Thunder’s Crew: Weekly Wrestling Rundown 07/20/13

Ring of Honor, WWE NXT, Main Event, Impact Wrestling, and Smackdown…

We’ve got the most variety of wrestling coverage that you could ask for here in one rundown, so check it out!

Mike Lightning’s ROH Review 07/13/13

-Kevin Kelly announces that Nigel McGuinness has allowed Kevin Steen to join Team ROH in place of Mark Briscoe for Steel Cage Warfare-

ML: This is a perfect replacement for Team ROH in their battle with S.C.U.M.; who better to slay the dragon than the creator?

~Tomasso Ciampa d. QT Marshall – Ciampa gets the pinfall after a Running Knee Strike using the knee that has the brace on it~

ML: This was a very good opening match. Before the knee injury that sidelined Ciampa, I was becoming more and more invested in his matches and gimmick. The “Silican Psychopath” has been nothing short of impressive in any match I have ever witnessed. QT Marshall has a bright future in this business. He has the look and plays the heel really well. The only thing holding him back currently is lack of mic time to showcase his verbal ability. My only issue with this match is that the passion of a Grudge Match was lacking between both individuals; I expected anger, passion and fire from both guys. With this victory, Ciampa can close the chapter on this grudge and move forward with his career. I expect him to get involved in the Television Title picture soon.

~Mike Bennett d. Nick Merriman – Bennett wins after a squash match hitting the Box Office Smash for the pin~

ML: I hate squash matches and this is no different. One of the great things I love about Ring of Honor is their willingness to show the different talent they have every week. Not that they are necessarily going to win, but it gives us wrestling fans excellent matches week in and week out. I enjoy seeing the new talent get an opportunity on TV. This victory for Bennett enhances the storyline about all the opportunities that are being presented to him outside of ROH, but I would have enjoyed a little 3-4 minute match to see what Merriman was capable of.

~Mike Bennett cuts a post-match Promo~

-Bennett talks about whether he should stay or leave. He calls “Cheeseburger” to the ring and taunts him with an official ROH contract. After he hands the contract to “Cheeseburger” he superkicks him and proceeds to beat him up. “Brutal” Bob gets involved and pulls Bennett off of “Cheeseburger” before Bennett attacks Bob.

ML: Solid promo from Bennett but truly unnecessary. If Bennett truly had the opportunity to head up to Connecticut and get a chance with the WWE, I’m sure he would have taken it. Looks like a definite split between Brutal Bob and Bennett after this series of events. ROH continues to use “Cheeseburger”, a student in the ROH dojo who works ringside during the television broadcasts, in storylines.

~Jay Briscoe Promo~
-Briscoe comes out to the ring and mentions that he did re-injure his shoulder but he’s not willing to forfeit the title to Matt Hardy. He says Hardy will have to pry the title from his cold fingers from his dead body.

ML: Short promo here that adds more fuel to the fire between Hardy, of S.C.U.M. and the Ring of Honor World Champion.

~reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) d. C&C Wrestle Factory (Cedrick Alexander & Caprice Coleman) to retain the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championships~

ML: Unlike C&C Wrestle Factory’s tag match from the previous week, Coleman and Alexander clicked on all cylinders with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly for this match. They had great chemistry together and flew around the ring showcasing their talents whenever they could. It’s unfortunate to see Coleman & Alexander still chasing after that elusive first tag team gold. They’re too good of a tag team to have not held gold yet. I fully suspect they’ll get their turn. Steve Corino said it best on commentary: “these two are great tag teams, but these four individuals are also amazing singles competitors.” I couldn’t agree more with that assessment, except I feel Fish and O’Reilly are lacking substance as a team. I blame that mainly on their wrestling styles being so similar. It’ll be interesting to see which tag team ends reDRagon’s reign as Champions. I’m going to predict that it will be A.C.H. & Tadarius Thomas.

~Final Thoughts~
ML: Solid episode this week from the Ring of Honor company. The Tag Team Championship match was easily the match of the night. Though, Ciampa and Marshall put on a good Grudge match. I would have liked to felt a little more emotion from Ciampa and Marshall but despite that they were solid. The only downside to this episode was the squash match involving Mike Bennett; the whole segment from match to post-match promo felt a little out of place and not really needed. If we had received a solid three or four minute match, I wouldn’t be complaining as much. Anytime I get to see C&C Wrestle Factory in the ring makes me a happy camper, as they’re both amazing athletes that put on great tag team matches. Overall, good show; looking forward to Steel Cage Warfare in two weeks!

