That a show that lasted only seventy-five minutes and was the final major TV programme at the company’s disposal before a pay-per-view event (read my preview of it here) does not bode well for RAW’s upcoming weekly third hour. This should have been a show crammed with reasons for people to buy Money in the Bank.
Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise: the story of the week was that Zack Ryder was the GM. The creative highlight of this one-night deal was the show being renamed ZackDown. That may be a (sort of) clever play on words but I’d expected a lot more. ‘Long Island Iced Z’ has recently had a few run-ins with Damien Sandow but the two didn’t interact at all. ZackDown would have been the perfect opportunity to progress that mild rivalry into something more meaningful.
On a similar note WWE missed a trick by not using Tyson Kidd on this show. His surprise entry into a Money in the Bank match got a lot of fans talking about the potential of a proper push for the Calgary native. You’d think WWE would want to capitalise on that popularity and have Kidd appear as much as possible. A perfect spot for him would have been teaming with Christian. We didn’t need to see anymore from Santino.
Ryder booked his share of matches mid-show though (a GM speciality). He gave us Big Show v Great Khali and Chris Jericho v Sheamus. The battle of the giants lasted a matter of seconds and was clearly designed to get over Show’s WMD KO punch over as a dangerous finisher in time for Money in the Bank. The idea was to make people consider how easily Show could win his Money in the Bank ladder match if he KO’d his three opponents as the match begins. It probably convinced a few people that could happen, so it wasn’t a bad move.
‘Y2J’s’ clash with World Heavyweight champion Sheamus was a fairly pedestrian affair. It contained a few memorable spots but there was never any doubt that Jericho would be staring at the lights come the finish. Sheamus had to be protected before his clash with ADR.
ZackDown felt like a wasted opportunity. A guest host who is also an active member of the roster should produce an above average show and create something new for that star to do in the future. Next week will be business as usual for Zack Ryder. This show accomplished nothing.
Zack Ryder promo
Tweet 1: Let's watch tonight's SmackDown!Tweet 2: How do you start SmackDown right? Send out Zack Ryder as GM for the night. Ummmm...
Tweet 3: "I have no idea what you just said" - Michael Cole to Booker T
Tweet 4: "ZackDown" starts with "the world's largest fist pump." Nice to see Ryder has his priorities right.
Tweet 5: Albertoooooooooooooooooooooooo Deeeeeeeeeeeelll Riiiiiiiiiiiooooooooooooooooooooooo!!
Tweet 6: ADR thinks winning the WHC will allow him to rule SmackDown. How does that work exactly?
Alberto Del Rio v Sin Cara
Tweet 7: Sin Cara really needs to be sent back to CMLL. Or NXT. He doesn't know how to work...Tweet 8: His red and white outfit is better than the blue and gold one. Puts me in mind of Jushin Liger.
Tweet 9: Mathews mentions Cara's in MITB as if he has a chance of winning. He doesn't.
Tweet 10: Booker just said ADR can't make any cheap shots in tonight's match. He started by jumping Sin Cara! WWE needs to sort its commentary out.
Tweet 11: That's not news though.
Tweet 12: Sin Cara wins about as much as Val Venis circa 2000.
Tweet 13: What would happen to the lights if The Undertaker came to the ring during a Sin Cara match?
Tweet 14: #wewantKharma is trending. I agree with that. If she really has been released WWE may as well officially fold the Divas division.
Tweet 15: "You can't sleep on this guy Sin Cara cos he can do somethin' special" - Booker T on Sin Cara
Tweet 16: Cara taps out to the cross arm breaker. A win for Sin Cara would have been surprising seeing as ADR's challenging for a title on Sunday.
Alberto Del Rio works over Jushin 'Thunder' Liger... or is it Sin Cara?
Tweet 17: WWE and John Cena are touting Tout. How about promoting some new talent?Tweet 18: Nah, get some tiresome fans chatting instead.
Zack Ryder, Big Show and The Great Khali backstage
Tweet 19: Zack Ryder backstage. Teddy Long thinks he's doing a great job. Why is he even there? What is his job?Tweet 20: And there's Khali doing Ryder's catchphrase. Just a mess of vowels and consonants.
Darren Young v Primo
Tweet 21: AW and the PTPs. I'd like to see AW do a gimmick where his headpiece is hooked up to the commentators so he can join in on play-by-play.Tweet 22: I do enjoy watching Rosa Mendes.
Tweet 23: AW's headpiece is hooked up as a microphone instead, so everything he says can be heard. This is far better.
Tweet 24: There so much potential in this gimmick. AW isn't as naturally as funny as Kevin Steen though (he used to do this on ROH's HDNet show).
Tweet 25: A leg drop, an elbow drop and a fist drop? That's being pushed as a false finish now? C'mon...
