With all of this hullabaloo between CM Punk and The Rock, some might be distracted from what else is going on in the WWE product, but there's a whole other show apparently not dedicated to the WWE Championship, so tonight we get to explore some other angles. Alberto Del Rio is the new World Heavyweight Champion, Orton and Sheamus have some business with The Shield, and Big Show is more than likely going to whine about something. What else could we have in store?
FIESTA DEL RIO: It is strange seeing one of Alberto Del Rio's fiestas be cheered, as the last two times he did something like this, he was full-on heel. He gets to connect with the crowd after admitting he had not always been on their side, but not unexpectedly, his celebration is cut short by Mr. Money in the Bank: Dolph Ziggler. The Show-Off's only intention is to aggravate Del Rio and taunt him with his blue briefcase. He seems to be brimming with confidence now that the gold is not wrapped around the waist of a giant. In fact, he is about to have Big E(and a late-to-the-party Big Show) crush ADR so he can get an easy cash-in, but Sheamus, being the stand-up guy that he is, decides to even up the odds for his former enemy. This includes Sheamus actually acknowledging the fact that he and Del Rio were only months ago at each other's throats, which is rare in modern day WWE.
After their pow-wow, Booker is prompted to use his powers as Bossman to set-up a Tag Match main event between the opposing parties, and...man...I swear I've seen this intro template so many damn times in the last few weeks. Well, subtract all the dancing at the end.
Antonio Cesaro v Kofi Kingston(C): Their time was limited, but Cesaro and Kingston definitely made the most of it. Cesaro is quickly making a name for himself with his ring work, particularly in the inventive ways he executes his moves. His counters are jaw-dropping. Don't know what I'm talking about? Get glimpse of what happened last time he and Kofi fought.
Creating and Destroying Hope: PRIMO GETS A BACKSTAGE SEGMENT! As in, he gets a whole back and forth with The Miz! Complete sentences and all! Miz does get the last laugh with a bit of humiliation, but this ultimately leads to a match for later in the night. Wait...Primo gets to mean something for 5 seconds?!
The Great Khali v Tensai(F): Ugggghhhh...I have no words. Giant Bernard has been destroyed by this asinine gimmick. Thanks, WWE. Thanks a lot.
Three's An Awkward Conversation Bryan and Kane talk about facial hair. Orton talks about pain. Bryan tries counseling Orton's anger issues, and propositions him with a hug. Why does this sound like the beginning to a bad gay porn?
Team Rhodes Scholars(Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) & Wade Barrett v Team Hell No(Kane & Daniel Bryan) & Randy Orton(C+): One look at the ring with all these performers in there and it screams of star power. The crowd react strongly to everyone in the ring, and not a single one has a drought of talent. In fact, for most of them, it seems more like an ever-flowing stream of ability. This is another brief exchange for the night, but they amp it up for maximum excitement and reaction. Every blow has feeling and passion, and it seems like this is one of the only times I wish I could get another 6-man TV match, because these guys know how to make it something I can look forward to. Wonderful.
Primo v The Miz(C+): While I am thrilled to see Primo get a match that actually had an inkling of build and even half an entrance, it's a shame it can not be for more. Mixing it up with The Miz is a big rub for him, especially when he gets to show off what he can do, which is entertaining the pants off your bottom. He gets a legitimate opportunity to pull this off, again showing why turning Miz face is a brilliant idea to freshen up match cards. Miz seals the deal with a Figure Four Leglock, confirming that Flair truly passed that torch to Miz. Primo will probably still never get his time to shine, but at least for once he was given both the time and the relevant opponent to convince the crowd and whomever watches that he could hang at a higher level. Even if it's just the midcard.
Jealousy Born: Kaitlyn celebrates her recent gain of the Divas Championship, and while the ladies seem happy for her, Layla gawks at the title as if mystified by its prestige and seems to be hinting at the next feud over the Diva belt. Will that be the match-up we see at the Rumble?
Aksana v Kaitlyn(C-): So, Kaitlyn's the brand new Diva Champion, and she's still a tad green, so we should give her someone who can make her look great in her first appearance with the belt. The first woman that comes to mind is...not Aksana. She's good-looking, but her experiences in the ring do not fare too well. She works to change that trend, and to her credit does not look that awkward tonight, but someone like Alicia Fox(though apparently face again)would have made her look something closer to golden.
"BELIEVE IN THE SHIEEEEEEELD!!": While people on Twitter and wrestling forums already begin complaining that The Shield are being losing momentum and not getting any chances to cut promos, The Shield cut-in "from and undisclosed location" with a few words for the three men who managed to fend them off and defend Mick Foley on Monday. Ambrose gets a moment to give us a taste of what could have been(and potentially still be) his feud with Foley by calling him out for the false hero that some perceive him to be, while Rollins follows along and Reigns actually comes off sounding like the awkward one. As long as Ambrose handles the majority of talking, and Reigns stays the mostly silent one(can we stay away from the suddenly over-enthusiastic screaming?), we will keep getting intriguing promos, like this one...but these guys do need a live mic.
Right on queue, Orton and Sheamus, two of the three men that bested The Shield Monday, catch Shield's message and have some words. Sheamus apologizes for not helping him on Main Event when he was attacked, but Orton is quick let him know that he doesn't need help. From here, the tension building between Randy and Sheamus continues, and everything seems to be aligning for a WrestleMania program, and Randy Orton finally embracing his evil side again.
Dolph Ziggler & The Big Show v Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus(C+): Forgive me for the cliche, but Ziggler could make a broomstick look like a superstar and an absolute destroyer. Within 20 seconds of wrestling with Dolph, Del Rio looks more amazing than he has in the last year. It's the same thing that happened to Miz. Maybe he produces hormones that motivate his opponents to wrestle better. I don't know, but considering Ziggler spends most of the time in the ring, I think it's safe to say he is part of the reason this match is so fun. I say "part of" because I do not want to take away from Del Rio and Sheamus. They both know how to take an average match into a classic with the right elements. Show is the weakest link, but he carries his weight well, as he has in the last few months. It just kind of slows things down a bit, not always when you want. Despite the bit of slowness, the match is not hindered, as the finishing stretch reels it home for a splendid ending to Smackdown...well, splendid might be a bit strong.
Smackdown was a joy to watch, but there was nothing that made it required viewing. Some bits worth peeping at, but as usual...nothing really happened. At least, nothing that consequential. So...we end this week, waiting until next week to hope for a little less of the same.