Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Bridgeport, Connecticut this week. Bridgeport is less than an hour away from Newtown, Connecticut where the Sandy Hook school shooting happened on Friday. There was no mention of the shooting on Smackdown because the show was taped on Tuesday, but Smackdown acted like the show was taped on Friday like they always do. WWE has acknowledged major events in the past like the 9-11 attacks and the killing of Osama Bin Laden so people not aware that Smackdown is taped on Tuesdays might have wondered why Smackdown ignored a major school shooting. I never liked Smackdown acting like their show is taped on Fridays and I hope in the near future they will consider announcing before Smackdown that it was taped a few days ago if something major occurs just hours before Smackdown airs that night. Fortunately for WWE, there was nothing taped on Tuesday that was related to gun violence and I did not hear Smackdown mention that they were in Bridgeport which is only 21 miles from Newtown (David Otunga mentioned on the show that the arena is only 20 miles away from WWE headquarters, but he did not say that WWE headquarters are in Connecticut). WWE once got criticized for airing a terrorist attack on the Undertaker on Smackdown on the same day of a terrorist attack in London (click HERE for more information) so they need to make it clear that Smackdown was taped on Tuesday when a national tragedy happens on the same day Smackdown airs.

Smackdown starts with Antonio Cesaro and Sheamus at the announce table. They will do guest commentary during tonight’s opening match.

Big Show vs. R-Truth

Big Show won with the knockout punch. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s not a match I would see again. The match made R-Truth look weak going into his match for the United States Championship against Cesaro at the TLC Pay-Per-View.  The time length of the match was 4:44.

Winner: Big Show

Rating: *1/4

After the match, Sheamus accidentally makes contact with Big Show after Cesaro attacked Sheamus from behind. Big Show says, “You hit me” and he’s excited because he thinks Sheamus has violated the no contact clause. Booker T told Sheamus last week that a violation of the clause by Sheamus would result in Booker taking away Sheamus’s title shot at TLC.

Backstage, Big Show asks Booker T if he saw Sheamus make contact with Big Show. Booker says he saw Cesaro bump into Sheamus which caused Sheamus to bump into Big Show. Booker says the chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship at TLC is still on.

Damien Sandow is in the ring. Sandow introduces Cody Rhodes to the ring. Rhodes says Sandow can end his quest for an apprentice because Sandow has his partner back. Rhodes is interrupted by the Usos.

Team Rhodes Scholars vs. The Usos

The match was joined in progress. Sandow won with a roll-up pin and illegally grabbed Jimmy Uso’s tights. The match was too short and they didn’t get enough time to have a good match. The time length of the match shown on TV was 3:53.

Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars

Rating: *1/2

Backstage, David Otunga is looking at the Big Show vs. Sheamus no contact clause. Otunga says that Big Show is right. Otunga tells Big Show that they should talk about it publicly in the ring.

After a commercial break, Otunga and Big Show are in the ring. Otunga says Booker T is refusing to follow his own rules and they have no choice but to go to the WWE Board of Directors. They are going to demand that the match at TLC be called off and that Booker T be removed from his Smackdown general manager position. Booker T comes out and says they can go to the WWE Board of Directors, but the match is still on. Big Show yells that the contract was violated. Otunga wants Booker to give Big Show one good reason not to proceed. Before Booker can give a good reason, Sheamus comes out and enters the ring with a chair. Sheamus says he will give Big Show a good reason. If the match is called off, there is nothing stopping Sheamus from kicking Big Show’s ass right now. Big Show doesn’t want his ass to be kicked so he says the contract is still valid in his opinion and he leaves the ring. Then Sheamus brogue kicks Otunga despite the fact that Otunga was just standing there and doing nothing.

Backstage, The Shield is attacking Randy Orton.

