The Doctor's Weekly SmackDown Recap: The Things We Learned, Loved and Hated
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my weekly SmackDown recap list. I always appreciate my loyal readers, but for those of you who are new, each week I recap SmackDown with a long list.
I tried a bit of a different format last week which was met with mixed results. I appreciate everyone who offered feedback.
I am going to try that format again this week but attempt to improve upon it again. Let me know what you think of the format and if I should do it this way or the old way going forward.
Instead of one continuous list, I am going to separate the segments into a slideshow and do a section for play-by-play followed by lists of the things that were learned, loved and hated.
The entries are made up of equal parts observations, humor, recap, play-by-play, revelations, speculations, questions, answers and anything else I notice during the show. I sometimes comment on commercials, too, just because I get bored during them.
I try and interject some fun into these lists, so I hope you have fun reading this week's list of the things we learned, loved and hated from the show.
SmackDown opens with Michael Cole hyping Big Show vs. Randy Orton in a No. 1 contender's match for later tonight.
Big Show’s music hits and he comes out in his plain black singlet instead of the camo design we used to see all the time. Show grabs a mic as we see a replay of Show destroying Tensai and Brodus Clay on Raw.
Show calls himself the most dominant and destructive force in WWE history and he says he wants the World title. He reminds us how his last reign lasted 45 seconds.
Show gets angry as he recalls the embarrassing situation and how Daniel Bryan lost the title in 18 seconds. He goes on to say he is the only one who can beat Sheamus for the title.
Randy Orton’s music hits and he comes out with his new shirt. It is a big improvement over the white shirt he was wearing. The phrase on the shirt says “Strike First.”
Orton says Big Show has to beat him to prove he is worthy of facing Sheamus at Hell in a Cell. Orton makes a threat and Big Show chuckles a little bit.
As the two stare each other down, we get Alberto Del Rio out with Ricardo Rodriguez. ADR says he was cheated and deserves the title shot.
Del Rio gets in the ring and immediately eats an RKO from Orton before Orton leaves the ring and heads to the back. Show is watching Orton from the ring.
Cole plugs another edition of Miz TV with Sheamus as the guest for later and Mathews hypes Santino vs. Antonio Cesaro for after the break.
1. Randy Orton’s new catchphrase is “Strike First.”
2. Big Show’s feelings can be hurt, too.
1. I hated the white shirt Orton used to have, so the new one is a nice change.
2. Big Show can just recite facts as a promo and still come off as intimidating.
1. Del Rio has fallen pretty far from the push he had when he first showed up.
2. Nothing was accomplished in the opening segment except Del Rio being RKO’d.
US Title Match Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella
After the break, we see Cesaro’s loss and subsequent dumping of Aksana from last week before going to the ring for the entrances.
Cesaro is out first without his ususal pre-match ritual of reciting something in five languages. Santino is out next and the bell rings right away.
Cesaro locks up with Santino and backs him to the ropes and kicks him in the gut to get the advantage. Santino leapfrogs Cesaro in the corner, but Cesaro still runs him over.
Cesaro hits a suplex and floats over for a two-count. Cesaro taunts the crowd before getting a side suplex from Santino.
Santino hits a few punches and a body slam before taking out the cobra sleeve. Cesaro hits him first and tries for the delayed gut-wrench suplex, but Santino holds on and rolls up Cesaro for a near fall.
Cesaro hits the throw the second time. He picks up Santino and yells at him and Santino hits a kick to the head out of nowhere for a two-count on Cesaro.
Santino stops Cesaro on the top rope and he tries for a superplex, but Cesaro holds on. Santino ends up back dropping Cesaro from the middle rope but he fails to follow up with the diving headbutt.
Cesaro takes advantage and hits The Neutralizer for the pin and the win.
