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Smackdown - August 30, 2013

Date: August 30, 2013
Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We close out August with Daniel Bryan on a bad run of luck. For four straight shows now he's been left laying by Randy Orton and the new Corporation, but luckily for him the fans are still WAY into him. That's only going to last for so long though until the fans start to view him as a guy who got lucky against Cena instead of an elite level star. Let's get to it.

Theme song opens us up.

We get things going with MizTV featuring guests Big Show and Dolph Ziggler. Miz says the three of them were all on the stage along with forty other superstars while Daniel Bryan had to run the Shield gauntlet. They were all told that if they said anything, HHH would make them miserable. However, Miz thinks it's time for them to speak up about how the WWE is being run. Big Show says that was one of the hardest things he's ever had to do. Ziggler is nervous to say anything and says let Big Show keep going. Miz is about to say something when HHH cuts him off.

HHH thinks MizTV is cool but wants to hear what Miz was about to say before he came to the ring and why Miz isn't in a suit. Miz says you never know when a fight could break out and wants to know if he can ask HHH a question. HHH says no he can't and asks why these three are taking the Daniel Bryan route and making it personal. They shouldn't be jealous of Randy Orton. After all, Orton isn't a guy who talks a lot but can't back it up or a guy who just happens to be big, but (to Ziggler) at least he's big enough.

HHH talks about how Orton being champion is what's best for business, meaning it makes more money for all of them. Miz is jealous because he can't get near the WWE Championship again, but since HHH is in a good mood he's giving Miz a shot at Randy Orton tonight. HHH saw Ziggler looking miserable because he lost to the Shield in a 3-1 handicap match, so tonight he gets a rematch with all three guys. That leaves Big Show, who gets the night off. Instead he gets to sit next to the announcers and do nothing about it whatsoever. Show looks like he wants to chew through steel but goes and sits down.

Randy Orton vs. The Miz

Non-title of course with Big Show at ringside. Orton takes Miz into the corner to start and we get a clean break. Miz jumps over Orton in the corner and clotheslines him down but Orton easily escapes a Figure Four attempt. Orton staggers him with a headbutt and gets two off a dropkick. Miz is tossed to the floor as Orton is doing a good job at making his usual spots into heel moves. Miz is dropped back first onto the barricade for two back inside.

We hit the chinlock but Miz fights up and pounds on Orton in the corner until the referee pulls him away. The running clothesline in the corner sets up Miz's top rope ax handle, only to have Orton kick him out of the air. The Elevated DDT is countered into a backdrop to the floor....and here comes Shield as we take a break. Back with Shield standing between the ring and the ramp as Orton sends Miz into the barricade.

The fans chant for Big Show as Orton throws Miz back inside for two. Orton does the circle stomp and hits another chinlock but Miz fights up with some elbows. A neckbreaker gets two for Miz but Orton escapes the Skull Crushing Finale. Now the Elevated DDT connects but Miz counters the RKO into a backslide for two. A dropkick to the knee sets up the Figure Four and Orton is in trouble. Randy finally makes a rope and jumps to his feet for the RKO and the pin at 10:02 shown of 13:02.

Rating: C+. Nice match here as Miz can have a decent performance against the right kind of opponent. The Figure Four still needs to go though as it just doesn't fit the rest of Miz's offense at all. As has been said many times, the guy used one move to get to the WWE Title and to the main event of Wrestlemania, so why would he need to change things? Good match here and a good win for Orton who got a clean pin.

Shield comes in for the post match beatdown but Bryan makes a save with a chair, sending the place into a frenzy. THIS is what they've been needing to do for weeks now.

Los Matadores are still coming.

Vickie yells at Bryan for what he just did and gives him a match with Ryback as a result.

We recap the Punk/Heyman/Axel segment from Raw. Thank goodness the fans were chanting Walrus instead of Boring because that was a great segment.

Rob Van Dam vs. Damien Sandow

Sandow says he'll win and win and win until he's world champion. Other than the winning part, he might be right and that's kind of scary. Rob hits a quick kick to take over and jumps up top for a legdrop of all things, good for two. Sandow comes back by sending him shoulder first into the post followed by the Russian legsweep and the Wind-Up Elbow for two. Big Show is still at ringside in case you were wondering. Sandow hooks the chinlock but Rob quickly fights up and snaps off a hurricanrana. Damien slows RVD down with a big boot but Rob hits a springboard kick to the face and the Five Star gets the pin at 2:37.

