Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Buffalo, New York this week. Smackdown starts with Big Show. He says he wants the World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show is embarrassed that his last title reign lasted 45 seconds. Big Show says no one is making fun of him anymore and no one will make fun of him when he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Big Show is the one man on the WWE roster who can defeat Sheamus. Big Show is interrupted by Randy Orton who will face Big Show later tonight.

Orton thinks it’s funny that Big Show is talking about how he is going to take out Sheamus when he hasn’t gone through Orton yet. Orton says he found out backstage that their match will determine who faces Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View. Alberto Del Rio comes out and says he is better than both of them together. Del Rio says they are going to the back of the line. Del Rio enters the ring and Orton hits him with the RKO. Orton leaves the ring and stares at Big Show on the ramp.

Later tonight, The Miz will interview Sheamus on MizTV.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino (WWE United States Championship match)

Cesaro won with the Neutralizer. This was better than the match they had last week, but I don’t like this match-up. I have been very impressed with how Cesaro has performed in the ring and I don’t want to see him face Santino every week because many of Santino’s matches are comedy matches. I’m not saying Santino isn’t a talented wrestler, but Cesaro has had the better performance every time during this rivalry. The time length of this match was 4:10.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Rating: *3/4

Smackdown re-airs one of the Daniel Bryan and Kane diner segments from RAW last Monday.

Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya

Here we go. Arguably the most anticipated WWE divas match in the last few years. Many people probably think this should be a PPV match instead of a Smackdown match, but if the rumors of Beth Phoenix leaving are true then this match probably couldn’t wait until PPV. Did this match meet expectations? I say no, but that’s because the time length of the match was 4:15 and this match needed at least ten minutes to reach its potential. The match had some good wrestling and some nice spots. Natalya put Beth in the Sharpshooter and Beth was able to get to the ropes despite being in the middle of the ring. The best spot of the match was Natalya kicking out of the Glam Slam. I thought that was the finish and it was a very good near-fall. Beth won this match after she reversed Natalya’s pin and got the three count. I liked what I saw, but you can’t have a classic match in four minutes. This match might be the best four minute divas match I have ever seen, but I wonder where it would be ranked among the greatest Divas matches of all-time if it got the amount of time it needed. Despite it being a short match, I think this is the highest rated divas Smackdown match I have ever reviewed.

Winner: Beth Phoenix  

Rating: **1/4

After the match, Eve comes out and announces that Beth Phoenix will be indefinitely suspended until the investigation of Kaitlyn’s attacker is over. Why? Because it was revealed that the person who attacked Kaitlyn at Night of Champions has blond hair and Beth has blond hair. Beth starts complaining that Natalya has blond hair too and says this isn’t fair.

In the general manager’s office, Booker T and Teddy Long are talking about an 8-team single elimination tag team tournament. The winners will face Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) at Hell in a Cell. Beth Phoenix enters the office to complain about being suspended. Beth asks if Eve has the authority to suspend people. Eve enters and says that she has that authority because she is the assistant to the general manager. Booker says, “Oh no you don’t” and reverses the decision. Eve apologizes to Beth and tells Booker she was just doing what she thought Booker wanted. Booker says he doesn’t know what Eve is talking about. Eve says she was just following orders from Teddy Long, Booker’s senior advisor. Teddy says he didn’t tell her anything today. Eve says Teddy is jealous of Booker’s position as GM and he would do anything to make Booker’s administration look incompetent because he wants his job back. Teddy wants to know where she comes up with all that stuff. Booker says he doesn’t know what to believe and wants some time to think about it.

Smackdown shows the RAW Rebound. The video focuses on the two major segments CM Punk was involved in with Mick Foley and John Cena. The video also shows how RAW ended last Monday.

Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder

Barrett won with the Souvenir Elbow. I didn’t like this match because in my opinion, Ryder got too much offense. The time length of the match was 3:15 and that is too long. People usually don’t complain about a match being too long, but I thought this should have been no longer than two minutes. Barrett’s win was not impressive enough. He got the win, but Ryder made him earn it. It’s obvious that Barrett is being pushed more than Ryder so I don’t know why this wasn’t a squash match. It’s not like Barrett barely won, but now he doesn’t look completely unstoppable. That’s just my opinion. I would rather see this happen than something stupid like Ryder pulling off the upset.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Rating: *1/4

Smackdown re-airs another Daniel Bryan and Kane diner segment. I don’t like it when Smackdown re-airs RAW segments. Highlights of the segment are okay, but not the entire segment. I just can watch RAW on my DVR if I want to see it again. I don’t need to see it on Smackdown.

