As the week reaches its end, WWE presents a new episode of Friday Night SmackDown.
This week’s episode would feature a street fight, a big six-man tag team match, plenty of storyline development and another Fiesta Del Rio.
As a pinata hung high above the ring with Dolph Ziggler’s face on it, the show kicked off with a street fight!
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: Dublin Street Fight
Before the match, Damien Sandow gave fans a bit of a history lesson. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union, which is something it should do today. Sandow gave a nice little heel promo here.
I also learned something new, or possibly just relearned something. It’s been almost a decade since high school, so I forgot a lot of stuff. Anyway, Sandow is one of the best on the mic in WWE. He knows how to rile up a crowd and get them to hate him.
When he does eventually get elevated to the main event, I think Sandow will truly shine.
As for the match, Sandow would fall back onto two chairs so Sheamus could hit the Brogue Kick for the victory. This was a great match. It was so much fun to watch! The action was hard-hitting and physical, which was part of the fun.
With mini-bars, kegs, green kendo sticks, bar stools and even a sack of potatoes, Sheamus and Sandow gave fans some great entertainment. This match was a great way to open the show, and a excellent way to end the feud.
After this, there’s no way Sheamus and Sandow can top themselves. If WWE isn’t done with this yet, it should reconsider. The feud was fun and the matches were very good; there’s no need to drag it out.
Before he did, though, he told Kane that he’d be ringside for his match with Orton. A hug then ended the segment.
Even though they’re not partners anymore, Kane and Bryan are still fighting like they are. The friendship they still share is going to explode sooner rather than later, and my guess is the Money in the Bank event. I hope to see Kane snap and return to being a monster.
Miz TV with Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel
Both The Miz and Paul Heyman then appeared in the ring for Miz TV. Miz wanted to talk about Heyman’s personal life, but Heyman didn’t want to. Miz brought up how Renee Young didn’t want to last week either, but Heyman bullied her into it.
Heyman soon brought out Curtis Axel, and he and Miz went back and forth over the Intercontinental Championship. Miz even brought up the deceased Mr. Perfect when he compared both Heyman and Axel to Star Wars characters. Axel was Luke Skywalker with Miz saying “Luke, you are not your father.”
That was pretty low, but it works for storyline purposes. Axel ultimately attacked and laid out The Miz to end Miz TV.
I thought that this segment was very well done. The Miz and Heyman were great on the mic, and Axel got the job done, too. He has really improved on the mic since transitioning to the new character.
Like I said earlier, the Mr. Perfect reference was a bit low, but it works. Axel’s father is one of the greatest of all time, so he has some major shoes to fill. For his whole career, he’s going to be compared to his legendary father. Some sons surpass their fathers, but some don’t.
Randy Orton is a good example of someone who has. Axel does have the potential to live up to the Hennig name, and he has years to work for it.
A feud with The Miz is going to be great for him. The Miz is an established star who could help him get over big time as a heel. With Heyman by his side, the skies are the limit at the moment.
AJ Lee vs. Natalya
Before the match, Kaitlyn gave AJ Lee a taste of her own medicine by coming out dressed as her. She went over AJ’s relationships with Bryan, CM Punk, Kane, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, and she even revealed some “new” ones.
To the surprise and embarrassment of the timekeeper, ringside doctor and Lilian Garcia, Kaitlyn angered an already crazy AJ. Moments later, she skipped around the ring much like AJ does, and that resulted in Natalya rolling her up for the victory.
Yes, Natalya actually won a match! That was exciting in itself, but Kaitlyn’s involvement was great. After the match, Kaitlyn speared her right out of her shoes, adding insult to injury.
On Raw, AJ mocked Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn got her revenge here. Much like Raw’s segment, this was well done. Kaitlyn had AJ down pretty good, too; her mannerisms were spot on. This feud between AJ and Kaitlyn is really reenergizing the Divas division.
For the first time in a long time, I actually want to see what’s going to happen next in the division. WWE has a storyline that’s interesting, fun and is putting the women in the spotlight, which is somewhere they haven’t been in years!
The World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Match Is Set
Backstage, Vince McMahon approached Teddy Long about the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match. With the WWE Championship MITB being an “All-Star” match, Mr. McMahon wanted to know what Long was going to do.
After taking a shot at Booker T, Long said that he was looking to the future of the WWE and announced Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, Fandango, Dean Ambrose, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow for the match at the event.
I’m so glad that WWE is making one of the MITB matches about the future. I remember when that’s what the match was all about. There would be one or two “all-stars” in the match, but it would mostly feature non-main event talent.
