Title This: WWE Friday Night Smackdown Reaction 1-11-13

Josh Isenberg

WWE SmackdownThe Undercard

Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro via disqualification. This was an excellent match between two guys in different paths of their career. Antonio Cesaro continues to impress me, with his ruthless offensive attacks. I loved that Cesaro was able to continue his push, even though he technically lost. During the match, Cesaro really beat down Orton with his strong punches into the corner. JBL said it right when he said Cesaro is a great throwback. Cesaro continued to be old school when he was able to deadlift Orton and hit a gut wrench suplex. As he continued his attacks, Orton finally got back into the mix with a few clotheslines and his signature bodyslam. He would hit a DDT and set up for an RKO, but The Shield came out and attacked Orton. They would hit a powerbomb and stand tall. I really though this was a great match with an ending that was somewhat predictable. The Shield need to focus their attacks on the biggest names possible, especially with The Rock back and taking so much of the spotlight. I thought their attacks on Orton did not make sense, but the WWE can spin it in a way that would make it logical. I think it is overdue for The Shield to sit down and talk, but I think they will attack some legends on Raw to continue the slow path they are taking. Grade: B

Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee defeated The Great Khali and Natalya. This was rough to watch for a few reasons. Dolph just came off some of the best matches of his career, and now he is stuck in a mixed tag match with Khali. I understand that they want to have him seen on both shows, expose him as much as possible, but I would much rather see him fight a guy like Kofi or The Miz. Yes, he has fought Kofi so many times, but Ziggler is a guy who thrives when he is given 10-15 minutes in the ring. This did nothing for me, and AJ Lee basically bit her ear and hit the finisher on Natalya. The point is what? Grade: D

Sheamus defeated 3MB. Well, all that was done here was a Brogue Kick to the face of Heath Slater. This is a very similar pattern, as we saw Sheamus squash mid card guys heading into Royal Rumble last year. Look what happened, as he won the match and won the Rumble. I assume WWE got lazy with Sheamus this year as well. Grade: D

Team Hell No defeated Primetime Players. Kane and Bryan took early attacks from PTP, as O'Neil was able to hit a nice release slam. It did not last long, as Bryan hit a dropkick and was able to tag in Kane. Kane cleared house, and would fend off both men, until Bryan hit flying knees to both opponents. Kane would hit a chokeslam for the victory. The match did not last long, but it was good to get to see two tag teams working well together in a short window. Obviously, I wanted it to be longer and more in depth, but this did not bother me too much. I wish Primetime Players were two guys that had a great chance to get to the top of the tag division, but it looks like they are already hitting their ceiling. The only thing I wish is that WWE would build more than one tag team at a time. They have not, and continue to bury teams that deserve the opportunity. Grade: C+

Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!