WWE SmackDown: Sheamus Retains, Money in the Bank Qualifiers and More

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJune 30, 2012


Layla vs. A.J.

Layla picked up the victory with a rollup after A.J. was distracted by Daniel Bryan chanting "yes" around the ring.

I was very surprised to see the Divas open SmackDown; I can't remember the last time they were given an important spot on any show.

The match itself was a good one. Both A.J. and Layla performed well in the ring here and delivered the best Divas match Raw or SmackDown has seen in quite some time.

A.J. showed here that she can wrestle. She's more than just a crazy person, she's a wrestler. Layla has been impressive since her return and she continued that here. I hope the WWE was actually watching this match because this is what all of their Divas matches should be like at the very least.

While the time they were given was short, it was still longer than the typical Divas match. Both of them took the time they had and took advantage of that. I hope this is a sign that the Divas division is going to actually get better.

Post-match, A.J. attacked the Divas champion. Bryan then continued as he wanted to discuss something with Vickie Guerrero concerning A.J. Bryan, and A.J. had a dueling "yes" chant until she came out.

He wanted A.J. banned from ringside from his match with CM Punk. Vickie then revealed that a poll on WWE's website was held asking about A.J.'s involvement in the match. The winning choice was her being the special guest referee and the board of directors made it so.

A.J. then left the ring chanting "yes," while Bryan left chanting "no."

Vickie then revealed qualifying matches for SmackDown's Money in the Bank match, which was open to anyone.

A.J.'s attack of Layla makes me believe that a feud between them over the title is on the horizon. It may not be happening soon, but I think it will be happening sooner rather than later.

The segment itself was good; I especially liked the dueling "yes" chants between A.J. and Bryan. I am intrigued about A.J.'s new involvement in the WWE Championship match. A part of me likes the idea while the other part doesn't like it.

It advances the storyline to a new level, but it could also hinder the match. The WWE Universe will just have to wait what happens I suppose.

Zack Ryder vs. Damien Sandow: Money in the Bank Match Qualifier

Sandow would then qualify for the Money in the Bank Match after his neckbreaker finisher. I thought this was a decent match. Ryder dominated the beginning while Sandow took control of the middle. Ryder then got close to winning until Sandow took him out.

I feel that if they were allowed a little more time, they could have put on a better match.

I was glad to see Sandow in something that wasn't a squash. I was getting tired of him being in squash matches, so this brings some legitimacy to him.

While I wanted to see Ryder win this match, I knew Sandow would be gaining the victory. The Ryder Revolution is dead and any kind of push is gone.

Sandow is currently the big thing on SmackDown, so it made sense for him to win it.

Backstage, Bryan wanted to speak with A.J., but Kaitlyn came out of the locker room instead. She didn't know where she was, but that she was mentally unstable, so he should get on her good side.

I liked this little segment. It shows that Bryan is desperate, as someone he wants to go away is now more involved than ever. Kaitlyn also got some television time, so that was cool.

Tyson Kidd vs. Jack Swagger: Money in the Bank Qualifier

Tyson Kidd qualified for the match after hitting the Blockbuster. I thought this was a good match that featured some nice back-and-forth action. Tyson is impressive in the ring and I'm glad he's finally getting some recognition.

I highly doubt that he'd win the match, but he'll be able to shine in a big way in a match like Money in the Bank.

I like that two new faces are in the match right now. While Tyson isn't a new face in the WWE, he's a new one in the match itself. I just hope that it continues and one of them actually gets the briefcase.

Backstage, Guerrero was talking with Dolph Ziggler. Vickie has to be fair since the board of directors was watching. Ziggler wanted the Brogue Kick and cross armbreaker banned, and when she refused, he began to yell at her. She slapped him across the face as a result.

Well that was interesting. I have a feeling that this is going to lead to them finally breaking up. Ziggler doesn't need her and it's about time that he proved that.

Santino Marella and Christian vs. David Otunga and Cody Rhodes: Money in the Bank Qualifier

Christian and Santino advanced to the match after Christian hit a spear on Otunga. This was a good tag team match here. Featuring some nice action throughout, all four men performed well here.

Both teams featured someone that I would prefer not to be in the match. Those two are Santino and Otunga.

Santino, while a good wrestler, is too busy with the comedy aspect of his character to really be taken seriously. He's the kind of guy that will be holding onto the briefcase, only to be knocked off by a heel, who would then win the match. As for Otunga, he just seems too busy posing.

I like that Christian is in the match as he has experience in the contest and could really add to it.

Since Rhodes didn't actually lose, I hope that he gets another opportunity next week. He's not only someone I want to see in the match, he's someone I want to be holding the briefcase.

Backstage, Sheamus isn't worried about the title match later on. He'll prove that he's better than both of them and retain the title.

This was a nice little promo here, though Sheamus didn't say anything new. He's always asked "are you worried about your match?" and his answer is usually the same, which is "no."

Backstage, A.J. is going over her title when Bryan walked up to her. He apologized about earlier, but is just worried about her. He wanted her to seek professional help because he cared about her. A.J. just chanted "yes" before skipping away.

I love A.J. I think she gets better and better each week.

Bryan isn't worried about her, he's worried about himself. He's afraid that A.J. is now directly involved in the match, and it's something that could cost him.

They way this develops could be very interesting.

Ryback vs. Two Local Talents

This was the typical Ryback squash match as he just destroyed two more local wrestlers. Damien Sandow just moved up to actual matches, so I think it's time to see Ryback actually wrestle a match.

Backstage, Aksana is making out with Antonio Cesaro. Teddy Long approached them and said that there were no hard feelings. He then revealed that he will be the general manager next week and booked them in a match next week against Layla and the Great Khali.

It's good to see Teddy Long back in charge as he was always one of my favorite authority figures. I'm very much looking forward to see what he does.

The match he booked, though, is something I'm not looking forward to. I feel it's kind of a waste of a spot on a special that's going to share the same name as a once great PPV in the Great American Bash.

Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai: Money in the Bank Qualifier

Tensai qualified for the match as he screamed and grunted every few seconds. I was seriously getting a headache at how much he was screaming.

I wasn't surprised that Tensai won, though I am incredibly disappointed. He adds nothing to the match other than his ability to grunt after every move.

I would have much preferred to see Gabriel in the match, but I suppose the match already has its high flyer in Tyson Kidd.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: World Heavyweight Championship

Sheamus retained his title here after hitting the Brogue Kick on Ziggler. This was a good triple threat match. It featured constant action as all three wrestlers seemed at the top of their game.

Ziggler keeps proving that he is one of the best in the WWE right now. He is certainly the future of the WWE.

Del Rio has been less boring as of late. He had a very good match with Christian last week, was a bit entertaining on Raw and delivered here in this match.

Sheamus continues to deliver as world heavyweight champion as well. This match topped off this episode in a good way.

Overall, I thought that this was another good episode of Friday Night SmackDown. There were a number of good matches throughout the night and the few segments delivered in terms of their respective storylines.

SmackDown continues to be the better of WWE's two main shows, which is not a good sign for the flagship show, Raw.

Friday nights are definitely becoming my favorite night for watching WWE.


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