Coming off the heels of a fun weekend, I’m back with another thrilling installment of the Not-So-Live Smackdown Report! I have to be honest with you: I didn’t watch a lick of last Friday’s show and, judging by the way it was presented on Raw, I didn’t miss much of anything. Let’s see if this week will be any different.
1. Seth Rollins vs Kane
An awesome video package setting up tonight’s three big matches opens the show, giving us Rollins vs Kane, Bryan vs Reigns, and Orton vs Ambrose in the next two hours. This sounds fucking awesome! We start immediately with Rollins and Kane, so maybe tonight really will deliver. Rollins uses his speed to dodge most of Kane’s offense but eats a big boot and a nice hanging vertical suplex. Rollins comes back and takes out Kane’s leg, nailing a fantastic tornado DDT as we head to our first commercial break. When we return, Kane is back in control and nails a top rope clothesline. Roman Reigns attempts to interfere and Rollins nails Kane in the head with a kick! He goes up top but Daniel Bryan shoves him off while the ref is distracted by Reigns! Kane hits a choke slam and that’s all she wrote!
2. Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan
Wasting no time, Reigns takes out his anger and aggression on Bryan as soon as the bell sounds. Looks like we’re not getting this match later tonight. I was expecting it to be at the end of the first hour. Bryan fights back and traps Reigns in a leg lock while dropping forearms in Roman’s face. Bryan eats a knee to the face as Reigns takes control and we head to our second break of the night. When we come back, Reigns is still in control with a nasty clothesline. Bryan dodges a running corner charge and delivers his running missile drop kick as the crowd goes ape shit! Reigns eats a couple of kicks to the chest, dodges one, and headbutts Bryan in the gut. It’s not enough though as Bryan rallies back with the No Lock! Reigns crawls desperately to the ropes and Rollins inches the rope to Roman for the break. Kane takes out Rollins and Reigns takes a cheap shot at Kane. The Big Red Machine retaliates, but the official sees it and DQs Daniel Bryan! We get a recap on the ‘Tron as Bryan and Kane seem to be imploding, but Bryan doesn’t care about the circumstances and chews Kane out as they head backstage. That’s two pretty good matches in a row, and the show still has an hour and a half to go. That could be good news for me…or a really bad omen of things to come.
3. Damien Sandow’s Challenge: The Shell Game
Last week’s Gordian Knot challenge didn’t go so well for Sandow, as Sheamus used his anti-bullying skills to throw Matt Striker into the Intellectual Savior of the Masses. This week, Damien plans on stumping the audience with the classic “Which cup is the ball hiding under” game. Sheamus comes out, makes a John Cena-esque “tiny balls” joke, and accepts the challenge. Sheamus picks the wrong cup, so Sandow gives him a second chance with only two cups instead of three. Sheamus fails again, but before Sandow can slink away, Sheamus demands to see if the ball is actually under the final cup. The crowd: “Show your balls!” Sheamus: “I don’t think anyone wants to see that!” Sandow: “Is there a single adult in this crowd?!” Sheamus grabs the cup and realizes he’s been duped, as there is no ball under the cup. His response? Brogue Kick. This was a fun segment, as Sandow really played off the crowd well.
4. Curtis Axel vs Sin Cara
Curtis Axel defeats John Cena via count out on Raw because apparently the champ could care less about a match and would rather investigate an ambulance; now the commentators make it seem like Axel is amazing. Heyman gets on the mic and says that Axel will pontificate for himself, and Hennig puts a spin on his two “big” wins before getting into the ring with El Botcho. Nothing really special here, as Sin Cara misses a springboard back elbow and eats a Perfectplex. A little disappointing; I was expecting this match to display Axel’s talent.
5. Alberto del Rio vs Big E Langston
Lillian Garcia, looking fucktastic, intros Ricardo Rodriguez en español. AJ Lee accompanies Big E to the ring for Round 4 of “Ziggler’s Out of Action”. These two have a great deal of chemistry as they counter one another. Del Rio hits a nice German suplex and kick to the head, followed by the Cross Arm Breaker! Big E escapes and drops del Rio. Alberto tries for the Cross Arm Breaker on the ropes and the ref is forced to intervene. In the confusion, AJ assaults del Rio, allowing Langston to take advantage and hit the Big Ending for the win! Say what you will about the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Dolph Ziggler, but it’s doing wonders for Big E’s career.
6. Raw Rebound #1: John Cena Challenges Ryback to Three Stages of Hell
7. Ryback vs Kofi Kingston
I hear this is how the WWE is writing Kofi out of the show so he can have surgery. Kingston wastes no time attacking Ryback, actually doing well with a sky high missile drop kick! We get the Boom Drop 30 seconds in and this reeks of a two-minute squash…Ryback prevents the swinging kick in the ropes and destroys him with the meat hook! Shellshocked ends it and Ryback takes out a table to make a statement regarding his title match at Payback. Kofi gets power bombed through the table and the crowd chants for another….so Ryback delivers with ANOTHER power bomb through a SECOND table! And guess what…a THIRD FUCKING TABLE!!! Well, if you want to put someone on the shelf, that’s how you do it. Maybe Kingston should come back from his injury and blame Cena for not helping him.
8. Raw Rebound #2: Chris Jericho Calls Out CM Punk
Awesome segment. After the footage, that new blonde interviewer is backstage with Y2J and asks him what his thoughts are on his upcoming match with Punk. Jericho goes through the list of things you catch from lying with a dog like Paul Heyman. He then says CM Punk will be spayed AND neutered at the PPV, which is impossible unless Punk has both sets of genitalia. Maybe he does; I’m not quite sure about that Chicago tap water these days.
9. Chris Jericho vs Cody Rhodes
A fun little match, with Jericho picking up the victory with the Walls of Jericho.
10. Randy Orton vs Dean Ambrose
This has implications for match of the night. Ambrose gets the early advantage with his “erratic” style and works on the Viper in the corner. Randy fights back with a stiff clothesline out of an Irish whip and a snap suplex. Orton hits a Thesz Press and sends Ambrose to the outside. JBL: “One hears voices and the other acts like a psycho. This is a psychiatrist’s dream!” Ambrose sends Orton shoulder-first into the steps as we head to our last break. We come back to Ambrose in control in the center of the ring. Orton tries for the second rope DDT but Ambrose counters with a guillotine. He climbs to the top rope but eats a dropkick in midair! The DDT connects this time and Orton is feeding off the crowd as he calls for the RKO…but Dean escapes from the ring and the rest of The Shield runs interference, drawing the disqualification! Team Hell No makes the save and Daniel Bryan obliterates all three members of The Shield on his own! He just fucking unloads on all of them and I can’t keep up with it!
That was a fucking awesome showing by Bryan. This show as a whole was great; no dumb backstage skits, no Teddy Long tag matches, and the only bad segment was Axel’s match with Sin Cara. To steal from Scott Keith: recommendation to watch.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, alberto del rio, big e langston, chris jericho, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, jbl, john cena, kane, Kofi Kingston, Lillian Garcia, Matt Striker, Mike Gojira, Paul Heyman, Payback, randy orton, Ricardo Rodriguez, Roman Reigns, ryback, seth rollins, sheamus, sin cara, Smackdown, Teddy Long, The Shield, WWE