WWE Smackdown is in Kansas City, Missouri this week. Smackdown starts with The Miz. Wow…I wasn’t expecting Miz to start the show. Miz is rarely on Smackdown. Miz is the Intercontinental Champion after defeating Christian on RAW this week and believe it or not, Miz is now one of the most decorated superstars in WWE history. He’s held the Tag Team Championship, United States Championship, WWE Championship, and now the Intercontinental Champion. Miz is the 25th Triple Crown winner in WWE history. Miz cuts a promo and thanks Christian’s fans because they voted for an Intercontinental Championship match at the 1,000th episode of RAW. Miz starts to do his “I’m Awesome” catchphrase, but he gets interrupted by Christian’s music. Christian says he wants his Intercontinental Championship rematch tonight.

The Miz vs. Christian

Miz retained his title after rolling up Christian and getting the three count. Miz hit Christian with a thumb to the eye and that helped Miz get the win. The replays showed Miz grabbing the tights during the pin so it was far from a clean win for Miz. This match was good as I would expect for a Christian vs. Miz match on Smackdown. Maybe a little better than I would expect. This match started slow, but kept getting better and better as the match got longer. This was a long match and more than ten minutes of the match was shown on TV. Good mid-card Smackdown match and a good job by The Miz who hasn’t had much success in 2012.

Winner: The Miz

Rating: ***

Smackdown advertises the main event. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio to determine the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal

Ryback won after Jinder left the ring and was counted out. Jinder got in some offense during the match. Ryback’s opponents are getting a little bit better every week. The problem is that I’m not impressed that Ryback can defeat Jinder Mahal and Ryback’s normal matches aren’t as entertaining as his squash matches.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: *1/4

Smackdown shows the ending of the Cena vs. Punk match at RAW 1000 and Punk’s post-match attack on The Rock. After the video, Smackdown shows fans reacting to CM Punk on Tout. The three fans they featured all had nice things to say about CM Punk. Before the Tout video, Booker T was praising CM Punk. Many WWE fans assume that CM Punk turned heel on RAW, but I’m not sure that it was a full heel turn. It’s interesting that Smackdown showed fans saying positive things about Punk instead of angry fans of The Rock. In my opinion, CM Punk is more of a tweener than a heel right now. I’m interested to see what happens on RAW this Monday.

In the locker room, Sheamus gives Daniel Bryan a wedding gift. While Daniel Bryan opens it, Bryan says that it was a horrible wrapping job. The gift is a book and on the cover is a picture of Daniel Bryan’s match at WrestleMania 28 with a title that says “How to…Last More Than 18 Seconds”.

Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes

Sheamus won with the Brogue Kick. This was a good match. It was a back-and-forth match and even though I was expecting Sheamus to win, Cody Rhodes made me think that an upset was possible. I normally don’t enjoy Sheamus matches, but I enjoyed this match. Cody was awesome and I’m not a big Cody Rhodes fan. I would say this was definitely a Pay-Per-View quality match.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: ***1/2

Dolph Ziggler is ringside and teases a briefcase cash-in after the match, but he doesn’t do it. Ziggler starts to walk back to the locker room and Chris Jericho throws Ziggler into the ring. Jericho is wearing Ziggler’s shirt. Sheamus hits Ziggler with the Brogue Kick. After Sheamus leaves, Jericho gets in the ring and hits Ziggler with a Codebreaker. I think this is Jericho’s official face turn. I have been waiting for this to happen. The last time Jericho was a face was four years ago.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella

Cesaro won after hitting his finishing move. Nice win for Cesaro. Does this win make him the #1 contender for the United States Championship? I hope so. I like Santino, but he has had a forgettable reign as United States Champion. Heel champions do a good job making small titles like the United States Championship seem very important. The Miz did that when he was the U.S. Champion.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Rating: *3/4

Smackdown shows a video of Damien Sandow getting attacked DX on RAW. Sandow has a match next.

Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Sandow easily won this match. I don’t think Yoshi got in any offense.

Winner: Damien Sandow

Rating: NR (No Rating)

After the match, Sandow cuts a promo at the fans and says he is their martyr.

Smackdown shows highlights of the Triple H and Brock Lesnar segment on RAW last Monday.

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio won after stealing a pin from Mysterio after Mysterio hit Daniel Bryan with the 619/dive from the top turnbuckle combination. Mysterio was covering Daniel Bryan, but Ricardo Rodriguez pulled Mysterio out of the ring which led to Del Rio covering Bryan for the three count. The match had some good spots, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been in my opinion. I didn’t like seeing Del Rio win. Why not have Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam? I think their match at Extreme Rules was the best match of the night and that was one of the best PPVs of this year. Do fans really want to see Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio at the second biggest PPV of the year? I don’t know why the WWE likes the Sheamus-Del Rio rivalry so much.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Rating: **3/4

Matches to Watch: The Miz vs. Christian, Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes, Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio

Matches to Skip: Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal, Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella, Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Cody Rhodes

Why wasn’t Cody Rhodes in the #1 contender match? After seeing his match against Sheamus, I think he would be a great contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus won the match, but Cody made me think that the result may be different if they face each other again in the near future. Cody did a great job against Sheamus and looked like he has a legit chance to defeat Sheamus in a World Heavyweight Championship match someday.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Chris Jericho’s face turn

Jericho was an awesome heel for the last four years and his first year as heel might be the best year of his WWE career, but I’m looking forward to seeing Jericho as a face again.

This was a great episode of Smackdown. It had two of the best Smackdown mid-card matches of the year. The top three matches on Smackdown this week weren’t great, but they would be good mid-card matches at a PPV event. Most episodes of Smackdown have only one or maybe two good matches and this week there were three. I would have liked to see more backstage segments, but the one backstage segment with Daniel Bryan and Sheamus was good. If Smackdown can consistently have at least one good mid-card match, a couple good backstage segments, a strong main event, and an entertaining full-time general manager, the show would get closer to RAW’s level. It’s too bad every week can’t have the quality of matches as this week.