While we did get an appearance from General Manager Booker T it wasn’t to interrupt Alberto Del Rio (Sheamus’s current chief rival). Instead it was Damien Sandow who had sauntered to the ring to have words with the champ.
While the Sandow v Sheamus match that resulted from this confrontation was a mild disappointment (mainly because of the finish) it was nice to see ‘The Intellectual Saviour of the Masses’ being given a chance to work with someone higher up the card than him. It was nice to see ‘The Great White’ facing somebody new too.
Is Damien Sandow a future star? Very much so
The undeniable highlight of the show was the bout between Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton. The two men got under ten minutes but still managed to turn out something enjoyable. The clean loss for ‘The Show Off’ was disappointing but there’s plenty of time for him to pick up a win in a rematch at some point. Hopefully they’ll get longer next time they wrestle.
The inclusion of a Divas match and a tag team match was promising too. Neither was especially great but it could indicate that WWE is attempting to develop both divisions. SmackDown would be a good place to do it.
Each show generally features two matches that include main event talent and a bunch of forgettable outings. Why not replace the forgettable outings with a weekly Divas match and a weekly tag team match, with each division getting a backstage segment too. The blue brand (is it even a brand anymore?) is a good place to try to re-establish these overlooked aspects of WWE programming.
Tweet 1: Something seems to be very very wrong with my laptop. It's taken half an hour to turn on. I still plan to tweet SmackDown though.Tweet 2: WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Like a cult.
Tweet 3: This week's show is from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Kennedy run-in? ... Run-in?
Sheamus promo, featuring Damien Sandow and Booker T
Tweet 4: Sheamus is now mincing out to the ring to start SmackDown with a promo. That'll make a change.Tweet 5: Sandow really could help Sheamus. He could help him a lot.
Tweet 6: "Typical response from an ignorance-spewing hooligan" - Damien Sandow to Sheamus
Tweet 7: Sandow is tremendous. He needs to be much more prominent. Great character.
Tweet 8: What is Sandow going to make of Booker T? This should be gold.
Tweet 9: Sandow didn't speak to Booker. Disappointing. Perhaps we'll see them in a backstage vignette.
Tweet 10: Mysterio putting on a mask over his mask there.
Rey Mysterio v Cody Rhodes
Tweet 11: Yo dawg, I heard you like to wear a mask so we put a mask over your mask so you can mask while you mask.Tweet 12: "Rey has such a unique relationship with the younger members of the WWE Universe" - Josh Mathews, perhaps taking a dig at Rey's height
Tweet 13: Rey versus Cody? This should be good.
Tweet 14: Cody is now feuding with masked wrestlers, claiming they're all ugly. Remember when he was considered a future headliner?
Tweet 15: I hope Cody's feud against masks leads to a match with Kane. That could be played for laughs. It wouldn't be though...
Tweet 16: Look at Mike Chioda. Then look at a picture of Earl Hebner from 1999. Chioda is morphing into him.
Tweet 17: "Do you think Rhodes has an obsessive personality?" - Josh Mathews, a man paid to commentate on wrestling matches
Tweet 18: So the story is that every week Rhodes tries to yank a mask off someone and it costs him a match. The point? There is no point.
Tweet 19: Sin Cara makes the save and sets up a 619 for Rey. I hope this is leading to a swerve turn by Cara. Rey could get good matches from him.
Kaitlyn v Natalya
Tweet 20: Here comes Eve. You can tell she's playing a heel administrator because she's wearing glasses.Tweet 21: Neither Kaitlyn or Natalya gets a televised entrance. Why would they? Time needs to be kept free for the half a dozen recaps of RAW.
Tweet 22: "Kaitlyn is the future of the WWE" - Eve Torres
Tweet 23: Kaitlyn has some amusingly bad entrance music.
Matt Striker asks for Booker T’s opinion on AJ
Tweet 24: Matt Striker is interviewing Booker T. Don't mention Hulk Hogan...Tweet 25: What does the AJ slap to Vickie have to do with Booker?
Damien Sandow v Sheamus
Tweet 26: Josh Mathews can't say hooligan. He pronounces it "hewligan."Tweet 27: I'd love it if Sandow won this. He won’t, but I’d love it.
Tweet 28: Sandow is rolling to the outside a lot...
Tweet 29: So 'Great White' wins because Sandow ran away? That's a very poor finish. The match was good until that happened.
Prime Time Players v Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel
Tweet 30: An NFL guy is shown. I fail to care.Tweet 31: The Prime Time Players v Gabriel and Kidd match starts and Cole immediately introduces a Tout video from the Usos. Bad timing, you say?
Tweet 32: Gabriel and Kidd need a team name and some matching trunks. If they get them I'd like to see them as tag champs.
Tweet 33: For such a short match that was quite enjoyable.
Those are some educated feet...
Josh Mathews interviews Alberto Del Rio
Tweet 34: Josh Mathews is on interview duty. Makes a pleasant change from Cole.Tweet 35: Albertoooooooooo Dellllllllllllllllll Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooo.
Tweet 36: I think Del Rio's English has actually gotten worse since he debuted.
Tweet 37: "Hello. My name is Kane" - Kane
Tweet 38: Teddy Long makes Del Rio v Kane. This isn't a tag match! What's going on?!
Alberto Del Rio v Kane
Tweet 39: I want Dr Shelby to become Kane's manager.Tweet 40: ADR wins via backstabber. Isn't that soemone else's finish? Yes. Yes it is.
Tweet 41: "Beat up Cole!" - Some fans as Kane was beating up Josh Mathews
Tweet 42: Best part of that segment? Josh flinching as Kane's pyro went off.
Dolph Ziggler v Randy Orton
Tweet 43: Mathews has been taken backstage. I really hope Cole isn't going to pull a Joey Styles here.Tweet 44: "I arrive, I steal the show, and I leave" - Dolph Ziggler, repeating something I wrote on this very blog last week
Tweet 45: Randy Orton should form a tag team with Jake Roberts called The Snakes.
Tweet 46: This should be the best match of the show. #fact
Tweet 47: I'd take a pairing of Cole and Striker over Cole solo. This is AWFUL.
Tweet 48: "Next world champion" - The audience on Dolph Ziggler
Tweet 49: Forearm across Ziggler's jaw on that cover. #Britishcover
Tweet 50: Orton wins clean via RKO. Disappointing. Nice heat seeking from Vickie reminding people that Ziggler's the MITB winner though.