WWE Friday Night SmackDown aired on SyFy last night (July 26, 2013) from Corpus Christi, Texas. After enduringImpact on Thursday, I am ready to wash the memory of the show away with a dose of WWE's B-show --SmackDown. I managed to avoid clicking on spoilers since Wednesday night and will be recording my stream of consciousness for your enjoyment.
- This opening match between Damien Sandow and Randy Orton is heaven for me. I feel presently about Sandow as I did Orton and his rise to the top of the card in 2007. Watching Sandow's work right now is a pleasure -- he is blossoming well in the mid card opposite Daniel Bryan in the main. Orton's dropkick rivals Dolph's for cleanest I've seen in quite some time.
- Glad Sandow ditched the pink tights he was rocking in the early part of his time in WWE, the choice of attire is key in a heel being taken seriously or viewed as comedic relief.
- Cody Rhodes oozed "it" factor as he sauntered to the ring to grab the briefcase. Made sense for Sandow to get distracted -- get caught with a credible finisher -- from a credible wrestler -- then get pinned -- went a long way in advancing his and Rhodes feud. I wasn't as pleased to see Cody take the briefcase, don't want them to tease adding a "for the briefcase stipulation" at Summerslam unless they follow through with the idea.
- Seeing CM Punk enter the arena on Smackdown feels weird. Don't get me wrong I love it, but it goes to show how different the two WWE shows really are. Fandango interrupting Punk's promo was great. I really enjoy his act, he is just so comfortable with the shtick, it forces me to buy in.
- Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk is honestly the professional wrestling equivalent of a Ultimate Fighting Championship "Superfight" for me.
- 1-800-FELLA doesn't work, I tried. One more reason for me to dislike the character, Sheamus. Aside from being phenomenal when it comes to working a match.
- Two WWE shows -- two Primetime Players appearances -- win. Oh yeah, Wade Barrett is there too. I like the solidification of Mark Henry as a babyface. With all the confusion regarding is he -- isn't he -- for periods with certain guys, it is nice to know where his character stands. Was nice to see the team of Henry and The Uso's get the W without a Shield appearance.
- Listening to Michael Cole and JBL is like eating steak following three weeks of Top Ramen after being exposed to Mike Tenay and (sometimes decent) Jeremy Borash last night. The two announcing teams are on totally different planes.
- Interesting to see Kane and Daniel Bryan being just thrown out on Raw like this. Will they be reluctant to fight one another? Will the Wyatt's get involved? Intriguing.
- Rob Van Dam's first non wrestling segment worked. Some will hate on anything he does, but I find his act entertaining and think he has already exceeded the expectations set in his return.
- Damn. Poor Sin Cara. Was he like digging through trash or something? A ton of money has already been left on the table in the potential match up of he and Rey Mysterio. The damage is done.
- One hour in and this looks to be a defining episode in the evolution of Damien Sandow as a major player.
- Just as I don't buy Chris Sabin as TNA champion. I feel the same about Alberto Del Rio and the Heavyweight championship. WWE had to have him win somehow, I honestly can't remember him winning clean in some time and he needs a victory badly heading in to Summerslam to make anyone believe he isn't losing the strap.
- Sleeper match of Summerslam is Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. Going to be hard hitting -- WWE has not had Langston wrestle often so when the encounter does go on it'll be great. The segment between A.J. Lee and Ziggler wasn't their best, I would have much rather had the focus be on Ziggler/Langston and allow A.J. to remain a fixture with the women. I am tired of seeing Lee focused on the men. She needs to be elevating the female division.
- They used a different approach with the Wyatt's. Instead of a chaotic sequence featuring shaking of the camera, they had the group win decisively in a match followed by their leader cutting a promo. It was good, not great. Not sold yet.
- The Zeb Coulter act has grown stale with me. Antonio Cesaro should not be apart of the group it only brings him down. The match between Jack Swagger and Christian was boring. Christian gets good matches out of most but I didn't enjoy his chemistry with Swagger. I am curious to see if he still gets the title shot against Del Rio at Summerslam.
- Cody and Damien ending the show was a breath of fresh air. But not the execution. The briefcase skit with the water is played out. WWE cannot resist the setting whenever they are in town and this is humorous. Why didn't Sandow attack Cody after he threw his briefcase in the water? Okay the end of the show wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. The replays of the case getting thrown into the water with the somber announcer silence was really bad and killed the momentum of the show.
Thoroughly entertaining SmackDown, even with some predictable and uneventful matches until the final segment. The important thing was the attention paid to story line advancements involving most of the mid card. WWE continues to impress as of late, the emphasis on new and emerging stars paired with patient booking is something to be commended.
That's it from me. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on last night's show.