adrenaline and enthusiasm, flinging Harper around. He nearly gets the pin on Harper, as well, but is send staggering back, and then Jimmy’s back in, delivering textbook superkicks; to Strowman and also to Rowan on the apron. Strowman gets the bear hug locked in, though, and there’s no coming back from that for Jimmy. Commentary ask ‘how do you stop the Wyatts?’ – I don’t know, maybe keep them buried under old men who wrestle at the speed of glaciers and keep making them lose because Vince thinks that if the faces from when the ratings were good come back, the ratings will miraculously come back too.
[Stealing the show… and your recapper.]
Bo Dallas up next, trying to inspire himself to be in more matches in the next year, and then the screams of the women arise for the unproblematic fave that is Dolph Ziggler. I’d be less obvious about how much I love to watch this man wrestle, but… I think we all know about my love for him now. Not loving his choice to keep wrestling with a ponytail, though, I miss his ramen hair flying free. The two of them start off with some chain wrestling, which is always a joy to watch from any of the boys Lance Storm’s trained. Bo gets Dolph down, and goes to do a victory lap instead of getting the pin, so when he climbs back into the ring, he walks right into a dropkick from Ziggler. Dolph manages to walk himself into a classic lariat from Bo, leaving him crawling on the floor as Bo Dallas beams like a happy thug.
Ziggler gets a lucky roll up, but Bo Dallas is ready, and takes him back down, and there’s a gorgeous back suplex for another pin. I’d be tired of watching Ziggler lose to the guys who need a push, but he’s just so good at selling it that I feel like he showcases himself even when he loses, like he was to Breeze for a while. Thankfully, he gets himself a win here, taking down Bo with a lovely superkick and getting the pin, but it was a match that highlighted all of Bo Dallas’ strengths without making Dolph look weak, which is my favourite sort of match to watch.
Roman comes down first for the main event match, and the first thing I notice is that no one’s cleared the stairs for him, so it’s a bit of a gentle, appreciative mauling of him, poor lad. By the time he makes it down to the ring, he’s had more hands on him than he will in the match he’s about to have. Dean comes out to join him, and I’m still not over these two both having belts, I’m really not, it makes me so happy, and the screams of the women for Dean are always lovely. We get a recap of that powerbomb from KO that makes me flinch, and then out he comes, the Murder Bear, followed by Bioluminescent Sheamus the ginger giant squid.
[Poor Roman, trying so hard to be serious while getting bounced.]
Sheamus starts off the match against Roman, the two having a grapple that reminds me of watching two stags getting their antlers locked in rutting season, and being embarrassed about it. The crowd are still enjoying telling Sheamus he looks stupid, like everyone’s forgotten what a happy and smiling champ he was. Sheamus gets some good shots in, but forgets that Roman can only feign an injury for two minutes before his timer resets, so gets taken down with a neck breaker before he’s sent to the outside of the ring. Dean gets tagged in to take him down, and Booker T says that Dean can just ‘take it and take it and take it’. I’m pretty sure Booker’s just writing fanfiction at this point.
Kevin Owens comes into take it out on Dean, gets a lovely running bulldog on him, trying for dirty deeds, but Owens slides out of the ring. Dean wants to exact some revenge, so decides to pull the announce table apart before dragging Owens over to attempt a pop-up powerbomb. Owens gets him slammed into the ring, though, and when we come back from commercials, we’re being told that Owens is ‘pounding away at Dean Ambrose’. Commentary, are you all reading porn right now instead of watching the match? Dean’s in a submission hold that he manages to work his way out of, taking a knee to the gut for his troubles, and then Sheamus is in to beat the hell out of Dean, too.
Roman doesn’t look too bothered on the side of the ring until Sheamus hits a vertical suplex, at which point he starts to stir the crowd up into ‘let’s go Ambrose’ chants, helping Dean to get up. He manages to get Sheamus out of the ring and comes up with a great rebound lariat to KO, Roman stamping on the apron to get Dean to tag him in. Tag made, Roman goes to town on Sheamus, goes for the superman punch and is interrupted by Kevin Owens, who almost causes Sheamus to get the roll up for the win. Roman goes for the spear, but Owens grabs Roman by the feet, sending him flat to the mat, and yanking him backwards, legs either side of the ring post. The bell rings, but KO and Sheamus don’t care, giving boots to Roman’s face, before the two of them drag him out of the ring and fling him into the steel steps.
They throw Roman across the announce table before Dean comes over the top rope onto Sheamus, and KO starts to set up for a second powerbomb through the announce table, just like Monday, telling Sheamus to hold Roman’s head up to make him watch. Roman breaks free and superman punches KO and Dean sends Sheamus into the ring post before Roman spears him. The two share a quick cuddle before they get their belts back and stand on the announce table, celebrating their win. Roman pats Dean on the chest before SmackDown ends, and we ring out 2015 with the IC champ and the heavyweight champ standing proud and defiant, ready to face whatever 2016 will bring.
[RAWR, RAWR, RA–hugs!]