One of WWE’s longest standing practices is to portray all of their babyfaces as friendly allies and all of their heels as devious buddies. It always irks me when the personal differences of wrestlers are ignored and they form alliances based solely on some unseen affiliation to their fellow good guys or bad guys. Smackdown’s main event this week was a tag team contest guilty of this ridiculous policy on both sides.
Sheamus & Mark Henry formed a nonsensical alliance because they both happen to be heels at the moment, despite the fact that they feuded on Raw just a few short months ago. Meanwhile, they were opposed by the downright silly combination of World Champion Randy Orton and #1 contender Christian. The faces were victorious when Christian made the pin on Sheamus, but I would have much rather seen Christian react bitterly to his title loss than take it in stride. At any rate, Christian will be exercising his rematch clause at the next pay-per-view, Over the Limit. I think it’s safe to put his chances at defeating Orton at a dire 10% or so, but we can dream. The rest of Smackdown, including an actual Daniel Bryan match, after the jump.
- Sin Cara added a win to his record by defeating Daniel Bryan with a little help from Chavo Guerrero. The match itself was pretty solid, albeit commercial interrupted, and there were a few encouraging signs here. I’m a fan of the fact that they didn’t job Bryan clean, and I also enjoyed his awesome series of kicks. Chavo Guerrero’s commentary was efficient, although having Michael Cole support him as a way of establishing him as a heel was in no way subtle. Sin Cara’s reaction to Chavo helping him came off as a little silly – he conveyed his displeasure all right, I guess it just looks goofy from behind a mask. Also goofy: the blue and gold ring lights for the duration of the match. I’m glad they’re cultivating Cara on Smackdown in a feud with Chavo rather than throwing him right into the upper card of Raw. For those of you who missed it, the full match is embedded at the conclusion of this post.
- Cody Rhodes is one of the most effective heels in wrestling today. His character is great, and his execution and delivery are flawless. The grotesque one defeated former Legacy partner Ted DiBiase with the Cross Rhodes. Prior to the match, Rhodes’ associates handed paper bags out to the crowd to cover their faces with, and Cody even tried to force one upon Ted. It was good seeing DiBiase involved in something that wasn’t a straight squash, and I’ll be interested to see if these two wind up as at least loose allies moving forward. Michael Cole used the taboo word “wrestling” during this contest when referring to Cody Rhodes’ style of boots. One has to wonder if there will be disciplinary action.
- Wade Barrett and Kane went to a no contest when the Corre interfered – what a shock. After the match, Kane was dismantled by the villainous threesome until Ezekiel Jackson hit the ring to gain some retribution against his former allies. The numbers game proved to be too much for Big Zeke, and by the end the segment, he was left laying after a 450 splash. Later, Wade Barrett challenged Zeke to an Intercontinental Title match at Over the Limit. The fact that it makes absolutely no sense for a heel champion to challenge someone to a title match aside, I’m kind of looking forward to the meeting of the two big men.
- Layla’s in-ring address to the WWE Universe was interrupted by Michael Cole, and it may have been for the best. Cole is annoying, yes, but Layla is absolutely awful on the mic. In the midst of Cole’s rant, he mentioned that the divas shouldn’t even be a part of the WWE, and I really can’t argue with him there. Eventually, Kharma’s music hit and she plodded down to the ring for her standard attack. Layla attempted to escape, but instead found herself on the receiving end of an exaggerated trip from Michael Cole. This was actually pretty funny. Kharma planted her with the Impact Buster, and then chased Michael Cole out of the ring to the crowd’s delight. The WWE is doing a fine job at establishing Kharma as a monster, but in reality, there’s not much establishing that needs to be done. Just look at her. Hopefully they end the run-ins and get her in the ring sooner than later.
- The Great Khali’s kiss cam was interrupted by Jinder Mahal, who slapped the Punjabi Playboy around a little bit for being such an embarrassment. From what I understand, the plan is to eventually pair these guys up. I can say with confidence that there is absolutely nothing that can be done with Khali that will make me care about him.
The main event was a throwaway, but Daniel Bryan vs Sin Cara and Cody Rhodes vs Ted DiBiase were pretty good matches. I’m excited to see the eventual payoff to the developing Cara / Chavo Guerrero angle.