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Smackdown - May 31, 2013

Smackdown
Date: May 31, 2013
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's the final show of the Canadian tour and the main story tonight is of course Shield vs. whomever they can find to face tonight. Other than that we've got Ryback trying to get people to care about his feud with Cena and the three guys fighting for the Intercontinental Title. Right now is a pretty lame time in the WWE as they're in a very slow mode so tonight's show probably won't change much about that. Let's get to it.


We open with a list of names that Shield has taken down in the last week. Tonight Shield is in singles matches against various people.

Seth Rollins vs. Kane

Rollins pounds away on Kane to start but all the speed only gets him taken down by a shoulder. Seth jumps over Kane in the corner but gets kicked in the head for two. A delayed vertical suplex gets two more for the big man and it's off to the chinlock. The fans are really into Kane here for some reason. Rollins finally gets in a shot and goes after Kane's knee with some solid kicks and elbow drops. Kane comes back with some right hands, only to have his knee kicked out again.

Rollins cannonballs down onto the knee but has a leg lock blocked before it can go on. Seth goes to the middle rope and kicks away a chokeslam attempt before hitting a tornado DDT for two. Back from a break with Kane slugging Rollins down and hitting the top rope clothesline. Reigns gets on the apron, only to be shoved to the floor. The distraction lets Rollins hit a dropkick, but Reigns' distraction lets Bryan shove Rollins off the top and a chokeslam ends this at 9:22.

Rating: C-. For a nine minute match, this was pretty overdone. Rollins losing a singles match is fine because Shield is always about the team mentality. I'm not sure if they need to keep going with HELL NO vs. Shield at this point, but it's not like there are any other teams worth fighting right now.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan

This starts immediately after the previous match ends. Bryan sends Reigns into the corner and kicks away at the arm to take over early before tying his legs into Roman's and dropping forearms to the face. The fans also love Bryan which isn't all that surprising. He fires off more kicks in the corner before hooking a dragon screw leg whip to put Roman down again. Roman hits a hard clothesline to take over as we take a break.

Back with Bryan trying to speed things up but getting caught by another clothesline for two. Bryan gets all fired up and hits a hard set of kicks to the chest followed by a running dropkick in the corner for two of his own. Reigns drills him in the stomach to slow Bryan down but Bryan hooks the NO Lock out of nowhere. Reigns crawls over to the ropes but only gets there with Seth pushing the rope towards him. Kane goes after Rollins but hits Reigns for the DQ at 9:20.

Rating: C. This was a better match than the opener, but that's likely because the smaller guy as the face is an easier formula to work with. Bryan's kicks get more awesome every week and it's very wise of him to use those as his main strike. I mean, can you imagine him throwing a convincing punch given his size? Kicks are far better for a guy like him.

Post match Bryan yells at Kane for costing him the match. Bryan is completely right here but Kane walks off anyway. Bryan follows, shouting that he doesn't need Kane's help.

Here's Damien Sandow with something to say. He says that last week he proved that his mental strength is superior to Sheamus' physical strength. Apparently Canada has limited mental strength because they gave away Wayne Gretsky. When it comes to intelligence, Sandow is the real Great One. To prove his intellect, he has a simple challenge in the form of a shell game. There are three cups and a ball on a table. The idea is to put the ball under a cup and shuffle them around. It should be easy to win, but here's Sheamus to interrupt.

Sheamus congratulates him for tricking him with the knot last week, but now Sandow is out here playing with his little balls. Sandow lets Sheamus play the game and shuffles the cups pretty slowly. Sheamus guesses wrong, thereby renewing his idiot license for another year. Sandow allows him to try again with just two cups but Sheamus gets it wrong again after a lot of thinking. Sheamus wants to see the ball under the third cup but Damien seems reluctant. Fans: “SHOW YOUR BALLS!” There's no ball but Sandow says it was magic, earning himself a Brogue Kick. Are we really building towards a big match between these two?