Jee-S’ NXT REVIEW 07/17/13

Leo Kruger defeats Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro to become the number one contender for the NXT Championship.

Thoughts: What an awesome opening match! That’s what happens when you take two of NXT’s finest wrestlers and put them in a match with one of the best athletes on the main roster: pure gold. We already knew that Zayn and Cesaro had unmatched chemistry and the sadistic persona of Leo Kruger was a nice add to the mix. I am thrilled to see the South African fighter as a top contender for the NXT title and words cannot describe how excited I am for Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro III in a couple of weeks with all the fantastic reviews I have read about it. The future is bright!

Bo Dallas pins Scott Dawson after his belly-to-belly suplex. Leo Kruger attacks Dallas after the bout.

Thoughts: Meh. You can put anyone on the roster against Bo Dallas; it’s all the same to me. I can’t imagine anything that man does being interesting in any shape or form. I guess I just don’t see what WWE sees in him. Scott Dawson, on the other hand, has tons of potential as he continues to demonstrate his impressive brawling skills. He could really become big as a top tough guy in the WWE and his tag team with Garrett Dylan could be a valuable asset to the roster one day.

Charlotte pins Bayley after a handspring followed by a face plant. Ric Flair comes and celebrates with his daughter in the ring.

Thoughts: I was very excited to see what Charlotte could do in the ring and she didn’t disappoint one bit. She has the psychology, the in-ring talent and the athletic ability to become a major player in the Divas division. I’m excited for her to work more lengthy matches, perhaps against Paige for the NXT Women’s Championship? One can only hope. Bayley puts on good matches every time she gets to demonstrate her skills. The WWE has an outstanding future when it comes to divas.

Adrian Neville and Corey Graves defeat The Wyatt Family to become new NXT Tag Team Champions when Neville hits the Corkscrew Shooting Star Press on Erick Rowan. Sheamus comes to even the odds when Bray Wyatt tries to interfere.

Thoughts: Great main event! Four of NXT’s most notorious stars made sure we wouldn’t forget this episode by putting on a solid tag team match and the finish was just as good as the match was. I’m happy for Graves and Neville; it puts them in great position to be called up. I think Corey Graves is the next one to jump ship to the higher ranks and he demonstrated why he deserved it with his performance. All around, this was a great match to end a great show.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode a lot. We witnessed very good wrestling with an awesome opening and closing match, a very impressive debut and…well, Bo Dallas, who, again, was part of the worst segment on the show.


Christian defeats Fandango with a reversal into a roll up.

Thoughts: It could’ve been a lot better but these two didn’t seem to have the chemistry needed to work a better match. It seemed rather sloppy and confusing. It was smart booking by WWE that turned out to be very disappointing. Nonetheless, both Captain Charisma and Fandango are top WWE stars and they still managed to showcase their individual talent in this bout.

Natalya and Layla defeats Alicia Fox and Aksana when Layla hits Aksana with the Chick Kick.

Thoughts: Very boring divas match. Not for a lack of trying; I mean, I have nothing but good things to say about Natalya as an athlete and Layla has come a long way since winning the Diva Search contest but the overall work in this match was lacking structure and, subsequently, interest by the fans in attendance. It’s still good to see that there are more divas than AJ, Kaitlyn and the Bella Twins in the WWE, though.

Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater ends in a no contest when the Wyatt Family interferes and lays out Gabriel, Slater, McIntyre and Mahal. Bray Wyatt cuts another creepy promo.

Thoughts: This was probably the best match of the night if you ask me. Very respectable work for both these young men; they would both deserve to be bigger on the midcard scene. The finish is also great as Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan continue to produce quality TV. I’m expecting and I’m hoping that we get to see great things from the heel stable; they are one of the best things to happen to the WWE in quite some time. At least they made the end of this show interesting.

Overall, I found the show was very dull and lacked everything Main Event is all about which is quality wrestling. The last match was the best overall segment on the show for both the match and the interference at the end. Thanks for reading me!

Martin Smith’s TNA Impact: Destination X Breakdown 07/18/13

Is it over?

That was the question I asked myself as I awoke at 4:30am in a pool of sweat, because the last thing I remember was settling down to watch NXT, before Destination X was due to begin at 2am, so the only logical question was…Is it over?

