Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
June 22, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
I love the way the show kicked off with the red hot Daniel Bryan coming out to the ring to cut a promo. Bryan has really taken himself to the next level. He is incredible. The character that he’s built, the reaction he gets from the fans, and his matches are really second to none lately. When Bryan is on TV, you have to watch him. It’s too good to miss. Bryan continued where he left off on RAW by talking about how mad he was that WWE officials and the doctors stopped his match against Randy Orton on RAW. I don’t know how much I buy that the match was really stopped by officials. It just seems to have played into the storyline too perfectly. Bryan says that the office now thinks he’s the weak link. Randy Orton came out, and he tried to be the cooler head here. He said that he helped Bryan up on RAW because he respects him, not because he’s the weak link. Orton kept it short and sweet, which is what he should always do. Bryan then challenged him to a match, and Orton accepted. Their interesting little feud will continue in the main event. There weren’t any signs of an Orton heel turn here. It reminds me a lot of the Orton/Christian storyline from 2011. It’s a slow build to the heel turn for now, if there is going to be one at all.
The first match of the show was a pretty good one with Sheamus taking on Cody Rhodes with Damien Sandow at ringside. These two actually had a fun little back and forth match that had some good action. The finish was great with Sheamus looking like he was going to kill Rhodes with those Irish hammers. You talk about going all out, if you haven’t seen it, you should just watch the match for that. Sheamus looked like a madman. Sheamus then picked up a rare submission victory with his Cloverleaf. I almost forgot he had that move. Damien Sandow attacked him after the match, so their feud is going to continue on for a little while longer. I peg them both for being competitors in the Money in the Bank match, so that’ll probably play out during that match.
Next up was Curtis Axel giving Wade Barrett a return match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. This was another good little match. Normally I don’t get too amped up for heel vs. heel matches, but this one was fine by me. Both men got their licks in, but it was Axel who won the match cleanly with his neckbreaker. The Miz, who was on commentary, came in afterward for a confrontation. Heyman got Axel out of the ring before anything could happen. I’d be interested to see how those two matchup.
AJ Lee has made me love the Divas. I know I said that in my RAW Thoughts column, but it bears repeating. She is so good and compelling. She’s hands down my favorite female character ever, and this storyline she’s involved in with Kaitlyn is easily the best thing WWE has done since Trish vs. Lita. She had a good little match against Natalya last night. Sometimes Natalya gets a bad rap for doing too much in matches, but it’s usually too much against a competitor that can’t handle it, in my opinion at least. AJ Lee doesn’t fall into that category. This is a girl who grew up loving wrestling and wanting to be in the ring. That’s so much different from someone who was hired out of a modeling agency who has to learn who the hell Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant are. After the match, Aksana teased Kaitlyn backstage, and she viciously attacked her. Kaitlyn has been pulling her weight in this as well. She’s been putting a lot more in actually, if you know what I mean (nip slip). Both are great characters right now, and I can’t wait to see more.
I hope that clears it up for some people. I’ve had a reputation through the years as someone who “hates the Divas.” That’s not true. I love all wrestling, but I didn’t care for the efforts that were put forth by some in the past, whether it was on WWE’s end or the wrestlers themselves. I’ve been waiting for both parties to seem like they give a damn.
The co-main event of the evening saw Alberto Del Rio beat Chris Jericho by disqualification in a very good match. It doesn’t matter if it’s CM Punk or Heath Slater – you’re going to get maximum effort from Jericho. This was the second match Del Rio worked since turning heel, and he needed another good outing to be all “heelish.” Jericho gave that to him. The match ended when the apparent face Dolph Ziggler attacked Del Rio, causing a disqualification. Jericho was none too pleased with that, and he gave the tweener Ziggler a Codebreaker. I guess if Ziggler cuts a face promo in the near future, things like that won’t happen to him. Del Rio then came back to the ring and kicked him in the head, so the concussion angle will live on for a while longer.
Christian beat Drew McIntyre in what was basically a showcase match to remind you that Christian is back and better than ever. Christian dusted off the old “one more match” line that he was using back in 2011 before The Shield came out to officially welcome him back. They hit their Triple Powerbomb on him and stood triumphant. I’m not sure if anything will come from that other than The Shield wanted to show dominance after losing last week on Smackdown.
Renee Young interviewed Paul Heyman after this. I normally don’t talk about backstage segments, but this one was great. Renee wanted to ask Heyman about Brock Lesnar attacking Punk and if he was involved, but Heyman refused to answer. His refusal came along with airing some supposed dirty laundry about Renee Young’s life. It was pretty compelling television. Heyman seemed almost like a vampire in the way he sucked the life out of Renee. This was a good segment that I suggest you check out if you can.
The main event of last night’s show was killer. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan went at each other big time in an exciting and well-put together match. Both men went back and forth with the momentum. They hit each other hard and executed some big moves, such as Orton suplexing Bryan out of the ring. It was a fun match to watch that left a question mark in how it ended. They gave a lot, and I want to see more. Orton lost it by a narrow count-out, and both men weren’t happy about it. Bryan demanded that the match be restarted, but the referee refused. They’ll continue on for another week. Bryan will probably say that people think a count-out victory is a weak link finish. This is highly recommended television.
This Smackdown capped off what has been a great full week of wrestling, and I’m including last week’s Smackdown in that mix. It had some great matches and storylines furthered. It was a worthy follow up to a great PPV and Monday Night RAW.
Bump of the Night: Randy Orton suplexing Daniel Bryan over the top rope to the floor!
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ** 1/2
Final Rating: *** 1/2
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Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.