The show opened with a new up-to-date opening vignette.
Sheamus v Damien Sandow (Dublin Street Fight) The opening match of the show was the mother of all gimmick matches. Beer barrels, sacks of spuds and even a green kendo stick! It’s funny when WWE try to make an age old stipulation seem like something new and innovative. It was a pretty entertaining match. Stereotypes galore and some really cool spots. Sheamus won with the brogue kick.
Kane and Daniel Bryan cut another backstage promo together. They still make these? Bryan told Kane that he will be at commentary for his match against Randy Orton later that night, just in case he needs him. Kane was very wound up by the little condescending vegan.
A smooth looking Miz met Paul Heyman in the ring for Miz TV, to call him out for “bullying” Rene the other night. The walrus invited out Curtis Axel to join the discussion. Miz made some painfully unfunny Star Wars jokes about the Intercontinental Champion. The crowd grew even more silent. He then tried to challenge him to a match like the good face. Heyman reminded him that his clients “don’t fight for free” – The Miz did get a cheap shot and a neckbreaker for his trouble though.
AJ came out to the ring for the second match of the night. Before the bell was rung, Kaitlyn came out dressed as AJ. She started talking about how she has been with the whole roster, and accused her of sleeping with half of the crew. At one point, she even brought the beloved Lillian Garcia into it. This was pretty hilarious to be fair, and Kaitlyn actually looked better dressed as AJ.
AJ v Natalya Kaitlyn skipped around the ring distracting AJ. This allowed Natalya to get her with the roll-up while she was distracted. Kaitlyn then climbed in the ring and speared her, leaving Langston to drag the carcass out of the ring and carry it to the back.
The Vault featured a match between Bret Hart and The Berzerker this week. I skipped this because it didn’t interest me. Oh well. You can’t win them all.
Teddy Long was joined in the backstage office by Vince McMahon. It seems that my favourite tag team booker is back running things full time. He said he isn’t going to try and replicate Vickie Guerrero and go for what people are now calling an All Star match for Money in the Bank. He announced the seven up and coming superstars he has chosen to compete for the World Heavyweight Championship briefcase. It’s another very impressive, very pleasing line-up. That’s my thoughts anyway.
Money in the Bank: Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Antonio Cesaro
I for one am really pleased with that line-up. There are so many cool dynamics in the match. Who will Colter side with most? How will Swagger and Cesaro interact with each other? Will Cody and Sandow stick together? The respective returns of Fandango and Jack Swagger. There is also the interesting fact that the WWE Championship match is made up entirely of established faces, and the World Heavyweight Championship match is going to be all up and coming heels.
Randy Orton v Kane Bryan joined the boys on commentary and Cole didn’t call him a nerd. That’s how face he has become! This match was decent but nothing we haven’t seen before, a lot. The highlight was Bryan standing on the announce table chanting Yes and No depending on Kane’s success in the match. This was pretty funny. When Kane was knocked to the outside, D-Bry rushed to his rescue and rolled him back into the ring shouting “Come on Kane! You can do it!” – He rolled him directly into an RKO and a defeat. Bryan appeared to be smiling as he made his way up the ramp, while Kane looked livid in the ring. Fairly intriguing, but what a slow build for these two to break up!
Ryback v Justin Gabriel This was not quite the squashfest I expected, but it wasn’t far off. Gabriel got a little bit of offence off but quickly succumbed to Shellshocked. Jericho came out to poke fun at Ryback for his limp and continue to hype their strange encounter at Money in the Bank. He then got in the ring and tried to attack Ryback who escaped up the ramp. Now I’m no Kevin Nash, but this against Booking #101 – Why have a huge monster literally run, or at least hobble, away from a middle aged cruiserweight?
The Shield v The Usos & Christian I love The Usos’ entrance! That is all. Only kidding. This was a pretty decent match which concluded with a great spot. Seth Rollins ran the ropes and did a senton bomb straight over the top rope onto The Usos. I thought that would allow Ambrose to get the win, but instead he got speared and pinned by Christian. If these guys hadn’t been built up so well for months, I’d have been furious at them jobbing as a trio for the second time. They will stay strong, and it’s a good win for Christian.
Then they brought out the racial stereotypes and shameless gimmicks again for Fiesta Del Rio. Mariachi’s, piñatas and even tacos! How funny. Del Rio came out for his celebration in a grey suit and black scarf, classic heel colours. He spoke Spanish throughout the promo and mocked the native Carolinians in the audience. This was hilariously different to the usual actions of the other champion Nice Guy Cena. The ignorant crowd chanted “USA” – Borderline racism. He concluded the segment by hitting the piñata with Ziggler’s face on it, before Dolph came out and laid a beat down on him. The show went off the air with Dolph playing the guitar like a true legend.
Overall, I’d say it was a decent and solid episode of Smackdown, in keeping with the recent trend of good quality shows on a Friday. They are heading in the right direction at least. Nothing too spectacular, but generally well done.
I hope you enjoyed reading my second attempt at this review. This time I wrote it directly on to the WordPress site so it can’t be lost or deleted. Everything has settled down now, so hit ‘Follow’ and prepare yourself for an article every single day for the rest of the year. Regular scheduling can now return. That’s the plan anyway. If you like wrestling, stay tuned.