Thoughts on Smackdown 8/30/2011

Why waste any time when we have a Super Duper Live Smackdown to get to?

1. Different Show, Some Old Crap

Now I’m starting to see where all of this Cena hate is coming from. Again, I missed most of this Super Cena act, but is this the character you’ve all been subjected to for past year (and then some)? If so, I’m glad I took that break. What a douche-nozzle. Still, this segment brings back Ricardo Rodriguez to explain that WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio is not there (stupid work visa!). He basically no-sells the “What?” chant except for condescendingly translating Spanish to English to the crowd full of zombies (more on them later). Nice job, Ricardo. A stupid insult and a punch later brings out Wade Barrett next. Barrett cuts a coherent and sold promo, but Cena just shrugs and basically says that he’s going to make Barrett his bitch.

2. John Cena d. Wade Barrett

And that’s exactly what happens. What the hell, man? So, last “Friday” Barrett walks away from a match due to the opponent being beneath him. I’m cool with that. Skip ahead a few days/week and now he gets squashed by Cena? And make no mistake about it: he might as well have been Barry Horowitz in there. Maybe next week, it’ll be business as usual for Barrett, but there’s definitely been some damage done here. Would it have killed anyone for these two to have a competitive match? That’s all I ask. Cena should have won this match, just like Randy Orton should beaten Dolph Ziggler the night before. See the difference? Cena wins with the Attitude Adjustment.

 

3. Mark Henry Doesn’t Like Stupid Questions

An old fashion promo, putting over the dangers of the cage. Henry also says that he doesn’t care who wins the match and he’ll beat either of those guys. While it is very “tale as old as time,” it’s done in a way which only the World’s Strongest Man can do. Henry is so badass right now.

4. Sin Cara d. Daniel Bryan

“Huh.” That was my reaction to Sin Cara winning this bout. There were a few times where I shrugged and assumed Bryan would be winning in the end, so it surprised me when Sin Cara was able to hit his combo finisher for the pin. Still, it was an entertaining match, Hunico’s best since being called up. While I was rather dumbfounded by who went over, I was pretty much shocked by the heel turn that happened after. To those curiously wondering if this means Mistico will be coming back, if you’ll allow me to be juvenile for moment: um, duh? Why else would you do something like that, especially when merchandise sales are involved?

Bryan losing is somewhat problematic, but I’m going to assume that this is just one of those losing streak storylines. Not that he’ll snap like Samoa Joe in TNA, but rather get the Austin Wrestlemania 13 treatment (when he’d rather pass out than give up), then go on a tear when he “comes back.” Sorry, armchair booking. Bad, Chris!

5. Stupid Faces Are Stupid

As I explained before, the new Tag Team Champions “Air Boom” are old school, moronic faces. This interview just cements that, especially when they teach Matt Striker how to do the “Boom Drop” taunt thing Kofi does; like I said: stupid. Still, it made me chuckle and they’re already getting more TV than time the former title holders. That Evan Bourne is one happy guy, isn’t he?

6. Speaking of Stupid…

It’s one thing to put a poll on your website asking who we all think will win a match (for example: John Cena or CM Punk at SummerSlam). It’s another thing to ask us who has the advantage in a cage match between the likes of Randy Orton or Christian. Hello, McFly! Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly! Think! Unless the face is fighting a giant, he always has the advantage if the storyline is set up the way it’s supposed to be. The entire point of a cage is to make sure the heel has no escape and that any outside help he may get from others is now void (yeah, wrestling as a whole has screwed that up the past 15 years or so). In other words, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere the hide; the day of reckoning is upon the heel. Rant aside, I do like how they’re trying to make watching the show interactive. The results of this poll would show that the audience is not without intelligence, which very well may have been the point. Joke’s on me, I guess. Carry on!

7. Christian Doesn’t Need Validation

Another very good promo by Christian here, it was both confident and engaging. It really showed that, like any good heel, he believes very firmly that he’s in the right and Orton is in the wrong. The last bit about not needing the belt to validate his career was a very good line, too.

