Smackdown was in Las Vegas, NV tonight, and yours truly had the pleasure of attending the taping earlier in the week. Let's get right to it.
The show kicked off with Miz TV. The Big Show and Dolph Ziggler were The Miz's guests tonight. Both men were asked to discuss their thoughts on the lynching that Bryan suffered at the hands of The Shield and Randy Orton last Monday, and how they were forced by Triple H to stand and witness it. Both men were reluctant to talk, fearing repercussions from the COO. The Miz decided that he wasn't going to be quiet, but before he could speak his mind, Triple H would enter, explaining again that it was business. He then booked Ziggler in a handicap match against The Shield, placed Big Show next to the announcers' table for the night, and made a match for The Miz against the WWE Champion Randy Orton. Which would start right away.
Match 1: The Miz vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton
Randy Orton would control this one early on, but it wasn't long before The Miz would mount an offensive. Just when it looked like The Miz had the upper hand, The Shield made their way through the stands. Big Show sitting at ringside could only look on, as he had been instructed to "watch what happens tonight and do nothing" by Triple H. The Shield wouldn't intervene, instead, they formed a barrier of sorts at the end of the ramp, serving as some sort of personal security for Orton. Randy would eventually catch The Miz with the RKO for the win. Afterwards, Orton started directing traffic, calling The Shield into the ring to take care of The Miz. Big Show may have been forced to watch, but Daniel Bryan couldn't watch anymore, as he ran to the rescue with a steel chair in hand, clearing the ring.
Winner: Randy Orton
I’m a bit confused by this whole thing. Not so much because of the storyline, but because of the participants, particularly the role of The Shield. These three men went from being a vigilante group, serving out their own brand of justice to anyone they felt was deserving. Now, for unexplained reasons, they have become henchman for Triple H, a man they attempted to attack back in April, and apparently, are taking orders from Randy Orton, a man who has had plenty of run ins with the trio. Somebody, please get on a microphone and explain this!
Vickie Guerrero reprimanded Daniel Bryan for getting involved in the aftermath of the opening match. She called him a bully, and not surprisingly, placed him in a match with Ryback.
Match 2: RVD w/ Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Damien Sandow
RVD would make quick work of Sandow in what was a pretty dominant performance. Alberto Del Rio would come to the stage after the match and question why RVD was the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. He would then claim that it was only because of Ricardo betraying him. He informed RVD that at Night of Champions, he was going to rain on his parade.
I was asking myself the same question regarding RVD’s #1 contender spot. Obviously aligning yourself with the champ’s former ring announcer is all you have to do to get a title shot.
Match 3: The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler made a valiant effort throughout this match, taking Rollin’s to the woodshed right from the start. It didn’t take long for the numbers game to turn the tide however. A helpless Big Show looked on as The Shield would pick Ziggler apart with their aggressive style and quick tags. Ziggler would buy some time with a backdrop that sent Ambrose over the ropes. Rollin’s would get the tag and nearly become the victim of the Fame Asser, but he was able to catch Ziggler and deliver him hard into the turnbuckle, Reigns would come in and nail the spear and finish the job. The Shield would mock Big Show after the match, and then deliver the powerbomb to Ziggler. Big Show was fuming by this point in the show.
Winner: The Shield
Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel came to the ring to discuss the beating that they delivered to C.M. Punk on Raw, as well as the upcoming handicap match at Night of Champions. Curtis Axel needs speaking lessons, and someone needs to explain to me why the match at Night of Champions isn’t being billed as a title match. When exactly is Curtis Axel going to defend that belt?
Match 4: Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Sweet T) vs. The Wyatts (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)
This match was incredibly quick. So quick, that it almost seemed pointless. Bray Wyatt would come in the ring after the match to get his in.
Winner: Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
Match 5: Ryback vs. Daniel Bryan
Big Show was still at ringside for this one. Bryan would start strong, with his usual relentless attack, but the strength of Ryback was too much too soon for Bryan. Ryback would beat Bryan down for a while before Daniel would make his comeback, hitting Ryback with a flurry of dropkicks in the corner. Randy Orton came to the ring, causing a distraction to Bryan, allowing Ryback to regain control. Bryan would eventually get a missile dropkick in from the top rope, and then slap on the YES! lock. Randy got involved at this point causing the DQ. Bryan would slap the YES! lock on Orton, until The Shield came down and for a 4 on 1 assault. Big Show would finally get in the ring, but was quickly excorted out of the arena by Triple H. The Shield would deliver their powerbomb on Bryan, and Randy would get some payback for the paint job Bryan put on his Escalade Monday night, by spray painting NO on Bryan’s chest.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via disqualification
Smackdown proved to be pretty compelling this week, and I for one am glad I got to be there to see it. One thing that is really bothering me right now, is that we are only about two weeks away from Night of Champions, and only two titles are involved in any matches at this point. I’m not sure when or why it happened, but the WWE has seemed to have lost sight of how much we care about all of the belts, and how beneficial it would be to their product if they felt the same.
Until next week.