Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Moline, Illinois this week. I’m trying something new during this review. I’m adding the time length to each match. They will be unofficial times and may be off by a second or two. Also, the time will be TV time only and will not include commercial breaks. At the start of the show, Smackdown shows a recap video of Ricardo Rodriguez getting hit with the Brogue Kick on RAW last Monday. After the video, Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo, and David Otunga walk out of a room and a sign that says, “Smackdown General Manager” is on the door. Ricardo is wearing a neck brace.

After the Smackdown opening video, Del Rio, Ricardo, and Otunga walk out to the ring. Del Rio says that he destroyed John Cena  in a falls count anywhere match on RAW last Monday and forgets to mention that CM Punk is the main reason he won that match. Del Rio says he will face Sheamus for World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions, but he is not completely happy. Del Rio says Sheamus has an advantage in that match. Sheamus can use something more dangerous than a steel chair. Del Rio is talking about the Brogue Kick. Del Rio says the Brogue Kick should be banned. Del Rio says Ricardo might have permanent physical damage after getting hit with the Brogue Kick. Del Rio compares his cross armbreaker to the Brogue Kick and says that his move is pure and artistic. The Brogue Kick is a criminal act. Otunga takes the microphone from Del Rio and says Sheamus’s actions were malicious with the intent to commit bodily harm on innocent people. Otunga shows a video of Sheamus hitting several WWE Superstars with the Brogue Kick. Otunga says they talked to Booker T and demanded justice. Otunga is a heel, but he is making a lot of sense. The WWE should be more concerned about stuff like concussions and head injuries. Orton does not use the punt anymore so why is Sheamus allowed to use the Brogue Kick? It is the most violent move in the WWE in my opinion. Booker T comes out. Booker says their conversation before the show was supposed to be confidential. Booker says if they want to bring their case to the people, then let’s do that. Booker asks the WWE Universe if he should ban the Brogue Kick. The fans say no. Booker says the Brogue Kick is still legal.

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. The Miz and Cody Rhodes

Rey Mysterio got the pinfall after hitting The Miz with the 619. Right before the 619, Rhodes accidentally kicked The Miz. Good opening match.  The match was fun to watch. I think Rey and Sin Cara are now my favorite tag team. In my opinion, Sin Cara’s best chance at WWE success is as a tag team superstar and it’s great that he is teaming with Rey Mysterio. They are a new tag team, but I want to see them get a shot at the tag team titles within the next few months.

Winners: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara

Time Length: 07:08

Rating: ***1/4

Backstage, Hornswoggle wants a hug from Daniel Bryan, but Bryan refuses to hug him. Hornswoggle then asks for a handshake and Bryan shakes his hand. During the handshake, Hornswoggle steps on Bryan’s foot. Bryan yells in pain while Hornswoggle runs away laughing like a little kid. Bryan tells himself to breath.

Otunga talks to Booker T in his office. Otunga shows pictures of Sheamus hitting his opponents with the Brogue Kick. Otunga says Booker can be a general manager who continually puts the health and well-being of his superstars at risk every night or one who takes a stand. Booker T says he will think about making the Brogue Kick illegal. Otunga says that is not good enough and he will have to show Booker T more proof of damage in the training room.

Smackdown shows a RAW video of Daniel Bryan and Kane hugging it out last Monday.

Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder

Daniel Bryan won this match with the No Lock after he convinced Ryder to give him a hug during the match. After the referee raised Bryan’s arm, Bryan put the No Lock back on Ryder. Bryan would not break the hold, so the referee reversed the decision and the win went to Ryder. Entertaining match, but not one of Daniel Bryan’s best Smackdown matches. The match didn’t get enough time. The hug was my favorite part of the match.

Winner: Zack Ryder

Time Length: 02:58

Rating: **1/4

Damien Sandow comes out and cuts a promo. Sandow talks about not being prepared for his match against Sheamus last week. Sandow then talks about the WWE Universe and social media. Sandow’s promo is interrupted by Randy Orton. Sandow wants to know what Orton could say that would add to the discussion and Orton says he is here to fight. Orton wants to face Sandow instead of his original opponent. The match starts and then stops a few seconds later when Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance. The match is restarted after Dolph Ziggler’s music stops.

Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow

Dolph Ziggler did guest commentary during this match. Randy Orton won by countout. I didn’t like this match. It wasn’t a terrible match and it was well-worked by both men, but I did not enjoy watching this match. When I watch a wrestling match, I care more about the match being enjoyable to watch than good workrate by both wrestlers. This match was not enjoyable to watch in my opinion. I have seen worse matches, but it wasn’t a match I would like to see again. I didn’t really like the Orton vs. Sandow match-up. I would have liked to see Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder get the amount of time this match got.

Winner: Randy Orton

Time Length: 06:25

Rating: *3/4

After the match, Orton and Ziggler fight each other in the ring. Orton gets ready to hit Ziggler with the RKO, but Sandow returns to the ring and Orton hits the RKO on Sandow. Ziggler escapes from the ring.

In the training room, Otunga shows Booker T that Ricardo’s cervical spine is not the same as a normal cervical spine. Otunga is prepared to file a lawsuit if Booker does not ban the Brogue Kick. Booker says he will think about it and tells Otunga to get ready for his match against Sheamus.

Primo and Epico vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Usos

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth did guest commentary during this match. Darren Young stole the pinfall from Jay Uso after Uso hit a splash off the top rope on Primo. The Prime Time Players are now the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship. This match was shorter than I thought it would be which is very unfortunate because I enjoyed this match a lot. There were a lot of great spots in this match. If it got ten minutes, I think it could have been the best tag team match on Smackdown this year.

Winners:  The Prime Time Players

Time Length: 04:22

Rating: ***

The RAW Rebound is shown and it focuses on the CM Punk and John Cena feud.

Backstage, Teddy Long and Kaitlyn talk about David Otunga. Vickie and Dolph Ziggler show up and they want to talk to Booker T. Ziggler wants to face Orton at Night of Champions. Teddy admits that not every match at Night of Champions has to be a championship match and he will advise Booker to make that match.

Wade Barrett vs. Yoshi Tatsu

This was a squash match and Barrett won. Barrett didn’t hit his Wasteland finisher during this match. He hit Yoshi with an elbow to the head and Yoshi was unable to kick out of the pin. It’s great to see Barrett back and now Smackdown’s roster is a little bit stronger. I would love to see Barrett challenge Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship if Sheamus’s title reign continues after Night of Champions.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Time Length: 01:50

Rating: NR (No Rating)

After the match, Barrett cuts a promo. Barrett says he is “open for business”.

Sheamus vs. David Otunga

Alberto Del Rio was sitting ringside during the match. In the middle of the match, Booker T told Sheamus that the Brogue Kick is now banned. The banning did not hurt Sheamus in this match and he won by forcing Otunga to submit to the Texas Cloverleaf. It was a short main event match, but that’s okay because I did not like this match. The news about the Brogue Kick ban was more important than the match.

Winner: Sheamus

Time Length: 4:59

Rating: *1/4

Smackdown ends with Sheamus celebrating in the ring and Del Rio watching from the entrance ramp.

Matches to Watch: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. The Miz and Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder, Primo and Epico vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Usos

Matches to Skip: Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett vs. Yoshi Tatsu, Sheamus vs. David Otunga

Best Superstar of Smackdown: David Otunga

Otunga had an in-ring promo, two backstage segments, and he was in the main event. It was a very good night for Otunga. His match wasn’t good, but I like what he is doing in his lawyer role. Otunga has been very successful in the WWE since his stint as a member of Nexus ended.

Best Moment of Smackdown: The Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder hug

I liked how Daniel Bryan was able to get Ryder to hug him and then he immediately put Ryder in the No Lock. Daniel Bryan has to be the first and only wrestler to reverse a hug into a submission hold during a match.

This was a good Smackdown. It wasn’t great, but the Otunga storyline was interesting and I liked how they kept going back to that storyline throughout the show. It was good to see Daniel Bryan on the show, but it’s unfortunate that his backstage segment and match were both too short. The tag team matches were great. The main event match wasn’t very good, but I am interested in finding out what happens next week with the Brogue Kick storyline. Overall, it was a good Smackdown. I really liked how Smackdown focused on Otunga trying to get the Brogue Kick banned during the entire show. It’s good when Smackdown or RAW starts the show with an interesting storyline and makes you want to watch the entire show to see how that storyline ends.

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