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Smackdown - August 23, 2013

Date: August 23, 2013
Location: Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's an interesting time in WWE as we have our first heel super stable in several years and they can do whatever the like because “we own the place.” The two questions at the moment are what will Daniel Bryan do to fight these guys off and who will step up to help him in the war. Odds are we won't find out until Monday. Let's get to it.

We get clips from the main events of Summerslam.

Theme song.

Here's Vickie Guerrero to open us up. She's cleared the air with HHH and brings out Randy Orton, actually pronouncing the T for a change. Orton talks about being a role model and about how he didn't lie at all during this whole thing. He said he would be cashing in MITB very soon and that's exactly what he did. No one should have been surprised when he won the title on Sunday. The only person who should have been surprised was Orton himself, as he didn't expect HHH to do what he did, even though he didn't need the help. Orton says he's the face of the WWE but here's Bryan to disagree.

Before Bryan addresses the face of the WWE, he wants to say what he was trying to say on Raw: thank you John Cena for giving him the chance at Summerslam and for wrestling with a torn tricep. That one chance let him know what it feels like to be WWE Champion. As for the face of the WWE, it's already time for that face to change. Bryan doesn't look like Randy Orton. Orton is tall, chiseled and just pretty.

Bryan sees why HHH likes him so much, but Orton is also arrogant. He's been handed every opportunity because he's a third generation wrestler and it's been his Golden Ticket. Bryan can't get over how pretty Orton is and asks the fans to cheer for Orton because of it. Randy is so pretty that it makes Daniel want to kick him in the face.

Bryan has had to work his way up through the high school gyms wrestling on infected mats to get where he is today because he isn't tall and isn't pretty. However, he can wrestle and beat Orton for the WWE Championship. Bryan is entitled to a rematch and he wants it tonight. Say it along with Orton and I: Wait until the pay per view. They stare at each other and Orton tries an RKO, only to be dropkicked to the floor. Solid segment here with Bryan sounding like a natural rival to Orton and laying out the basic story. Orton saying he didn't know HHH was going to help him is interesting as well.

Vickie rants about Bryan on the phone and says someone needs to teach him a lesson. Wade Barrett comes in and says he doesn't like Bryan either, so he'd be willing to take care of him tonight. Vickie says ok and makes it a no holds barred match. No make it extreme rules. Or inside a cage. Wasn't Vickie supposed to be all mega evil this time or something?

Cody Rhodes vs. Curtis Axel

Non-title. Feeling out process to start with Cody tripping Axel down to the mat. Curtis comes back with a great dropkick but Cody heads to the apron for a springboard dropkick of his own. Curtis rolls outside but moves before Cody can dive on him. Cody's back is rammed into the apron as we take a break.

Back with Curtis dropping elbows for two before hitting a Hennig necksnap for the same. We hit the chinlock for a bit but Cody avoids a middle rope fist a few seconds later. The Disaster Kick misses but Cody gets two off a sunset flip out of the corner. Heyman's distraction breaks up the moonsault press and Axel hits his neckbreaker into a faceplant for the pin at 3:55 shown of 6:55.

Rating: D+. So we build Cody up for weeks and then have him lose in less than seven minutes with the title not even on the line. To be fair though, Cody had almost a month of wins under his belt so it was long past time to bring him back to earth. He might jump to TNA or the UFC or Hollywood and we wouldn't want to make money off of him while we could right?

Post match Heyman wants to talk about CM Punk. He talks about being in emotional pain along with his physical pain because he made Punk the best in the world and then was betrayed. Punk lost to Lesnar at Summerslam and now Punk is in a downward spiral. Under Heyman's leadership, Axel has notched victory after victory and no one has been able to take the title from him. Axel challenges Punk to an Intercontinental Title match on Raw because he can't lose with Heyman in his corner.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E. Langston

Langston jumps Ziggy before the bell and throws him around the ring with ease. The bell rings and Dolph avoids a charge in the corner, only to be slammed down for two. Langston gets two off a splash and we hit the chinlock. Dolph fights up and sends Big E. into the post before taking him down with a neckbreaker. A dropkick drops Big E. again and Ziggler counters a powerbomb into an X-Factor for two. AJ gets in a cheap shot on Ziggler and Langston runs him over for two. The Big Ending is escaped and Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for the pin at 2:01. Langston loses with a pre-match advantage and interferance. So much for him.

Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title here. Del Rio pounds away in the corner to start but gets backdropped out to the floor. Christian sends him into the barricade and Del Rio walks up the aisle as we take a break. Back with Del Rio kicking away in the corner but getting punched in the face to give Christian a breather. Christian is shoved to the floor to counter a tornado DDT, possibly injuring the shoulder that made him give up on Sunday.

Back in and the champion cranks on the arm before getting two off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Alberto misses a charge into the ropes and gets dropkicked out to the floor. Christian pounds away back inside the ring but misses a high cross body, allowing Alberto to dropkick him in the face for two. Christian's spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two more but Del Rio avoids a middle rope dropkick and tries the armbreaker.

The Canadian rolls out and hits a tornado DDT out of the corner for two in a nice sequence. Alberto bails to the floor to avoid the spear and catches Christian with the running enziguri for two back inside. Christian blocks the low superkick and tries the Killswitch, only to have Del Rio send him shoulder first into the post. Alberto goes to the middle rope and rolls Christian into the armbreaker for the submission at 8:17 shown of 12:57.

Rating: B-. Another good match from these two and now the series is at 2-2. I'm guessing we're supposed to ignore the two losses by Del Rio because he won the next two, though I don't think many fans see it that way. The match itself was good stuff though with both guys building on spots they've used in their previous few matches.

