ThunderStruck: WWE Smackdown Analysis 08/23/13

Lilian Garcia introduces the Smackdown GM, Vickie Guerrero to start the show. Vickie introduces the new WWE Champion, Randy Orton.

Orton cuts a nice promo about not needing anyone’s help to be WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan interrupts him and wants his rematch for the WWE Title tonight. Orton tells Dbry he’ll have to wait until Night of Champions. Orton goes for an RKO but Bryan counters and dropkicks him out of the ring. The crowd chants yes.

^Solid opening segment to hype the WWE Championship, but don’t we usually push the World Title on this show? Maybe that rumor about the change of the Smackdown focus was true.

Vickie Guerrero talks with Wade Barrett backstage. Barrett wants to face Dbry tonight, and Vickie suggests a no holds barred match, but changes it to an extreme rules, but then changes it to a steel cage match.

^Should make for an excellent match later tonight!

Curtis Axel goes one on one with Cody Rhodes. Cody gets distracted by Paul Heyman when he goes for a moonsault and Axel capitalizes with his finisher for the victory. Axel and Heyman cut a promo after the match. Heyman goes into a long rant and says no one can defeat Axel for the IC Title. Axel says CM Punk doesn’t deserve a shot at the IC Title, but he challenges Punk to a match on Monday Night Raw.

^The match was solid and fairly competitive, but the promo after the match was the home run hitter. Axel and Punk one on one on Raw? Sign me up for front row seats! It’s refreshing to see Heyman making Axel into a star after all his time on the roster being wasted.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Big E. Langston w/AJ using the zig zag. AJ screams after the match.

^The match was too short to be enjoyable, but I do like the chemistry between Zigs and E. I really would like to see them go for fifteen minutes and see what sort of story they would tell.

Alberto Del Rio defeats Christian with the cross-armbreaker in a lengthy contest.

^Four matches from these two over the last month? I’m not complaining; both men shine in the ring together and could easily main event multiple pay per views with that sort of match quality. Nice to see Del Rio get a second win over Christian after losing twice before their match at Summerslam. At least the wins and losses balanced out for the champion.

Del Rio cuts a promo after the match about Latino fans wanting to be the next Alberto Del Rio. He tells everyone they can be greater if they just follow him. Ricardo interrupts him and introduces Rob Van Dam. Christian nails Del Rio from behind and RVD delivers Rolling Thunder to him as well.

^I’m expecting RVD to be Del Rio’s next challenger for the gold at Night of Champions, and I also suspect that Ricardo will redeem himself eventually in the eyes of Del Rio. Good segment here to hype the World Title.

Mark Henry and Big Show defeat the 3MB in a handicap match. Big Show pins Drew McIntyre after a KO punch.

^This was complete domination by the near 1,000 pound duo. Henry threw Slater around like a rag doll and it was just hilarious. Fun match.

Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns show up on the tron and tell the duo that they will take them out despite becoming the most imposing team in the history of WWE. Rollins says they are better than Show and Henry and the two of them have got to go.

^Good promo work until Reigns tried yelling “believe in.” The guy just sounds so intellectually deficient whenever I hear him talk. Can’t wait for that tag team match to go down though!

Zeb Colter does his “we the people” statement for the Real Americans. Darren Young w/Titus O’Neil takes on Antonio Cesaro. Young defeats Cesaro with the gutbuster/gutcheck.

^Short match to put over Darren Young here. It’s nice to see the Prime Time Players becoming relevant again.

Ryback bullies a guy that asks for an autograph for his son. He shreds the photo that the man wants signed.

I assume Ryback must be healing up from some sort of injury while he just stands around backstage doing the same thing every week.

Daniel Bryan defeats Wade Barrett in a steel cage match with a knee to Barrett’s head from out of the corner the same way he pinned John Cena at Summerslam. Dbry celebrates to end Smackdown!

^Great closing to the show! Hyping the guy who has the most momentum chasing the WWE Title by letting him do what he does best in the ring? Brilliant! Barrett looked good here in this match, and I wonder if WWE is trying to figure out the best way to make Barrett look more appealing. The ability is certainly there, but that star power does appear to be lacking.

Christian and Del Rio wrestled the best pure wrestling match, but Dbry and Barrett had the most exciting match of the night. Every other match felt a little short, but at least the show was packed full of wrestling!

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