Winner and still Champion: Antonio Cesaro
1. Cesaro doesn’t need Aksana to win; he is good enough on his own.
2. Cesaro just wrapped up his first real feud. Maybe he will move on to someone who can put on a great match with him.
3. Aksana really did nothing for Cesaro, as her absence was unnoticeable.
1. That was possibly the best match Santino has been a part of in his entire run in WWE.
2. Cesaro looked really aggressive as always, but he did not hit that big uppercut where he launches his opponent in the air first, and that was what I was really hoping for.
1. Cesaro needs to be in the ring against someone who is allowed to perform on his level instead of comedy characters.
Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya and Backstage Segment
After the break, we see the same video with Daniel Bryan and Dr. Shelby in the diner from Raw where Kane was the waiter.
This will be the first time they have faced off one on one. Both women are in the ring after the video, and they shake hands before beginning.
The lock up and have an exchange of wrist locks before they go to the mat and exchange some holds. This is some great chain wrestling early on from these two.
Beth backs Nattie in the corner and then takes her down with a headlock take down. Nattie breaks free and tries for a cross body but Beth catches her.
They have a stare down and Beth pushes Nattie with her finger. Nattie slaps her and Beth takes Nattie down and starts pounding.
She takes Natalya down with a Russian leg sweep and goes to the turnbuckle. The crowd gets behind her as she leaps off and gets caught by Natalya.
Nattie wraps her up in a Sharpshooter and drags her to the middle of the ring. Beth reaches the bottom rope.
Beth catches Natalya and hits the Glam Slam for the close two-count. The crowd is pretty into this match, and so am I.
Beth rolls up Natalya from a sitting position on the turnbuckles and Natalya almost pins her before she gets her over and gets the three-count.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Eve comes out and apologizes for accusing Beth Phoenix of attacking Kaitlyn. Eve says Beth is suspended until this matter is wrapped up.
Natalya yells that she had nothing to do with this to Beth and we jump right to a graphic hyping a recap for later.
After the break, we see Booker talking to Teddy Long about a tag team tournament when Beth walks in and asks Booker about her suspension. Eve walks in and tries to back up her decision.
Booker gets upset and unsuspends Beth. Eve apologizes and she tries to blame Teddy for trying to set Booker up to look bad.
For some reason, Booker looks like he might be buying this. Cole brings up WWE partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure before we see the Raw Rebound focusing on Mick Foley and CM Punk.
Before the break, we see Miz in a makeup chair prepping for his talk show segment.
1. Gerald. Harold. Someone got lazy when coming up with new names.
2. If Beth is really leaving, then WWE is losing one of their best female performers in years.
3. Natalya and Beth could have helped the Divas division with a feud in so many ways.
1. I don’t care if I already saw it. The video of Bryan and Kane in the diner makes me laugh.
2. There is such a thing as a good Divas match.
3. Seeing Eve makes me hear Dusty Springfield songs in my head for some reason. (I really hope at least one person knows what I am talking about.)
1. We finally get an interesting Divas storyline right when the Divas start dropping off the roster like flies.
2. Cole and Mathews did not put over Natalya and Beth as much as they should have for that match. Considering they only had a few minutes, I would call it the best Divas match in months, perhaps all year.
Zack Ryder vs. Wade Barrett
After the break, we see Ryder in the ring as he awaits Barrett for the next match.
The bell rings and they lock up, with Barrett hitting some knees to the ribs of Ryder. Barrett hits a back kick to Ryder’s gut before hitting a pump-handle slam for a near fall.
Barrett pounds on Ryder in the corner and then hits a unique backbreaker. Ryder breaks out of a submission and plants Barrett into the mat face-first.
Ryder gets a head of steam and hits a few signatures before Barrett rolls out of the ring to avoid the Broski Boot.
Ryder takes him out outside the ring anyways and rolls him in the ring. Barrett follows Ryder into the ropes and clotheslines him over the top.
Barrett retrieves Ryder and hits his The Souvenir for the pin and the win.
Winner: Wade Barrett
After the match we see the second diner scene with the reference to "When Harry Met Sally" with Mae Young.
Sheamus is shown walking backstage before the break.