8. Divas of Doom d. Kelly Kelly (c) and Alicia Fox

Holy crap, Beth and Natalya actually did something! What a concept! They pretty much dominated here while letting Kelly and Alicia get some stuff in, too. Works for me as this is something they needed after all the talk they’ve been doing. Beth pins Alicia with the Glam Slam. I wouldn’t mind trying to add Natalya to the move somehow. I like two person finishers when it comes to tag teams. I’m not sure why the DoD didn’t beat the hell out of Kelly after the match, but I suppose the “you’re next” stares they gave her will do for now.

9. Triple H Wants CM Punk’s Skinny Fat Ass

I’m well aware that it’s an actual phrase, but Punk’s reaction to it was the same as mine: laugh and realize that the internet is going to have a field day with it again. Anyway, this was yet another contract signing involving Punk and like the rest, this was top notch stuff. Both he and Triple H made some valid points and stood their grounds effectively. This wasn’t as combustible as previous Punk contract signings, but it was equally as intriguing as the two prior to this one. Nash came out looking like man possessed; already hating Punk, but also infuriated with Triple H for taking the match away from him. Very cool.

Also, that whooshing sound you heard during this entire segment? That was the sound of this entire thing going over the head of every single person in the audience. Even the simplest of details was greeted with an, “huh?” reaction. That crowd was the worst one I’ve seen/heard in a long time. They did not like anyone nor did they dislike anyone, either. Cena and Orton got “yay” responses while Christian and Henry got, “oh, boo” ones. Why bother going to a show if that’s what you’re going to do? And I thought Indianapolis, the land of grown ass men (sans children) who wear John Cena shirts, was bad. At least they made noise, one way or the other, for someone.

 

10. Sheamus d. The Great Khali

I think the Henry/Sheamus matches must be messing with my head as I didn’t think this all that bad. Sheamus wins by DQ when Jinder Mahal gets involved in Khali’s behalf. Good to see him finally get involved, interesting to see Sheamus more or less destroy him upon doing so. I don’t think that bodes well for Mr. Mahal. I figure this is just the start of something between the two, however, as they need someway to get Sheamus away from Henry for the time being. Maybe that will resume in a couple of months with the World Title on the line.

11. World Title Cage Match: Randy Orton d. Christian

If I gave out awards, Orton would get my wrestler of the week award already. Kurt Angle will have to go out and have a ten star match with a broomstick to pass Orton at this point. Yes, I mean a legit broomstick and not Sting. That was mean. I apologize, Stinger. Anyway, this was a great cage match. Christian was constantly trying to win by escaping, even doing so after landing one shot in at the very beginning. For his part, Orton kicked Christian’s ass pretty well (as he should have). My favorite part has to be when Christian faked a crossbody off the second rope which caused Orton to turn his back (to counter the move with the RKO), allowing Christian another escape attempt; just smart stuff all the way around. Orton gets the pin after an RKO off the top rope in a great spot. If you’re going to lose, lose in style.

Post-match: Henry comes down and annihilates Orton! I did like Orton making a short lived comeback, but this was all Henry for the most part. The guy is just a monster and I finally believe in him after fifteen years. It’s nice to see him get an opportunity and to see him run with it. Oh, have you see the poster for Vengeance yet? Here you go:

That’s scary.

 

12. Final Thoughts

It started off on some very bad footing with the Cena stuff (which made the Inside Out trailer look decent in comparison), but this was an enjoyable show after that point. Bryan/Sin Cara was quite good (and I like the heel turn), the contract signing was great (Nash’s appearance at the end made it even better; I know, right?), and the cage match was just outstanding. One bad thing: where was Cody Rhodes this episode? He kinda has something big going on with DiBiase now, yes? I hope that wasn’t relegated to Superstars, even if I do watch that web show.

Overall, this was definitely a good first attempt at a live, non-Friday Smackdown and I kinda liked the shows being aired on consecutive days. At the very least it frees up Fridays and that’s always a good thing.

All pictures and videos courtesy of WWE, WWE.com, WWEFanNation (youtube), or otherwise stated on individual media items; it is greatly appreciated.

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