ThunderStruck: WWE Smackdown Analysis 01/25/13

Kane and Dbry open Smackdown. They show a video of their anger management graduation ceremony. Kane says they’re here to address the rumors that they’ve gone soft. Dbry says nothing could be further from the truth. Kane says he will win the Royal Rumble and Dbry argues with him. Big Show interrupts and comes to the ring. He declares that he will regain his title at the Rumble. Team Rhodes Scholars comes down and Sandow talks about winning the tag team titles. Sandow proposes an alliance with Show that they decimate Team Hell No immediately. Alberto Del Rio comes out and joins the party. Booker T interrupts and declares a six man elimination tag for the main event tonight.

^Typical main event set up here. I wish they would just announce the match at the beginning of the show and not waste time with an entire segment. There could be some actual wrestling in place of all this.

Sheamus goes one on one with Wade Barrett in a rematch from Raw. Sheamus pins Barrett after a brogue kick.

^This was better than their Raw match, and their chemistry was good as usual. I love the storyteller that Sheamus has become in the last year since winning the World Title.

Natalya defeats Rosa with the sharpshooter. Khali is on commentary with Hornswoggle sitting in his lap.

^This was short, like all diva matches, but pretty decent. I hope both of these ladies get a bit more of a push to get actual wrestling matches.

CM Punk comes to the ring with Paul Heyman. Punk says he’s afraid of his own potential. He talks about the Shield getting involved at the Rumble and Punk being stripped of his title if they do. Punk says Vince McMahon wants to steal the WWE Championship from him. Punk calls out the Shield to the ring right now and out they come. Punk says he never asked them to attack Rock or Ryback. He says he never asked them for anything and tells them to stay out of his way. They leave when he’s done talking.

^I don’t know if it will ever be officially revealed, but I think it’s more than clear that Punk and the Shield are working together. Brad Maddox is still a possibility to get involved in their match this Sunday.

Punk continues to ramble and gets interrupted by the Rock when he says he is the greatest of all time. Rock says Punk is a liar and he’s working with the Shield, but he doesn’t give a damn. Rock says he’s going to deliver the Rock Bottom to Punk on Sunday and how Punk will realize his reign is over as he’s about to be slammed to the mat. Rock says if ya smell what the Rock is cookin very slowly in Punk’s face before leaving.

^Great promo by both Rock and Punk. Like I keep saying, their match Sunday will be a MOTY contender. If you want to know my thoughts on the outcome of their upcoming match, check out our Royal Rumble predictions on Sunday!

Randy Orton defeats Drew McIntyre by DQ when Jinder Mahal interferes. Orton takes all three members of the 3MB out after the match.

^Nothing special here. Orton is a dark horse to win the Rumble with how little has been done with him this year. Ever since he came back, he’s had quality matches left and right and had no major rivalry booking. This particular scenario with Sheamus last year meant a Rumble victory, but I don’t know if that will be the same for Orton now. I’d personally be thrilled if a guy like Heath Slater were to win the Rumble.

Antonio Cesaro does commentary while Miz defeats Darren Young using the figure four leglock.

^I love the fact that the Miz has been endorsed by Ric Flair with the passing of the figure four. A lot of people aren’t high on the Miz, but I love the development of his in ring ability and I expect WWE to give him a strong push in 2013 back into the WWE Title scene. I don’t care for the way the PTP have been tossed aside because they were a big part of the new tag team division, and now we hardly see them. Cesaro and Miz will have a good match this Sunday, even if it is only for the pre-show.

Kane eliminates Sandow first in the six man tag match using the chokeslam. Kane is quickly eliminated next by the Big Show with a countout. Daniel Bryan is counted out next. It’s down to Del Rio and Rhodes. Del Rio knocks Show out of the ring and eliminates him by countout. Del Rio pins Rhodes and wins the match with a kick to the head. Show spears Del Rio after the match during the celebration and then pushes the announce table on top of him in the same fashion that Del Rio won the World Title. Show counts to ten in spanish as the show ends.

^Solid main event. Nothing was done here to increase my excitement for the Rumble show, but that’s okay. Show and Del Rio will deliver a good match, and the tag team match should be pretty good as well. Overall, Smackdown was right on par with its normal quality of show. There wasn’t anything overly special, but the Rock/Punk segment stood out the most.

I’ll have the Rumble predictions up late Saturday night, and probably a Royal Rumble reaction early Monday! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!