1. Nobody takes a butt-kicking like Dolph Ziggler or Zack Ryder.
2. Wade Barrett is still waiting for his first feud since returning.
1. Ryder sold Barrett’s moves really well.
2. The second diner scene was almost as funny the second time.
1. Barrett is being wasted.
2. Cole and Mathews finally get excited about a match and it is just a squash for Barrett to bury Ryder.
Miz is already in the ring for his talk show when we return. As he tries to put himself over, Sheamus’ music interrupts and he comes out.
Sheamus steals the mic from Miz and reminds us all how Ryback beat Miz up on Raw. Sheamus sort of hijacks the show and asks Miz questions but doesn’t allow him to answer.
Miz produces another mic and talks about how he is in a movie and a book by Mick Foley. He even plugs his show on Sirius while he runs down his credentials.
Sheamus looks bored while Miz brags about himself. Sheamus says nobody wants to pay to see Miz and Miz asks him about the No. 1 contender match later to try and get in his head.
Miz says Sheamus will either be defeated by an RKO or a WMD. Sheamus delivers a standard Sheamus promo about how he will take on either man.
Vickie Guerrero comes out to bring Dolph Ziggler out to the ring. Ziggler grabs the mic and says he can speak for himself.
Ziggler gets in the ring and tells Sheamus that he might just cash in after Hell in a Cell when Sheamus is broken and beaten. Miz is loving this.
Ziggler vows he will be champion by the end of the PPV and Sheamus said he might be lucky enough to do it. Miz provokes Sheamus and it ends up in a brawl.
Sheamus fights off Miz and Ziggler tackles him over a couch. Sheamus ends up putting both men over the top rope before standing tall with his title to end the segment.
We see a graphic showing the brackets for the tag team tournament to crown new contenders for the belts.
1. Miz TV is just an excuse to have some couches get wrecked.
2. Ziggler wants to cash in at HIAC.
1. It is always a plus when everyone in the ring is wearing pants.
2. Miz watching from his chair as Ziggler and Sheamus argued while egging them on.
3. Ziggler taking the mic from Vickie and talking for himself is a great sign that he might go solo soon.
1. Sheamus was kind of rambling in the beginning. It was really strange.
2. Ziggler continues to get buried despite being one of the best assets the company has.
Usos vs. Rhodes Scholars
The Usos are out first after the break. Sandow and Rhodes come out to Rhodes’ music and shake hands before walking down to the ring.
Sandow almost gets rolled up early on and Jimmy keeps on him. Sandow gets a boot up in the corner to knock Jimmy down and he goes to work on the Uso brother.
Jimmy hits a Samoan drop out of nowhere and both men tag their partners. Jey and takes it to Rhodes, and I think he botched a move.
It looked like he was supposed to hit a spinning forearm to Rhodes’ face but he hit his legs instead.
Jey hits a superkick on Cody and tags in Jimmy. Rhodes gets the knees up when Jimmy goes for the Superfly splash.
Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes for the pin and the win.
Winners: Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes
After the match, we see the third diner video from Monday.
1. Rhodes Scholars move on to the next round in the tournament.
2. WWE is really betting a lot on this angle with Kane and Bryan judging from the amount of time they give it.
1. The Usos vs. Rhodes and Sandow was way too short but still had some bright spots.
2. I have said it before and I will say it again. I could watch two hours of Kane and Bryan doing different things and getting into arguments.
1. The Usos dropped the coolest part of their entrance.
2. I don’t think the Usos will ever be used the way they deserve to be.
Tensai vs. Ryback
This could be interesting. The two powerhouses lock up and vie for control. Tensai gets the better of Ryback and pounds on him in the corner.
Ryback hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Tensai and he sets up in the corner for the big clothesline. Tensai catches him and plants him with a two-handed chokeslam for a near fall.
Tensai ends up running into a big clothesline from Ryback. Ryback calls for his finisher and he ends up getting the huge man on his shoulders.
He struggles at first but when he finally gets him up the crowd pops for him. He plants Tensai for the pin and the win.
