Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. This week, Smackdown is in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is the final Smackdown before the WWE Extreme Rules Pay Per View.

Josh Matthews is not at Smackdown this week because of injuries suffered after Brock Lesnar attacked him on RAW last Monday. Daniel Bryan’s theme song plays and Daniel Bryan is introduced to the ring. Daniel Bryan says he finally got rid of AJ. He says his loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania does not count. It should go on AJ’s record because AJ lost the match, not Daniel Bryan. He says Sheamus cannot legitimately beat him once, let alone in a two out of three falls match at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan then talks about last Monday’s RAW when he was the referee for the Sheamus vs. Mark Henry match. He says he promised himself before the match that he would call it right down the middle and he did. There are some people who have accused Daniel Bryan of quick counting Sheamus’s shoulders to the mat so he shows footage of the match from RAW. It looks like the video was slowed down during the three count to make the count look fair. Booker T agrees with me and says the count was showed in slow motion. Daniel Bryan says there is absolutely nothing wrong with that count. Daniel Bryan says he was forced to defend himself after Sheamus lost his cool and shows more footage from RAW. The footage shows Daniel Bryan putting Sheamus in the Yes Lock after the match. Daniel Bryan asks the video to be paused. The video freezes with Sheamus in the Yes Lock and Daniel Bryan says, “That is a beautiful picture.” Daniel Bryan asks some questions. Did Mark Henry beat Sheamus this past Monday? Yes. Did Daniel Bryan make Sheamus tap out in front of the entire WWE Universe? Yes. Is Sheamus’s entire World Title run a fluke because he took advantage of a confused and quite frankly not very intelligent woman? Yes. Will Daniel Bryan regain his World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules? YES! YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan stops chanting into the microphone and pumps his right fist in the air while the crowd chants “Yes”.

The Yes Chants are interrupted by Albert Del Rio’s theme music. Del Rio is introduced by Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio asks, “Has Daniel Bryan been making excuses since he lost the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania in 18 seconds? Ricardo says, “Si” which is Spanish for “yes”. Is the winner of the Bryan-Sheamus match eventually going to lose to the next #1 contender Alberto Del Rio? Ricardo says “Si” again. Del Rio gets in the ring and asks, “Will Daniel Bryan be forgotten when Alberto Del Rio becomes the next World Heavyweight Champion?” Ricardo says “Si” several times. Del Rio starts to ask another question, but he is interrupted by the Big Show’s music. Big Show gets in the ring and asks, “Is it yes or si?” Yes. Si. Yes. Si. The crowd says “Yes” when Big Show says “Yes” and says “Si” when Big Show says “Si.” Big Show gets ready to attack Daniel Bryan and Del Rio and both of them leave the ring. Ricardo tries to leave too, but Big Show stops him. Big Show asks Ricardo, “Yes or si” and Ricardo says “No”. Big Show says “Si” and chokeslams Ricardo.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

During the match, Michael Cole announced that the stipulation for Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes at Extreme Rules will be determined by a spin of the wheel. So they are bringing RAW Roulette to Pay Per View? I guess the WWE is hoping this will get more fans interested in the match. They should have just revealed the stipulation on Smackdown. I doubt there are many fans that are going to buy the PPV just to find out the stipulation for the Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes match. The match-up is not interesting enough and I doubt the stipulation will be a stipulation we haven’t seen 100 times. And if the stipulation is one that has never been used in a WWE match before, it’s more likely to be a bad stipulation than a good one.

Big Show won this match via disqualification after Cody Rhodes entered the ring and attacked Big Show. This match was short and last week’s Big Show vs. Del Rio match was better.

Winner:  Big Show

Rating: *

After the match, Cody hit Big Show with a kendo stick, but the hit didn’t hurt Big Show at all. Cody tried to hit Big Show with a chair, but Big Show punched it out of Cody’s hands. Big Show then whipped Cody with a belt two times and Cody got out of the ring as fast as he could.

