For the first time in nearly four months, Smackdown went live (despite being on tape delay) this past Tuesday night in front of a hot England crowd. In what was quite possibly the greatest Smackdown special to date, we witnessed two brawling Brits go head-to-head for the first time ever and an exciting Falls Count Anywhere Match in the main event.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of prediction and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in coming weeks.
Sheamus calls out World Heavyweight Champion Big Show
Good opening segment featuring Sheamus, World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and Wade Barrett. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but everyone involved displayed nice mic work and played their roles well.
Aside from building towards the tag team match later in the night, it also hyped the Barrett vs. Sheamus bout on Main Event this week, so it was effective in that aspect as well.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. The Miz
Great match with Kofi Kingston successfully defending his Intercontinental Championship against The Miz. Next to their Main Event match a few weeks back, this was certainly one of my favorite clashes between the two.
Kingston pulled off a lot of cool spots, and Miz told a story by repeatedly going for Kingston's leg. Kingston retaining was predictable, but I can't complain following a hot match to kick of the wrestling portion of the show.
It seemed as if Miz could've been on the verge of a face turn by shaking Kofi's hand following the contest (which would make the most sense at this point), so it confused me as to why Kingston attacked him regardless.
Prime Time Players def. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
Fun match with the Prime Time Players defeating Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. It was rather brief, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil needed a victory here after losing to them a handful of times before, so it was a logical and nice win for them. The post-match promo didn't do much for him, as it dragged on a bit too long and wasn't that good, but I also managed to find it humorous at the same time.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and Wade Barrett def. William Regal and Sheamus
Solid tag team match with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and Wade Barrett defeating William Regal and Sheamus. Let me start of by thanking WWE for finally giving me what I wanted: a match between Regal and Barrett in front of England.
If Regal didn't wrestle another match, I'd be happy knowing his last bout was in front of his home country on television against a fellow Brit and the World Champion. That being said, the match itself was pretty good and helped further the Sheamus-Show feud without having Sheamus look weak.
As big of a Regal fan that I am, I was fine with him taking the loss to Show, as he was even able to hit his patented Knee Trembler finisher before going down for the count. This was a very special treat for the England crowd that both they and I loved extremely.
Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
Excellent Falls Count Anywhere match with Randy Orton defeating Alberto Del Rio. While it was slow at times, it really picked up the pace down the stretch and provided some entertaining action.
They made the most of the stipulation by utilizing the environment around them, which resulted in some very cool spots around the arena. Personally, I've liked this feud since the start, and this was a great way to concluded it, aside from their eventual tag team match on Survivor Series in a few weeks (which this match also helped hype).
Overall, a fantastic show that was extremely enjoyable for this viewer and delivered on all fronts. WWE capitalized on their England location and (finally) placed William Regal and Wade Barrett in tag team action against each other, also involving the competitors in the Survivor Series World Heavyweight Championship match.
The action was very entertaining, the crowd was much hotter than they were on Raw, there were no meaningless segments (aside from one with Smackdown general manager Booker T and Teddy Long backstage) and nothing was crammed into this show at all. This was easily the best live special they've done thus far, and this certainly made up for what a mess Raw was on Monday night.
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