The Smackdown Breakdown – Bryan Is Possessed!

Ten weeks ago, I called out who I thought would be the next person that would get called up from NXT in Bray Wyatt.  Not only did WWE decide to bring him up, though, but they decided to throw his entire Family into the mix and bring up one of the most fleshed out gimmicks that are currently in NXT.  But as the excitement faded back on Tuesday and Wednesday, I started to think about one thing.  Almost all of the stables in Pro Wrestling today are heel stables.  The Shield?  Heel.  A’s and 8’s?  Heel.  SCUM?  Heel.  And even looking back at history, there have been very few face stables.  Evolution?  Heel.  Fortune?  Heel.  NWO?  Heels.  The Four Horsemen?  Heels.  Even DX were heels at some points!  Maybe it’s because faces are always booked to overcome the heel stable’s trickery, but I question why they do not try to establish more face stables.  With this sudden influx of stables in Wrestling, maybe it’s time to try again.

 

Also, a huge thank you goes to WNW reader Dustyn DeVos for sending the pictures that you will be seeing interspersed throughout the Breakdown this week.  He was there live and was kind enough to send them in!

 

Break it Down!

 

Opening video: 7

Finally, a video that isn’t a giant recap!  And I know it did recap The Shield’s exploits, but it really was more about hyping to upcoming show and the matches therein.  If they could only get someone other than the rejected movie trailer voice over guy!

 

Kane vs. Seth Rollins: 9

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Alright! This is the way to open a show, with wrestling!  And it was an excellent match to start with, as Kane has the experience to pace an opening match well and make it feel as important as the main event.  And this match was an excellent display of differing in-ring wrestling styles, with Kane showing sheer power and Rollins using his calculated strikes and his speed and agility.  Early on in the match, though, I saw something that I couldn’t help but laugh at, as Kane’s wig came loose when Rollins was working over his knee in the corner!  You could clearly see his sandy blonde hair under it!  Rollins’ Tornado DDT out of the corner was unexpected, and very awesome!  And the Half Boston Crab was a great way to keep working on the leg.  And Bryan’s assist, while not necessarily something a face should have done, was an excellent way to end this match, as it added to the intensity of the next match.  As a side note, I just realized who Rollins’ facial expressions reminded me of!  Edge!  Especially as he was being set up for the top rope Chokeslam, he looks a lot like him in the face!

Winner: Kane (Pin)

 

Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns: 8.75

I absolutely love the mounted elbow strikes from Bryan!  It shows that he is truly breaking, as it is a much more intense type of striking.  It gives him a more MMA feel, which I don’t object to!  And where Kane/Rollins showed us the difference between power and speed wrestling styles, Bryan/Reigns showed us the differences between a highly technical style and a surgically powerful style.  Reigns has very little wasted movement or momentum in his powerful strikes.  Kane costing Bryan the match after Bryan helped Kane is a smart move to help further the tensions between them.  It can only further fuel Bryan’s mental instability, as we saw as they went up the ramp!  And the bickering between Hell No up the ramp was priceless!

Winner: Roman Reigns (DQ)

 

The Damien Sandow Show: 9

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Sandow may have used some cheap heat at the outset of this segment to get the crowd going, but he does it in such a way that it doesn’t feel as if he is trying to be cheap with it, but that it is his genuine opinion.  First the Gordian Knot and now Thimblerig?  WWE has been selecting the perfect ways to show his intellectual superiority in these segments!  And while I understand the nature of the segment dictate that he couldn’t hold a mic here, but I miss how he holds his goblet!  The rampant double entendres once Sheamus came out were excellent!  It shows that they are from vastly different levels, and helps with setting the scene between the two of them.  Sheamus using Sandow’s catchphrases at various points through the segment really switched things up, but it is a trend that I have noticed with him over his last few feuds.  And you really hand to hand it to the Edmonton crowd for the “Show your balls” chant!  And that fact that Sandow was so offended and flabbergasted was a riot!  Sheamus was quite game tonight on the mic and really responded well to Sandow.  My only real complaint was that they used a really bad camera angle for the Brogue Kick for the first shot.

 

WWE Rewind: 0

I don’t normally cover these, but the “creative” editing here forced my hand.  As they showed this “Rewind”, they show Cena getting attacked as the ref was still counting him out.  In actuality, Cena had already lost the match before that point, which not only makes the ref look like an idiot in this recap, but makes the production team look like a set of complete idiots for editing this down the way they did.

 

Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel: 8

Thank God Cara ditched the tramp for his entrance.  I swear that had to be at least half of the reasons why his knees were getting injured!  Why are we getting this again?  We just had this match last week, and it wasn’t that good then!  That was a wonderful promo by Axel, and the way Heyman keeps setting him up is perfect.  And while he may be slightly green, I see shades of his father in his promos.  Onto the match itself, it was very similar to last week’s match, but without as much offense by Cara.  I love that he is using the Perfect Plex!  It’s the little things like this that really draw an older fan such as me towards him.

 

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E. Langston: 7.5

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I love that Lillian and Ricardo are switching it up like they have been!  Ricardo needs to keep announcing in English on Smackdown.  It gives a different flavor for the show.  And with Ricardo now a part of Main Event’s broadcast team, I figure it is only a matter of time until they separate him off of ADR.  And as a new feature to the Breakdown, anytime Ricardo announces ADR to the ring, I will have the Albertooooooo time listed after the match, as determined by my own stopwatch!

This match again?!  We have had this match occur 4 times now in 12 days on WWE TV, and I am betting good money that, considering the result, we will see it yet again on Monday.  And will someone PLEASE bring Big E’s singlet with the shorts up from NXT?!  His butt was hanging halfway out of the dang thing most of the match, and the last thing I want to see on my TV is big male booty!  But I think I have griped enough about things here, onto the match itself.  While these two have had 4 matches in a very short period, they have found multiple interesting ways to vary it up to where we have yet to really have too many overlapping spots between all of the matches, other than Big E. powering out of the Cross Armbreaker in each match.  And speaking of spots, what a sick German Suplex by ADR!  It may not have been as crisp as other people’s, but it looked fantastic!  Of course, with Ziggler still a question mark, they need to continue this feud so they can keep it hot for when Ziggler is able to compete.  As a side note, AJ had that very dark yet beautiful vibe tonight!

Winner: Big E. Langston

Albertoooooo time: 8.2 seconds

 

Raw Rebound, or the Obligatory Cena Recap: 0

We saw last half of this recap earlier in the night on the Rewind!  This was 5 minutes that were utterly wasted, as the only bearing it had on tonight’s broadcast was that Ryback was in action.

 

Ryback vs. Kofi Kingston: 7.75

Ryback arriving in an ambulance every show is getting old quickly.  I know that they are using it to hype up his match at Payback, but it really is just annoying to hear that siren.  Kofi got in a fantastically surprising amount of offense here and it looked extremely stiff.  Kofi sold those powerbombs through the tables like a champ!  Other than that, this was a fairly average match.

And while I don’t doubt Kofi needed the surgery, I’m sure that he wanted some time off to spend with his wife and newborn child.  I hope he enjoys it, and comes back with the drive he showed in this match.  They easily set him up with a feud when he returns that could elevate him to the main event.

Winner: Ryback (Pin)

 

Highlight Reel Recap: 6

Basic recap video to set up the next interview.   Honestly, there isn’t much to say here.

 

Jericho Interview: 8

Jericho was so over the top here that no matter how corny it seemed, it was going to be great!  And while it went a little long and ridiculous, that is just Jericho!  Ruff!

 

Chris Jericho vs. Cody Rhodes: 7.5

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Yet again, we see Cody Rhodes in a match with no explanation as to why.  But one thing I have noticed in the last few matches with him in it is that he has been taking more and more pages out of the books of the people he has worked with in the past or his family members.  Tonight alone, he did Goldust’s patented chest kick and Hardcore Holly’s Alabama Slam and both work really well with him.  Otherwise, this was a solid, if otherwise unremarkable, match.

Winner: Chris Jericho (Sub)

 

Wyatt Family Vignette: 10

I have already mentioned The Wyatt Family in my intro, but I have to say that this vignette is one of the best that WWE has produced in a very long time.  It has that perfect level of creepiness; just enough to make you uncomfortable but still want to see more.  The last time I saw vignettes like this was when Sean O’Haire was about to debut his devil’s advocate gimmick.  It’s about time WWE tries to bring back an edgy side to their product!

 

Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose: 8.25

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Ambrose’s interactions with the ref are flat-out entertaining and I honestly can’t think of anyone else who has been as animated has he is.  Whereas The Shield’s other two matches pitted individuals with different wrestling disciplines against one another, Orton and Ambrose have a very similar style to one another.  And Ambrose honestly looked like he was on the same level as Orton.  And while I know I am typically critical of Orton’s style, I just think he needed someone like Ambrose to accent the positives in his work yet again.  I do wish he would get rid of the corner punches, as it is clear when he performs them that he is nowhere near punching them.  Of course, Orton couldn’t go under to the upstart, but at least he didn’t win clean.

