WWE SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (May 31, 2013) from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with a taped show featuring the continued push of The Shield, though they were actually on the short end of the stick for much of the night, as well as Daniel Bryan going increasingly more crazy, in the best way possible.
If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here. That's enough with the potatoes, let's get to the meat:
- If we could get a video package to start every show like the one that started last night's show, I would never complain. The WWE Production team continues to be one of the very best at what they do, and that's make you care about things in an entirely new way, despite the fact that you've already seen everything they're showing you.
- Let's get the obvious out of the way early: The Shield did a lot of jobbing and/or heeling to get out of losing while still losing during last night's show. Rollins lost clean to Kane, then Reigns looked like he was on his way to a loss to Daniel Bryan before Kane caused a disqualification and Dean Ambrose was close to losing to Randy Orton before Rollins and Reigns interfered to cause a DQ in that. I do not, however, think any of this will negatively affect the standing of any of them individually and especially not as a group. If anything, the group looks stronger because it's become clear that they're vulnerable when fighting alone. Plus, WWE has to advance the Bryan weak link storyline, not to mention finally getting around to his inevitable break up with Kane.
- Speaking of which, the new, angry, I'm not the weak link, I'm actually a complete badass and will now show it version of Daniel Bryan is so fucking good it could sustain an entire show. It almost did sustain the two hours we were treated to last night and I sincerely hope this thing sees its way through to another heel turn and another run with the title, this time the WWE championship. I have dreams of CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for that very strap at WrestleMania 30 but am trying really hard not to get my hopes up for that. Think of it: The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar, Undertaker vs. John Cena, CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. Shut up and take my money, WWE.
- It's too bad that will never happen. It would be phenomenal.
- Damien Sandow once again clearly demonstrated why he needs more time on television in the capacity that he was used last night. He's superior to you intellectually, and you just need to deal with that. His reaction to Sheamus figuring out the con was golden. His trying to mask it by revealing himself to also be a magician -- with the accompanying facial expressions -- had me laughing out loud. This man is money, and if used right, like he was last night, he can make a lot of it.
- Sheamus, though? Not so much.
- Why is Curtis Axel speaking? I get it that his association with Paul Heyman should be enough to help get him over and he's not a big dumb lug like Brock Lesnar, but I so enjoy Heyman's abilities on the stick that Axel looks much worse in comparison. On his own, he would be your standard heel who doesn't really stick out, but after listening to Heyman, he's downright awful. If only they would let him cut jokes like this one with a live microphone.
- I find it odd that WWE is actively pushing hard the fact that Axel is Mr. Perfect's son and allowing him to use all his catchphrases and his finisher. I guess the idea is that he couldn't get over without it before, maybe he can get over with it now? The problem is everyone is going to continue complaining about the use of the name "Axel," which is just so god awful, it's hard to ignore. WWE does it for a good reason -- so they can copyright it and never allow it anywhere outside of the company -- but it's always going to be an issue. Always.
- I find Big E. Langston and AJ Lee to be a cute couple. I'm not looking forward to the inevitable split between the two. I do really, really miss Dolph Ziggler, though, and find it surprising his name wasn't even mentioned during the broadcast. He's the world heavyweight champion, for fuck's sake, let us know what's going on with him and when we can maybe expect him back. He can't come out and cut a promo?
- Speaking of Ziggler, though, at least Jack Swagger was nowhere to be found.
- That Ryback destruction of Kofi Kingston was fun to watch. And it's nice that it worked out this way because this was the very thing that got this dude over in the first place. Just let him go out and absolutely murder death kill someone like he did to poor Kofi here (get better soon, champ!) and you would be surprised how many people would start to care again. You can't keep beating him, or even just not letting him win, and expect him to stay hot. It doesn't work that way.
- Chris Jericho vs. Cody Rhodes was stock, but fun. Jericho's pre-match promo was dumb, but also fun. Fun fun.
- The reviews for Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose were glowing but I wasn't altogether impressed with their work outside of Ambrose doing an exceptionally good job of making Orton look strong during his main spots. It's still clear as day how much Orton dislikes his babyface role, and I'm starting to wonder if WWE literally put him in a holding pattern until his movie, 12 Round Reloaded, is release on June 4 so he'll still be playing a good guy on television upon its release. Once the DVD has been out for a couple weeks, maybe then they'll final pull the trigger and let him go back to doing not just what he loves but what he's good at, which is being a bad guy.
- Final note: Watching SmackDown makes me hate how long Monday Night Raw runs. Two hours really is ideal for a pro wrestling show.
This wasn't the best show in the world by any means, but it certainly wasn't the worst. I enjoyed it, for the most part.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.