7/19 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage Review: Chis Jericho's last match before hiatus, Rob Van Dam in action, plus Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, The Shield and more!
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage
Taped on 7/16 in Providence, Rhode Island.
[Q1] The Smackdown sizzle intro video brought us into the arena. Teddy Long’s music opened the show and he was already in the ring to welcome us to Smackdown. He opened and said that Mr. McMahon hired a new GM for Raw, and his name is Brad Maddox. He admitted to not knowing much about Brad’s qualifications, but they have to be better than Vickie Guerrero. Teddy then said that Mr. McMahon knows what he’s doing, and that he will be in the arena tonight to give Teddy an evaluation.
Teddy then pumped up the crowd and lobbied for a job as permanent GM. Before he could get too far, Booker T made his return to the show to a nice reaction from the Providence crowd. Teddy got stone faced as Booker entered the ring. Booker asked the “Universe’ what was up, and told Teddy that he had done a hell of a job in his absence. He then pumped up the crowd with his “sucka” line and asked the crowd if they were ready for him to take over his GM duties. At that moment, Mr. McMahon made his entrance and duck walked to the ring while Teddy and Booker clapped.
Mr. McMahon asked the crowd to give a nice welcome to Hall of Famer Booker T and Teddy Long. He said he was out there to make sure there was no dissention and conflict between them, because only one person could run Smackdown. Mr. McMahon asked Teddy what match he would make to excite the audience, and he said Curtis Axel would take on Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship. He asked Booker the same question, and he booked Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton.
At that moment, Brad Maddox interrupted and asked for a word with Mr. McMahon. Vince asked him what he was doing there. Maddox lobbied to also get the Smackdown GM role on top of Raw job. He then said that he would book both of those other matches, plus the Smackdown return of RVD. McMahon paused a second, and said the General Manager of Smackdown was…..Vickie Guerrero! Vickie made her way down to the ring to some large boos.
She grabbed the microphone from Vince and thanked him for giving her the job. Vickie told the crowd they were the reason she was fired, and she hated every one of them, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. She repeated her name and said she was the permanent General Manager of Smackdown! The announce crew ran down the matches that were made by the various GM candidates, plus a plug for Paul Heyman on MizTV…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: A ho hum segment in as much as it didn’t really involve anything that most fans care about. Nobody was bad in their roles, but the GM drama is barely interesting. I like the move for Vickie just because she gets napalm heat and the crowd firing her on Raw should make her sinister enough to be a good foil for the babyfaces on Smackdown.
[Q2] Jack Swagger was in the ring, with Colter and Cesaro at ringside. Dolph Ziggler made his entrance to a great reaction. They then showed a clip of Ziggler and his break up from AJ Lee on Monday, plus a clip of Ziggler’s match and the subsequent interference from AJ and Big E.
1. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger: Ziggler tried a roll up early for a one count, but Swagger escaped and rolled out of the ring. Swagger hit a nice elbow that rattled Ziggler, but he fired back with a knee lift and Swagger retreated to the outside again. Ziggler threw some punches in the corner, but Swagger slipped out and hit a nice pancake. Swagger taunted and got too cocky, and Ziggler caught him with a standing dropkick. Swagger retreated again, and Ziggler followed. Cesaro and Colter got involved and got tossed from ringside. Swagger complained to no avail.
Ziggler hit a rollup as they got back in the ring, but only got two. Swagger picked him up, but ZIggler reversed into a victory roll for a near fall. Swagger locked onto an ankle as he kicked out and locked on the Patriot Lock. Ziggler escaped quickly and hit a surprise ZigZag for the win.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Jack Swagger at 3:05.
Dolph said he dumped his girlfriend AJ on Monday. He paused a moment and said he was sorry, with a perplexed look on his face, and then said he was sorry he didn’t to it a hell of a lot sooner. He then played to the crowd with a smile on his face. Backstage, AJ went insane looking at a monitor and threw some chairs around. Big E tried to calm her down, but she couldn’t get it together. She beat him up a bunch while sobbing, until he hugged her to calm her down. They eventually locked eyes for a kiss, but Big E thought better of it and kissed her on the forehead and walked off.
The Shield’s music fired up in the arena and the Tag Champs headed to ringside through the crowd for a match…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: A good match for Ziggler. He sold being sorry for the break up pretty well, and the cocky smile that broke over his face was a nice touch before he delivered the last line. I have no idea where AJ and Big E are going, but AJ bouncing between all the men on the roster is a running gag at this point.
The Shield stood tall in the ring while the Uso Brothers made their entrance. A video was shown of The Shield’s attack on Mark Henry from Monday. The match didn’t get a chance to start, as the Usos’ just ran into the ring and took on both Rollins and Reigns. Ambrose ran in and tipped the odds towards The Shield, but Mark Henry made his way out to even the odds. Henry took on The Shield by himself for a moment, but the Usos eventually rejoined him and they cleared The Shield from the ring.
[Q3] The announce crew put over the return of RVD and the main event between Orton and Del Rio…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: This was obvious in a good way. It seems The Shield will remain in the mid-card for now. I guess the rumors of them being in the dog house for one thing or another may be true? I still don’t know.
