Let’s see how fast I can get this blog done and move on to finishing the Rundown! Are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
AJ vs. Layla
A…Diva’s match to start Smackdown? You know, given the travesty that was the summertime beach bikini cluster(expletive), this match was a nice diamond in the rough. Five star classic? Nope, but it wasn’t a pointless squash, and it developed the AJ charcter with the help of the equally demented Daniel Bryan.
Match Grade: B-
A Deliverance of “YES!”
I, like Vickie, was a tad confused as to what Daniel Bryan was wanting the GM to come out for, but it made sense in the end. I loved that AJ cut Daniel off with “YES!” chants of her own, but thankfully, that wasn’t live through the commercial break. If I were in the audience at a Raw or something, I would have hated 4 minutes of dueling Yes chants. Question: When was the poll on AJ’s role up on dot com? I stay up to date here on WNW, and I usually would have remembered a headline about a poll being up regarding AJ’s role in a title match. Anyways, I’m sure people that aren’t aware that this is a taping were confused thinking the same thing. AJ as guest referee in a title match, huh? Well…we’ll see. I trust Bryan and Punk to be able to work around it.
Segment Grade: B+
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Damien Sandow vs Zack Ryder
Ah, finally we get to see a bit of a challenge for our verbally gifted savior. This is the kind of thing I was wanting to see from Damien, and now I can safely say that I’m an admirer of his work. His facial expressions and attention to the details in the ring are wonderful to see. Again, I would love to have a good name for his double cutthroat neckbreaker. Nice, short, sweet match, and of course, the outcome will have people buzzing about this Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Match Grade: B
Looking for AJ
So are Kaitlyn and AJ friends or not?! Sheesh…um, that’s all I took away from this.
Segment Grade: Waste of Time.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Tyson Kidd vs. Jack Swagger
Sleeper match of the night! Maybe for those of you that watch NXT or Superstars on a weekly basis, this bit of a push is no surprise to you; for people like me, who barely have time to watch the two major shows, this was a wonderfully surprising hit. Remember it was just a few weeks ago that Kidd was an enhancement talent for both Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow. Now, we see two great in ring technicians doing their thing, and I thought Kidd made a great name for himself. I fully expect Tyson Kidd to become the Shelton Benjamin of the MitB match. Also: The Blockbuster – GREAT move.
Match Grade: A-
Turmoil Already? It’s like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, I thought it would last…
The ONLY thing about this segment that I didn’t like is that it made Vickie look like the face. Aside from that, I think the two showed great chemistry together, bickering like a married couple. One thing that always amazes me about these types of segments in professional wrestling – nobody ever remembers there’s a camera there. My girlfriend said, “Gee, I wonder if they realize that everyone’s watching them…”
Segment Grade: B+
Money in the Bank Qualifying Tag Match: Christian/Santino vs. Rhodes/Otunga
Okay, well, I liked the tag team chemistry in this match between each team. I’m not a fan of either the US Champ or the IC Champ being in MitB matches, because I think that greatly devalues those titles. I suppose they didn’t have a whole lot going for them anyways, but the Intercontinental Strap was at least getting some attention. I don’t like seeing David Otunga in any capacity, and I think his new entrance (posedown in the ring) is stupid. I think the right decision was made with putting the faces in the ladder match, but as much as I want to see Christian in the match (just not as the IC Champ), I DON’T want to see Santino in it. I feel that having Justin Gabriel in would be a lot more intriguing than Santino. Alas, I’m just a writer. Oh, and I’m wondering if they’re actually going to take the whole “Cody protesting the outcome of this match because he didn’t get pinned” thing somewhere, or if that was just to add color to the commentary.
Match Grade: B-
Sheamus and Lindsay Lohan Should Not Be In The Same Sentence
Sometimes, with Sheamus, you get really good promos. Othertimes, you wish he would just shut up and hit people. This was one of those times. I liked the part where he said he doesn’t worry, he just goes out and kicks arse…but the whole Lindsay Lohan joke was just goofy. In the Rundown, I’m going to mention something about the crowd on Raw…I’ll say this about Smackdown crowds – it’s difficult to judge just how into an event they are because on TV, there’s always the possibility and probability for piping in the reactions. That being said, did anyone else feel like a laugh track had been inserted after that joke?
Segment Grade: C-
Nice Way To Get On Someone’s Good Side
Ah yes, the typical “Oh crap, I hate this person, but they’re the ref, so I’ll go kiss up to them” angle. I think it’s funny that D-Bryan thought that offering the number to a doctor would help his cause. I thought AJ’s reaction to that offer was pretty awesome.
