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CUPACH'S WWE SMACKDOWN BLOG 2/1: Thoughts on the direction of top feuds & stars, plus witticisms on the Friday show

Feb 3, 2013 - 1:07:57 PM
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WWE Smackdown Blog
February 1, 2013
By Michael Cupach, PWTorch contributor


-Great Khali, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Jack Swagger – all former World Champions in the Elimination Chamber. This looks like a pretty good line-up (minus Khali) to me! Swagger’s return got top-notch canned boo’s, but his promo bringing himself back on TV was very acceptable. I would like to think that Swagger is back with a vengeance, but I know better. Booker T was pretty vague about wanting to be impressed for a spot in the Chamber. Could these guys show off juggling skills to impress him? What if they could fit three billiard balls in their mouth? Would that be good enough? I like the line-up, but how these get in there is pretty uninspired.

Dolph Ziggler cut a great, cocky promo about why he didn’t want to be in the Chamber match. He made great points about how he could sit back and do nothing and still have the same title shot that the winner of the Elimination Chamber would have, but he can cash in any time and doesn’t have to be in the Chamber.

1 - TEAM HELL NO vs. REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA

Rey is starting to develop a gut, so that must be the reason for the shirt! I know Rey wanted some time off recently and I have a theory that the real Rey is still taking time off and they now have Matt Hardy under the mask covering for Mysterio. Makes perfect sense to me. Rey played luchador in peril to start the match, but regained control before commercial and had the tag team champions on the ropes. The first few minutes were very fast-paced. Rey and Bryan have some good chemistry in the ring and work really well together. Hell No had a nasty double-team maneuver where Bryan had Sin Cara in a surfboard and Kane nailed him with a big boot to the face!

Sin Cara was slowed down in this match, most likely a result of his recent knee injury, but slowing down made for a better-paced match. Rey ended up single-handedly taking out both tag team champions and scoring the pin on Daniel Bryan! Bryan and Kane teased a break-up and argued more than usual. Overall, I enjoyed this match, as these four men meshed very well together. This was a good way to re-introduce Rey and Cara, and this big win moves them to the front of the line in the tag division.

-A replay of the finish from Del Rio vs. Big Show at the Rumble is shown. To me it was too fresh from when Cena did it to Batista in 2010 and came off as hack. I think when it comes to unique ways to end a match, you should wait seven years to re-do it. Del Rio was shown in the parking lot waiting for Show with a pipe in-hand.

2 - GREAT KHALI vs. JINDER MAHAL

No mention of their back-story from either announcer. I don’t think it would have made or broken the match, but it would have been a nice touch. Khali squashed Jinder, chopped Drew, who hit on Nattie, and Hornswoggle used his antics to keep Heath Slater pre-occupied during the match. Wacky matches like this make me wish for another singing competition between Khali and Zack Ryder! JBL also showed his age by confusing Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber. OMG! What a loser! Who doesn’t know the difference between Biebs and the guy who brough sexy back?

-Backstage, Teddy Long let Booker know that he was behind Jack Swagger returning, and Booker doesn’t like surprises like that. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes also dissolved Team Rhodes Scholars. They vowed to still have each others back and continue to walk side-by-side as friends. Booker made an impromptu match between Sandow and Sheamus for later, and when Sandow looked at Cody to see if he would help him out, Cody darted out of the room! Booker made a lame joke about Rhodes Scholars becoming Road Kill and he laughed and laughed and laughed at his own joke! Comedy 101 says that you don’t laugh at your own jokes, Booker. C’mon, you are better than that!

-Raw replay featuring Heymans performance review. Afterward, it was announced that Monday on Raw MizTV will have Paul as the special guest.

