This could mean many things. We could be prepping ourselves to watch 2 hours of WWE-specific advertising, which is not too far from the norm. Perhaps we'll have some hokey theme tagged on to the show to make the show go by quicker without any actual effort put into furthering angles...or maybe...just maybe...we actually get the best we could ask for, and have a weekly wrestling show balance its time well and give us something we can sink our teeth into? A man can dream...right?
Smackdown starts with a bang(at least for me) as the resident Show-Off's music hits shortly after Miz introduces Miz TV, and out walks the greatest sight ever. Ziggler steps out with AJ in his arms and Big E. Langston covering the rear. Anyone who doubted the value in AJ's turn and alignment with Dolph should look no further than this image. The ensemble makes Dolph look so much better, and with the Miz TV interview, AJ gets an opportunity to show how seeds for her turn were planted 3 weeks ago with those seemingly useless bows that Vickie had shown to John Cena. Cena doubted Vickie's accusation that AJ made them, but it turns out they were, and his insults about them offended her.
Miz gets some decent jokes in, Ziggler gets to finally put on a good live promo, and the sight is something to behold, for sure. I am in love with this new trio of Dolph, AJ, and Big E. Ziggler even tells AJ to use EARMUFFS when he says the word crazy, which at least imitates legitimate concern for her feelings - something that not even John Cena had for AJ. Whether Ziggler is supposed to actually care for AJ or not will be revealed in the future, but it does add a different depth to an AJ pairing that no other has had. By the way, Big E attacks Miz after some cheesy remarks towards the group, and it seals the deal on what this relationship is:
Maddox's quest to become a WWE Superstar(as if he is not already being paid to be on television) marches on. Somewhere in his campaign he has attained the interest of one Teddy Long, whom convinces Booker T(after some deep coaxing) to give him a shot to earn a contract. Perhaps this is just another interchangeable plot device to give Maddox something to fight for, but normally Teddy does not get involved like this unless he is a part of the storyline. Could we potentially see Long making a return to his roots as a heel manager as a last hurrah before calling it quits?
Damien Sandow v Sin Cara(C+): These two make good opposition. Most of you should know that Sandow has the greater talent, but Sin Cara has come a long way. Hardly does he botch his moves, and he has been a part of some decent TV matches. He's still probably only as good as his opponent, but I won't moan when he's entering the ring. Sandow scores the win, but NOT WITHOUT THE SHIELD DELIVERING A BEATING TO SIN CARA, OH YEAH! The Shield are on fire right now. All it took was a massive PPV victory like this Sunday.
Santino Marella v Tensai(D+): Let's face it...this is dumb. Change Tensai's gimmick or release the guy so he can go back to wrestling with dignity. While we're at it, how about trying to take Santino a little more serious? The guy has a lot of talent that could be combined with his comedy act to make him one of the most compelling stars in wrestling history.
Wade Barrett & Primetime Players(Titus O'Neal & Darren Young) v Kofi Kingston and Team Hell No(Daniel Bryan & Kane)(C+): Preceded by a comical backstage bit, we get...well, look at that list of names. In the least, we have two decent people surrounded by wrestlers who have what it takes to make a match exciting. Will I say they tore the roof down? Not quite, because we do have 1/3 of inexperience compared to the other participants, but that doesn't mean we don't get 6 or so minutes of hot action(not that kind, you perverts).
Sheamus and Cena's pal-ling around is mildly amusing, but nothing worth talking about. Unless you like ambiguous jokes about dirty details of sexual intercourse.
If WWE is having a live show, particularly one that is commercial free, you better believe they are having all of their RAW stars and major feuds showcased. That also includes putting your injured WWE Champion on television. One leg or two, he steals the show tonight with an outstanding promo that has the crowd going wild with boos and all around commotion. One of his better promos for the month. It's only a matter of time when he calls out people he's defeated and it prompts Ryback to make himself present.
Of course, WWE deemed it necessary that The Ryback speaks more often, so every opportunity they get, they hand the guy a microphone. Thankfully, they keep his promos brief, and while it doesn't compare to what Punk just spent the time to say, and Ryback breathes heavily between most of his words, it's still very solid. The guy has a lot of talent, and is over like The Sopranos. The internet should stop pretending like he's not a commodity.
Ryback v Antonio Cesaro(C+): This match-up is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure match, because it nearly mimics their match on RAW up to Cesaro seeming to grab his belt and walk away. On Monday, he was attacked by the beast before he could make his escape, but this time he had prepared for it and tossed him into the stairs. The Ryback picks up the W which comes as no surprise, but Cesaro put up a strong fight. My biggest complaint is that the match didn't get to last longer. These two could be in an outrageous main event in the future.
Kaitlyn and AJ encounter each other backstage again, and this time it erupts into a brawl. It's nice to see continuity being so prevalent in the WWE these days, and it makes me pretty confident that there is definitely a game-plan to have a major diva feud between AJ and Kaitlyn, and it will involve the Divas Championship one way or another.
Divas Championship Eve v Kaitlyn(via DQ)(C+): Surprisingly, this match had some quality to it. It was mostly well-paced, and they had enough time to develop something out of it. It really leads you to believe that Kaitlyn has what it takes to defeat Eve, and would have had victory in the bag this time were it not for Eve physically disturbing the referee to end the match in disqualification. Kaitlyn HAS to be getting the title after that performance.
While brief, an entertaining segment takes place which starts with Dolph consoling AJ about her confrontation with AJ. After a mention of Ziggy winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Big Show coincidentally walks up besides him, and gives us an example of his occasional brilliance: He says, with more effect than I am probably able to utilize in typing, that he'll knock Dolph out so far into the future, by the time he wakes up, his Money in the Bank contract will have expired. I laughed.
Brad Maddox v Brodus Clay(C-): Maddox did not look bad in the ring, like usual, and this was an interesting little match despite being short. It'd be nice to see Maddox win, but with the current events, it would seem the plan is for him to eventually win that match that will get him his contract, legally or not. Of course, Maddox's loss is an "injustice," so The Shield storm the scene AGAIN to put the boots to Brodus and Powerbomb him in the ring. I'm loving their exposure across every show.
Dolph Ziggler & Big Show v John Cena & Sheamus(D+): This match is dreadfully slow in the beginning. Ziggler and Sheamus are terrific, but Show and Sheamus are terrible when combined together, and that's pretty much how this match starts. Once Ziggler steps in, it naturally improves a bit, but this match does not shift into a higher gear for a while, and even at that point it drags until the end. The match doesn't have a conclusive finish because Big E. knocks Cena down and causes a disqualification, and we are essentially left with the exact same ending to RAW. The only difference is this time Ziggler and AJ make out above the "corpse" of John Cena.
Hardly anything moved forward on Smackdown this week, but there was some entertainment along the way. Dolph Ziggler did not cash-in his briefcase on a night where they had plenty of opportunity, but it will happen, and soon...
...Or my name is Stinky Looloo, and thank goodness it's not.