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CUPACH'S WWE SMACKDOWN BLOG 5/31: Thoughts on Shield vs. D-Bryan collision course, Sandow the Carny, plus Mike's Reax

Jun 2, 2013 - 11:12:39 AM
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WWE Smackdown Blog
May 24, 2013
Report by Michael Cupach, PWTorch contributor


-Good news. The bi-quarterly “Let’s Try Josh Mathews on Commentary” experiment has come to an end. Michael Cole and JBL are back to a two-man team. This is how it should be, as they have good chemistry together and don’t need to be wasting air-time constantly making fun of Josh.

1 - KANE (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/Roman Reigns)

Smackdown wasted no time going right into the action. No opening promo, no Teddy Long special, just some Shield vs. Hell No goodness! Any combination of Shield and Hell No has brought the awesomeness, now they are doing it in one-on-one matches. I like that they are finally starting to break these out for singles matches to really show what they can do and how talented they are. I thought that the better match-up would be Bryan vs. Rollins, but this was still good.

Kane held up his end of the match and he is clearly doing the work of his career. I don’t know what it is in the water, but when a wrestler turns a certain age, it seems like something clicks. It makes me wonder where this was back in 2002 when Kane was lumbering in matches against Albert and Test and making me want to do a durability test on my TV with a brick! Anyways, Kane won after the referee was distracted by Reigns and Bryan shoved Rollins off the top rope into Kane’s waiting Chokeslam.

The Shield argued with the referee after the match; they should have used the seldom-remembered instant replay rule that Alberto Del Rio took advantage of at Extreme Rules. Instead, the outcome stood and instantly led to...

2 - DANIEL BRYAN (w/Kane) vs. ROMAN REIGNS (w/Seth Rollins)

Bryan spent most of the match trying to prove how tough he was and how he wasn’t the weak link. He had some sick offense. After the commercial break during the match, the WWE App reared its ugly head again. Sorry, I can only stand that thing once a week and even that tried my patience. (Read my thoughts HERE.)

Bryan put the No Lock on Reigns, but Roman's foot was almost under the bottom rope and instead of moving a hair backwards, Roman dragged himself 9/10 of the way across the ring to grab the rope on the other side! Rollins assisted him in grabbing the rope, Kane took out Rollins, and Reigns tried to cheap-shot Kane, so Kane hit him back, the referee saw it, and he DQ’ed Bryan.

-After the match, Bryan dressed down Kane all the way to the dressing room that he doesn’t need help and could do anything on his own. Kane told him to get over it, but Bryan was persistent. Team Hell No explodes!

-After a commercial break, Damien Sandow was in the ring for another lecture. He recapped last week when his mental strength defeated Sheamus’s physical strength. Sandow used cheap heat tactics to get the Canadian crowd against him by making fun of hockey and Wayne Gretzky.

Sandow switched gears and taught the crowd how to play “The Shell Game.” Sheamus came out again and wanted to play. Sandow was slow arranging the cups and Sheamus picked the wrong cup. Sandow then let him pick another cup and correctly gave him 50/50 odds. Giving correct odds is not something WWE is known for. Sheamus picked wrong again, but was suspicious and wanted to see the ball under the third cup.

The crowd chanted “Show your Balls” and Sheamus quipped that no one wants to see that! The ball wasn’t under the third cup, Sandow did a slight of hand. Sheamus gave him a Brogue Kick and hopefully this ends Sandow's carny gimmick that he has been using the last two weeks.

-A commercial for “12 Rounds Reloaded” was shown. I'm sorry, but if I was put in a 12 Rounds situation and the first round was being forced to watch “12 Rounds Reloaded,” people would die. I don’t think I could do it.

-Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel make their way to the ring. Paul cuts a quick promo about how people accuse him of lying because his lips are moving. Curtis Axel then took the microphone and noted that John Cena and Triple H have 26 title between then and two losses to Curtis Axel. He then used a bad “perfect” pun.

3 - CURTIS AXEL (w/Paul Heyman) vs. SIN CARA

Sin Cara gets Curtis Axel enhancement talent duty again. No mood lighting tonight. Axel picked up a quick win after a Perfectplex. I’d like to point out that if Axel is to continue being a staple of WWE TV, he should get something done about his Caesarean section scar that sticks out like a sore thumb.

4 - ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. BIG E. LANGSTON (w/A.J. Lee)

Last Monday’s match between these two was billed as a rubber match. Has this morphed into a Best of Five series? During the match, one lone Canadian fan tried getting an “Ahmed Johnson” chant going, but the other Canadians had none of it! Langston looked good in the match, as he did not appear green to me and his brute strength was impressive. I will say that he didn’t sell much, though. Big E. immediately powered out of the Cross Armbreaker and shortly after he pinned Del Rio after hitting him with The Big Ending.

Of note, Cole and JBL planted seeds of dissent between Dolph Ziggler and Langston by saying that Big E. should be facing Dolph for the title since he has pinned the number one contender twice in two weeks now. I’m fine with a Langston face turn, as he isn’t doing much in his role now and I think he could make a better powerhouse babyface.

-Scott Steiner made his entrance and... no wait, it was Ryback driving an ambulance into the arena again. JBL had a limo, Hunico had a Schwinn, and I guess it kind of makes sense that Ryback has an ambulance for his entrance.

5 - RYBACK vs. KOFI KINGSTON

Kofi was a house of fire against Ryback, as he brought his “A” game and almost put the number one contender to John Cena’s title away. Ryback regained his composure and quickly put Kofi away with Shell-shocked to get the win. Kofi looked like he could beat Ryback at any point there, but slipped on that banana peel. This was a good send off for Kofi as he enjoys his summer vacation at home with his family. Ryback powerbombed Kofi hard through three tables and the crowd went nuts each time he did.

6 - CHRIS JERICHO vs. CODY RHODES

Cody is Jericho’s flavor of the week opponent. No complaints on this match, it was a nice, albeit short match between these two. Jericho continues to rack up wins and regain some credibility while awaiting the return of C.M. Punk.

7 - U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE vs. RANDY ORTON – non-title match

“One hears voices and the other wrestles like a psycho!” – JBL. Sounds like a good match-up to me!

This wasn’t the epic match I thought this was going to be, as I don’t think they got enough TV time to get things going. Mid-match, Orton nailed Ambrose with a dropkick when Dean came off the top rope. They showed a slow motion replay and Ambrose had already landed after Orton connected. Oops! Orton looked to be ready to put Ambrose away when The Shield ran in to cause a DQ. Team Hell No made the save, but The Shield took out Kane and Orton.

Daniel Bryan came back his uber offense and single-handedly took out all three Shield guys. The crowd was insanely behind Bryan as he eliminated everyone. Bryan reminded me of Sting back in 1996 when he took out the NWO by himself to show WCW what they turned their backs on, only Bryan is doing it to show what a badass he is! Smackdown faded out with Bryan standing on the turnbuckle chanting “Yes!” along with the rabid Canadian crowd!

Mike's Reax: I really enjoyed this week's Smackdown. It had very little silliness (Sandow the carny was silly, but not terrible), no worthless backstage segments (I guess Kaitlyn met her secret admirer and is keeping it on the DL), and just good old fashioned acceptable wrestling! Everything made sense, stories and characters moved forward, and very little was done wrong. It was a nice break from 15-minute opening interview segments that lead to random tag team or six-man tag matches! I would like to see more Friday Night Smackdowns like this in the future!

Thank you for reading, for more from me, please follow me on Twitter @MJCupach. Also check out my Main Event reports every Wednesday right here on PWTorch.com .


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