I know I shouldn’t be shocked at the lack of logic in WWE Storylines, but they continue to stun me. To say that A.J. has hit her breaking point, or rather, to display A.J. having a breaking point as a General Manager after only a MONTH (4 shows) in charge is ludicrous. It has only been a month, right? This storyline with AJ and Booker as General Manager hasn’t been going on the whole summer? Then again, it feels like forever ago that Daniel Bryan lost the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds, and it was just five months ago. My, how things have changed in that time frame. Heck, The Miz is relevant again. Anyways, I just think that four days on the job is not nearly enough time for someone to hit a breaking point, but this may be a case of WWE thinking that it’s bigger than it actually is. Anywho, are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Neck Braces Are Funny
One of my least favorite angles in the history of WWE is banning a particular move from use. Whether it’s Sweet Chin Music, Hell’s Gate, or now, The Brogue Kick, I find the whole concept to be silly for a bunch of grown men who hit each other on a daily basis. At least with Hell’s Gate, we were able to see blood (ah, the good old days). Did anyone else find it ironic that del Rio was preaching to us the immorality of kicking someone in the head? When his promo package airs later in the show, you see at least four enzuigiris and two dropkicks to the head, but OH WELL. Anyways, this segment was alright, I suppose, only because of its relevance throughout the entire show. Apparently, we’re also showcasing that Booker is losing all control of the show after about a month into the job. Also, yes, you heard right, Ricardo will have physical and MORAL damage.
Segment Grade: B-
The Masked Marvels vs. The Miz and Cody Rhodes
I thought I had a clever Miz pun for his tag team, but alas, no. Sin Cara and Rey together is an interesting dynamic, and I think the pairing is a good idea – I’m not sure I want to see them go for the Tag Titles if/when the PTP get them, but for now, they’re fun to watch. Miz and Rhodes are fun to watch, too, but really, the best part about their tag team is Miz screaming out things like “DUCK” and “GRAB HIS FOOT” to Rhodes. I found it interesting that the match was not exactly storyline centered. What I mean by that is that Rhodes didn’t spend the majority of his time going after either masked man’s masks. This was literally just a tag match. I think we’re allowed to be curious and speculate as to why the finish was booked so that Rhodes ended up hitting Miz and costing him the match (which was not the prettiest spot, by the way). Then again, it’s entirely likely that next week it’ll be a forgotten thing and just an accident. Now that Rey and Sin Cara have pretty much triumphed here, where do all four of these guys go next? Who would Miz defend his Intercontinental Championship against? You would think it has to be one of these three.
Match Grade: B
Daniel Bryan and Hornswoggle
Really? That’s a bully move from a midget who’s never on TV nowadays. This segment was worth noting just for Daniel Bryan’s expressions and attempts at cooling down.
Segment Grade: B
Otunga Threatens Mr. T
Unnatural? See, this is why the “Banning of a Move” is my least favorite storyline going into a match. You have to make someone look like a buffoon when they try to explain why it should be banned.
Segment Grade: D
Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder
Alright, all of those Anger Management skits might be absolutely horrendous to watch, and the Hug It Out thing may have been one of the most awkward and stupidest things I’ve seen on recent television, but all of it has led to this absolutely hilarious, spot on, and still effective portrayal by Daniel Bryan. This is how you do funny without reducing yourself to a complete joke. While the Hug-into-The-No-Lock spot could not have been more predictable, I thought it came at the right time in the match, and when Daniel Bryan lost it and the ref reversed his decision, it all came together. In conclusion, while I still don’t want to sit through the Anger Management skits, I understand their place in making Daniel Bryan’s character what it is…now, what about Kane? I fully expected him to come out through hellfire and brimstone and hug D.B. to calm him down.
Match Grade: B
Damien Sandow vs. Randy Orton
Wow, has this guy skyrocketed in the last two weeks! First a fight with Sheamus, then one with Orton! Color me impressed. I think the count out victories are great for his character, and I think I mentioned this last week, but his style against these brutal, barbaric beasts is so old school and so effective. I’m glad these two were able to get a basic match in before Sandow was counted out, and I really want to know where they’re going with Damien’s character. Are they going to continue this string of count out losses? Who will he finally go over? Or will he be pinned? Also of note, that was a nice sell of the RKO after he ran back in.
