For a second time this week, WWE kicked off the show with CM Punk. And while his promo here against The Wyatts was decent, the follow-up match with Curtis Axel was nothing to write home about. We’ve seen these guys do this exact same thing almost every week. Furthermore, Axel continues to look like a tool for coming out and essentially sacrificing himself at the altar of Paul Heyman every week. The IC title is in bad, bad shape, folks. [Read more...]
Brian, Michael and Steve talk about John Cena’s return following his triceps surgery, where he could be used, Triple’s H involvement in storylines, who the number two babyface is behind Cena, issues with Smackdown, Michael Hayes being suspended and more.
Smackdown opened with Triple H again defending his recent actions to the fans, but took a curve when The Miz came and confronted him. I liked it. I thought Miz made the segment more interesting, and he held his own on the mic against Triple H. It also served as great storyline continuity from show-to-show. Give The Miz more stuff like this, and less MizTV time, and he’ll probably start to shine a little more. [Read more...]
Opening segment featuring Big Show, Triple H, and The Shield was excellent. Big Show’s fake apology letter cracked me up, and Triple H coming out to confront show about his actions made sense. But I was afraid that was going to be all there was to it. Fortunately, The Shield came out to liven things up, and Big Show entered an entertaining, hardcore, five-minute brawl with the trio. The fans in attendance were digging it, I was digging it, and it kicked things off in a hot way. [Read more...]
The opening segment was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I thought Triple H was very entertaining, and liked the “town meeting” set-up for a televised wrestling show. It’s the exact kind of thing a narcissistic heel would do. Also, having Hunter describe himself as the COO of WWE and, therefore, “the WWE itself,” was a great way to draw heat. Unfortunately, some of the booking just didn’t make sense. [Read more...]
The opening from Friday night’s show was fantastic. MizTV is often a complete waste of time, but I’m glad the creative team leveraged an establish segment to further an ongoing storyline. The Miz, Big Show, and Dolph Ziggler being together as a unified front made a lot of sense; likewise, it gave Triple H another way to continue building his corrupt boss heel-persona. I’m also happy when the opening establishes a theme for the night. [Read more...]
Tonight’s WWE Friday Night Smackdown comes only five short days after an epic SummerSlam pay-per-view event. Del Rio looks for revenge in a match against Christian, and 3MB is being advertised against Mark Henry and Big Show. Let’s see if this week’s show delivers. [Read more...]
As the final show before this Sunday’s major Pay-Per-View event, story of the night should be SummerSlam feuds. Expect final build for Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow, the World Heavyweight Championship match, and The Shield. [Read more...]
Very entertaining wrestling-heavy edition of WWE Smackdown tonight. There were a few misses (see below), but the in-ring action, highlighted by a fantastic main-even, made this a show worth watching. [Read more...]
If you had a chance to catch last night’s solid WWE Smackdown, you saw Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes highlighted in a way they haven’t been before in their respective WWE tenures. Both men, especially Sandow, have the “gift of gab”. Both men know what they’re doing in the ring. But up until recently, creative seemed absolutely clueless on how to properly utilize Sandow and Rhodes, and their endless strengths. [Read more...]
Fun night for WWE Smackdown. While not every match was an instant classic, and some segments were weaker than others, the overall show delivered on what it set out to do. Let’s take a look: [Read more...]
Entertaining edition of WWE Smackdown. The matches didn’t fully deliver, but the show had enough going for it to keep viewers intrigued. Let’s look closer: [Read more...]
At last night’s Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island, Randy Orton was apparently injured during the main event match with Alberto Del Rio. Well, at least WWE.com said he was injured in this report:
At Tuesday night’s SmackDown television taping, Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton was injured during his match against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
According to WWE medical personnel, the nine-time World Champion suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia.
That is a fancy way of saying that he suffered whiplash and typically isn’t an injury that would keep someone out of action too long.
But the story has already been updated to include this sentence:
Though his official medical status is still undetermined, being the competitor that he is, Orton tweeted the WWE Universe to let them know that he’s fine.
Orton disputed what the WWE website was saying that he was injured and tweeted this:
Hey, remember when I said don’t listen to the net? I’m fine. Del Rio’s kicks are hard as hell, and I caught one to the neck, part of the job
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 17, 2013
Then in another tweet, Orton added:
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 17, 2013
If you click on the link for the entire message, he says:
No I mean every other site that runs the story and adds their 2 cents.
It looks like Orton wasn’t too fond of the WWE website saying that he was hurt and he really isn’t fond of other wrestling websites putting in their own opinions or jumping to conclusions. And I cannot blame him considering the spotlight he is under and the amount of speculation that occurs, especially in this business.
Entertaining edition of WWE Friday Night Smackdown. While the build for Smackdown’s own Money in the Bank match continued to be lackluster, a solid wrestling card and other final pushes made this a go-home show worth watching. Take a look: [Read more...]