The match has elevated the likes of Edge and CM Punk to the main event, and that’s what it should be doing. I don’t want to see an established main eventer win and just keep their spot; I want to see a midcarder get the chance to become a star.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the lineup for the Raw match as it’ll make for a great match—I just prefer what they’re doing with SmackDown.
Kane vs. Randy Orton
After Daniel Bryan pushed Kane back into the ring, Randy Orton hit the RKO for the victory. Kane and Orton had a pretty good match here. With solid back-and-forth action, these two Superstars really delivered for the WWE Universe.
Kane and Orton have good chemistry with one another. Every time they face off against each other, they always have a good match. Bryan added an interesting dynamic to this contest.
Trying to get Kane pumped up, he started a massive “Yes” chant, and when Kane lost control, he got a “No” chant going as well. The crowd was eating out of the palm of his hand. Audiences absolutely love him. Imagine if he managed to win the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship. I think people would explode!
Bryan’s cocky little smile when Kane lost was intriguing as well. It was almost like he was telling Orton that he only won because Bryan pushed Kane back into the ring. He could have also been happy that Kane lost so he can brag about beating Orton when Kane couldn’t.
Like I mentioned earlier, I think Kane is going to snap soon. Seems to me like the seeds are being planted for it to happen.
Ryback vs. Justin Gabriel
Ryback picked up the win here after he caught Justin Gabriel in the corner and hit a Shell Shock. This was an odd match. Ryback got in a few moves, but it was Gabriel who was in control for the majority of the contest. Usually, it’s the other way around.
Gabriel is the kind of guy who’s typically Ryback chow, but he really took it to him here by attacking his leg.
Post-match, Chris Jericho came out and mocked Ryback about being hurt. As Ryback kept screaming “I’m hurt,” Jericho declared that while he was a destroyer, he was also a “whiner, bitcher and complainer.” He called him Cryback and went on the attack. Ryback would manage to slip away before the Walls of Jericho could be applied.
Man, what happened to Ryback? It is hard not to be one-upped by Y2J, but the massive Superstar seems to have lost his intensity. It’s almost like losing to John Cena humbled him.
He went from beast to baby in a matter of weeks. I really hope WWE is going somewhere with this.
The Shield vs. Christian and The Usos
The Shield suffered their second loss as a unit here after Christian hit Dean Ambrose with a spear for the win. While a bit short, this was an overall good match. All six performed great with one another as they gave fans a fast-paced contest with plenty of nonstop action.
The Shield as a team are starting to look human. I didn’t think they’d lose a second match so quickly, but I feel that it’s good that they did. They have been unmatched for months. Nobody has been able to take them down, not even somebody of legendary status like The Undertaker.
It’s great to see them finally have some cracks in the armor. Perhaps all the battles they have had have weakened them to the point that they’re vulnerable now. No matter the reason, the two feuds here should make for some great matches.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Usos has a whole lot of promise, while the eventual United States Championship feud between Ambrose and Christian will certainly produce a few excellent matches as well.
Since I can’t see Ambrose losing the title anytime soon, the feud would also make Ambrose look strong for successfully defending his title against a seasoned veteran and former world heavyweight champion.
Fiesta Del Rio
With chips, salsa, balloons, a mariachi band and the Dolph Ziggler pinata, it was now time for Fiesta Del Rio. After Ricardo Rodriguez introduced the champion, Alberto Del Rio declared that he was there to celebrate his victory over Ziggler.
He then spoke nothing but Spanish for a few minutes, and after breaking the pinata, he dared Ziggler to come out. The Showoff did appear, which resulted in Ricardo going through a table, Del Rio getting the ZigZag and Ricardo getting his head knocked off with a guitar. Seriously, that guitar shot looked sick!
Ziggler then celebrated with the mariachi band as the show faded to black. Until Ziggler came out, this segment was boring.
I found myself falling asleep as Del Rio was talking. I can’t believe he is a boring heel again. Granted it he was still kind of boring as a babyface, but as a heel, he just has the ability to bore you to death.
Ziggler’s attack saved this segment. I really hope WWE gets the title off of Del Rio soon. I really don’t care who he loses it to, just as long as he doesn’t have the title I’ll be happy.
Overall, I thought this was a very good episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. The majority of the matches were quite good, and the ones that weren’t, they at least featured solid storyline development.
WWE is blowing my mind right now. It hasn't been this consistently good for a while. For every great show, there were always a number of subpar ones to follow.
For the past couple of weeks, though, WWE has been on a roll. I really hope it can keep it up throughout the summer!