Post match Del Rio talks about how awesome he is and how everyone else is a peasant. Is Del Rio being rich even a thing anymore? Del Rio says to follow him to greatness but Ricardo interrupts him. He says no one is going to lead him to greatness but now he's hanging out with RVD. Rob comes to the ring and Christian dropkicks Del Rio down, allowing Rob to hit Rolling Thunder. That was a pretty non-good guy move there from Christian.

We recap the opening segment of the show.

Big Show/Mark Henry vs. 3MB

Slater gets to start with Big Show and is launched into the corner before it's off to Henry. A big boot puts Slater down but Heath avoids a seated senton and brings in McIntyre for some stomping. Mahal comes in for the same but Slater is tagged in and run over by a BIG shoulder block. Big Show comes in and cleans house but Slater breaks up the pin after a chokeslam to McIntyre. JBL: “Dumb, dumb move.” The World's Strongest Slam ends Slater and the WMD is good for the pin on Drew at 3:11.

Rating: D. The match was nothing and you can't complain about it too much. It did its job, though either monster could have done the same thing in the same amount of time. It would help to have some midcard tag teams for Henry and Show to beat but there's just not enough depth in the division to do that.

Post match Shield asks if beating 3MB is supposed to mean something. Seth says they're going to have fun knocking Show down again. Reigns will never respect Mark Henry and Rollins adds that they're just better than the monsters. BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD, even though Ambrose wasn't in this interview.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Darren Young

Young gets taken down seconds into the match and Cesaro pounds him into the corner. There's the gutwrench suplex but Cesaro charges into a boot in the corner. Antonio comes right back with the standing chinlock and a clothesline for two. Darren comes back with right hands and an overhead belly to belly followed by a northern lights suplex for two. A hot shot and the Gut Check are good for the pin at 2:31. Nothing match as Young's push continues.

Ryback signs an autograph for a fan's son but the fan doesn't know what his name is. Ryback rips up the picture he signed as a result. I'm with Ryback here. How did the fan not know his name when it's in big red letters on the front of his vest?

Punk has accepted the match with Axel for Raw.

The cage is lowered.

Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett

Barrett pounds him into the corner to start but Bryan blocks a ram into the steel. Daniel pounds right hands in the corner but charges into a boot to the jaw. Now the ram into the cage works but Barrett can only get a two count. Bryan comes back with a backdrop into the cage and Daniel fires off kicks in the corner. There's the backflip over Barrett in the corner but the running clothesline is countered into the Winds of Change for two.

We take a break and come back with Barrett kicking Bryan's head into the cage. Now it's Barrett having the back of his head rammed into the steel and Bryan adds the running dropkick to crush Barrett even more. A missile dropkick gets two and Bryan fires off the kicks to Wade's chest. The big one to the head misses and Barrett sends him into the cage before clotheslining him inside out for a close two.

Wasteland is blocked via a grab of the ropes but Bryan gets caught in an electric chair for two. Barrett goes up the cage but Bryan makes a save. He can't German superplex Wade down and gets kicked to the mat, only to charge up the corner and pull Barrett back inside. Bryan hits a rolling powerbomb to bring Wade back to the mat and the running knee to the face is good for the pin at 8:58 shown of 11:58.

Rating: B. Good match here with Barrett looking like he could hang with the big boys. It's amazing how far he fell while being Intercontinental Champion because when he has a good opponent he can put on an entertaining match. Bryan was his usual good stuff here and the fans are still into him after Summerslam. Hopefully that holds up.

Post match Bryan celebrates on the floor but walks into an RKO.

Overall Rating: B. This was a really solid show as WWE continues their roll. We had good matches throughout the show with the bad stuff being pretty short. I'm not wild on the ending though. That's three times now that Orton has stood tall over Bryan in three shows and that's going to catch up with them. Bryan doesn't need to beat Orton down or anything, but he needs to be standing when a show ends soon. It's still very early in the story though so it's not like it's already dead or anything. Good show tonight.

Curtis Axel b. Cody Rhodes – Neckbreaker into a faceplant
Dolph Ziggler b. Big E. Langston – Zig Zag
Alberto Del Rio b. Christian – Cross Armbreaker
Big Show/Mark Henry b. 3MB – WMD to McIntyre
Darren Young b. Antonio Cesaro – Gut Check
Daniel Bryan b. Wade Barrett – Running knee to the head

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  1. I find no small amount of amusement in seeing them try to tiptoe their way around explaining the heat Zeb & Co would have with Young.

  2. Yeah I noticed they came back from a commercial with Zeb's line that usually ends his speeches. I'm sure some organization will come along soon and accuse WWE of gay bashing of some sort.

  3. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    It definitely felt like it was going in that direction on Monday, I kept waiting for the gay-bashing hammer to drop from Zeb and talk about how "Real Americans" don't tolerate homosexuality.

  4. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2013 at 9:24 PM


  5. Probably, but they shouldn't. Why shouldn't a gay basher be an acceptable role for a bad guy?

  6. Because son, there are two types o' demonism: hedonism, and homoSINuality.

    That and Judaism. Mark that three types o' demonism.

  7. Because the group will have never watched a single WWE match in their life and will have no idea what they're talking about yet they'll wage a war against WWE for weeks because they don't get how wrestling works.

  8. One good part of Orton being champ is the real big belt showing up on SD more often.

  9. Why did Show/Henry give 3MB any offense at all? Just because they are faces doesn't mean they can't be ass kickers and have to give heat segments to overmatched opponents.

  10. Because if the crowd should actually start to POP for any of the gay bashing talk, the same way they started chanting "USA" for the immigration angle, then the company suddenly has a real PR nightmare on their hands.

  11. So I guess the company got bored with Langston. What a waste.


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