Wade Barrett was in the ring for a match. The announce crew plugged the WWE App while Barrett apparently just stood there for a about 60 seconds. Daniel Bryan made his entrance after the app plug to a major crowd reaction. The crowd definitely respected the beard.
2. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett: Bryan opened up with punches and then hit the ropes. Barrett caught Bryan as he attempted a splash and set him on the top rope. He then hit a running knee for a two count. Barrett then hit a backbreaker assisted by bounce off the ropes. Bryan fired back with kicks in the corner as the crowd went mental. Bryan flipped over Barrett in the corner, and then jumped onto him for a crucifix pin. Instead of falling backwards for a pin, he maneuvered into a Yes Lock for the submission victory.
Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett at 1:54.
Backstage, Brad Maddox walked up to Vickie and asked if they were even now that she is the GM of Smackdown. She offered her hand, and as he reached for hit she slapped him across the face. The announce team put over MizTV as next…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: That crowd was absolutely crazy for Daniel Bryan. It wasn’t much of a match obviously, but they were into every second of his offense. Nice slap onto Maddox by Vickie. Looked good on camera.
[Q4] Miz’s theme played and he was in the ring on the “set of MIzTV. He welcomed us to MizTV and ran down the recent events between Paul Heyman and CM Punk. Miz then asked the crowd to give a warm MizTV welcome to Paul Heyman, in as condescending a tone as possible. A video aired of Lesnar and Heyman’s attack on Punk from Monday. Heyman smiled at Miz and sat down in a chair. Miz said he had nothing to say or ask of Heyman because he was beneath contempt.
Heyman thanked Miz for pointing out his perceived lack of ethics, and said he was merely an advocate. He said Lesnar was solely focused on CM Punk and had no conscience or remorse. The crowd chanted for Punk, and Heyman asked the crowd to understand how painful this is for him, so he would offer this plea for his former friend CM Punk. He asked him to stay down, go home, lick your wounds, and don’t ever think about getting up again.
He said if Punk showed his face again, Brock Lesnar would take that as a spiteful provocation, and he would be dealt with by the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar. Miz did his “really” bit in a somber tone, and looked at Heyman and said he was enjoying it. Miz said he understands why Heyman lies, because when he shows his true self it’s even more repugnant than his lies. He said he was revolted by Heyman’s face, his demeanor, and his frame of mind. He was revolted by the fact that Heyman swore on his children and still lied. Miz then left up the ramp, and then Heyman introduced the man that defeated him on Sunday, Curtis Axel…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Another very good segment from Heyman, and Miz more than held up his end of the deal. Miz is much better when he’s not the easiest guy the room to hate, and Heyman definitely has him beat there. Axel got a bit of a reaction, but I couldn’t tell if it was for him or just heat transference from Heyman.
[Q5] Chris Jericho made his ring entrance to a great reaction from the Providence crowd.
3. Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho: Axel hit a shoulder block early, but Jericho fired right back with a drop kick. Jericho then clotheslined Axel to the outside and hit a baseball slide that sent Axel into the ringside table. Jericho hit a forearm from the top rope for a two count. Axel power tossed Jericho into the corner and covered for barely a one count. Jericho hit some chops and a clothesline, followed by a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Axel avoided a bulldog and hit Jericho with a clothesline to the back of the head for a two count.
The crowd chanted for Jericho as Axel missed a splash in the corner. Jericho climbed up top and hit a cross body for another near fall. Jericho then went for a Codebreaker, but Axel countered with a sidewalk slam for a near fall…[c]
Jericho went shoulder first into the post, and then Axel hit a body slam. Axel then climbed to the second rope for a fist drop, but Jericho rolled out of the way. Jericho hit a shoulder tackle and an enziguri for a two count. Axel hit a knee lift a and a spinning neckbreaker for a very close near fall. Jericho avoided a drop kick and Jericho hit a lionsault for another near fall. Jericho delivered knees to the side of Axel’s head. Axel attempted to throw him out to the floor, but Jericho held on. He went for a double axe handle, but Axle caught him. He went for a perfect plex, but Jericho reversed into a Walls of Jericho attempt.
Jericho broke the hold due to Heyman jumping on the apron and never really applied it. Jericho eventually applied the hold and the crowd went crazy. Axel crawled slowly over to the ropes, and was finally able to break the hold. Axel rolled to the outside, and Jericho jumped on top of him. He tossed Axel into the table at ringside and then back into the ring. Heyman distracted Jericho as he got back into the ring, and Axel caught him with a boot to the skull. Axel then hit his new neckbreaker finish for the pinfall victory.
Curtis Axel defeated Chris Jericho at 12:40.
Post-match, Ryback’s music hit and he headed to the ring. He bullied Jericho while he was down on the mat and Jericho popped up and punched him a few times. Ryback then hit him we a meat hook and Shellshocked. Ryback said he “See ya later, Chris!” and walked up the ramp.
Barnett’s Brief: A quality match form Jericho and Axel that really underscored the importance of Heyman to his act. Without Heyman, that match would have had no heat whatsoever. Jericho would have gotten cheers, I’m sure, but the crowd didn’t really come alive for Axel’s offense unless it came from a Heyman distraction. I know it’s early, but Axel needs to develop more of his own personality at some point here.