Kaitlyn vs. Aksana

Kaitlyn won with a ribbreaker or a gutbuster or whatever she calls her finishing move. As of right now, Monday’s Slammy Awards doesn’t have a Worst Match of the Year category, but if it did, I think this match would be a front-runner to win the award. Aksana had Kaitlyn in a headlock for the entire match before the finish. It’s hard to watch four minutes of someone trying to get out of a headlock. The time length of the match was 4:18.

Winner: Kaitlyn

Rating: *

Backstage, Matt Striker is outside the trainer’s room. He reports that Orton has a separated shoulder and he may have a concussion too.

The Miz is in the ring to do his MizTV show. His guests are Team Hell No. Daniel Bryan and Kane talk about their TLC match against The Shield this Sunday. They get interrupted by a hand-held video message from The Shield on the titantron. Kane says they should fight now instead of waiting for Sunday and The Shield agrees. The Shield walks through the crowd and towards the ring, but they stop and turn around when Ryback joins Team Hell No in the ring.

8-Man Tag Team Match: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Tyson Kidd, and Justin Gabriel vs. The Prime Time Players, Primo, and Epico

Tyson Kidd won the match by rolling up Primo for the three count. Just like the other tag team match, this match wasn’t given enough time. The time length of the match was 3:17.

Winners: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Tyson Kidd, and Justin Gabriel

Rating: *1/2

After the match, the good guys remove the bad guys from the ring so they can have a post-match celebration.

Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio

Kofi won by rolling up Del Rio for the three count. That was an impressive win for Kofi, but the match wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would be. The time length of the match shown on TV was 8:43.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Rating: **1/4

After the match, Wade Barrett tries to clothesline Kofi, but Kofi ducks and then hits Barrett with Trouble in Paradise.

Did you know that the new Attitude Era DVD is the top selling sports DVD in America? Maybe that will make WWE realize that how popular their company was when it was edgier.

This week’s RAW Rebound features the AJ-Cena-Vickie-Ziggler storyline. I think that might be the official video package for the John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler ladder match at TLC. In the locker room, William Regal reminds Sheamus that he has to wait only two days and he can fight Big Show. Sheamus says he will become the new World Heavyweight Champion at TLC.

Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro

During this match, Big Show came out with William Regal. Sheamus left the ring to help Regal and got counted out. I would have liked to see a clean finish, but I enjoyed this match. It became a brawl right before the end of the match. The time length of the match was 7:22.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro by countout

Rating: **1/2

After the match, Regal refuses to let Sheamus help him because of the no contact clause and Sheamus has to watch Big Show hit Regal with a chair. In my opinion, this was a dumb idea by Big Show because now Sheamus is more motivated to defeat Big Show at TLC this Sunday. I don’t see how this helps Big Show. Sheamus won’t have to worry about getting disqualified during the match because there are no disqualifications in a chairs match. What was Big Show thinking?

Matches to Watch: Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro

Matches to Skip: Big Show vs. R-Truth, Team Rhodes Scholars vs. The Usos, Kaitlyn vs. Aksana, the 8-man tag team match

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Kofi Kingston

That was a very impressive win for Kofi Kingston and it makes him the favorite in his match against Wade Barrett at TLC this Sunday. Del Rio has been losing many of his matches recently and I wonder if this loss is the start of a Del Rio storyline focused on his lack of success in the last few months.

Best Moment of Smackdown: The no contact clause storyline

I like it when WWE has a storyline that starts at the beginning of the show and is focused on throughout the show. I wasn’t expecting Booker T to call off the match at TLC after Sheamus accidentally made contact with Big Show, but it made me want to watch the entire episode to see what would happen. I would like to see every Smackdown have a storyline that starts and ends during the same episode.

I didn’t think this was a good go-home Smackdown show. It didn’t make me less interested in TLC, but I don’t think I’m more interested in seeing any of the matches on the card. The match quality was poor and the first four matches of Smackdown were not enjoyable. I expected the episode to be better because it was the go-home show. Next week, Smackdown is live on Tuesday and it is commercial free. I will not review Smackdown live, but I will try to get the show reviewed no more than two days after it is over.


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