Laying The Smackdown
By Tony Kegger

Welcome to another Laying The Smackdown. This week, Smackdown was in London, England.

Smackdown begins and Daniel Bryan is introduced to the ring. Daniel Bryan does his “Yes” chant while walking down the entrance ramp. There are a lot of “YES” signs in the crowd. Several fans are doing the “Yes” chant and raising their arms. The fan support for Daniel Bryan in London is amazing. If you were a casual fan, you would not think that this guy is one of the top heels in the WWE. Daniel Bryan says, “Yes” to start his promo. Daniel Bryan says that ‘yes’ is what he was saying when he walked down the ramp for his first ever WrestleMania as the World Heavyweight Champion. Daniel Bryan says that after 18 seconds, it felt like his World Heavyweight Championship reign never happened. He says that it is hard for him to talk about what Sheamus did to him because Sheamus did not out-wrestle Daniel Bryan. Sheamus took the cowardly way out by waiting until Daniel Bryan’s back was turned and then Sheamus kicked him in the face. Daniel Bryan says Sheamus did the same thing to Alberto Del Rio and WWE referee Chad Patton.

Daniel Bryan says he will not be distracted at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan says that at Extreme Rules he will return to the city where his rise to the top began. The city where nobody thought there was a chance in Hell that Daniel Bryan would win. The city where Daniel Bryan sent shock waves throughout the entire world when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase. Daniel Bryan will return to Chicago (also the city where he won his first championship in the WWE).  Daniel Bryan says he plans to shock the world at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan says he will defeat Sheamus not once, but twice and it will not be a fluke victory like Sheamus’s victory at WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan says it will be undeniable that he should be the World Heavyweight Champion. Daniel Bryan gets to show everyone what he does best and that is wrestle. Daniel Bryan is going to out-wrestle Sheamus face-to-face like a real man. Daniel Bryan says all of the questions will answered. Did Sheamus take the cowardly way out every time he kicked Daniel Bryan in the face? Yes! Does it being a two out of three falls match give Daniel Bryan the advantage? Yes! At Extreme Rules, will Daniel Bryan walk out as the World Heavyweight Champion? YES! YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan stops chanting and pumps his fist in the air while the crowd continues to chant “Yes”.

AJ walks towards the ring and interrupts the “Yes” chant. AJ starts to enter the ring and Daniel Bryan tells her to go away. AJ says no and enters the ring. Daniel Bryan asks AJ if she is in the ring to distract him so Sheamus can run out and kick Daniel Bryan in the face. Daniel Bryan then says, “Sheamus, here I am. Kick me in the face! Kick me in the face!” AJ says that meeting Daniel Bryan in the ring is the only way AJ can talk to him because he won’t pay attention to her outside of the ring. AJ wants to talk about “our problems”. Daniel Bryan says, “Our problems? I don’t have any problems. I had a problem and I got rid of it. That problem was you.” AJ says she knows she and Daniel Bryan can work this out. AJ says she wants to wish Daniel Bryan good luck in his match at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan says he wishes AJ hadn’t come out to the ring. Daniel Bryan wishes he never met AJ. Daniel Bryan wishes that he never said “Yes” when AJ asked him out. Daniel Bryan wishes AJ was never born. Daniel Bryan starts smiling and says he will answer one more question. Is there any chance Daniel Bryan will ever take AJ back? Daniel Bryan says “No” and leaves the ring. AJ stays in the ring and starts crying.

That was an AMAZING promo by Daniel Bryan. It was better than the promo he cut on Smackdown two weeks ago. I have always thought Daniel Bryan lacked mic skills, but not anymore. Daniel Bryan can cut promos as good as anyone in the WWE. I get chills thinking about the fact that Daniel Bryan still has a full week to promote his Extreme Rules match. He has already got me very interested in the match. By the next week, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus might be the Extreme Rules match I will be looking forward to more than any other Extreme Rules match on the card which will include Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena and my hometown hero CM Punk vs. one of my favorite WWE Superstars Chris Jericho. I think a lot of people only watch RAW and don’t watch Smackdown, but Daniel Bryan will change that very quickly if he continues to cut great promos on Smackdown.

