WWE Smackdown is in Denver, Colorado this week. It was taped on Monday right after RAW. I have been to a RAW/Smackdown double taping once and everyone in the crowd (including me) didn’t have much energy left after RAW. Over four hours of wrestling is a little bit too much for one night.
Smackdown starts with Zack Ryder. He is the general manager of Smackdown tonight. Ryder says this is the first ever Friday Night Zackdown. Ryder says he wants to organize the world’s largest fist pump with the entire crowd. Ryder starts fist pumping and it looks like most of the crowd is fist pumping too. Ryder says this will be the greatest Smackdown ever. No it won’t. After Ryder finishes his speech, Alberto Del Rio comes out.
Del Rio says he will become World Champion this Sunday and he will rule Smackdown. Ryder corrects Del Rio and says the show is called Zackdown. Ryder brought Del Rio to “Zackdown” so he could face Sin Cara.
Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio won with the Cross Armbreaker. This match got a lot of time. It was an okay match, but it had a slow pace. I would have liked to see a few more good spots. Del Rio vs. Sin Cara looks good on paper, but Del Rio wrestles at a slow pace and Sin Cara is not as entertaining as he usually is when the match is slow.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Backstage, Teddy Long tells Ryder that he is doing a good job tonight. Big Show enters and he thinks Ryder is doing a terrible job. Big Show says he should be the general manager tonight. Big Show decides that he will be the general manager of Smackdown and gets ready to knock Ryder out. Before he can do that, The Great Khali grabs Big Show’s shoulder. Ryder says Khali is Big Show’s opponent tonight. Khali fist pumps and says, “Woo woo woo…you know it.”
Darren Young vs. Primo
Primo beat Darren Young with a roll-up pin. Both men did well. It wasn’t a great match, but it had some good spots. Many of the good spots were in the last minute of the match. A.W. talked during the entire match and that hurt the match.
It’s time for another RAW memorable moment. Christian talks about the night Edge retired on RAW last year.
Backstage, Sheamus and Chris Jericho talk. Sheamus challenges Jericho to a match. Ryder says that sounds like a great idea. Jericho says, “No it doesn’t” and Ryder responds, “Yes it does.” They go back-and-forth saying that a couple times. I like the new Jericho. He’s less serious. Ryder makes the match official.
Christian and Santino vs. Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes
Dolph Ziggler won with the Zig Zag. Ziggler, Rhodes, and Christian had some nice spots in this match. Santino did okay, but not as good as the other three superstars.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes
Smackdown shows a highlight video of the marriage proposals on RAW last Monday. Smackdown also shows the end of RAW’s main event match and the entire post-match segment with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ.
Big Show vs. The Great Khali
Big Show won with the WMD. This match was very short which is a good thing. I did not want to see Show and Khali wrestle for more than a few minutes.
Winner: Big Show
Rating: No Rating (NR)
Smackdown advertises Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho. The graphic actually says “Zackdown” on it.
Ryback vs. Tyler Reks
Ryback won with Shell Shocked, but Reks actually got in some offense. It wasn’t a lot of offense, but enough to make me wonder how well Ryback will do against good superstars. I wasn’t expecting Reks to get in that much offense, but Ryback isn’t used to facing real WWE superstars so maybe Ryback wasn’t expecting a competitive match. It’s good to see that Ryback is finally getting challenged a little bit.
A memorable RAW moment is shown. Hugh Jackman talks about hosting RAW on September 19, 2011. Jackman says that his friends think that Jackman hosting RAW was more important than when he hosted the Academy Awards.
Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel
Sandow won with his finishing move. Quick match, but Sandow looked impressive.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Smackdown shows more highlights from RAW. It is highlights of Santino finding out that Hornswoggle is the Anonymous RAW General Manager.
Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus
Sheamus won with the Brogue Kick. This was a great match. It was as good as I expected. In my opinion, it was Chris Jericho’s best free TV match of 2012. Sheamus performed well in this match and he kicked out of two Codebreakers which makes him look like a guy who is tough to defeat. The second Codebreaker was awesome. Sheamus jumped off the top turnbuckle and Jericho hit the Codebreaker in mid-air. This match was enjoyable from beginning to end.
After the match, Del Rio attacked Sheamus on top of the entrance ramp. Del Rio put the Cross Armbreaker on Sheamus and the announcers wondered if Sheamus will be 100% this Sunday at Money in the Bank. The referees check on Sheamus and Smackdown ends.
Matches to Watch: Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio, Darren Young vs. Primo, Christian and Santino vs. Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus
Matches to Skip: Big Show vs. The Great Khali, Ryback vs. Tyler Reks, Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel
Best Superstar of Smackdown: Chris Jericho
Jericho performed at a high level on Smackdown this week. He looked like the “Best in the World at What He Does” Chris Jericho and not the 41 years old Chris Jericho. It was awesome to see that Jericho can still have a great match this late in his career.
Best Moment of Smackdown: Chris Jericho and Zack Ryder’s “No it doesn’t”/“Yes it does” segment
If Chris Jericho comes back to Smackdown again later this year, I hope he gets to be in another backstage segment with Zack Ryder. These two seem to have great chemistry together and their segment on Smackdown this week was enjoyable. I’m glad that Jericho is trying to have more fun during his segments. I like this Jericho more than the Jericho before his suspension. It looks like those 30 days off gave Jericho a chance to re-evaluate his current gimmick and make some changes.
I was expecting this Smackdown to be better because it was a Go-Home show. It wasn’t a bad show. Smackdown had three watchable mid-card matches and a great main event match. That’s very good for a Smackdown episode. Zack Ryder did a good job as the general manager, but it seems to me that he should have been shown on TV more often. Ryder had an in-ring segment and two backstage segments that were all shorter than I was expecting. I would have cut out the Big Show vs. The Great Khali match to give Ryder a little bit more time. Seven matches are a little bit too much for Smackdown. What I disliked the most about this week’s Smackdown is that it didn’t make me more interested in the Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View this Sunday. I enjoyed the Jericho vs. Sheamus match, but it was a bad decision to book that match right before the PPV because I’m sure that Jericho vs. Sheamus will be a better match than Del Rio vs. Sheamus. I wonder if Del Rio will win the title this Sunday because it seems to me that Chris Jericho would have been a much better PPV opponent for Sheamus than Del Rio.