Saturday, 30 June 2012

SmackTalk 29.06.12

WWE has decreased the number of televised World Heavyweight and WWE championship matches over the last few years. That’s helped the belts mean more and cultivated a feeling that televised title bouts are special. This week saw one of these championship clashes, and the fact that super worker Dolph Ziggler was involved alongside the always reliable Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus made it even more of a highlight.

‘The Show Off’ was the man who carried the match. The exchanges between ADR and ‘Great White’ occasionally felt slow and clunky whilst Ziggler’s work was fluid and believable. Once again his ability to take big bumps came in handy as it made his opponents look great and increased the number of highlights in the match.

‘The Heel’ wound up in the WHC scene by fluke (because of injuries and suspensions) and I hope WWE recognise that he’s improved things by being there and don’t demote him when the established stars start returning to television. Ziggler has earned a top spot and I hope something special is done with him at Money in the Bank. Whether it’s a title match, a prominent singles bout or winning a briefcase doesn’t matter, having a plan for the guy is what’s important.

Speaking of Money in the Bank, the upcoming pay-per-view received some unexpected but welcome preparation on this week’s SmackDown. Five men qualified for the World Heavyweight Money in the Bank match. Damien Sandow defeated Zack Ryder in a basic but enjoyable outing, Tensai handily toppled Justin Gabriel, while Christian and Santino qualified together with a tag team win over David Otunga and Cody Rhodes.

Lastly Tyson Kidd got a surprise victory over the doomed Jack Swagger. Two years ago ‘The All American American’ won a Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania. Now he’s being jobbed out to Superstars regulars. Things don’t look good for him. On the plus side it’s nice to see Tyson Kidd added to a pay-per-view clash as he will up the quality and get the chance to show that he warrants a greater television presence.

Back to Cody Rhodes: immediately after the match I assumed he would receive a second opportunity to get into MITB on next Tuesday’s live SmackDown, because it’s impossible to imagine WWE not putting him into a briefcase battle on July 15th. Later on in the show this hunch was confirmed when Cole, Mathews and Booker revealed that Rhodes had lodged a complaint at the ruling because he hadn’t lost.

I fully expect him to end up in the ladder clash and, assuming that he does, he will almost certainly be my pick to win.


Tweet 1: Randy Orton is still prominent in the SmackDown opening. He's definitely not getting fired.
Tweet 2: The word "historically" was just used with regard to Money in the Bank. The first one was in 2005...
Tweet 3: Championship match for the main event. Great Stuff.
Tweet 4: Recap of Bryan pinning Punk on RAW! Yes! Yes! Yes!

AJ v Layla

Tweet 5: AJ v Layla. I always think shows should start with an exciting match with over performers. WWE clearly disagrees.
Tweet 6: Handshake? C'mon girls, this ain't ROH...
Tweet 7: I say girls, Layla's about thirty-five.
Tweet 8: Cole thinks AJ has an agenda. Booker thinks she's "lost her mind" because Bryan dumped her. Most viewers don't care.
Tweet 9: Even though I'm watching YouTube #SmackDown still trending. Nice timing.
Tweet 10: Daniel Bryan! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 11: AJ is distracted by a hilarious Yes-athon and loses the match. Priceless.

Daniel Bryan promo

Tweet 12: Now Bryan's just standing on the apron watching AJ beat Layla. He's brilliant.
Tweet 13: Bryan doesn’t crave attention.
Tweet 14: I'd watch two hours of Bryan shouting "Yes!" It's better than most of the matches you get on RAW and SmackDown.
Tweet 15: Random thought: where's Sin Cara's push?
Tweet 16: Bryan and AJ are having a "Yes!" off. TV gold.
Tweet 17: I have little use for Vickie Guerrero if she's not introducing Dolph Ziggler.
Tweet 18: I like Vickie knocking Bryan's overuse of catchphrases.
Tweet 19: Bryan wants AJ banned from ringside at Money in the Bank.
Tweet 20: I hope that happens. Punk v Bryan needs to happen without any gimmicky nonsense. It should be a straight wrestling feud.
Tweet 21: The Money in the Bank theme is great.
Tweet 22: AJ will referee Punk v Bryan at MITB. No focus on wrestling for me.
Tweet 23: This is a very fluid episode of SmackDown. Three segments have run together so far.

Money in the Bank qualifier – Damien Sandow v Zack Ryder

Tweet 24: World Heavyweight title MITB qualifier. Zack Ryder v Damien Sandow.
Tweet 25: The point of Sandow's promo? He wants to win MITB and become world champion to help enlighten fans. That's nice of him.
Tweet 26: That was a tidy little match. Sandow beats Ryder clean with a neckbreaker then performs a celebratory cartwheel.
Tweet 27: Both men are over enough to be Money in the Bank. I'm interested to see who gets put in the match over Ryder.

Daniel Bryan hunts for AJ backstage

Tweet 28: AJ's not in the Divas' locker room. WHERE COULD SHE BE?!

Money in the Bank qualifier – Jack Swagger v Tyson Kidd

Tweet 29: Jack Swagger v Tyson Kidd for a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. I will be astounded if Kidd wins this.
Tweet 30: They just mentioned Swagger won MITB in 2010. That didn't do much for his career did it...
Tweet 31: Swagger should start doing a piledriver variant and call it the Tannen Driver.
Tweet 32: "... the winner will have an opportunity for a World Heavyweight title any time in the next year. A World Heavyweight title match that is."
Tweet 33: That's why Cole's the lead commentator. #paidthebigbucks
Tweet 34: Kidd is being allowed to show resilience against Swagger. More matches like this could get him over as a babyface.
Tweet 35: Tyson Kidd wins with a Blockbuster. That is ASTONISHING. WWE seems to be putting together a match with a newcomers feel to it.
Tweet 36: It's a surprising result, but in a good way. I won't pick Kidd as a winner but I think he'll add a great deal to the show.

