The Cena v Del Rio bout was dull. ADR remains a competent enough worker but he isn’t good enough to get anything special out of the machine-like ‘Franchise’. It didn’t matter anyway, their match was overshadowed by the conflict between Cena and Dolph Ziggler.
That WWE have incorporated AJ Lee into a programme between one of their few rising stars and their leading man is worrying. They messed up their usage of her over the summer (when they rushed her into the RAW GM spot) and still don’t seem to know what to do with her. Pairing her with Cena seems like a desperation move designed to recreate her summer popularity. It doesn’t seem to be working and is detracting from Ziggler’s push.
It wasn’t an all bad show though. Team Hell No joined forces with Intercontinental kingpin Kofi Kingston for a pacey six man tag match against the Prime Time Players and Wade Barrett. As the three men are currently involved in their own respective feuds it was a bout that made sense and got some over acts on television.
The Three Man Band (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre for the uninitiated) got an outing too. It fell firmly into the So Bad It’s Good category.
The highlight of the show was Damien Sandow. No, not his match with Tyson Kidd. While that was acceptable it was bettered by his pre-match promo. This saw ‘The Intellectual Saviour’ take a (planted) member of the audience into the ring and ask him a series of three questions. We were told that if the man could answer all three correctly he would become Sandow’s new apprentice.
Naturally the man failed on the third question (what is the orbital velocity of Jupiter’s moon Europa?) and Sandow was denied an apprentice. The segment was a perfect example of how good Sandow is at making people boo him and getting his character over. If he’s not one of the top picks to become a headline act next year I don’t know who is.
Opening video package
Tweet 1: Time to watch SmackDown. I hope this week's show features Sheamus!Tweet 2: Good times! He will be on! Facing Dolph Ziggler no less.
Tweet 3: Best way to end a SmackDown hype video? Close up on Big Show's face to dramatic music.
John Cena promo featuring Alberto Del Rio
Tweet 4: Oh good. A John Cena promo.Tweet 5: I think the question on everyone's lips is: where is John Laurinaitis? #BigJohnny
Tweet 6: "I want the world to know this is Friday Night SmackDown!" - John Cena, telling us something we already know
Tweet 7: They're referencing the two minute Ziggler title reign. How's that going to help him? It won't. By the way, Cena is a cheap shot artist.
Tweet 8: How do you make a boring promo worse? Add a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of Alberto Del Rio. At least Ricardo's there too.
Tweet 9: Did Del Rio just call him Agent Cena?
Tweet 10: I liked ADR this time last year. I can't stand him now. He's become an incredibly boring character throughout 2012.
Tweet 11: Ridiculously exaggerated hip toss from Cena there.
Tweet 12: "This is a WrestleMania main event right here" - JBL on John Cena v Alberto Del Rio
Tweet 13: Bradshaw sounds like he's been drinking.
Tweet 14: This is a standard Cena outing. There's nothing interesting or different happening.
Tweet 15: ADR's a four time Mexcian champion? What does that even mean? Elaborate, Bradshaw!
Tweet 16: Del Rio will tap to the STF. No one can overcome the might of Cena!
Tweet 17: Ahhhhhhhh... he escaped via the ropes. Booooooooo!
Saved by a finger
Tweet 18: Cena wins via the ever-sloppy top rope leg drop. You know, that move that gave The Rock a concussion at WrestleMania.
weet 19: Billy Gunn just jumped Cena! No... wait a sec... It's Dolph. #BadAssBillyZiggler
Tweet 20: Predictably Josh Mathews is against Ziggler's attack from behind even though Cena did the EXACT same thing last week.
Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston backstage
Tweet 21: Kofi's shirt says he can fly. Drug reference?Tweet 22: Bryan's back to shouting yes? Awesome!
Booker T and John Cena talk seriously backstage
Tweet 23: Booker's backstage persona? Just add glasses.Tweet 24: Great Khali is "already in the ring." They cut out his entrance because he can't even walk properly.
David Otunga v The Great Khali
Tweet 25: Is Josh implying a sexual relationship between Khali and Hornswoggle? That's a storyline I want to see.Tweet 26: Khali gets a win. Good to see his push is alive and well.
Tweet 27: That wasn't a pointless match AT ALL.
The Prime Time Players and Wade Barrett v Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston
Tweet 28: "As commentators they're good wrestlers" - JBL on the Prime Time PlayersTweet 29: I can see Wade pinning Kofi in this one. It would set up their title match for TLC.
Tweet 30: Has Wade been in the ring yet?
Tweet 31: Barrett with a pump handle slam there. Nice addition to his move set.
Tweet 32: How is Titus "unraveling" Daniel Bryan? Josh is regressing as a commentator. Stick him in the ring and make him a jobber.
Tweet 33: "Titus played football for the University of Florida" - Josh 'JR' Mathews
Tweet 34: Bryan gets the tap out win on Darren Young. So much for giving Wade another non-title win over Kofi.
Matt Striker interviews Sheamus
Tweet 35: Matt Striker has stolen Al Snow's facial hair.Tweet 36: Sheamus just said he'll be punching harder in his match with Ziggler. I feel the need to point out that closed fists are illegal.
Damien Sandow searches for an apprentice
Tweet 37: #SandowpopTweet 38: Sandow promos are the best!
Tweet 39: Sandow is picking an apprentice? Will this be a three month process featuring a weekly firing?
Chris Jericho should sign over his 'Highlight of the Night' moniker to this guy
Tweet 40: Is this potential apprentice a dwarf?
Tweet 41: "Sir. Bad form" - Damien Sandow to a cheering fan
Tweet 42: Sandow ended that promo with a Vic Reeves-esque smirk into the camera. He's one of the best things about current WWE.
Damien Sandow v Tyson Kidd
Tweet 43: Even Sandow's hair is great. Tyson's less so...Tweet 44: Tyson Kidd has just been referred to as the last graduate of the Hart Dungeon. It's also been claimed that guy in NXT is the last graduate.
Tweet 45: #rotationofillumination
Matt Striker interviews Dolph Ziggler
Tweet 46: Why are Dolph and Cena feuding about an affair? 'The Show Off' deserves better and Cena’s above silliness (usually).Tweet 47: Was Dolph trying to introduce a schizophrenic aspect to his character with that promo? It seemed like he was talking to imaginary people.
Tweet 48: Has he traded in Vickie for Little Jimmy?
Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater v The Usos
Tweet 49: 3MB. #TVgoldTweet 50: The unrehearsed nature of 3MB's ring entrance is endearing.
Tweet 51: The PERSPEX BOX is nowhere to be seen. #badtimes
Tweet 52: Slater and Mahal win an ultimately pointless match.
Dolph Ziggler v Sheamus
Tweet 53: #heretoshowtheworld #showoff #heel #heelsdoitbetterTweet 54: He didn't shout FELLAAAAAAAA!!
Tweet 55: The Sheamus Experiment has failed. He is not the top line babyface WWE envisaged in January.
Tweet 56: If Sheamus sees Big Show in every match why isn't he aiming his punches higher?
Tweet 57: Sheamus went to an all Gaelic school. That explains his walk...
Tweet 58: Ziggler is one of the few guys who can get an above average bout out of 'Great White'.
Tweet 59: Dolph took a nice fall out of that school boy kick out from Sheamus. #bestbumperinthebusiness
Tweet 60: Big Show's earning his paycheque with this two minute cameo. He's the World champ you know?
Tweet 61: Don't worry about the heels being booked too strong, Cena did a run-in and dealt with Show and Dolph easily.
Tweet 62: Guess we'll see Show and Ziggler v Cena and Sheamus sometime next week. I won't hold my breath for that one.