Title This: Friday Night Smackdown Reaction August 19, 2011
Opening Segment Review:
Teddy Long welcomes Randy Orton, the new World Heavyweight Champion. Orton talks about winning and how he beat up Christian so badly that he is not even here tonight. He talks about respect, and how Orton lost respect and began to despise him. He says it is all over. Teddy announces a 20 man battle royal for tonight.Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase come out, as Rhodes talks about Legacy being all in the ring again. He says Legacy was about Orton, and how they were considered lesser than him. Rhodes talks about how he is a champion now, too. He says he did not have to use barbaric tactics, and how he could care less about people. Hell breaks lose when DiBiase begins to talk. Orton hits an RKO on Ted, and stares down Cody. Long mocks Cody in the ring, and says he will face Ezekiel Jackson for the Intercontinental Champion.
It was good to see the World and IC Champion in the same ring at the same time. I feel like they are going to push Rhodes and Orton as the two big parts of Smackdown, and how they really do need to restore history of the IC Title. You need to start Smackdown this way, and gives intrigue as to what is going to happen, or who will face Orton next. Both men work well on the microphone to get their point across. This segment gets an A. Well done to start off the show.
Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the Intercontinental Championship:
Jackson starts off hammering away at Rhodes with forearms to the chest. Rhodes gains some offense, but Jackson throws him around and to the outside. Rhodes hits Jackson on the steps, hitting his knee. He gets back in the ring, and Rhodes chops him down with kick to the leg. He hits a kick to the back of the head, and hits Cross Roads for the victory.
A quick match between the two, and kind of confused me. Jackson gets buried much quicker this week, than last week. So it looks like Rhodes is getting a huge push, while they are not sure what to do with Jackson now. They should have given them more time to work in the ring, as both men can go, and it would of been good to see more back and forth action instead of a quick victory. It makes Rhodes look extremely good though, which is deserved since he is the most consistent performer on Smackdown. This segment gets a B-.
Zack Ryder tells Long that Del Rio is on his way, as Ryder offered him to come to Zackdown. Long does not seem happy. Ryder says he will be number one contender. Aksana flirts with Long, and we head to break.
Tyson Kidd vs. Justin Gabriel Review:
Gabriel gets knocked down but Kidd and hits an armdrag to gain the early advantage. Gabriel gets put in an arm stretch, but Gabriel floats over an attempted suplex and kicks him in the head. Gabriel uses his feet to kick Kidd with a heel kick, as he whips him around the ring. A springboard splash is connected, but Kidd rolls him over and tries to get Gabriel to submit. Gabriel hits a STO. Gabriel goes up top, shoves Kidd back down to the mat, and hits the 450 splash for the win.
A good wrestling match between these two. I like seeing these guys get an opportunity to show their agility and athleticism in the ring. Kidd can really work, and Gabriel has a good look, where he can fly but also is built very well. Kidd is a good reverse wrestler, where he can make his defense into his own offense, which is uncommon. Gabriel seems to get a lot of attention lately, which makes his quick face turn easy because of the exciting moves he displays. This match gets a B.
In Ring Segment:
Del Rio makes his return to Smackdown. He talks about Destiny, about beating John Cena, and how he beat Mysterio a year ago and beat him now. Daniel Bryan comes out with his briefcase in hand. Bryan talks about how Del Rio thinks he is so special. He says why did Del Rio cash in like everyone else. Bryan calls Del Rio ordinary and pathetic.
Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio Review:
A good match that featured Del Rio working on the arm of Bryan throughout. Bryan hits a clothesline on Del Rio to gain the advantage offensively. Alberto continues to work on the arm of Bryan until he begins to kick the champion in the chest repeatedly. Bryan connects with a running dropkick. Del Rio gets a front facelock with his legs. Bryan tries to hold on and release from the move, but Del Rio suplexes him and locks in the Cross Armbreaker. Bryan taps out.
