Title This: WWE Friday Night Smackdown Reaction 8/5/11

Josh Isenberg

Opening Segment: Sheamus def the Great Khali Review

Sheamus worked on Khali throughout the match, giving his his patented arm chops between the ropes. Khali does get some offensive maneuvers, chops to the head of Sheamus, along with a body slam, and his typical head crusher. Sheamus, face turning pale(no pun intended) looks to be passed out, but gains his energy and stamina to grapple out of the hold. He begins to chop down the Great Khali and delivers a boot to the head of Khali as he is on his hands and knees for the victory.

Reaction:

The face turn of Sheamus is full fledged now, and I am buying into it. The crowd got behind him and Sheamus is catering to the cheers and applause that he gets each week. He is likable because people see a fun character, a guy who looks cartoonish at times, but people are drawn to his build and ability in the ring. No doubt that this was not the best match, but Sheamus was able to do more to Khali than most people can. Besides from Henry, Khali, Kane, and The Big Show, Sheamus is right below in power and strength, which is why he may get matched up with a few of these guys on a weekly basis to show how strong and good he is to carry a super heavyweight. I am buying into Sheamus, always liked him, and he continues to show he can carry a match. This segment gets a B, due to the continued growth of Sheamus, and his passion shown in the ring.

Natayla def AJ Review:

You get your weekly divas match here, with AJ showing some athleticism, but no idea how to actually wrestle. Natayla, completely underutilized in the WWE, shows her ground and pound attack, countering moves by AJ, until she finally makes her submit to the sharpshooter. After the match, Natayla says she is with Beth Phoenix and we have seen the end of the cute princess divas.

Reaction:

It seems as if the WWE is sick of the divas division, so why not give the best ones something to do. Beth Phoenix and Natalya are far above divas like Kelly Kelly, The Bellas, AJ, Alicia Fox, and Kaitlyn with their in ring ability. It is far away to have a meaningful diva storyline, but it seems like they are going to push the divas who deserve it. Natalya is better suited as a heel, rather than a cheery face. This segment gets a B-, with a sub par performance in the ring, but something meaningful comes out of it…hopefully in the long run.

Daniel Bryan def Tyson Kidd Review:

Bryan and Kidd put on a very entertaining match. Spots include Kidd trying to duck a kick but Bryan knocks him to the outside and uses his body to dive through the ropes onto Kidd. Kidd gains his composure inside the ring and begins to break down the leg of Bryan. Kidd begins to use his feetto gain offense on Bryan, kicking him left and right. Both men are on the top turnbuckle, and Kidd gets thrown off. Bryan hits a dropkick and seems to hurt his leg. He kicks Kidd in the chest. and Kidd counters into a leg submission. Bryan quickly gets to the ropes. Bryan ends the match with his patented submission hold for the victory.

Reaction:

A great, entertaining, and well executed match between Kidd and Bryan. Although the match had no meaning, it did not need it. Both of these men can go with anyone, and when paired together, may be two of the best bell to bell wrestlers in the company. This is what made wrestling so great in the 80's, and still related to every fan that has watched professional wrestling. Great timing and veteran in ring ability, with submissions, air attacks, and usage of the kicking really made this match flow with ease. This segment gets a A. No complaints at all for this match.

In Ring Segment:

Zack Ryder comes out to talk to the Smackdown audience. He begins to talk about the ratings last week, but gets interrupted by Ezekiel Jackson. Zeke wants to know why he was put in a handicap match. Ryder tries to say it was a miscommunication, but out comes Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Cody rips into Zeke, saying he has made the Intercontinental Championship mediocre, and that Rhodes can resurrect the title. Zeke and Cody exchange words about DiBiase. Teddy Long makes a Ryder vs. Jackson match for tonight.

Ezekiel Jackson def Zack Ryder Review:

A pretty good match between the two considering no history between them. Ryder gained some offense early, with a broski boot and a few good moves on the much larger Jackson. Zeke finally takes over with clothelines and body slam after body slam after body slam. He finishes off Ryder with a torture rack.