Match Grade: B+
Again, with this ridiculousness. I didn’t go back and rewatch this segment, but to me, it looked like the first X-Ray was the worse of the two. Have I mentioned I’m not really high up on this angle?
Segment Grade: D
The PrimeTime Players vs. The Colon Cousins vs. The Usos
Whoo, triple threat tag team matches seem like they’d be a ton of fun to be in, but a hell of a difficult task to coordinate. With that in mind, I thought this was a really good match. Everyone got ample ring time (although Jimmy Uso looked like a superman in there after the hot tag), and signature spots were hit. I thought it was weird that Primo hit the Backstabber right off the bat, but in the ensuing chaos of trying to cover, it made some sense. I would have loved to see The Usos go over here, as I think that would have made for a great match at Night of Champions, but the Universe is just getting the idea that there actually is a tag team division, so I don’t think a face vs. face feud would be the best move right now. For now, I predict that the PrimeTime Players take the belts at Night of Champions.
Match Grade: B+
Dolph and Vickie confront Teddy
I’m okay with a Dolph/Orton feud, and I’m sure the two will make it seem like a lot is on the line at Night of Champions, although nothing will be. And for the record, Teddy, I don’t know why you’re being sued either.
Segment Grade: B
Wade Barrett vs. Yoshi Tatsu
I was all ready to write this off as a terrible comeback for Wade Barrett until the promo afterwards. I love that he acknowledged that fighting Tatsu was a waste of time and that he’s ready for bigger things right out of the gate. The elbow was pretty cool and much more fitting to his “BareKnuckle” style of fighting that we’re supposed to buy into. I noticed that there weren’t any piped in crowd noises for this match and until the promo, it didn’t seem like a match to care about. Anyways, the line “Wade Barrett is open for business” was odd, but it makes you wonder what he meant. Unfortunately, my mind immediately went to the gutter…but it was too easy.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Sheamus vs. David Otunga
I feel like I should call this a squash match, but Otunga had Sheamus down a couple of times, so I guess I can’t. Otunga held his own until the punchline of Booker coming out and announcing (at a VERY inconvenient time) that the Brogue Kick was banned. At that point, in order to make this a much bigger deal for Sheamus, they should have had him take the loss. As it was, Sheamus won with an Irish Cloverleaf (Michael Cole in the midst of all the cheers afterwards said, “I like to call it a Texas FOUR LEAF CLOVER LEAF.” …idiot.). Sheamus winning with this move right after the announcement was made, pretty much made the entire episode that was centered around banning the Kick a complete waste of time. Now, for the next two weeks, del Rio can throw the Banned Kick in Sheamus’ face all he wants, and Sheamus can pretty much say, “I don’t care.” That will be some unbelievably riveting programming.
Match Grade: C+
In-Ring Action: B- The Tag Matches were actually the best matches of the night, which hopefully means more good things for the division itself. Daniel Bryan’s character in-ring is becoming a hugely entertaining thing, but I can’t see him putting on title matches with that character intact.
Out-of-Ring Action: C- Ugh. The whole show, minus two short segments, was about The Brogue Kick Ban. Wade Barrett’s intriguing and eyebrow-raising promo and Damien’s rundown of the WWE Universe were the saving graces here.
Overall: B- I had to go with the higher grade here because, despite me not being a fan of the Ban being the central focus of the show, the other parts definitely started to draw the picture for Night of Champions. To recap that, we’ll have R-Boom vs. The PrimeTime Players, Orton vs. Ziggler, and someone from that tag match will face Miz for the IC Belt. The WHC match was furthered just a tad, so all in all, this show moved things forward.
Outside the Blog Zone
Alright kids, gotta go prepare for tonight’s MPX show! We’ll have a huge announcement tonight that I can’t tell you all until NEXT WEEK! So until then, thanks for making me your CHOICE for SMACKDOWN blogging.