It would seem that despite my opinion being that last week's Smackdown was a solid show with two rather entertaining matches, it was a polarizing episode that left many feeling weary. Much of that was due to the replays, while other complained about the matches being average, and both arguments are valid. I still enjoyed the proceedings of last week, and I have a feeling that this week will be no different. Of course, WWE has proven me wrong many times on this subject.
Ricardo sells pain and sadness over an injury like an actor from a Soap Opera, even though he is probably exaggerating about everything. Alberto Del Rio, as a means of reparation, wants the Brogue Kick banned from use. It's a cliche storyline that I do not enjoy unless it leads to the development of a new finisher. In this case, it seems even more pointless considering Sheamus already has two other finishers and seems to be establishing the Cloverleaf as one of the submission variety. David Otunga(The only Harvard-educated Attorney in WWE History) is with them, and he saves the vocal side of the segment a bit...but the whole thing is a waste of time, and Booker drives this point home by coming out and asking the fans' opinion before leaving the Brogue Kick legal. Glad we dodged that bullet...or did we?
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara v The Miz & Cody Rhodes(C+): Having Mysterio team with Sin Cara is a smart idea. It pairs Cara with a veteran who can understand his language and continue to acclimate him to the WWE environment. Sin Cara has already improved since his injury, so it would be a learning experience for him capped off with a rewarding spot on WrestleMania against Rey Mysterio. While Rhodes has hardly earned a victory along the way, Cody's story with Sin Cara is a nice constant in the midcard that is ultimately ping Sin Cara while keeping Cody relevant. Here, we see how Sin Cara truly has improved, and how a program with adepts like Cody(and Miz, even) can only help his future. A pleasant opening contest that was well structured, if not just a hair above typical for the climax.
Never Trust a Little Bastard: Daniel Bryan is still trying to keep his cool, but Hornswoggle takes it upon himself to incite some frustration by stomping on Bryan's foot. It's funnier if you watch it with Daniel Bryan's overreactions.
Brogue Kick or No Brogue Kick?: Otunga's campaign to show Booker why the Brogue Kick is too dangerous is humorous, but I'm still against a "Ban" angle. I hope this doesn't go through.
Daniel Bryan v Zack Ryder(C+) It's good to see Ryder getting TV Time again, and I don't mind a loss here considering he actually came out victorious on Monday. Plus, Bryan can make a man out of him. It's a brief bout, but even 10 seconds of Daniel Bryan's kicks is more entertaining than most 2 minute jobs. Ryder gets a couple licks in, but he is soon bewildered and fooled by Bryan's attempt at hugging it out. As you might have guessed, it was a ploy to cinch the Yeslock, and it shows how Bryan continues to improve on his character. The decision in Bryan favor is reversed, though, when Bryan refuses to let go of Ryder. Anger truly is hindrance in competition.
Thank You, Damien Sandow: Sandow graces us with his presence, but his purpose is not to warmly accept us as fellow human beings. In fact, he arrived for the sheer purpose of berating us for calling him a coward over Twitter and other internet outlets. His high-level vocabulary probably goes over many people's heads, which no doubt angers the crowd even more, but Randy decides that he no longer wants to hear Sandow babble. He wants to knock some manners into him...or just beat the tar out of him in general.
Damien Sandow v Randy Orton(C): It might be a bit soon to have Sandow mixing it up with some of the main event stars, but it never hurts to get his face out there just by the association. He's an admirable talent that can ultimately hang on their level, so they might as well test him out while familiarizing the fans with him. It's not like he's getting any title shots(which I hope this is not where it is leading). The match is nothing special, though, and Sandow is soon running away again, which I suppose makes for a good angle depending how it concludes. Ziggler, who was on the commentary table and distracted Orton at one point, tries to get away quickly. Randy stops him dead in his tracks, almost hits him with an RKO, but his target changes to a cheap-shotting Sandow, allowing Mr. Money in the Bank to escape.
The Usos(Jimmy & Jey) v Primo & Epico v Primetime Players(Darren Young & Titus O'Neal)(C+): First off, it should be said that this is a legitimate Triple Threat match, with three men in the ring at the same time. There are just tag partners on the outside. It seems forever since something like this has been done in WWE. It's for the No. 1 Contender's spot, and boy do these teams scrap it out for it. It may have been a shorter bout than these guys could have handled, but they did a lot with their time, easily outshining every other match on the card up to this point. Fantastic work from everyone involved...truly.
After a concise nod to the history between Kaitlyn, Vickie, and Ziggler, Ziggles pleas with Teddy Long to get a match with Randy Orton at Night of Champions, which Teddy says he'll run by Booker for confirmation. I am down with this idea, ESPECIALLY if it means Ziggler gets a PPV victory over The Viper.
Yoshi Tatsu v Wade Barrett(C-): I'm excited to see Barrett back in the ring. He's been gone far too long. It's also nice to see Yoshi on TV again, even if it's just to job Barrett. If his new finisher is the vicious elbow that he knocked out Yoshi with, I'm cool with that. To be fair, I always felt the Wasteland did not look too devastating. Other than that, the match is nothing special, but the moment Barrett's words enter the microphone, he increases the overall mic talent in WWE by threefold. The closing line did not seem to match up with what the rest of his promo said...but does that even matter when the man has me clinging to his words?
David Otunga v Sheamus(D): Look...this match is just a time-killer at this oint. It only has 6 minutes total before the show ends, and it's pretty much Sheamus pulling out all of his signatures before attempting a Brogue Kick...which is immediately declared as banned by Booker T before he can actually pull it off. It matters not one bit, though...which further ruins the point of even having Booker come out in the middle of the match. Sheamus still obliterates Otunga with absolute ease, and he makes him tap with the Cloverleaf, so it's official what his new weapon will be against ADR. Yawn.
Well, I was partially right about this week being entertaining...Bryan, Sandow, and Barrett tore up the promo, but only the Tag Team match was something that felt like a spectacle. Tack on a terribly mediocre ending, and you have a sub-par episode of Smackdown.