Sunday, May 1, 2011

WWE Smackdown thoughts - April 29, 2011

It was the post-Draft/pre-Extreme Rules Smackdown and though the Draft doesn't truly go into effect until tomorrow, plenty of the draftees would appear on this show, including Randy Orton (and his beard), who kicked things off on Friday night. Orton took the time to introduce himself to the Smackdown audience, you know for all those people who only watch Smackdown and never catch even a passing glimpse of Monday Night Raw. Orton tried to turn his attention to CM Punk, but was instead was interrupted by Drew McIntyre, who was drafted on Tuesday to "Mendee Night RrRrRaw." Drew "just" came out to say goodbye and went for the Future Shock and got an RKO for his troubles. Well, that was productive.

Orton tried to continue his dazzling speech, but was interrupted again, this time by Alex Riley, who now has the most generic theme music in the company and a TitanTron that just says "ALEX RILEY" in Times New Roman. Why did they split him from The Miz again? Just so he could get an RKO on Friday?

Monday Night Raw's Alberto Del Rio was the third interruption, congratulating Orton on making an impression, but it looked like Del Rio and his entourage were ready to take him out. Just as Del Rio, Brodus and the feared Ricardo Rodriguez surrounded Orton, Christian made the save... which made me have to reconsider my fandom for Captain Charisma. T-Lo stopped things before they got violent and postponed the violence until the main event, Brodus Clay & Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian & Randy Orton.

Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus was scheduled to be our opening contest, but Sheamus attacked Kofi during his entrance and proceeded to beat the hell out of him. Though it hasn't been made official, I would assume Kofi vs. Sheamus will get added to the PPV tonight so Kofi can get the US Title on Raw. I'd also be all for Sheamus being the first contender for Christian's World Heavyweight Title... just throwing that out there.

Michael Cole was in the ring, talking about beating up on JR because JR is fat and eats BBQ. JR may be fat, but at least he doesn't have bad prison tattoos, Cole! Cole brings out Raw's Jack Swagger for his match against Smackdown's Sin Cara. Loved this match, Sin Cara is clearly getting more comfortable in the WWE ring, Swagger busted out some new stuff (like doing push-ups on Sin Cara's back) and the two just gelled very well together. Swagger tried to cheat by wrapping Michael Cole's belt around his fist, but got caught with a victory roll(!) and Sin Cara picked up the win. Swagger tried attacking after the match, but dumped over the top rope and hit with a beautiful springboard cross body. Great stuff.

The Corre invoked their rematch clause against Big Show & Kane and challenged for the WWE Tag Team Titles. So Big Show's finally come up with a name for his knockout punch, the "Weapon of Mass Destruction," which is okay, but it's not nearly as cool as "Carcinogenic Fist." Match played out exactly how you'd expect the match to play out and the champs successfully defended their titles after a double chokeslam. Maybe we'll rebuild The Corre next week?

Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry was another interbrand match and the first for Henry since turning on John Cena and Christian on Monday night. These two had a really fun match and the crowd was SUPER into it, so I think that bodes well for Henry's run on Smackdown. I really like Henry (though I prefer him as a face), but he's the original start-stop push. Every time there's a minor adjustment to his character or a change of scenery, WWE puts him in a position to be a top guy and then gets cold feet. Hopefully things will be different now and if he can keep putting on performances like this one, I think it will. Cody Rhodes caused the DQ, which was probably the best ending possible for this match. Cody decimated Rey outside the ring, then threw him back to Mark Henry for a World's Strongest Slam.

Michelle McCool vs. Layla up next, The Lay-GaPowers Explode! The two were both counted out soon after the match started and the two brawled over the ringside area, setting up a rematch at Extreme Rules... in a Loser Leaves Town match! Well, that certainly explains why they're splitting up, someone's leaving and I would assume it's Michelle McCool. Maybe she wants to go home to Death Valley and raise lil zombie babies?

Absolutely fantastic promo from Christian backstage, he said up until last week he'd never even touched the World Title before because he didn't feel like he earned the right, but Sunday is his time. C'mon Christian, you gotta win tonight.

Main Event time! Randy Orton & Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay. Good main event, Christian even busted out a top rope hurricanrana! I hate that they've split Del Rio and Brodus Clay though, even though they have absolutely no similarities, it's been good for Brodus, he makes a good bodyguard. Nice to see Christian continuing to rub elbows with top talent too, even if it is Randy Orton and hopefully it keeps up after tonight.

Of course, Orton and Christian won because Randy Orton can't lose a match, but I really hope that doesn't mean Del Rio picks up the win tonight. I have no problem with Del Rio, but there's no reason to go through the wonkery of having two World Titles on Raw and no one deserves a run at the top more than Captain Charisma. Don't let me down, WWE!

Good Smackdown, great post-Draft show. I think they established the new rosters quite well and gave everyone their proper send-off/welcoming depending on where they'll be starting tomorrow night. Solid hype for Extreme Rules as well, the Draft being this week allowed them to do some unique build for the show and I think it all worked pretty well. Check back here in a few hours for my PPV predictions!

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