ThunderStruck: WWE Smackdown Analysis 01/11/13

Booker T opens the show and announces Alberto Del Rio vs Big Show for the World Title in a Last Man Standing Match tonight. Booker also announces that the Rock will be on the show and that Randy Orton will go one on one with Antonio Cesaro. Big Show comes out and complains about the match. Show gets angry and threatens Booker until Del Rio comes down and knocks Show out of the ring with a dropkick.

^Awesome opening for the show! Big Show cut a great promo; the guy is still an incredible character with a mic in his hand, despite his age. The Miami crowd was hot for Del Rio, and that means a great main event later on!

Randy Orton goes one on one with Antonio Cesaro. The Shield shows up and jumps Orton to cause a DQ finish. They beat Orton down after the match.

^This match had potential. and potential went down the toilet with another Aces and Eigh…I mean nW..I mean Shield attack. Lame. Why does the Shield have to attack so randomly? Is the randomness not random and going to be explained eventually? Or are WWE writers just lazy and having the Shield attack the same guys over and over? Can’t wait to see these two next week on Main Event!

Matt Striker interviews the 3MB and talks about them entering the Royal Rumble match. They talk about their odds of winning the Rumble and having to take care of Sheamus.

^The 3MB is entertaining, but where’s the development with these guys? Anybody even going to attempt an instrument?

A CM Punk taped segment is shown from Sun Life Stadium. Punk says he isn’t here to insult the Rock and says he is a huge fan of his. He puts on a Dwayne Johnson jersey from UMiami. Punk talks about the Orange Bowl being torn down(where he played home games in College football). He compares it to the Rock’s glory days in WWE being gone. Punk says he will defeat the Rock at the Rumble.

^Punk is amazing when he talks. This skit was excellent. Nothing to make things more personal than jumping on the other guy’s home turf, literally.

Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee with Big E Langston come to the ring for their match.

Matt Striker interviews Alberto Del Rio about his match tonight. Del Rio says Show knows nothing about the Latino community and tonight he will get the perfect picture of what they’re all about tonight.

^I like Del Rio as a face, and this is something that I suggested should happen well over a year ago.

Ziggler and AJ Lee defeat the Great Khali and Natalya. AJ gets the pin and pulls her shirt down over her bra when she stands up to celebrate.

^Wardrobe malfunction! This match was seriously dull, and that was the bright spot for me. Khali should just disappear.

Another Punk promo is shown from Sun Life Stadium. He says the Rock has himself convinced that he can beat him as if he’s a superhero. Punk says the people don’t deserve to be saved(they can rot in Hell). Heyman continues on for Punk and tells Rock that Punk is the best in the world. He also says that the Rock can’t be the conquering hero to complete the “people’s vision” because CM Punk has made a career out of stomping out people’s dreams. He says it doesn’t matter what the people’s vision is.

^Along with Punk, Paul Heyman showed his promo magic here. These are two promos that should have been saved for Raw if they really wanted to get the attention of the fans. Excellent, just awesome.

The Rock comes to the ring. The Rock points out Flo Rida in the audience. The Rock talks about being back on Smackdown and expresses his disappointment with CM Punk not showing up tonight. Team Rhodes Scholars interrupt the Rock. They tell Rock they don’t feel that he deserves this air time and they suggest that he gets out of the ring before he doesn’t have a choice. Rock insults them. Sandow offers Rock to answer his three question challenge. Rock accepts. He asks Rock who the 19th president of the US was. Rock answers correctly with Rutherford B. Hayes, bitch. Sandow says that isn’t what the B stands for but he is correct. Rock says Sandow looks like the product of Abe Lincoln and a Gremlin. Rhodes asks the Rock what film won the Academy Award for best picture in 1993. Rock says Schindler’s List. Rock asks the third question. Sandow answers Rock Bottom and the Rock delivers his finisher to Sandow and then Rhodes gets the spinebuster and People’s Elbow.

^This whole segment was twice as good as the Punk/Rock interaction on Raw. I was laughing pretty hard. It felt like the Rock of old here and not the guy who has to struggle through remembering his lines. Awesome work from Rhodes and Sandow as well. Both guys could benefit from a good feud with Rock.

The 3MB takes on Sheamus in a handicap match. JBL says 3MB needs a couple more people out there. The 3MB charge the ring but only Slater jumps in and gets hit by the brogue kick from Sheamus. Sheamus pins him to win the match.

^Squash matches like this can be good, but we just saw similar stuff on Raw. I wasn’t impressed with any of this. Anyone else feel like Sheamus was treated as insignificant on this show? So much for keeping the former World Champ important.

Kane and Dbry defeat the Prime Time Players. Kane pins Darren Young to get the win.

^This was another insanely fast match that could’ve been excellent. Time management here was clearly not considered all too well.

Alberto Del Rio goes one on one with the Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio wins the match and becomes the new World Champion when he flips the announce table on top of Big Show and he can’t stand up. Del Rio celebrates in the ring with Ricardo to close the show.

^This match told a good story, but the commentary was weak and JBL’s excitement wasn’t believable. I’m disappointed with how this one turned out in terms of hype. The match was hyped on with the results being given away early, but the match wasn’t as good as some of the stuff that Show and Del Rio have done in the past. I’m happy to see Del Rio as champion, and I’m even happier to see him as a face, but I’m afraid his reign is only meant to be a transitional thing and not long term.

Overall, the Rock segment and Punk promos were excellent. The World Title match was overhyped but it worked for ending Show’s reign. The Orton/Cesaro match was decent but far too short, and I won’t even complain about the finish. The mixed tag wasn’t anything special and the other squash matches didn’t catch my attention. How do you rate half crap with half gold? Easy, just call it a copy of Monday Night Raw last week. We’ll just call it slightly above average because of the WWE Title hype and the World Title change. Let’s leave it at that!

I’ll be back with the Raw Analysis on Tuesday! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me and come interact on my page!