This was a good Smackdown episode. The Blue Brand had been doing some below average work the past few weeks, but this show was enjoyable. For a grade, I give them a B.
I liked the opening promo by John Laurinaitis. He made it seem like this may be his final night in power, and I actually bought into it. Many seem to assume he will win this Sunday, but I am not completely sold just yet.
CM Punk coming out was predictable. He announced his intentions of being at Smackdown a few days ago, so that was expected. The two had the usual promo exchange we have seen many times.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth needed a win. I do not like Darren Young and Titus O'Neil losing already, but I will discuss that in a little bit.
Zack Ryder being laughed at backstage by Damien Sandow was excellent. The man is still a goof ball, and it is clear his failure to evolve has been proven to be a mistake.
Sandow refusing to wrestle Yoshi Tatsu was fine. We saw it before, and it was clever. However, Sandow did destroy Tatsu anyways. Sandow looked intense in the ring, but I still want to see him wrestle a match.
Randy Orton and Sheamus were interviewed backstage. Both teased some tension but kept their "face" status known. That was a much needed step in this little feud.
It was very poetic for Daniel Bryan to defeat Zack Ryder. A year ago, this match may have been a nice "dream match." In 2012, it is only a few minutes long and can only have one winner.
Bryan winning his match and staying at commentary was a nice surprise. That certainly was nice to see before Over the Limit this weekend.
Punk vs. Kane was a good match. Nothing made me jump out of my seat, but it passed 10 minutes. Bryan interfering was a nice "heel" move. With Punk left on his back, the fans should be ready to cheer for him Sunday night.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus was a great main event. They have had quite a few matches in the past. From Summerslam to the Royal Rumble, they always were entertaining to watch.
The ending sequence is acceptable. Being a non-title match, it won't mean much by Sunday. Sheamus will retain his world title, and Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio have not added much to the story this week
WWE could go in a couple of different directions with Sheamus after Sunday. It will be interesting...
I just didn't care about Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes. WWE Superstars even being on Twitter is questionable, much less feuding over the social networking site.
The match did not do anything for me, but the Cobra did give Santino a win. I am fan of both men, but just throwing out a "champion vs. champion" match was very disappointing.
Three weeks ago, I wrote about the impending problem for Smackdown's roster—WWE had too much new talent doing too much too soon.
Tonight, my worries were confirmed.
Darren and Titus have already lost a match. It took them less than a month to take a pin fall. I have long said that wins and losses do not mean much in this business, but that can't be a good sign for the new team.
Ryback was nowhere to be seen for the first time since debuting. Antonio had next to no impact on Smackdown. Both were featured performers in the past month. Already, they are doing nothing.
I tried to warn everybody. I love new talent as much as the next fan, but it was clear this would happen from the beginning.
I understand Punk and Bryan being nowhere near the closing segments on Raw. That has been well discussed already. However, on the Blue Brand?
Both were in the first hour tonight, just two days before their match at over the Limit. Do not forget that they are in the WWE Championship match this Sunday on pay-per-view folks.
Good luck with that buy rate!