7/26 WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage Review: CM Punk, RVD and the Wyatt Family make appearances this week, also Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Damien Sandow, and Alberto Del Rio in action
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped on 7/23 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
[Q1] Hey, what do you know, the Smackdown video intro aired. Cole welcomed us to the Texas Gulf Coast and Randy Orton’s music hit and got a nice reaction from the crowd. Lilian introduced Orton for the opening match and he soaked up the crowd’s reaction. Cole took over and reminded the crowd that Orton had the briefcase, and what it meant. Both he and JBL went on to praise Orton and said he would soon be an ten time Champion.
Damien Sandow entered and had a microphone. He called himself the uncrowned World Champion. He said he was very grateful that everyone took a break from cow tipping and staring at the bug zapper to come get enlightened. He told the crowd to behold the uncrowned World Champion, and said you’re welcome.
1. Damien Sandow vs. Randy Orton: They tied up to start and worked to a stalemate. Sandow hit the ropes and Orton caught him with an elbow. Sandow hip tossed Orton to the ground and locked in a side headlock. Orton fought out briefly, but got rammed in the corner by Sandow. He followed up with more shoulder lunges in the corner, and took a cheap shot at Orton as the ref pulled them apart. Orton turned things around and hit a clothesline in the same corner that Sandow had him in. He then hit a vertical suplex and stomped on Sandow.
Orton hit a snap mare a moment later, but missed a follow up knee drop. Sandow choked Orton with his foot and used the ropes for leverage. In an awkward looking spot, Sandow hit the ropes and got launched to the outside by Orton. It looked like the timing was off there in a weird way. Orton hit a back suplex onto the barricade and then tossed Sandow back in the ring. Sandow took control in the ring with a nice looking suplex and some strikes that put Orton down…[c]
Orton hit mounted punches in the corner, followed by a European uppercut. Sandow dropped Orton on his chest over the top rope and covered for a two count. Sandow them dropped knees and stomps, using the ropes to get extra height on one of them. Sandow then hit more punches, and then a body scissors.
[Q2] Sandow hit knee lifts and a side Russian leg sweep. He then followed up with the elbow of disdain for a near fall. He covered a second time and held both legs for the same result. He then went back to the body scissors, which Orton eventually rolled into a MMA Guard position and punched his way out of. Orton hit more punches and a couple of clotheslines, followed by a Powerslam. Cody Rhodes showed up at ringside as Sandow dumped Orton out of the ring. Cody grabbed the briefcase from the time keepers table, and Orton snuck up and surprised Sandow with an RKO for the win.
Randy Orton defeated Damien Sandow at 14:23.
After the match, JBL ripped Rhodes for taking the briefcase, saying it was never his and he lost the match at Money in the Bank under the rules. Sandow recovered slowly in the ring as Rhodes gloated with the briefcase. He left up the ramp with it as Sandow looked confused. CM Punk was shown backstage and Cole said he had a message for Lesnar…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: That match never really found a rhythm for me. I liked how competitive Sandow was, but his offense wasn’t getting much of a reaction from the crowd. Orton got a great reaction throughout and eventually towards the end of the match the crowd warmed up to it. The commercial and frequent rest holds just made it felt like it was stuck in first gear.
CM Punk made his ring entrance, and footage of him being attacked by Heyman and Lesnar was shown. He said it’s official, he got what he wanted at Summerslam, and it’s “The Best vs. The Beast”. He said he’s heard that he’s fallen right into Paul’s trap, and that’s exactly what Paul thinks. He said he learned everything from Paul about being the dirtiest player in the game, and he learned to be relentless in attacking his enemy’s weakness. He said Brock’s biggest weakness was his biggest weakness, and that’s trusting Paul Heyman.
He then said Heyman’s biggest weakness is his ego. Punk said he would not pretend that Heyman didn’t get him to WWE and help make him what he is. He recalled Paul calling him a thoroughbred, and that’s all he was to him. Punk said Paul wanted everything, he wanted the best vs the beast all along and he wanted to sit in both corners. He then said he take everything Lesnar had to offer, and then kick him in the face until he was a broken pile of failure. Then he would have a special gift for Paul Heyman……..but then Fandango interrupted before he could finish.
[Q3] Summer Rae and Fandango danced their way to the ring, while Punk looked utterly disinterested in them. As Fandango got in the ring, Punk jumped him and hit a GTS. Punk then celebrated as Summer Rae stood over a fallen Fandango. Punk then walked his way up to the back after staring down Summer Rae. The announcers put over The Best vs. The Beast for Summerslam, and said the Wyatt Family would be in the ring tonight…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Punk came off really sharp there. He was clear and concise and didn’t mince words or lose his train of thought once. I like his focus on Heyman and how he would use what he learned from him to take him down.
