Smackdown Thoughts & Review [8. 20. 10]

by

Bakersfield, CA

Rey Mysterio comes out to the ring. Huge ovation from the Bako crowd. Rey grabs a mic:
Beunos Noches, Bakersfield! He thanks the crowd for helping him get through his grueling match at Summerslam. He’s glad he didn’t end up in a casket.

Alberto Del Rio interrupts:
He’s dressed up with a pretty white scarf. Del Rio says his name but he says that everybody already knows him. Alberto says that he and Rey are national heroes in Mexico. His bloodline comes from kings. Del Rio says that Rey’s bloodline is from the horrible streets of Tijuana. He says Rey is just a little worm in the bottle of tequila. He calls Rey a joke of a man and compliments himself.

Rey agrees that Alberto’s cufflinks are nice and that his cousin bought the same kind at the swapmeet. Rey says that Alberto is nobody. Rey plays up the humble man role to the crowd’s delight. Rey discusses respect and that Alberto Del Rio hasn’t earned any respect.

Del Rio calls Rey a little peasant and that he doesn’t need respect from Rey or the crowd. Rey says come and get the respect and challenges Del Rio to a match. Del Rio says he can’t wait to destroy Rey like the little cockroach he is. Rey slaps him into the ropes and yep, you guess it…619.

–Great segment. When was the last time you heard a promo between two wrestlers in Spanish/English? (Lucha Libre on Univision doesn’t count) Del Rio came off like a veteran and Rey came off great as the humble and hard working man of the people. Another great WWE character is born.

*commercial*

Dashing Cody Rhodes Grooming Tips
DCR discusses dry and wrinkly skin. We should all use manly moisturizing lotion with botanical ingredients so we can all possess healthy glowing skin like Dashing Cody Rhodes. He shows us how to rub a cucumber melon moisturizer on our face so we can be one step closer to dashing. And that’s one to grow on.

–What can I say about DCR that I haven’t said already? I hope these never end.

Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler

  • Slow start with Kofi getting the upper hand and Dolph stalling around the ring.
  • Vicky pulls Kofi’s ankle and Dolph forearms Kofi out of the ring.

*commercial*

  • Dolph punishes Kofi around the ring and gets a lot of two counts.
  • Kofi actually does an energetic Thesz Press, which Striker calls a ‘Kingston Press’. Nice.
  • Vicky pushes Kofi off the top rope. Ref sees it and calls for the bell.

WINNER: Kofi by DQ.

  • Kofi throws Dolph out of the ring.
  • Kofi tries to pursue Dolph but Vicky keeps blocking him out. Maybe she should play for the Clippers to help in rebounding.
  • Kofi looks frustrated and then Dolph attacks Kofi from behind.
  • Dolph throws Kofi in the ring and hits the Zig Zag and then the Sleeper.

–Plodding match since Kofi hardly got any offense in. The post-match action was actually better than the actual match. If anything, it pushes the feud forward by showing that Vicky will interfere in her man’s matches to keep the IC Title. Either Kofi gets a Diva to help him out to win back the title or he eventually loses the feud and moves up to the World Title scene.

*commercial*

CUT TO THE BACK:
LayCool is in the back. McTaker calls Melina “Lady Whaa-Whaa”. That’s not very nice. They show Hornswaggle disguised as a plant eavesdropping on their conversation. Great.

The S.E.S. are in the locker room. Luke says he can’t believe CM Punk walked out of them at Summerslam. Joseph Mercury says that they would never do that Punk.

Selena says they don’t know what they’re talking about and that Punk was trying to teach them a lesson. Selena says that they need to prove that they’re still strong and that they deserve Punk’s admiration. Joseph questions if she’s ready and Selena says that she’s been training for months.

CM Punk steps in:
Punk says that what he saw with the Nexus on Monday Night Raw was interesting. Punk says that he’s going to do what they did. Punk threatened to boot them out of the S.E.S. if Luke and Serena lose their match with Big Show and Kelly Kelly.

*commercial*

Serena & Luke Gallows vs Big Show & Kelly Kelly

  • Show and Luke start it off. Show dominates with his power and a big chop.
  • Luke tags in Serena and she quickly dominates Kelly.
  • Serena counters Kelly’s handspring elbow with a forearm to the back.
  • Serena with methodical offense: knees to the back and forearms.
  • Kelly gets in a nice lengthy headscissors takedown and an acid drop.
  • Luke tries to interfere but Big Show clotheslines him out of the ring.
  • Kelly goes for her K2 finisher but Serena counters it, puts her in a fireman’s carry position and drops her belly first on her knee (Gutbuster!).
  • Pin attempt…one…two…three.

WINNERS: Serena & Luke Gallows

Punk comes out with the look of approval and applauds slowly. Punk praises Serena and gives her a hug.

–Decent debut for Serena and I love her finisher. This match was nothing more than a showcase for Serena and to calm the waters of the S.E.S.

