Smackdown Thoughts & Review [May 18, 2012]

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Bryan! Punk! Yes! Yes! Yes!

They open with a video recapping the John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena feud.

~ This is bad. The only feud that should open all WWE programming is CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. It’s almost as if the WWE doesn’t want to promote the best match on the Over the Limit card. I think that says everything about the WWE.

Johnny Ace John Laurinaitis comes out and talks about his upcoming match with Cena. Luarinaitis then talks about his physical condition and how much he can go but it’s still not a fair fight for him. Laurinaitis asks the crowd to say a prayer for him before they go to sleep at night.

CM Punk comes out. Punk says that everybody’s prayers have been answered because Laurinaitis will probably be terminated after Over the Limit. Punk then talks about how much of a prick Laurinaitis is.

Laurinaitis makes a match between CM Punk and Kane.

Punk says he respects Kane but he doesn’t respect Laurinaitis. Punk says that he’ll still be champ next week and Laurinaitis will be in the unemployment line.

~ Decent opening but the only person I want CM Punk cutting a promo against right now is Daniel Bryan. All I ask for is for Punk vs. Bryan to be the Main Event of Over the Limit. I don’t think that’s happening.

WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston defeat Titus O’Neil & Darren Young via Truth’s Lil’ Jimmy on Young

~ I enjoyed this match. Darren Young has improved tenfold since his Nexus days. Young hit a sick backdrop on Kofi on the hard ring apron. I really think they should just make O’Neil and Young badass athletes that don’t have to talk to get over. Their whole cocky douchebag routine seems forced.

Backstage, Damien Sandow gives Ryder a look while he’s doing his Z! Long Island Story show.

Sandow comes out with a mic. Sandow says he wants to set us all free from the chains of ignorance. He also deems Yoshi Tatsu as an unworthy opponent and walks away. Yoshi Tatsu then gets on the mic and says that Sandow is chicken. Sandow runs towards the ring and attacked Yoshi Tatsu. He then finishes Yoshi off with a Criss-cross/Straightjacket Neckbreaker.

~ That was nice and I hope that neckbreaker variant is Sandow’s finisher. It’s been a while since the neckbreaker was used as a finisher in the WWE.

Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton and Sheamus in the locker room. Sheamus says he’s the World Champion because he can control his temper unlike Orton. Randy Orton says he doesn’t have to beat Sheamus but he wants to.

~ Short, sweet, and to the point, just like a promo from these two should be.

Daniel Bryan submits Zack Ryder via Yes!!! Lock

~ Good squash. Daniel Bryan’s head kicks still make me wince. Good shit.

It looks like Zack Ryder is back to being an enhancement wrestler back in the midcard. I still say WWE blew it wish Ryder’s brief moment of being super over with the fans. They could have made some serious money with such a feel good underdog story.

Daniel Bryan joins the announcing team for CM Punk’s match.

Kane defeats CM Punk by DQ (Daniel Bryan interfered and intentionally hit Kane with a chair)

  • After the match, Kane thought Punk hit him with the chair. Kane destroyed Punk and went to town with the chair while Bryan cheered on with approval.

~ Loved DB’s commentary on how he’s better than Punk in every way. Loved that Kane powered out of the Anaconda Vice and gave Punk all that he could handle. Kane should always be booked like this.

Santino Marella cuts a hilarious promo and gets affectionate with his US Title belt.

U.S. Champion Santino Marella pins Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes via the COBRA

~ Good but really quick. Cody Rhodes should never be defeated so quickly and easily. Not sure why the WWE isn’t giving Rhodes any respect lately. Hopefully, Rhodes will catch some momentum later in the year.

Sheamus pins Randy Orton via roll up counter to the RKO

~ Really nice of the WWE to give Sheamus and Orton roughly twenty minutes of actual match time. I absolutely love non-finisher finishes. Orton losing by roll up was a pretty fantastic surprise.

It’s really stunning to see how much Orton and Sheamus improved. I think Orton’s feud with Christian really improved Orton’s overall wrestling skill and how he uses the RKO. I never was really blown away by Orton matches until he started wrestling Christian. Since then, he’s been a hell of a wrestler.

Sheamus has come along as well. His ability to look vulnerable and sell his opponents’ offense is getting better every week. Sheamus has really picked up his game since the Survivor Series but he’s been pretty spectacular since his feud with Daniel Bryan. I enjoy Sheamus matches a lot more nowadays.

This was another great episode of Smackdown with tons of pretty good wrestling. Not a single match was bad and each segment improved all the feuds that are featured on Sunday’s Over the Limit PPV. This was the better go home show for Over the Limit this week.

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