Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
August 10, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
For the tenth time out of thirty-two episodes of Smackdown this year, the show opened up with a match. Randy Orton took on Rob Van Dam in an excellent match to set the tone for what would prove to be a great show. They had a great back and forth match that actually reminded me of their feud from 2003. Both guys were moving like it was ten years ago. That’s not mind-blowing for a guy like Randy Orton, who is still relatively young, but it’s impressive for RVD. RVD is in his forties and still pulling off his special brand of wrestling. He seems like he’s getting his wind back now that he’s been back in WWE for a few weeks. He was gassed during his match with Chris Jericho on his first RAW back, but he looked like he had a lot left at the end of the match last night. RVD’s kicks were so nasty, by the way. Orton picked up the clean win here, as he should have since he was coming off that good segment with John Cena and Daniel Bryan on RAW. RVD has taken quite a few losses on Smackdown since his return just about a month ago, but he’ll be fine. I’m not sure what his plans will be for Summerslam, but I’d guess he would make the card in some way. The same goes for Randy Orton, though he could just wait in the wings for a chance to cash in his contract.
The Miz TV segment was kind of a bust for me. For me, the Dolph Ziggler/AJ Lee drama kind of peaked when he broke up with her on the RAW after Money in the Bank. Since then, it’s been one uninteresting segment after another. I was hoping they would pull the plug on this two weeks ago when they had that segment that went way too long with AJ tearing up Ziggler’s wallet and money. They’re still soldiering on with it, though. The Miz wasn’t that great in this, either. It’s amazing just how much of a free fall his career is in, especially when you think about how he was main eventing WrestleMania two years ago. The guy just looks out of place anymore. He can bounce back, but he probably needs to go away for a bit to reset the course. As for him booking a Summerslam match, why wouldn’t he book himself in a title match against Curtis Axel or something like that? If being the host grants you that privilege, wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
Fandango beat Kofi Kingston to exact a little revenge for his loss to him on Monday night. It wasn’t a bad match, but there wasn’t anything particularly memorable about it. I don’t really like Kingston’s wardrobe change. The long black trunks aren’t particularly flattering to him. Maybe if it were a different color scheme it wouldn’t look so dull.
Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett in a quick little match. Barrett had some nasty razor burns from the shaving on Monday. Any guy who uses a dull razor will appreciate how annoying that must feel. I do not like Barrett without the beard, so that’s going to take some getting used to. Bryan is so incredibly over. It is so much fun to watch him interact with the crowd. I’m really looking forward to his match. On a side note, I mentioned The Miz being on a free fall, but what about Wade Barrett? I say it every week, but I can’t help it. It stuns me how irrelevant he is. I still think he could do a lot better.
Kane beat 3MB in an easy three-on-one handicap match. The big thing was Bray Wyatt appearing on the screen to cut a promo on Kane. Wyatt’s promo was really creepy, but it made me anticipate their Summerslam match even more. The line about Bray Wyatt already being dead was bizarre. I wonder what he meant by that. I don’t know how some people are down on the Wyatt’s. It’s different and interesting. I guess you can’t please everyone.
I actually really enjoyed Brock Lesnar’s “exclusive” interview on the show. Lesnar is normally horrible with promos, but in a pre-taped segment with some videos woven in for effect and editing tricks he can be pretty good. The interview made it sound like Lesnar is going to legitimately kill CM Punk at Summerslam. Lesnar just sounded like a cold-blooded killer. It was awesome. This was another effective way to create anticipation for Summerslam.
Christian defeated Alberto Del Rio in a fantastic twenty-minute main event match. I was stunned when they announced they were giving this PPV match away for free on TV. I doubt they’ll get this much time on the PPV, but I’m sure they’ll put something good together. Christian was awesome in this, but I have to give major props to Del Rio. Del Rio is wrestling with a fractured rib, and he’s going the distance and putting on great matches. This was an incredible match. You have to go out of your way to see this. Heck, watch it twice – it’s that good. Christian picking up the win definitely makes you think that he won’t be going over at Summerslam. History has shown that is usually the case, but I do remember Kurt Angle beating “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on the RAW before Unforgiven 2001, and he still beat Austin for the WWF Title. There’s always an outlier.
After the match, Damien Sandow tried to cash in his brand new version of the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Cody Rhodes cut him off. I really don’t like the teasing every week. It kind of diminishes the excitement. The crowd barely even pops because they know it’s not the real deal. Maybe it would have been a little more effective if Randy Orton didn’t do the exact same thing on RAW. Still, this was an excellent episode of Smackdown. Smackdown is traditionally must-see television for wrestling fans during the summer, and this year has been no different.
Bump of the Night: Christian and Del Rio falling off the top rope to the outside
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio *** 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.