WWE Smackdown - June 1st, 2012
Kane receives a shot at the WWE title, which hasn't been defended on Smackdown in years. How did he earn this title shot? He got beaten with chairs for a couple weeks. Can't argue with that logic, right? Kane vs CM Punk tonight, WWE title on the line. Can't imagine any shenanigans will ensue...
We open the show with Sheamus coming to the ring, telling us that Alberto del Rio has spent his life being served, but money can't buy everything. David Otunga comes out and orders Sheamus to apologize for bumping into Big Johnny. Sheamus cracks a coffee joke instead. Obviously David Otunga's orders don't carry much weight. Del Rio interrupts and says not to expect an apology from a peasant and a street hooligan. Del Rio will get to pick Sheamus' opponent for the night. With this announcement, Otunga catches a Brough Kick in the head and Sheamus tells them to never trust a hooligan. Standard open; it'll serve to advance a couple things later in the show.
Match 1 - Sin Cara vs Heath Slater
Winner: Sin Cara via pinfall
Sin Cara makes his return after months away from the TV audience. No more trampoline entrance. A quick two minute match to reintroduce the audience to Cara's moves, and Slater is a good choice of opponent since he's an athlete and can keep up. Cara finishes Slater with La Mistica, minus the armbar. Odd choice; why not just let him use the armbar part too? Hopefully we're not stuck with these 'reintroduction' matches for too long; we already have Christian in this mode and Ryback for quick squashes. There's too much wrestling for what seems like no purpose on these shows; very few people seem to have advancement and titles in mind, so there's little competition for anything.
Match 2 - Ezekiel Jackson vs Damien Sandow
Winner: Damien Sandow via pinfall
For the first time, the bell rings before Sandow can talk. Then he talks. He calls Zeke another ignoramus and won't participate. As he goes to leave, Zeke tosses him back in the ring. Countering the rack, Sandow lands his knees, a side russian leg sweep and the cross arm neckbreaker for the win. He strikes a pose as he pins Zeke.
|Courtesy of http://ilovewrestlinggifs.tumblr.com/|
So Zeke, an enormously powerful man, gets his ass beaten in 3 minutes by a guy half his size and nobody bats an eye. It's fine to have this type of match, but the opponent chosen is an important decision as well.
Alberto del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are in the back. Dolph Ziggler asks ADR to put him against Sheamus tonight; Ziggler wants a chance to shine and to show off. Altogether good, as he is in the midst of breaking from his current stable. Del Rio likes Ziggler's passion and agrees.
Match 3 - Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons vs Ryback
Winner: Ryback via pinfall
A repeat match with two different local guys. Ryback demolishes them and hits the dual Fisherman Samoan Buster for the win. Ryback plays to the crowd a bit more after the match, but more of the same.
Raw Replay of Big Show destroying everyone. They show a graphic for the Big Show/Cena match and Cena is lazily mirrored, so his merch is all backwards.
|Somebody got paid for this...|
Match 4 - Sheamus (World Heavyweight Champion) vs Dolph Ziggler, non-title
Winner: Sheamus via pinfall
The crowd is strongly behind Ziggler tonight and goes crazy for his headstand chinlock spot. Good back and forth action and Ziggler walks into an attempted Irish Curse backbreaker, but it goes a little bad, so Sheamus transitions to a rib breaker. Now, this is good for him - Sheamus is good at these audibles. Cole, on the other hand, can't handle it, as he still calls the rib breaker the Irish Curse. Sheamus ends up on the top rope and Dolph hops up and lands a top rope x-factor, which looked amazing. Sheamus eventually shrugs the Zigzag off and lands White Noise followed by the Brough Kick for the win. So Sheamus' new finisher has been relegated to a set up for the Brough Kick. Great.
The match itself was fine and shows why Ziggler is a future star; he just has not been used effectively for too long.
CM Punk is in the back and tells Matt Striker that Ace is intent on getting the belt off of him. After a run down of Kane's nicknames, Punk says that he'll make the devil's favorite demon go to sleep.
A replay of the Usos vs Young and O'Neil plays. Which of course means one of them will be on next.
Match 5 - Darren Young and Titus O'Neil vs Zack Ryder and Santino Marella (US Champion)
Winners: Ryder and Marella via pinfall
In an inset interview, Young and O'Neil name themselves the Prime Time Playas. Quick, early aggression from Young early, but a counter into a rollup from Santino ends the match very quickly. Ryder never gets in and not much happens. Odd to have the new guys name themselves and then immediately have them lose like this.
Big Show comes in and destroys Santino and Ryder. Santino goes into the WWE sign on the stage, Ryder gets a slam on the stairs, then Show puts Santino in the Colossal Clutch on the stairs then delivers the WMD to the back of his head. Show is a monster again; about damn time.
AJ is in the back and Daniel Bryan enters. He says Punk doesn't care about AJ and is using her. AJ tells Bryan he's jealous, and what does he care? He doesn't; but he used to. Very high school, but that's about how things tend to go in WWE.
Match 6 - Cody Rhodes vs Tyson Kidd
Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall
Christian is in the commentary booth and we get yet another rewind to him winning the Intercontinental title. The crowd absolutely loves him. Now, the match - Rhodes vs Kidd, ideally, should get a ton of time. Both guys are young and great in the ring. Kidd especially has not had the time to shine since his tag title runs, which in WWE time are forever ago. Rhodes beats Kidd in 3 minutes with Crossrhodes. The NXT guys should be used for this, not Kidd. Christian and Rhodes will have their rematch moving forward, and given some time, they'll have good matches.
Match 7 - Kane vs CM Punk (c), WWE Title
Punk works Kane's arm, following on from the beating he took from Bryan and his chair recently. Part way through the match, AJ makes her way to ringside. After a bit more action, Bryan heads to ringside as well. AJ warns Punk, who dives onto Bryan. As Bryan made no successful attack on Punk, the ref doesn't call for a DQ. Punk lands a flying elbow on Kane back in the ring for two and as the men get back to their feet, Bryan flies with a missile dropkick to both of them.
Bryan lands kicks, but Kane ends up double chokeslamming both men. Ace rolls out on his rascal scooter and says that at No Way Out, the WWE title will be a triple threat. Fair enough.
The match itself was better than expected; lots of back and forth and Kane was shown to be less than invincible. Triple threats are a different dynamic and could potentially be really good with the three involved, not to mention the x factor of AJ.
A strong second half of the show saves a bit of a dull first half. Ziggler is allowed to shine and hangs toe to toe with the World Heavyweight Champion. Tyson Kidd gets to be on TV. Big Show is continuing on his regrowth to monster status. This is the time for the younger guys or the guys that don't see much TV time to shine, with Orton and Jericho out/gone.