Winner: Randy Orton (DQ)

 

Bryan’s Controlled Chaos: 9.75

I had to separate this off simply because of the awesomeness that ensued once Hell No hit the ring!  And while JBL and Cole described it that he was like a man possessed, but I think he finally fully snapped!  He was flying around that ring more than a rabid squirrel!  Bryan’s German Suplex I thought had to have killed Seth Rollins!  And his Missile Dropkick almost was an airborne stomp!  And he even pulled out a kip-up!  That was hands down the craziest ending to Smackdown I have seen in a very long time!

 

Overall Wrestling Grade: 8.25

Overall Segment Grade: 8.25 (6.25 if I add Cena)

Overall Show Grade: 8.25

 

Wow, who would have thought two horrible recaps would have brought the average grade down so far!  While I hated that they took out 10 minutes of the show for recaps that really didn’t add anything to the overall picture of the show, the rest of the show was excellent!  The Shield opened and closed the show and were in the ring a total of 40 minutes of the show, not to mention the fact that we had 7 matches on the show and not a single one of them were complete filler or Diva trash!  I mentioned last week that anytime The Shield are in the ring, they go at an unbelievably high level, to the point it is becoming commonplace.  But despite this, I am still in awe when they are in the ring!  Tonight’s show further reinforced that feeling, as we were privileged to get to see each of them in singles action, giving us a great preview of how they will function as singles competitors.  Also, what a refreshing change of pace that the first 25 minutes of the show was filled with wrestling!  Coupled with the fact that Raw this week had a clean 20 minutes more wrestling on it than normal, and I think we may have the start of a good trend!

 

Last week, Cobra slithered across our borders and captured the Trivia Title!  The Honky Tonk Man’s legendary 454 day reign as Intercontinental Campion is lauded as one of the few records in WWE history that will likely never be broken.  But he is only #3 on the combined reigns list.  Who is #1 and how many days did they hold the Title?

In addition to this trivia question this week, I wanted to leave you with something a bit special.  Here is Dean Ambrose challenging for the FCW 15 Title against Seth Rollins in an epic 30+ minute match!

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  • Navin T. Ramkissoon

    Pedro Morales held the belt for 619 days in 2 combined reigns

    • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.sherwood.7 Jesse Sherwood

      Navin, you are correct! As a fun fact, Chris Jericho, despite having the most reigns, doesn’t even crack the top 10. He’s held the title a combined 318 days. And Wade Barrett could easily pass Shelton Benjamin to get in the top 10 if he holds the strap for a little less than 4 more months.

      • Navin T. Ramkissoon

        Who do you think Barrett can realistically drop the belt to?

        • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.sherwood.7 Jesse Sherwood

          With Fandango as hot as he is right now, maybe him. But I would honestly like to see Bo Dallas come back up during an open challenge and steal one, only to drop it to Bray Wyatt. They had a superb feud in NXT, and I could see it easily transfer up to the main roster.

  • Navin T. Ramkissoon

    As much as I love The Shield I enjoyed seeing
    Daniel Bryan at the end of Smack Down last night. I hope he gets a
    serious singles push soon. He deserves it. I am kind of split as to
    whether or not they should turn him. He gets as big a babyface
    reaction as anyone else on the roster, and they can run with that. The
    one downside to keeping Bryan face however, is that the moment that
    creative feels that he can surpass Cena in terms of popularity they are
    going to stop whatever momentum he has dead in its tracks.

    • Jesse Sherwood

      The thing here is, would a heel turn even stick? His last one, while being decent, was still cheered by the fans because they love Bryan. And as for creative trying to kill his momentum, considering the fact that Cena and Bryan are most likely close outside the ring, (They are both dating a Bella after all) I don’t think Cena would let it happen.

      • Navin T. Ramkissoon

        You do have a fair point there Jesse. I almost forgot their Bella connection. I do hope they don’t turn him as I think Bryan can be hugely over as a babyface

  • jyd

    I am not sure I like the Orton/Ambrose feud so soon. If creative is going to be uncomfortable with Ambrose beating Orton clean, they should have him wrestle somebody else. WWE does not need another feud where the heel champ can only win by cheating. I don’t mind the cheating, as that is what a heel is supposed to do, but I think to build a really good champ, the heel needs to win clean too.

    • Jesse Sherwood

      I completely agree that in order to build a good champion, especially a heel one, that the champ needs to go over clean. Sadly, that is a dying art in wrestling these days.

      As for Ambrose and Orton, considering the Shield’s history, this is a great direction to take him in, if they will book it right. Orton dropping himself to a midcard title makes the belt seem that much more important. And if Ambrose can get a clean win over him, which I expect will happen at Payback, then that will validate him as a champion and as a bonafide star.

  • Mohan Ramnath

    Woi Navin!