Backstage, John Laurinaitis talks with Eve. Johnny tells her that he wants her to help him improve Smackdown and he asks Eve to let him know if she sees something that needs to be changed. Eve says she thinks all of the crew members should wear name tags.  Teddy joins them and wants to know what his role is if Eve is the Executive Administrator. Johnny says Teddy is only an employee. Johnny says Teddy will report directly to Eve. Teddy now works for Eve so Eve tells him get a name tag.

Damien Sandow cuts his weekly promo. The topic this week is enlightenment. Damien says salvation is one week away and soon the WWE will bear witness to a new age of enlightenment.

Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox

Nikki Bella officially won this match, but Brie Bella is the diva who pinned Fox for the three count after the Bellas did Twin Magic. The crowd was dead during the beginning of this match. There were a couple nice spots near the end of this match.

Winner:  Nikki Bella

Rating: *1/4

Backstage, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil talk to Yoshi Tatsu. They want to know who Yoshi’s tag team partner is. Ezekiel Jackson joins them and Jackson tells them that he is Yoshi’s tag team partner.

In Johnny’s office, Teddy is wearing a giant name tag and it looks like he is dressed like a maid. Aksana enters the room. Teddy thanks Aksana for supporting him and Aksana mentions that she didn’t know Teddy was old enough to have grandchildren. Johnny enters the room with Eve and tells Aksana and Teddy that Antonio Cesaro will get a try-out match. Aksana will be the guest ring announcer. Eve tells Teddy that Teddy will have his own announce table called the “Teddy Table”. Teddy will be a guest announcer because Eve and Johnny wanted another voice on commentary with Josh Matthews out. Eve says he starts next. Johnny tells him that Teddy will not say anything unless Johnny instructs him to say it. Johnny gives Teddy a “People Power” t-shirt to wear.

Darren Young & Titus O’Neil vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Ezekiel Jackson

Darren Young and Titus O’Neil won this match after Titus lifted Yoshi in the air like he was setting up a power bomb and Young clotheslined Yoshi off the top rope. Yoshi wrestled the entire match without tagging in Ezekiel Jackson. I don’t know why Jackson didn’t start the match. Young and Titus have been an impressive team so far. I think they should start thinking of a tag team name.

Winners:  Darren Young and Titus O’Neil

Rating: **

In the ring, Michael Cole introduces Randy Orton to the ring. Cole will do an interview with Orton. Cole says that Orton will be suspended if he touches Cole. Orton says he is aware of that and also says that when he is pushed just right, he doesn’t act rationally. Cole says he understands and then shows a Kane-Orton promo video which is probably the official promo package for the Extreme Rules match. Cole says Orton will be facing a monster at Extreme Rules that Orton created. Orton says he plans on doing more to Kane than just pinning him for a three count because Kane messed with his family. Orton says a part of him deep down wants to respect Kane for attacking Orton’s father, but he can’t accept it. Orton says there are no rules in their match and there is nothing stopping Orton from making Kane suffer. Not even the Devil himself is capable of unleashing the Hell that Orton will bring this Sunday.

Jinder Mahal’s music plays and Jinder enters the ring. Jinder thinks Kane and Orton will both take each other down and a new breed of superstar will emerge after that happens. Jinder says Orton’s time at the top is over because Jinder is younger, smarter, richer, and hungrier than Orton. Jinder starts to leave the ring and Orton tells him to wait. Orton asks him if he is an announcer. Jinder says he is not. Orton says that is good because announcers are off-limits. Orton drops the microphone and hits Jinder with the RKO. Jinder rolls out of the ring and Orton poses on the top turnbuckle.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd

Cesaro won this match after using two unique moves. I’m sure he’s used those two moves many times in the past, but they are new to me. It’s hard to describe them so you are going to have to watch the end of this match and see them for yourself. It was a short match. Tyson Kidd didn’t get in much offense and was a jobber in this match. That’s too bad because this match might have been an interesting match if it was more competitive. I was impressed by Cesaro. He has some moves in his move set that I don’t see other WWE Superstars using. His unique moves remind me of the first time I saw Sin Cara in a WWE match. I’m looking forward to his next match.

