After Monday’s excellent episode of Monday Night Raw, let’s see if the WWE can keep up their momentum and deliver a solid Friday Night Smackdown!
1. Daniel Bryan Complains
We open up the show, as we did last week, with everyone’s favorite vegan. He’s pissed that his match on Raw was ended via injury despite his insistence that he was still able to compete. You know, if The Weakest Link was still on television, I’d love to see another WWE edition so Bryan could win the whole shebang and prove to everyone that he’s not the weak link. But I digress; Bryan blames Randy Orton for what happened because he thinks the Viper didn’t want the match to continue. He demands a rematch with Orton tonight and it looks like he’ll get his wish as Randy heads to the ring. Orton says he was concerned for Bryan’s well-being and that’s a sign of respect. Daniel denies Orton’s claims and I’m really getting tired of him being delusional. Look, I’m all for getting Bryan back into the main event, but make his opponents disrespect him if he’s clamoring for respect so badly. This angle just makes him look thick-headed and ignorant. In any case, Orton agrees to their rematch tonight and tells Bryan he’s going to be carried out instead of walking away from their bout.
2. Sheamus vs Cody Rhodes
This is one of those storylines where you know exactly how it’s going to turn out: Sheamus will ultimately win and neither he nor his opposition will truly be elevated by the proceedings; it’s all just a placeholder for Sheamus to keep him out of the title scene. Sheamus owns the early goings but Rhodes takes advantage of a slip-up and takes control. Sandow at ringside berates the Celtic Warrior as Rhodes picks Sheamus apart. Cody does a decent job of working over Sheamus’s arm, which is stupid because the guy’s strength is in his legs. Sandow mouths off, gets taken out, and Sheamus makes Rhodes tap out with the Cloverleaf. Damien Sandow attacks Sheamus after the match and it’s the best thing that’s happened since this match began.
3. Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel vs Wade Barrett
I wonder just how much time will be given to this heel vs heel match. After a commercial break, Barrett gets the jobber entrance and The Miz is on commentary. Shock. Awe. The crowd understandably boos everything (they’re both heels, for Cthulhu’s sake) and I’m a little peeved that the company knew how the crowd would react and force-fed it to me on Smackdown rather than risk the ratings on Raw. Bunch of jerks. An abrupt spinning neck breaker wins it for Axel. Miz gets in the ring but Paul Heyman holds Axel back.
4. Raw Rebound #1: Mark Henry’s Swerve
5. AJ Lee vs Natalya
Nattie immediately attempts the Sharpshooter but settles for a stretch instead. AJ grabs the ropes and climbs onto Natalya to choke the life out of her. Natalya rams her into the turnbuckle to break free and we’re actually getting a commercial break?! But we just had one right after AJ headed to the ring! We come back and Nattie hits a spinning forearm for two. She takes her eye off the ball for a split second and AJ traps her in the Black Widow for the submission victory. Did this really have to be split up into two segments? Backstage, Aksana calls Kaitlyn “trash” and gets her ass beat for it.
6. Chris Jericho vs Alberto del Rio
This should be a great match-up. Jericho takes the early lead but a charge into the corner gets him a pair of boots to the face and the rudo takes control. Del Rio attempts to jump through the ropes to injure Y2J’s back but Chris moves and del Rio hits air as he slides out of the ring! Jericho fires back with his running drop kick off the top rope and they brawl to the outside. Ricardo provides the distraction and del Rio is back in control as we head to a break. When we return, Jericho has attempted another corner charge and misses again. He dodges one of del Rio’s and gets right back into the match by applying the Walls of Jericho…but del Rio counters and regains some semblance of control. Y2J nails a bulldog and Lionsault but both men are winded and del Rio goes for the Cross Arm Breaker and after a quick sequence of counters that sees BOTH men escaping each other’s submission maneuvers, we get the Walls of Jericho locked in! Ricardo gets on the apron for the distraction and Jericho brings him into the ring for an old school Lion Tamer! Dolph Ziggler runs in from out of nowhere to assault del Rio, drawing the DQ! Jericho is none too happy and he shows it with a Codebreaker to the former World Heavyweight Champion, which allows del Rio to get in a swift kick to Ziggler’s head after it’s all said and done.
7. Christian vs Drew McIntyre
Time for another squash to push the returning Captain Charisma! Christian dominates and I think I hear a chant for “Super Dragon” in the crowd. A cross body off the top rope is countered into a side slam and McIntyre takes control for a nanosecond before succumbing to the Killswitch anyway. Christian gets on the mic to pop the crowd….and The Shield heads to the ring (notably from the ramp this time). You know how this ends.
8. Raw Rebound #2: Brock Lesnar Attacks CM Punk
9. Paul Heyman Rips Into Renee Young
Renee Young asks Heyman about what he had to do with Lesnar’s attack on Punk. His response? He gets defensive and says it’s personal. He gets into Renee’s personal life, mentioning embarrassing moments such as her fiancee leaving her two months ago and shuts her down completely, asking her how she feels about having her personal life made public before leaving. Brilliant heel moment for Heyman. Watch this:
10. Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan
Both men spend the early minutes countering each other. Orton blocks an attempted No Lock with a back suplex, followed by another suplex dropping him on the ropes. A THIRD suplex, this one to the outside, is stopped by Bryan, but just long enough for Randy to knock him out of the ring anyway. We return from break with Orton putting Bryan down with a drop kick and I suppose the story of this match is having Bryan overcome adversity and take a ridiculous amount of abuse in the meantime. Orton is all “suplex happy” as he goes for one from the top rope but gets sent to the mat and eats a missile drop kick! Bryan is a house of fire as he batters Orton in the corner but runs into a snap power slam! A European uppercut is countered into a backslide and Bryan kicks the ever-living shit out of Randy for a two count! A top rope headbutt is interrupted and this time the superplex connects! Draping DDT hits and we get a call for the RKO….but Bryan rolls out of the ring. Orton goes for a draping DDT to the outside but Bryan rams him into the barricade. Bryan gets back into the ring and nails a suicide dive! Bryan gets back into the ring before Orton can make the count! Bryan gets on the mic and says he refuses a count out victory! The referee refuses and the crowd chants “YES!” along with Bryan…and that’s how it ends?
Two good matches in del Rio/Jericho and Bryan/Orton, but the rest of the show I could do without. Disappointing, considering how this week started.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, aksana, alberto del rio, Brock Lesnar, chris jericho, christian, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Intercontinental Championship, Kaitlyn, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, Natalya, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Renee Young, Ricardo Rodriguez, sheamus, Smackdown, The Miz, The Shield, Wade Barrett, WWE