Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is at the University of Texas this week. Before Smackdown, the WWE shows a video recap of the World Heavyweight Championship feud and General Manager Booker T cancelling the SummerSlam match. The show starts with Alberto Del Rio. He wants his World Heavyweight Championship match against Sheamus at SummerSlam reinstated. Del Rio is shocked that Sheamus got rewarded for stealing his car on RAW.  Del Rio says Sheamus complained to Booker T and got the title match cancelled. Del Rio refuses to leave the ring until his match is reinstated. After Del Rio says that, Booker T comes out.

Del Rio tells Booker T that Sheamus messed with his property and Del Rio made him pay. According to Del Rio, that is what a real man does. Booker T says Del Rio is not a man. Booker T says a man doesn’t hire five goons to beat up one guy. Booker T says he will not tolerate stuff like that. Del Rio mentions that he spoke with his lawyers and Del Rio is interrupted by Chris Jericho’s music. Jericho and Del Rio argue in Spanish for a little bit. Jericho says in Spanish that Del Rio’s breath smells like dog poop. Jericho says after he beats Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam, maybe he will take Del Rio’s spot against Sheamus and become the World Heavyweight Champion. Del Rio says that is not going to happen. Booker T says Sheamus will not be competing at SummerSlam. Booker T announces that the main event tonight will be Jericho vs. Del Rio for the first time ever on Smackdown.

Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz and Cody Rhodes

Before the match, Cody Rhodes says he had an artist draw what Sin Cara looks unmasked and he shows the drawing on the titantron. The drawing shows Sin Cara having huge teeth and ears. Rey Mysterio won the match for his team after hitting the 619 on Rhodes. The match was a little bit more than four minutes long. It was an okay match, but I think I might have liked it more if it got closer to ten minutes. It was a good match-up, but it’s hard to have a very enjoyable match in less than five minutes. Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio would make a good tag team in my opinion. The WWE should have booked a 15 minute tag team match with these four superstars at SummerSlam instead of having them wrestle each other in singles matches.

Winners: Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio

Rating: **

Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins walk to the ring dressed in suits. When they enter the ring, they start dancing to music and they do a PG striptease. So I guess the “old job” Reks was talking about last week on Smackdown was a male stripper. I’m not surprised…that was my guess when I heard Reks talk about it.

Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. two unknown jobbers

Josh Matthews says he thinks Reks and Hawkins accomplished their mission if they are trending worldwide. I doubt it and even if they were trending on Twitter, Matthews wouldn’t be able to tell us unless he can predict the future. Reks and Hawkins easily won this match in less than two minutes.

Winners: Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins

Rating: *1/4

Smackdown shows a video recap of the WWE Championship triple threat feud with CM Punk, John Cena, and Big Show. I wouldn’t be surprised if the video they showed on Smackdown ends up being the official video package at SummerSlam.

Backstage, William Regal wishes Eve good luck in her match tonight. Eve will face Kaitlyn and the winner will become Booker T’s assistant. Eve says she doesn’t need luck. Regal said there was a time when he was in charge of Monday Night RAW. Regal thought he was unstoppable. Regal tells Eve that power can be very fleeting. A woman walks up to Regal with two full garbage bags in her hands. She says, “I told you to take out the trash. What do I pay you for?” Regal grabs the bags and says that work is work. Good to see Regal on TV again. Some people may not like it because it implies that William Regal’s value to the WWE is so low that they have him do stuff like take out the trash, but I thought it was a very good backstage segment.

Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn

Josh Matthews mentioned during this match that Kaitlyn’s biggest influence is Chuck Norris. Michael Cole said Chuck is like 72. I got curious and looked up Chuck Norris’s real age. Cole was right! Chuck Norris really is 72 years old. Unfortunately, I enjoyed the commentary more than the match. Eve won the match with what looked like a spinning neckbreaker.

Winner: Eve Torres

Rating: *

After the match, Eve walked over to Teddy Long who was sitting next to the announce table. Eve started talking to Teddy because they are now co-workers on Booker T’s administration.

After a commercial break, Eve talks to Booker T in his office. Booker T wants to know if Eve will be able to get along with Teddy. Eve says the past is the past and they are going to be great together.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Orton won with the RKO. Daniel Bryan had Orton in the No Lock prior to the RKO, but Kane’s pyro blast went off in the ring. Daniel Bryan thought Kane was coming so he left the ring. Bryan re-entered the ring when he realized Kane was not coming out and walked right into the RKO. This was a good match, but not as good as Daniel Bryan’s RAW matches against Sheamus and John Cena. This match got enough time, but it never quite got very exciting in my opinion. When the match started getting more interesting, that’s when Kane’s pyro interrupted the match.

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: ***

After the match, Kane appeared on the top of the entrance ramp and he was smiling.

