This episode of Smackdown came to us from Long Island, NY. It is the second to last show before the first annual Payback pay-per-view, bringing more emphasis to Ryback's trail of terror as he prepares to go against John Cena.
The MizTV segment was decent. Appropriate way to set up for what happened at the end of the night. It really seemed like we were seeing the end of Team Hell No, but the backstage conversation between Kane and Ryback pretty much extinguished those rumors. You have to love "vintage" Teddy Long, appearing during the fracas and making the tag match main event.
Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel was what many thought could have been the swerve for Payback, with CM Punk not actually showing up. However, we just may get that match after all. I understand that both of them were meant to be booked strong, but it baffles me how neither Triple H or John Cena could not put Axel over more than a countout, but Jericho was pinned.
One similar thing between their loss to Axel is that by the end of the match, the focus were on the losers, and Axel's win was not as meaningful. Not very good booking if he is going to be the next main event star.
The Wyatt Family promos are salivating our taste buds, causing eager anticipation of where they will be placed upon their TV debut. Three active heel factions in the WWE may be a bit of an overload, but I am interested in how the WWE will balance it out properly.
The Alberto Del Rio vs. Heath Slater no contest match was too chaotic and confusing. First, 3MB jumps ADR before the bell rings (which it never does), ADR gets the upper hand, executes his Cross Armbreaker move to his scheduled opponent—Heath Slater, the referee does not call the tapout because he never started the match, more fighting takes place, and eventually Ricardo Rodriguez gives a Cross Bodyblock to Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. What really was the point of that? Hopefully not to save 3MB in any form, because that should have happened a long time ago to actually mean something.
Kane vs. Ryback was a good way to continue Ryback's momentum. Unfortunately, Kane had to once again be on the short end of a contest, but it made sense for him to take that powerbomb spot. What is even more sad is that there is a very good chance that this is all being done just to make Cena's win at Payback look stronger.
Damien Sandow vs. Deep Blue was a hard-hitting, catch-as-catch-can match that could have definitely went either way. The degree of athleticism shown in that contest was virtually unparallelled. Both of their ability to endure the opponent's finishing moves showed an uncanny amount of resilience. The perseverance exhibited by both competitors begs of another bout in the near future.
But to quote the great Lance Storm, "If I can be serious for a minute," the segment was actually good. Another innovative way to continue the feud between Damien Sandow and Sheamus. Having Sandow gain the advantage at the end of their dialogue was also a good decision. Again I say, this match should be officially booked for Payback, and Sandow should win.
Fandango vs Zack Ryder was a mediocre match. Of course, Ryder was way over, being in his hometown. It would be interesting to see if the WWE actually does something with his new look. Ryder is a very good talent, and has shown that he has the ability to appeal to the masses. A good midcard feud, namely with someone like Cody Rhodes, would be a good jumpstart to revive his dwindling career.
Kaitlyn's secret admirer will be revealed on Monday Night Raw... of course it's Hornswoggle.
Nice ending to the Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns match. As expected, it was a good match, with many close calls. On a side note, the momentum the Shield has gained makes any babyface they compete against more interesting. Even Kofi Kingston and The Usos have benefited from facing the trio.
Randy Orton's RKO to Daniel Bryan did not signify a full turn to me. They already established that they do not like each other, and are being forced to team up. Daniel Bryan accidentally drop kicked Orton, and Orton gained revenge. However, is it a way to plant seeds for a heel turn? Absolutely. Depending on the crowd reaction, I believe we will see a slow turn, if any at all.
Do you think that we saw a full Randy Orton heel turn on Smackdown? Sound off below.