Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for Sept. 27

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2013

Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for Sept. 27

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    Every week here on Bleacher Report, I will take an in-depth look at SmackDown, recapping all of the action, offering analysis and grading the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show, as well as provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    We are just over a week away from Battleground, and WWE has started to fill out the card with the matches that will take place at the pay-per-view.

    This week's episode of SmackDown ended up being vastly superior to last week's show in both wrestling quality and storyline development.

    Let's get into this week's show with the opening segment featuring Triple H and Miz.

Opening Segment

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    Triple H opened the show by talking about the inadequacies and failures of the WWE Superstars who have been complaining lately.

    Miz came out to interrupt Triple H, questioning his fairness. Triple H showed a clip of Randy Orton destroying Miz two weeks ago on Raw after saying Miz has been given opportunity after opportunity. 

    They went back and forth for a bit about who was right and who was wrong. Triple H said Miz couldn't back up his trash talk, and Miz just seemed to fume more and more as time went on.

    Triple H said he wanted to give Miz one more opportunity to face Orton, and then he left Miz alone in the ring to end the segment.

    This was a decent exchange between two Superstars who have not had many interactions over the years. Triple H is always great on the mic, but Miz was surprising in how convincing he was with his anger and intensity.

    It's hard to tell who Triple H will eventually end up fighting in a match, but Miz and Big Show seem like the most likely candidates at this point.

    The segment didn't go on for too long, which actually helped make it enjoyable since it didn't feel like the typical long-winded talking segment.

    Grade: B

Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth

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    This was a pretty short match that just served to give Alberto Del Rio a quick win. R-Truth had one or two offensive moves, but Del Rio controlled most of the match and picked up the win using a hard kick to the head.

    Since WWE has to fill up an entire card every week, it's easy to be critical of short matches like this, but they do serve a purpose.

    The real excitement came when RVD came down and saved Truth from a post-match attack from Del Rio. RVD got the better of Del Rio this time, and he ended the segment by dropkicking a chair into Del Rio.

    Triple H was shown with Vickie Guerrero backstage during RVD's celebration, and he announced that the match between Del Rio and RVD at Battleground would be a hardcore match. This should lead to a pretty entertaining match at the pay-per-view.

    Grade: C

    Some notes from the match:

    • Truth should be using the suplex-into-a-stunner move as his finisher. It's a very original-looking move that is more convincing than his axe kick of spinning forearm.
    • How many different shirts does WWE make for RVD? It seems like Ricardo is wearing a different RVD shirt every time we see him.
    • The segment before the break where The Prime Time Players showed two guys backstage how to do their little dance was kind of funny. It is the first time since they turned babyface that we have seen them actually have some time to talk, albeit 30 seconds.

The Real Americans vs. Prime Time Players

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    Before the match Zeb Colter gave a promo about people not saying "We the people" with them since it is mocking them when un-American people say it.

    The match that followed was much better than I expected it to be going into it. All four men have a lot of talent, but they managed to take a short match and make it pretty entertaining.

    Everyone had a chance to get in some offense, but it was Jack Swagger who picked up the win with the Patriot Lock on Darren Young.

    The tag team division has a lot of potential, and if WWE keeps pushing the current teams, the division could really take off again.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • The athleticism of Titus O'Neil never ceases to impress me. The way he propelled himself up and over Swagger in the corner was the kind of move you expect to see someone half his size pull off.
    • Equally impressive was Antonio Cesaro hitting The Big Swing on Titus for 22 revolutions.
    • Titus' dizziness after the Big Swing made for a couple of good laughs.
    • Darren Young has an absolutely picture-perfect northern lights suplex.
    • This might be the first match Antonio Cesaro has been in where he didn't hit a huge European uppercut.

Bray Wyatt vs. Zack Ryder

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    It's official, folks. WWE has officially dropped the ball with The Wyatt Family. They came into WWE with so much hype after those intense promo videos, and less than two months later, we have Wyatt in a match with Zack Ryder.

    Don't get me wrong, Wyatt is still highly entertaining on the mic and in the ring, but the group should have been booked strong right out of the gate, and instead WWE put them in a feud with a guy who immediately took a break after losing to Wyatt.

    The match with Ryder wasn't necessarily a squash since Ryder got in one or two offensive maneuvers, but it was very short and only served to give Wyatt a win and keep him on camera for now.

