WWE Smackdown Results: Notes, Predictions and Questions
[I’m still experimenting with the way I format my reviews until I find something that feels just right. Let me know what you think.]
If you don’t have time to watch Smackdown, then you probably don’t have time to read a lengthy review, complete with commentary, predictions, and cynical sidetracks. My Notes version of Smackdown is below. If it piques your interest enough to read on, the slideshow breaks down Smackdown segment by segment, complete with my questions and attempts to see the future.
Eve is still easier on the eyes than John Laurinaitis, and Cody Rhodes will be getting his rematch with Christian at an undetermined date in the future.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil are on the rise in the tag team division, and Ryback is finally interesting.
Santino's character still depends more on comedy than wrestling as he works a program with a ring announcer, Sheamus is still a bad role model for children, and Swagger is now jobbing to main-event-caliber stars.
Damien Sandow continues with his genius gimmick, Big Show goes full-fledged heel, and Daniel Bryan goes crazy with a chair on Kane.
Alberto Del Rio is named the No. 1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Randy Orton is left in limbo now that Chris Jericho has been suspended.
Now, if you care to read more about any of these happenings, please enjoy the slideshow.
Segment 1: Eve Torres, the Sexy Executive Assistant
After a video package reminding us of the John Cena/John Laurinaitis/Big Show drama from Over the Limit and Raw, Eve comes out to say that the dual-duty GM won’t be in attendance tonight. Eve has been left in charge.
Her two tasks for the evening include getting an apology from Sheamus for knocking over Johnny Ace on Raw and naming the champion’s opponent for No Way Out. Alberto Del Rio comes out to suck up to Eve and try to name himself as the No. 1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Just when it appears as though the sexy Executive Assistant is going to grant the Mexican Aristocrat his wish, they are interrupted by Randy Orton, here to throw his name in the hat. Kane interrupts next, making the same request.
Eve provides the obvious solution: a triple threat match, the winner earning the right to face Sheamus at No Way Out.
If, somehow, you haven’t heard, Chris Jericho has been suspended indefinitely for desecrating the Brazilian flag at a house show on Thursday (two days after Smackdown was taped). One would assume this will kill the Orton/Jericho feud, but they wouldn’t have known that when Smackdown was being taped.
From the announcers’ booth, Booker T, Michael Cole, and Josh Matthews remind us that Christian won the Intercontinental Championship from Cody Rhodes at Over the Limit. Christian then makes his way to the ring for a match against an unannounced opponent, and the first segment ends as we head to a commercial break.
PREDICTION: ADR wins the triple threat match and, at least until Monday, is named the sole No. 1 Contender.
BONUS PREDICTION: Christian is about to face someone who has no chance of winning, which is why they didn’t tell us who it was going to be.
QUESTION: With Jericho apparently out of the picture, will Orton be inserted into the World Heavyweight Championship match, will he rekindle things with Kane, or will he go another direction completely at No Way Out?
Segment 2: Christian vs. Hunico; Cody Rhodes Invokes Rematch Clause
My “Bonus Prediction” was correct, as we return from the commercial break to find out Christian’s opponent is Hunico. The match lasts slightly longer than your average Brooklyn Brawler match, and Christian gets the pin after a frog splash from the top rope, apparently his new finisher.
As Christian gloats in the ring post-match, Cody Rhodes comes out to save the segment. He claims Christian has ruined all of the work Cody put forth to restore the value of the IC Title.
Rhodes lists some of the all-time greats that wore the belt (Razor Ramon, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels) and then confirms that he will be invoking his rematch clause, although he never says when. His music hits and Christian is never given a chance to respond.
This program will be good, both on the mic and in the ring. If they save the rematch for the pay-per-view, it could be a great warm-up match for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
We get a reminder about the main event before going to commercial.
PREDICTION: Cody Rhodes will recapture the IC Title at No Way Out. His third reign will include some epic matches that will help legitimize his claim as one of the greatest IC champs of all time.
QUESTION: Why is Christian using the Killswitch as a set-up for the frog splash? I think he should have just added the frog splash as another move in his repertoire, but not as a finisher.
Segment 3: Rebuilding the Tag Team Division; Usos vs. Darren Young/Titus O'Neil
Segment 3: We return from commercial break with The Usos vs. Darren Young and Titus O’Neil ready to go in the ring. We are shown a video clip of all four backstage talking trash. Looks like WWE is serious about rebuilding interest in their tag team division.
The match is about as good as you’d expect it to be, with Young and O’Neil getting the victory. You gotta believe they’ll be challenging for the tag titles soon, while The Usos will have a role that makes them slightly more threatening than the Bushwhackers were, and slightly less threatening than The Rockers.
