Saying Cody Rhodes was the highlight of Smackdown is like saying water’s wet. It’s just an unwavering fact, so persistent that it hardly even bares mention. Conversely, saying Ted DiBiase was a bright spot on the show is a little more noteworthy. Last Friday on Smackdown, he was just that.
Rhodes and DiBiase walked the aisle together on Friday night. Cody cut a fantastic promo on the Corpus Christi crowd as his suits distributed bags to them to cover their faces with. DiBiase even donned a bag over his head and spoke on behalf of all the fans in the arena. Eventually, Ted Jr. demanded his opponent be brought to the ring, and proceeded to make short work of Trent Baretta. After the closing bell, DiBiase placed one of Rhodes’ trademark paper bags over Baretta’s face. It’s been a long time since DiBiase has won a match on WWE programming, and despite this victory coming against soft competition, I think it will go a long way in the reestablishment of his character. Aligning DiBiase with former Legacy partner Cody Rhodes is a great move at this point – Rhodes is over enough to lift Ted up and Ted certainly needs the help – and I hope to see the working relationship continue well into the future. Plenty of damage to DiBiase’s credibility has been done over the past few months, but I do not believe it’s too late for him to gather some leverage and make another push at stardom. I was a big fan of what I saw Friday night, and I am desperate to see more of the same going forward.
- Smackdown opened with Christian taking a victory from Sheamus with a small package. It was kind of weird seeing the most recent World Champion and current #1 contender win in such a non-convincing fashion, but a win is a win I suppose. Post-match, Sheamus launched an attack on Captain Charisma and was joined by Mark Henry in the beating. After a few minutes, Randy Orton made the save and chased the heels off. Later, Christian complained about how long it took Orton to hit the ring, which led to the events of the main event…
- Randy Orton notched a disqualification win over Mark Henry in Smackdown’s main event, but similar to Christian’s fate after the opening match, Orton soon found himself having the boots put to him by Mark Henry & Sheamus. Christian, as if to get back at Orton for his delay in running out earlier, took his time getting to the ring but eventually came to the rescue. After a little brawl, Christian and Orton were able to clear Sheamus and Mark Henry from the ring. The faces shook hands, and it looks like this feud is going to continue down the well-beaten mutual respect path. I’m spoiling for a Christian heel turn, so this is not what I wanted to see.
- The Great Khali defeated one of the Usos after receiving some apparent motivation from Jinder Mahal. It looks like the angle between the Punjabi giant and Mahal is going to be that Khali has gone soft over the years and Jinder is here to light a fire under him. My main concern with this, and it’s not really a concern so much as a straight complaint, is that I don’t care about Khali no matter what his character is doing. He can be serious heel giant or a dancing comedic face, he’s going to stink either way. The guy can’t wrestle or talk, and I don’t know what he’s still doing on WWE programming.
- Chavo Guerrero promised to beat Daniel Bryan in under five minutes, but fell short of his goal despite the Three Amigo suplexes and a frog splash. I’m really glad they didn’t job Bryan, and I’m also glad that they continue to use him every week since he’s come to Smackdown. I’m hoping that Chavo continues to wrestle on a regular basis after his program with Sin Cara ends. The guy can still go, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be given some TV time. Bring back the Cruiserweight Division!
- Ezekiel Jackson cut a sufficient promo before being interrupted by the Corre. The confrontation led to a match that pitted Jackson, Kane, and Big Show against Barrett, Slater, and Gabriel. The big man team won when Jackson scored the pinfall, and the main purpose of this match was to make Jackson look strong. I think Zeke is an underutilized commodity and I look forward to his push. That being said, Wade Barrett is still strides ahead of him in his development.
- Brie Bella gained a win over Natalya, and Kharma was conspicuously absent from this match and its aftermath. That, however, didn’t stop Booker T from delivering this gem: “Kharma’s goin’ round feastin’ on divas. Only thing Kharma needs right now’s a biscuit. And syrup to go along!” Meanwhile, Cole waxed nostalgic over a Natalya discus punch that reminded him of her father. Only, you know, she wasn’t drunk and it wasn’t delivered to a stewardess.
Smackdown was a pretty all right go-home show for Over the Limit. It managed to pump me up for Sin Cara vs Chavo and Barrett vs Zeke, so there’s something to be said for that. The Christian vs Orton build could have been better, and I wouldn’t have minded a Nexus run-in against Big Show & Kane, but that’s just nitpicking. Decent show. Hopefully next week is two hours of Cody & Ted.