Segment Grade: B-
Ooooh, he went outside the ring. Actually, I think this is the first match that the jobbers were allowed ANY sort of offense against the Mental Machine. Also, I retract my statement a few weeks back about the backpack stunner being an awesome move. As a worker, I now see that that’s probably one of the dumbest moves around. It, like a leg slap, just makes a really nice sound.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Oh…Where have these two been?
Well, I’d like to see what Teddy Long does next week with the shows…but having this as his first move doesn’t give me much hope. Yes, for Teddy Long’s first move as Interim GM, he puts The Great Khali and Aksana in a match. Just…why?
Segment Grade: C-
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Justin Gabriel vs. TENSAI
Yes, I, too was hoping for a surprise victory from Justin Gabriel, especially given how much negative publicity Tensai’s getting backstage. As it is, it would appear that they’re giving ol’ Albert one last chance to be, I don’t know, good. Seeing Gabriel back on a main show is a good sign for him, though, and I hope they start teaming Kidd and him against people like the PrimeTime Players. Aside from hope, there wasn’t a lot that was great about this match. Well, actually, the two handed chokebomb looked pretty wicked.
Match Grade: C+
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus (c)
Okay, so it’s like Final Destination films: You know how it’ll end, you just want to see how they get there. In the Rundown, I’m going to mention something about the triple threat elimination match on Raw being a refreshing change. This match is a reason why. Don’t get me wrong, this was an excellent match, suitable for a B-Level PPV main event (maybe a C-Level one, if those exist…), but the format of a Triple Threat match is like a tag match in that it’s very formulaic. You know something was going to happen between del Rio and Ziggler to cause them to fight each other, and you know it’s usually two in and one out to make it work fluidly. Sorry if this is coming off as being a grumpy old man, but I really only like Triple Threat Matches for titles every once in a while. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that run in the Attitude Era where every Title match seemed like it was a Triple Threat or Fatal Four Way…I really hope we don’t get back to those kinds of days. The work in this match was nice, crisp, and solid. Del Rio will be del Rio, but Ziggler and Sheamus continue to be outstanding. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of weeks before Dolph Ziggler gets a run as the champion, because this guy works his tail off. From selling to executing, everything by him looks like something from the Golden Age. He’s very convincing. Obviously, Sheamus wasn’t going to lose here, but now this begs the question of who will he face at Money in the Bank? If they can up the ante, I would not be opposed to Ziggler/Sheamus again. Even del Rio/Sheamus, if you don’t want to repeat the same main event for two PPVs in a row.
Match Grade: A
In-Ring Action: B Hey, only one squash match this week! Hopefully Sandow’s broken out of the “Squash to Get Over” phase of his career and we can see some actual matches from him, like tonight. I was very pleasantly surprised with the Kidd/Swagger match. My concern with Swagger is that they already did the “massive losing streak” angle with him, and I don’t think it’ll go over a second time. Tensai in the Money in the Bank match makes me shudder.
Out of Ring Action: C So there really wasn’t a whole lot, besides the Bryan/AJ/Vickie promo that made a whole lot of sense or contributed a lot. Oh, sorry, and the Ziggler/Vickie deal. I don’t think the Teddy Long revenge angle got over as well as it should have, and Sheamus’ promo bit the dust hard for me.
Overall: B- I went with the higher grade here because in the end, we did accomplish something important, and that was determine the Money in the Bank participants. We have Sandow, Kidd, Christian, Santino, and Tensai. I would be surprised if they don’t just make it an even number and add one more person. Perhaps next week, we’ll see a “Losers” Battle Royal…maybe Cody will come out on top of that one.
Outside the Blog Zone
So this is late (again) because yesterday was MPX King of the Beach, featuring THE Brian Kendrick. I want people to read it here first: Brian Kendrick is a damn cool guy. He was very humble, down to earth, and geniuinely wanted to help out our cause. The match he had with The Headbanger Gregory James was pretty awesome, and everyone made the night memorable. I’m pretty sure we set some records last night with attendance and crowd noise (seriously, a HOT crowd), and I had one of the best matches I have had in a VERY long time. Hopefully, it’ll be uploaded to YouTube soon and then I’ll share it with you guys. Until WEDNESDAY, after SUPER SMACKDOWN LIVE SPECIAL, thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging…the Rundown will be finished and up later tonight!