Again, this week's Smackdown review will be brought you you in Fair to Flair's patent-pending WOO!/BOO! format. For those of you who read TV Guide in the 90s, it's kinda like Cheers & Jeers!
Sheamus vs. The Great Khali was my favorite Great Khali match, ever. Seriously. I know that's not saying much, I don't think I've even remotely enjoyed a Khali match since his feud with Cena in 2007, but this match was awesome. Sheamus got his ass kicked, his body looked disgusting by the end of it, covered in cuts, welts and bruises, you really got the sense that Sheamus had to go through hell win this one. Sheamus is going to make an excellent good guy and if he can get a match like this out of the Great Khali, imagine what him and Mark Henry will do at SummerSlam. Or him and Christian? The future's looking bright for Smackdown's main event scene thanks to the Celtic Warrior.
Natalya vs. AJ was shockingly good women's wrestling for a weekly WWE show. They didn't get nearly enough time to explore the potential and chemistry they had together, but they were definitely onto something. Natalya made AJ instantly tap out to the Sharpshooter, then she kicked her ass after the match and showed solidarity with Beth Phoenix, saying the days of cute little princesses are over. Loving it, it seems like WWE is listening to fans, not just in the CM Punk story, but with the Divas as well. They've needed to do a story like this, with the women's wrestlers banding together against the Divas.
Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd. Hoooooly shit. Daniel Bryan has new music, which sounds like the Gates of Hell opening, and the crowd is increasingly getting behind him. I knew this Money in the Bank build would be all they needed to make him into a legit top Superstar and it's working perfectly. Still not used to Tyson's haircut though. I enjoyed Wade Barrett on commentary as well, mainly because it's someone else in the booth to take talk time away from Michael Cole.
Now, enough about the side stuff, let's talk about how awesome the match was. The last couple weeks have been fantastic for TV wrestling and I think this one is an obvious early candidate for August's Match of the Month. Beautifully executed maneuvers, people got their fucking heads kicked in and Bryan picked up the win with the guillotine choke he beat Heath Slater with two weeks ago.
"24-karat horseshoe up me arse!"
SMACK HIM IN THE FACE, CHRISTIAN! In the main event, Christian & R-Truth utterly decimated Team Overrated (Randy Orton & John Morrison) and it was highlighted by Christian slapping Orton in the face and pinning him fair and square after the Killswitch! Beautiful! Can I get a gif of that slap, anyone?
The match was fine, typical "top guys team up" tag team main event, but what glorious finish. And now that we've heard the massive heat for Christian pinning Randy Orton, WWE should realize it would make for a great SummerSlam finish, solidifying Christian as a mega heel. Christian vs. Sheamus heading into the fall for the World Title, let's make it happen!
Zack Ryder is the Dwight Schrute of Smackdown, he's not the Assistant General Manager, he's the assistant to the General Manager. Somehow, with despite three guys I enjoy: Ryder, Ezekiel Jackson and Cody Rhodes being in the same segment, it fell entirely flat. I blame the presence of Ted DiBiase. Teddy Long wasn't happy with Zack Ryder trying to make matches, so he put him in a match with Zeke, where he was quickly defeated. Boo, Boo, Boo... you know it.
Aksana returned, along with Duran Duran's saxophone player, apparently. She's trying to seduce Teddy Long, which I assume will lead to T-Lo's annual vacation. Yawn.
Mark Henry vs. Vladimir Kozlov made me sad. I don't like seeing people on TV when I know they've been released, it just feels like adding insult to injury. Henry was awesome as usual, but hard to enjoy this when you know it's entire purpose was to write Vlad out of WWE. I also hate that anytime someone brings a steel chair to counter a steel chair, the announcers refer to it as an "equalizer." Perhaps it's the radio nerd in me, but I just get the visual that Sheamus is running to the ring to adjust the audio settings on his iPod.
Why the hell are they forcing JTG to team with those two nimrods, McGillicutty & Otunga? At least Trent Baretta got some TV time, teaming with The Usos, he even got to show off a bit, but the tag champs won with their Demolition rip-off move. Lame.
An excellent first hour, dragged in the second and rebounded with a hot main event. Definitely go out of your way to watch Bryan vs. Kidd and Sheamus vs. Great Khali, two excellent matches that belong on a Best of Smackdown 2011 set, if they make one of those, which I doubt. SummerSlam is shaping up nicely too, despite the quick turnaround between the last PPV, I'm getting pretty excited.