Winner:  Antonio Cesaro

Rating: NR (No Rating)

After the match, Teddy raises Antonio’s arm and watches Aksana kiss Antonio.

Smackdown shows a promo video for the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match at Extreme Rules. The video is most likely the same promo package that will be shown before the PPV match. That’s two PPV promo packages the WWE gave away for free on Smackdown. I liked it better when fans didn’t see the promo packages until the PPV.

The Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes

Khali won this match after hitting Cody with the Punjabi Plunge. This was a boring match and it didn’t get me more excited about the Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show match.

Winner:  The Great Khali

Rating: *

Backstage, AW talks with Epico, Primo, and Rosa. AW says they need to join his promotional company and AW wants a decision by Monday.

Lillian Garcia introduces Jacob Kaye. Jacob cuts a heel promo. He says he wants to escape Grand Rapids, Michigan and he will become the first man to defeat Ryback.

Ryback vs. Jacob Kaye

Ryback won this match which means Ryback is still undefeated and Kaye will not be leaving Grand Rapids. Another dominant win for Ryback and I hope Ryback starts getting better competition soon. Having him squash jobbers for six more weeks is not going to help him. If the WWE waits too long to push him, his WWE career might end up being similar to Vladimir Kozlov’s career and that’s not a good thing. Kozlov’s WWE career wasn’t terrible, but I want Ryback to accomplish more in his WWE career than Kozlov did.

Winner:  Ryback

Rating: NR

Backstage, Matt Striker tries to talk to AJ but AJ ignores him. Kaitlyn joins them and tells Striker that AJ doesn’t need to answer questions right now. Striker leaves and Kaitlyn tells AJ that Daniel Bryan is a jerk. Daniel Bryan didn’t respect her, didn’t love her, and did nothing for her. AJ slaps Kaitlyn in the face. Kaitlyn walks away and AJ has a “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that” look on her face. I really think AJ might get involved in Daniel Bryan’s match at Extreme Rules and if that does happen, I hope it doesn’t hurt the match.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

Sheamus won this match with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus and Mark Henry are two superstars I don’t enjoy watching in the ring so I skipped most of this match. The parts of the match I watched seemed boring. I guess the WWE made this match so Sheamus would look strong going into Extreme Rules.

Winner:  Sheamus

Rating: *1/2

Daniel Bryan comes out from behind the curtain after the match and claps for Sheamus from the top of the entrance ramp. Sheamus grabs a microphone and tells Daniel Bryan to come down to the ring. Daniel Bryan stays where he is and Sheamus asks Daniel Bryan if he is afraid that Sheamus will kick his head off in 18 seconds. Sheamus says their match at Extreme Rules won’t be a fluke and Daniel Bryan won’t be able to blame AJ. Sheamus asks, “Will I kick your arse to remain World Heavyweight Champion?”  Smackdown ends with Sheamus chanting “Yes”.

Matches to Watch: Darren Young & Titus O’Neil vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Ezekiel Jackson, Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd

Matches to Skip: Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show, Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox, Ryback vs. Jacob Kaye, The Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Antonio Cesaro

Antonio had a great debut. His match wasn’t great, but the moves he did were interesting enough that I want to see more.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Antonio Cesaro’s finishing moves that he used to defeat Tyson Kidd

I like being surprised and seeing new moves. It’s great to see that Cesaro has created his own unique wrestling moves and didn’t just recycle moves that have been used many times in the WWE.

I expected this Smackdown to be better than it was. There weren’t any great matches and the segments were mediocre at best. Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus were given opportunities to get people more excited about their Extreme Rules matches and I am not more excited now than I was before I watched Smackdown. Orton did a decent job promoting his Extreme Rules match against Kane, but it wasn’t a great Orton promo. This was the Smackdown go-home show and they should have promoted Extreme Rules a little bit more. Also, the main event ending was weak in my opinion. I think the Daniel Bryan-Sheamus match has been promoted well, but I would have liked to see a more interesting ending to Smackdown.

I will be attending Extreme Rules this Sunday and I plan on tweeting during the show. My twitter name is @TonyKegger.

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