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Smackdown - August 31, 2012

Date: August 31, 2012
Location: Resch Center Arena, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

After last week's huge mess, hopefully Smackdown can turn things around tonight. Last week was one of the worst shows I can remember in a long time, which is a shame as I used to love Smackdown. Anyway, we're getting very close to Night of Champions now and unfortunately, Del Rio hasn't been hit by a bus or anything like that to keep us from having to sit through another title shot for him. Let's get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine at the moment is Del Rio vs. Sheamus. I can't stand this feud and about 80% of that is on Del Rio.

Orton vs. Ziggler later. Gee I wonder how that's going to end.

Here's Sheamus to open the show. First up, he needs to praise HHH. Sheamus isn't sure what HHH's future holds but he has Sheamus' respect. HHH is the embodiment of a champion, which is everything Del Rio isn't. This brings out Damien Sandow of all people. He talks about how Sheamus is as ignorant as he is enormous because of his praise of HHH.

He goes on about Sheamus and HHH promotes a stereotype to the WWE Universe but Sheamus cuts him off. The champ doesn't want to hear Sandow yap for twenty minutes so why not come into the ring right now and have a fight. Sandow says Sheamus isn't worth his time but here's Booker with a dissenting opinion. He makes Sandow vs. Sheamus for later, which is already more exciting than anything else from last week.

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes

Cody talks about how Rey is just like Sin Cara, hiding behind a mask. Rhodes uses his power advantage to start but he ducks his head, letting Rey get in a kick to the face. Cody sends him out to the floor and we take a break. Back with Cody hitting a spinning suplex for two. A release gordbuster gets two followed by some knees to the back and a chinlock.

Cody goes for the mask but gets sent face first into the buckle. Rey speeds things up and hits a seated senton followed by a big kick to the head for two. A knee to Rey's head gets two but Mysterio kicks Cody into 619 position. Cody catches Rey's legs but Rey counters the counter into a sunset flip for the pin at 5:31 shown of 9:01.

Rating: C. This was fine. It's nice to see Cody having an actual story on Smackdown instead of doing nothing on Superstars every other week. I didn't catch anything being mentioned about Rey and Cody's history, although at least we're hearing about how Cody used to be obsessed with his looks to give a reason to the Sin Cara feud.

Cody beats up Rey post match until Cara makes the save and puts a Sin Cara mask on Cody.

We get the first anger management segment from Monday.

Kaitlyn vs. Natalya

Eve is on commentary. Nattie takes her down with a headlock to start and the place is eerily quiet. Kaitlyn shoulder blocks her down and they head to the floor where Kaitlyn gets her head slammed into the floor. Natalya hooks an abdominal stretch and slaps Kaitlyn's side which has to hurt bad. Kaitlyn comes back with some armdrags but Natalya clotheslines her down. The Canadian runs her mouth and gets small packaged for the pin at 2:45. Getting extra time is helping the Divas a tiny bit but this was more about Eve, who spent the whole match being the corporate suckup, which does nothing for me at all.

Booker is worried about the pressure of being Raw GM is getting to AJ. He says the match between Jericho and Ziggler never should have been made. Vickie comes up and says this is more proof that AJ needs to go. Sweet Christmas enough with the power struggle storylines already.

Raw ReBound talks about Punk/Lawler/Cena from Monday.

Anger management segment #2.

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow

Sandow is taken into the ropes to start and requests that the referee does his job. Sandow tries to take it into the corner but Sheamus grabs his beard. To avoid getting punched in the face, Damien drops to the floor and things slow down again. The champ starts running him over with shoulders and Sandow heads to the floor again. This time Sheamus is tired of waiting so he goes out after Damien, only to have his knees sent into the steps by Sandow.

That gets an eight count and Sandow stomps away back inside. Off to a chinlock which Sheamus breaks pretty quickly. A regular neckbreaker (as opposed to the double arm version) gets two for Sandow and it's back to the chinlock. This one is broken even faster and Sheamus starts his hard hitting offense.

Damien bails to the floor for the third time but Sheamus throws him right back in and hits the ten forearms. A slingshot shoulder block to the back gets two and Damien heads to the floor for I think the fourth time. White Noise is escaped and the Brogue Kick is ducked. Sandow rolls to the floor and sprints up the ramp for the countout at 6:51.

Rating: C. This wasn't a great match, but it was a logical one. The idea of Sandow not being able to hang in a fight with Sheamus makes perfect sense and having him constantly trying to run and clear his head was a nice touch. This is exactly what Sandow needs: to be able to rub elbows with bigger names. He didn't need to win here and certainly shouldn't have, but having him in there is a good step in the right direction.

Prime Time Players vs. Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd

Kidd and Gabriel have matching yellow shirts which look like dresses on them. Kidd and Titus get things going as the Usos Tout about how they should be #1 contenders. Off to Young vs. Gabriel after the starters do nothing of note. Justin takes Young to the mat after making a blind tag, allowing Kidd to kick Darren in the face.