Curtis Axel vs. Sin Cara

Man they drop the level of competition for Axel on Smackdown. On the way to the ring, Heyman says that he always tells the truth about his clients. In his first two weeks, no one has accomplished what Axel has done. Axel says that Cena and HHH have 26 world titles between them, but in two matches he's made HHH refuse to continue and made Cena get himself counted out. When you're a Paul Heyman guy, life is perfect. Cole: “That was cute.”

Axel hits a quick backbreaker and dropkick to take over before ripping at the mask a bit. After a quick chinlock Sin Cara comes back with some kicks of his own, followed by a springboard crossbody. A Tajiri elbow is countered by a forearm to the back of the head though and a PerfectPlex ends Cara at 2:00.

Big E. Langston vs. Alberto Del Rio

Langston pounds him into the corner to start and fires off some shoulders, but Del Rio comes back with a kick to the ribs. Big E. drapes him across the top rope and Del Rio is right back down. Del Rio comes back with more kicks and a running clothesline, only to walk into a belly to belly for two. The Backstabber staggers Langston and a German suplex puts him down again.

A hard kick to the face gets two more for Alberto and there's the armbreaker but Langston picks Alberto up to escape. Langston runs him over for two but gets caught in the armbreaker over the ropes. Del Rio falls to the floor and gets posted after an AJ distraction, allowing the Big Ending to finish Albert back inside at 4:50.

Rating: D+. This match is firmly in the category of matches we don't need to see for a good while. They've fought something like four times in two weeks now, which is way more than any pair should be going at it. The match was nothing special either as they didn't have time to go anywhere with it.

We look at Cena's challenge for a 3 Stages of Hell match from Raw.

Kofi Kingston vs. Ryback

Kofi charges right at him and pounds away in the corner before getting two off a springboard dropkick. There's the Boom Drop but Ryback catches trouble in Paradise in mid air. Kofi rolls through that as well and hits a middle rope cross body for two. Ryback blocks a kick in the corner though and slams Kofi down to take over. The Meat Hook sets up Shell Shock for the pin at 2:48. This was better than I expected, although Kofi injured his elbow somewhere in there and will be out 4-8 weeks.

Post match Ryback powerbombs Kofi through three tables.

Jericho talks about all the diseases Punk has from sleeping with dogs like Heyman.

Chris Jericho vs. Cody Rhodes

Jericho starts fast and takes Cody to the floor, only to walk into a front suplex onto the top rope for two. A boot to the face gets two more for Cody and it's off to an armbar. Jericho comes back with a top rope ax handle but the Walls are broken up. An Alabama Slam gets two for Cody but he jumps into a right hand to the ribs. Cross Rhodes are countered into a Walls attempt which is countered into a small package for two. Now the Walls get the submission at 4:46.

Rating: C-. My goodness Cody Rhodes matches are hard to sit through anymore. It's not that they're bad or anything because Cody is really good at making his matches work, but there's no reason to believe he's got a chance. Cody hasn't won a match of note in months now and it's hard to care about watching him lose to anyone at all.

Wyatt Family video. These guys are awesome.

Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose

Dean takes it to the corner to start and goes Anderson by raking Orton's eyes across the top rope. Orton comes back with right hands of his own in the corner, only to have Ambrose fire off some knees to the chest to take over again. They head to the floor with Orton dropping him on the barricade, only to be sent into it himself as we take a break. Back with Ambrose in control with knees to the back followed by stomps in the corner.

Randy comes back with a quick suplex to get himself a breather and they trade headbutts and right hands. Orton gets the advantage but has the Elevated DDT countered by Ambrose. Dean goes up but jumps into a dropkick followed by the Elevated DDT. Ambrose bails to avoid the RKO and here's the Shield for the DQ at 11:55.

Rating: C-. Not much here but they were getting a nice flow going right at the end. The good thing about Shield is they've attacked so many people that you can swap in any combination and have a good match with them. Not a bad match at all and thankfully you never can tell if Shield is going to run in or not, meaning the endings aren't obvious.

