This week’s episode of SmackDown followed a PPV that couldn’t possibly live up to expectations and an episode of Raw that had me guessing what was going to happen next. This week feels almost like the reset button has been pushed and it’s time to explore new interesting storylines and possibilities. With Cena now becoming the new Heavyweight Champ, is this the beginning of a feud leading up to the unification of the belts? Are we looking at the last run of the Big Gold championship? Personally I like having the two belts and I still hold some admiration for the Heavyweight championship, however I do agree with most people when they that it is pretty much a redundant title at the moment.
This week we start off a little different from the usual. Instead of a Triple H or Vickie Guerrero live promo to kick off the show, we have a short video promo from the Shield expressing their disdain for the Uso’s.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs The Uso’s
First match of the night starts with the Ambrose leading the offence against Jimmy Uso. Jimmy tags in his brother Jay and Ambrose tags in Rollins. The Shield continue to dominate keeping Jay in their corner. After a couple of quick tags Big E Langston makes his way to the ring to ensure that Roman Reigns does not get involved in the match.
After the distraction The Shield continue their attack on Jay with a flying forearm into the corner by Rollins. Rollins attempts a High Crossbody but Jay counters it with a Samoan Drop. Jay gets the Tag to Jimmy and Jimmy jumps into action and delivers two big Clotheslines followed by Rakishi’s famous bum splash to Ambrose. Jimmy goes for the pin but only gets a two count. Rollins tries to save Ambrose from another pin and is met with a Spinebuster Slam from Jay followed by a big kick to the outside.
Jay follows that up with a big splash to the outside. Meanwhile back in the ring Jimmy rolls up Ambrose for the pin. I was surprised at the clean finish. After the match The Shield try to attack the Uso’s but Big E Langston intervenes and The Shield retreat.
Super John Cena makes his way to the ring to tell the WWE universe that now he is the world heavyweight champion things are going to change on Smackdown. He issues an open challenge to anybody backstage. Zeb Colter and the Real Americans make their way down to the ring.
Zeb tells Cena that he has a lot in common with the Real Americans because he is an American hero, American Legend and a real American patriot. Zeb offers Cena the opportunity to join the Real Americans. Cena rejects Zebs offer with his signature ‘you can’t see me’ hand wave. He then berates the Real Americans with some comedic insults.
A very disgruntled Damien Sandow makes his way to the ring. Sandow tells Cena that he is a hypocrite because a Real American makes their own opportunities but Cena gets everything handed to him on a plate. Sandow tells Cena that he is a false champion. Sandow tells Cena that his sole purpose in life is to end the Cena era in the WWE. I for one am fully on the Sandow train. I think deserves a big push and I was bitterly disappointed that he didn’t successfully cash in on Monday night.
Cena is in the middle of the ring surrounded by Sandow and the Real Americans. The Tag Team Champions Cody and Goldust run down to the ring to even the odds.
Vickie Guerrero makes her way to the top of the ramp and tells us that now that she is general manager of Smackdown there will be order and the six guys in the ring will have to fight in a match tonight.
Prim Time Players vs Erick Rowan and Luke Harper accompanied by Bray Wyatt
Erick Rowan and Darren Young begin the match with Rowan immediately tossing Young to the outside. Rowan returns Young to the ring and pounds on him in the corner. He tags in Harper who Clotheslines Young in the corner followed by the Alligator style death roll.
Harper tags in Rowan and he continues to wear down Young. Young stretches and screams for his partner but Harper tries to keep him at bay. Eventually Young get the tag and Titus come in and cleans house. Just when you think the Primetime Players might be able to turn things around. Harper delivers his devastating Clothesline to Titus and picks up the win. After the match Bray Wyatt enters the ring and delivers Abigail’s Kiss to Young and tells us all to ‘Follow the Buzzards’.
Without taking anything away from everybody involved it was pretty much a nothing match. No feud nothing to really lead into anything. I thought Harper was the best out of the four. I can see he has refined his style over the last couple of months to further integrate it with his character. He stood out for me in this match.
