Hello everyone, happy holidays, and welcome to the final Smackdown Breakdown of 2014. It's been another interesting year in the WWE, full of ups and downs throughout for the company with the launch of the WWE Network, or in the case of the UK the lack of launch on two occasions, we saw the struggles of Daniel Bryan's rise to the top finally come to an end only for him to pick up an injury, and we saw CM Punk finally reveal he didn't quit and that he was fired on his wedding day. But not only that we saw some great sights including Sting's arrival in WWE, the shock of the streak being ended at Wrestlemania 30, and the emergence of names such as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to the top of the WWE main event scene.
The last few Smackdowns have been pretty fun to watch so I am expecting this years show to end on the right note and carry us into 2015 with a bang. I have a feeling next year could well be a big year in terms of the events WWE produces and that we are in store for some unexpected moments, returns, and the emergence of some new names to captivate audiences all around the world. 2014 hasn't perhaps been WWE's greatest year in terms of some of the staleness of the product rearing it's head for all to see but I believe they can turn things around and make 2015 a year for WWE, and wrestling fans to be proud of.
With all that being said lets head on down into this weeks edition of the Smackdown Breakdown and see what the final edition of tis years show gave us.
Hulk Hogan Segment - 4 Stars
Fresh off his running of Raw this Monday as Ho-Ho-Hogan, we saw the Hulkster return to WWE Smackdown too....It must be Christmas! As much fun as it was hearing some Hogan nostalgia about his best appearances on Smackdown I was kind of glad to see Seth Rollins come out and talk himself up as the next big thing. Seth does a good job of generating heat wherever he goes and he doesn't even have to work at it now. You just know that all this constant talk of the Authority means that the story for power in WWE is far from over.
The segment was a nice and simple Segway to set up tonight's match but I kind of enjoyed it for mostly the nostalgia and seeing Seth brimming with confidence before his partner the Big Show, and opponents for the night Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns would make an appearance. I'm really enjoying Roman Reigns since his return as he seems to look better than ever for me. While everyone seems to be unsure about a Reigns push I believe it's the right thing to do. Let him have the chance and prove himself as you will never make superstars in this industry if you don't give fresh blood a chance.
Ryback vs. Kane - 3.5 Stars
I didn't really care that much for their chairs match at TLC, so the prospect of seeing them face off again on Smackdown didn't fill me with an urge to see it happen again. I'm more surprised Rusev and Ryback aren't having a match but I guess they are saving that for maybe the Royal Rumble, or if they can stretch it long enough save it till Wrestlemania, as that would be a great stage to see the big Russian/Bulgarian suffer his first defeat and while I'm not sure he needs it the victory would be a really big deal for Ryback's career.
The match didn't feel like it was going to be much different to their chairs match at TLC, but I guess it was only inevitable we would see an appearance from Rusev, who would surely cost Ryback the match in most scenarios, but in this case he failed and Ryback came out looking strong. The stare down between the two men post match was fun to see and made you want to see the physicality. It would be Rusev who stood looking dominant by the end though as he kicked Ryback in the face before Ryback received two choke slams from Kane, followed by an accolade by Rusev. Ryback and Rusev is going to be a feud to watch in 2015 I can guarantee you.
Alicia Fox vs. Naomi - 3.5 Stars
I'm liking the little background story going on with Naomi, Miz, and Jimmy Uso, as it's a good way of keeping her in the focus while she is no longer a part of Total Divas. It's somewhat weird that Naomi and Alicia were facing off considering they were tag team partners on Monday, but I guess that is one of those things we are meant to forget right? This match wasn't too bad and was a decent watch. I like Naomi's in ring work and I do believe she has the potential to make it as a Divas Champion in the not too distant future.