3 - DAMIEN SANDOW vs. SHEAMUS

Sandow showed some good promise in the match getting in good offense against Sheamus, but the match was cut short after The Shield ran in and dismantled Sheamus. The crowd chanted for Ryback, but he was nowhere to be found. The Shield continue to look strong, always getting the upper hand and leaving their prey laid out. They have looked unstoppable against Sheamus, Cena, Orton, Ryback, and anyone else they have come across, but if a match involving Shield and these men isn’t booked soon then I wonder what the end-game is with these guys. I assume they will be in a match against Ryback at WrestleMania, but the other three faces I assume will have bigger and better things to do that night. So, when do they get revenge against them, if any?

4 - RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT

The talk of the match was about Wade Barrett and how his attention has been on Bo Dallas as of late. I keep waiting for the comparison of Bo Dallas to 1-2-3 Kid, but it never comes! Barrett missed a Bull Hammer on the outside and he smashed his forearm into the steelpost. Barrett rolled into the ring and walked into a RKO. Pretty quick win for Orton over the IC Champion. A few weeks ago, it looked like Barrett was on the up and up with his clean win over Orton, but WWE’s 50/50 booking gave Orton his win back.

I would like to see Wade protected more, especially as a champion, not used as a guy to give Orton momentum! I would like to see Wade off to the side doing his own thing, dominate competition, and get into some good feuds that the audience can sink their teeth into. What I am getting tired of is 50/50 back and forth matches that do nothing for either guy. The same thing is happening to Antonio Cesaro! I don’t understand why having a mid-card title means that you have a license to job!

-Backstage after the match, Matt Striker was asking Wade about his loss when Wade caught Bo Dallas in the backround and he proceeded to kick the crap out of him! I supposed this could be what I am talking about with Barrett looking strong in a feud.

5 - KOFI KINGSTON vs. JACK SWAGGER

Swagger looked like a million bucks in this match; he looked recharged and aggressive in the ring. Kofi did some good selling for Swagger and helped give Swagger a good match for his return. During a Kofi comeback, Josh called Kofi’s offense “calculated chaos!” Can we bring back "Wildcat" instead? Swagger picked up the win with The Anklelock. It has been so long since I saw Swagger win a match that I don’t think I have ever seen him win!

-Outside, rent-a-cops try to get Del Rio to lay the pipe down. Del Rio then spotted Big Shows tour bus pull up and he hid in the bushes to sneak attack him. Del Rio missed a wild swing and after a scuffle, Big Show escaped.

6 - ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Before the match, Alberto was shown telling an injured Ricardo Rodriguez that he needs to stay in the locker room for his own safety. Del Rio got an impressive canned pop from the production crew! I am digging Del Rio as a face - he has some brand new offense and has a charisma to him that lets the crowd relate to him and get behind him during matches. Alberto had been barely keeping his head above the water as a heel and was starting to get Pavlovian responses from the audience, but as a face, new life has been blown into him as a performer.

Ziggler has a good tandem with him in the form of Langston and A.J. Lee. They put a lot more heat on Dolph during his matches and are a nice change of pace from what Vickie was doing for Ziggler. The only thing I don’t care for is how often Langston gets caught and sent to the locker room by the referee. Big E should almost always get away with his cheap-shots and should only be sent to the back during blow off matches.

The last few sequences of the match were fast-paced and well-done with plenty of nearfalls. Del Rio ended up picking up the win after Dolph tapped out to a Cross Armbar. Del Rio was celebrating as Big Show was shown on the Titantron holding Ricardo hostage. Del Rio begged Show for the wellbeing of Rodriguez. Show teases that he will let him go, but Show ends the show by nailing Ricardo with a WMD.

Overall Thoughts

I thought this was an enjoyable episode of Smackdown, and it had some big news coming out of the show cornerning Elimination Chamber in a few weeks. The action delivered In the majority of matches, so between that and the moving forward of storylines, it made for a good episode of Smackdown. Every segment seemed to server a purpose and I thought it made for one of the better episodes in a while!

Thank you for reading, make sure to check out my reviews of Main Event each and every week. Also follow me on Twitter @MJCupach where I tweet live during Raw and WWE PPVs. I am also a frequent guest on the FTWPodcast, go to FTWPodcast.com for more details!


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