The office hiccup 1-800-FELLA commercial aired. The Prime Time Players and Wade Barrett were shown already in the ring. Mark Henry made his entrance, followed by the Usos.
2. The Usos and Mark Henry vs. Wade Barrett and The Prime Time Players: Darren Young applied an arm bar to Jay Uso to start, followed by a side headlock. Young hit shoulder block, but got a forearm to the face on the return trip. Jay hit some mounted punches in the corner, but Titus bailed him out with a big boot. Wade Barrett tagged in and hit a clothesline for a two count. Barrett draped Jay over the top rope and hit a kick to the gut for a two count.
Titus then tagged in and controlled Jay with a head lock. He fought out and tried a cross body, but Titus caught him and hit a powerslam. Titus taunted and Jay hit a big kick to Titus and made a tag to Mark Henry. Henry cleared Young from the ring and hit a powerslam on Titus for a near fall. Things broke down and everybody hit the ring. The Usos cleared the illegal heels and Henry hit a World’s Strongest Slam on Henry for the win.
Mark Henry and The Usos defeated Wade Barrett and The Prime Time Players at 3:24.
[Q4] The announce team said AJ would give a speech about her state of mind later, and that RVD would face Alberto Del Rio…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: A tune up match for Henry and the Usos, but it wasn’t a bad one in a technical sense. The story they told at the announce table was that they were ready for The Shield, but there wasn’t much of one for the heels here.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio talked sweet nothings to Vickie Guerrero. Vickie stopped him and told him to get down to business. He then said she owed him the same opportunity that Brad Maddox gave John Cena, which was to choose his opponent at Summerslam. RVD then walked up and said that he deserve a shot. Del Rio then said he had to earn his show, which RVD said he will do by beating him later in the show.
Sandow walked backstage and was shown looking for Cody Rhodes. He asked some random people, including Sin Cara, but didn’t find any luck. RVD then made his ring entrance for his match with Del Rio next…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: It was odd to have so many non-wrestling segments crammed together like that. Didn’t flow at all. The promo backstage from Del Rio and RVD was awkward, but Del Rio and Vickie seem comfortable on screen together.
[Q5] Alberto Del Rio made his ring entrance to a strong crowd reaction.
3. Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio: Van Dam started out with strikes, and Del Rio quickly escaped to the outside. JBL compared RVD to luchadors Del Rio faced in Mexico. Del Rio took a break for a good minute before trying to re-enter the ring. Del Rio snuck in to the ring while the ref was arguing with Van Dam, but he missed and Van Dam kicked him in the ribs. Del Rio sold like he was injured, and asked the ref to intervene to stop Van Dam’s attack’s. The ref pulled them apart, and then Del Rio hit a cheap shot kick to Van Dam’s face for a surprise victory.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Rob Van Dam at 2:40.
JBL and Cole showed footage of Rhodes as he left with the briefcase from earlier. Sandow as shown backstage talking to more people about where Cody Rhodes went. He ran into Booker and Mark Henry, who feigned like they cared. Sandow told Booker he must know, and said he was the General Manager, or at least used to be. Booker did the “tell me” bit, and he and Henry then blew Sandow off. Sandow continued to walk on frustrated. AJ Lee made her entrance for her speech…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Surprisingly short match, but I like that it got over Del Rio’s willingness to be proud of winning under any circumstance. I don’t think RVD really lost anything there, but it was surprising considering how fresh he is in his return.
A clip of Dolph talking about dumping AJ was shown from last week’s Smackdown, along with AJ as she had a psychotic break and nearly kissed Big E Langston. She was then in the ring and explained that she was not losing her mind. She said her noble actions were misinterpreted, and then said her heart was ripped out by Dolph Ziggler. She included about 5 insults before his actual name. She said she was going to be ok because she has the Divas championship, and it was never leaving her.
[Q6] To show how fine she was, she showed the keys to Dolph Ziggler’s home. Instead of burning his house to the ground, she was ready to let them go. Dolph Ziggler then interrupted and said the locks had been changed a few times since her, and he gives out keys hundreds or thousands of times. AJ then showed him his suitcase, and he told her everything in the ring was replaceable….everything. She then cut up his driver’s license and passport, and threw out a bunch of money, and he replied with sexual innuendo about the lady at the DMV and what not.
