It is one of those weeks where we are treated to a live episode of Smackdown. To top it off, they are in Birmingham, so not only are we "live," but we have a unique crowd. Last night, England proved they are one of the best crowds to hold a live show with, but even they seemed worn down by the third hour. This time, there is only 2 hours to cover, and word has it we'll be seeing an appearance from William Regal. It's time to hear that crowd explode.
If you're out of the loop, apparently Sheamus and William Regal were attacked by Big Show at a bar last night, and this has led to Sheamus getting to do an angry promo, praising William Regal out of respect and calling out Big Show. Show feels there's no reason to come to the ring, and before he can reply to Sheamus' claim that he's scared, Barrett walks on to the stage...leaving empty threats about his match against Sheamus on Main Event, just like Big Show. Well, starting the show with these three will never be bad, but at the moment...the segment didn't resolve anything. That is until Booker informs Wade that he'll be taking place in a tag match tonight: He and Big Show vs. Sheamus and William Regal. Basically, it's a UK's wet dream.
The Miz v Kofi Kingston(B-): You would think this feud would lose steam and not be able to find new ways to produce excellent matches, but Miz and Kofi surprise as they have what is possibly their best match to this point. Miz works Kofi's leg in ways I have never seen him wrestle before. Kofi sells the damage well, and most importantly, they use drama and psychology to make this match more exciting than it had any right to be. Some people will complain Miz shouldn't be losing constantly, but it plays well into the storyline. Again, these two have shown their craft has been honed to near-perfection. Now let's move on.
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara v Primetime Players(Titus O'Neal & Darren Young)(C): Primetime Players are bound to be future Tag Team Champions, and they have the tools to get their own selves that far. Mysterio & Sin Cara will likely get a shot as well, and they have done such a good job as a tag team, I won't hate it. Nothing special happens in this match, but it was rather solid. PTP steal the victory, and they follow-up with a bit of mic time that might fall a bit flat, but it still made me smile.
Big Show & Wade Barrett v Sheamus & William Regal(C): For a match that has three of the best ring workers in WWE, this match didn't leave much for me to take from it. Regal made Big Show's offense feel more believable than anyone has in a while, which was highly appreciated. The crowd's pop for Regal when his music hit was heart-warming, and it's great to hear all of these guys get strong reactions. Honestly, though, it just did not feel that unique.
Randy Orton with a bland promo about how he loves Falls Count Anywhere matches. Terrific.
Randy Orton v Alberto Del Rio(C+): The match was far from a snooze fest, but I found it hard to get involved. The brawling was fun, but I feel matters did not actually pick up until the last bit of the match. Orton is a great brawler, and while they utilized the stipulation well, nothing totally stood out for me. What I do love is Alberto has spent this whole feud mocking Randy Orton, taking his mannerisms and in this case, trying to steal his signatures(like his Hanging DDT). RKOs onto steel steps are fantastic, though I do not fully see the purpose here in Del Rio losing again.
Ultimately, the matches were pretty strong, but outside of that...this was quite the non-descript episode of Smackdown.