WWE SmackDown, June 21: GSM's Analysis and Aftermath
Five days removed from the controversial WWE Payback pay-per-view, Friday Night SmackDown provided all the fallout from the extraordinary event. Similar to Monday's Raw, there was plenty of awesome action and successful segments to keep viewers entertained throughout the course of the show.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of predictions and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
Tensions Boiled Over Between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton
Following the weak finish to their No Disqualification match on Monday's Raw, I'm glad Bryan made mention of the fact that he wished to continue but the officials disallowed him from doing so. Orton, too, provided solid mic work here and set up the main event match nicely.
It appeared as if Bryan was the one who was acting more heelish, which worries me. I hope they are teasing a Bryan heel turn only to surprisingly turn Orton in the end. Only time will tell as far as that goes.
Sheamus Def. Cody Rhodes
This match received a bit more time than their initial encounter a few weeks ago on Raw. Rhodes got enough offense in that it wasn't considered a total squash when Sheamus won.
It was obvious from the start that Sheamus would be going over, but Rhodes still looked strong in defeat. Sandow attacking The Celtic Warrior following the contest was very well done and a good way to further his recent momentum.
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel Def. Wade Barrett
After their mess of a match last week on SmackDown, this rematch was a vast improvement. Heel vs. heel matches rarely work in wrestling, but there was enough back-and-forth action to make both parties look good.
While it's nice to see Axel pick up a clean victory, it worries me that Barrett was defeated so decisively. With his rematch now out of the way, I hope to see Barrett focus on capturing the Money in the Bank briefcase next month.
Divas Champion AJ Lee Def. Natalya (Non-Title)
AJ and Natalya are two of the most talented Divas in the division at the moment, so I was disappointed to see the bout end within mere minutes. The Divas were in action at WWE Payback, Monday Night Raw, WWE Main Event and SmackDown this past week, which is pleasantly surprising.
Kaitlyn's backstage meltdown was well executed and I'm still very much into her feud with AJ.
World Champion Alberto Del Rio Def. Chris Jericho by Disqualification
The last time we saw Jericho and Del Rio go one-on-one was last summer, so this bout certainly felt fresh, and it definitely delivered. They produced some exciting action and developed excellent chemistry with one another.
Dolph Ziggler's interference was smart booking, as it allowed Jericho to take a loss but be protected in the process. I look forward to the Triple Threat match between the three competitors for the World title at Money in the Bank, if it ends up coming to fruition.
Christian Def. Drew McIntyre
The match wasn't long enough to truly amount to anything, but it still was nice to see Christian in action, nonetheless. Christian's post-match promo hinted that he has his sights set on reclaiming the World Heavyweight Championship sooner rather than later, so I surely hope he's reinserted into the title picture at some point.
Does The Shield's attack on Christian mean he'll be feuding with them for the foreseeable future? If so, Christian vs. Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship would be a fun filler feud for the time being.
Daniel Bryan Def. Randy Orton by Count-out
Although their match on this week's Raw was entertaining, I found this rematch to be even better. The bout was given great time, which allowed both individuals to hit their signature spots and electrify the audience.
With Orton winning on Monday, it was only logical for Bryan to go over here. The count-out finish was a smart way of protecting Orton and furthers the feud between the two in the process.
I hope to see their rematch take place at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, where Bryan can score the high-profile victory and take one step closer to contending for the WWE Championship.
SmackDown has been enjoyable for a number of months, and this edition was no exception. The blue brand continues to offer suspenseful storylines and well-wrestled matches that make the show worth watching.
If you're not already tuning into SmackDown on a weekly basis, I strongly suggest doing so now. If this week's set of television tapings were any indication, this summer season in WWE looks to be extremely exciting.
Read the original version of this review here.