Zack Ryder vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro won with his Neutralizer finisher. Cesaro quickly defeated Ryder and Ryder is a former United States Champion. That makes Cesaro look very good going into his SummerSlam U.S. Championship match against Santino.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Rating: *1/2

Santino was sitting at the announce table and Cesaro shoved Santino into the announce table after Santino started walking towards Cesaro. The WWE has promoted their Pre-Show SummerSlam match better than some of their matches on the SummerSlam card.

Smackdown shows a video recap of the Brock Lesnar and Triple H feud. I would expect that this video will be the video package shown before the match at SummerSlam. After the video, Smackdown shows tweets from fans and WWE Superstars about Shawn Michaels who was injured by Lesnar on RAW. No Touts on Smackdown this week.

Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio

Before the match started, Chris Jericho got attacked by Dolph Ziggler backstage. Del Rio was already out by the ring when the attack happened and Del Rio assumed the match wasn’t going to happen. Del Rio declared himself the winner by forfeit. Del Rio wanted Booker T to come out and reinstate his SummerSlam match, but Jericho came out instead. The match did happen and Del Rio ended up winning the match with a kick to Jericho’s head after Ziggler interfered in the match. What happened was that Del Rio countered the Walls of Jericho by kicking Jericho into the ropes and Ziggler pulled the ropes down which caused Jericho fall out of the ring. Ziggler then threw Jericho back into the ring and that’s when Del Rio kicked Jericho’s head. I liked the match, but it should have gotten more time for a main event match. It ended a lot earlier than I thought it would. I enjoyed the match, but I think it would have been better if it was a 12-15 minute match with a clean finish. But of course that wasn’t going to happen because Del Rio can’t lose or else it will make him look bad. They can’t have him cleanly defeat a guy like Jericho so they have Ziggler help Del Rio win and somehow that is supposed to make me think Del Rio is a good opponent for Sheamus.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Rating: **3/4

After the match, Del Rio puts the cross armbreaker on Jericho while Ziggler tells Jericho that he can’t beat Ziggler. Sheamus comes out and starts attacking Del Rio. Sheamus knocks Del Rio out of the ring and Del Rio is able to escape through the crowd. Booker T comes out and wants to know why Sheamus is here. Sheamus says he wants his match reinstated, but Booker T says Sheamus is injured. Sheamus says he would compete even if his arm was ripped off. Booker T says that Sunday night it will be Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus at SummerSlam for the World Heavyweight Championship. 

Matches to Watch: Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz and Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio

Matches to Skip: Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. two unknown jobbers, Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn, Zack Ryder vs. Antonio Cesaro

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Chris Jericho

I liked Jericho’s promo during the opening segment. His match with Del Rio was enjoyable and I don’t usually enjoy Del Rio’s matches. Since Jericho returned on January 2, I think he has done much better as a face than as a heel.

Best Moment of Smackdown: William Regal is Smackdown’s trash man

It’s always great to see William Regal. Even when he only makes a brief appearance, Regal is usually entertaining. It’s too bad he doesn’t have a full-time role on Smackdown. William Regal’s role as the Smackdown trash man was probably only a one-time thing, but I would love to see Regal have backstage segments every week where he’s giving advice to WWE Superstars while taking out the trash. More entertaining backstage segments would make Smackdown a better show.

This was an average episode of Smackdown considering that it was the go-home show before the second biggest WWE Pay-Per-View of the year. There were three matches I enjoyed, but I felt they fell short of their full potential because they were either too short or had a finish that wasn’t clean. The main event had both and that’s not good because Jericho vs. Del Rio could have been one of the best Smackdown main event matches of the year. I like how Smackdown continued to promote the Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler SummerSlam match. It will be a mid-card match at the PPV, but the storyline was featured in the main event this week. It deserves the attention it got because it will be probably be the best wrestling match at SummerSlam. It’s one of those matches that is not among the main events matches, but fans who watch SummerSlam might consider it to be one of the best matches of the night. It reminds me a lot of the Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz match at Night of Champions 2010 and that match was the best match on a card that included a Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship and Kane vs. Undertaker.

It’s rare that Damien Sandow and Ryback are both not on Smackdown, but this episode didn’t really need them. I’m still not looking forward to the Sheamus vs. Del Rio match at SummerSlam. Del Rio has been winning a lot lately, but I don’t remember seeing many clean wins. He had a clean win over Santino on RAW, but that was several weeks ago and beating Santino is not really considered an impressive win. Why should I think Del Rio will beat Sheamus at SummerSlam? Because Sheamus is a little bit injured? That doesn’t make believe Sheamus might lose. The WWE promoted this match many times on both RAW and Smackdown, but I’m not interested in the match. I don’t like the match-up and Del Rio’s cheap wins aren’t making him look good. Smackdown did a great job this week making me more interested in the Jericho vs. Ziggler match, but I think Smackdown would want me to care more about the Smackdown main event match which is Sheamus vs. Del Rio.


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