ThunderStruck: Smackdown! Analysis 05/18/12

John Laurinaitis opens Smackdown with a promo. He asks for a prayer from everyone when they go to bed tonight. CM Punk interrupts. Punk says everyone has been praying and their prayers have been answered. He says JL gets terminated on Sunday when he loses to John Cena. JL books Punk in a match with Kane tonight. JL rants on the crowd after Punk leaves and the audience is fired up by it.

^This is WWE’s way of making the fans get very excited for something that is not going to happen. JL worked the crowd really well after Punk left and got an impressively solid reaction from them. Punk is great for making fun of JL as always; I love it!

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeat Darren Young and Titus O’Neil in a short match. Truth gets the pinfall on Young after using the little jimmy on him.

^Young and O’Neil demonstrated their ability as an effective tag team and really hung in there with the tag team champs. This match was exactly what we need to continue seeing on all the shows to keep this division exciting.

Damien Sandow refuses to face Yoshi Tatsu and cuts a brilliant promo. Tatsu calls him a chicken when he walks away. Sandow attacks him and hits a neckbreaker on Tatsu before leaving.

^Sandow is awesome. He cuts some of the better promos that I’ve heard as of late. If you actually want to see his skills in the ring, just search his name with FCW on youtube and you can see a wide variety of the work that he’s done in developmental. It’s worth taking a peek at to see his skills.

Randy Orton and Sheamus have a backstage exchange of words where they trash talk one another.

^This was a great backstage promo between the two biggest faces on Smackdown. I’d like to see these two work a long term program together if one of them decides to turn heel.

Zack Ryder goes one on one with Daniel Bryan. Ryder taps out to the yes-lock in under three minutes.

^Let’s bury Ryder some more before he loses in the pre-show match on Sunday. These two could’ve put on a decent five minute match with plenty of good action. I don’t understand the booking of Ryder whatsoever.

CM Punk goes one on one with Kane, and Daniel Bryan is on commentary for the match. Kane wins by DQ when Bryan smacks Kane with a steel chair. Kane attacks Punk after the match by slamming him over and over with the steel chair and chokeslams him in the ring as Daniel Bryan watches from the top of the ramp.

^This was a surprisingly good match between Punk and Kane; Punk’s flying elbow was executed perfectly and Kane moved well with Punk’s running bulldog attempts. These two both worked hard and kept me entertained throughout and Bryan’s involvement was a perfect finish to the match.

Cody Rhodes goes one on one in a champion vs champion match with Santino Marella. Santino wins the match with a cobra as Rhodes charges at him and runs right into it before Santino gets the three count.

^This match was fun, and the ending surprised me; I expected Rhodes to win this one. The talk of which title has more prestige by the announce team leads me to believe that this feud is just getting warmed up. Anybody else notice Rhodes seems to be gaining muscle mass and getting bigger overall in terms of his size?

Randy Orton and Sheamus go one on one in a non title match for the main event of the night. Sheamus rolls up Orton with a school boy pin for the three count after he dodges an RKO attempt by Orton. Orton shakes Sheamus’ hand after the match and then hits him with an RKO.

^This was actually as good as their match from Summerslam back in 2010. I’m not entirely sure now that Sheamus is going to retain his title on Sunday, despite my prediction that he will. I really enjoyed this entire show tonight. Where did this whole wrestling concept come from anyway? NXT, Impact, and Smackdown this week were ALL full of wrestling and had minimal backstage segments. No complaints from this viewer. I’ll have my FCW and ROH columns up by tomorrow night at the latest. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me