    Hopefully Kane returns soon and picks up where he left off with Wyatt, because these pointless tag and singles matches are not doing the family any good.

    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • When Ryder went for the Rough Ryder, Wyatt pushed him so high up in the air that he probably got as much elevation as he would have jumping off the top rope.
    • Luke Harper is possibly creepier than Wyatt himself. The blank stare he has really makes him look like he has a screw loose.
    • How does Bray Wyatt keep his white pants so clean living in the middle of a forest?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose/The Shield vs. Kofi, RVD and Ziggler

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    Dolph Ziggler had another shot at the U.S. title, and this time he brought out RVD and Kofi Kingston as equalizers to combat the presence of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

    Ziggler and Dean Ambrose only had a few minutes before the match broke down into a brawl and Triple H restarted it as a six-man tag match, and what happens when you put six of the most talented Superstars in one match?

    You get an awesome bout that features numerous impressive spots and a lot of fan interaction. Both the short singles match and the longer tag match made for great television.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, pulled out all the stops to make this the match of the night. Dean Ambrose picked up the win for his team by pinning Kofi after Rollins stomped his head into the mat.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the match:

    • The Spear Reigns delivered to Ziggler was incredible. It made every Spear Goldberg ever delivered look weak by comparison.
    • If anyone can match the balance of Nik Wallenda, it's Kofi Kingston.
    • How Ziggler continues to stay healthy while taking sick bumps night after night is a mystery to me, but it always makes his matches seem more realistically violent than anyone else's.
    • Someone needs to tell the drunk guy in the front row that his hat is on crooked, unless he did it intentionally, in which case he needs to be told that it's no longer the '90s.

Big Show Interview

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    Big Show legitimately seemed like he was on the brink of crying while talking to Renee Young. Anyone who says Big Show can't act is clearly only basing that opinion on Knuckleheads and not the performances he has given in recent weeks.

    Triple H making fun of Big Show made the big man nearly knock him out, but Big Show took the high road and walked off after Triple H reminded him that he has a family to worry about.

    This was another short, but effective segment in building this feud between Big Show and Triple H. Hopefully the eventual match they have will live up to the buildup.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the segment:

    • I really hope Big Show took a breath mint before this segment, because Triple H's nose was nearly in his mouth when Big Show screamed in anger before walking away.
    • WWE should stick Renee Young on commentary during Main Event to see how she does. I think her charisma, wit, knowledge and love for the sport would make her the best female commentator wrestling has ever seen.

Cameron vs. AJ

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    Given that Cameron is the weak link of her team, this match wasn't too terrible. She showed some good athleticism, and her confidence has obviously grown a lot in recent months.

    Tamina's presence at ringside didn't really affect the outcome of the match, but hopefully her alliance with AJ Lee eventually leads to her getting a Divas title shot when she eventually turns on AJ, or vice versa.

    AJ picked up the win with a nasty looking Shining Wizard right to the face of Cameron.

    Grade: C+ (That's a decent grade for a Divas match.)

    Some notes from the match:

    • I'm so glad they finally found something for Tamina to do, even if it is just playing AJ's bodyguard.
    • Either my eyes finally caught up with my prescription or the Funkadactyls have actually gotten hotter since Monday.
    • Did Kaitlyn go on hiatus? I get that her feud with AJ lasted way too long, but it's not like WWE has to take her off television altogether.

Paul Heyman's Promo

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    Paul Heyman came out and delivered another one of his instant-classic promos. He talked about how he keeps getting the better of CM Punk, and he actually blames the fans for pushing Punk to keep going after him.

    Heyman's ability to draw heat from a crowd is unmatched in today's WWE, and you can really tell that he is enjoying every second of this storyline.

    Hopefully he can make Ryback into a star, because if he can't, then nobody can. Even Vince McMahon and the WWE machine can't match Heyman's ability to play the crowd like a fiddle. 