You’re probably thinking to yourself “he means Destination X..and yes, of course it is. It’s a 2 hour show; do the math dumbass” but that’s not what I was asking. When Hulk Hogan is involved and I awake in a pool of sweat, unable to recall the last few hours I don’t assume the wrestling show he’s involved in is over; I assume its ALL over. Life as we know it has ceased to be. Hogan found the red button and demanded that Vince “make me an offer brother” and Vince thought he was bluffing, so he pushed it and now all that remains is me, my sweat soaked t-shirt and regret that the last wrestling event I was planning to watch was bested by Hulk Hogan killing everyone.

Imagine my relief when I realized I had just slept through it, and I could indeed sit down to watch the first TNA show I’ve actually been excited about seeing since starting to watch it again. If only for the Aries vs Roode rematch from last years event (when it was still a PPV). I only just saw that match for the first time a few days ago, and it was something special, so even without the belt at stake this time, I sensed something great from them again.They surely obliged.

First up was a relatively pointless Bully Ray promo. He’s good on the mic, at times genuinely great but it shows how little heat the match between him and Sabin has that this is even required. He claims the aces and eights will destroy the MEM, and then he’ll destroy Sabin. Here’s one of the benefits of not watching live: as soon as he said “my wife…Brooke” I skipped forward 5 minutes and it was like it never happened. On with the wrasslin.

Austin Aries vs Bobby Roode (BFG Series Match)

Putting your best match on first can go one of two ways imo. Either the rest of the card sees it and gives the best they can in their matches making the rest of the card at least watchable, or it’s so good that it peaks the fans interest in the show and rest of it becomes a haze of boring matches which should have been good, or poorly booked snore-fests. This show unfortunately fell into the second category for the most part. I’m inclined to say it was worth it though, because the quality of this match was just so high. These are the two guys being wasted the most in TNA right now for me, as Roode went into this match without a point in the BFG series, and Aries had his push given to him and then shelved within a week when he was involved in the whole ‘suicide’ angle. When a struggling company has the audacity to reduce their two best wrestlers to the insignificant show opener, which acts as a precursor for all the other stupid crap they’re forcing down your throat, you’re inclined to think there may be no Sabin it (see what I did there? ho ho…if not it’ll all become clear later). It was an outstanding match though; truly must see stuff. It was like living artwork at 100mph; you really couldn’t take your eyes off it for a second. Five minutes goes by in what feels like milliseconds before Aries hits the 450 splash and looks like he is picking up the quick win. Thankfully for us Roode kicked out; imagine only being given 5 minutes of this? That would be like being given a table a world renowned restaurant, but being told you could only stay for appetizers. The pace continues to be frenetic, and Aries hits a stunning suicide dive on Roode, who is to the right of the ring, so it’s not like Aries had a straight path. If he deviates even a centimeter from his target, he’d have broken his shoulder on the ringpost. We then go into an enchanting display of mat wrestling. The crossface from Roode is turned into a pin by Aries, then that’s reversed, and they make it to their feet before Roode goes for the backslide, once again Aries kicks out and in a heartbeat he has hit a picture perfect DDT. That in itself told a story, and it was barely 15 seconds of action. Then a series of counters as both men try to hit their finishers, before Aries finally prevails by hitting the brainbuster and getting the pin; giving him 7 BFG points. I honestly can’t believe it was only 10 minutes; to fit that much quality into such a short time period is unbelievable. Hats off to them both.

Roode has a brief meltdown after the match, and throws some stuff around. This is ok with me for a couple of reasons. Firstly it takes his character down a darker path, something he is probably needing at this stage, and secondly he managed to get Jeremy Borash’ chair into the ring, breaking it in the process. That means Jeremy Borash doesn’t get to sit down for the rest of the show, which is good because Jeremy Borash doesn’t deserve to sit down. Be better at your job; then you might be allowed a chair.

Next up a promo involving Hernandez. If this is your first time reading my Impact reviews, you won’t know how much I despise him, so I’ll fill you in once more. I despise Hernandez….a lot. Nice to see Homicide though, and the tension between him and Chavo is interesting enough; they’ll both be involved in X Division tournament matches later in the night.

Homicide vs Petey Williams vs Sonjay Dutt

Super excited to see Petey Williams here, and the other two I suppose, but Petey is an artist. The Canadian Destroyer is such a gravity defying move; I have to re-watch it at least 5 or 6 times every time I see it. The match was great. I think it would have been better as Petey vs either of the other two as opposed to a triple threat, but it was enjoyable stuff all the same. Sonjay hits a couple of beautiful hurricanranas in the middle, before there are some interesting exchanges between the 3. Homicide hitting a diving headbutt as Petey has Sonjay in some form of leglock. Sonjay gets the win when he hits the moonsault double foot stomp. Deservedly so too, he was by far the standout performer in the match, despite my leanings towards Petey.