Off to Titus who powers Tyson down and brings Darren back in. The Players are very good about tagging in and out quickly. Tyson sends Young into the corner and tags out to Justin. An STO puts Darren down and Justin loads up the 450, only for Titus to distract him. Darren crotches Gabriel and hits the fireman's carry gutbuster for the pin at 3:13. This one looked better as he launched Gabriel into the air and Justin was in free fall when he hit the knees.

Rating: C. I know I've used that rating a lot tonight but this was exactly what the rating implies: it was ok and right in the middle. I do like that the guys in the tag division are actually getting a little time every week. If nothing else it lets a lot more guys get on TV as opposed to showing up every other PPV and have a title defense that means nothing. These matches don't exactly equal the Harts vs. the Bulldogs but they're an improvement over what we've been getting the last few years.

The final anger management segment airs. Kane's explanation of his history is still hilarious.

Here's Del Rio with something to say. Alberto brags about beating Orton last week but doesn't care to be reminded that Sheamus has beaten him every time. Del Rio threatens Josh but here's Kane for protection I guess. Kane says he's here to apologize for attacking Josh at Summerslam. Teddy comes out and makes Kane vs. Alberto.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane

This is joined in progress after a break but it doesn't look like we missed much. Kane pounds on Del Rio in the corner but Alberto comes back with some kicks to the legs. Kane comes back with a low dropkick to the head for two and an uppercut that sends Del Rio to the apron. Del Rio rams Kane's arm into the buckle and follows it up with a kick to the shoulder. Kane will have none of that and hits a sidewalk slam to set up the top rope clothesline for no cover. Kane loads up the chokeslam but Ricardo pulls Kane's leg. The distraction lets Del Rio hit a Backstabber for the pin at 2:46.

Post match Kane snaps and chokeslams Josh, but he apologizes while he does it.

HHH video from Raw.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler dropkicks Randy down to start and struts a bit. Dolph shows off a bit so Randy dropkicks him down as well in a nice touch. A slingshot suplex gets two on Dolph but Ziggler comes back with a neckbreaker and some elbow drops. Orton wins a slugout and fires off his clotheslines. The powerslam sets up the elevated DDT but Ziggler counters. Ziggler doesn't get back inside though and Orton pulls him to the top rope for a superplex.

That only gets two and Ziggler comes back with a jumping DDT for another near fall. The crowd is starting to get into this. Dolph charges at Randy but gets caught in the Elevated DDT for another two. Orton was laughing while he hit that which was kind of a nice touch. They head to the floor with Ziggler being thrown over the announce table. Back inside and Ziggler misses the Zig Zag, allowing the RKO to pin him at 7:10.

Rating: C+. This was a fast paced main event style match, but man alive did they have to have Ziggler lose AGAIN? Orton is leaving for a few months to film whatever the next WWE movie is. Ziggler is indeed Mr. MITB and probably will win the title before the year is over, but as always in WWE, the idea seems to be to have him lose time after time so he can surprise everyone and win it all back at once. You know, because no heel can look strong in WWE and they all have to be cowards that steal every win they get.

Vickie immediately announces that Dolph is still Mr. MITB and says he did a good job. Yes, make sure you hammer in that the guy who is going to get a title match is such a loser.

Overall Rating: C+. This wasn't a great show at all but man alive was it better than last week. It's amazing how much better things are when you don't have Alberto and Sheamus interacting. Seeing Sandow getting a match against the champ, even when he was mostly dominated and lost, was a good sign that there are big things in his future. This show toned down the stupid stuff and they got a better show out of it.

Rey Mysterio b. Cody Rhodes – Sunset Flip
Kaitlyn b. Natalya – Small Package
Sheamus b. Damien Sandow via countout
Prime Time Players b. Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd – Fireman's carry gutbuster to Gabriel
Alberto Del Rio b. Kane – Backstabber
Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at


  1. Ziggler's jumping DDT looked really good. He should make that his finisher instead of the stupid Zig Zag.

  2. I'm sick of the power GM struggle (going all the way back to Eric Bischoff's reign) and I'm sick of every heel being a chickenshit who loses or flukes (Mark Henry, SAVE US!). SD is 2004-levels of horseshit right now, or even worse since they're squandering a better roster than the Blue Brand had eight years ago.

  3. Smackdown has basically become "don't even bother watching" material for me, good matches be damned, especially when the main draws of the show are three guys I could seriously live without. Sheamus is a midcard champ, and Orton and Del Rio are basically the same boring character.

    Seriously, after Punk beats Cena, they should have him go after the "other champion", beat Sheamus, then have him toss the belt in the garbage. That might actually make the fans hate Punk.

    Or you know, turn him face and forget this disaster of a heel turn even happened.

  4. Boring show as always, interestingly I'd love to know when the last time Sheamus got pinned? I'm pretty sure since he became champion he hasn't been pinned once. You can tell he is one of HHH's boys that's for sure!

