This week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown is the go-home show for Survivor Series, and it emanates from Atlanta, Georgia.
The two world title programs aren’t generating too much buzz, so most of the interest for Survivor Series comes from lower on the card. Likewise, this solid-looking episode of SmackDown looks to draw its strength from stars like Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, The Shield and The Rhodes Brothers.
As advertised, The Real Americans will challenge Cody Rhodes and Goldust for their Tag Team Championship gold. Elsewhere, the feud between Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and The Wyatts reaches its anticipatory apex.
Below are the full spoilers for this week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown, courtesy of PWMania.com.
- SmackDown opens with Cody Rhodes and Goldust defeating The Real Americans in a Tag Team title match. Goldust gets the pinfall victory on Jack Swagger.
- Ryback issues an open challenge which is answered by The Great Khali. Big Hungry hits Shellshocked for the win.
- Cameron and Naomi beat AJ Lee in a handicap match made by Vickie Guerrero.
- Rey Mysterio and The Usos defeat The Shield.
- Big Show cuts a promo on Randy Orton, who comes out and talks about their match at Survivor Series.
- Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston defeat Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow in what was described as a short match.
- The Prime Time Players defeat 3MB, who dress up as The Fabulous 3-Birds.
- Alberto Del Rio cuts a backstage promo on how he’ll put a serious hurting on John Cena at Survivor Series.
- Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper is this week’s main event. Bryan gets a roll-up victory after CM Punk’s music hits and distracts Harper. After the match, The Wyatts gang up on Punk and Bryan. SmackDown closes with The Wyatts standing over Punk and Bryan.
It’s The Big Slooooow
The promo exchange between Big Show and Randy Orton had better be one hell of a good one, because their match at Survivor Series currently stands as a pretty hard sell by the WWE.
Even though The Viper’s feud with Daniel Bryan was plagued by bad writing (it was three very slow months), it still felt like it meant something.
With Big Show now effectively the top babyface (though not for long), it’s a lot harder to be interested in the WWE Championship. It just feels like filler content, like the company is just buying time until WrestleMania season.
The World’s Largest Athlete has had a great career, but he feels incongruous in this feud—he just doesn’t have the star power to make him feel like a legitimate threat to Orton’s reign.
The most we can hope for is that their rivalry is one and done, that The Apex Predator gets a win over Show on Sunday and can then move on to better things.
We were pleasantly surprised by the return of Rey Mysterio on Raw this past Monday. He’s as quick as ever and fits well in the Survivor Series match, considering how lazily he was slapped on.
He and The Usos pick up a big win over The Shield on SmackDown this week, and one has to wonder where Mysterio will go after Survivor Series.
There were already reports circulating the Internet (PWInsider via WrestlingInc.com) that he was seen limping around backstage after Raw, but let's hope that the “source” this information originated from just has a wicked sense of humor.
With Sin Cara fading away from the spotlight, Mysterio has no clear direction at this point. Will he join Daniel Bryan and CM Punk’s war against the Wyatts, or will he become an enemy of The Authority?
Regardless of where he goes, great matches are likely to follow.
Indie Kings Fall
This week’s show ends with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk laid out at the hands of The Wyatt Family, though this follows Bryan getting a pinfall victory over Luke Harper.
It seems like WWE will be giving this feud the three-month treatment—even if Punk and Bryan get a decisive victory over Luke Harper and Eric Rowan at Survivor Series, what will it mean? Bray isn’t involved in the bout, so they have to have at least one more pay-per-view match.
The sad thing is, this just accentuates how uninteresting all the company’s other feuds are right now. We know Del Rio will never beat Cena for the title, and as expounded above, Big Show versus Randy Orton isn’t stealing any shows.
That leaves this feud, which is essentially a midcard program, to carry the weight. Other than Cena, Bryan and Punk are perhaps WWE’s greatest current workhorses, and The Wyatts have been holding up their end, so maybe all hope is not lost for Survivor Series.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom