From: Cincinnati, Ohio
After a mediocre main event that reminded me of a good episode of Smackdown at best, and then an episode of raw that had the odd surprising moment (Dolph wins, really). I was somewhat worried to see how Smackdown would follow up on this week’s shenanigans.
Vickie welcomes us to Friday Night Smackdown to an ocean of boos from the crowd. Vickie at this point has to be one of the best heels in the company. She’s great. She tells us that great champions have held the WWE title for long periods of time but Daniel Bryan is not one of them. She accuses him of stealing the title. She invites him to the ring to explain his actions.
Bryan states he has done nothing wrong. Bryan tells us that he kneed Randy Orton in the face, he pinned him, and even a twenty count would not have made a difference, because Orton was knocked out. Vickie says she hopes he never becomes the face of the WWE.
Bryan says that that he is grateful that she does not hold any real power. Vickie tells him that she has power and she will prove it by punishing Bryan and the ten other Superstars that came to defend him on Raw on Monday.
Vickie explains she has set up a gauntlet match, where all ten men will have to compete. Each man will have to fight the shield alone in a handicap match. She tells Bryan they will all be eliminated. Vickie laughs like the Wicked Witch of the West and leaves Bryan with a concerned look on his face in the middle of the ring.
Naomi vs. AJ Lee (with Natalya at ringside on commentary)
Our first match of the evening starts just as you would expect. AJ takes control from the beginning with a series of moves, nothing fancy. Naomi later makes an attempt at a comeback. AJ eventually manages to reverse what looked like a sideway slam by Naomi into the Black Widow and gets Naomi to tap out. AJ taunts Natalya after the match and I have nothing to say about this until something happens, let’s move on.
Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella
Zeb Colter gives us another ‘We the people’ speech, this time aimed towards Santino Marella.
Zeb is great as usual, however the crowd does not appear to be as concerned anymore about some of the racial intolerance being projected from the lips between the furry handlebars on Zeb Colter’s face. Antonio Cesaro stands behind Zeb with that continued look on his face like he is constantly asking himself, what the hell am I doing here? He is far too talented to be wasting his time with this gimmick.
Santino makes his way to the ring in his typical fashion wiggling his hips with a smile on his face, possibly because he knows he is not a jobber anymore. Since he has returned, he seems stronger than ever with this week being no exception. In no time at all he manages to pin jack swagger with a backslide of all things. I thought Swagger was an all American amateur wrestler, and he gets beat with a backslide? Somebody please save Swagger and Cesaro from this downward spiral.
Paul Heyman rolls his way to the ring in a wheelchair accompanied by Curtis Axel and his newfound friend and hero Ryback. Paul tells us that he is so grateful for Ryback’s help at Night of Champions. Ryback tells us that he can’t stand bully’s, he then turns his attention to a no name jobber in the ring and accuses him of refusing to sign an autograph for a fan. Ryback gets into the ring and makes light work of him in a very quick squash match. Get used to those words, squash match.
Randy Orton slithers his way slowly to the ring. He explains that he is tired of locking away his sadistic side and now he is going to go back to the way he used to be. I for one am happy about this. I have never really got bored of Randy Orton despite the torrent of hate that he has received from fans over the last few years. He swears to the WWE universe that he is going to destroy Daniel Bryan and will be once again be the WWE champion.
Shield makes their way to the ring in preparation for the gauntlet match. Let the squashing begin.
First one out to take on the Shield is Darren Young. This lasts about twenty seconds until he is speared by Roman Reigns.
His tag team partner Titus O’Neil, who finds himself in a similar situation to his partner, Darren Young, is out next. He gets a three man Powerbomb for his troubles.
Ziggler is next to feel the wrath of the shield. Like an excited puppy, Ziggler runs to the ring and jumps on Roman Reigns in the corner to deliver his ten punches. Ambrose and Rollins abruptly stop the punches by slamming him to the ground. From here on out it is business as usual. Ziggler gains a little momentum with a clothesline, great standing drop kick and a Famasser, but again he is eventually overpowered by the Shield and speared on the outside by Reigns, where he would remain for a ten count. Shield wins by count out.