*commercial*

Kane is in the ring with a mic:
[His voice is augmented with an evil sounding reverb] Kane discusses the sin of pride and that Undertaker’s pride weakened him over the years. Kane says that because of ‘Taker’s pride, he came back too soon and that enabled Kane to beat him down at Summerslam. Kane talks about himself as being just a vague memory in the back of Undertaker’s mind back then. He says that Undertaker was all about keeping the spotlight to himself.

He recalls the moment when Taker lit Kane’s arm on fire and how that moment pushed Undertaker’s immortality to the limit. Kane says he knew what he had to do. Kane goes on to say that over time ‘Taker was losing his grip. He says the day ‘Taker took off his mask, that was the day he unleashed the monster that’s going to end his reign of darkness. He talks about the second time where ‘Taker defeated him again. Kane talks about becoming close with the Undertaker so he could get his vengeance. Kane says ‘Taker’s pride will be his undoing.

He knew that when ‘Taker showed Shawn Michaels an instant of mercy at Wrestlemania he was no longer an unstoppable force. Kane says that Undertaker’s holy grail is now his World Heavyweight Championship.

“We used to be called the Brothers of Destruction, but now you are nothing but the brother that I destroyed.”

Hey says for 15 years he’s relished the thought of being the dominant brother and replacing the Undertaker as the devils favorite demon.

–I’m impressed with Kane’s ability to deliver a rather lengthy promo that involved so many historical facts and verbose and diabolical schemes. This totally could have been done in a fancy video package but Kane executed the perfect ‘explanation promo’ that was above and beyond any well-edited video package.

*commercial*

Christian vs Drew McIntyre

  • Dashing Cody Rhodes comes out in a suit to observe the match at the announcers’ table.
  • Drew and Christian play cat and mouse with Christian side-stepping and quickly avoiding all of Drew’s attacks.
  • Christian hits a very dope hurricurrana that was set up from an armlock position. Always nice to see something new from Christian!
  • The match goes to the outside and Drew drops Christian’s injured shoulder on the exposed steel ring barrier.
  • Drew slams Christian’s arm into the steel ring post.

*commercial*

  • Christian hits a beautiful ‘flying’ DDT, where he jumped off the second turnbuckle, grabbed Drew’s head, and drilled it into the mat. Two count.
  • Christian starts to rally but only uses his right hand.
  • Christian rocks Drew with a DEVASTATING baseball slide dropkick to Drew’s face.
  • Nice armbreaker drop to the knees by Drew.
  • In a great sequence – Drew rams Christian’s head into the turnbuckle then goes for a possible powerslam – Christian maneuvers into a crucifix position and rolls up Drew…one…two…three.

WINNER: Christian

  • DCR attacks Christian from behind. The two men work over Christian on the outside of the ring.
  • Matt Hardy comes in for the save but eventually gets beat down.
  • DCR and Drew go after Hardy’s injured left ankle. Drew hits the FutureShock on Matt and DCR gets Christian with the Crossroads.

–Great story telling here. I don’t understand why EVERY heel except CM Punk has to have slow and methodical offense. The finish was amazing and very unexpected by the way the DCR was dogging Christian. Christian was gold here and he has a great ability to get the crowd behind him. He also did an amazing job of selling his left arm the whole match. Why isn’t Christian in the main event echelon? Only Vince knows.

–Even when Drew and DCR were working over Christian and Matt, DCR’s stomps and kicks had that little extra “something” that put the action over the top. DCR is a Bentley to Drew McIntyre’s Chrysler 300. While the WWE is trying to push Drew as a strong heel, Dashing Cody Rhodes IS a strong heel.

–Loved DCR’s commentary. Striker told DCR he smelled nice and DCR said that he smells ‘dashing’. DCR gave Grisham a slim case of Q-tips to clean his disgusting ears.

*commercial*

CUT TO THE BACK:
Jack Swagger is whining about not even being on Summerslam and losing his title. The camera pans to Rosa Mendez, who takes off her earbuds. Swagger is frustrated. MVP comes into play and tells Jack to move on. Swagger challenges MVP to a shootout. If Swagger wins, he gets to host MVP’s VIP Lounge. If MVP wins, Jack Swagger has to pay for a huge and expensive end of the summer block party.

*Raw Rebound and Night of Champions announcement*

CUT TO THE BACK:
Kane is talking to Teddy Long. Teddy says that The Undertaker is returning to Smackdown next week. Kane responds with “Next week, Smackdown will be hell on earth.”

*commercial*

Tony Chimel introduces Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio rolls up in a Rolls Royce at the side of the stage. The crowd instantly player hates with a plethora of boos. His ring announcer introduces him en Espanol. Brilliant.

Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio

  • Alberto smirks like a big a-hole and starts with a nice low kick to Rey’s thigh.
  • He dominates Rey at the beginning of the match.
  • Rey fights back and hits a nice head scissors take down.
  • Rey sidesteps a charging ADR and sends him flying over the ropes and crashing on the floor mat.