R-Truth vs. Adam Rose - 4 Stars
So it appears the Bunny has officially hopped off the Exotic Express. What I'm liking is the more evil side of Adam Rose being on display as I think he does a great job as a heel. Just look at his work in NXT as Leo Krueger, he took a very limited character and made it feel successful. Rose looked angry and in control throughout the match and his aggression was on display in vast quantities. Truth mounted somewhat of a come back but it was inevitable it was only ever going to be brief. Rose picked up a convincing win in a solid but enjoyable segment that saw Rose step up his game and give me some belief there is still hope for success with his character.
Rusev vs. Dean Ambrose - 4.5 Stars
So Hulk Hogan picked an opponent for Rusev, who he had to defend the United States title against. I was expecting someone who might at least push Rusev in a match and boy did we get that with the in form Dean Ambrose. A former United States Champion for almost a year in his own right Ambrose was the perfect choice as without doubt he is probably the most solid and consistent worker in WWE right now. This was a solidly worked back and forth encounter between two of the top stars in WWE. You could believe that Ambrose stood every chance of beating Rusev during this one but he made Rusev look strong at the right times to keep us guessing. I found these two entertaining and they put on a pretty captivating match with plenty of drama, near falls, and great in-ring action. The ending was just as entertaining as I didn't expect Wyatt to come out of nowhere and attack Ambrose after the way their match ended on Monday. I can't wait to see Ambrose and Wyatt lock it up one more time because they make for brilliant watching. A great match to prepare the crowd for the main event of the night.
The Miz vs. Jimmy Uso - 3.5 Stars
These two are having some pretty good matches right now and it's good for both their respective teams as The Usos deserve to be in the main event tag team spotlight while The Miz and Mizdow slowly build to their inevitable split. Mizdow is without a doubt one of the most entertaining things in WWE right now and I can't help but laugh as he even takes imaginary bumps outside the ring. I was kind of hoping their match may look a little more physical than it did but it was still an entertaining watch. The Usos will more than likely be the team to beat Miz and Mizdow for the tag titles down the line and they certainly deserve it. I've no doubt a match between these two teams is on the cards at the Royal Rumble.
Seth Rollins and Big Show vs. Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns - 4 Stars
Our main event of the evening made by Hulk Hogan saw three men who I expect to have big 2015's in Ziggler, Rollins, and Reigns go out and have a solid match that showed why they re the ones to watch in WWE, while Big Show bought the veteran touch to the match. Both teams displayed some solid team work as well as letting their in ring work do the talking to make this an enjoyable match to close out 2014 with. We saw some great back and forth action that saw a good mix of mat based wrestling as well as a good mix of slow and fast paced action. Ziggler with the Fame-Asser on Big Show was without doubt one of the highlights of this one as he got some serious hang time on it too just to add to the effect of how good it looked. Rollins and Reigns also had some great interaction as the match built to it's conclusion that would see Ziggler and Reigns end the year on a high as the winners.
Overall Show Rating - 4 Stars
I think it's safe to say this final edition of Smackdown went out in the right way. I enjoyed most aspects of the show and I thought that it ended in the right way with the team of Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns coming out on top as they are two names I expect to have big years in 2015. My segment of the night goes to the match between Rusev and Dean Ambrose. I thought they had an excellent match from start to finish and they kept the match interesting throughout the whole segment. I believe both these men are also going to have big moments in 2015 that
could well go on to define their careers.
That just about finishes it up here for me. I must admit I'm looking forward to Edge and Christian guest hosting Raw this Monday as that should be a cool way to see out 2014 on a high. I will be looking to publish my final article of 2014 before the end of the year on WWENews.Net as I look ahead to 2015 and give my predictions on some of the things I expect to see happen over the next 12 months so please be sure to check that out.
I will be back next week with another edition of the Smackdown Breakdown, as we look to see how WWE plans to kick off 2015 with it's very first show of the new year. Until then, I want to wish all our readers a happy new year and hope you keep it with WNW throughout 2015 for the best coverage of the wrestling industry available. So long and thanks for reading.