Post match HELL NO comes in for the save, with Bryan down almost all of the work himself, and Shield is sent running. A HUGE YES chant ends the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Is there any reason to watch Smackdown anymore? It's nothing but a supplement to Raw as nothing significant happens here and all the good long matches happen on Mondays as well. The show isn't even really bad, but rather really uninteresting. I need a little more fresh content than Sheamus playing a shell game with Damien Sandow. Shield continues to be a highlight and there's some decent stuff in the midcard, but anything with Sandow or Rhodes in it is incredibly dull, although that can't be blamed on them. Very uninspiring show this week.

Results
Kane b. Seth Rollins – Chokeslam
Roman Reigns b. Daniel Bryan via DQ when Kane interfered
Curtis Axel b. Sin Cara – PerfectPlex
Big E. Langston b. Alberto Del Rio – Big Ending
Ryback b. Kofi Kingston – Shell Shock
Randy Orton b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Shield interfered

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book on the History of Starrcade from Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D2UKOG0

Comments

  1. I'd get a little pissed if I was Rollins. They're protecting him the least while he works the most matches right now, and I'm betting after this is all over he's the one treading water. If I were him i'd be kissing ass and coming up with gimmick ideas all I can, because unfortunately, The Shield won't last forever.

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  2. Rollins will do fine if they let him be Sober!Hardy. He'll always be held back by his shit mic work, but he has a marketable look and can do enough flips n' shit to wow the offices.

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  3. AmericanWolves02May 31, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    I haven't watched Raw so I'm just going off of what I read in reports. It seems like this time Jericho wants Punk to come back and wrestle him so maybe the fans are just happy that Jericho is trying to bring Punk back?


    Crazy it has already been nearly two months since Punk left.

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  4. Man, I loved Bryan's work during that save to close out the show. He can be such a badass worldbeater when they let him.

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  5. Man, I loved Bryan's beatdown of The Shield during that save to close out the show. He can be such a badass worldbeater when they let him.

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  6. How is Smackdown any different from Sunday Night Heat? It's a wasted show so just cancel it because nothing ever happens.

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  7. A D+? Orton v. Ambrose was awesome, particularly with that final segment. Too low a grade

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  8. I hate the overuse of the word 'awesome'.

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  9. Jericho feuded with Punk because Punk claimed to be the best in the world. Punk kicked his ass. Then, Jericho insulted Punk's family, Punk kicked Jericho's ass again.


    We were cheering for Punk back then. Jericho is still claiming to be better than Punk. Why are we now booing Punk and cheering Jericho?


    This isn't Jericho apologizing and wanting to give the fans another great match, this is Jericho taunting a man contemplating his own career and threatening his BFF/manager.

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  10. The Wyatt family thing looks creepily cool. Could they be future rivals of the Shield?

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  11. AmericanWolves02May 31, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Are we booing Punk?

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  12. First smackdown I've watched in months and it was pretty good. Focused on the right characters (shield and hell no opened and closed the show), the wrestling was good all the way around and Ryback looked like a total badass (smart of them to focus on the tables for him since Cena seems to always lose table stips).

    All I want to know is what they possibly could do next for Kane/Bryan. Bryan is the most over face on the roster with the whole audience so they shouldn't turn him or the future senator on each other. I just want to know how they have an organic plan to break up their team and keep all parties involved moving forward after their feud with the shield is over.

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  13. Big E/Ziggler angle 2013=Diesel/shawn Michaels 1995, with added hotness of AJ. "Good Friends. Better Enemies. Both Banging AJ."

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  14. Plus, instead of Shawn's dry humping of the ring apron, Ziggler can dry hump AJ! Or, maybe not so dry, Live Sex Show 2013! Take that Edge and Lita!

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  15. Solid episode, a little disappointing as a follow up to last week but still pretty good. 3 shield matches, a sandow promo, (I really like the idea of a sheamus vs Sandow program) and lots of matches. I've always preferred smackdown to raw

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  16. Also this was a great show for Daniel Bryan. He looked like a star tonight

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  17. Jericho is the face. WWE has told me that anybody who the face is insulting is a bad person. Are you saying that WWE would lie to me?

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  18. Future senator Kane might be a great character. Can you imagine Kane showing up in a suit?

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  19. I'm really impressed by Bray's mic work. I didn't think Husky Harris had it in him, but it goes to show you what a character tweak can do for someone.