Post match here's Alberto who insults both Ricardo and RVD. Del Rio warns RVD to not sleep with the dogs because he'll wake up with fleas.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shield

Rollins starts for Shield but Dolph knocks the other two members off the apron before going after Seth. A cross body gets two for Dolph and he pounds away on Rollins' head. Rollins gets him into the Shield corner for some stomping and it's off to Reigns. A Samoan drop from the Samoan gets two and Ambrose comes in to talk trash and pound away. The fans chant for Ziggler as JBL is having a great time watching this destruction.

Dean shouts at Ziggler in the corner so Ziggler slaps him in the face and backdrops the US Champion to the floor. Ziggler can't follow up though so it's back to Rollins who counters the Fameasser into the always awesome looking buckle bomb. Reigns comes in off a blind tag and spears Ziggler out of his boots for the pin at 4:00.

Rating: C-. What else could they have done here? Thankfully this doesn't hurt Ziggler and I could see him getting the US Title shot at Night of Champions. That spear from Reigns continues to be awesome as I don't remember anyone ever throwing their legs in the air like he does. It looks like he's almost flying through the other person and it looks great every time.

Post match Shield chokes Ziggler on the ropes and taunts Big Show. The Triple Bomb leaves Ziggler laying and Big Show seething.

Here are Heyman and Axel with something to say. Axel introduces us to another clip of Heyman attacking Punk on Raw. Heyman wants to know what the fans want from him. Are they mad at him for the beating he gave his prodigal son on Monday? He isn't sorry for what he did because the fans voted him into that situation. Did they think he was going to take his beating like a man?

For 434 days he and Punk were the reigning WWE Champion and every single one of their opponents were put down using Heyman's plans and Punk's implementation. Every time Punk has come up against Heyman, it's been Punk on his back, looking up at his mentor. This brings us to Night of Champions, where Heyman might have to face Punk on his own again.

If that happens, the fans are expecting to see Punk beat Heyman into the ground, and Heyman is indeed afraid. If Punk gets his hands on him, you won't see Paul Heyman again. However, that fear could be Punk's worst enemy. Look at what Heyman has done to Punk out of love and think about what he could do if he was facing a beating at Punk's hands. More greatness from Heyman here.

Wyatt Family vs. Tons of Funk

Harper starts with Tensai and the fat man knocking Luke to the floor. Tons of Funk hit a double standing splash to Harper but Rowan breaks up the big splash. Harper kicks Tensai in the face and it's the discus lariat and splash combination for the pin on Tensai at 1:13. This was pretty sloppy for a seventy five second match.

Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Tensai post match.

Los Matadores are still coming. That hasn't changed in the last hour.

We look at the AJ promo against the Total Divas from Monday.

Ryback vs. Daniel Bryan

Ryback has a new split color singlet. Thankfully we only hear about the Escalade for the first time during Bryan's entrance. Bryan charges right at him but gets shoved across the ring with ease. A slam puts Bryan down as Big Show looks on with a worried look. Ryback fires off some hard shoulders into the corner for two but after staggering Bryan with a headbutt, Ryback misses a charge into the post.

Bryan starts firing off the kicks and hits a running dropkick to the chest in the corner. Ryback rolls to the floor for the FLYING GOAT as Orton strolls down to the ring. The distraction allows Ryback to run Bryan over as we take a break. Back with Bryan fighting out of a chinlock and firing off kicks to the legs.

Daniel loads up the running clothesline but gets caught in a hard spinebuster for no cover. The Meat Hook connects for two s Ryback loads up a belly to belly superplex. Bryan doesn't feel like dying today so he headbutts Ryback down and hits the missile dropkick. Here come the kicks and the big one to the head is good for two. There's the YES Lock but Orton comes in for the DQ at 6:25 shown of 9:25.

Rating: C+. These two have good chemistry together as Bryan knows how to play the David role to Ryback's Goliath as well as anyone else. Bad character development and horrid win/loss record aside, there's potential in Ryback as a monster heel. Good match here as I'm come to expect from these two.

Bryan is ready for Orton and catches him in the YES Lock but here's Shield for the save. Big Show is out of his chair and looks like he's about to explode. He finally slides into the ring but doesn't touch anyone. HHH comes raving down the aisle, demanding that Big Show get out of the ring. Show stays in the ring and stares down at HHH before finally climbing out. He looks like he's about to cry as HHH demands he go to the back.