[Q6] Damien Sandow was in the ring with his briefcase. He had Mahatma Ghandi said that the weak cannot forgive. He said that the Money in the Bank match was every man for himself, and everyone knew this. He asserted that he did not screw Cody, asked why his best friend did what he did on Raw. They then showed a clip from Raw where Rhodes assaulted him. The crowd started a Cody chant, and Sandow said he is not going to react to his the same way the slack jawed mouth breathers would. He said he is not going to codemn Cody and spit vile rhetoric at him. He said that is what separates knuckle dragging halfwits from a beacon of enlightenment like himself.
He claimed he and Cody were civilized, and they were still best friends. He then invited Cody out to explain himself so they can get past it. Sandow changed his mind and said that no explanations was necessary. He said he forgave him for acting out in anger and everything else. Sandow said he may have prevented him from being Mr. Money in the Bank. He said he wanted to offer him a title as an olive branch. He said he wanted him to be “Protector of the Case”, and until he cashed it in he could watch over and protect it.
Cody grabbed the briefcase and mouthed “thank you”. He then popped Sandow in the mouth with the briefcase and Sandow rolled to the outside. Sandow ran up the ramp and Cody chucked the briefcase at him. Ron Van Dam was shown backstage heading to the ring for a match next...[c]
Barnett’s Brief: A good segment that furthered this feud and made Sandow look like even more of a low life. Rhodes got a great reaction from the crowd despite not speaking a word, and Sandow got great heat as he high tailed it out of the ring.
[Q7] Darren Young was in the ring for his match with RVD. Van Dam then made his ring entrance to a great reaction.
4. Rob Van Dam vs. Darren Young: Young hit a shoulder block and taunted. RVD then hit a diving leg log into a pin for a two count. RVD then hit a drop kick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Young rolled to the outside, just in time to eat a springboard splash from RVD. RVD ducked a punch and hit a heel kick to set up rolling thunder. Titus jumped on the apron and blew his whistle to distract RVD.
Young then jumped him from behind. He then dropped RVD neck first on the top rope and then applied a chin lock. RVD got back in the match briefly with a kick, but Young hit a clothesline to end his offense. RVD hit another kick to the chin and rolling thunder. He then kicked O’Neill off the apron and hit the Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
Rob Van Dam defeated Darren Young at 3:14.
The announce team plugged the main event for next…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: A fun showcase match for RVD that the live crowd was hot for. He got in all his signature spots and Young sold everything very well. It’s too bad the Primetime Players are enhancement fodder at this point. They could be an interesting team if they were position with a good manager. They need someone to do the talking for them at this point.
The Raw Rebound aired next, with a focus on the Wyatt Family. Vickie was then shown on the phone, and asked for her office to be redecorated next week. Teddy Long then walked in, and asked why he was brought in there. She gave him a spiel as to how they both had mistreated one another in the past and they should work together. He asked if she really meant it, and she said Hell No, and had security take him out of the building. Randy Orton then made his ring entrance for the main event…[c]
[Q8] Cole said Big Show returns on Monday for Raw. Alberto Del Rio then made his ring entrance for the main event.
5. Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton: Orton opened up on offense with a punch and kick festival. Del Rio locked on a cross arm breaker over the top rope. They traded offense for a couple of moments before Del Rio took control of Orton on the ground. Orton got a roll up out of the corner for a two count. Del Rio hit a kick that caught Orton right on the sternum. Orton rolled to the outside to take a powder, and Del Rio eventually followed. Del Rio threw Orton into the steps.
Back in the ring, Del Rio tried a double axe handle off the top, but Orton caught him with a standing drop kick. Del Rio avoided an Orton snap powerslam, and then locked on the cross arm breaker. Orton made it to the ropes quickly for a break. Orton then hit an inverted back breaker. He went for a follow up hanging DDT, but Del Rio pushed away and hit an enziguri. Del Rio then covered for a two count. He then backed way up and hit a running punt style kick that looked to catch Orton on the back of the neck.
Orton got to his feet and Del Rio looked to try an RKO, but Orton escaped and hit a powerslam. Del Rio recovered and hit an armbreaker. Both men struggled to their feet and Orton avoided a charging Del Rio and hit a hanging DDT. Orton fired up and went for an RKO, but Del Rio countered with a back cracker for a close near fall. Orton rolled through a cross arm breaker attempt and popped up and hit an RKO for the quick victory.
Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio at 13:49.
Barnett’s Brief: A very good TV main event to close the show. I enjoyed the pace of the match down the stretch and the crowd was into everything they did. I looked like the punt kick that Del Rio hit on a grounded Orton may have caused the stinger that WWE reported Orton had on Tuesday Night. Overall, this was an above average edition of Smackdown that wouldn’t be a bad one to catch on Hulu Plus or DVR later on. There were some quality matches and a couple of fun promo segments from Heyman/Miz and Rhodes/Sandow. I’ll have more to say in the Dot Net Smackdown Podcast tomorrow morning.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @barnettjake.
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