  5. This looked pretty blah.

    If all these sports entertainers keep stroking HHH WWE is going to have to make this TVMA. What a load of horsehit that was. 

  6. - I really like the Sin Cara-Cody Rhodes feud, especially the little things they've done with Sin Cara's mask- Cody blinding Sin Cara last week, costing him the match; this week, Sin Cara masking Rhodes after the match. Great stuff.
    - Sandow was absolutely excellent tonight. I love that he shouts in the ring (do your job referee! Give up Sheamus!), he's not a great technical worker but he's just so aggressive and vicious in the ring.
    - Not sure what the point of the Orton/Ziggler main event was. They could've saved that for the dark match main event. I know Ziggler technically "won" the feud with Y2J, but it doesn't seem like they have a plan for him, outside of eventually cashing in the MitB contract. I would hope he gets a decisive win over Orton within the next few weeks, but constantly losing to Cena/Orton/Sheamus in Raw/Smackdown main events won't help him. 

  7. Ziggler pinned him in a tag match back in June.

  8. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was on the Del Rio bandwagon, back when he had a great smugness about him and was put over convincingly with clean taps over credible guys.

  9. The night he injured Christian there was this evil smile on his face as he stood over Christian and you could see the evil in him.  Since the Rumble he's gone downhill completely.  That loss to Edge just crippled him.

  10. Sandow is quickly becoming one of my favorites as I like his aggressiveness in the ring in addition to his gimmick.

    They DESPERATELY need to do something with Del Rio's character. It's right there in front of their faces and they are just too damn lazy to do anything about it. He's a Mexican aristocrat. He's loaded with cash. Bribe others to do your dirty work. Pay off referees or something. Use the money for something other than cars and Rodriguez. That what irks me the most about WWE.

    Give these guys something so I can care about them. I used to find Rhodes interesting and that interest is gone because there's nothing that makes me care about him. I believe most of the roster has the personality to pull off something great if they just get something. Look what three simple letters have done for Daniel Bryan when most people thought he was just a "vanilla midget." It can be accomplished and it's not like they don't have the time to work on it.

    And one last thing, STOP having Ziggler lose all the time. If they're trying to build him up into something big, why does he keep losing? I was so pissed that he lost again to Orton. Orton can tap to Del Rio but can't lose to Ziggler?  Dolph could have gotten the win by nefarious means and I would have been okay with that. Just let him win. Have him feud with guys like Christian and Mysterio. They can take the losses. 

  11. I hate the fucking Zig Zag. That and Truth's Lil Jimmy are my two least favorite finishers. The only finishers I hate more than those are that stupid Playmaker/Overdrive that MVP, Elix Skipper and Orton (pre RKO) used and the Roll of the Dice.

  12. I know it's en vogue to hate on head droppy moves but holy hell, can we bring back a piledriver or DVD or something? There's risk involved with those moves for sure but how about just train competent workers instead of banning dangerous moves? Lance Storm said something along the lines of, "Stop banning dangerous moves and ban dangerous workers. I'd rather take 1000 piledrivers from someone like Finlay than one armbar from someone who doesn't know what they're doing." Rant over.

  13. I've heard HHH is high on Sandow and that he wants Sandow in the Smackdown main event scene. It makes sense: the guy's basically doing HHH's old gimmick and he was trained by Killer Kowalski. If he sucks up & plays politics half as well as Hunter he'll practically be HHH. 

  14. I know what you mean. They want everyone to have a Stunner/Cutter-type move which can be hit on anyone regardless of size...but they all kind of suck. With the Zig Zag, it's hard to see who actually is getting hurt since Dolph takes such a huge bump off it. 

  15. I hope that's true because I love the guy. Best new heel to come along in awhile.

  16. You're missing the rise of sandow.

  17. And having the world champion not getting pinned is a BAD thing? 

  18. I like him but he isn't good in the ring. That is his biggest drawback

  19. Decent show. Cole did briefly mention the history between Rey and Cody and how it led to Cody wearing a mask, starting the obsession. It seems pretty obvious Ziggler is walking out of Night of Champions as WHC with the 50/50 booking.

  20. It took HHH years before he learned to do moves that didn't involve his knee.  He got better.  Most guys do.

  21. True, but Sandow isn't that young and he has been cut from developmental before. Don't know how much better in the ring he will get.

  22. Ha, it's funny cause Edge is actually crippled....

  23.  This is WWE 2012 guys it doesn't matter how good he is in the ring anymore. Can he cut a promo? Does he show the proper respect for his elders? He's in.

  24. Main event was good, but Ziggler's selling abilities still concern me.  I would have Sheamus kick his teeth in 56,000 more times.

  25. Punk never turned heel dude.

  26. Then don't watch it.

  27. HHH is the only hope WWE has right now of becoming better.  He has to retire for good though.


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