Manikcide vs Kenny King vs Chavo

This was ok I suppose. The Manik gimmick is endlessly stupid though. We all know who TJ Perkins is; let him wrestle as himself or re-package him as something better than just a slightly modified Suicide. It was a good enough match, but why is Chavo involved? He must be at least in his mid 50s by now. Hardly X division standard. King and Manik have some engaging enough exchanges, and once again the most impressive man in the match prevails as Manik hits the double underhook gutbuster to book his place in the X Division tournament final.

At this point I’m still thinking it was a little bit short sighted to put Aries and Roode first, but everyone else was certainly doing enough to make this enjoyable. Ultimately if TNA can ever be “saved” it’s rivalries like Aries v Roode, and a thriving X Division which will be the catalysts behind it. So in terms of pulling Impact out of this rut of confusion and Hogan fuelled frustration, these were promising signs.

Ugh. Main Event Mafia promo backstage. Just when I was feeling really positive about TNA. Listen Rampage Jackson, I don’t care if you’re “getting ready to knock somebody out.” You aren’t a pro wrestler. You aren’t involved in this for any other reason than acting work drying up and you being too old to win UFC matches. Go away. It’s followed by a Hogan pep talk towards Sabin, and Sabin just looks bored throughout. Don’t blame you buddy(or should I say brother? Naw I definitely shouldn’t).

Now a main event mafia promo in the ring. I know to review this effectively; I should really approach it with an open mind, but I just don’t care about it. I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to give a damn. This could quite easily have been a decent Stable vs Stable feud if executed properly, but it’s been a malaise of half hearted promos and confusion, so I’m afraid when you tossed Rampage Jackson into the mix, you lost my interest for good. They all have a turn each on the mic, before going to look for Aces and Eights backstage, but there’s a ruse afoot! The Aces and Eights lure the MEM into a room and lock them in, before Kurt Angle is bundled into the back of a pickup truck by Bully and driven away. Bully shouts “you know where to take him”…hopefully it’s happier place, where he doesn’t have to be involved in such poorly executed, borderline stupid storylines.

Rubix vs Rockstar Spud vs Greg Marascuilo

Rockstar Spud is British, so I really should have wanted him to win. I didn’t though, because he’s a bit of a dick. Decent wrestler, but I want to punch him repeatedly. Greg Marascuilo used to be Trent Baretta in WWE, making him the king of wrestling names that no one will remember. The match was passable. Marascuilo was by far the most impressive of the three, hitting a particularly nice dive over the top rope on spud. He got the win after pinning Spud, thus continuing this slightly strange trend of the outstanding performer winning every match. Not a bad trend, but odd all the same.

Bully on the phone. Talking about Rampage knocking Wes Brisco out, as he’s filmed through an inch of a gap in the door. I don’t even know what this was. Other than my unbridled joy at the idea of Wes Brisco being knocked out, I can’t see any reason for this and it hurt my brain a little bit. Angle is to be made an offer he won’t refuse. Probably an offer for his immediate release.

Ahh Mickie James. How I love you. She cuts a fun promo, claiming that events of last week will go down in Knockout’s history, but she isn’t talking about the Gail Kim ladder match; she’s talking about a live performance of some of her music. Gail emerges looking sublime, and they have a short verbal and finally physical brawl. A fun segment which made sense, unlike most of the other promo work in the night so far.

Bully Ray vs Chris Sabin (TNA Title Match)

Its never a good thing when you want a man to win a world title match because you feel the current champion just isn’t relevant enough to carry the company anymore. Sabin is not the right man to lead TNA into a better era, but he is certainly deserving of this shot, and at least the chance to re-legitimize the title with some great matches. Promo wise it all feels very raw from him, and considering he is a seasoned veteran at this stage, that would indicate he just doesn’t have it in him to cut a great promo. That’s no affliction though; some people are just born to perform in the ring, and that is something Sabin is better than most at. The match isn’t great, but I’d say that’s more to do with Bully’s limits as a singles wrestler. He worked hard to get himself in shape and to earn this run with the belt, but he doesn’t have enough to carry it for much longer. Having said that I certainly didn’t see this being the night where his reign ended.There is a particularly brutal exchange of kicks and slaps at the beginning,with Bully’s slaps leaving Sabin’s chest red raw. Sighs all round as the Aces and Eights emerge from the back to attack Sabin, a man who must be half the weight of their leader. Way to make a champ look strong eh; him needing 7 friends to beat up a guy with two bad knees. They are chased away by the MEM though, who have a sponsorship deal with their suit retailer that required them to be seen at least 3 times on every show wearing them. All of this draws focus from the match, and leads to the audience losing interest, but basically the match is Bully targeting Sabin’s knee. That’s it. Then Mr Anderson passes him a hammer before the whole thing falls apart, and the melee between Aces and Eights and MEM ensues. Bully drops the hammer, Sabin picks it up, and when Bully gets him up for a powerbomb, Sabin cracks him with the hammer and gets the pin to become the new TNA Champ. Ref was down for the whole hammer segment btw, and I can’t remember why exactly, but I assume it was something to do with the insufferable turgid nonsense that the match had been until that point.