After a commercial break, AJ is still in the ring because she will face Natalya in a match.

AJ vs. Natalya

AJ slaps Natalya in the face at the start of the match and then starts attacking Natalya in the corner. The referee tries to get AJ out of the corner, but AJ continues to attack Natalya so the referee stops the match. AJ is disqualified and Natalya wins.

Winner:  Natalya

Rating: No Rating (NR)

Damien Sandov cuts backstage promo. Sandov says a quote from Benjamin Franklin. Sandov talks about how people are too concerned about which celebrity can get the most votes on “Dancing with the Stars”. He didn’t say “Dancing with the Stars”, but he was obviously referring to that show. Sandov says he will usher in a new era of enlightenment. I hate reviewing Sandov’s promos because they are so hard to understand. I wish this guy would stop talking and start wrestling.

Hunico and Camacho are in the ring. Hunico is waiting for his opponent. His opponent is…the Funkasaurus Brodus Clay! Brodus starts his entrance, but then asks for his music to be cut. Brodus wants his little brother to come out and his little brother is Hornswoggle. Brodus and Hornswoggle do the “Somebody Call My Mama” entrance together.

Brodus Clay vs. Hunico

After the match starts, Hornswoggle gets in the ring and does the “Brodus Shake”. Hunico shoves Hornswoggle down and that gets Brodus angry. Brodus quickly defeats Hunico. Hornswoggle does the Tadpole Splash and then celebrates in the ring with Brodus, Cameron, and Naomi.

Winner: Brodus Clay

Rating: *

Teddy Long is walking backstage and he is looking for Aksana. Teddy finds Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. Wow…former NXT stars! I didn’t know they were still in the WWE! Young says Teddy is the guy that didn’t sign them to Smackdown. Titus says Teddy is the man who didn’t think they were ready to be two of his “Prime-time Players”. They say Teddy used to be the man, but now he’s no longer the General Manager of Smackdown. John Laurinaitis joins them and says Young and Titus are here because the new Smackdown General Manager listens to the people. Young says the people want young, up and coming talent like Young and Titus. They leave and Johnny tells Teddy that he is surprised Teddy didn’t sign those guys. Johnny says he wears a lot of hats as the GM and he puts a Queen’s guard hat on Teddy’s head.

Backstage, Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton. Striker shows Orton a video recap of last week’s Smackdown when Orton got attacked by Kane after trying to help his father Cowboy Bob Orton. Randy says his dad will be fine, but he can’t say the same about Kane. At Extreme Rules, Kane and Randy Orton will have a Falls Count Anywhere match. Randy says Kane will find out how sick and twisted he can be.

The Usos vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young

Darren Young starts the match and the Usos take control of the match right away. Young gets back into the match by kicking Jay Uso in the face. Young tags Titus into the match and Titus starts attacking Jay Uso. Titus continues to attack Jay Uso and then tags Young back into the match. Young hits a swinging neckbreaker on Jay Uso. After a near-fall, Young puts Uso in a submission move. After Jay gets out of the submission hold, Jay Uso hits Young with an uppercut and tags Jimmy Uso into the match. Jimmy starts clotheslining Young like all faces do after they get tagged into a match. Jimmy hits Young with a Samoan Drop and slams into Young in the corner. Jimmy goes for a pin and Titus breaks the pin. Jay goes after Titus, but Titus gets out of the way and Jay goes flying out of the ring. Young gets whipped into the ropes and Titus tags himself in. Titus gets in the ring and lifts Jimmy up. While Jimmy is still being carried by Titus, Young jumps off the top rope and knocks Jimmy down. Titus pins Jimmy and gets the win.

Nice win for Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. The Usos are one of the top tag teams in the WWE, so this is a big win for the new tag team. It wasn’t a great tag team match, but Young and Titus look like a decent tag team and they could be a nice addition to the tag team division.

