ThunderStruck: Smackdown! Analysis 06/01/12

Sheamus opens Smackdown with a promo. David Otunga interrupts, followed by Alberto Del Rio. Otunga tells Del Rio that he can pick Sheamus’ opponent tonight. Del Rio picks Dolph Ziggler later in the show. Sheamus brogue kicks Otunga and knocks ADR out of the ring at the same time.

^It’s interesting to see Otunga take on a role similar to what Teddy Long used to do on Smackdown. I like how the guy is always acting tough and smart, but getting his ass kicked by the end of the show. It definitely the Carlton/Fresh Prince comparison in terms of him being a wuss. It’s rather unfortunate how Sheamus’ brogue kick is described as being “from out of nowhere” when you can clearly see it coming every time he does it. Good opening segment for the World Champ rivalry.

Sin Cara returns and defeats Heath Slater in a short match.

^Sin Cara looks like he might have put on a couple pounds. The most surprising part of this match is how safe Sin Cara played things but how awesome the match still was. The guy didn’t botch! I’m thoroughly pleased with his return if he’s going to do awesome things in the ring like this every week.

Damien Sandow tries to avoid facin Ezekial Jackson. Jackson pulls him into the ring to start the match. Sandow wins the match using his unique neckbreaker.

^Jackson jobs to Sandow. Sandow is definitely something special; I can see him becoming embroiled in rivalries for the IC and US Title very quickly if he continues to make his mark every week.

Ryback crushes Chris Lyons and Ryan Shelton in a short handicap match.

^Who will be the first to step up and challenge this guy in a legit rivalry? I’m more than ready for it and I’m anxious to see what he can do with a worthy opponent. The gimmick is working for the time being if you just take it for what it is and wait patiently for his character’s next big push.

Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler with the brogue kick. Jack Swagger tries to interfere in the match and fails.

^It’s nice to see Dolph getting booked in a good match. I hope he turns on Swagger completely and wrestles a few matches with him. With Orton out of the picture for two months, WWE needs to find a way to fill match schedule and I can’t think of a better way than to allow him and Swagger to go at it and showcase their abilities. With Rey Mysterio coming back at the end of the month, I would suggest that it might be an interesting idea for those two to work a program for a bit.

Santino Marella and Zack Ryder defeat Titus O’Neil and Darren Young in a very fast match. O’Neil and Young are now being known as the Prime Time Playas. Big Show comes out after the match and attacks both Ryder and Marella.

^This match was really too short to judge, and I was surprised to see Santino get the pin. Now we can see these two teams have an actual match again in the future. The point of the segment was to put over Show’s monster heel side. It worked as usual.

AJ Lee and Daniel Bryan have words backstage. Bryan calls her a nutjob and says he once cared for her, unlike Punk.

^The obvious theory would be a conspiracy angle where AJ helps Bryan win the WWE Championship. I don’t think WWE should script it that way. The whole storyline would just be more fun if she continuously cost Bryan from winning the title until he blew up in frustration and demanded a cage match with Punk or some other match to avoid her interference.

Cody Rhodes defeats Tyson Kidd in a very short match using cross-rhodes. Christian was on commentary during the match.

^I love how Tyson looks like the star that he is when he competes on Superstars and NXT, but he consistently gets jobbed on Smackdown. The least they could’ve done was gone a few minutes longer with the match. As for Cody, he looks great as he’s bulking up in size and I’m looking forward to what I assume will be a rematch with Christian at No Way Out. I’d like it to be some sort of specialty match this time around.

Kane and CM Punk wrestle to a no-contest when Daniel Bryan dropkicks both men at once to end the match. Kane takes both men down with chokeslams after the match. John Laurinaitis comes out after the match and announces the triple threat match at No Way Out for the WWE Championship.

^This match wasn’t as good as the one between these two. Kane seemed to control the pace of a lot of the contest and it just seemed rather slow. The tempo picked up here and there but it never really seemed to fully get out of first gear. I liked the finish with Bryan getting involved and I think these three men can put on an awesome show together at No Way Out. The only thing that would make this match more exciting to me would be if it was a ladder match. I like the idea for three participants and it paid off well at TLC back in December.

Not a bad show overall. It was definitely well put together in terms of showcasing all the talent. Make sure to check out my weekly rundown for 5/26 to 6/2 where I talk about the live Impact and WWE “B” shows, as well as this week’s Ring of Honor show. I’m also thinking about writing my personal top IC Champions list after reading the one put out. It’s all in the planning stages though. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me! – check out myself, Jonathan Sawicki, and Mike Lightning’s work!