After the match, we see Del Rio attack Orton backstage. Orton is down and a ref is checking on him as we head to commercial.
1. Tensai went from beating Cena to jobbing to Ryback in less than a year.
2. Ryback has a ridiculous amount of strength.
3. Wrestlers still listen to refs in the backstage area, barely.
1. Ryback finally starts to look impressive after winning two matches in a row against real opponents.
1. The match was a bit short for my liking, but oh well.
2. Del Rio had no reason to listen to the ref who told him to leave. It is not like he could get DQ’d or anything.
Big Show vs. Randy Orton
Show is out first after the break and Orton’s music hits, but we don’t see him come out. Del Rio comes out instead and he has a mic in his hand.
Del Rio says he will be taking Orton’s place, but Orton ends up attacking him and running him into the big WWE sign on the stage.
Orton limps down to the ring as Show taunts him from the ring. We go to another commercial already.
After the break, the bell rings and Big Show tries to corner the hurt Orton. Orton ends up fighting out of the corner right away, but Show downs him with a single head-butt.
Big Show tries for his Shhh Chop but Orton fights out only to get downed again. Show focuses on the hurt ribs by squeezing Orton’s side with his huge hands.
Show keeps on the ribs with a single punch that takes Orton down to the mat. He keeps on Orton with a big head-butt and a standing elbow drop takedown for a two-count.
Is that what you call that move?
They go to the outside and Show drops Orton’s ribs over the barricade before yet another commercial.
After the break, Show is still dominating Orton. Orton ends up hitting a DDT when Show goes for the Chokeslam to get some breathing room.
Orton gets a one-count before stomping on various parts of Show’s body. Show gets up and goes back to the ribs with several punches.
Show yells at Orton to quit as he punishes him with more shots to the gut. Show locks in a claw to Orton’s side before stepping on his chest and walking over him.
Big Show winds up and hits a big right to the ribs, sending Orton to the outside. Orton is able to run Show into the ring post and he rolls back in the ring.
Show gets on the apron and Orton tries for the rope-hung DDT but Show is too big.
Big Show calls for the Chokeslam again but Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere for a two count. Orton backs up and tries to punt Show but he gets caught in a Chokeslam.
Show only gets a two-count and he picks up Orton and holds him for a couple seconds before hitting a second chokeslam for the pin and the win.
Winner: Big Show
Show beats Orton clean and becomes No. 1 contender. After the match Big Show returns to the ring and hits the WMD on Orton to knock him out.
The camera angle was pretty bad on that WMD. You could tell Show was not hitting him square in the jaw really easily.
Big Show grabs a mic and tells Sheamus he will see him at HIAC. The show ends with Show leaving the ring.
1. If you take someone out backstage, you automatically get dibs on the match.
2. Unless that person can attack you before you make it to the ring.
3. There is no such thing as too little time between commercial breaks.
1. Big Show is selling his heel character pretty well.
2. Orton can sell an injury better than most, but he is no Nick Nemeth in that department.
3. Big Show is a heel and he beat Orton clean.
1. What was with that commercial right as Orton was walking towards the ring? There was about a minute between breaks.
2. There were three commercial breaks between the time Del Rio attacked Orton and the end of the match with Big Show.
The show was all right, but it fell flat for me at times. The replays of the Kane and Bryan videos were funny, but it was a lot of time to devote to something we already saw on top of all the normal recaps they tend to show.
It is not often I get to say this, but one of the high points of the night for me was the Divas match.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya looked great in the ring together, and it shows that WWE has simply chosen not to have a better Divas division by featuring more matches like this.
Rhodes and Sandow teaming together is OK for now, but I want them both to succeed as singles stars more than as a tag team.
Cesaro needs to move on to a feud with someone who can put on a great match with him, and I think it should be Ted DiBiase. It would be a great way to get him back into the fold.
I want to take a second and thank all those who sent their wishes about the loss of my Grandmother. It means a lot.
Thanks for reading and you can follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.