Thanks for coming back to The Real Mid Card for our weekly look at Friday Night Smackdown. The latest edition of Raw seemed good enough to overshadow the upcoming pay-per-view Survivor Series, and it was more of the same again from the WWE here. I’ve never been more concerned about a big show actually looking dejected compared to it’s free TV counterparts. Here is what impressed me.
The Georgia boys named Rhodes were welcomed back to their home-state to defend their Tag Team Championships against The Real Americans in an excellent opening match. There were a lot of cool team moves and a general high quality of work from all four guys. The commentary was great. The timing and suspense was there. Goldust got the win with the Final Cut to retain the titles. This was an overall great way to start the show.
Ryback made an open challenge in the ring, which was met by the incoming Great Khali. This was enough to make me actually cry. He beat the fumbling behemoth with his big power finish Shellshocked. I guess this is their way of trying to salvage his character for a match with Goldberg at Wrestlemania.
We got to see a really cool segment with John Cena visiting Oxford University. That was awesome. Vickie got some revenge on AJ Lee by booking her in a handicap match against The Funkadactyls. Incidentally, where are the male equivalent? It’s so ironic that they seem to have been replaced on the card by the girls who used to dance them to the ring. Tamina did her best to even the odds from ringside but Naomi eventually pinned the Divas champ, thus implying that “Team Total Divas” will get the win on Sunday. I am quite certain that they will not. Bray Wyatt, flanked by his family, cut one of those eerie, dark, weird backstage promos that we’ve come to love, on Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. The man is a God.
The Shield are still the coolest faction ever. They showed up again to have an excellent match with The Usos and Rey Mysterio. Dean Ambrose did the job again, making it two in a row. That’s slightly worrying, but he did encounter the 619 from returning former World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio. The luchadore legend did great. Roman Reigns was the stand-out for me though. He looked strong, agile and compelling. I see really big things for this guy, as soon as he turns face. He was spearing everyone in sight again.
Big Show and Randy Orton traded verbal exchanges from either side of the ramp, with some help from video packages. They both did their best to make something so boring seem good. Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler reunited to take on Damien Sandow and Curtis Axel. Sandow jobbed to Langston. That is a fine indicator of their respective paths, one up and one down. Axel gets his rematch on Sunday.
Daniel Bryan took on Harper of the Wyatts in the main event. The numbers game at ringside was proving too much for The Beard, until CM Punk came out. His distraction helped Bryan get the win with a roll-up. A 3-on-2 brawl ensued and the babyfaces ended up getting destroyed, not surprisingly.
I will explain my rating. Having missed out the bits that were either boring or unimportant (of which there weren’t many), you can see that the show was a raving success. Two excellent matches, and a lot of decent stuff around them. I can’t complain about this week’s two Go-home shows, but will they both overshadow Survivor Series? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading,