This week’s SmackDown comes after the events of Battleground and the even bigger events of Raw, which saw Big Show knock out Triple H after weeks of torment.
With WWE having Big Show drop that bombshell of a story point, it’s not surprising to see things slow down on the plot progression front for SmackDown.
There’s still a lot to look forward to for this Friday’s show though, with championships being defended and the beginning of Alberto Del Rio’s feud with a returning John Cena.
This week’s show emanates from Columbus, Ohio, with Bleacher Report’s own Chris Featherstone providing the full spoilers for Friday’s show (via WrestlingInc.com).
- Vickie Guerrero kicks off SmackDown and talks about Big Show being fired. She’s interrupted by Alberto Del Rio, who wants his match with John Cena at Hell in a Cell cancelled. Damien Sandow then interrupts, and Vickie makes a match between the two for tonight.
- Curtis Axel successfully defends his Intercontinental Championship against R-Truth.
- Los Matadores defeat El Locals—one of whom was said to be Ricardo Rodriguez under a mask.
- The main event of the night is announced to be Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
- Cameron, Naomi and Brie Bella got a win over Eva Marie, Natalya and Kaitlyn after Naomi pinned Kaitlyn.
- Renee Young interviews Goldust and Cody Rhodes backstage.
- Damien Sandow vs. Alberto Del Rio ends with Sandow tapping out to the cross armbreaker.
- A recap of Cena on Good Morning America is shown.
- The Great Khali and the Prime Time Players beat 3MB.
- The show was closed with Cody Rhodes and Goldust getting a win over Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
Conspicuous by Their Absence
This week’s SmackDown is light on top stars. We’ve come to expect inconsistent appearances by Triple H on the blue show, but it’s strange that neither Randy Orton nor Daniel Bryan were on the card.
Even The Shield won’t be appearing on the show, or The Big Show. It appears that this week’s episode of SmackDown is completely free of the McMahon family angle.
Not only that, there’ll be no progression on the CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman front, either. Although Paul Heyman will presumably be by Curtis Axel’s side when he faces R-Truth, neither Punk nor Ryback are on the show.
We’ll have to wait and see how this all comes off on television; it might not all be bad.
Less McMahon family drama and CM Punk means more time and value placed on the World Heavyweight Championship—though the angle involving the title still didn’t manage to close the show.
The World Title Is Important Again?
Speaking of the World Heavyweight Championship, things are finally looking up for the big gold belt.
WWE told us Cena would be out for around six months before returning, but we all knew that his freaky Wolverine-like rehabilitation speeds would kick in and he’d be back in no time.
While it’s hard not to wonder if Cena could use the rest but is being brought back early anyway due to Raw’s recent low ratings, this is exactly what the World Heavyweight Title needs.
I’ll admit that I never thought WWE would have the Leader of the Cenation contend for anything other than the WWE Championship, but it’s nice to be proved wrong sometimes. Having Cena shoot for the title inherently makes it mean something again. But now it’s up to Alberto Del Rio to carry the feud on his own until Hell in a Cell, much like Chris Jericho did back in 2008.
Interestingly, Del Rio is facing Damien Sandow on SmackDown. It was noted that Sandow was getting cheered throughout the match.
Is this the beginning of a babyface turn for the Intellectual Savior of the Masses, or is it a one-off?
The World Heavyweight Championship picture is refreshingly interesting right now.
The Resurgence of Rhodes
Daniel Bryan is still the most over act in the company, but the Rhodes brothers’ angle has been the most compelling on WWE programming for the last month.
Their match with The Shield provided Battleground’s most memorable moments, and their feud with The Shield has tremendous potential.
Despite that, it might be good to get a break and stop and smell the roses—where "smelling the roses" means watching the Rhodes beat people up.
It would be a lie to say part of Goldust’s appeal isn’t nostalgia, but he’s far from a nostalgia act. He still throws one of the best punches in the business. We’re also seeing Cody Rhodes morph into a main event star right in front of our eyes.
The show may not have Randy Orton or Daniel Bryan, but watching Cody Rhodes and Goldust work might be just as good.
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