ThunderStruck: Smackdown! Analysis 04/20/12

Daniel Bryan says he will beat Sheamus at Extreme Rules. AJ comes out. He beats her down verbally and tells her he wishes she had never been born. He leaves.

^The crowd is going to love Bryan no matter how he acts. His wrestling talent and yes chants shine far more than his jerk persona. It makes me wonder if creative will stick to keeping the title on Sheamus with Bryan having this much popularity with the audience.

AJ goes one on one with Natalya. AJ is so upset from what happened with Bryan that she attacks Natalya and refuses to stop. The ref stops the match. AJ leaves.

^As Impact Wrestling puts on a great eight knockouts tag match, this just proves why WWE has no respect for the idea of having a legitimate divas division.

Damien Sandow cuts a promo on ignorance. He quotes Ben Franklin.

^Brilliant as usual! I can’t wait to see what this guy does in the ring on Smackdown!

Brodus Clay introduces Hornswoggle as his little brother before going one on one with Hunico. Brodus squashes Hunico and knocks Camacho off the ring apron during the match. Hornswoggle splashes onto Hunico after the match.

^Hunico is a great worker and deserves better matches. Good to see Hornswoggle get some tv time again, but I’m still not a fan of Brodus Clay’s gimmick(or the dancing).

Backstage segment with Teddy Long, Titus O’Neill, Darren Young, and John Laurinaitis. They all taunt Teddy for not signing O’Neill and Young to Smackdown. JL makes Teddy wear a queen’s guard hat for the remainder of the night.

^I’m glad these two are on Smackdown. I’m also glad that the JL backstage segments have been kept to a minimum on the show as of late.

Randy Orton interview with Matt Striker. Orton tells Striker that at Extreme Rules, Kane is going to find out how sick and twisted Orton can be.

^While doing nothing significant for Randy Orton, creative has managed to keep Orton relevant with this intense rivalry with Kane.

The Usos team up against Darren Young and Titus O’Neill. The match goes for just under four minutes and O’Neill gets the pinfall after a modified old school hart-attack finisher.

^Is this the start of a real tag team division? O’Neill and Young complement each other so nicely, and I’m excited for them them go against Primo and Epico in the future. Good tag team wrestling is an important part of the foundation for a promotion, and I really don’t understand the neglect of this for so long by WWE.

Alberto Del Rio goes one on one with the Big Show. Del Rio wins around the five minute mark when Ricardo distracts the ref and Cody Rhodes interferes and nails the Big Show with the disaster kick. This allows Del Rio to get the three count. Rhodes attacks Show after the match until Show gets pissed and Rhodes runs off in the crowd.

^Seeing as Del Rio and Show both struggle to put on good matches, it’s interesting to watch these two try to tell a story. For keeping it short, this wasn’t such a horrible match. I know Del Rio will be challenging for the World Title sooner rather than later, but I don’t see it as a smart decision by WWE to put the belt around his waist. Nobody seems to care about him.

Ryback goes one on one with Danny Lerman. Lerman cuts a promo and dedicates this match to his mother. Booker says not to count this kid out. Cole calls Booker a moron. Ryback destroys him and gets the win. Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre watched from backstage during the match.

^More from Goldberg 2.0, and I’m bored by it. Show me some actual in ring ability(now, not from the past) from Sheffield or I’m going to start dumping on his character even more.

Backstage segment with Teddy Long outside JL’s office dressed as the queen’s guard. Regal comes by and taunts him. Aksana comes by with Antonio Cesaro and they go in a meeting with JL.

^Teddy Long must be paid quite nicely to look like such a fool. The clock is ticking on when he will have his job back. Antonio Cesaro was Claudio Castignoli on the independent circuit. I’ve see a few of his matches in FCW and I’ve been pretty impressed with his in ring ability. I’m not sure if he was ready to be called up before guys like Kassius Ohno and Seth Rollins, but here he is nonetheless. I look forward to seeing him in the ring.

Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes go one on one with Sheamus, Randy Orton, and the Great Khali. Rhodes attacks Khali when he gets on the ring apron and Khali is hurt. Big Show fills in as Khali’s replacement. Sheamus hits the brouge kick on Henry at the end of the match. This is followed up by a WMD from Show and Henry is finished off with an RKO by Orton for the three count.

^Solid six man tag to close out the show. I love how every week Mark Henry is either the most dominant guy in the world or the big clumsy jobber. Either way, it was good to see both Orton and Sheamus in the ring. I’d have to say it was the smartest decision WWE has made in months to have Khali NOT be a part of this match.

So we got three fairly normal matches, a couple squashes and a divas match that was over before it started. I’m thankful that we didn’t have to see much of JL throughout the show. Just the right amount of that guy makes for a decent show. I’ll be back with FCW as my next column. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!

Make sure to check out Mike Lightning’s reaction to TNA Lockdown and add him as a friend on facebook to check out the rest of his work! – add me