Tweet 26: "Primo steals one!" - Josh Mathews after Primo pinned Darren Young clean in the middle of the ring following a rollup
Tweet 27: I love it when Cole refuses to look at Booker because he knows he'll laugh.
For those keeping score Epico, Primo and Rosa are now babyfaces
Zack Ryder, Sheamus and Chris Jericho backstage
Tweet 28: Jericho is laying into Ryder's fake tan. He's clearly lathered in the stuff himself, plus he's wearing a stupid jacket.Tweet 29: And the less said about his leather trousers the better.
Tweet 30: "It'll be like two monster trucks or Transformers colliding" - Josh Mathews on Big Show v Great Khali
Tweet 31: Does he know what machines are?
Tweet 32: Jericho v Sheamus could be good. Depends how sloppy 'Y2J's' feeling.
Christian and Santino v Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes
Tweet 33: Christian and Santino versus…?Tweet 34: Ziggler! #ShowOff #heel #heelsdoitbetter #bestontheroster
Tweet 35: Ziggler and Rhodes. The two likeliest candidates to win the WHC MITB if you ask me.
Tweet 36: How many times will wrestlers point at the briefcase hanging over the ring during this match do we think?
Tweet 37: They’re at it already!
Tweet 38: Booker's talking about never having won a Money in the Bank match but having tried to do so. I cannot remember him EVER being in one.
Tweet 39: He probably was at some point but he wasn't a regular in them. Commentary is stupid tonight.
Tweet 40: Booker has NEVER been more than filler in Money in the Bank, if he's been in it at all. The guy doesn't even know his own career...
Tweet 41: Heels win via Zig Zag. Dolph getting the win on SmackDown further convinces me it will be Cody's turn to go over on Sunday.
Tweet 42: #ReksvsRyback is trending. That's a solid trend right there.
Big Show v The Great Khali
Tweet 43: Oh good, now we get to see Big Show v Khali. Aces.Tweet 44: The Great Khali can't even walk convincingly.
Tweet 45: That shot of Big Show was meant to show him warming up but it looked like he was dancing to Khali's music.
Tweet 46: Khali's reign as World Heavyweight champion is when the belt jumped the shark.
Tweet 47: Thankfully that was a short match. Show goes over via WMD. The bout was clearly designed to get that move over for Sunday.
Tyler Reks v Ryback
Tweet 48: Reks and Hawkins get a televised entrance this week. What sinister magicks have been invoked to make that happen?Tweet 49: Reks will hand Ryback his very first loss. The defeats he suffered during his time in Nexus don't count apparently...
Tweet 50: Ryback is selling? OMGs.
Tweet 51: According to Josh Mathews, Ryback eats eight to ten large meals a day. More needs to be made of Mathews' Ryback fetish.
Tweet 52: Ryback handles Reks with ease. I think we'll see both members of the MidCard Mafia tackle "the undefeated one" on Sunday.
Another Tout ad
Tweet 53: The fan who picked the unveiling of the Higher Power as his favourite RAW moment is a smart lad. Classic WWE. Classic Vince.
Justin Gabriel v Damien Sandow
Tweet 54: Damien Sandow v Justin Gabriel. I won't be satisfied unless 'The Self-Professed Intellectual Savior of the Masses' goes over.Tweet 55: Rolling through the Russian leg sweep was a nice spot. Smoothly done.
Tweet 56: Sandow is very good at getting his character over with limited TV time. #celebratorycartwheel
Chris Jericho v Sheamus
Tweet 57: FELLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!Tweet 58: SmackDown… is… JERICHO!!
Tweet 59: "Chris Jericho, one of the all-time greats" - Booker T as Jericho played the cowardly heel and rolled to the outside
Tweet 60: I'm picking 'Great White' to win this.
Tweet 61: Lionsault. Rare for that move to not be met with a pair of knees.
Tweet 62: Sheamus unsubtly readjusting his trunks there.
Tweet 63: Sheamus completely no sold the Walls of Jericho. Poor form.
Tweet 64: Why does a trembling hand indicate that a wrestler is close to tapping out?
Tweet 65: "What a match! What a match!" - Michael Cole on the distinctly average Sheamus v Jericho match
Tweet 66: Sheamus jumping off the top rope into a (sort of) Codebreaker was a nice spot.
Tweet 67: 'Y2J' charges into a Brogue Kick, resulting in a Sheamus victory. Not a bad match but it certainly didn't warrant Cole's overexcitement.
Tweet 68: Del Rio sneaks up on Sheamus and knocks him off the stage with some kicks. Now he has the cross armbreaker on Sheamus against the stage.
Tweet 69: This shouldn't pose a problem for the champion. He no sells getting crushed by cars, remember?