Smackdown [August 23, 2013]

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0 - smackdown new logo April 2013

Daniel Bryan raises the bar for Smackdown main events

Quick Results

Bakersfield, CA

  • Vicky Guerrero introduces Randy Orton to the ring. Orton says he’s going to give the WWE fanbase what they deserve and that he didn’t know Triple H was going to Pedigree Daniel Bryan. He says he didn’t need Triple H’s help at Summerslam, and that he didn’t need the Shield’s help on RAW. Orton asks the crowd for their support to a chorus of NO! chants. He reiterates that he’s the face of the WWE as the camera zooms in on his head.
  • Daniel Bryan comes out to a loud cheer. The crowd pops but isn’t as loud as other cities have been. DB tells John Cena thank you for the opportunity. He’s glad he got to know what it feels like to be WWE Champion. He says that the face of the WWE needs to change and the crowd gives huge YES! chants. DB says that Orton is so so pretty and arrogant. DB says that Orton was given the genetic “golden ticket” to succeed in the WWE. He also mentions again how pretty Randy Orton is and that Orton is so pretty that he makes DB want to kick him in the face. DB says that he’s had to scratch and claw his way to the WWE in high school gymnasiums. He says he can beat Randy Orton for the title and that he’s entitled to a rematch. Orton calls him short stuff and that he has to wait till Night of Champions.
  • Orton raises the belt above Bryan’s head, tries to RKO Bryan, but Bryan blocks it and drop kicks Orton out of the ring. The crowd goes apeshit as Orton retreats to the back.
  • Vicky Guerrero is on the phone in the back. Wade Barrett interrupts and talks his way into a steel cage match with Daniel Bryan.
  • IC Champ Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) pins Cody Rhodes with his modified facebuster
  • After the match Paul Heyman cuts a promo on CM Punk. He puts over how great Curtis Axel is with Heyman by his eyes. Unfortunately, Axel gets on the mic and says that CM Punk is jealous and that he’s going to finish the job that Brock Lesnar started. “Genesis.”
  • Dolph Ziggler pins Big E Langston (w/A.J. Lee) via Zig Zag
  • Alberto Del Rio taps out Christian via arm bar
  • After the match ADR tells the crowd that they could never be him because they’re peasants. Oh. Snap. Ricardo Rodriguez comes out, disses ADR, and puts over RVD for not looking down on people.
  • Rob Van Dam comes out to a huge pop. Christian missile dropkicks ADR and RVD hits Rolling Thunder that sends ADR out of the ring.
  • Big Show & Mark Henry defeated 3MB when Big Show hit Drew McIntyre with the big KO punch.
  • Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins criticize Show and Henry for dominating 3MB. They say that they’re just better than them no matter how imposing Show and Henry are.
  • Darren Young pins Antonio Cesaro via gutbuster
  • Daniel Bryan pins Wade Barrett in a steel cage with a running knee
  • After the match Randy Orton RKO’d Bryan outside of the ring to a cacophony of boos and NO! chants as the show ends

Highlights

Great opening segment. So weird and wonderful to see the WWE focused SOLELY on Daniel effin’ Bryan. It’s a beautiful thing really. I don’t know how long this is going to last but I’m going to savor the moment.

Axel-Rhodes was solid. There’s something about Axel’s overall character that just isn’t grabbing me yet. I did love how he sold Rhodes’s wheelbarrow kick to the belly after dodging the Beautiful Disaster Kick. I liked the match but it’s unfortunate that they had Rhodes lose so soon after gaining some momentum with his feud with Damien Sandow. Not sure how they can push somebody if they have him lose to a up and coming mid-card guy at best.

They really need to just have Paul Heyman speak for Curtis Axel. That is all.

A Ziggler vs. Big E match is always fun because you get to see Ziggler give a clinic on bumping for big men. Not sure if this is a usual sequence for Ziggler but I like his running splash into the corner into a swinging neckbreaker. Very dope. I hope these two get 12 minutes or more someday to show what they can really do with each other. There’s obvious chemistry here and I think Big E has a lot more to offer than what he’s been showing.

Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio was excellent. It was interesting to see Del Rio focus on damaging both arms throughout the match. ADR latched onto Christian’s arm and rolled into the arm breaker from the top turnbuckle for the finish. I’ve never seen that before. Dope!

It’s been nice being spoiled by Christian and Alberto Del Rio. RVD and ADR should pick up where they left off.

3MB vs. Show and Henry was fun to watch. I get a kick out of seeing Heath Slater flop around for the big guys. The match was perfect for what it was, a squash and a showcase for the Show of Pain.

Seth Rollins just cut his best promo in the WWE to date.

Sad to see Antonio Cesaro be rewarded for his amazing matches with Daniel Bryan with a loss to Darren Young. It’s a shame that someone so green is getting a little mini-push over Cesaro, who has put in serious work over years to become one of the better workers on the roster. I understand why Young is getting the push but I don’t think it should be at the expense of Cesaro. At least make their match competitive. This was almost a squash.

Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett gave us a hell of a main event match. The sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope by Bryan was sick to see. You couldn’t blink because you’d miss the brilliance of all of Bryan’s small nuances that make his matches a step above his contemporaries.

I hope the powers that be and the WWE fanbase remembers this moment of time when Daniel Bryan simply raised the bar for televised WWE matches. This is pro wrestling at its finest. Bryan’s in-ring work is the furthest thing from the sports entertainment style, and I hope this is a sign that the WWE is going towards a style of pro wrestling that we’ve been seeing on the Indies and in Japan for decade now.

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