Chris Jericho loses to Curtis Axel to kick off the action on Smackdown. Chris Jericho and Axel delivered blows back and forth until we went into a commercial break with Axel on the offensive. Jericho was in full control and dropkicked Axel off of the ring. Paul Heyman, much to his intelligence, stands on the announcer's table and yells it's clobbering time. CM Punk's music hits to distract Jericho and Axel rolls him up for the win. I loved this segment. It teased the return of Punk (obviously he is not coming back on a Smackdown) and it furthers the push of Axel without making Jericho look weak by losing. Does it ever make him look weak anymore? Great mental games from Heyman who is simply the best heel in WWE. I do think the Codebreaker after the match is a sign that Punk may not be at WWE Payback, which will be Axel's debut on PPV if that happens. I can see Axel vs. Jericho.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Heath Slater when 3MB get involved, as well as Ricardo Rodriguez. It was a complete waste of a segment until Dolph Ziggler appeared on the big screen and announced that he will be at WWE Raw on Monday and is cleared to compete. THANK GOD. WWE is missing a talented champion like Ziggler, one who has really been forgotten because of his concussion. The World Heavyweight Championship match should take place at WWE Payback between the two and then be the end of it. Ziggler moves onto bigger and better things. His absence has been such a hit to the actual wrestling portion of these shows. He is one of the best and most consistent performer, and I cannot wait for his return.
Kane defeated Ryback via Disqualification. This was a pretty aggressive fight between the two men, much of what I was expecting. With Ryback, his opponent has limtations. Ryback was meant to look like the stronger and more aggressive one, which I am alright with. The match took itself to the outside, with Kane hitting a handful of punches to the throat. As the match progressed, Ryback poked the eyes of Kane and powerbombed him through a table. This caused the DQ and ended the match. It would be more impactful if John Cena was seen, maybe on commentary? I do not understand why they do not have him and Ryback, less than two weeks before WWE Payback, seen on every segment the other one is on. It would be more logical to me.
Fandango defeated Zack Ryder. Nothing really to discuss here besides a quick win and a beautiful leg drop from Fandango. He gets his shot at the Intercontinental Championship at WWE Payback against Wade Barrett and The Miz. He must win this match, steal it, and bring some interest back to this title. I wouldn't see why he would be booked in this match if they wanted Wade or Miz to win the title.
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