Psycho Soldier's PINFALL Smackdown Review(9/14/12)
Night of Champions is two nights away, and the card is starting to look like a nice treat, topped off by the epic main event that is CM Punk vs. John Cena Number Whatever. Perhaps Del Rio and Sheamus are not lighting up the sky with their feud, but in this week they have provided laughs, so they get a free pass as long as they deliver like they did at SummerSlam with a DEFINITIVE finish.
When you see a man in a neck brace, it’s a funny sight(in wrestling, at least). When you see two men on a wrestling show in neck braces, it is comical genius, especially when it’s a widely used trope in the business. It’s almost poking fun at the fact. You have Otunga, Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Daniel Bryan in a ring, selling injuries that are completely exaggerated(essentially non-existent) with a cameo from a falsely injured Christian. It made me laugh, and Sheamus is sounding less like a happy-go-lucky crowd-pleaser, which is a plus for me. If nothing else, watch it for Bryan and the neck braces.
Sin Cara v The Miz(C): Miz is an odd performer because it feels like in certain big matches, he does not know what he should be doing to keep things interesting. Yet, more times than not, he can just turn on this switch and go all out, making the match more engaging to normal. He does a good job of this with Sin Cara, and it makes me think that I have not seen Sin Cara botch since his participation in the Money in the Bank(which honestly looked more like Dolph’s fault). Sure, he’s on Smackdown most of the time, but I honestly feel he’s improved since his bad appearance last year. I am not very thrilled about the ending being the exact same as Rey Mysterio’s first victory over him, but Sin Cara getting a title shot could be interesting.
The IC Title Means Something?!: Miz is questioned backstage over who he thinks will get a shot for his precious title that is seeming to slip out of his grasp, and the top contenders, Cody Rhodes, Mysterio and Sin Cara, all walk on to the scene to claim their right to the belt. Everyone has some words, but the highlight for me was Sin Cara: *Walks on scene. Points at Intercontinental Title*
Dirty Anger Management: Look, I watched this segment and all I feel I need to tell you is it’s basically a giant innuendo for testicles using the symbol of Stress Balls.
Kofi Kingston v Kane(C+): You know, it’s been a while since Kane has looked like a legitimate threat. The craziest part about it is it’s at its strongest in the midst of what could be seen as a purely comical storyline, but they have made it so dynamic with matches and segments like these that it transcends comedy and just becomes drama. Good drama, mind you, because I can not get enough of Kane and Daniel Bryan in the Anger management angle. What sells this match so well is the aftermath with Dr. Shelby’s intervention, forcing Kane to pick up Kofi by the throat and hug him. The expression on Kofi’s face is priceless, and I do not feel anyone has sold absolute fear of Kane in such a long time…and it was from a misleading hug. That is gold right there.
Randy With a Mic(Sigh?): Randy lacks emotion and personality many times, and knowing that he prefers to be heel, you can tell he’s absolutely bored with what he is being given mic-wise. However, this is a case where manages to phone-in a decent promo where I might have cared a little bit about what he was saying….might have…
Randy Orton v Tensai(C): Both of these two work slow and methodic, which can either make an epic bout or something snooze-worthy. They seem to find a decent middle ground and come out with something…that could be interesting if you really appreciate subtleties of wrestling, but most will probably find it to be rather plain and boring, so I can’t say it was a must-see match. Vickie Guerrero takes the stage after celebratory actions are concluded, and Orton gets a little angry, where he actually sounds like he might have charisma underneath all that oil(oil that he seems to have just barely chilled out on). He is wise to a surprise attack from Ziggler, as Ziggler frustratingly retreats and reminds us this match is kind of a big deal. It is for me.
The US Title Chase:Antonio Cesaro has finally gotten some promo time on TV. His accent makes his sentences drag out longer than they should at times, but it’s still a delight to hear him berate his potential opponents, adapting his “Five Languages” schtick to a full tirade. Kidd steps down to the ring, and while he seems a bit nervous and has an odd voice to consider intimidating, but he does a great job of rolling with the promo and getting through it without sounding too awkward, so he deserves some props. After a cheap shot from Cesaro, Brodus Clay interferes, and being ultimately overwhelmed by both, Cesaro falls to Brodus’ assault. I understand Night of Champions is coming up, but it’s great to see the belts all get so much focus tonight…well, sans the champions having a lack of presence by missing one half. I am just happy to see Kidd finally getting utilized.
Open For Business: He doesn’t say much, but Barrett can capture you with fewer words than most can do with a few minutes of ring time. I look forward to seeing him stepping into something major, and seeing more of this revamped character.
Kaitlyn v Beth Phoenix(C): Phoenix hasn’t wrestled a match in a long time, her first back being this Monday on RAW. It’s a shame to see her seeming to brush off to the wayside for so long, but it doesn’t hurt to keep her away from the title for a while. Kaitlyn is a fresh face in the scene that also has underrated skill, and I feel in the “big match” she will prove her worth. Here, we get a taste of that in a surprisingly long match, but it’s still not that full potential I have seen her reach on NXT. I wait patiently for her “coming out party.”
Booker’s Tweaked: I do not know what Booker tooted before he shot this scene, but his eyes were wider than an open doorway. He was not even angered in the scene at all, only happy to hear what Eve had to say, as well as have a failed fist-pound/hand-shake with Teddy Long. If this interests you, I recommend you make sure to watch this.
Sheamus v Daniel Bryan(B-): I feel Sheamus tends to come out first for his matches on a frequent basis, even though he is champion, and while I like Daniel Bryan more, the champion should always be treated like the bigger deal, but I digress. Bryan may be the only person who has more chemistry with Sheamus than Randy Orton. I was part of the crowd the night Bryan and Sheamus first wrestled a full match on Television, and I knew they would be great competitors in the future. When this starts, it feels like they’re going by-the-books with their approach, but Bryan shows glimpses of that extreme personality through the proceedings. It kicks in halfway through, and that excellent chemistry shines through as they create an exquisite exchange. It’s nice to see Bryan got to fight the submission instead of tapping in an instant, but I wuld have liked a kick-out followed by the High Cross to finish the job, but they have to get that Cloverleaf over. I will not complain much because I was entertained the whole time.
There were not many strong matches on this show, but they way the managed to squeeze everyone in without squandering time, and make me feel hopeful for the direction of pretty much EVERY angle as well as Night of Champions sounds like a fine enough Go-Home show to me.
Feel free e-mail me(firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment at PINFALL Magazine.