Why is Smackdown better than Raw right now? Anger Management. End of story. Are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Tribute to a Legend
I feel like WWE is capitalizing on how serious everyone took the Edge retirement. From what we saw on Raw from Triple H to the shoutout from Sheamus, I feel like WWE is taking the kayfabe ball and running for the hills with it. As a result, us smarter fans might think it to be a little too contrived; casual fans don’t really believe that Trips has retired. Nonetheless, I definitely had a question mark above my head when Sandow arrived to interrupt The Great White. I love what they did with him and I love how abrupt it was that they put him in a main event type match with Sheamus – I just questioned the timing of everything. Good for Sandow, though. The catchphrase from Booker was definitely cheesed up, but I guess I’ll go ahead and cease the ripping of catchphrase use, since that doesn’t sit well with some of the readers.
Segment Grade: B+
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
This was a fairly typical Rey Mysterio match. I suppose I should be happy that Cody is in a program, something with direction; I just can’t shake the idea that he should be doing something better with his time than recycling an old, overused angle with the mask. Is it just me, or is Rey Mysterio beyond “surprise” pinfalls? Kind of like how Big Show dominating people usually means he’s going to lose, I feel that Rey Mysterio constantly coming in as an underdog because of size usually means he’s going to win. Maybe I’m just being a smart fan, but these kinds of matches are becoming way too predictable, and I don’t buy that Mysterio can only win with a small package. The after match stuff was okay, with Sin Cara making the save on Mysterio (I wonder if one of those are going to make a heel turn eventually), but I feel that once Cody is done with this bit of “punishment,” he should move on to something much better than this.
Match Grade: B-
Natalya vs. Kaitlyn
The problem with Divas matches nowadays lasting longer than two minutes is that because we’ve seen such poor quality “matches” from them before, matchups like these lose their lustre. I appreciated the technical prowess Nattie displayed, but it’s going to take a LOT of that kind of wrestling from the Divas to make people give any kind of crap about them. On top of that, they are going to have to STOP with the roll up victories by ANY of the Divas if they want to be taken seriously. Roll ups are for people that are considered weak and non-competitive in WWE. They are meant to be used by people you never expect to win, and I think that that actually hurts one’s status. Then again, that could just be the smark in me. Regardless, Kaitlyn can put a victory over Natalya under her belt, and it builds a little bit of steam towards her Divas title match. Side note: I hate how Kaitlyn is a heel on NXT but a face on regular programming.
Match Grade: C
Booker and Vickie sound off on AJ Lee
I’m kind of interested in where they’re taking this angle. The Smackdown vs. Raw angle has been done and done again, but this much tension between GMs (especially FACE GMs) is interesting. I noticed on Twitter that AJ did not appreciate the comments made by Booker and Vickie, and I wonder if this is going to be a continuing thing, with Booker being condescending towards AJ. I like AJ in the GM role…quite frankly, I like AJ period.
Segment Grade: B-
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
I forgot that Orton/Ziggler was the main event. I would have expected Sheamus to take the main event slot, but this is the “top of the hour” match, so I guess it’s main event part one? Anyways, this was a really good match for Sandow’s first foray into the main event scene. His style is so old school, so cowardly heel, that I truly do appreciate everything he did in this match. As I mentioned earlier, this Sandow thing kind of came out of nowhere, and I think the rest of the Universe felt the same – with that said, Sandow knew the best way to get himself over as a heel with a crowd that may be unfamiliar with him. This was one of the better cowardly heel performances I’ve seen in quite some time, and it’s good to know that IF del Rio doesn’t end up being a long term investment, Sandow can step up in that aristocratic, martyr role. Also, “Referee, do your job.”
