Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
September 14, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Smackdown kicked off with a really good segment involving Big Show, Triple H, and The Shield. Big Show was being punished for his actions on Monday Night RAW, so he was forced to read a prewritten apology where he talked about how his actions were shameful. Big Show actually did a good job with this. There wasn’t any over the top “Oh dear god I’m about to cry” acting. He looked legitimately frustrated. That’s the kind of Big Show I can get behind. I can’t do the puffy eyed, heavy breathing Big Show. It’s just not for me.
Triple H came out after, and he teased firing Big Show before telling him that he was suspended for the evening without pay. Triple H was good with his usual nasty, coldblooded character work. Big Show was going to leave, but then The Shield made their way to the ring to further the punishment toward him. This led to a really fun brawl. Big Show really took it to The Shield by tossing them all around the ring and the ringside area. He was swatting them out of the air and tossing them into barricades. One great spot was the flying clothesline he gave to Roman Reigns from the commentary table. Big Show is, as his name suggests, a big guy, so that had to be a tough landing for him as he hit the floor. The Shield would eventually give him a Triple Powerbomb, but this was a great way to kick off the show.
The opening match of the evening set the standard for the lackluster action that would “grace” the show. Granted, it was nothing on the divas. It just, as usual, wasn’t given any time, and the fans could have cared less about it. Naomi was particularly great in this. I really enjoy her work. She’s got such great energy. The beat down on AJ Lee after the match was fine, but Natalya was laughably bad for me. She kept saying that AJ isn’t a champion, but she delivered the line with all the emotion of a dead fish.
What followed is probably going to be mentioned in my Year In Review column as one of the worst segments of the year. Go on, say, “Oh Mike, you just don’t like to have fun.” If that segment is what having fun is like, I’ll just stick with what I’ve got. I hate dance offs. I don’t know why they do them on TV. That’s more of a thing you do at house shows, and you bring kids in the ring to cheer on the superstars. It’s fun for the crowd at the arena watching (maybe), but it’s such a piss break if you’re watching at home. What really annoyed me was The Miz. Mizco Inferno – are you kidding me? The Miz needs to take a good look at his career. He was in the ring with a bunch of borderline mid-card guys, and he was twerking. The guy main evented WrestleMania in 2011, and now he’s reduced to twerking in the ring with The Great Khali and R-Truth cheering him on. Yep – his career sure is on the up and up. I don’t know if this was punishment for smashing Fandango’s nose up in a match on RAW a week or so ago, but this was pretty brutal. To his credit he took it like a man, but if I were him, I wouldn’t be happy with the direction my career is going at all. Time for a reboot.
I really got a kick out of Ryback’s backstage segment where he interviewed Robert Evans, better known as Archibald Peck from Chikara. Ryback was hilarious with his delivery and saying he is a concert pianist. That slap was extra nasty that he gave to Evans. I love Ryback’s bullying gimmick, especially when they have him doing things like this.
Santino Marella defeated Damien Sandow in a quick match that was filled with the usual “Santino antics.” There’s not much to comment on here. Again, it’s not a big deal with Sandow taking the loss. If and when he wins the World Heavyweight Championship, this loss will be long forgotten unless you have trouble letting things go.
Michael Cole was in the ring next for an interview with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. I can’t put a finger on it, but something about Curtis Axel’s overall character just doesn’t click for me. The look and the yelling and laughing just don’t work in my opinion. I know they’re going for the cocky heel thing, but the screaming and laughing and wooing while he’s making his entrance has to go. It looks so ridiculous, especially when he’s plopped in the middle of this angle with CM Punk and Paul Heyman. The match is on Sunday. Should he really be screaming and laughing, or should he look more serious as he heads into such an important PPV match with his mentor?
Heyman was tremendous as always in this. I hope he has a full beard for Sunday. The bloodshot eyes are a really nice touch as well. Heyman did a great job with the one final hard sell for ordering the PPV. I thought it was hilarious that Heyman was telling people not to buy the PPV because it’s barbaric to want to watch him get destroyed. Somewhere deep down, even I was thinking that he’s probably right. Why do I need to spend $55 on a PPV? I know he was doing it as reverse psychology, but I think deep down a lot of people were thinking that he kind of has a point. You can spend the $55 on something more pressing. This was a great promo, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results on Sunday (while watching at Hooters to save the $55). I do think Heyman has an ace up his sleeve. It’s probably Brock Lesnar, but I’d love to see another new client come out to help him. A Paul Heyman faction – just think of all the fun that would bring!
Alberto Del Rio beat down Ricardo Rodriguez in a match made by Vickie Guerrero. Rodriguez got some moves in, but Del Rio killed him with a nasty looking reverse superplex. As he went to further injure him with a Cross Arm Breaker, RVD ran into the ring and took him out with a Five Star Frog Splash. I do think that RVD/Del Rio will be a good match, however I really dislike the pairing of RVD and Rodriguez. It makes no sense, it’s not entertaining, and Rodriguez has already overstayed his welcome. I don’t sense from the crowd reactions that anyone particularly cares that he wants revenge on Del Rio. I know I don’t.
Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose had a match where if Ziggler could beat him, then he’d get a shot at the WWE United States Championship at Night of Champions. Ziggler won by DQ after The Shield interfered. The match is by default the match of the night, but it was by no means great or even particularly good. It just felt like they were sort of going through the motions until the DQ finish. They may have been restraining themselves because they have to put together a match for Sunday.
Vickie turned it into a six-man tag involving The Usos, who had run down to save Ziggler from a Shield beat down. This was a pretty good six-man tag, but I wish it were a little longer. I would have gotten rid of that awful dance contest and given this more time.
The Cutting Edge segment was a great way to close out this very storyline-heavy episode of Smackdown. Randy Orton was fantastic with his insults toward Edge and Daniel Bryan before mentioning that he took advantage of an opportunity much like the other two did when getting the title. That was great stuff, but Daniel Bryan was even better with what he had to say. Bryan was so intense and passionate with his delivery about dreams that you’d have to be a real stone cold individual not to be behind him on Sunday. I love the reactions Bryan gets. It’s been a long time since a character has so captivated the entire audience. Everyone seems to be into him. It’s such a joy to watch, and I can’t wait to see what he does on Sunday. I don’t think he’ll leave with the title, but it should be an interesting few weeks after the show.
Bump of the Night: Big Show hitting a flying clothesline on Roman Reigns on the floor!
Match of the Night: Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose * 3/4
Final Rating: ** 1/2
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy Night of Champions!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.