Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
August 5, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
The show kicked off with Alberto Del Rio making his way to the ring to announce his opponent for Summerslam. Del Rio teased picking a big name or a fan favorite, but then he wound up choosing the suspended Ricardo Rodriguez for Summerslam. Vickie then came out, and she was angered that he was abusing the privilege of picking his own opponent at Summerslam. She then booked a triple threat main event with the winner facing Del Rio at the PPV. Del Rio did a really good job here. It seems like they’re kind of changing his character a bit. When he initially turned heel in June, it was hard to kind of disagree with why he was angry. The fans were kind of the bad guys in it since all he was doing was defending his country. Now they’re just moving him toward a cocky, cowardly heel, pretty much starting with his victory over Rob Van Dam last week in what could be described as a hollow victory. He’s looking for the easy way out all the time, and I like that direction for him. It fits in better with the character.
Cody Rhodes beat Jack Swagger in a quick match. Rhodes was getting dominated the whole time, but he countered the Gutwrench Powerbomb into a rollup for the win. After the match, Rhodes was talking about why he threw Damien Sandow’s briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico when Sandow attacked him from behind. That was a good segment to further that storyline along a bit. I anticipate that they’ll be Summerslam opponents. I don’t know how I feel about Rhodes as a face yet, but he seems to have support from the fans. I wasn’t a fan of the Gulf segment last week, so we’ll see how this storyline continues on.
Big E Langston took care of Sin Cara in short order. Langston looked absolutely dominant in the match. Dolph Ziggler was backstage watching, but that was the extent of his activity on the show.
CM Punk took on Fandango in a follow up to their run in from the previous week. They’ve been putting Fandango in some interesting matchups recently and giving him some time to wrestle. He’s looked good in those matches. The match against Randy Orton from RAW a few weeks ago quickly comes to mind. This match against CM Punk was good as well. Fandango gave it to Punk, and Punk took it and was victorious. That’s what he told Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman he would do at Summerslam. Granted, Fandango isn’t Brock Lesnar, but it still proves his point a bit. I really liked the match, particularly the finish. The superplex and then the transition into the sparsely used Anaconda Vice for the submission was a great spot.
AJ Lee beat Kaitlyn to retain the WWE Divas Championship after Layla finally turned heel. In something that was telegraphed weeks upon weeks ago and thought to be coming at Money in the Bank, it happened on this past Smackdown. It wasn’t the greatest turn I’ve ever seen. An interesting note is that they announced that Big E Langston is not allowed to accompany AJ to the ring for her matches anymore, so it looks like Layla will take his spot. This could be a return to a kind of Lay-Cool gimmick for Layla. She was great in that role, and AJ is money with everything she does. This could be a really good pairing. Layla was certainly awful as a face. Hopefully this means no more of her crying/selling in the ring.
The triple threat main event is probably one of the best Smackdown matches of the year. It really played like a PPV match. It was non-stop action through two commercial breaks with some hard hits and great action. Christian, Randy Orton, and Rob Van Dam really brought it for this match. They were creative in some spots. Orton countering the Rolling Thunder into a powerslam was simply awesome. They had some great bumps at ringside as well. It was an all around great match, and one that I highly suggest you go out of your way to see if you haven’t already. Christian’s victory is a bit surprising, but he’s been a company guy for so long, and he’s over. It’s time to throw him a bone. I’m not saying have him win, but I’m glad he’s getting an opportunity at Summerslam.
Bump of the Night: Christian spearing RVD at ringside!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Orton vs. RVD ****
Final Rating: *** 1/2
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Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.