Well, I hope everyone here in the United States had a great Independence Day…for the rest of yas, I hope you had a great Wednesday. I would have written this yesterday, but…it was a holiday, so there. I will say I was looking forward to seeing if anything cool was going to happen on this special live episode…and I was sorely mistaken. Alright, are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Setting the Stage
I’m pretty sure the ONLY cool thing about this was Kane coming in and setting the grill on fire. Even then, it doesn’t really make sense, but I suppose we’re supposed to just accept it at face value. Eve is back, and the lesson for tonight is that bullying a bully makes everything okay.
Segment Grade: C
I’m just gonna say right here that I hate politics. I hate talking about them, listening to them, any time a political issue is brought up, I tend to just shut it all out. So when the asking of papers began, and the plant in the crowd said that it wasn’t Arizona, it was Texas, I prayed for Sheamus to come out. AND HE DID! Wonderful. The brawl segment was great, as it was Sheamus at his best: No talking, just hitting. I liked the unique use of the car (I say unique because it didn’t involve someone being slammed on top of or into a side of the car), and I was VERY surprised at the color we saw when we came back from the break. I was all ready to criticize someone over at dot com for saying Sheamus had a laceration to his head with no blood, but lo and behold, there it was. Nice! I just wish Sheamus had been wearing blue, so we could have seen…well, you know. I won’t be that bad of a jokester this week.
Segment Grade: B
The Great Khali and Layla vs. Antonio Cesaro and Aksana
What a VERY AMERICAN match. Anyways, I thought Cesaro was in line for a push? I’ve heard of needing to hit rock bottom before you start rising, but, uh, is this rock bottom? Losing to Khali? This wasn’t a match so much as a practical joke on everyone who might have been looking forward to this.
Match Grade: D
Cody gets another shot
After having so much time with Teddy and then a relatively brief span of time without him, I realize what it is I didn’t like about Teddy as GM. He can’t really get a scripted sentence out clearly. Anyways, straightforward segment here to set the stage for the obvious chance for Rhodes.
Segment Grade: B
Cody Rhodes vs. Christian
Definitely a good time watching these two work. It’s like a different, flashier version of Punk and Bryan. Punk and Bryan don’t need to be flashy to get over, and I suppose these two don’t either, but they are. The story revolving around Christian’s shoulder was played out very nicely, and a nice job was done of making the outcome as unpredictable as possible. In the end, the right call was made – and if not for the next match, I would be picking Cody Rhodes to walk away with the briefcase.
Match Grade: A-
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley
Good grief, how far has Alex Riley fallen? No music, barely a legitimate entrance, and I’m sure anyone watching at home started to think we were getting another Ryback match. That being said, Riley made the most of his TV time, and credit Ziggler for making Riley look good when he really didn’t have to. Nobody at all thought that Riley had a chance to win this match going in, but these two created some very decent near falls for Miz’ former protege. Again, though, the right move to put Ziggler in the MitB match was made, and now, it’s either Cody or Ziggler who will win this match…Ziggler is closer to the main event scene than Cody is, so I’m pretty sure it will be him – but another really good choice would be Cody.
Match Grade: B-
WHOA. WRONG. JUST. WRONG.
I really liked where this interview was going…until Michael Cole tried to pick AJ up. At that point, I almost got in my car and drove to Corpus Christi before A) I realized that it’d be WAY too late, and B) Daniel Bryan came out. I’m actually growing a little weary of the guys talking in this angle, but I permit it just to see where AJ takes her character. She’s been absolutely spot on since the beginning of the year, and the kissing of both men (who weren’t named Matt or Guy, incidentally) was a ridiculous mind (expletive). I’m SO very interested to see what AJ does in the Championship match as a referee. I think my favorite thing about this whole AJ as ref thing is that they’re still making the WWE Championship the centerpiece of the match.
Segment Grade: A
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Santino, Sargeant Slaughter, Hacksaw vs. Hunico, Camacho, DREW
Yup, I’ll still pop for Hacksaw…It could be the music. It could be the 2×4. It could be the “HOOOO!” It could be the stomping out to the ring. I think it’s comical that they gave Hunico a decent amount of ring time, as if he was going to win. This was a purely nostalgic match, and the sooner they get the US Title off of Santino, the better for both the title and the wrestler.
Match Grade: C-
Sandow doesn’t like barbecue apparently
What’s great about what Sandow said is that it’s SO true. I have a feeling that he and Kurt Angle would have made a legendary tag team. I think he could have been utilized in a better way than he was tonight, but hopefully, this sets up something next week. The bullying continues as everyone just points and laughs at the “Carrie-fied” Eve.
Segment Grade: C-
Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins
Yes, this could be counted as a legitimate match. Ryback stumbled. But Hawkins did the job here…what else is new. At least we’re not using local jobbers to do it. I say we get Reks in next week, and then at the PPV, Ryback takes on both of them. There’s a plentiful heel enhancement roster to use against Ryback, so hopefully we don’t see local jobber squashes again.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Battle Royale SuperStar American Bash Live SPECTACULAR!
Well, as far as battle royals are concerned, this was pretty decent. Every person hit their spots, the big guys got a chance to be dominant, and the main eventers got their angles over. In the end, this match wasn’t used to further any Money in the Bank angles, which is a GOOD thing (DDP callback). Instead, the bigger, overall angle of the General Manager was advanced, and seeing Zack take over next week (especially after what transpired with Sandow) will be interesting. I think it’s funny that Ryder celebrated this victory like Shawn Michaels did after winning the WWF Championship, but whatever makes him happy…
Match Grade: B-
In-Ring Action: B- It was good to see Cody get a good challenge with a clear goal and then to overcome that challenge. The Ziggler/Riley match was surprisingly decent, and the battle royal wasn’t a complete waste of time. We’ll see what happens next week, but I’m sure there will be a healthy amount of Money in the Bank tag matches.
Out-of-Ring Action: C- Ugh…the only decent segment tonight was the AJ/Punk/Bryan/Cole stuff, and everything else outside of that shouldn’t have happened.The barbecue stuff backstage was stupid and harkened back to the Thanksgiving episodes where someone inevitably got hit with a pie.
Overall: C+ Kind of underwhelming, but as long as you realize that these specials are now being used to bring nostalgic characters back, it wasn’t terrible. As long as Saturday Night Main Event is still treated like a Pay Per View, I can deal with it. But again, like the last live episode, this was just not hype-worthy.
Outside the Blog Zone
Uh….not a lot in this category. Just that for July and August, MPX is moving to one show, just to relieve its fans of the brutal 100 degree plus Texas heat. Next show is July 21st! Go check my facebook for pictures from our last event that featured Brian Kendrick! Until next week, thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!