Daniel Bryan defeated Christian to kick off the latest episode of WWE Smackdown. Once again, Daniel Bryan proves why he is one of the best performers WWE has. I have to give credit to Christian as well, a guy who can put on a good match with anybody. Bryan hits a running knee strike to the outside, as the action spills out of the ring. There were many reversals, many back and forth moves, until Bryan really began to take over. Christian looks for the Killswitch but Bryan blocks it, then he slingshots Christian into the corner. Christian tries to springboard back at him but Bryan counters with the YES Lock and gets him to tap. The pace of the match was fantastic. You really felt like both guys gave it their all and the emotions of the match were real. Bryan and Christian are two completely different superstars, but both can wrestle all day. I really like the return of Christian because it means you will get a good wrestling match when he is involved. Bryan's offense was countered, but his intelligence from move to move took over at the end.
Seth Rollins defeated Jay Uso in a match that was used to show the strength of The Shield. Jay fought off choke holds and distractions from Roman Reigns. The match went a little sloppy in the middle with Jay really dragging down the fast pace of Rollins. Jay is just very generic in the ring and lacks the timing of each move. Rollins picks up the win thanks to a distraction of Roman Reigns. I dislike the end because it shows The Shield need to cheat to win. That could not be further from the truth. I understand they are heels, but you can make this feud interesting without making them win dirty.
Chris Jericho defeated Curtis Axel in a rematch of Monday night. I would rather see these two guys teamed up with Ryback and The Miz. It feels like the feuds are being placed too far apart. I want to see Jericho and Ryback face to face, while Miz and Axel need to give us a reason to care about their match. The actual match was pretty good. Each week, you are seeing more aggression and more polished work in the ring. Axel uses all areas of the arena, the outside, and the ropes. Axel avoided a running baseball slide but Jericho surprises him with a Codebreaker that sends him to the outside. He gets counted out and Jericho wins. This protects Axel to a point and shows a vulnerable side of his. We have yet to see that since his debut. Not everyone can win over and over again when they are in their rookie year in the company.
Ryback defeated The Miz with a meathook clothesline and a Shell Shocked. I am not sure why Ryback and Jericho are not shown on the screen. If they have a match, they must have some sort of story to build. Instead, Ryback has become a cheater and a whiner. His huge physique and lack of mic skill prevents him from really making this realistic. I want to see feuds shown. Why not Miz and Axel talk to one another? Why did they separate these two feuds on Smackdown? I am clueless.
Fandango beat Wade Barrett. Nothing much here to talk about besides a weak attempt by WWE in making the "other" ladder match feel important. They could've done so much better to build the young guys into an interesting twist. The only positive is that WWE probably does not know who they want to win, so neither do we.
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