SmackDown this week began with a timeless wrestling cliché: one wrestler begins in the ring (in this case Sheamus) only to be interrupted by a number of wrestlers (in this case Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes and Big Show) which then leads to a match set up for later in the show (in this case Sheamus & Big Show vs Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes). It’s clichéd, it’s been done before, but it works.
Following this cliche was The Great Khali vs Jinder Mahal. Everyone knows I’m not the biggest fan of Khali or Mahal and this match was nothing to call home about. Even worse than the match, though, was the fact that after Khali’s attempt to attack Randy Orton on RAW (read my review here), and his supposed switch back to being a monster heel was the fact that Khali came out as his Punjabi Playboy character again, which showed that WWE seems to be indecisive when it comes to what to do with The Great Khali.
The Divas were up next. More specifically, Beth Phoenix was up next. She continued her dominating run through the Divas division with a relatively quick win over Alicia Fox, which served it’s purpose in continuing Beth Phoenix’s run, as mentioned, but did nothing else. Hopefully the rumours come true and Beth Phoenix soon feuds with another top quality wrestler on the WWE roster. Kharma is a name that continually comes up when Beth Phoenix is mentioned and I’m sure I speak for most WWE fans when I say I really want to see this match happen. On the subject of the Divas, the horrible backstage segments featuring Natalya “farting” continue. One step forward, two steps back it seems.
Next up was the tag match set up during the wrestling cliché at the beginning of the show. Before the match even started I was left scratching my head and uttering the classic acronym, WTF. The Big Show came out first. Usually in tag team matches your partner would be introduced next. Except, for some bizarre reason, WWE decided to then have the team of Wade and Cody come out before Big Show’s tag team partner, Sheamus. Like I said before; WTF?! Anyway, the match itself was good after it got going. Initially Wade was made to look weak which, after being billed as a bare knuckled fighter and throwing “The Viper” Randy Orton down a flight of stairs, also made me scratch my head in bemusement. After these speed bumps though, the match was decent with Wade and Cody both showing how good they are in the ring before Sheamus received the hot tag from Big Show to run rough shot over his opponents for the victory.
Michael Cole was next up in an interview piece with AJ. Michael Cole’s character has taken a step back of late but during this interview he still showed signs of being the Cole everyone knows and hates from the past year (read: annoying, over the top and, erm, annoying). AJ had some choice words for Cole, pointing out everything Cole is hated for by most wrestling fans: burying Daniel Bryan and the Divas. The interview got very heated before Bryan came down and interrupted, leaving Cole to flee with his tail between his legs. Bryan’s new character direction is a hark back to the CM Punk character that preached Straight Edge a few years back, except instead of being anti-drugs and alcohol, is an eco-friendly, vegan preacher. While Michael Cole’s interview wasn’t great, Bryan’s promo was exceptional in continuing and developing his character- insisting he is still the good guy and at the same time using it as an excuse to attempt to exit the arena and weasel out of his match with Randy Orton.
Before the aforementioned main event between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton was to take place, though, Ted DiBiase and Hunico took to the ring for a match that was actually not bad between two very talented wrestlers currently stuck in SmackDown’s mid-card. Hunico worked over Ted’s injured wrist for the majority of the match which led to Ted getting a quick roll-up pinfall. Look for this feud to continue over the coming weeks.
A new Be A STAR video aired. The Be A STAR Alliance is, to quote the official website “is an anti-bullying alliance co-founded by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Its mission is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness. If you’re a student, teacher or parent, we have the resources and tools to help you put an end to bullying in your school and community”. Despite WWE being a physical product where two guys “fight” in the ring each and every week, it’s good to see a huge worldwide company like WWE tackle such a prevalent issue as bullying. Below is the latest Be A STAR video. Watch it and visit the website: http://beastaralliance.org/
Finally, main event time saw Randy Orton take on current World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. This match turned out to be a great pure wrestling match featuring two of the best wrestlers on the SmackDown roster. A thoroughly enjoyable match that saw both Orton and Bryan get in some good offence and only saw Bryan’s weasel character come out towards the end of the match when he antagonised The Big Show (who was on commentary for the match) as a means to get attacked and then to furthermore get Randy Orton disqualified. This ending was fantastic. It carried on Bryan’s character which he did so well to develop in his promo earlier in the show, and it also led to Orton and Big Show brawling to end the show- a sign of things to come in the always-explosive Elimination Chamber match-come-PPV which is this coming Sunday, February 19th.
What to watch:
- Sheamus & The Big Show vs Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes
- Daniel Bryan’s promo
- The Be A STAR video
- Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan
So, what did you think of SmackDown on Friday? Leave a comment below or tweet me your views (@DeadmanDRB).