*commercial*

  • ADR works on Rey’s left arm and slams it on the steel steps.
  • ADR smiles as he dishes out punishment to Rey’s injured arm.
  • Rey battles back but his momentum is cut short when ADR hits a quick enziguiri to the left arm.
  • ADR hits a hard falling powerslam and then misses a senton off the top rope.
  • Rey hits a hard roundhouse to ADR’s head while he was kneeling. Rey rolls him up for a two count.
  • Rey with a springboard seated senton.
  • Rey with a springboard high cross body for a pin attempt. One…two…kickout.
  • ADR catches a 619 attempt and slingshots Rey onto the second turnbuckle
  • Rey hits ADR with a mule kick holding onto the top rope.
  • Rey tried to go off the top rope but ADR sweeps Rey’s foot and Rey falls on his injured arm.
  • ADR with a rolling armbar/cross arm breaker on Rey’s left arm.
  • REY TAPS!

WINNER via tap out: Alberto Del Rio

  • Alberto Del Rio applies the cross arm breaker again.
  • Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, grabs the mic and announces the official decision. Awesome.

–It’s evident that Alberto Del Rio is better than advertised. What the WWE did was create a Mexican hybrid of Ric Flair and Curt Hennig. Of course ADR has a long way to go to match their legacies but the blueprint and upside are certainly there. ADR generated instant heel heat and is already at the mid-echelon of heels. No NXT season was needed here and the WWE could not have asked for a better debut of a new and exciting worker.

–It was set up perfectly with Alberto Del Rio and Rey’s segment at the beginning of the program. The announcers hyped it over and over throughout the show between matches. They gave the match a big time feel and it delivered. A great job by all parties involved.

Observations and Notable Points

A feud between the old guard vs the young lions.
Dashing Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre vs Christian and Matt is very interesting. The great thing about this feud is that Christian and Matt are still in their prime and are five to twenty years younger than the “veterans” that are still being pushed in TNA. I’m fine with any possible outcome of this feud as long as Christian or Cody Rhodes both get the pushes that they deserve. DCR saying to the announcers that Christian is “two years past his prime” was genius and pushed his own character to greater heights.

There’s nothing like a cocky young heel when it’s executed perfectly. Cody Rhodes reminds me a of a young Lex Luger who just came into WCW in 1987 with unparalleled confidence as the “Total Package“.

Alberto Del Rio’s awesome debut
What? A new wrestler in the main event? We’re talking a new wrestler MAIN EVENTING a broadcasted show that most of the casual WWE fans only knew through WWE’s video packages. I think the WWE struck gold with this signing. Alberto Del Rio only showed a small fraction of what he’s capable of and I look forward to seeing his moveset grow as the weeks go on.

He looked very comfortable in the ring and there was no awkwardness between Rey and ADR as the match progressed. His rolling cross arm breaker is a great finisher for his character. It’s always refreshing to see Judo/BJJ/catch wrestling-inspired submissions in the WWE. If DCR looks comfortable being the “Dashing One”, then Alberto Del Rio was born to play an arrogant and rich douche. Tonight another young star was born.

The Show Overall
This was another solid outing for Smackdown. Serena’s debut was solid and her gutbuster finisher suits her very well. What makes the S.E.S. so compelling is that the other members play off of Punk’s bullying so damn well. Luke looks like he’s about ready to crack like Private Leonard in ‘Full Metal Jacket’ but always seems to reel it back in.

I’m not sure what they’re going to do with the Ziggler vs Kofi feud but I hope it ends soon. I’d rather see Kofi in the main event instead of being used to get Ziggler and his Macho Man-Elizabeth schtick with Vicky Guerrero over.

The main event scene is now at a standstill with Kane and the Undertaker feuding. The World Title adds an extra dimension to the feud but it leaves Swagger, MVP, Kofi, Rey Mysterio and other talented workers with nothing to fight for. I think it would be interesting to see Undertaker regain the belt and try to defend the belt against this new crop of World Title contenders over the next six months. Wishful thinking. Smackdown delivered as usual tonight and it gave plenty for wrestling fans to ponder about and look forward to next week.

*image courtesy of the WWE.

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One Response to “Smackdown Thoughts & Review [8. 20. 10]”

  1. Louie Says:

    I have become an instant Del Rio fan…i think he can become the heel of heels….the new JBL so to speak, just spectacular on the mic

    and Drew is better Cody, maybe not on the mic but in the ring he is truly sinister, i like the fact that he always targets a part in his opponents body, though i think like the miz he needs more movesets to sell the fans, personally i am sold either ways

    good review and smackdown has become light years ahead raw, which only has Chris Jericho to draw me in, maybe even sheamus.

    smackdown on the other hand has many up and coming superstars such swagger, mcintyre, cody rhodes, kofi, ziggler now DEL RIO to make the show exciting

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