Overall a far more entertaining affair than a normal Impact. Aries vs Roode was the obvious standout, but some of the X Division stuff was great too. I won’t say too much negative about the Sabin title win, because it’s a great moment for him and he deserves it, but he won’t have it for long. I give the show 5 knife edge chops outta 10. At least 7 based on the wrestling alone, but it was dragged down by largely awful promo work.

Smackdown Analysis 07/19/13

Teddy Long starts the show in the ring and says Mr. McMahon will be here tonight to give him a job evaluation. He asks if he’s been doing a good job and if the crowd would like to see him as permanent GM, and they cheer. Booker T returns and interrupts Teddy Long. Booker says Teddy has done a helluva job, but he’s back now. Vince McMahon comes out and says only one person can be in charge of Smackdown. He lets Booker and Teddy say what matches they would make tonight. Teddy says he would make Y2J vs Curtis Axel for the IC Title. Booker says he would make Alberto Del Rio against Randy Orton. Brad Maddox interrupts the situation and comes down jogging down to the ring. He says he wants to be GM of Smackdown as well as Raw while he mentions that tonight marks the Smackdown return of Rob Van Dam. Vince McMahon announces the permanent GM of Smackdown as Vickie Guerrero. Vickie comes out and says there is nothing anyone can do about her being the permanent General Manager of Smackdown.

^I’m not sure what happened here, but apparently no one is safe when it comes to their job as GM of a show. I liked the less than sneaky way of hyping the matches for tonight, but that’s only because it was the only thing worth listening to in that opening scene.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Jack Swagger with the Zig Zag in just under three minutes. Ziggler cuts a promo after the match and says he dumped AJ on Raw. He says he’s sorry… that he didn’t do it a helluva lot sooner.

^I didn’t like this being so short. It’s good to book Ziggler strong because he’s going to be one of the top faces on the roster now, but there was no reason why this one couldn’t have gone a bit longer.

AJ Lee is shown freaking out backstage after what Ziggler said about her. Big E. consoles her but she slaps his chest repeatedly until he holds her as she sobs. He then kisses her on the forehead rather than the lips.

^I really don’t see the need of this being so personal in order for Ziggler to rival with Big E. Can’t the fact that Big E. is the protector of AJ be enough to make the rivalry interesting without throwing in the romance twist? I know the E is all about entertainment, but sometimes too much is too much. I guess one could argue that AJ going through more men than any woman in the history of WWE(storyline wise, that is) could be an accomplishment.

The Usos come to the ring to take on Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The match never starts because a brawl breaks out and Dean Ambrose gets involved. Mark Henry comes down and makes the save and the Shield retreats.

^I like the potential six man tag here because it means lots of teamwork from the Shield where they don’t stop moving around. I’m not sure how I feel about the Mark Henry face turn overall, but I guess at this point in his career he can pretty much be booked any which way and the fans are going to like him.

Daniel Bryan defeats Wade Barrett with the yes lock in just under two minutes.

^It’s a good thing Dbry has such a ridiculous amount of momentum right now, or the audience might have been more angry that Daniel Bryan didn’t wrestle a longer match. I’m not sure what to make of Wade Barrett’s booking at this point; it sure seems like the guy might never catch a real break. I suppose one could argue that being a WWE superstar is a break in itself given that one has made it to the “big leagues.”

Brad Maddox congratulates Vickie backstage. Vickie offers a handshake but instead smacks Maddox across the face.

^That looked like it hurt. Either Maddox sold that like a champ or Vickie really nailed him a good one. Now THIS is must see TV! Cut out all the damn words and just let the actions flow!