Next up is Kofi Kingston, the almost intercontinental champion. As you would expect the match involves a lot of jumping around. Highcross bodies, a drop kick followed by Trouble in paradise to Reigns. Unfortunately that was about as good as it got for our Ghanaian banana coloured trunks wearing high-flyer. Quickly after that he got to experience a finisher that I really enjoy watching, Dean Ambrose Headlock Driver. One, Two, Three, Shield Win.
RVD makes his way down to the ring of punishment. Ambrose and Rollins immediately attack him but he manages to turn it around for a minute with his five signature moves. He was about to deliver the Five Star Frog Splash to Dean Ambrose when all of sudden Triple H makes his way to the ring. He is visibly angry by what he sees and orders for the gauntlet to be stopped. He shouts at Vickie for setting up the match and tells her to get to his office.
Triple H tells Vickie that if you punish ten guys, then next week another ten guys will revolt. Triple H tells Vickie to put together a six-man tag with the Shield vs. the Usos with Daniel Bryan as their partner.
As much as I love watching all of the wrestlers in this match, I just feel I have seen this match one too many times over the last few weeks.
Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel are disappointed with Triple H ending the gauntlet match because they didn’t get the chance to wrestle. Triple H promises them some good healthy competition and sends them to the ring.
The Wyatt family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) vs. Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel
I know what you’re thinking, another squash match, and yes you would be right. Luke Harper delivers a spinning clothesline to Zack Ryder that would make JBL proud and picks up the three count. After the match Bray Wyatt enters the ring to deliver the Sister Abigail to Ryder.
Have the Wyatt’s been relegated to SmackDown? They have all the ingredients to be something special. I hope the WWE keep a handle on this one; it would be a waste of some of the best promos I have seen this year.
Alberto Del Rio vs. R Truth
There is no story or feud for this match and I have no idea why it is even taking place. It appears that the World Heavyweight Title doesn’t hold any true value at this point. I have nothing to say about this match other than there is a big kick to the face by Del Rio followed by an Armbar. R Truth taps, Del Rio Wins.
Main Event: Shield vs. The Usos and Daniel Bryan
The Match starts with Daniel Bryan against Rollins, Daniel gets the better hand from the start, he tags in Jimmy Uso and the advantage stays with team Bryan. Ambrose eventually gets Jimmy into the Shields corner and the Shield take advantage for a couple minutes before Jimmy is able to counter with a big kick to the face.
Jimmy tags in Bryan and he is on the defence for a while before tagging Jimmy back in. The action continues to swing back and forth. Jay gets tagged in and gets an Enzuigiri from Seth Rollins. Shield take control of the match dividing the ring and keeping Jay isolated in their half.
The Shield continued to make quick tags and keep working away on the body of Jay. Eventually Daniel Bryan gets the much-awaited hot tag, Bryan delivers his five moves of death to Ambrose. The Usos and Rollins demonstrate their highflying abilities with a couple of big tumbles to the outside flying over the top rope.
Meanwhile back in the ring, Ambrose hits Bryan with a big clothesline and tries to regain control over Bryan. Bryan manages to reverse Ambrose’s attempt and cleverly slips on the Yes Lock. The hold is broken when Ambrose manages to get to the ropes.
The Usos on the outside deliver a double kick to the face of Ambrose; behind the referees back I must add. A bit heelish in my books. Daniel Bryan sets up and lands the Big Knee on Ambrose and gets the three count. Daniel Bryan and the Usos win.
Not a bad match, I still enjoyed watching them wrestle even though I am getting a little tired of seeing it so often. I think the Usos appear to be getting stronger in the ring appear to be really over with the fans. I think they deserve the push. They have shown some good wrestling over the last month or so and they are look like they are pushing themselves further with every match. It would be interesting to see if they can cut a promo, because I think the one thing they don’t have at the moment is any sense of personality. I have a hard enough time identifying which one is in the ring at any given time.
With the exception of the last match, If I was to name this week’s episode I would have to call it, The Night of The Squash Match. Mark Henry and Shamus are probably sitting at home crying in envy because they missed it. Nothing really stood out tonight so overall I can only say it was OK.
– By Sebastian Bowen