WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Dec. 9, 2022): The milk truck returns

Kurt Angle is a certified legend in the professional wrestling industry, so WWE jumps at every opportunity to honor him. In this case, that meant an episode of Friday night smackdown dedicated to wishing him a happy birthday.

We got several behind-the-scenes looks at Angle walking around shaking everyone’s hand. He was flanked by Gable Steveson, the Olympic gold medalist amateur wrestler who we’ve heard very little about since he signed with WWE to much fanfare. Braun Strowman was playing a jolly old giant when he ran into them, but he still managed to set up a future match with Steveson.

Later, Jason Jordan made a cameo to give his “dad” a birthday card. It was a nice bit of innocent fun actually acknowledging that crazy story from the past under the old regime.

Finally, it was time for the main event and Angle to get a chance to front his hometown allegiance.





It really never gets old, does it?

Alpha Academy showed up to crash the party and there was really only one way to get back at them.

Come on, you didn’t think they’d have Angle back for a birthday party and not bring the milk truck, did you?

The funny thing is that these segments really only work if you have the right characters to play off, and Otis shaking himself all around the ring with milk flying everywhere was awesome. He was perfect for this.

WWE has gotten much better at bringing back Legends for segments like this.

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You just knew they’d find a way to defiantly promote The New Day for the NXT tag team titles at Deadline, and I love how they did it.

Ricochet and GUNTHER were supposed to sign a contract to make their intercontinental championship match official next week – I don’t think that was the case yet, despite Ricochet winning the SmackDown World Cup before that – and Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston decided their son couldn’t be there alone. Imperium is always together, and contract signing ends the same way every time, so they came on the scene as a show of support for a friend.

Who doesn’t love that kind of wholesome content?

This is what I also loved about the segment:

GUNTHER is a favorite if only because I’m getting older and therefore getting more and more tired of pro wrestlers who don’t believe in what professional wrestling should be. They are artists, but they shouldn’t recognize themselves as such. That kills the whole thing! GUNTHER and his team is the last hope for this great sport.

A six-man tag team match followed, which was also a great game, as both Ricochet and The New Day were able to pull off a big win ahead of title matches, while GUNTHER himself didn’t have to take a pinfall or submission in the process.

This was all really great.

The rest
  • I’m fine with the Usos tag team title lasting for many years if they continue to deliver such good matches on such a consistent basis. These guys just don’t miss, and they didn’t miss this week by beating Sheamus and BUTCH with some help from Sami Zayn. Not much story progression, just a really fun match to start SmackDown where the champions held on to their tapes.
  • I usually hate it when WWE draws attention to small details in its stories because the act of drawing attention to them makes them something more than that. I always appreciate art that helps me get there, but doesn’t drag me there. That said, I appreciate the way the LA Knight used Bray Wyatt’s attack cues to paint a picture in the most condescending way. And then he went backstage and they did more creepy business, with the lights going out and Knight using his phone to illuminate Wyatt in the mask after he broke into his locker.
  • Tell the china shop the bulls are coming, because you know what they say – you mess with the bulls, you get the horns! I don’t even care, I love Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler together.
  • Hit Row was recently made to look like chumps, so they interrupted a game between Legado del Fantasma and Viking Raiders to take everyone out. They had to do something like this to restore credibility.
  • Karrion Kross threatened Rey Mysterio while he was recovering from his injured foot. Tik tok and stuff. His corner? “It’s almost sad when you have to put an animal out of its misery.”
  • A video pack aired featuring Tegan Nox’s story in WWE, a story marked by adversity with multiple catastrophic injuries that she somehow managed to pull back from. Now she’s back and apparently they’re putting her on a tag team with Liv Morgan. They wrestled with Rousey and Baszler, made in match commentary as if it would line up the winner for a title shot. Of course, Nox and Morgan won in part because Raquel Rodriguez showed up to distract Rousey and the referee as a measure of revenge for Shotzi being knocked out earlier in the night. Shortly after the win, they flat out announced that Nox & Morgan would be titled next week.
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This was quite a show.

Grade: C+

Your turn.

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