I will keep this brief. The Miz tells the WWE Universe that his guest tonight was supposed to be Shawn Michaels but Shawn Michaels is not around. He says that if it wasn’t for Michaels, Randy Orton would not be the WWE Champion. Randy Orton’s music plays he makes his way to the ring and delivers the RKO to The Miz.
The Bella’s and Natalya vs AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Alicia Fox
Nikki starts offence against Alicia with a Bull dog and Irish Whip to the corner. She tags in her sister Brie who jumps in and lands a Clothesline. Tamina makes a blind tag and sends Brie crashing to the mat with a massive Clothesline. Tamina tags in AJ who wears Brie down with a leg grip around her waist. Brie eventually manages to get AJ to break the hold by charging into the turnbuckle.
Brie tags in Natalya who hits AJ with a Suplex and a Spinning Clothesline. Tamina enters the ring and tumbles to the outside with the Bella’s. Natalya applies the Sharp Shooter and AJ taps out.
This was not the worst women’s match I have seen in recent times. I believe the Bella’s are getting better and in due time they may even be really good. I still think there is further room for Summer Rae who I have been impressed with recently and Paige who is currently residing in NXT. There is hope for the women’s division yet. They still need some strong story lines though. They also need to separate the women and stop bunching them up. Give them their own personality and feuds.
The Main Event
John Cena & The Rhoded’s vs The Real Americans and Damien Sandow
Cesaro and Cody start things off with Cody coming out on top in the early stages. Shortly after for some reason everybody is in the ring. Cena tosses out Swagger and the Rhodes get rid of Sandow and Cesaro.
We return from a break to find Sandow working Cena’s injured arm. Sandow tags in Cecaro who continues where Sandow left off. Cesaro hits Cena with a couple of big uppercuts but Cena half sells them. Goldust gets the tag and manages to look good for a short period of time before his leg is taken out from behind by Jack Swagger. The Real Americans keep Goldust isolated and prevent him from making the tag.
We return from another break and Cesaro is still punishing Goldust in the ring with a series of holds. Goldust manages is to make the tag but the referee didn’t see it so Cesaro continues to work on Goldust. Sandow gets the tag and continues to grind down the bizarre one with a headlock.
Goldust eventually gets a breather when he lands an elbow to the nose of Sandow followed by a Powerslam. Goldust gets the hot tag to Cody. Cody fly’s in from the top rope with a Missile drop kick followed by a Moonsault. There is a blind tag to Cesaro, Cody lands the Crossroads to Sandow but the pin doesn’t count.
Cesaro grabs Cody for the Big Swing and delivers somewhere near 20 rotations. Cesro attempts a pin but Goldust breaks it up and hits Sandow with a Clothesline to the outside. Cody tags in Cena who begins to delivers his five moves of death. He sets up Cesaro for the AA but Cesaro counters with an impressive Gutwrench Suplex. He sets up Cena for the Big Swing but Cena counters with the STF. Cesaro counter again and launches Cena into the air and strikes him with a big Uppercut on the way down.
Cody hits Cesaro with the Disaster Kick and Sandow hits Cody with the You’re Welcome. Goldust lands a Bulldog on Sandow. Swagger power slams Goldust, who rolls to the outside and Swagger applies the Patriot Lock to Cena. Cena counters and delivers the AA to Swagger for the win.
Pretty entertaining match not too much negatives to draw from it. Cena was used sparingly so it was enjoyable to watch. I like the more serious Sandow and like I have said in my reviews in previous weeks I am a huge mark for the Rhodes family at the moment.
It felt like a very short card this week with a clear absence from other Superstars. In terms of just pure wrestling I actually thought it was one of their better shows in recent weeks, and even the divas match was watchable. My favourite match of the night would have to be the last one despite the obvious Super Cena ending. I am interested to see what they do with the Heavyweight championship considering all of the attention that has been put on the WWE championship in recent months. Leading into Survivor Series things should really start to pick up. I am expecting all of the Superstars to have much clearer and stronger storylines that should be able to carry us all the way to Wrestlemania.
– Sebastian Bowen