Before the commercial break, we get a reminder that Sheamus will be asked to apologize, Ryback will be up next, and that Sin Cara returns next week.
PREDICTION: Young and O’Neil will have a tag title match at either No Way Out or Money In The Bank.
QUESTION: If they are serious about rebuilding the tag team division, should they stop with Antonio Cesaro’s singles push and just bring back Kings of Wrestling?
Segment 4: Could Ryback Really Be the Next Bill Goldberg?
Two local jobbers are in the ring. They grab the mic and start talking trash about the city of Wilkes-Barre, the location of this Smackdown taping. Apparently Ryback needs some assistance getting the crowd on his side.
I had very low expectations for this match.
Ryback finally won me over.
As minor of a thing as it may seem, it all started with the black eye and the burst blood vessel in that same eye. That was the first thing you noticed when he made his way to the ring, and it just made him look like a badass.
The match was like all the others: Ryback uses high-powered offense to squash some jobbers.
But his finisher was sick. Apparently named a “running one-legged muscle buster” (per Wikipedia), he managed to get both opponents on his back before marching around and then crushing them. If he can keep coming up with badass moves like that, he’ll get over.
Before we go to commercial break, we see Ricardo Rodriguez and US Champion Santino Marella making their way to the ring. Apparently, they have a match and it’s next.
PREDICTION: Although it will take a few tweaks here and there, Ryback will eventually get over, but like most massive beasts in the WWE, it will be short-lived.
QUESTION: I didn’t ever watch WCW. When Bill Goldberg appeared, was he over immediately, or did it take the fans a while to adjust?
Segment 5: Ricardo Rodriguez Makes In-Ring Debut vs. US Champion Santino Marella
Rather than letting Ricardo Rodriguez prove that he is a legitimate wrestler, the WWE had him perform in his tuxedo during his in-ring debut, and the match focused more on an attempt at comedy than anything that resembled wrestling.
If this doesn't ultimately result in Ricardo becoming a serious competitor, then it's just a waste of time. Santino obviously wins, and we are reminded once again that our US Champion is nothing more than a childish gimmick.
The graphic left on the screen as we head to commercial states: "Will Sheamus Apologize? Up next."
PREDICTION: Ricardo Rodriguez will compete regularly by SummerSlam, but will always be under-utilized and over-gimmicked by WWE.
QUESTION: Why does Santino still have the US Title? The people who like him will like him with or without a title. I actually believe what Cody Rhodes says about Santino holding the title.
Segment 6: Sheamus Doesn't Apologize for Accidents; Jack Swagger vs. Sheamus
Sheamus is on his way to the ring when we return from the commercial break. He grabs the mic and says that since he ran into John Laurinaitis accidentally, he doesn't need to apologize.
Wait a minute! Since when do people not apologize for accidents?
If a waiter spills a drink on you by accident, don't you think he should apologize?
If you rear-end the car in front of you by accident, wouldn't you apologize?
If Randy Orton is trying to clothesline Alberto Del Rio, but accidentally hits Sheamus instead, is Sheamus just going to forgive and forget since it was an accident?
Lesson of the day for the youth who look up to Sheamus: if you accidentally hurt someone, don't apologize. Instead, call them an "arse."
Just when it seemed like Sheamus would never stop making false apologies to mock Johnny Ace and his executive crew, Vickie interrupted.
We get to see Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger. If Swagger is going to lose, at least it's to the World Heavyweight Champion. That's a step up for a client of Vickie.
During the match, Booker T says the difference between these two is that Swagger has been wrestling his whole life, whereas Sheamus has been fighting his whole life. He goes on to say that the fighter always wins in that situation. What an idiotic thing to say.
We go to commercial break with Sheamus holding his knee as he lays outside the ring.
PREDICTION: Neither of Vickie's clients will have a match at No Way Out.
QUESTION: What needs to be done to make Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler relevant again?
Segment 7: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger, Continued
Segment 7: Jack Swagger looks pretty good in this match. He doesn't get enough credit or enough opportunity to prove himself.
Now that they've used up their turn against Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, where will Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler go?
Of course, Sheamus gets the win, but Swagger really doesn't come off bad losing to the World Heavyweight Champion.
Before we go to commercial, we are reminded again about the main event, and we are told Big Show will explain his recent actions.
PREDICTION: Mirroring his peer's attempt on Smackdown, Ziggler will job to CM Punk on Raw.
QUESTION: Should Vickie add a third wrestler to her posse? If so, who?
Segment 8: Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu; Any Better Than The Genius or Striker?