Winners: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young

Rating: **

Smackdown shows the RAW Rebound which is a video of CM Punk and Chris Jericho from last Monday’s RAW.

Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio

Big Show dominates Alberto Del Rio at the start of the match. After nearly two minutes, Del Rio is finally able to get Big Show to the mat by diving at Big Show’s legs. With Big Show on the ground, Del Rio keeps Big Show on the mat with ground attacks. Del Rio starts working on Big Show’s left arm, but Big Show is able to shove Del Rio to the mat. Big Show goes for the chokeslam, but Del Rio slips out of it. Del Rio hits the back of Big Show’s leg and Big Show falls down. Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker, but Big Show lifts Del Rio and falls backwards which causes Del Rio’s back to land hard onto the mat. Del Rio is able to get to his feet before Big Show. Del Rio goes for a kick, but Big Show stops it and slaps Del Rio on the chest. Big Show bounces off the ropes and spears Del Rio. Big Show sets up the chokeslam, but Ricardo gets on the ring apron and distracts the referee. Cody Rhodes comes out of nowhere and hits Big Show with the Disaster Kick. Del Rio pins Big Show and gets the win. Cody knocks Big Show out of the ring, but then notices that Big Show is angry so Cody runs into the crowd before Big Show can get into the ring.

The match wasn’t very good, and the WWE continues to tease another Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes match. The match is not official yet, but I expect it to be official soon. I’m not really enjoying this feud or looking forward to seeing them wrestle at Extreme Rules. If Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes at Extreme Rules does happen, I hope the match has a very interesting stipulation. If not, I can’t think of many reasons why this would be a match I would want to see.

Winner: Big Show

Rating: *3/4

After a commercial break, Lillian Garcia introduces Ryback’s next victim. His name is from Danny Lerman and he is from England. He also weighs only 175 pounds and looks very small. Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre are watching the match backstage. Lerman grabs the microphone and says he is dedicating this match to his mother. Ryback makes his entrance and Michael Cole says that Danny’s mommy is going to watch his son get massacred.

Ryback vs. Danny Merman

After knocking Danny down, Ryback hits Danny with three high impact moves and easily gets the win. Another impressive win for Ryback and it was very fun to watch Ryback destroy Danny. I am enjoying these squash matches especially since his opponents are so small which makes his offensive moves look more powerful, but it won’t be long until it starts getting boring. It seems obvious to me that Ryback is a legit threat in the WWE. He doesn’t need to continue to prove that to me by squashing more jobbers in the next few weeks. It’s time for Ryback to face someone on the WWE roster.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: NR

Smackdown shows the Brock Lesnar sit-down promo from last Monday’s RAW.

Backstage, Teddy is dressed like a Queen’s guard. William Regal and Aksana try to talk to Teddy, but Teddy has to ignore them because he is supposed to be a Queen’s guard and they are not allowed to move. Aksana is with a man and Aksana tells Teddy that his name is Antonio. His real name is Claudio Castagnoli and he is former Ring of Honor wrestler. He will be competing in the WWE as Antonio Cesaro. Aksana tells Teddy that Antonio wants to be a WWE Superstar and is very strong. Aksana tells Antonio that Teddy used to have an important job in the WWE, but now John Laurinaitis is the General Manager. Then Aksana knocks on Johnny’s office door which is right next to Teddy. Johnny opens the door and lets Aksana and Antonio into his office. Johnny says that Teddy is doing a great job.

Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Great Khali vs. Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes

