Sure, Sheamus became the #1 contender to the World Title on Smackdown last week, but that can wait. Cody Rhodes stepped into the ring with Daniel Bryan, the universe almost collapsed in on itself due to so much awesomeness concentrated in one place, and that’s our lead story.
Over the past few months, Rhodes has become one of the absolute best heels in the company. If forced to rank him today, CM Punk & The Miz would be the only two names ahead of him on my list. Naturally, when Daniel Bryan interrupted Rhodes’ promo on Friday, he received a pretty massive pop. Not to get off topic, but I love that Bryan uses “Ride of the Valkyries” as his entrance theme – it’s immediately recognizable, and that’s the most important feature of ring music. At any rate, Bryan and Rhodes engaged in a really good, decently paced match. The chemistry between these two was predictably great. Not as predictable was the outcome. Reversing a Cross Rhodes attempt, Bryan locked Cody in the Lebell Lock and picked up a submission victory. Bryan’s been getting more exposure on Smackdown than he ever did on Raw, and this is easily his biggest win since being drafted. Hopefully this is the first step towards bigger and better things for the American Dragon. Post-match, Rhodes attacked the winner and placed a paper bag over his head, seemingly enjoying the last laugh so to speak. It should be noted that Ted DiBiase was nowhere to be found during the match or its aftermath. I’ll be more than a little disappointed if the alliance between Rhodes & DiBiase is over already, but it’s a little too early to make that assumption just yet. The rest of Smackdown awaits past the jump.
- Sheamus defeated Christian and Mark Henry in a triple threat match to become the new #1 contender. Orton interfered in the match, delivering an RKO to Mark Henry and distracting the referee in the process. This was the deciding factor in the match, as the ref wasn’t able to count Christian’s pin on Sheamus while the interference transpired. It’s already been announced that Sheamus will challenge Orton for the belt on next week’s Smackdown as opposed to the pay-per-view, so I’d suspect Christian will still be the next high-profile challenger.
- Sin Cara was victorious over Chavo Guerrero in the show’s very entertaining opening match. I’d like to see more from these two, although I fear Chavo may be banished back into obscurity sooner than later. I don’t know how I feel about the ring lights that are used for Sin Cara’s matches. The lighting itself doesn’t really bother me, but the fact that Sin Cara’s matches feature it exclusively kind of does.
- Kane went over The Great Khali, polishing the big man off with his trademark top rope clothesline. The ending was ridiculously flat, as was the rest of the match; it played out exactly how every other match these two lumbering oafs have had with each other. After the closing bell, Jinder Mahal approached the ring and yelled at Khali in their native tongue. When Ranjin Singh tried to get between his brother and Mahal, Khali gave him a vise grip for his troubles, apparently going heel in the process. At no point did I care about anyone or anything in the ring during this entire segment.
- There was an in-ring interview with Booker T and Michael Cole, and it was egregiously boring. Booker pretty much echoed all of Jerry Lawler’s insults towards Cole without adding anything worthwhile. That was it. Dumb.
- Ezekiel Jackson nabbed a win of the disqualification variety, besting Heath Slater when the rest of the Corre interfered. Unlike most victims of the Corre’s attacks to date, Jackson was able to run the trio off before any damage was done. If this feud doesn’t end with Jackson taking on Barrett inside of a steel cage to prevent the Corre’s interference, I’ll be shocked.
- Since winning and losing has never mattered on NXT, NXT Season 3 winner Kaitlyn teamed with NXT Season 3 loser A.J. to take on Tamina and Alicia Fox. Despite inexplicably having Natalya in their corner, the rookie pairing fell short of the win when Alicia pinned Kaitlyn after an extra-sloppy scissor kick. Um…Tamina’s a heel now?
Smackdown contained its share of filler (the divas match, Booker T’s segment, the pointless Zeke vs Slater battle) but the Rhodes vs Bryan and Sin Cara vs Chavo matches were good enough to make up for it in my book. Good week to be a wrestling fan.