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  20. And just to compound the problem, nobody will cheering for Jericho at the PPV anyway since they're in Chicago.

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  21. I'd love to see Punk feud with Wyatt and his family. Punk will be cheered as a face on his return anyway, so you might as well get Wyatt and company over as heels immediately. It'd be a cool vibe having Punk (former SXS overlord himself) face another 'cult leader' in Bray.

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  22. 2 Dudez With AJNudez

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  23. Maybe I should just consider Jericho to be the heel and Punk to be the face?


    This is a continuation of that feud. I feel much better now, actually.

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  24. Works perfectly with him being a "punk" too, y'know? He's independent and anti-establishment. So him facing off against a cult makes perfect sense.


    I do think that the Punk face run fell flat because he ran out of good heel opposition.

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  25. AJ of course, ends the feud with.

    "I'll take 'em both, I'm hardcore!"

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  26. AmericanWolves02June 1, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Almost always.

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  27. I like that they're playing up Sandow's intelligence in a manner more deep than "I use big words, BOO ME!" Sandow is actually doing evil shit with his "intelligence".

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  28. Kane gets the win and Bryan gets the loss? This company is stupid.

    Curt Acel finishing guys with the Perfectplex? This company is awesome.

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  29. I'm looking forward to what Sandow will do next week, which means he's doing his job with the character. Now I just wish the bookers would let ONE of his segments end with Sandow beating somebody up (Ryder? Khali? Miz?), as opposed to ALL of them ending with Sheamus kicking his ass. I think it's referred to as making the heel look strong BEFORE jobbing him to the already-strong babyface in a payoff match.

    And are they putting any thought at all into Del Rio's character? As a heel he was solid with the aristocrat act -- arriving in a car, having a servant (Ricardo), throwing parties for himself -- basically he was the Million Peso Man. As a face, what does he do now? Comes out in a t-shirt and smiles a lot. Instead of actually giving him a good-guy character, they just had him drop all the stuff that made him a bad guy and expected us to cheer him because he's wrestling against bad guys now.

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  30. Seth Rollins is the Buddy Roberts of the Shield, the one who does the bulk of the actual work in matches but he gets overshadowed by his two more "marketable" partners.

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  31. Man, I would love it if they shook hands and went their own ways, but stayed allies and teamed up again in the future

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  32. Oh fuck yeah, i'd love to see that. I'd just hope they sidestepped any mention of Husky having been in Punk's Nexus.

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  33. Why are they stupid? Kane only won because of Bryan and Bryan only lost because of Kane. Plus, he looked awesome.

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  34. But the guys Mayweather faces are the same size as him, whereas most of the time Daniel Bryan is usually the smaller guy.

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  35. Mayweather beat the Big Show...put the pipe down.


    And Bryan isn't a small guy by any rational means. He's right around the American average, and he has way more muscle mass. He also throws perfectly fine punches/forearms. People bought Austin's and Lawler's punches and those guys weren't heavyweights.

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  36. Holy shit that ending.


    WWE, I think you can get off the Cena train now.

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  37. Because it's leading to Axel vs. Jericho with Axel actually pinning Jericho.

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  38. Even Orton was looking at Bryan thinking "motherfucker...."

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  39. I know Punk isn't wrestling at Payback.


    But what's being presented is Jericho/Punk...and the last time that happened I wanted Jericho to get put in traction. Nothing has changed besides Punk being an asshole too. Jericho is not any less of an asshole.

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  40. At this point, the end game better be Bryan/Cena at Summerslam for the WWE Title.

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  41. But who be the heel? Old Danielson :(

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  42. Or they could keep them both faces and let the fans choose.

    And yes, I did start laughing as I thought that.

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  43. Yeah that would be awesome but don't see it happening

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  44. Fuck yes! That is how you put someone over.

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  45. I literally watched that and haven't felt chills like that since Austin going after the Hart Foundation. Not even Punk and his pipebomb promo were that awesome.

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  46. So Cody used to be Dr. Doom and now his partner is The Riddler? I can get with that.

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  47. Agree completely.

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