The beating on Bryan continues as the announcers go into serious silent mode. Orton has Shield hold Bryan for more punishment and walks Bryan around the ring to look at all the people. The Batista thumbs up/down thing sets up the Triple Bomb and in case we haven't channeled enough heel stables for you yet, Orton spray paints NO on Bryan's chest to end the show. This would be the fifth consecutive show where Daniel Bryan has been left laying since winning the WWE Championship.

Overall Rating: B. I really liked tonight's show as they treated it like things mattered. I'm liking the main story more and more as it's reminiscent of 1998 when Undertaker refusing to fight Kane as Kane destroyed more and more people. At least we can almost guarantee the matches will be better this time around though. Overall though the show came off quite well with almost everything being at least good.

They could be on the verge of something huge here if they play their cards right, but they can't keep having Bryan get destroyed forever. The silver lining though is Bryan isn't losing matches and is being beaten down by impossible odds, so once he gets backup (which is clearly coming), he can fight Orton on level ground and get his big win.

Randy Orton b. The Miz – RKO
Rob Van Dam b. Damien Sanodw – Five Star Frog Splash
Shield b. Dolph Ziggler – Spear
Wyatt Family b. Tons of Funk – Splash to Tensai
Daniel Bryan b. Ryback via DQ when Randy Orton interfered

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  1. "This would be the fifth consecutive show where Daniel Bryan has been left laying since winning the WWE Championship."

    That's probably the other difference between this and Austin/McMahon. I don't remember Austin ever getting his ass kicked on so many consecutive occasions. Monday's probably going to be the show where the faces finally stand tall.

  2. Its gotta be. Football season starts next week and they need a hook before ratings freefall

  3. The Wyatt Family are atrocious in the ring. I know Tons of Funk, especially Brodus, are not very good but holy shit do the Wyatt Family look like they belong back in NXT whenever they wrestle.

  4. You realize that they're not supposed to be technicians right?

  5. I know but they aren't even competent in the ring at this point. How can you be involved in any major angles when the act fizzles after the entrance?

  6. That will kill the family.

    After the Shield tearing down houses, the main event guys being generally awesome, strong mid-card workers like Ziggler and Cesaro. Watching big slugs (who have mostly been phased out recently) stink up the joint...

    People are unimpressed.

  7. You don't have to be a technician to put on good matches. Sheamus is a good power wrestler/hoss worker on their roster.

  8. Let me try this again. They're not supposed to be wrestlers. They're supposed to be two big morons that beat people up.

  9. This guy gets it.

  10. We get that but they look awful whenever they attempt to do so. I cant imagine there isn't some other big goof in NXT that can do a better job than Rowan. They are terrible performers in the ring.

  11. You just don't get it. They're different. They stand apart from the rest of the roster. They're not going to do fucking armdrags. They don't know how to counter dragon screws. They punch people in the face and stomp them down. That's what they do.

  12. No shit but they cant even stomp or punch correctly. That is the point I am trying to make. Why you cannot understand that is beyond me.When the bell rings, they cannot perform at all. If your job is to kick and stomp, then do that believably. I am not advocating for a roster of in-ring technicians either. The roster needs diversity. Santino and Ryder excel at being goofs and wrestle as goofs in the ring well. Rowan and Harper do not look like brawlers in the ring, just two guys that cant hack it.

  13. That's fine. I guess we will just agree to disagree.

  14. So we're just gonna get Bryan beat-downs twice a week until 'Mania?


  15. I really don't think it's going to last much longer. It'll end before Night of Champions when Big Show finally snaps and helps him.

  16. yup, and they ain't going to waste it on Smackdown. It'll be a 6-man against the shield, with Bryan-Orton on top.

  17. This storyline is actually getting Miz somewhat sorta kinda over. If I was WWE I wouldn't have Big Show be the guy to save Bryan at first, I'd have it be Miz and Ziggler. Show doesn't need it, Miz and Ziggler need something to actually cement them as faces.

  18. Count me in with this thought. Maybe it's because the Shield started their in ring career with a ****+ match and really just kept going but I can't buy the Wyatts as anything. They haven't had a good match yet.

    And while Harper and Rowan can get away with being lugs, Bray Wyatt needs to show something to keep this gimmick going. His finisher (sister abigail) looks weak and generic.

    They need a good solid 15 minute match against some trio of babyfaces to get themselves over in the ring a little bit. Squashing tons of funk and looking bad while they do it is already stale.

  19. They stand apart from the roster by sucking.

    This is wrestling. At the end of the day the people in the ring are expected to go out there and wrestle.

