Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
August 18, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
The Wyatt Family kicked the show off with another creepy promo talking about the upcoming “Ring of Fire” match at Summerslam. Wyatt told the story of a special little boy who was bullied and wore a mask as a crutch, meaning Kane. I suppose this is just another retelling of how Kane came to be. When they did the storyline of his family line back in 1998, that story changed a hundred times. The promo that Wyatt cut was fine, in my opinion. It didn’t seem to me like people were really all that into it while it was going on, though. Even when Kane attacked the group, it didn’t seem to be all that well received. It’s probably because they were editing out the asinine “What” and “Husky Harris” chants. They seemed to be backing off on putting the audience volume up. Can we as a wrestling audience in 2013 put the “What” chants to bed? And the business of chanting a former name at a wrestler… that must stop as well. People complain about no new talent coming up, but when a new talent does come, if they don’t have the reputation of a Dean Ambrose, they aren’t shown that much courtesy. I think the gimmick is pretty interesting, but some fans are more interested in hijacking the show and ruining it for the rest of us that want to get into it.
Christian defeated Damien Sandow in the first match of the night. I enjoyed the match, and I like the result. Sandow doesn’t really need to win all that much. Christian does. It was a good back and forth match-up, but much like Christian did with Alberto Del Rio last week, he won with a quick small package, so Sandow can save face there. Most people who win Money in the Bank don’t need to be on a role as they wait for their opportunity. Daniel Bryan was on a terrible streak when he won the title in 2011. As soon as the pinfall was counted, no one remembered how much he was losing. After the match, Del Rio attacked Christian, but Christian wound up getting the better of him again. They mentioned a few times that this seems to be Christian’s last opportunity at the title, and it’s almost 100% certainty that he’s going to take the loss at Summerslam. He’s defeated Del Rio and come out on top one too many times. At least we’ve been treated to some great matches in the build-up.
The divas had a pretty good little tag team match on Friday. I really enjoyed it. It was a quick match, but it was effective. AJ Lee and Layla beat Kaitlyn and Natalya when AJ pinned Kaitlyn. They played it up as AJ embarrassing Kaitlyn once again, so I’m anticipating Kaitlyn getting revenge at Summerslam in that inter-gender tag match. I’m glad to see the Divas entertain me consistently again. It’s been a long time.
I normally don’t comment on backstage segments, but I have to say if you haven’t seen the Ryback segment, go out of your way to find it. He killed that poor bastard who was randomly (and creepily, I might add) smiling. That was just a nasty beat down! I’m not entirely sure where they’re going with the Ryback bullying angle, but I don’t mind it. Hopefully he keeps beating up stagehands. It was reminiscent of when Mark Henry tossed that audio tech over his equipment. Now that’s entertainment!
Rob Van Dam, Mark Henry, and Big Show beat The Shield in another good match. I don’t know how The Shield can just have a good match with any combination of talent. It boggles my mind how good these guys are. Mark Henry and Big Show were teasing about getting a future shot at the Tag Team Titles, but for now RVD is the only one who has a title shot coming up. RVD pinned Dean Ambrose on the show, so I guess we can say RIP to his championship aspirations. He pins the current champion, and the match is on the pre-show. Its highly doubtful RVD will come out on top. Much like Christian, beating the champion heading into the PPV doesn’t seem to bode well.
The Miz, the host of Summerslam (whatever that means), beat Jack Swagger in an OK match. The real star of the match, for me, was Zeb Colter. Colter is really over. People seem to really dig his shtick. Even when they want to hate him, they always come around in the promo. The guy is just hilarious with his lines and delivery. I hope Swagger keeps losing so we can see Colter’s faces after the match is over. He’s just a gem. Dutch Mantel/Zeb Colter is awesome.
Curtis Axel beat Zack Ryder in a quick match. Ryder got some offense in and looked good doing it, but Axel defeated him cleanly and in short order. After the match, Paul Heyman cut a promo by himself in the ring to put some final hype on the CM Punk/Brock Lesnar match at Summerslam. Heyman basically said because of Punk’s attack on RAW, the focus has been switched to Lesnar being the one seeking vengeance. It was a short and sweet promo from Heyman. There wasn’t anything over the top about it. I’m really psyched about the match.
The main event between Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett was terrifically entertaining. To start off, Bryan and Barrett had a great hard-hitting match through all the goings-on in this contest. When this was taped, Bryan was five days away from Summerslam. He didn’t have to go all out for a match like this and risk getting injured, but he did. It shows what kind of a standup talent Bryan really is. I give him tremendous respect for that. The guy really does work his tail off. Now for the entertainment portion. I sometimes give Vince McMahon some slack for still getting involved as a character in storylines at his age because the storylines sometimes have a tendency to dominate the show, but I can’t say anything about his performance on Smackdown. He was in rare form. He was absolutely hilarious. From sneaking around with the most ridiculous motions to give Barrett a kendo stick to doing a “YES” chant when Bryan got suplexed on the floor, he was fantastic. I got a lot of laughs from his performance. Bravo, Mr. McMahon… and kudos for wearing that crazy jacket. McMahon was going to become the referee after Brad Maddox botched his attempt to end the match (and took a stiff shot from the kendo stick), but Triple H ran out with his own shirt to count the pin for Bryan. It was a really fun main event, and I suggest you check it out. After the match was over, Randy Orton came out to simply hold up his Money in the Bank briefcase. I’m interested to see if Orton will get involved at Summerslam.
Bump of the Night: Ryback throwing that poor guy over the table backstage!
Match of the Night: Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett ** 1/2
Final Rating: ***
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy Summerslam!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.