Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Richmond, Virginia this week. Randy Orton enters the ring at the beginning of Smackdown and says he will be in the Royal Rumble match. Sheamus comes out and says he will also be in the Royal Rumble match. Big Show comes out and tells both of them that they will not take the World Heavyweight Championship from him if one of them wins the Royal Rumble. Antonio Cesaro comes out and says bad things about Americans like he usually does. Booker T comes out and says all four superstars will be in a tag team match tonight.

The Miz vs. Heath Slater

The Miz won with the Skull Crushing Finale. I think that was the longest Heath Slater match I have ever seen. This match surprisingly got more than 10 minutes which I don’t think was a good idea, but both superstars had good performances during the match. They didn’t have a great match, but they took advantage of the time they got and put together an okay match. The time length of the match shown on TV was 12:23.

Winner: The Miz

Rating: **1/2

Backstage, Matt Striker interviews Wade Barrett.

The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, & Natalya vs. Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes

Khali won with the big chop. This match was similar to most Khali and Hornswoggle matches. The time length of the match was 3:32.

Winners: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, & Natalya

Rating: *1/4

Backstage, Striker interviews Kofi Kingston.

Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

Before this match started, JBL said that the six man tag team match was horrible. I like JBL’s honesty. Barrett won this match with the Bull Hammer. Good match and it was Per-View-View quality. The first Smackdown match of the year contender of 2013. The time length of the match shown on TV was 13:11.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Rating: ***1/2

Layla vs. Tamina Snuka

Tamina won with a splash off the top turnbuckle. This match was a waste of time. The time length of the match was 3:07.

Winner: Tamina Snuka

Rating: *

This week’s RAW Rebound is the Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee New Year’s Eve toast that was the main event of RAW last Monday.

Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. Big Show and Antonio Cesaro

Sheamus pinned Cesaro after Orton hit Cesaro with the RKO. Sheamus was getting ready to hit Cesaro with the Brogue Kick right before the RKO. I think Orton used his finisher before Sheamus could use his finisher because Sheamus tagged himself into the match and Orton did not like that. The time length of the match shown on TV was 10:35.

Winners: Randy Orton and Sheamus

Rating: **3/4

Matches to Watch: The Miz vs. Heath Slater, Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett, Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. Big Show and Antonio Cesaro

Matches to Skip: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, & Natalya vs. Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes, Layla vs. Tamina Snuka

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Heath Slater

The superstar who impressed me the most this week was Heath Slater. Usually, Slater’s matches are less than five minutes so I was surprised that his match with Miz got more than 12 minutes not including commercial breaks. That’s a lot of time for a non-PPV match featuring two mid-card superstars. I didn’t want to see his match get that much time, but the time allowed Slater to have one of the best performances I have seen from him in a singles match. It wasn’t a great performance by Slater, but it was good enough to make me think he could be more than just a jobber in 2013.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Wade Barrett hitting Kofi Kingston with the Bull Hammer

Barrett and Kofi had a good match and my favorite moment from that match was the finish. Kofi did a springboard off the second rope in the corner and got hit with the Bull Hammer in mid-air. That was a great way to finish the match.

I have mixed feelings about this episode. The good is that there were three matches that were enjoyable and all of those matches got more than ten minutes. I have seen Smackdown shows with no matches that got ten minutes so it’s nice to get three matches with more than ten minutes on one show. The bad is that there were two matches that were horrible and there weren’t any backstage segments. And the two Matt Striker interviews and the opening in-ring segment were not entertaining. So the only good thing about this week’s Smackdown was the three matches that got more than ten minutes and the bad thing about those longer matches is that they eliminated the backstage segments. This week’s Smackdown was all wrestling and no entertainment which I think some people prefer, but I like when it is closer to a 50-50 balance between wrestling and entertainment. This episode had a Smackdown roster with no RAW superstars and that hurt the show because I think Smackdown is better when some of the RAW guys appear. I enjoyed seeing the longer matches, but there was nothing enjoyable in-between those matches. WrestleMania season starts this month and The Rock is going to get some Smackdown appearances soon so I’m hoping Smackdown will start improving.


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