  20. Foley's biggest moment.

    Falling off of a cage.

    Not the classics he had with Sting/HBK.

    It was falling off a cage.

  21. Foley's biggest moment.

    Falling off of a cage.

    Not the classics he had with Sting/HBK.

    It was falling off a cage.

    Or is that different.

  22. That's exactly the reaction that shows how well this storyline is working. It's the best thing they've done in a main event storyline in forever.

  23. I love how Daniel Bryan of all people is the #1 babyface, but because he's not doing what Cena did and 'overcoming the odds' in every situation, the storyline sucks.

    There are WWE writers who read blogs like this and must think, "what do these people want?"

    This might be the best storyline in years. Unlike the Summer of Punk, it's actually focused, it has a slow burn, it has different arcs throughout and everyone has a set role. Most importantly, Bryan is the focus and they're taking advantage of Triple H's gravitas and position by eventually having Bryan overcome it.

    Like Austin/McMahon, it's the hard-working, blue collar type vs. 'The Man'.

    But I guess because he's not Superman-ing it up a la Cena, it stinks. Well fuck that, because the primary reason I stopped watching is because the main character was a guy who nobody can sympathize with. That and the midcard sucks, which it still does.

  24. When have they been in a position to even make a judgment on them so far?

  25. This guy? Oh, he gets it. He gets it rurl gurd.

  26. Couldn't agree more.

    I can't remember the last time WWE had heel work as effective as this.

  27. Hrm, there's a lot to respond with here, so let's break this down.

    First of all...what Foley did was exciting and athletic. Everybody can fall off a cage. Foley was capable of surviving and wrestling afterwards.

    Second of all...if your point is that storylines and spectacle sell tickets. Yes. But at the end of the day it's a wrestling show, and wrestling is about wrestling. Even Hulk matches, despite their lack of workrate, were well wrestled from the perspective of crowd interaction and selling.

    Bray Wyatt is an incredible mic worker with one hell of a character. But expecting Husky Harris to also be the workhorse of the team is just crazy. They need the Briscoe's.

  28. First of all it was not athletic.

    New Jack was doing shit like that for years before.
    Cornette fell off a scaffold.
    Vic Grimes and Brian Lee did the same thing.

    All survived, and continued performing.
    So stop it.

    Second of all, personalities and characters sell tickets. If it was workrate, ROH would be the WWE and the WWE would be TNA. People came to see the spectacle of Hulk Hogan. It didnt matter who he was fighting, it was a formula. Hogan vs Big fat heel, or Big fat foreigner. Didnt matter, place sold out. Every night for like 4 years.

    It didnt matter who Austin was going against, it was a formula. But they didnt necessarily care to see Austin fight, they wanna see the stunner, beer bash, middle fingers and the character.

    Bray Wyatt will be fine. He needs to keep talking and spouting promos like he has been doing. He will be fine. The other two are an means to an end. They are there to get Bray even more over. Once that happens, they will be discarded. The wrestling is secondary. it always has been in the WWF.

  29. I really can't understand the complaints/fears about the heels get the upper hand constantly. That's the whole fucking point of pro wrestling! Heels keep using nefarious means to stay on top, avoid the fair fight, then you, me and everybody pays to see them get their comeuppance.

    More broadly, as Lester Dent put it, the first two acts of a story you shovel endless grief onto your hero. Only in the third act do you let him make headway. It's the most basic storytelling.

    Thomas, how can you say that when Bryan makes the save 'they've been needing to do this for weeks'? No! The crowd went crazy *because* they waited for weeks.

    Personally, I'm loving all this. It's a classic heel/face feud for the title and it's what we haven't had in years mostly thanks to Cena.

  30.'re just not reading what I'm saying.

    You're proving my point. Mick Foley did exactly the same shit Zandig did. So why do we care about Foley and not CZW? Because Foley is good. And the Wyatt's aren't.

    That moment was a crazy spot. But he used that crazy spot and made it matter. Shelton Benjamin did crazy spots, but he couldn't make them matter. Hence Shelton being a bad wrestler. Harper and Rowan have gotten moments, but they don't have the talent to make them matter. Hence shit wrestlers.

    I'm saying that Austin and Hogan's ringwork is what brought people back. It's not about workrate or moves. I agree with you. But they played their character and didn't bore people. They connected with the audience and got people to come back after the promo.