The crowd told AJ she was crazy, and she cried and said she was fine. She emptied out his suitcase and found a T-Shirt of hers, and continued to flip out. The crowd chanted that she was a psycho. AJ finally left the ring, and walked right into a huge spear from Kaitlyn. Big E Langston was trying to help her, when Ziggler hit him with a Fameasser. The announce team said Christian vs. Swagger would happen later, and the Wyatt family was next…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: That segment had a few strong lines, but most of it wasn’t funny and Ziggler was fighting against the tide on the mic trying to keep the crowd interested in AJ cutting up fake stuff in the ring. AJ was over the top psycho, and the crowd liked that the most, but the reaction was more muted as it went on. It was also about 3 minutes too long.
The Raw rebound was the same footage of Bryan and Cena on Raw we saw earlier, as well as the double main event. Tons of Funk was in the ring after the video package, and then the Wyatt Family made their entrance. Bray Wyatt stood in his chair and put out his lantern.
4. The Wyatt Family vs. Tons of Funk: Luke Harper and Tesnai started the match. As soon as Tensai hit a clothesline, Eric Rowan interfered and broke up his pin attempt. Clay tried to help, but was quickly sent to the outside. Rowan then palmed Tensai’s head and dragged him to the corner. Rowan tagged in and hit his finisher quickly before Clay could recover to get the win.
The Wyatt Family defeated Tons of Funk at 1:50.
[Q7] Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Tensai after the match. He told Kane that he’s always been waiting for him, and that he was never a hard man to fine. He knelt over Tensai and told Kane to look to the sky and follow the buzzards…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: The Wyatt’s continue to be a very mysterious act. I like that WWE is doing their best to let this develop slowly. If they give away too many secrets about Bray or his intentions too early, I think the act cools off quickly.
Sandow was shown backstage, and he told Vickie Guerrero she has to do something about Cody Rhodes. She said she has authorities working on it and he has to be patient. He said he doesn’t have time to be patient, and stormed off screaming down the hallway. Christian made his ring entrance, followed by Jack Swagger.
Zeb Colter cut a promo and asked if they were in Texas or Northern Mexico. He said he was stopped at a border station on this way there and he was proud to have his car serviced. Colter said he drove through northern Mexico and stopped at a checkpoint, and the agent agreed with him that they didn’t need people sneaking across the border. He told Christian he’d overstayed his welcome, and led the crowd in saying “We the People”.
5. Jack Swagger vs. Christian: They traded basic offense early until Swagger got dumped to the outside. Christian spring boarded onto him and tossed him out of the ring. He climbed to the top, but was pushed back to the floor by Swagger before he could get really get set…[c]
[Q8] Christian avoided Swagger as he charged into the corner, and hit a missile dropkick from the top rope. He followed up with a clothesline and then climbed up top. He missed a clothesline. Swagger went for a suplex, but after a series of reversals Christian hit a neck breaker. Swagger missed another charge into the corner and Christian hit a diving European uppercut from the second rope. Swagger hit a side slam and then a swagger bomb for a close near fall. Christian avoided another charge into the corner and Swagger went shoulder first into the post. Christian then hit a killswitch for the win.
Christian defeated Jack Swagger at 9:29.
After the match, Damien Sandow came down and was apoplectic in the ring. He demanded that Cody Rhodes be arrested for Grand Larceny and be fired for being a thief. Rhodes then appeared on the tron at Galveston Bay. He told Damien to calm down and that he would hand him his case back, but he just needed to come get it…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Very good stuff from Swagger and Sandow. Easily my favorite match of the night thus far. Both guys looked smooth in the ring, but I still don’t like the Killswitch as a finish. It sticks out as a move that doesn’t look like it would work, amongst moves that don’t look like they would be possible in many conceivable situations.
Sandow was shown running outside the arena going after Rhodes, who was right next to the water. Sandow screamed at him to stop and begged him to not toss the briefcase. He decided to suck up to him and said he carried him through Team Rhodes scholars, that he had better facial hair, and that he was more handsome. Cody faked like he was going to give it back, but he chucked it into the water. Sandow screamed that he couldn’t swim, but jumped in after it anyway.
He pretended to sink even though you can clearly see that it was shallow water. The briefcase sunk and Sandow was shown coughing up water after he pulled himself ashore. A replay was shown of the briefcase getting tossed into the water and as it sunk. Sandow cried and coughed to close the show.
Barnett’s Brief: That was a B-Movie segment without any of the hammy humor that makes those movies watchable. It was actually pretty good up until Sandow jumped in the water, then it was all downhill. I want to see it play out, but I wouldn’t blame anybody who couldn’t get past the bad acting. The rest of the show felt pretty inconsequential. A below average edition of Smackdown for this viewer. I’ll have more to say tomorrow with Chris Shore on the Dot Net Smackdown Podcast.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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