ThunderStruck: WWE Smackdown Analysis 08/16/13

Coming at you from San Jose, CA, it’s WWE Smackdown! Michael Cole welcomes us to the show and tells us about two matches tonight: We have Big Show, Mark Henry, and Rob Van Dam taking on the Shield, and we have Daniel Bryan facing Wade Barrett in a no-DQ match.

^Sounds like two fantastic matches to make for a fantastic show overall!

The beginning intros are interrupted by the Wyatt Family. Wyatt sits in his rocking chair in the center of the ring and cuts a creepy promo. He ends with telling Kane that he will prove one man’s Hell is another man’s paradise. Kane’s music hits and the flames come out of the ringposts, and he attacks Rowan and Harper from behind before staring down Wyatt. He climbs in the ring but gets hit with the sister abigail finisher by Bray when the family outnumbers him.

^I love the hype for this Summerslam match. I love the ring of fire being brought back, and I love Bray Wyatt’s charisma on the mic. What a great way to start Smackdown!

Damien Sandow goes one on one with Christian. Christian wins the highly competitive contest with a messy small package rollup. He spears Sandow after the match and then gets attacked by Alberto Del Rio. Christian then counters a cross-armbreaker attempt by Del Rio into a killswitch.

^I have no expectations of Christian winning the World Title, but he continues to prove time and again that he is talented enough to be at the top of the ladder. Great chemistry and storytelling from Sandow and Christian here. I genuinely hope WWE goes the unlikely route and gives Christian one more run with the strap.

Renee Young interviews Rob Van Dam about facing Dean Ambrose on the Summerslam kickoff. RVD says he’s not worried about the other members of the Shield getting involved as the camera pans out to Big Show and Mark Henry on each side of RVD. Henry says the Shield is going to need a shield because Rob has nothing to worry about at Summerslam.

^Fun promo from this trio, but I somewhat wish this was the Summerslam match instead of the singles match.

Kaitlyn and Natalya take on AJ and Layla. AJ pins Kaitlyn after a shining wizard.

^This one went around four minutes, but it was a damn good four minutes of divas wrestling. I’ve liked the rivalry here, and I think the Total Divas show is really helping the division become more interesting.

Renee Young interviews Ryback about not having a match at Summerslam. He says he’s not on Summerslam because people are scared of him. Ryback starts to bully one of the production crew members and then punches him in the gut before shoving him over a table.

^Ryback’s definitely a heel with little creative direction, and these segments prove it.

The Shield takes on Mark Henry, RVD, and the Big Show. Show hits Ambrose with a WMD and RVD wins the match using the five star frogsplash.

^Solid six man match! You’d think with Henry and Show involved that it wouldn’t be so fast paced, but you’d be wrong! I guess having Show and Henry in RVD’s corner at Summerslam won’t be so bad; maybe RVD could leave Summerslam with the gold after all.

The Miz takes on Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter and Antonio Cesaro. Colter runs his mouth before the match as usual. The ref throws Cesaro and Colter out of the match and sends them to the back. Miz rolls up Swagger on the distraction for the win.

^WWE claims Miz is their favorite social media guy, and that just may be true. What I think might also be true is the fact that WWE sees Miz as being very limited with his in ring ability, and they like him too much not to use him somehow(same with David Otunga). WWE is an entertainment company, and they utilize talent any way that they can. How can you not respect that?

Curtis Axel defeats Zack Ryder. Axel wins with the perfect-axel-twisting-facedriver or whatever it’s called. Paul Heyman cuts a promo after the match about CM Punk facing Brock Lesnar this Sunday.

^Solid but short match; almost a squash but Ryder did just enough to keep it out of that category. Heyman is brilliant as always with his promo work, and I’m glad he’s in the corner of a guy like Axel(whatever keeps him in the spotlight).

Daniel Bryan defeats Wade Barrett in the main event. Vince McMahon tries to interfere and cost Dbry the match with help from Brad Maddox, but Triple H comes down and officiates the proper finish, much to McMahon’s dismay. Bryan gets the pinfall after a diving headbutt on Barrett. Triple H celebrates the yes chants with Dbry after the match until Randy Orton comes out and holds up the MITB briefcase to end the show.

^Excellent matchup! I don’t love the storyline with the McMahons, but at least the match wasn’t overly affected in terms of quality. Great go-home ending for the show!

It was good wrestling and good storylines all night from Smackdown! Summerslam got all the hype it needed and now we can do nothing except look forward to Sunday! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!

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