Thanks a lot for checking out the weekly Smackdown review here on The Real Mid Card. If you like what you read, be sure to hit the ‘Follow’ button at the top of the page. Check out all the other WWE coverage, if that’s your bag. I have my trusty notepad, which I scrolled all over last night. Let’s go for it.
The very first thing to happen on the night was Daniel Bryan heading through the curtain to a huge, huge pop. He got into the ring and called Kane out for what I can only describe as an emotional break-up. I don’t get why Bryan still acts like such a prick to Kane when he is so over with the crowd? It’s slightly weird. I hope it just means they don’t want to turn him fully because they want to put him in a program with Cena for the title. Kane got too hot on Bryan and put him in a choke. That’s when Orton came out to break it up, because he needs the bearded maverick to be at 100% for Payback. The Shield then appeared on the screen to laugh at this three way homoerotic bickering. Ambrose compared it to a car wreck: “I can’t look away” – This was a pretty entertaining way to build to the main event of the night: six man tag-team action involving all of those dudes. Good start!
Sheamus v Antonio Cesaro: (who no longer even gets a televised entrance) Sandow came out before the match could start to show respect to Cesaro for his linguistic skills and warn Sheamus about what he has coming to him at Payback – doing a good job actually hyping up the ‘Kick-off’ Incidentally, according to Cole, Sheamus can speak Gaelic. Who knew? Colter once again offered comment on Cesaro’s work, this time on the app in an interview. It definitely seems as though they are building to some unity between those two. That can only be great news for both of them! This was a very decent match. Sheamus got a huge gash on his arm somehow and was bleeding pretty bad. It was a very physical encounter with both guys exhibiting a lot of power and purpose. Sheamus got the win with the Brogue Kick but the match put over both guys very well, made them both look very impressive. Good signs for both competitors.
This was followed by an epic return vignette for CM Punk. I could not be more excited to see this guy on Sunday. I feel the same way I did whenever Stone Cold or The Rock would return when I was a teenager. It’s amazing.
The Great Khali v Heath Slater: Snore. Heath Slater picked up the cheap win after a distraction from his “bandmates” I knew Khali had lost the match when I saw he was on the mat. That guy can only be on the mat once in a match, and we usually aren’t even lucky enough to see that.
THE VAULT – The Undertaker v Ultimate Warrior: This rare vault match was the first time I’ve cared for the segment in years. It was a truly classic encounter from July 1991, which I had previously never seen. Paul Bearer was being epic outside, while some English guy commentated with Gorilla Monsoon. Taker had this amazingly creepy undead like quality, that he faded out more and more over the years. He sold his character so well back then. The commentator consistently compared him to a zombie. He also had the insane contrast of speed and agility that he has become known for, especially back then when he was young and coming up in the business. I was so impressed with this match. It was truly worthy of it’s venue: Madison Square Garden in New York.
Undertaker and Ultimate Warrior in ’91 – Source: http://www.droptoehold.com
At one point, Ultimate Warrior hit Undertaker with three piledrivers, and he sat up after every one. Taker got him with the tombstone and started wrapping him up in the body bag. That’s when it occurred to me that this was a Body Bag Match. I’d never heard of the stipulation before, but I guess this is the cool visual they built on for the Casket and Buried Alive matches, but I could be wrong. However, Warrior fought his way out of the bag with his trademark comeback, and eventually beat The Undertaker. Shortly after he had left to head backstage, Taker sat up inside the body bag like the legendary zombie he was. Another great example of a match that put both guys over and didn’t hurt the momentum of either guy. This was a great segment. I was actually happy to see The Vault for once.
Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio v Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston: I missed the first half of this match because I was interrupted by my girlfriend on the phone, rudely interrupted. Nevertheless, Ziggler was as good ever in his return. I saw enough to know that. He had some terrific exchanges with Jericho, before the match inevitably broke down into a tornado. Del Rio pinned Ziggler with a roll up. Lets hope this is a way to put him over before he jobs to Ziggie on Sunday. It’s a bit of a disgrace if not. Incidentally, I just noticed something – Where is Josh Matthews?
Chris Jericho then cut a promo backstage building his match with Punk even further. If they do some kind of no-match for this one, there is going to be fucking uproar. I’m 99% sure they will go ahead with the match they have advertised, but you just never know. Y2J reminded us of all the great Chicago moments he had himself, in an attempt to discourage the fans from giving him hell on Sunday. He talked about his debut appearance on Raw crossing mics with The Rock in Chicago. He did a great job of putting over Punk, himself and the match. Great work! Heyman came to offer his hand for a handshake, but withdrew it and buried him instead.
Aksana v Kaitlin: The battle of the hotties! My two favourite divas on the whole roster. Fabulous! They showed the footage of the whole admirer thing from Raw. Kaitlin snapped and beat the living hell out of Aksana until she escaped by running up the ramp. She even slapped the ref! Very aggressive no contest.
Curtis Axel v Wade Barrett: This was surely a pre-requisite to his certain Intercontinental Championship win at Payback, and Axel came out with his awesome beard and an infectious confidence. Our Wade better be going up and not down if he does drop the title on Sunday. Barrett suggested to Heyman that they both step away from the match and exercise “good business sense” Paul and Axel seemed to like the idea until The Miz came out and said those famous words “Really?”
He did some very awful attempts at comedy and drew zero response from the crowd. He did a great job of bringing them back around though by chanting for those two to “Fight!” which the mindless hordes ate up. The chant went over well. It was cheap but smart. Cole made a point of mentioning something I hadn’t yet noticed, that this IC title match will be on Father’s Day. What a great mark of respect to his father Mr. Perfect it would be if Curtis Axel captured the title he held with such esteem many years ago on Father’s Day. He caught Barrett with an awesome swinging neckbreaker as he made his way back into the ring through the ropes. Miz spoiled his party with the Skullcrushing Finale. He gets a good pop. Fair fucking play to all involved.
Team Hell No & Randy Orton v The Shield: A really great main event. Believe it or not, it’s possible to get bored of saying how great the matches are involving these individuals, so I’m not going to ramble on for a thousand words about it, but it was a very good. There were some incredible spots. The crazy action you always expect from these guys was exhibited very well. Bryan got the win and ended the undefeated streak of The Shield. This moment can only be described as bittersweet. It sucks to see the trio finally lose in six man competition, but the way they booked and executed it was pretty awesome. Lilian Garcia actually announced that they had finally lost a match and made a huge deal of the three guys who had done the unthinkable and beat the unbeatable team. The situation put Daniel Bryan over the top completely, but did it hurt The Shield even more? I’m not so sure, I’m 50/50 on it.
Overall, I’d say this was a very great episode of Smackdown. It was thoroughly entertaining, technically sound and very productive. I’m half and half on the real key issue of the show: The Shield’s loss. What did you think? How have you taken the news? Leave a comment and let us know your opinion. Give the page a like or a follow, and get involved! Thanks a lot for reading and supporting a budding wrestling opinion site. Your attention is much appreciated.