WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Aug. 23, 2013) from Bakersfield, California, with a taped show featuring the fallout edition fromthe SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) in Los Angeles this past Sunday night at the Staples Center.
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:
- Quite often fans talk about wanting WWE to push one guy over another. On the surface, this doesn't make much sense because that's all business related and we should be watching for good stories more than anything else. But Daniel Bryan is a good example why there's more to it than that. Put simply, if a guy gets a big enough push, he'll be featured far more often and be given more opportunities in more higher profile spots. That leads to matches like we got between Bryan and Wade Barrett last night, a steel cage bout that was so much better than it had any business being. This is what we can expect over the next couple months. You can tell me until you're blue in the face how underrated John Cena is as a worker, but that doesn't mean you can expect him to tear the house down on Raw and SmackDown every week, because that's just never been the case. You can absolutely expect that from Bryan. This is going to be so much fun.
- Now, can we get Barrett out of there, please? Thanks!
- I feel like you have to be in the right kind of mood to be entertained by a Randy Orton promo. Before we ever did the Cageside Live podcast way back in the day, I consulted with a buddy of mine who worked in radio. He told me I was perfect for it because I'm so enthusiastic and colorful. That's a must in public speaking. The worst thing you can be, he said, is monotone. You will lose all your listeners if that's the case, both because it's terribly boring to listen to and induces outright fatigue, and you'll give the mistaken impression that you don't give a shit about what you're saying. That's Orton, and it makes it difficult to get into anything he's saying.
- Poor Christian. It's clear now that he was just a holdover feud for Alberto Del Rio, never an actual threat to win the world heavyweight championship. I'm not saying I disagree with the decision but we're at that point in Christian's career that he's got to be thinking about how he wants to go out. And this may have actually been his last big hurrah and that just makes me feel sad.
- I'm actually excited for Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam, if only because I think they'll deliver in the ring. I am not at all okay with the fact that RVD has been paired with Ricardo Rodriguez. The two just don't belong together and while I can understand trying to keep Rodriguez around, especially opposite Del Rio, don't do it at the expense of someone as hot as Van Dam. Good on WWE for recognizing he's hitting big enough right now to work a world title program, but this story feels too forced and unnatural.
- Darren Young won another match, this time a singles encounter over Antonio Cesaro, but really, everyone beats Cesaro. His best work is happening in NXT right now, so he's hardly worth paying attention to on the main roster at this point. The Real Americans, as noted multiple times around these parts of late, are probably the least competent tag team in history, especially when it comes to assisting each other in singles matches. Young got beat on the entire match too, so it isn't like WWE has made him untouchable. Glad it's really been a non-story so far. I hope that continues.
- 3MB bumping around for Mark Henry and Big Show? Holy hell, I could watch that all day.
- What's funny about the Paul Heyman-Curtis Axel pairing is something Triple H brought up in his awesome interview with Grantland recently. He said Heyman was a genius because he focused only on the strengths of the wrestlers on his roster and hid all their weaknesses. It worked for a while, but eventually everyone was exposed and the promotion went under. That's a seriously short version and I'm paraphrasing quite a bit but it came to mind because WWE is not going that at all with Axel. They continue to give him mic time while they've got Heyman right there to do all the talking. And every time Axel has ever spoken on the microphone, it's been cringe worthy. He never has anything interesting to say and his delivery is just god awful. I get that he has to talk to get better, but that's what developmental is for. You shouldn't be starting at a 0 rating as a promo when you're the Intercontinental champion, and if you are, you shouldn't be given a microphone, especially when you've got one of the best talkers in the history of the business as a manager standing right next to you.
- Give me five. I need five. I don't want three. I don't want Ziggy. I want five. Give me five.
This was a fine show, all things considered. SmackDown always feels more focused with one hour less programming than Raw.
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. What did you think about it?