Paul Heyman is on MizTV. Miz says Heyman will lie so he won’t be asking him any questions. He tells Heyman to say whatever he wants. Heyman tells CM Punk to stay down because if he shows his face here again, Brock Lesnar will take his actions as provocation and deal with him. Miz says Heyman is even more revolting when he tells the truth and says he’s revolted that Heyman swore on his children and still lied and walks towards the back. Heyman introduces the man who defeated Miz at MITB, Curtis Axel. Miz and Axel stare one another down as Axel heads to the ring for his match.

^With the announcement of the Miz hosting Summerslam, does that mean his rivalry with Axel will be on hold until after that? I don’t necessarily like the fact that Miz doesn’t do much actual interviewing on his “talk show” segment, despite him using the excuse that he’s so disgusted with Heyman’s actions. Every MizTV should either be compelling questions, or it should be a scrapped segment where somebody just does a promo instead.

Curtis Axel defeats Chris Jericho in ten minutes to retain the IC Title. Axel wins when Jericho is slightly distracted by Heyman and Axel hits that new twisting-neckbreaker-Axel-driver for the three count. Ryback comes out after the match and takes out Jericho with the meathook clothesline and shell shocked.

^Apparently that was Jericho’s last match in WWE for a while. If the story is anything similar to last year then Y2J should be back around the Royal Rumble to get some revenge on Ryback. How bout the ongoing chemistry between Axel and Y2J? This was ten minutes of wrestling gold in terms of two vets hooking up and putting on a good match. Axel getting the win off the slight distraction shows that he’s definitely a heel, but it also shows that he’s smart enough as a veteran to take advantage of a situation to pick up a win. Good booking here. I’d like to thank Jericho for putting over so many talent, because as a fan of the business for so long you tend to realize that not a lot of wrestlers like to lose to younger guys on a regular basis. Jericho operates with class and has a high understanding of what the business needs to succeed.

Damien Sandow is the ring and says forgiveness is for the strong. He says he did not screw Cody and he is not out here to condemn Cody for attacking him on Monday. He says he and Cody are still best friends and he would like to get past this. He asks Cody to come to the ring. Instead of letting Cody explain, he says he forgives Cody for acting out in anger. He offers to let Cody be protector of the briefcase until he cashes it in and tells Cody he’s earned it. Rhodes attacks Sandow until he runs off.

^I love the possibilities of a one on one rivalry with these two. It’s about damn time they felt a bit more relevant! Can you say show stealer at Summerslam?

Rob Van Dam defeats Darren Young in a very short match with the five star frogsplash.

^Yes, we know RVD is back, and now we know the Prime Time Players won’t be coming out of obscurity anytime soon. Thanks for the heads up, WWE.

Vickie talks with Teddy Long backstage and she wants bygones to be bygones. Teddy asks if she really means it and she says hell no. Vickie has security escort Teddy out of the building.

^Is that the last we’ve seen of Teddy Long, or do you think he’s just taking a well deserved break? I honestly don’t care; as long as we continue to get good wrestling matches every week, you could honestly put some Sesame Street characters in charge of Raw and Smackdown and it wouldn’t phase me a bit(though Beaker might be too partial to Sheamus).

Randy Orton defeats Alberto Del Rio in just under ten minutes with an RKO to end Smackdown.

^This was a very good wrestling match. Had Orton not been “injured,” I would’ve speculated that he would compete for the World Title at Summerslam while holding the MITB briefcase for the WWE Title. Now I’m thinking Sheamus, Del Rio, and at least one other person will compete for the World Title at Summerslam in a multi-man match(I want Ziggler to keep chasing the gold but it looks like he’s got a rivalry going with Big E). Great match to end the night, and I won’t even complain about the World Champion losing in a non-title match(Orton has beat Del Rio a lot in the past, so no one can say the booking doesn’t make sense).

So we had a match that never started, three matches under three minutes, and two ten minute matches that were very good. We also saw a new GM announced in Vickie Guerrero. Call it five out of ten for a show score. I’m going to be critical because it’s Smackdown and they usually do better than this. The short matches could’ve been a bit longer if they cut one out. The opening segment was reasonably short so you can’t blame that. I think the overall problem was just trying to put too many matches in a two hour show and they lost their potential glamour. They’re lucky Dbry is so over and saved his three minute match with crowd support from start to finish.

Make sure to check out my facebook page for my exclusive “Summerslam Extravaganza Recap and Thoughts” columns on each and every Summerslam. I add new ones every couple days as we build towards this year’s show and post them ONLY on facebook in my “notes” section. Also, Burning Questions III will be published late next week, so if that’s something that interests you, make sure to watch out for it! Thanks for reading! – add me