WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (July 12, 2013) from Hampton, Virginia, with a taped show featuring the go home episode to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Click here to read the live blog with full results from the show. That's enough with the potatoes, though, let's get to the meat:
- Is it possible that at this point Daniel Bryan has been in more long matches that have been incredibly entertaining on regular television than anyone else on the roster? It has to be, right? Actually, I wouldn't even think it's close. It's amazing how consistently great he's been both with his character in pre-tape segments or interviews -- though his promos need the most work, if we're thinking that way -- and in his matches. The great part is that it hasn't yet mattered who he's working against. That's the mark of a truly great worker. Bryan can give us a great match whether he draws Christian, like he did last night, or John Cena, like we hope he does in the near future.
- Speaking of Christian, I'm not sure where all his charisma went, but I would love it if WWE gave him more of a chance to get it back. The 2004-5 version of Christian was always a personal favorite, but he's lost some of that luster since then. Can we blame his TNA run for that? No? Eh, whatever.
- Last night made it official: Seth Rollins is the best member of The Shield. Before you pelt me with trash like I'm closing a WCW show, or hit me with every Dean Ambrose Joker "Are You Serious" gifs you can find, let me explain. I watched Ambrose have mediocre to good matches with the likes of Christian and Kofi Kingston. But I watched Rollins have a damn fine match with JEY FREAKING USO of all people. This is no knock on Ambrose but if you're asking me who I want to see work a match of the trio, I'll pick Rollins every single time. He's great.
- Also credit to Uso here, he did well for himself too.
- A crazy thing happened last night: Curtis Axel did something interesting. I don't need a lot, I really don't, but if you add a simple tweak to a character, just some quirk or another, I'll bother to get invested. Having him go ape shit crazy and start throwing shit after losing to Jericho the way he did actually made me wonder and want to know/see more. That's the point, too. Tell me a story, and tell me more about the character. Don't just tell me he's Mr. Perfect's son and Paul Heyman sees big things for him. I'm going to need more than that and hopefully last night was the start of it.
- Speaking of which, Ryback was really great. Still selling the knee but using it to his advantage to pick up a clean victory? That's a heel I can get behind. Doing it to The Miz? I'm damn near ready to call myself a fan.
- I don't want Vickie Guerrero on my TV anymore. It's been years and years and years of this. I know she'll be sticking around, and this firing didn't even last until the very next evening, but I just don't want her there anymore. I hate that her job evaluation did such good numbers on Raw. The hope has to be that Vince McMahon credits his family instead of Vickie and leaves her off television, at least for a while. I wouldn't be said if I never heard that shrill, shrieking voice ever again.
- Sheamus hitting on Renee Young? So he's a bully and he treats women unprofessionally in the workplace? What's not to love about this guy, right?
- And before you group of scholars start harping at me about being too PC and telling me to lighten up, I'm kidding ... mostly.
- Boy, that Diva's contract signing was something else, wasn't it? At this point I'm more interested in whatever Big E. Langston's wearing than I am what Kaitlyn is doing and how AJ Lee is pissing her off. I will continue to compliment her ability to sell the spear, though. Like a baby getting hit by a bull.
- That reminds me: Can we get an official ranking of the best and worst backstage walkers? By that I mean, who is the best and who is the worst at walking backstage while on their way out for a match just before a commercial break. WWE does this basically every show and we need someone to put a list like this together ASAP. I'm voting Kaitlyn as the absolute worst, and I mean dead last and it's no contest. But who would be number one?
- Who knew Sin Cara was such a Dolph Ziggler fan? I mean, I think it was great that he decided to copy his moves and quickly dye his hair blonde before dyeing it black again. He's really got Dolph's mannerisms down, too. It's almost like he actually was Ziggler!
- Really, though, that was the angle for the go home show to Money in the Bank for the world heavyweight championship match? Shows two things: 1) How much confidence the company has in that match to draw a dime and 2) How little it matters in comparison to the rest of the card.
- Enjoyed Randy Orton vs. Sheamus far more than I thought I would. If they do ever get around to working that program, I wouldn't mind seeing what they could come up with for a big show like SummerSlam. Still don't know what to think of Orton being the guy to end the show holding the briefcase, though. Also thought it was great that they used the blue briefcase when both guys are in the WWE title ladder match, which features the red briefcase. This are the small details a writer tells Vince and is immediately told to "SHUT UP!" Or at least I hope that's how that goes.
This was a pretty good show, all things considered. The goods were in the details, though, so I could see how some may have felt it wasn't all that great.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comment section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.