A great match between Del Rio and Bryan, one we should have seen a week ago. This was much better than a week ago, and had more spot timing with their moves. Del Rio was more of the ground and pound wrestler, as Bryan used his agility to make his offense work, like usual. It shows that Smackdown is more of the wrestling show, with two back to back matches that featured classic wrestling. You knew Del Rio would not lose, so there was not much suspense. Sin Cara came out after and attacked Del Rio, saving Bryan from getting a beat down after the contest. I do not get it, because Del Rio will not be on Smackdown every week, and why is Cara saving Bryan? That question needs to be answered for me, it just seemed like creative said "Hey, Cara is Mexican, so why not have him attack Del Rio?" That makes sense. I did not like it. Overall, this segment gets a B. Good match, could have been a little better, but the Cara ordeal was out of place.
Natalya beats down AJ, stomping on her while she is grounded. Natalya bullies her around, until AJ tries a high risk move, but gets caught and hit with an elbow. AJ hits a few nice moves, but Natalya continues to counter every move AJ attempts. Fox comes in the ring briefly, grapples the arm of AJ, but Kelly Kelly gets the hot tag and goes after Fox. She hits a hurricanranna, followed by a butt rub in the face. She hits another hurricanranna on Fox, as Natalya breaks up the pin. Kelly Kelly hits a face buster on Fox for the win.
I do not like Fox teaming with Natalya one bit. You give weeks of the "Divas of Doom" but they continue to move the storyline along with them losing. Natalya and Fox argue after the match, and Natalya attacks Fox on the outside. Why not just have them interfere after the match instead of splitting up what the two best divas do? This does not make sense to me. Fox is an okay wrestler, but should not be teamed with Natalya, who is supposed to be a team with Phoenix. Overall, the match gets a D. The booking gets an F to me. Give us consistency with the divas division, and give us some dominance from what you are going as the "Divas of Doom." That means both of them.
20 Man Battle Royal Review:
We get the basic beginning, with the weaker opponents thrown out of the ring. Mark Henry was thrown in between the ropes, so he is not eliminated. We get the final four, as Cara, Henry, Barrett, and Sheamus. Henry came back and elimnated Mahal and DiBiase quickly. Sheamus and Barrett attack Henry, working on the larger opponent. Sheamus pounds the hell out of Henry in the corner. Barrett clotheslines Sheamus out of nowhere, and tries to eliminate Sheamus. Both men are on the outside of the ropes, exchanging fists back and forth until Sheamus delivers a boot to the chest of Barrett. Cara begins to kick Sheamus, as Cara hangs from the bottom rope. Sheamus and Cara go back and forth until Henry slams Sheamus over the ropes to eliminate him. Cara hits a splash to knock down Henry, but Henry stops him in his tracks and throws him over the rope over he hits a World's Strongest Slam.
You get the typical battle royal match, as Henry gets his continued push. There is a reason for Henry dominating everyone, and I am happy that they actually are going through with this. They have invested too much time to not give Henry a title match. Would he be my first option? No. But at least we are getting some different, and believe it or not, Henry is much better than most people give him credit for. Let's be honest, Orton can make almost anyone look good as well. He and Henry will feud for a few months until they figure out where they want to go heading into the winter. I wish it came down to Sheamus and Henry, as nobody believed Cara could pull off the upset. This segment gets a B.
This show gets a B. We, shockingly, get solid wrestling matches. Usually when a battle royal is featured, the rest of the show is weak and uninteresting. I liked seeing Gabriel vs. Kidd even though there is not much back story to it. I wish we could have gotten a tag team match featuring the Uso's, because there needs to be a tag team championship match at the next pay per view, but I guess that is taken by Kofi and Bourne. We will see what they do with Henry and Orton with four weeks to build upon. I am not extremely happy with the Henry push, but at least they are making sense of his "dominance" for the past three months. We can only hope for the best with him.
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