Match Grade: B
The Flying Wolves (Kidd and Gabriel) vs. The Primetime Players
Please note that “The Flying Wolves” is a very temporary name for Kidd and Gabriel until either you guys or WWE come up with a better name. As typical as this match was, the fact that there’s a story attached to it heightened the intensity of the affair. While I think that the Usos or Colons would be a team much more deserving of this spotlight than Kidd and Gabriel, I should be happy that the Tag Division is actually getting a spotlight. It should also be noted that with Kidd and Gabriel in the ring, the novice type work of the Primetime Players was highlighted (for me, anyways). PTP comes off as soft and sloppy to me, whereas Kidd and Gabriel, with more experience and talent, seemed crisper and more fluid. Don’t get me wrong, I like the PrimeTime Players, but this is solely based on their charisma and energy in the ring, rather than their skill.
Match Grade: C+
Kane’s Apology. Del Rio’s in there too somewhere.
I wonder where they’re going with Josh consistently being assaulted. I know he’s playing it up on Twitter by threatening to sue, but how is this going to play out on TV? Just when I thought Smackdown was going to be spared from the Anger Management stuff, Kane comes out an apologizes. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to deal with the fact that Kane just a few months ago wanted John Cena to embrace his hate and be a monster like him, but is embracing the idea of anger management much more. As Richard said, there has been no one booked as incosistently as Kane has been. I do like how Josh Mathews kept up his fear of both del Rio and Kane throughout the commentary of this next match.
Segment Grade: B-
Kane vs. Alberto del Rio
Well, this was about as basic as you can get. That being said, I understand that del Rio’s offense is supposed to be basic and that maybe that’s supposed to be what’s endearing about him, but I just can’t get behind it. There’s basic, and then there’s really lacklustre. Of course, with Kane, there’s not a whole lot that del Rio can do to him that’s believable. I thought the first attack on the shoulder, ramming it into the turnbuckle, was deplorable and it just didn’t make the rest of the match make sense. Also, and I’ve harped on this before, I hate when the majority of offense is focused on a body part and the victory comes from a blow to a different body part. The BackStabber was a bit odd looking, and I didn’t believe it to be a finishing maneuver in the least. Ultimately, this match was meaningless, and if they wanted to get to the end result, they should have just done it without the match.
Match Grade: C
Kane Fails Anger Management
Again, I’m wondering where they’re going with this. This entire angle with Daniel Bryan and Kane going through Anger Management seems aimless, and Josh seems like a punchline. I read somewhere that he’s becoming Pete Rose…if this continues through next week, I’ll agree.
Segment Grade: C-
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
This was a wonderful match, although I feel like it was a bit of a spotfest. I can see the potential for an incredible feud between these two down the line, and given the end of the match with Vickie proclaiming Dolph as the still-reigning Money in the Bank Champion, I wonder if we’ll see another match where the briefcase is on the line. I thought Orton showed a little more life in this match than he usually does as evidenced by when Ziggler finally got caught in the rope assisted DDT. The go home where Orton threw Ziggler on the announce table, only to throw him back in the ring was a little awkward, and I’m surprised that Orton got a clean, uncontested victory. Maybe I’m just used to seeing a screwjob around every corner. Anyways, the way that Dolph was announced by Vickie afterwards makes for the most interesting story here to me, and I would not be opposed to a Ziggler/Orton program.
Match Grade: B+
In-Ring: B- The main event, Sheamus/Sandow, and the Tag Match were the highlight pieces for this show, and I like how Sandow and the tag teams stepped up to provide entertaining matches.
Out-of-Ring: C- I have a huge problem with the amount of video packages recapping Raw and the Anger Management sessions. Having been at a live Raw event recently, I can identify with anyone who was in attendance for the Smackdown event. While the rest of the show was filled with matches, I just can’t understand why you would have so many video packages for another show. The Josh Mathews stuff will have to await further judgment.
Overall: C+ Not TOO impressive a showing from the Blue Crew. Right now, the only thing set in stone is del Rio vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. It looks like Orton will be battling Ziggler, and what role will Sandow have in the coming weeks?
Outside the Blog Zone
It’s amazing to me that I got this up “on time.” Next week, I probably won’t be as lucky since I have MPX next Saturday night. I’ll try my best…I need to get a shift at work covered just so I can make it to MPX…yikes. Anyways, until next week, thanks for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!