Before the match starts, The Great Khali is attacked by Cody Rhodes before he enters the ring. The Great Khali is unable to compete and Big Show becomes Khali’s replacement. Early in the match, Sheamus tags into the match while Daniel Bryan is the legal man, but Daniel Bryan quickly tags Cody Rhodes into the match to avoid an early preview of Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan stays outside of the ring so he can’t get tagged into the match and gets back onto the ring apron after Sheamus takes control of the match. Cody is able to get Sheamus out of the ring and while Cody is distracting the referee, Daniel Bryan attacks Sheamus. Cody tags Daniel Bryan and Daniel Bryan gets Sheamus back into the ring. Daniel Bryan takes advantage of a weakened Sheamus and then tags Mark Henry into the match. Mark Henry attacks Sheamus for a little bit and tags Cody into the match. Sheamus can’t get in any offense and the heel team is in control of the match. Cody goes for the Beautiful Disaster kick, but Sheamus knocks Cody down before he delivers the kick. Sheamus tags Orton into the match and Orton hits Cody with the rope hung DDT. Daniel Bryan enters the ring and Orton hits him with a power slam. Mark Henry enters the ring and hits Orton with a clothesline. Cody covers Orton, and Orton kicks out at two. Mark Henry gets tagged into the match before a commercial break.

After the commercial break, Mark Henry tags Daniel Bryan into the match.  Daniel Bryan goes for a flying headbutt, but Orton gets out of the way. Both Orton and Daniel Bryan make tags. Entering the ring is Big Show and Mark Henry. Big Show immediately gets in a lot of offense on Mark Henry, but Cody kicks Big Show in the back to stop Big Show’s momentum. Mark Henry knocks down Big Show and tags Cody into the match. Cody attacks Orton for a little bit and then tags Daniel Bryan into the match. Daniel Bryan stomps on Big Show a few times and tags Mark Henry back into the match. Mark Henry does some ground work on Big Show and makes another quick tag. Cody Rhodes is back in the match. Cody puts the figure four leg lock on Big Show. Cody keeps the leg lock on Big Show and tags Mark Henry into the match. Mark Henry does a splash on Big Show and tags Daniel Bryan into the match. Daniel Bryan pins Big Show after a DDT and Big Show kicks out. The kick-out is so powerful that Daniel Bryan falls out of the ring. Daniel Bryan gets back into the ring, but Sheamus is tagged into the match. Sheamus immediately starts attacking Daniel Bryan with fast-paced offensive moves. Cody Rhodes breaks up a pin and then Cody gets knocked out by the Big Show outside the ring. In the ring, Daniel Bryan goes for the Yes Lock, but Sheamus stops it from happening. Daniel Bryan avoids the Brogue Kick and tags Mark Henry into the match. Sheamus ducks a clothesline and hits Mark Henry with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus tags Orton into the match. Big Show hits Mark Henry with the WMD and Orton hits Mark Henry with the RKO. Orton pins Mark Henry and gets the win for his team. Smackdown ends with Sheamus, Orton, and Big Show celebrating in the ring.

That was a great tag team match. Everyone in the match were able to get a good amount of time in the ring and the tags were used very well. In my opinion, it was a high quality Smackdown main event match that would have been a decent mid-card Pay Per View match. Five of the six men will be competing at Extreme Rules so it was a nice Extreme Rules preview.

Winners: Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show

Rating: ***1/4

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Daniel Bryan

In my opinion, Daniel Bryan is becoming one of the main reasons to watch Smackdown. If Smackdown can get similar performances out of a few other Smackdown Superstars, the Smackdown ratings should start to increase.

Best Moment of Smackdown: The crowd reaction to Daniel Bryan

I enjoyed seeing Daniel Bryan getting a huge babyface response from the crowd despite being a heel. I liked that Daniel Bryan didn’t try to get the crowd to boo him and allowed them to do the “Yes” chants. It looks like his 18 second loss at WrestleMania was a blessing in disguise. I can’t wait to see how my fellow Chicagoans react to him at Extreme Rules.

Matches to Watch: Darren Young and Titus O’Neil vs. The Usos, Ryback vs. Danny Lerman, Sheamus and Randy Orton and Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry and Cody Rhodes

Matches to Skip: Hunico vs. Brodus Clay, AJ vs. Natalya, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio

Smackdown wasn’t great this week, but it had a great opening promo by Daniel Bryan and an enjoyable main event tag team match. The stuff in between was okay, but it could have been a little bit better. Next week should be interesting because it is the Smackdown go-home show, but I hope superstars other than Daniel Bryan and Ryback start showing me something in the near future.