A lot of stuff happened last night on Smackdown. That’s not to say a lot of important stuff happened – outside of a great Randy Orton v Christian match, and an interesting main event angle, most of the stuff was pretty standard fare. Still, it wasn’t a bad way to spend two hours. Let’s take a look:
Opening w/ CM Punk: “If I was John Cena…” was a great opening line. While I thought his attempt at relating Independence Day to his own individual independence was a bit out-of-character, his focus on winning Money in the Bank was strong. Alberto Del Rio interrupted him about halfway through, looking slick in an all-black suit. He claimed that it was “his show,” and proceeded to insulted America, Independence Day, and Dolph Ziggler. This gave CM Punk the chance to look intelligent here, by calling Del Rio out for his phony patriotism earlier in 2013.
It was an obvious a way to set up CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio for the main event, but it worked. Both guys looked game, and it allowed Smackdown to capitalize on the (rare) advertised apperance of CM Punk. By the numbers, but effective.
Punk – Heyman Backstage Segment: Heyman argued that Punk had nothing to gain from this match, being only 9 days from MITB. Punk ended up telling Heyman to just stay out of it. This segment served its purpose of furthering the divide between the two men.
The Usos def. Team Rhodes Scholars: Damien Sandow put over MITB before the match, and argued that Rhodes Scholars is not falling apart, contrary to what some people think. The Usos showed a lot of unity throughout the 25 second match. They hit a double-splash from opposite corners to finally put Damien Sandow away.
The Shield cut a solid promo after the match, putting over their unity, and planting the idea of Dean Ambrose “lurking” around with the Money in the Bank contract.
AJ Lee/Big E Langston Backstage Segment: After running away from Kaitlyn, AJ told Big E to get the car ready. He asked about Dolph Ziggler, to which AJ said she’d text him from the car. The beginning of the end for this power couple? Intriguing.
Randy Orton def. Christian: I really liked the backstage interview beforehand with both men, as it put this match in perspective (from their rivalry back in 2011), while also giving Orton and Christian the chance to state their case for Money in the Bank.
In-ring, these two got off to a slow start. After the commercial break, they amped things up quite a bit. A lot of great reversals by both men, and a good way to play off the fact that they’ve fought each other a number of times. Christian hit a sphere late in the match, and Randy Orton sold it like a champ.”Vintage” Orton psyched up the crowd, and after one reversed RKO, he finally nailed the second one.
If you missed Smackdown, this is THE match to check out. Orton and Christian have incredible in-ring chemistry, and while this didn’t live up to the hype of their great 2011 summer feud, it was the most entertaining match of the evening.
Dolph Ziggler def. Drew McIntyre: Ziggler cut an excellent promo before the match, commenting on how winning the World Heavyweight Championship was the biggest night of his career, and mocking Del Rio for his phony patriotism. Once the match started, McIntyre got a surprising amount of offense. He missed a running knee into the ring pole, which gave Dolph a chance to fight back into the match. Dolph hit the Zig-Zag and scored the win. Match was nothing special, but the overall segment clicked.
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del RIo (with Paul Heyman on commentary) ends in a no-contest:
Heyman, who had been ordered earlier in the night by Teddy Long to provide commentary during the match, added a lot to this segment. Both Punk and Del Rio matched up well inside the ring, and I appreciated all the subtle things both of these veterans added (like Del Rio’s focus on Punks arm, and the way Punk sold the injury).
After things sprawled outside the ring, Heyman getting involved was obvious. However, I did not expect Del Rio to punch Heyman, or Punk to look so incensed. I liked the ending here – Punk helping Heyman makes sense since they’re still friends, and it sets up a great next chapter between the two men. And while Del Rio ended up getting the short end of the stick, I don’t think he loses much for it. Entertaining segment.
Kaitlyn vs Alicia Fox: Solid in-ring work by both of these ladies. Alicia Fox showed a few good holds, and Kaitlyn stepped up the intensity. AJ Interrupted and distracted Kaitlyn, giving Alicia Fox the chance to steal a pin. I guess it works to further the feud, but the segment just felt missable by all accounts. If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a dozen times.
Fandango def. Justin Gabriel: Gabriel was just getting started before Fandango caught him with a kick and scored his patented leg drop from the top rope. It was good to see Fandango in action again, but this match did very little to convince me that Fandango is going to win Money in the Bank. These two could put together an interesting match. As it was, this segment was a complete throwaway.
Zeb Coulter/Jack Swagger/ Antonio Cesaro Video: Another one of the “We The People” videos, with the added bonus of Cesaro in a KGB hat. Coulter said a lot of hogwash about Americans not taking July 4th seriously, blah blah blah. Next, please.