    Wyatt...does not do that. His music gets a pop, which is a good start, but the only thing that got a reaction was the fire shooting up. Yes maybe I'm closing the door on him too early. But right now, Wyatt's ringwork is not cutting it.

    And the other two suck. They aren't at all necessary to Wyatt. He needs goons, but he doesn't especially need THOSE goons. And considering just how much they suck and bore people (and drain the mystique of the Wyatt's every time they wrestle) Brian's point totally stands up.

  31. Daniel Bryan is not Steve Austin.

  32. The Wyatts need to do something memorable next week, because just having them come out, beat somebody up and yell "Follow the buzzards" with no storyline or purpose doesn't make sense with their characters.
    It's cool if they're not ready to bring back Kane yet as a member of the family, but in the meantime, have them start targeting other people: Brodus or Christian or Lillian Garcia or whoever. It doesn't have to be anyone important and it doesn't even have to turn into a complete storyline. But it's not like real cults focus on one new member at a time; they're always recruiting.

  33. I know they mentioned Big Show's ironclad contract on Smackdown ... did I miss the part where they explained why he's not using it to defy HHH's orders? It would make sense if it turns out Show is being so emotional and letting HHH order him around because HHH has some secret on him that Show doesn't want to be made public ... but then I'd feel like we're drifting into a dangerous Big-Boss-Man-crashing-a-funeral zone.

  34. I've only scrolled through the comments, and am sure this point was made but doesn't Big Show have a fucking iron clad contact from that shit with Big Johnny?

  35. Also, WHERE THE FUCK is big Johnny for this storyline? Hed be the perfect HHH lackey

  36. I can't quite explain why, but Rowan's look does nothing for me. At least Luke Harper looks like a creepy pyscho...Rowan just looks like a big goof and is sloppy as shit in the ring.

  37. Agree fully...for once we don't have heels who are booked like chickenshit losers, so I'm fine with it. As long as they stick to the plan, which appears to be a Bryan/Show/Ziggler faction feuding with HHH/Orton/Shield, followed by Bryan winning the title back, then there is nothing wrong with this storyline.

  38. You don't get it.

  39. Sorry if this smacks of ignorance because last night was my first episode on ages:

    Is Smackdown way more of an important show in storyline development now?

  40. Most people don't really understand wrestling, they just bitch about the same things like everyone else always has.

  41. JBL mentioned it in an offhanded comment, saying "If Big Show does something, HHH will rip the contract up." Other than that, I haven't heard it mentioned at all.

  42. They need to have him try to put up a fight and look like he can stand against these guys, not get destroyed every time.

  43. More important than what? Than Raw? No. Than Smackdown used to be? Not really, it just so happens that right now the main storyline includes two guys (Orton and Bryan) who regularly appear on Smackdown.

  44. It's 4 on 1 and he's 5-8. And he put up a fight early on the show when he cleared the ring. Jesus.

  45. Which is what I was referring to when I said "this is what they've been needing to do."

  46. They don't "need" to do anything. This is the best massive angle they've run in years. It's getting multiple people over as heels and faces at the same time.

    They're having HHH go out and be the person everyone online thinks he is and he's phenomenal. It's a shame how many years he wasted as a face when he's one of the most effective heels ever.

  47. I like how they copied the nWo with the spray painting at the end, I liked it. Nothing wrong with borrowing great ideas from the past the WORKED!

  48. So anyone catch the really good Cesaro/Ziggler match on Superstars this week?

  49. They've tried to make Smackdown a bigger deal recently. They gave away the Bryan/Kane/Orton vs. Shield payoff match on Smackdown kind of as a signal "hey, important stuff happens here sometimes". Punk rarely works Smackdown, HHH was famous for not liking to work Tuesdays and Cena almost never shows up on that show either.

    So while it's more important now than it was 6 months ago, it's still the B show for a reason. Episodes have been getting better recently though. It's gone from "I won't even DVR it" to "I'll watch it when I get a chance"

  50. Honestly, this may be the most germane case of "Let it play out" there's been in a long time.

    Most of the negativity is quite premature, but is validly based on past behavior. If this proves to be the rare exception, then they'll get all the praise they deserve.

  51. And you're a troll.

  52. They might want to put in a couple more hope spots.

  53. I'm sorry I defeated your sad argument so thoroughly that you have literally no response.

  54. You didn't defeat my argument. You couldn't defeat a shoe.

  55. Wow! The PERFECT role for him!

    He'd be amazing at taking beatings by proxy for the Corporation 2.0.


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