    A segment on a wrestling show that involves no actual wrestlers would usually fall flat, but Heyman is the exception that proves the rule.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the segment:

    • I am willing to bet at least half the crowd didn't know what the word "myopic" meant.
    • Had Heyman been born 100 years earlier, he could have become president. He might not have made for a great president, but his silver tongue would have been enough to get him into office at the start of the television revolution.
    • I am going to go off topic for a second, but it will circle back to my main point. While writing is one of my great passions, it is unfortunately not how I make my entire living. I have been in sales/management for a long time, and a big component of being a successful salesmen is having the ability to read the face and body language of your client to determine how they really feel about what you are pitching to them. Having spent the past 13 years of my life studying facial expressions, tones of voice and body language I can tell you that Paul Heyman is either a sociopath, Shakespearean-level actor or he is genuinely having the time of his life. You will notice that every time Heyman smiles, wrinkles appear next to his eyes like crow's feet. This is one of the indicators that the smile is genuine and not put on for show. If you ever see someone smile, and their eyes do not change with the smile, you know it's fake. Test this in the mirror, and you'll see what I mean.

Santino vs. Heath Slater

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    I don't even know how to feel about what happened during this match. I get that comedy has its place in wrestling, but this was just plain ridiculous.

    Santino put on the Cobra sleeve to deliver his finisher, and somebody backstage thought having Jinder Mahal use a fourth grader's recorder to "charm" the snake would be funny.

    Then Khali got on the apron and magically produced his own recorder to combat Mahal's, because he obviously carries one wherever he goes just in case he needs to play Froggy Went a Courtin'.

    Santino went back and forth as his Cobra was trying to decide which tune it preferred. Mahal eventually had Santino cowering in the corner from his own Cobra until Hornswoggle took Mahal's recorder and broke it. Santino ended up picking up the victory using The Cobra on Heath Slater.

    Not only were the melodies pumped in through the speakers instead of coming from the recorders, but neither man even made close to an effort to appear as if they were actually playing the tunes we could hear.

    Grade: D+

    Some notes from the match:

    • Lou Thesz is rolling over in his grave right now.
    • Were any Indians who watched this segment offended by what they saw? I am really curious if something like this is viewed as racist by those who have Indian heritage.
    • I would like to apologize to Tex Ritter and his family for associating his song with Khali. No offense was intended.

Randy Orton vs. Miz

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    This match wasn't about headlocks and hip tosses. This match was about intensity, brutality and a bunch of other words that end with the letter y.

    Miz came out with a clear goalbeat the hell out of Randy Ortonand for a little while he was succeeding in that goal. Miz beat on Orton mercilessly and had him reeling in the early going, but one missed corner clothesline turned things around.

    Miz was being looked at by doctors for a shoulder injury when Orton grabbed him by the head, pulled him through the ropes and delivered a rope-hung DDT.

    Orton shoved the ref away as he continued to pound Miz into the mat, getting himself disqualified in the process. Triple H came out and restarted the match as a no DQ match, and that's when things really went south for Miz.

    Orton delivered a DDT from the barricade to the floor before bringing Miz back in the ring to deliver an RKO that would end the match and give Orton the win.

    While there might not have been much "wrestling" in this match, it was still very entertaining to watch these two beat each other up all around the ring.

    Miz had the kind of fire in his eyes that we haven't seen since he lost the WWE title, and if he continues to be involved with Orton and Triple H, we could see him back in the title picture at WrestleMania 30.

    Grade: B+

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This week's show was a big improvement over last week's show. We got to see some great action, entertaining non-wrestling segments and plenty of storyline development.

    We are just a week away from Battleground, and WWE has begun to round out the card. Ryback vs. CM Punk was announced on SmackDown, and Triple H turned the World title match between Alberto Del Rio and RVD into a hardcore match.

    Miz, Big Show and Triple H were the MVPs of this week's show with their performances outside the ring, but it was Ziggler, RVD, Kofi and The Shield who stole the show inside the ring.


    • Ricardo Rodriguez might end up turning on RVD at the PPV now that the match is no DQ and he can help ADR retain the title without getting him disqualified.
    • Big Show will knock out Triple H and get fired, only to return a few weeks later to challenge him to a match at Hell in a Cell.
    • At least two titles will change hands at Battleground, not counting the vacant WWE title.
    • Vince McMahon will eventually return as a babyface to take back control of WWE from Triple H and Stephanie.
    • Real snake charmers everywhere will boycott WWE for mocking their chosen profession.

    What did you think of this week's episode of SmackDown, and what are your predictions for Battleground?


    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.