Yoshi Tatsu is in the ring as we return from commercial break, and he's looking for revenge. Damien Sandow makes his way to the ring per usual, with one of his awesome speeches.
We've seen gimmicks like this fail to go very far. The Genius and Matt Striker both come to mind. I wonder what Sandow will do to try to succeed where these men failed.
I know this may be an obscure reference for most of you, but I've been making comparisons between Damien Sandow and little-known author/filmmaker Thom Stark. I go into more details about it at my personal blog.
They show a replay of Ryback's impressive double-finisher. If you didn't see it, find a YouTube video of it once WWE posts them. And while you're watching that, check out the No Way Out trailer, starring AJ and Daniel Bryan.
PREDICTION: Damien Sandow will lose the gimmick or be gone in less than one year.
QUESTION: Is there any way to make the smarter-than-thou gimmick work in professional wrestling?
Segment 9: Big Show Offers Explanation; Daniel Bryan Attacks Kane to 'Yes' Chant
The Big Show makes his way to the ring in a suit, apparently the new wardrobe to indicate you're on Team Executive. He goes to great lengths to remind us exactly what happened at Over the Limit, and goes out of his way to make his fans (i.e. the little kids who cried when he was fired) hate him.
Now, for adult viewers, the turn is so blatant that it's insulting. But when I think of how kids like my nephews will respond, I can let it slide.
I get emotionally invested in feuds like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. They can have The Big Show. My nephews are going to be pissed when they hear The Big Show say he was betrayed by the fans and doesn't give a damn about them anymore.
As The Big Show leaves the ring, Kane's pyro and music go off, and the main event is about to begin.
After Kane gets in the ring, Daniel Bryan sneaks up behind him and hits him with something like 15 chair shots. Each shot is met with an emphatic "yes" from the audience, who continues the chant even stronger after Bryan stops the beating.
Kane is on the ground as we head to commercial. Will he be able to compete in the triple threat match?
PREDICTION: The next time The Big Show is off-camera for an extended period of time, he'll return as a face who panders to the kids.
QUESTION: Will Kane be involved in the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan feud?
Segment 10: Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio; What to Do with the Viper
Kane is favoring his shoulder when we return from commercial break, but it looks like he's still going to compete.
ADR makes his usual entrance, and The Viper's entrance gets perhaps the biggest pop of the night.
These three put on a good match, good enough that it could have served as pay-per-view filler if necessary.
Remember, when they taped this match on Tuesday, Orton was still en route to a match with Jericho at NWO. Let's assume WWE planned for ADR to face Sheamus. Where does that leave Randy Orton?
He can't face Kane, as I assume Kane will be working with Daniel Bryan. That means a triple threat match for the WWE Championship at No Way Out, or at least I hope so. That will allow us to stretch the Punk/Bryan feud. If Kane is involved at No Way Out, Punk vs. Bryan one-on-one at Money In The Bank won't feel stale, and they can finish their feud with a match at SummerSlam.
I would suggest Cody Rhodes, but he's got plans for Christian and the Intercontinental Championship.
Does that mean Orton gets involved with the World Heavyweight Championship after all? Sheamus did say that he would have faced Randy Orton if it was up to him. But would two triple threat matches for the top two titles (assuming Punk/Bryan/Kane above does happen) be overkill at No Way Out?
I make a case for a program with Drew McIntyre that ties in Jericho upon his return in another B/R article.
All three men in the triple threat match are down as we go to commercial break.
PREDICTION: The outcome of this match will essentially be irrelevant as WWE Creative tries to figure out what to do now that Jericho has messed things up.
QUESTION: Will they even acknowledge Jericho's attack on Orton before Jericho's suspension is up?
Segment 11: No. 1 Contender's Match, Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio
There was a point when Kane had this match all wrapped up. Orton was laid out next to the steel steps, and he had just nailed ADR with a chokeslam.
Enter Daniel Bryan. Chair in hand, he lures Kane up the ramp, away from the easy win. Kane ceases the chase when Bryan gets completely out of sight. Kane returns to the ring to try to finish off ADR. Bryan returns and distracts Kane again.
By this point, Orton has recovered. When Kane realizes Bryan is just being a distraction, he turns around and receives Orton's RKO. ADR has gained his composure, kicks Orton in the head, and steals the pin.
Del Rio is the No. 1 Contender.
As ADR is celebrating at the top of the ramp, Sheamus attacks him from behind without provocation. He's not being an "anti-hero," he's just being a prick.
And on that note, Smackdown is over.
PREDICTION: Sheamus leaves No Way Out with the title.
QUESTION: Who will finally take the belt from Sheamus?