Reaction:

Face vs. face is the first problem. Second, you need a legit competitor for Jackson, and throwing Ryder in this match does not make a whole lot of sense towards building a program with Rhodes. I enjoyed what Ryder did, and he does show a lot of promise inside the squared circle, but Jackson should have faced DiBiase here with an interference with Cody, which would have them beat down the champion. Then, you can have Ryder "make it up" to Jackson and save him. You get a tag match next week out of it, leading into Summerslam between Rhodes and Jackson, hopefully. This segment gets a B-, because it was good to see Ryder in the ring with a good opponent, but doesn't make sense with Summerslam less than two weeks. Build your storylines please!

Mark Henry def Vladimir Kozlov Review:

This is your typical Mark Henry match, with some few bright spots from Kozlov. Punches, headbutts, clubs to the chest of Kozlov. Henry wins the match with the world's strongest slam.

Reaction:

Henry has kept my interest for the longest time this stretch than ever in his career. He has stayed healthy and has showed improvements inside the ring. Kozlov is a big opponent, but it was not a boring, dragged out match. It did what was needed, to show Henry's power against the bigs in the WWE. Goodbye Vladimir, nice knowing you. This segment gets a C.

Otunga, McGillicuddy, and JTG def Uso's and Trent Baretta Review:

A nice paced match with some dropkicks by McGillicuddy. Otunga showed his strength by knocking Jimmy Uso to the outside with force. Finish comes when Otunga and McGillicuddy double team with their finisher on Baretta.

Reaction:

I am beginning to buy into the tag champs. They continue to be green inside the ring, but showing that they are thunder and lighting, speed and power. The Uso's are always entertaining in their own way. Baretta and JTG are two wildcards for me, where they didn't seem to fit in this match. Why not have Gabriel and Slater in it, two with an actual history that people remember. I don't downgrade how good Baretta and JTG can be, but it just didnt make sense at all for me to have this 6 man tag match. This segment gets a C, good thing is it did not make Uso's look weak by being pinned again by the tag team champions.

Christian/R Truth def Randy Orton/John Morrison Review:

Truth and Orton start the match, with Truth punching away at him. Orton reverses an irish whip and clotheslines Truth, then tags Morrison in and Truth quickly tags in Christian. We get a good pace of Morrison and Christian, both exchanging offensive maneuvers. Morrison hits Christian off the apron, then Truth throws Morrison out of the ring and kicks him while he is down. Truth continues his taunts to Morrison, but JoMo finally gets the hot tag to Orton. Orton begins to beat down Christian and reverses a Killswitch into a near pinfall. Christian recovers but almost gets caught with an RKO. Christian is in prime position for a punt. As R-Truth tries to stop the kick, Morrison cuts him off and they brawl to the outside. Orton hits his signature DDT. Truth tries to stop Orton, only to get caught with an RKO. Christian steals the win by connecting on Orton with the Killswitch and the pinfall.

Reaction:

A very entertaining tag team match to end Smackdown that really ended on an interesting note. Orton gets pinned, even though he was on a roll. I like the idea of having them make Christian better by clean pinning Orton. Morrison showed that he still has his ability to make anything happen in and out of the ring, and his feud with R Truth is one that has been brewing for months. I really enjoyed seeing all four men struggle, interact with one another, and continue to wrestle at a high level for a good 15 minutes. This segment gets an A-, great call to have Christian win, by pinning his opponent at Summerslam.

Overall:

This show was very solid from beginning to end. You start with a match that wasn't the ideal "wrestling" match, but got one of your new faces over. You had a Zack Ryder in ring segment and match that kind of made no sense to me, but it is good to see them give this guy a chance. I appreciated seeing great wrestling from Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd. They put on a great clinic of how it is supposed to be done. The ending showed you that they are still not sure what they are going to do at Summerslam, and Truth and Morrison should have an exciting match, hopefully at SS. Smackdown continues to show pure wrestling, mixed in with some entertainment. That's what WWE should aim for each week.

Follow me @JoshIsenberg4 on twitter. Reaction, over.

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