Jack Swagger is in control here but it was Tyson Kidd who earned the victory

Money in the Bank qualifier – Christian and Santino v David Otunga and Cody Rhodes

Tweet 37: Tag team MITB qualifier? I hate these sorts of situations. It's a singles match they're trying to get into, why are they teaming?
Tweet 38: Santino's involved. That just makes me like the match less.
Tweet 39: Christian saves it.
Tweet 40: I said this last week but it's worth saying again: the MITB ad starring Del Rio is gold.
Tweet 42: "Look at that body, Book" - Michael Cole on David Otunga's physique and posing
Tweet 43: Rhodes is Otunga's partner. Three guys I'm a fan of are involved in this. I can tolerate Santino's nonsense.
Tweet 44: Let me say this: Santino is no Edge.
Tweet 45: Otunga just performed a shoulder block. I think he should use it regularly and refer to it as the Autumnal Charge.
Tweet 46: Otunga is incorporating flexes into his matches. He is a modern day Scott Steiner. Sadly he doesn't have 'Big Poppa Pumps's' promo skills.
Tweet 47: Christian and Santino get into MITB. More guys will qualify on a live SmackDown next week. I'm expecting more heels to be added.
Tweet 48: Rhodes is kicking off because Otunga lost, not him. I smell a second chance for him on next week's show. Because who else is there?

Matt Striker interviews Sheamus

Tweet 49: Sheamus. #bumpkinpromo
Tweet 50: "I DON'T WORRY, I JUST KICKE ARSE!" - Sheamus, world champion of a company that promotes an anti-bullying campaign

RAW flashback

Tweet 51: Rock's This Is Your Life segment was great. I remember watching it on a Tuesday evening after school.
Tweet 52: This was back when Rock wore "thousand dollar shirts."

Daniel Bryan finds AJ backstage

Tweet 53: Why hasn't AJ changed out of her wrestling gear?

Ryback v Dan Barone and Brandan Burke

Tweet 54: Dan Barone and Brendan Burke are rapping. Didn't some other Ryback jobbers do this gimmick a couple of weeks ago?
Tweet 55: Burke (or member it's Barone) looks like a poor man's Heath Slater.
Tweet 56: You want to face Ryback you need to learn how to take a stiff bump.
Tweet 57: I like Josh Mathews' claim that last week he followed Ryback and did things he did. Last week was a workout, this week was eating.
Tweet 58: I want that to be Josh's gimmick: Ryback's pal.
Tweet 59: Barone and Burke get a shock victory over Ryback! ... Just kidding. Ryback is currently chanting his usual "Feed me more!"

Ryback, on his way to another squash victory

Teddy Long speaks to Antonio Cesaro and Aksana backstage

Tweet 60: Antonio Cesaro! Heeeey!
Tweet 61: Teddy is running RAW and SmackDown next week? Didn't his loss at WrestleMania "prove" he's not qualified for the job?
Tweet 62: Antonio and Aksana v Beth Phoenix and Khali next week. I think Antonio could get a good match from Khali (who can't even walk properly).

Money in the Bank qualifier – Tensai v Justin Gabriel

Tweet 63: Tensai's gimmick was good when he came back. It's being stripped back. The most interesting thing about him now is that he bullies Sakamoto.
Tweet 64: I expect Tensai will win because the MITB match is currently light on heels. Gabriel would be a better addition though.
Tweet 65: Rhodes is filing a protest. He will wrestle in a second qualifier next week and I expect he will win.
Tweet 66: If Rhodes is in Money in the Bank I will probably pick him to win.
Tweet 67: Those "tattoos" on Tensai's face have been smeared...
Tweet 68: Tensai wins. He's a strange addition. I can't imagine him excelling in a ladder match.
Tweet 69: During the match Josh Mathews mentioned Tensai had "ploughed through" the competition in Japan. No companies were mentioned.

World Heavyweight championship – Dolph Ziggler v Alberto Del Rio v Sheamus

Tweet 70: Albertooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooo!!
Tweet 71: Is ADR destined to win this evening? I doubt it...
Tweet 72: Are WWE booking Ziggler as a tweener? It's hard to tell but they certainly should be.
Tweet 73: "He's a fightin' Sheamus" - Booker T on Sheamus
Tweet 74: The best way to describe a clothesline from Sheamus: meaty.
Tweet 75: Del Rio has patented the cross armbreaker has he, Cole? I really doubt that.
Tweet 76: Ziggler is carrying this match.
Tweet 77: "Ironically it's Del Rio grabbing his shoulder that time" - Michael Cole, as Del Rio grabbed his elbow (no explanation was given for the mention of irony)
Tweet 78: ADR took a nasty-looking bump from the top rope onto the apron and then to the floor. No wonder the guy gets injured.
Tweet 79: Why are Ziggler and Del Rio being allowed to knock Sheamus about at the announce table. This isn't a no DQ match.
Tweet 80: Sheamus, you hit your finisher. Why aren't you covering?
Tweet 81: FAMEASSER!! #BadAssBillyZiggler
Tweet 82: Brogue Kick to 'The Show Off' earns Sheamus a win. Del Rio should have done the job.

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