ThunderStruck: WWE Smackdown Analysis 08/09/13

Smackdown opens with Randy Orton taking on Rob Van Dam! We see eleven minutes of the match minus the commercial. Orton delivers an RKO when RVD misses the five star frogsplash and gets the three count.

^Awesome opener! Orton’s always giving us good performances these days, and RVD has been solid since his return. What a great WRESTLING start to the Friday night A-show!

Miz has AJ Lee and Big E. Langston as his guests for MizTV. AJ says Big E. is her best friend and he’s a really good guy. Miz makes fun of her response and points out all the lives that she’s tried to ruin before asking her if she thinks she might be the problem. Dolph Ziggler comes down to the ring to interrupt her and then Kaitlyn comes out. Miz, as the host of Summerslam, makes a match. He books Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler against AJ and Big E. Big E. ends up receiving a zig zag from Ziggler and AJ gets speared by Kaitlyn.

^AJ is a great character, and she does a good job selling her emotions. Big E. will eventually turn on her too; you can tell. Ziggler got a great response and even a big “Ziggler” chant from the crowd; hard work really does pay off when you put your body on the line day in and day out. I enjoyed the segment, and I liked the setup for Summerslam. What I don’t like is the Miz not being booked in an official match for such a big show.

Fandango defeats Kofi Kingston in a rematch from Raw. Fandango gets the pinfall in less than five minutes with help from Summer Rae on the outside as a distraction tool.

^Nothing much of a match, but I like watching these two work together in the ring. If anyone can help Fandango polish his in ring ability, it’s definitely a guy like Kofi. Smart booking.

Renee Young interviews Daniel Bryan. Dbry says he’s never changed who he is, and he won’t change the beard. He says he will change history when he wins the WWE Title at Summerslam. He yells the beard is still here.

^You don’t get a better promo from a guy who is about to take the top spot in WWE. It’s about damn time!

Daniel Bryan defeats a clean shaven Wade Barrett with the yes-lock in roughly four minutes. The crowd goes nuts with yes chants after the match!

^Dbry always has this momentum about him when he works a match, and lately he’s just been nonstop in every contest. Anyone else find it silly that just two years ago at Summerslam Dbry was defeated by Barrett in a last minute match? Funny how time changes things.

Renee Young interviews Damien Sandow. Sandow says Rhodes is a thief and they settle their differences at Summerslam. Sandow has a solution to the dilemma, and he pulls out a new “Sandow-ized” briefcase with a new contract in it. Sandow says at a time of his choosing he will become World Champion of the unwashed masses.

^The only word I ever have for Sandow is brilliant. He executes such a perfect gimmick that you can’t help but listen when he talks. That new briefcase is awesome!

Kane pins Jinder Mahal and defeats the entire 3MB in a short handicap match. Bray Wyatt pops up on the tron after the match and talks about facing Kane in the ring of fire match. Bray tells Kane that he is already dead.

^The match was pointless, but the promo from Wyatt was absolutely incredible. The guy is genuinely creepy and I’m excited to find out what the plans are for Kane with the Wyatt Family.

A pre-recorded video of Brock Lesnar is played. He talks about his dislike for Punk. He says he is the beast and he is the best. Lesnar says Punk thinks he is a tough guy, but he’s not. He says holding the WWE Title for 434 days is impressive, but Punk has never faced someone like Brock Lesnar. He says size does matter and CM Punk will learn what it means to be victimized by Brock Lesnar.

^Keeping it simple is best for Lesnar, and speaking slowly worked even more to his advantage. I’m honestly impressed by what we got from Lesnar with this promo. Nicely done.

Christian goes one on one with Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. Christian pins Del Rio in just over fifteen minutes with a messy small package type rollup. Del Rio is infuriated after losing and tries to attack Christian, but Christian delivers a killswitch and leaves Del Rio down.

^I’m happy and annoyed at the same time(as you know, this happens frequently). First of all, we got a pay per view quality main event on tv and it was kickass! Second of all, WWE should have saved the match for Summerslam and not given it to us AGAIN for free. Third, Christian won’t be taking the title from Del Rio and that’s a damn shame. Why? Because he’s consistently put on high quality matches for his entire career and the crowd enjoys his in ring work as well as his promo skills. Take advantage of a top veteran with good in ring ability damnit!

Damien Sandow comes down with his briefcase after the match and wants to cash in, but Cody Rhodes attacks Sandow before any match can start. Rhodes delivers cross rhodes to Sandow and stands tall as the show ends.

^Another Sandow/Rhodes ending to Smackdown? I love it!!! I didn’t expect the cash in to go through anyway, but Sandow teasing it earlier in the night was a bit of foreshadowing for this segment. Great way to end the show!

Two short matches, two long matches(great opener and closer), a fun MizTV segment, a GOOD(still shocked by this) Brock Lesnar promo, AND a fun Rhodes/Sandow finish? I give this show 7.5 out of 10 for being all around awesome!

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