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Smackdown - June 21, 2013

Date: June 21, 2013
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're past Payback now and the main story is the double turn by Ziggler and new world champion Alberto Del Rio. That's the best outcome as Del Rio was only working to an extent as a face while Ziggler was getting over more and more as a good guy. Other than that we have Bryan vs. Orton tonight in a continuation/rematch from their stopped match on Raw. Let's get to it.

We open with a recap of the results from Payback. That's one thing I liked about WCW: other than the main events, they made sure to not tell you who won a lot of the matches until the replays were off PPV. Now you have clips of the endings to most of the matches, leaving no reason to buy the replay.

Here's Daniel Bryan to open the show. Until Monday, he had never had a match stopped due to injury in his entire career. The doctor asked if he could continue and he said YES, but the company line was that they were worried for his health. Realistically though, they stopped the match because they think he's the weak link and not tough enough.

The worst person in all of this was Randy Orton and we get a clip of Orton helping Bryan up after the match. Bryan says that if Orton thought he was the strong link, he would have begged for the match to keep going. The match should have kept going, but Bryan's YES chant is cut off by Randy Orton.

Orton comes to the ring shaking his head and mouthing the words “you're wrong.” Randy says the match was stopped for Bryan's well being, not because anyone thought he was weak. Bryan kept coming during the match and that made Orton respect him even more. When Orton helped him up, it was out of respect, not pity. Bryan yells that Orton is patronizing him after giving Bryan respect for beating Shield last week. Orton says fine, if Bryan wants a rematch he can have one tonight. This time though, Bryan will be carried out.

Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes

Cody drew the long straw to get this match tonight. Sheamus gets two off a quick suplex but Cody elbows out of the fireman's carry roll. Cody goes to the middle rope but gets snapmared down before rolling to the floor. Rhodes sends Sheamus into the barricade before stomping away back inside. A running knee to the head gets two for Cody and it's off to an armbar.

Sheamus fights up but misses a charge into the corner, giving Rhodes two off a rollup. The slingshot shoulder is countered into a Fujiwara Armbar but Cody just lets it go. Sheamus shrugs all of the offense off and hits a sledge to the Cody's face. The fireman's carry slam looks to set up White Noise but Cody rolls out, only to be pulled into the Cloverleaf for the tap out at 5:37.

Rating: D. This was bad even by this pair's standards. The total lack of selling of the arm by Sheamus was surprising as Cody worked on it for a few minutes before Sheamus just fought back like it was nothing. The main problem here though is the same we've seen with every one on one match between the Scholars and Sheamus: the winner is never in doubt.

Sandow jumps Sheamus post match.

Wyatt Family promo.

Intercontinental Title: Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett

The title looks good on Axel. Miz is on commentary for this rare heel vs. heel match. Axel grabs a headlock to start but Wade forearms him down for two. Curtis comes back with a good looking dropkick to take over and drops some elbows to the chest for two. Wade grabs a quick suplex for two of his own as the announcers debate if Barrett should have gotten his rematch on Monday. Barrett hits his big boot to send Axel out to the floor and another big boot hits for two back inside. Axel avoids a middle rope elbow and hits a Hennig necksnap followed by the McGillicutter to retain at 4:40.

Rating: D+. This was an 80s punch/kick for the first few minutes until Barrett turned things up a bit at the end. Axel pinning Wade clean is an important step for him as now he's pinned the former champion without any help at all. It would appear that Miz is next but hopefully there's more to the title after that match.

Post match Miz gets in the ring to stare down Axel but Heyman gets the champion out of the way.

Video on Mark Henry's fake retirement and attack on Cena from Raw.

AJ Lee vs. Natalya

Non-title. Natalya immediately takes AJ down but can't hook the Sharpshooter. Instead she puts on a strange looking leglock where Natalya's knees are between AJ's knees and stretching them apart with both girls on their backs. AJ makes the rope and puts on a quick we take a break? In this match? Back with Natalya getting two off a snap suplex and a clothesline. Natalya shouts that AJ has no respect but AJ counters a slam into the Black Widow for the pin at 2:20 shown of 4:50.

Layla and Kaitlyn are watching in the back when Aksana comes up and calls Katilyn trash. Kaitlyn snaps and beats Aksana up before pouring trash on her.

Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title again. Jericho takes him into the corner to start and chokes Del Rio on the middle rope before getting two off a knee to the back. Del Rio gets a boot up in the corner to drop Jericho but misses a running kick and falls out to the floor. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick to drop Alberto again. A Ricardo distraction lets the champion get in a cheap shot to take over as we take a break.

Back with Del Rio sending Chris back to the floor and whipping him into the barricade. They head back inside and Alberto misses a charge into the post to shift momentum again. The top rope ax handle looks to set up the Walls but Alberto spins out and kicks Jericho in the head for two. The corner enziguri misses though and Jericho hits the running bulldog and Lionsault. Jericho loads up the Walls but Del Rio counters into the cross armbreaker which is countered into the Walls but Chris has to go after Ricardo. Jericho puts Rodriguez in the Liontamer but Ziggler runs in for the DQ at 5:34 shown of 8:04.

Rating: C+. The sequence right before the ending was good but I'm not wild on the ending. It wouldn't hurt Jericho to lose here and make Del Rio look good, even if it was by cheating. The Ziggler vs. Del Rio feud is getting good in a hurry and the match should be a solid blowoff. This was fine for a TV match though and could have been better with more time.

Del Rio runs off and Jericho gives Ziggler a Codebreaker post match. Jericho leaves and the champion comes back to pick the bones with a hard kick to Ziggler's head. The audience sounded like they were looking at a heel turn by Jericho but I don't think it was meant to be one.

Drew McIntyre vs. Christian

Christian sends him to the floor and hits a baseball slide to take Drew down. Back in and Christian tags him with an uppercut but dives into a spinning sitout Rock Bottom from McIntyre for two. Not that it matters much as Christian takes out the other Band members and hits the Killswitch for the pin at 1:50.

Post match Christian says it feels great to be back here for one more match. Cue Shield to lay Christian out with the TripleBomb.

Video on Brock Lesnar.

We recap the events of Raw with Punk splitting with Heyman and fighting Del Rio in the main event. Alberto walked out on the match and was jumped by Ziggler, only to have Lesnar come out and attack Punk.

Heyman doesn't want to talk about the Punk issues so he turns the interview around on Renee Young, asking her a lot of personal questions about topics like her father and her ex-fiance. Heyman suggests that next time, she should talk about Curtis Axel.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan charges right at Orton and they slug it out in the corner. Orton throws him to the mat and stomps away but Bryan gets up and fires right hands. It's rare for Bryan to throw punches and they're better than I expected. Randy knocks him right back down but misses a knee drop to the face. Bryan kicks away and hooks a leg lock, only to have Orton counter into a headlock. Orton blocks the NO Lock and hits a backbreaker to finally give them a breather. The first few minutes of the match were continuous punching and holds.

Orton drapes Bryan ribs first onto the top rope and suplexes him over the top and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Bryan fighting out of a superplex and dropping Orton with a missile dropkick. Daniel fires off the kicks in the corner and hits a running dropkick for two. Bryan moonsaults over Orton out of the corner but walks into the snap powerslam for two. Orton gets caught in a backslide for two and Bryan fires off the kicks to the chest and head for a two count.

Bryan goes up again but gets crotched and superplexed down for a very close two. The Elevated DDT connects but Bryan rolls to the floor to avoid the RKO. Orton drops Bryan back first onto the barricade but Bryan shoves him into the barricade. The flying knee off the apron sets up the FLYING GOAT and Bryan beats the count back in at 10:36 shown of 13:06.

Rating: B-. This was a nice back and forth match and they did a good job of making Bryan look strong after last week's big win over the Shield.  The idea of Bryan being able to get back in at the last second kept both guys looking strong which is a good idea for Orton going forward.

Bryan wants the match restarted but Orton just stares at him as the show ends.

Overall Rating: B-. This was another good show as we had some solid action and nothing bad on the entire show save for a dull Sheamus vs. Rhodes match. Bryan continues to be so over it's unreal and the Ziggler face push is coming quickly. The WWE is starting to get on a roll which is a good sign after a very dull spring.

Sheamus b. Cody Rhodes – Cloverleaf
Curtis Axel b. Wade Barrett – McGillicutter
AJ Lee b. Natalya – Black Widow
Alberto Del Rio b. Chris Jericho via DQ when Dolph Ziggler interefered
Christian b. Drew McIntyre – Killswitch
Daniel Bryan b. Randy Orton via countout

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