It’s time for MizTV featuring The Miz and his guest Sheamus. The ring is decorated with furniture just like during the debut episode of MizTV two weeks ago on RAW. The Miz is in the ring talking about his show and he is interrupted by Sheamus’s music. Sheamus enters the ring and tosses one of the chairs out of the ring. Sheamus says he didn’t want to wait for his introduction because he thinks Miz is suffering from memory loss after Ryback kicked his ass on RAW and he was afraid Miz would forget to introduce him. Sheamus wants to know how Miz is going to top his MizTV show with Ryback, but Sheamus doesn’t let Miz answer the question. Sheamus answers his own question and says having the World Heavyweight Champion on the show is how The Miz will top it. Sheamus asks Miz how it feels to have Sheamus on the show and Sheamus doesn’t let Miz answer again. Sheamus says Miz is lucky to have a show at all. Sheamus asks Miz about what he thinks about what Sheamus said and this time Miz grabs the other microphone in the ring so Sheamus can’t pull the mic away before he speaks. Miz says the last time he checked, he was still the Intercontinental Champion. Miz says people have to pay to see him. Miz talks about the movie (The Marine 3) and book (Mick Foley’s A Most Mizerable Christmas) people have to pay to see him in. Miz also talks about his radio show on XM radio. I didn’t even know he had a radio show. The Miz says the fans in the arena have paid to see Miz on MizTV. Sheamus says nobody wants to pay to see Miz. The topic of Big Show vs. Randy Orton is discussed. The winner of that match faces Sheamus at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Sheamus says he takes his championship seriously and would love to face either Orton or Big Show at Hell in a Cell. Vickie Guerrero comes out with Dolph Ziggler. Vickie starts talking about Ziggler, but he takes the mic from her because Ziggler can speak for himself. Ziggler says Sheamus should worry about Ziggler because he has the World Heavyweight Championship briefcase. Ziggler guarantees he will be the World Heavyweight Champion at the end of Hell in a Cell. Sheamus says Ziggler may get lucky if he cashes in the briefcase at Hell in a Cell and then he attacks The Miz. Sheamus also attacks Ziggler, but Miz isn’t happy that Sheamus attacked him so it becomes a two on one fight. Sheamus is able to toss both of them out of the ring.

The Rhodes Scholars vs. The Usos (WWE Tag Team Championship Tournament – First Round)

The Rhodes Scholars are Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow if you didn’t know. There are so many tag teams in the WWE now. I would have never thought the tag team division would be so crowded one year ago. Rhodes won with Cross Rhodes. The time length of this match was 1:54. I really like that the WWE is doing a tag team tournament. It feels like the tag team division has officially returned to the WWE. But, I hope the rest of the matches get more time than this match. The Rhodes Scholars will face the winner of Santino and Zack Ryder vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in the semi-finals.

Winners: The Rhodes Scholars

Rating: *1/2

Smackdown shows the last of the three diner segments that aired on RAW last Monday. I want more of Daniel Bryan and Kane on Smackdown, but not like this.

Ryback vs. Tensai

Ryback won with Shell Shocked. It’s good to see Ryback facing tougher opponents. It makes his wins look more impressive. The time length of the match was 2:06.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: *1/2

Backstage, Orton is attacked by Alberto Del Rio before his match against Big Show.

After a commercial break, Del Rio comes out and says he will be Orton’s replacement in the main event, but Orton attacks Del Rio from behind. Orton will compete in tonight’s main event.

Randy Orton vs. Big Show (#1 Contenders Match for the World Heavyweight Championship)

Big Show won with the chokeslam. It was Big Show’s second chokeslam. Orton kicked out after the first one. Earlier in the match, Big Show kicked out of the RKO. This match was predictable. Big Show dominated early and Orton made his comeback, but Orton was too injured from Del Rio’s attack to defeat Big Show. Orton vs. Big Show isn’t a great match-up, but their match was better than what I was expecting. The time length of the match shown on TV was 8:59.

Winner: Big Show

Rating: **

Matches to Watch: Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya, Randy Orton vs. Big Show

Matches to Skip: Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino, Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder, The Rhodes Scholars vs. The Usos, Ryback vs. Tensai

Best Superstars of Smackdown: Beth Phoenix and Natalya

I don’t think they had the match people were expecting from them, but that’s not their fault. They didn’t get half of the time they needed. What they did during the short amount of the time they got was the best divas wrestling I have seen this year and it was the match of the night. I never doubted that they could have a great divas match, but I wasn’t sure they would have a great wrestling match. I still don’t know because the match was only four minutes long, but I do think it’s possible they could have a great wrestling match if they got enough time. I knew they would do good, but I didn’t think they would do that good.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Natalya kicking out of the Glam Slam

I can’t remember ever seeing someone kick out of the Glam Slam. That was a near-fall I was not expecting. Unfortunately, the match ended about 30 seconds later so it didn’t extend the match very much.

I didn’t like this episode because it’s hard to say what I enjoyed watching during Smackdown this week. No offense to Beth Phoenix and Natalya, but it’s not a good episode of Smackdown when the divas have the best match of the night. It was a very good divas match, but the other matches were not good. Smackdown needs to have at least one ten minute match each week and they need new stuff from Daniel Bryan and Kane, not stuff that was shown on RAW.

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